[extropy-chat] Psychological Roots of Religious Belief

Dirk Bruere dirk at neopax.com
Sat Apr 23 18:29:04 UTC 2005

Samantha Atkins wrote:

> I am about four chapters into a book by the above name by M.D. Faber.  
> It was just published in November, 2004.
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1591022673/ 
> qid=1114226930/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-2857632-8806264?v=glance&s=books
> This is one of the most important books in this area that I have ever  
> read.  While I have a strong enough love of rationality to have  
> remained hooked by religion I have certainly been strongly under its  
> sway at some points in my life and have been drown toward it even  
> despite my rational objections even to this day.  A large part of 
> what  kept me fascinated was the very existence of such a strong deep 
> pull  and that the religious pull seem to have this experiential 
> quality of  being "truer than true" despite lacking evidence or 
> reasoning  establishing its validity.   It was enough to make me 
> wonder if I was  "called" and if their was some means of 
> extra-rational knowing after  all.   In addition I have had a few very 
> powerful mystical experiences  that had what I was drawn to deeply and 
> utterly present completely  fulfilling and seemingly validating that 
> deep yearning.   It has been  stumping me and bothering me a lot that 
> I didn't have a good  explanation for the flavor and strength of these 
> incredible affective  experiences.  The best I came up with is that I 
> had been deeply  infected as a child with religious memes and had 
> deepened it as an  adult to such an extent that I would always have a 
> deep groove in my  brain in that direction.  But that did not 
> satisfactorily explain it to  say the least.
> This book explains very convincingly how the experience of human  
> infancy at a depth psychological level plus the fact of infant 
> amnesia  sets us up for being touched at a profoundly deep affective 
> level by  religion aka spirituality.   I cannot do justice to the 
> author's  reasoning here.  But I heartily recommend this book with one 
> warning.    If you are not willing to let go of whatever of the deep 
> sweet powerful  religious yearning that may still lurk inside, do not 
> read this book.    Read this book if you want to complete your 
> understanding of why most  human beings are deeply drawn to religion 
> and are so powerfully bound  to it.
Well, it is a truism that our preferences all have 'rational reasons', 
even our irrational preferences.
Essentially I have had much the same experiences as you claim you have 
had but seem to have chosen my 'religion' for reasons quite other.
I like the 'culture' of Asatru - the degree to which the Gods may be 
'real' (whatever that means) is irrelevent.
No doubt my addiction to Asatru culture can be (say) traced back to be 
placed face up in my crib instead of face down. Everyone has to be 
somewhere for some reason.


The Consensus:-
The political party for the new millenium

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