Ed Yong (via Pharyngula) reports on a cool study conducted by psychologist Nicholas Epley:
Epley asked different groups of volunteers to rate their own beliefs about important issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, the death penalty, the Iraq War, and the legalisation of marijuana. The volunteers also had to speculate about God’s take on these issues, as well as the stances of an “average American”, Bill Gates (a celebrity with relatively unknown beliefs) and George Bush (a celebrity whose positions are well-known).
The result: “In every case, [Epley] found that people’s own attitudes and beliefs matched those they suggested for God more precisely than those they suggested for the other humans.”
Ed says that Epley’s study shows that “relying on a deity to guide one’s decisions and judgments is little more than spiritual sockpuppetry.” (A sockpuppet is a “false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks with or about himself or herself, pretending to be a different person, like a ventriloquist manipulating a hand puppet” — Wikipedia.)
I can think of at least one other plausible interpretation of this study.
Continue reading “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Maryan Czajkowski”