Suspension of Disbelief


Changingminds.org is a site devoted to the study of persuasion. A post I discovered today discusses the suspension of disbelief to enjoy a movie or book and how people enjoy this behavior. I think this can be applied to religion to help explain a facet of it.

Below is an excerpt of the key point of the article.
"In his study of happiness, Csikszentmihalyi (1990) showed that being able to let go of the sense of self has a paradoxical effect of creating a state of happiness that perhaps relates to the one-ness of the neonatal phase. In suspending disbelief in their stories, authors thus help their readers feel good."


I highly recommend keeping an rss feed to this site. You can find a ton of good information about how people persuade each other and react to persuasion. It might help immunize some of you "fence sitters" from evangelicals and give you a fighting chance to resist while you are listening to LSAT Logic in Everday Life, honing your critical thinking skills.

Another excerpt from the "About" page on the site follows.
"You might also be the victim or target of persuasion, as we all are, many times each and every day. Because if you can detect a trick or technique coming your way, you can avoid it, expose it, or play with the trickster, doubling back the deception and outplaying them at their own game. For this is the great leveller: if you try to deceive someone and they discover it, then the game ends there and then, and they may never trust you again."


Additionally, here is a link from their blog on seven rules of religion.

There's also a lot of good Human Resources Department type of information at changingminds.org as well.

5 comments:

elwedriddsche said...

As far as the seven rules of religion are concerned, I'm not impressed by this:

"2. Canonical texts
Spiritual truth is a slippery concept and, left to the discussions of men, would evolve and mutate. Written down, however, truth gains a permanence that may reach across centuries and around the world with the
same, unchanging message. Thus religious founders may ensure the core truths will persist.

When a text is canonized it becomes unchallengeable and, by definition, truth. Science does this as well as religion and the proponents and defenders of scientific truth are no less committed than religious zealots who proclaim the word in pulpits and on the streets."

Give me a break...

(By the way, did the commenting software change recently? If so, it's not a change for the better...)

Lee Randolph said...

Well, did you comment on his blog and challenge it?

elwedriddsche said...

"Well, did you comment on his blog and challenge it?"

Yes. If I remember to, I'll check back in a week or two.

Lee Randolph said...

hi elwed.
he replied to you.
He apologized for not being more clear and said "A good science and a good religion has rules for challenge that permit changing of the canons and sometimes throwing them away"

Thanks for keeping them honest!

elwedriddsche said...

Thanks, I noticed. I can leave it at that.