The Believing ryaleomitsuvi.gq Pages · · MB · 4, Believing That You Can Everybody,ryaleomitsuvi.gq Everybody, Always Load more . Michael Shermer is publisher of Skeptic magazine (ryaleomitsuvi.gq). His new book is The Believing Brain. Follow him on. Twitter @michaelshermer. Skeptic by . Request PDF on ResearchGate | The Believing Brain | Why science is the only way out of the trap of belief-dependent realism.
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download The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths on ryaleomitsuvi.gq [PDF] Download The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as. The Believing Brain is divided into four parts. Part I, “Journeys of Belief,” includes personal narratives of belief, including that of the author; Part II, “The Biology of.
We ignore contrary evidence or make up rationalizations to explain it away. We do not like to admit we are wrong. We seldom change our minds. Natural selection favors strategies that make many false causal assumptions in order to not miss the true ones that are essential to survival. Superstition and magical thinking are natural processes of a learning brain. People believe weird things because of our evolved need to believe nonweird things.
Belief comes quickly and naturally, skepticism is slow and unnatural, and most people have a low tolerance for ambiguity. We rely on a feeling of conviction, but that feeling can be uncoupled from good reasons and good evidence.
Science hopes to counteract false beliefs by recoupling through counterarguments with even better reasons and evidence. As science advances, the things we once thought of as supernatural acquire natural explanations. Thunderstorms are caused by natural processes of electricity in clouds, not by a god throwing thunderbolts.
Belief in God is hardwired into our brains through patternicity and agenticity. We see patterns even when they are not there the Virgin Mary on a toasted cheese sandwich , and we interpret events as having been deliberately caused by a conscious agent the AIDS virus was created in a government lab for genocidal purposes.
God is the ultimate pattern and agent that explains everything. And religious belief had survival value for human groups, encouraging conformity, group cooperation, and altruism. Shermer covers a variety of subjects, from alien abductions to cosmology, from economics to politics, from belief in the afterlife to evolution, from ESP to morality, with a lot of entertaining examples.
This is a result of wide-open pattern detection filters and to the assumption that there must be a conscious agent behind everything. Shermer provides a handy list of 10 characteristics of a conspiracy theory that indicate that it is likely to be false; for instance, the more people who would have to have been involved in a cover-up, and the longer the alleged cover-up has lasted, the less likely that no one would have spilled the beans by now.
He provides a useful discussion of the various biases we are prone to, from confirmation bias to the status quo bias, and points out that science is the ultimate bias-detection machine.
He quotes Upton Sinclair: It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it. When I read that, Dana Ullman came to mind. Galileo used an early telescope to observe 4 moons around Jupiter. Other colleagues who did look were similarly dismissive; one tested the telescope in a series of experiments and said it worked fine for terrestrial viewing, but when pointed at the sky it somehow deceived the viewer.
One professor of mathematics accused Galileo of putting the moons of Jupiter inside the tube. We are beginning to develop a new understanding of how the brain generates beliefs and reinforces them. Our deception and illusion exists to varying degrees only because we can think about or plan our future — no other animal can.
Do they live longer lives? Maybe being religious is a relatively harmless deception that gives us a few more years of actual heaven — life on earth? Robert H. See A great and necessary read. Interesting how the comment thread mirrors the content of the book.
Art, you make the fatal error the author writes about. Yes, you have formed an hypothesis based on anecdotal evidence but you seem to suggest that you can validate or invalidate this theory by continuing to accumulate anecdotal non evidence. This is probably THE major point of the book.
Unless you now proceed to designing properly blinded and controlled studies to do yourself, which are then repeated by others with the same result, you have a belief and not a hypothesis and you should label it as such to avoid confusing yourself. If you can find well controlled, repeatable studies of your belief done by others, it would suffice. Shermer does not, nor do most non-believers I have encountered, claim to have proven the non-existence of that friend.
The highly fallible patternicity recognition of your brain does not constitute evidence, no matter what modifiers you parenthetically apply.
Thanks for the awesome post! One is as though nothing is a miracle. Which do you think I and Big Al would? We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages.
The child knows someone must have written those books.
It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. Originally, I was going to write a response which dealt with your awesome response point-by-point and I still may do so, after reading the book.
Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties — this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment.
Fatal error? This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason.
I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description.
But I just wanted to get those initial thoughts down, as you were kind enough to provide such a thoughtful response to my offering. Take care. He also has pretty good talk on YouTube 1: Oops, sorry. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; I certainly will look into reading some of the others by Dr. I have been wrestling with the need some people have to present evidence in support of religious faith.
That is not to say that this need is logically consistent, but only that it seems to be inherent. I thank Dr. Shermer for this endeavor; I particularly enjoyed the explanation of the role of patternicity and agenticity in supernatural belief. Information on how our brains evolved to produce our behavior, thinking and feeling in no way undermines the sheer awe I feel for the human capacity for problem solving and creativity.
This Way is only about reason, logic knowledge and truth. It sets aside all belief. However, believers in a deity and all the religious nutters corrupted its teachings to fit in with their own selfish agendas. Check up folks. Jesus, like the other High Lords, known also as Signs, was a great spiritual teacher who further shepherded the advancement of what is known as the Great Purpose during his lifetime. Therefore, Jesus was the sixth of seven High Lords of the Veil who would come to show mankind The Way so that he might set aside the ending of his days, should he consciously and diligently follow the path of reason.
Be well. I posit that if belief in God is false, then so is the belief or hope that there is no God…as well as the belief that those who believe in God are somehow deluding themselves.
My only reservations were: Genuine religious experiences have usually beneficial lifelong effects, characterlogically, as well as in belief changes. We might expect transient or degenerative changes to be the norm if it was just brain misfiring.
God for believers is often likened to a Platonic Form, e. What seems credible may be limited by the frame set by our existing beliefs. Hi Art, I would enjoy the opportunity to converse more on the subject.
Can you let me know how I could get in contact with you? To date, I have reasoned that the historicity of a person named Yeshua or in different Hebrew dialects — Joshua of ben mary miriam is factual and evident… There is much report on the man.
More so than other figures in history such as Napolean, Moses, etc. I do welcome debate, as we all learn more from it. I guess the Jesus question has been something of a journey for me. Eventually, to get answers on the origins of this seemingly bizarre belief in a human being being god, among other questions, I went to seminary.
But the weight of the evidence in the video seemed too significant to ignore. So I began studying some of the scholars referenced in the video, only to find that the more I studied their case, the more plausible their position seemed.
Thanks for the good comments Art. To believe essentially puts a halt to further inquiry. To doubt allows one to ask questions, seek and find and gain more knowledge to hopefully answer the question at hand.
What happens to belief when you know something? To know trumps belief. The idea is to set aside all belief and follow only truth and knowledge as found through good reason and logic.
As far as I know, Socrates has no writings in history accredited to his own hand either. Whats left of his philosophies is around only because students of his wrote some of it down. There are a great deal of people who are figuring out the religious deceptions in our day and age. But none are able to tie it all together without gaining a little knowledge from the lost brotherhood, who have been around for over years. The major problem, it would seem, with our understanding of the chronological development of the Jesus story is the structure of the New Testament.
Merge their gods with ours. Assimilation is facilitated, if not guaranteed! Circa C. But hopefully it will suffice to illuminate what I mean when I say that the imagined historicity of Jesus would be a stumbling block to me. But, by and large, re-reading the earliest literary accounts of Jesus sans our Gospel-colored glasses reveals a very different origin to Christianity than most imagine; and, consequently, a very different originator.
This dismissal will not be due to the merits or lack thereof of the argument. Their dismissal of the mythicist position will be due to the fact that their brains lack the integrity to be receptive to anything that runs counter to their beliefs.
Or, as Shermer puts it more eloquently:. I call this process belief-dependent realism, where our perceptions about reality are dependent on the beliefs that we hold about it. Not so with The Few. They may indeed dismiss the mythicist position or, at least my feeble attempt at the expression thereof , or they may accept it.
But their handling of this challenge to their beliefs will be based upon a consideration of the merits of the argument, not upon whether the argument threatens their preconceived notions of truth. Of The Few Shermer is far more complimentary:. Such belief reversals are so rare in religion and politics as to generate headlines if it is someone prominent, such as a cleric who changes religions or renounces his or her faith, or a politician who changes parties or goes independent.
Enough of my chatter. You have made some good observations Art. They were altered by Paul to suit his own belief agenda. James — the bishop of Jerusalem Ever wonder about who selected the cannon for the bible in the nicaean council under the guidance of a sun worshiping emperor? History is wrote through the eyes of the conqueror. It just shows that what was wrote about him in the gospels went a little off kilter as believers altered his teachings to suit their own selfish agendas.
I am curious how researched you are in the subject. Have you ever heard or the gnostic gospels at nag hammadi? I do have one research request for you to do. What were the original followers of Christ ie Christians called before they were called Christians? You may find it early on in Acts. Can you refresh my memory as to how the dating of Gnostic Gospels relates to the timeframe above for the Epistles and the canonical Gospels? Also, how do Gnostics perceive Jesus besides seeing him as an historical figure?
Is he seen as just a wise fellow like the Buddha, Muhammad, etc. If one determines that reason to lack cogency, it does not disprove the belief; but it does call into the question the validity of that belief. But if their sacred texts were their primary reason for believing as they did, we could, by undermining that reason, form our own opinion that their faith is not well placed.
Hi Art, I think you answered your own question in this case. I may point out that we are talking about the existence of a man and not a flying spaghetti monster here. We know men exist. We also know alot of his sayings and teachings were written down by many people. There is more to what he said than what you can simply see in the gospel writings of the Christian bible. The findings at Nag Hammadi demonstrate this.
It is demonstrable that many people during his time misinterpreted the messages he was trying to get across. Otherwise there would be no confusion in the subsequent works of his writings as written by his so-called followers. Some people did make balls of it… such as Saul, who really believed Christs message was revealed to him after he fell and hit his head.
Sadly, today, this is the route many people follow.
That they can have there own personal experiences with this imaginary mentally made up god figure. It is a very harmful thing to follow beliefs such as these.
When a decision is to be made on the historicity of the man not the god bs saul made up about him you have your own good reason to follow.
Many people met and talked with him. There are eye witness accounts. He caused quite a stir, that is evident even today. What is more likely? Or that there may have been some truth as to the mans existence, and mankind just made up another god-figure out of this particular man after he was dead and gone off the scene and really had no say in the matter.
I find it quite amazing how many of his messages are not being followed by people in our societies, all of whom claim to be christians ie followers of Christ. Belief is alterable. It can change just like magic to what you want your own made up reality to be.
And they claim they follow his teachings. Veerily I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter unto the kingdom of heaven. Do you see his vicar getting rid of the aztec gold stored in all the art in the vatican?
Hmmm, hypocrisy, no? And that evidence seems to be at least in part derived from the points you laid out earlier in your response, namely:. There are eyewitness accounts. In the earlier clip there was nothing incriminating to be found in the room. In the later clip, some incriminating bloody evidence had been placed in the room.
It was thus obvious that the absence of incriminating evidence in the earlier video cast profound doubt upon the veracity of the incriminating evidence in the later video. And once their beliefs are formed, only confirmatory evidence will make it past the sentry at the gate.
But that comfort comes at a high price, indeed. It only casts doubt on the content vis-a-vis the interpretation of those texts. Even the tribe of Judah did not know the correct meaning of words used in the tetragrammination words, as this knowledge was only known to the brotherhood of nazarenes. Obviously completely wrong interpretations…. You give interesting examples Art. You are correct in saying one must not cling to belief dependent realism.
New evidences that bring to light new ideas must be taken into account. This is the only way of finding truth. Sauls Epistles were his own made up belief of who or what he wanted Joshua to be. Again, what did his actual followers write? Like James, and Peter and all the brethren? It is shrouded in coverup and mystery.
The followers of what I call Paulinianites then wrote the 4 gospels matthew, mark, luke and john. The canon of the bible were decided upon 3 centuries after Joshua was off the scene. There is other knowledge you can find that supersedes Sauls Epistles though. To find the truth, you need to go out and find out.
How much have you read and investigated? Belief sets up a roadblock to further inquiry. Was there an actual man called Santa Claus in history? Or is he all a myth too? And if his teachings are quite virtuous, what harm is there in following it?
I must be clear here though, that the facts and truths of his sayings need to be separated from the fictions before his teachings can actually be learned.
There is no evidence to demonstrate this, just like there is no evidence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Therefore, anytime you hear him quoted with the likes of heaven, hell, god, father in heaven, etc, you can be sure that the interpreters are way off track. These are known things. There is huge harm in belief in deity, just as there is harm in utilizing belief as a means of obtaining truth.
You will only find it from using reason and logic built upon existing factual knowledge — simply called the Way.
There is no special gnosis from god either. The paulinianite encyclopedias on their interpretation of what gnostism was is not right either. Regarding gnosticism, here is a clue: Hyp hypo — as in under or hidden nosis gnosis — knowledge. Evident in the gospels, as in your OJ case, the evidence of a coverup is evident. Its not that the Gospel producers and propagators were overzealous in their attempt to prove Jesus lived. The bible is repulsive!
What with jews killing women and children in the land of milk and honey etc. And this is the loving god we are supposed to subscribe to??
I am curious if you received my email Art — the one with the book attached — or if it went into your junk folder. There is another book called the hallowed book of Man also known as the book of Adam.
You may be interested in reading that one. Take Care. I look forward to hearing from you. But something you said in your last post raised an eyebrow: There is huge harm in belief in deity. Were the statements about his believing in God misinterpretations by his followers, or was he deluded, as are all God-believers?
Prophecy often refers to a look into the future granted to a human by some supra-human being. If there is no supra-human being, what is the source of the prophecy Crosbie refers to. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your discussion.
He was devastated when I explained that the demonic possession experience is quite common in psychosis. While the story of Noah and the ark is ludicrous on its face after all, who scooped the poop , it is a good metaphor for the logistical problems involved in achieving world peace on this ball of mud.
How do we persuade different peoples with different languages, needs, beliefs, desires, and cultures to respect each other and cooperate because it is for the greater good? So such a person, even now, would be dealing with groups of people just as vastly different as the animals in the tale.
For me, whether the historical Jesus lived or not is immaterial. One good example is confession. Self-forgiveness is the final act of forgiveness: But none of this means I have embraced atheism. Besides my own psychic experiences my late friend, who was a research scientist so he understood the scientific method, tested my psychic abilities.
But just as we do not control the universe we do not control PSI. We have to set aside our selves and let it work through us. It requires a level of selflessness and caring for others that prevents using it for personal gain.
Hi again Art! Love the loaded question: First we must look up and understand the meaning of words. An atheist, according to dictionary. And Atheism is: Now, look at the meaning of belief. Way thought simply puts belief and faith aside and follows only truth. Real truth as defined by fact. It is because of this that we are neither theists nor atheists.
There is something intangible that is out there. We liken it for lack of a better word for it as a Force. Its demonstrable and undeniable really.
Scientific belief that molecules can randomly arrange themselves into a living cell is quite unreasonable. When we see a swiss watch out on a lawn, we know its made up of immaterial dead things. Something made it. And living cells are much more complicated than a swiss watch.
Now we can do an experiment. Take a free living single celled organism. Put it alive into a test tube with water in. Poke it with a pin and leak out all the cells components. Now, we have all the ribosomes, cell nucleus, golgi apparatus, cell solution, etc material realm things necessary for life. And no matter what we do to it, with all we know today…zapping it with radiation, magnetism, electricity, whatever…you will not be able to make that cell live again.
There is something more to life than what can be seen. And we refer to this as the Force. You can see it in everything from a blade of grass to a human being.
Unfortunately, it is the confusion in trying to identify what this force is that caused most of the worlds religions to spring up.
That there is a force out there is undeniable, but the force is not god. To prophecy is the ability to predict what is to come. Some are musical, some mathematical. I can only do this through use of good reason though, based on mathematical formula and previous knowledge based on the orbits of the other existing planets.
Much of the prophesy carried on down through the brotherhood was performed by people with gifts in this area. There have been many attempts in the past where people have tried to exploit the phenomena that some people really do have these gifts. For profit, or ego, or an insatiable feeling of inadequacy with themselves thus feeling the need to feel special and above there fellows.
Many con-artists, so therefore many skeptics and doubters in these areas. Again, nobody will ever learn about this type of knowledge from a standpoint of belief. Only the Way can provide the tools needed to filter the chaff from the wheat. Michele, your words are like sweet music to my ears!
Do you mean to say that you already have the knowledge of good and evil present in your heart or psych already? The ability to look critically at oneself and meditate on how you can be a better person is a gift not many people have willingly tried to master.
Your prayer of Serenity mirrors the 4 quadrants of the way with startling similarity: The book I recommended goes into a great amount of detail into answering the question you provided in 2. They were able to make just about everything Jesus originally said to include a belief in a deity?
I mailed you a detailed comment to explain it a little further. If anyone is interested in reading it, ask Art for a copy! He has provided his email already previously, and I hate getting spammed. Cheers, Shawn.
LMAO on that one Art. But this one more closely reflects the real force: You do see a great deal of reference to concepts learned in the Way in much of the popular movies too. Do you want the blue pill or the red pill? Reality or fantacy? Belief or the truth? I, like Shawn, greatly appreciate your comments, and could probably wax ad nauseam about much of what you said. But, lest this turn into a dissertation, let me just wax ad nauseam on the most salient to me, and to this ongoing conversation; namely, Jesus.
As with Shawn, I find myself more than just a bit curious as to the path that led to your current position, as it relates to the Jesus issue and spirituality. This sense was such an integral part of my identity that the thought of working in a purely secular arena, and having to keep my spirituality on the shelf until quitting time, was less than appealing.
And the reason was, to no small extent, due to the Jesus question. A man of the cloth, without the cloth. That an all-powerful, mysterious God created the Universe, and decided not to give any proof of his existence? Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology?
But the Jesus question has persisted. This was partially due to having grown up in a fairly religious family Grandpa was a Holiness pastor. You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave. And then came my encounter with the Mythicist position. The more I researched, the more I could feel lifelong chains falling away. But after the liberation comes the question of returning to the Cave, to free those still bound. And here we are today. As for me, I guess I too aspire to Hero-hood.
But my position at present is, I think, more like a working hypothesis, and this conversation with Shawn and anyone else who wishes to jump in , a test thereof. Robert M. And I think you can use the same criteria on almost all the material. Now, so long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and seek not to impose those beliefs on others, I agree with you that the issue could be immaterial.
For personal and global reasons, I still find the Jesus question quite poignant. For me, the answer is, unequivocally, friendly. An interesting read regarding this subject: I have read the book The Believing Brain and found it captivating.
I have long considered myself catholic until events unfolded before me while deployed in Iraq that had me questioning faith. I then became agnostic, believing perhaps something was out there, until reading this book. I love the direction the Michael Shermer took with this book and I am now more than ever in control of my own life. Also, I would like to mention Carl Sagan and the dragon in his garage as a contributing influencer.
Thanks for your comment, but more importantly, for your service! That was a vastly different war than the recent. You have my thoughts and well wishes for a peaceful transition back. Interesting comments about the Way. Take the bible verse Matthew 7: Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
We know from this website: So what was he talking about? Ask questions…seek answers… and find answers. Not about prayer at all, simply a method of finding knowledge and truth. Very impressive analysis!. But when dealing with each other both groups drop thier humbleness and become snarky as all get out. In brief, both religious believers and scientists admit ignorance, about the ways of God or of Nature, both groups admit past errors in their beliefs — but are certain about the products of their particular believiong brains when dealing with each other.
One thing seems certain — we get real cranky when anyone tries to blow out our candle!!!! Anyway, here is a good short read for you… https: I think Michael Shermer, along with many people get confused between the meanings of words. Like belief, and reason. There is a difference. Belief is the mental acceptance of something as being true, without it having been proved with fact.
Therefore, by very definition, belief is not truth. Here is another definition: That state of the mind by which it assents to propositions, not by reason of their intrinsic evidence, but because of authority.