Tuesday, November 24, 2009

50 blogs on disbelief - Austin Dacey

50 Blogs on Disbelief
My thoughts on the book, 50 Voices of Disbelief, Why We Are Athiests, edited by Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk. Written as I read them in no particular order. The page number of the essay is provided at the top of each entry.
Go back to First in this series

p182 Austin Dacey “The Accidental Exorcist”

Since the last essay mentioned the UN resolution on defamation of religion, I thought I would check out the essay from someone who sat on that committee. As a rare non-religious representative on that committee, it must have been difficult sit through discussions on the wording of limiting freedom of expression. He essay does not mention it.

It does tell a great story of pubescent boys playing Dungeons and Dragons, somehow integrating it into their Christianity and what happens when a dramatic young woman enters the mix. I won’t give away the ending. He continues with a playful description of his beliefs including:

“What was God’s motivation in overseeing the suffering of Jesus? “OK I’ll forgive you people, but only if you kill my son.” That is not a coherent story line.”

He seems to be open to many possible beliefs, and puts in this intriguing line:

“As cognitive psychologists and behavorial economists are showing, most of our tendencies to magical thinking come not from arrested development but from the proper functioning of well-developed adult brains that unfortunately find themselves in complex new environments, unforseen by evolution, which defy our simple mental heuristics and shortcuts.”

I don’t know what psychologists or economists he is talking about, but it sounds good to me.


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