From Psychology Today:

Disbelief is not a choice

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I just read that article earlier this morning. I totally agree it's a combo of environment and biology.  For a long time, even when I was little, I thought there was something wrong with me or missing from me because I didn't have faith. I finally got over that, thank the flying spaghetti monster, and now I feel there's something wrong with them. lol
      'On ne devient pas athée par souhait.'

"but one cannot change those beliefs on command."  I agree on this statement from the article. 

I see the nature vs. nurture discussed in the article -- That topic is still highly debated in Psychology classes. 

From my psychology class (a while back): How much can be attributed to nature and how much can be attributed to nurture.

I think choice overrides both nature and nurture
I think it's like trying to go back to crawling after you've already learned how to walk on 2 legs.  It's not that you can't go back, but why would you want to??

Thank you for sharing the article, Dave...this sort of information is encouraging.  The idea that religious conservatives are trying to keep back the ever-growing flood of scientific information/evidence is pretty apparent. They seem to be promoting the unfounded notion that terrible and adverse consequences will occur if we don't maintain a creator belief in this society and across the globe:

"By creating a social and political environment where religion is presumed to be central to morality and patriotism, and where open personal secularity is seen as unacceptable, religious conservatives lower the likelihood that more will gravitate toward a secular lifestance. This is why they support laws, none of which were approved by the Founders, encouraging Americans to believe that they must trust in God (per the national motto), that the nation is under God (per the Pledge of Allegiance), and that we must have an annual National Day of Prayer. They want us to believe that America is a "Christian nation," because such a social and political environment strongly discourages personal secularity."


I will continue to see science as a philosophy of discovery, secularism as a philosophy of freethought, and religion as a philosophy that promotes willful blindness and keeping people in the dark.  It's not that long ago in human history that mathematics was believed to be the work of the devil. 





Disbelief is not a choice. It is a realized incontrovertible view. You can't make yourself believe. You either do or don't, any other thing is faking.
you absolutely can make yourself believe, people do it all the time. it's not difficult.

If you have to force yourself the belief may not last.  Kind of like Pascal's wager, "you are better off believing in god just in case he exists," is not exactly belief.  

btw: Good article, thanks Dave.

People don't want truth, people want conviction.

I say that is pretending to believe.  That person would be going through the motions but deep down still doubting it's true. 


yes, there are people who do that. but the majority of people decide what they believe is true based entirely on what they WISH were true. it really doesn't matter if they know it's untrue, they will believe it is true just because they wish it was. hence phrases like "well, i like to think that ____". it really is possible for a person to simply choose to change what they really believe, just because it makes them feel better. it actually takes a lot of work to train yourself to value truth enough to NOT do that. once you realise "the truth doesn't change just because i want it to be different", only then does it become impossible to simply choose to believe something.



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