Why We Believe in Gods: Andy Thomson (Lecture)

This lecture summarizes the scientific research that explains the human inclination to create divinity.It is not a defense of atheism, but rather shows what science has to say about the various modules and capacities that humans have developed over the millenia that lend themselves to the generation and embrace of religious explanations.

Although the author make it clear that he is not a man of faith, the lecture is not an attack on faith so much as an account of why people might believe, other than because it’s true. Very current and a good portal for someone seeking to learn more about the field.

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One Response to "Why We Believe in Gods: Andy Thomson (Lecture)"

  1. RMF  July 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Brave man for asking the very interesting question in the back of every one’s mind at 50:00, especially for persisting when misunderstood. The point would have been clearer without the introductory example.

    In response to his question (is it possible that the advent of religion triggered neurological developments?) I would say firstly that I am not an expert, so my answer would a typical yes/no answer, It could be possible that religion did/does trigger certain neurological developments. But I would also say that our curious nature has provided more useful answers and developments than religion has.

    Great presentation, I would have liked more attention to the Scopes trial. Darrows demonstration of adaptability’s natural strength, bypassing the technically correct argument that Scopes was on trial, and not the law he broke. It sets the example on how to win on your own terms, rather than following the bad example of your opponent by trying to shut down an argument based on technicalities, allthough he did give Bryan a taste of his own medicine in closing the trial

    Having grown up atheist in an atheist household, I have flirted with religious texts simply because I like to read. Sometimes it makes sense, fortunately I have consciously filtered the useful and separated the dogmatic. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt is that understanding should be according to capacity, to me it means that slower people require more patience to come to understanding. Another interpretation could be that people should know their place and not be curious. And therein lies the danger, the openness to interpretation.

    I feel that religion has hijacked the functionality and credibility of circular reasoning. Every persons circle of reason is incomplete. The difference is how and if you fill the g ps.

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