Tuesday, August 31, 2010

 

Angels & Devils


This is kinda cute:

According to Jesse Bering, a psychologist and an atheist:

"I've always said that I don't believe in God, but I don't really believe in atheists either," Bering says. "Everybody experiences the illusion that God — or some type of supernatural agent — is watching them or is concerned about what they do in their sort of private everyday moral lives."

These supernatural agents, Bering adds, might have very different names. What some call God, others call Karma. There are literally thousands of names, but according to Bering they all have the same effect.

"Whether it's a dead ancestor or God, whatever supernatural agent it is, if you think they're watching you, your behavior is going to be affected," he says.

In fact, Bering says that believing that supernatural beings are watching you is so basic to being human that even committed atheists regularly have moments where their minds turn in a supernatural direction, as his did in the wake of his mother's death.

"They experience it but they reject it," Bering says. "Sort of override or stomp on their immediate intuition. But that's not to say that they don't experience it. We all have the same basic brain. And our brains have evolved to work in a particular way."

Then there's this from a well-known squid-master:

... I had a little internal debate between the nice angel on my left shoulder, and the dickish devil on my right.

And the angel said, "Oh, look, it's just a little soreness and it's going away already. Go home, have a cup of tea, lie down for a bit, and then you can get back to work, no worries. You'll feel fine."

And the devil replied with the potent one-two punch of reason and abuse: "You teach human physiology, you moron — you know this is one of the warning signs of heart disease. You'd have to be incredibly stupid to ignore this and hope it goes away…until a heart attack comes along to blow your heart up. Jerk. This isn't even a choice."


Comments:
Nice.

Andrew Rilstone did something similar a few years back with Dawkins talking to post-decease Douglas Adams in The God Delusion.
 
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