Showing posts with label "mind of the believer". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "mind of the believer". Show all posts

Quote of the Day by Guy P. Harrison

Guy P. Harrison put the problem of the brain this way. If a skeptic disputes a psychic’s readings, then “the believer’s brain is likely to instinctively go into siege mode. The drawbridge is raised, crocodiles are released into the mote, and defenders man the walls.” He goes on to explain, “The worst part of all this is that the believer usually doesn’t recognize how biased and close-minded he is being. He likely feels that he is completely rational and fair. It doesn’t happen just with fans of psychics. We are all vulnerable to this distorted way of thinking.” [Think: Why You Should Question Everything, 2013), p. 67.] This process happens whenever the brain feels threatened by contrary data. The brain feels physically attacked when confronted with ideas that challenge it, and will do what it takes to deflect that attack. To see more, and learn what's required to overcome this strong tendency of the brain to keep us from the truth, see the tag mind of the believer.

"The brain treats questions about beliefs like physical threats. Can we learn to disarm it?"

From a recent article with the above title:
Jonas Kaplan is an assistant research professor of psychology at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute. He studies the human brain using fMRIs to observe how it responds to, among other stimuli, challenges to predisposed beliefs.

In a study that he and his research team published in Scientific Reports last year, they studied the scans of people undergoing simultaneous questioning, and demonstrated the physical effects that take place within the brain during periods when political beliefs were questioned.

The study uncovered a correlation: when a belief is directly challenged by new information, parts of the brain that typically show activity for physical threats expressed greater activity in people who tended to be more resistive to changing their minds.

“The brain can be thought of as a very sophisticated self-defense machine,” Kaplan told me. “If there is a belief that the brain considers part of who we are, it turns on its self-defense mode to protect that belief.”

Kaplan argues that this demonstrates that the brain reacts to belief challenges in the same way that it reacts to perceived physical threats. This would help explain why minds are so resistant to change the beliefs that form one’s perception of reality.
Can we learn to disarm it? The answer is Yes!

The Brain of the Believer Is Deceiving Its Host. Why It Does It. And What It Takes To Be An Honest Seeker Of Truth.


This time, boys and girls, I want to highlight what we see over and over and over again from Christian apologists and wannabe apologists alike without exception. Every single analogy offered in defense of a crucial tenet of faith is disanalogous to the very point being defended. Every. Single. One. Without. Exception. I could write a booklet highlighting them. When seen for the false analogies they really are, all they got is special pleading. So combining a whole lot of false analogies disguised as analogies gets them nothing.

Harold Newman asked Don Camp how we go about verifying his "personal experience with God" claim? "This one is especially puzzling to me because we haven't established that God exists, and you cannot have experiences with something that doesn't exist."

Don Camp:
We can establish that God exists in the very same way that we can be reasonably sure that there was a mouse in my kitchen. But, as you say, not 100%.

If we add the reasonableness of God's existence to the subjective experience of him, I who have that subjective experience can be more than intellectually convinced convinced of the probability; I can be personally convinced.

That is like my experience with the mouse. My report is reasonable based on the investigation and reasoning done. It is probable there was a mouse. My experience seeing the mouse makes it a personal reality.

And I can be reasonably sure that I did not hallucinate the mouse. If I alone had the experience of seeing the mouse, that might still be a possibility. But If others, many others, also see the mouse in my kitchen, the likelihood that we all are hallucinating is minimal.
The DC commenters have already taken Camp to task on this, but let me highlight what's wrong with it. First off mice exist. We have seen plenty of them to know. We can verify the existence of this mouse with objective evidence that would convince everyone; mouse droppings, eaten food, noises in the walls, and/or with our eyes. Again, we can verify the existence of this mouse with objective evidence that would convince everyone. There is no such evidence that convinces everyone Don Camp's sect specific god exists. That's because there is no observable god, unlike mice. Point. Get. The. The proper analogy is not a verifiable mouse. The proper analogy is to substitute Hobbits, Goblins, Unicorns, or gods like Zeus, Thor, Ra or Odin. Those invisible non-verifiable concepts do not admit of evidence that would convince every reasonable person. Let's compare comparables if we want to be honest with the available facts.

Neil Carter's Fantastic Explanation For Why It's So Hard Convincing Believers They're Wrong


The Delusional Mind At Work

[Written by John Loftus] Let's take a look at what a Christian named fonsoc wrote:
One of us is wrong. You can prove me wrong when you can prove the non-existence of God and let me know where the very first cell came from at the base of Darwin's tree. I have never heard on credible answer to that question yet. You will know that I am right or wrong after you die. We will all die someday - and there is no argument against that. I am not just guessing, I am sure that there is life on the other side of death because of my personal relationship with God. I don't have to wait until I die to see that. He has given me that assurance in the here and now. Link.

The Mind of the Believer and Unanswered Prayer

[Written by John Loftus] I want to continue a discussion I started right here and followed up on here, about a time when God blew it on national TV to answer a high profile prayer by three contestants (self described "prayer Warriors") in a reward challenge for food during an episode of CBS's Survivor.