Thursday, 26 January 2012

Heathen's Progress 17: The modern believer is not suspicious enough

I'm afraid it's all too common for defenders of faith to start off by piling up a whole load of interesting scientific findings, only to follow up with a plethora of non sequiturs. The question rightly asked is how reliable are the various cognitive mechanisms we use for establishing different kinds of truth? And there seems to be no escaping the simple fact that subjective experience, in all its forms, is a very unreliable detector of objective reality. Despite the comfort Mark Vernon draws from recent research, there is no escaping the fact that the vast bulk of it points in exactly the opposite direction, undermining any confidence we might feel that our intuitive judgments are effective truth-trackers.
Latest in the Guardian Comment is Free Belief series.