Religiosity v Objectivity

Just a couple of quick points following on from the religiosity spectrum concept introduced in my last blog 

First point. I think it’s fair to say most people can be classified either as needy theists, passive theists or non theists. Needy theists are those with a strong intrinsic need to believe what they do believe & they often have great difficulty understanding why others do not share their beliefs. Passive theists are those who blithely follow where their parents lead, and they seem happy to just accept what they are told without too much questioning. Passive theists presumably tailor the extent of their belief & the depth of their belief  to match their own intrinsic needs. Non theists have a natural immunity to all religious influences, & eventually they come to view all religions with sceptical disbelief. They often have great difficulty understanding why others believe what they do believe.

Second, and slightly more contentious, point. I think it’s fair to say that needy theists with strong intrinsic needs to believe cannot possibly remain objective when assessing the veracity of the available evidence. They will automatically classify “evidence” as relevant/true or irrelevant/untrue according to how it fits in with their intrinsic needs. More often than not, they will do this completely unconsciously. Therefore, needy theists will  always end up finding the evidence/proof they so desperately need. Only non theists who are immune/indifferent to religious influences can hope to assess the evidence in a realistic & objective manner. They alone have no emotional baggage invested in the final outcome. They alone have no interest in preserving the status quo.

My apologies to those who think this smacks of grandmothers & eggs but there are still some people out there who just don’t get it.


4 thoughts on “Religiosity v Objectivity

  1. sklyjd

    Well said Ken, when I was young religion was just one of those things that was like believing in Father Christmas or Easter bunny and I thought the adults who believed it were just pretending to believe it to get us kids to think God was watching us and we would not be naughty. I eventually realised these adults really did believe in this fantasy and I honestly had trouble accepting that they did. It sounded so strange and quite funny for an adult to claim a holy ghost exists as does a God and Jesus rose from the dead and then ascended into heaven or that God knows and sees everything we do.

    I guess I was lucky because a few of the kids I knew would take it all to heart and I remember we teased them with going to hell and some of them cried. Of course, I was not really trying to bully them, but I could not believe normal rational people could believe in a magical spiritual world as a real thing.

    Needy theists have had their brains altered. According to neuroscience and researchers the reward system in the brain is activated making them incapable of recognising anything that may compromise their ideological faith just as you have pointed out. It is similar but arguably worse than a gambling or drug problem, they believe so strongly they are doing right and doing no harm the evidence and facts presented to them usually do not register until something such as the family breaks apart or a death and maybe vital information can break through the information barrier they create.

    For anything of belief or disbelief the brain undergoes changes, however it is not such a problem when the strong evidence, unadulterated facts, pure truth and absolute reality support a position such as in atheism.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think many, myself included, would identify with your appraisal/early experience of religion. Brain chemistry/brain wiring does seem to play a large part in determining our religiosity response but we must not forget brain washing from birth which is also an important factor, especially in the case of Islam. Mohammed was no fool when he devised Islam.

      Liked by 1 person

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