Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke, Free for CAPC Members
Reinke wants to help readers not be manipulated and enthralled by the spectacles of our media age. Instead, he shows that we see the greatest spectacle of all in the Cross.
It always fascinates me how American culture treats science and its ability to give us knowledge. Take Michael Brook’s article in the New Scientist entitled, “Born Believers: How Your Brain Creates God.” Brooks explores some new research being done on how religion could have evolved. Challenging the common hypothesis that religion offers some competitive advantage, Brooks cites various scientists who argue that religion is hardwired. Specifically, all humans have a “common-sense” belief in mind/body dualism and an exaggerated understanding of cause and effect, both of which can be seen in the way children understand the world.
While I am always interested in the way atheists, materialists, and scientists try to explain the origins of religion, what strikes me most about this article is the conflict between the title and the content. The scientists who have been testing this “hardwired” hypothesis of the origins of religion are careful to point out that their research in no way speaks to the existence or non-existence of God, “whether or not a belief is true is independent of why people believe it.” Yet, the author of the article chose a title which does make this leap from origins to existence: “How Your Brain Creates God.”
Note that the title could have read, “How Our Brains are Wired for God,” or “How Our Brains Could Create God,” but the author purposefully excludes himself by using “your” instead of “our,” and words the title in such a way as to suggest that there is no God out there to which our wiring corresponds, we “create” Him, a claim researchers themselves were honest enough not to make.
Regardless of the title, the article itself is very insightful.
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