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Thursday, December 1, 2005

Seeing Order & God in the Woodwork

Daniel Gilbert has written a very interesting article titled, "The Vagaries of Religious Experience" at The article can be reached via this link.

In it, Gilbert explains why people tend to attribute things to a god and several other tangent notions. There are loads of fascinating references to interesting social experiments that make the article a real treat. I especially liked this bit...

"A Necker cube is an ambiguous object, which is to say that there is more than one way to see it, and our brains happily jump between these different views, trying one and then switching to another. But experiments show that if we are rewarded for seeing the cube one way rather than the other — rewarded with a jellybean, a dollar bill, or a friendly pat on the back — our brains begin to hold on to the rewarding view, and the cube stops changing. The lesson here is that things can be viewed in many ways, but human brains like the most rewarding view and thus they search for and hold on to that view whenever they can."

Thanks much to Paul at the International Stoic Forum for making me aware of this.

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