Psychological Mechanisms Protect Unreasonable Faith Claims

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Honey69
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29 Jan 2024, 4:47 pm

https://www.thetorah.com/article/the-ps ... wUUgBLvxaI


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belijojo
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29 Jan 2024, 4:57 pm

I saw him point out that when believers receive a huge shock against their faith, they not only do not give up, but further deepen their faith. And gives several means that they may use.

So the conclusion is don't try to convert them? Don't do it because it's hard?

I subconsciously think that there are some problems, and I should stick to the right thing.

But it's probably a combination of my lack of sleep and my autism. I should probably go to sleep and stop talking nonsense.


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colliegrace
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29 Jan 2024, 6:18 pm

For me, my faith revolves on a handful of primary principles, and the other details I consider more loose. I used to be YEC.... dunno what I am anymore, but I also don't care enough about the details to worry about it. Tbh.


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funeralxempire
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29 Jan 2024, 6:35 pm

Faith is another way of saying hand-waved.


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colliegrace
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29 Jan 2024, 7:12 pm

I mean, I guess. It's viewed mostly as a trust thing, in the view that one has a relationship with God and accepts certain things because they trust God.

I'm not at all restricted from intellectual pursuits and learning more, but there are also things I don't feel the need to delve deeper into... at least, at this time.


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ToughDiamond
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29 Jan 2024, 9:12 pm

Well yes, that's how most people seem to tick - they have this "faith" thing going on, and it's not open to rational argument against it, so when an argument is presented, it becomes a competition - "that makes my belief look wrong, I must find a rationalisation to fight back with." It's always seemed strange to me that anybody's mind can still use faith of that kind once they're old enough to have found out that some of the things they once felt sure about have turned out to be false.

Don't know whether this is quite on topic or not, but this question of the relationship between science and faith is an interesting one:

The man in the street has no more direct experience with bacteria or quarks or buckyballs than he has with demons or the evil eye or astrology. To choose one system over another is ultimately an act of faith for most people.

It's a question that I've chewed over a lot, and could only make any headway when I saw that there's more than one type of faith - cognitive faith and behavioural "faith." The former is what I presume intense religions expect of their followers - that they should absolutely believe that they can't be wrong about their core doctrines, etc. The latter is just something we all have to do if we're to do anything - behaving as if something that we think is probably true actually is true, in other words knowingly taking risks when we reckon it's probably worth the chance. That's not enough for intense religion but it's exactly right for science. We try to assign the most accurate probabilities to things, and, hoping we'll turn out to be right, we behave accordingly. The moment we abandon all cognitive doubt, we close our minds to arguments to the contrary, and we leave the path of science.

But I gather it's a neurotypical thing to temporarily (and, technically speaking, incorrectly) abandon cognitive doubt in order to muster up the courage and confidence to perform a task that would otherwise feel too daunting. For example, a football player may feel the need to temporarily believe "I'm sure to win." But on some level they must know that they're taking a risk.

Anyway, it's just an idea of mine that nobody's knocked any holes in yet AFAIK. I just think it may shed light on the much-debated question about science being faith-based.



funeralxempire
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30 Jan 2024, 2:35 am

colliegrace wrote:
I mean, I guess. It's viewed mostly as a trust thing, in the view that one has a relationship with God and accepts certain things because they trust God.

I'm not at all restricted from intellectual pursuits and learning more, but there are also things I don't feel the need to delve deeper into... at least, at this time.


For what it's worth, I'm not making that observation only about religion and religious faith although it is a great place to find examples.

ToughDiamond wrote:
Don't know whether this is quite on topic or not, but this question of the relationship between science and faith is an interesting one:

The man in the street has no more direct experience with bacteria or quarks or buckyballs than he has with demons or the evil eye or astrology. To choose one system over another is ultimately an act of faith for most people.


Agreed. Most of us are willing to place faith in experts when it comes to knowledge we don't possess or didn't gain on a first-hand basis.

For example: unless you've personally witnessed something that proves a globe-shaped earth you're trusting experts to not lie to you. That said, it's easy enough to watch a tall ship come over the horizon and gain first hand knowledge of this. Seeing a photo isn't quite adequate because photos can be faked so you're trusting the authenticity of the photo. It can be proven as obvious, but that doesn't mean most people don't just accept it on faith.

That's a particularly accessible example, the less accessible the more faith is part of the equation.

That said, the amount of faith one puts into the natural sciences is largely a matter of whether or not one believes the scientific community would seek to intentionally deceive, which seems like a relatively minor handwave compared with say, biblical literalism which requires massive handwaves to dismiss everything disproving such an understanding of the universe.


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ToughDiamond
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30 Jan 2024, 5:35 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Agreed. Most of us are willing to place faith in experts when it comes to knowledge we don't possess or didn't gain on a first-hand basis.

For example: unless you've personally witnessed something that proves a globe-shaped earth you're trusting experts to not lie to you. That said, it's easy enough to watch a tall ship come over the horizon and gain first hand knowledge of this. Seeing a photo isn't quite adequate because photos can be faked so you're trusting the authenticity of the photo. It can be proven as obvious, but that doesn't mean most people don't just accept it on faith.

That's a particularly accessible example, the less accessible the more faith is part of the equation.

That said, the amount of faith one puts into the natural sciences is largely a matter of whether or not one believes the scientific community would seek to intentionally deceive, which seems like a relatively minor handwave compared with say, biblical literalism which requires massive handwaves to dismiss everything disproving such an understanding of the universe.

Pretty much, yes. I wish I knew more about how the average person views scientific received wisdom of the kind that's not easy to personally verify. I would think many of them have noticed that science occasionally amends its conclusions, and that therefore they'd know science never says anything that's absolutely correct and could never be overturned. So their trust would be more a balance of probabilities thing than absolute faith. OTOH, I've noticed that some people seem to have exactly that absolute faith in some authorities, and those authorities may include certain scientists as well as certain priests, government officials, politicians, etc.

But I don't know what goes on in their heads when they seem to show that kind of faith. A non-authoritarian doctor may present a patient with several options and encourage them to choose the one they prefer. But some patients, particularly older ones, sometimes reply "I'll take the option you recommend." If I were to ask that patient why they'd handed the power back like that, would they say they had 100% confidence in the doctor, or that they just found the decision too complicated and that the doctor, while clearly not perfect, was probably their best bet? It doesn't help that people don't always think or try to communicate as deeply and in as much detail as I do.

Generally speaking, religion is built on authoritarian assumptions - the authority of the deity, the authority of scripture, the authority of church leaders, and in some cases the authority of kings, governments and slave owners - and I can't relate to it because I'm not much of an authoritarian myself. For one thing, people are imperfect and they sometimes make mistakes or become corrupt. Therefore, for me, authority is just a necessary evil, and my hope is always that I may have the skill to make my own decisions and to control my own life, but sometimes it seems that they know more than I do about a problem and that they're more or less on my side, in which case I'll defer to them, but always reluctantly. Other times, I just know that I'm overpowered and that resistance is futile, and then I resentfully comply.

Hope I haven't drifted too far from the intended purpose of the thread.