Recent FMRI studies indicate that (as suspected) increased intensity of belief in superstition/magic, leads to a decrease in function of the parts of the brain associated with rational thought or problem solving abilities. More studies are required to eliminate such things as confirmation bias, though it's higly probable!

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Comment by Grinning Cat on August 10, 2016 at 3:28pm

...repeating something over and over and over, hundreds or thousands of times...

Dr. Stephen Uhl, a former Catholic priest turned atheist and psychologist, credits the perceived power of prayer to self-hypnosis, helping people make changes they didn't consciously think they could.

Comment by Grinning Cat on August 10, 2016 at 3:26pm

So Hitler was far from the first to use the Big Lie!

Religious groups are also some of the most accomplished at creating and exploiting cognitive dissonance. Our brains seek not truth but consistency, even if that requires rationalizing away the evidence against a powerfully "hooked-in" belief system. TheraminTrees' video "Bending Truth" is well worth watching or listening to! Knowing that we can all be manipulated actually makes that manipulation much less likely.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 10, 2016 at 2:59pm

There are techniques to intensify belief by shortcutting reason. For example, repeating something over and over and over, hundreds or thousands of times. It's like creating a giant deep rut which catches and diverts thoughts into an infinite loop.

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 10, 2016 at 1:43pm

Didn't notice the misspelling of highly.  It was close enough for my brain to interpret it correctly.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on December 26, 2012 at 4:16pm

LOL!  Just noticed the missing "h" in highly, just lowered my touch typing speed by 5. 

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on December 26, 2012 at 4:06pm

So very true Loren, especially when it comes to discrepencies between Biblical descriptions of reality and actual reality, such as creation stories and causes for disasters in the O.T. with the claiming of responsibility for teachings by Jesus of lessons that already existed in Buddhism and Confucism for half a millenium in the N.T.   Not to mention the blatant display of extreme narcissistic megalomania by their god in both, showing that it is hardly a caring, rational being and totally devoid of any omniscience.

Comment by Loren Miller on December 26, 2012 at 7:37am

Maybe ... but flip it around and it works, too:


Those who actually USE their brains, particularly in thinking clearly will see through the BS which is both the old and new testaments and reject both.

Nice two-edged sword, really.



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