[Cross-posted to the Freethinkers group (http://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/1b999ed7d221b6d0).]
Courtesy John Loftus (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/loftus/2012/01/11/creating-god-in-ones-own-image-god-agrees-with-me/), I just got wind of a veeeery interesting
Psychological studies have found that people are always a tad
egocentric when considering other people’s mindsets. They use their
own beliefs as a starting point, which colours their final
conclusions. [Nicholas] Epley found that the same process happens, and
then some, when people try and divine the mind of God. Their opinions
on God’s attitudes on important social issues closely mirror their own
beliefs. If their own attitudes change, so do their perceptions of
what God thinks. They even use the same parts of their brain when
considering God’s will and their own opinions.
Creating God in one’s own image (http://blogs NULL.discovermagazine NULL.com/notrocketscience/2009/11/30/creating-god-in-ones-own-image/)
I was prepared to dismiss it with “correlation does not equal
causation,” but Epley tried to cover that angle by being careful when
he asked for God’s view and manipulating the beliefs of those taking
the study. I’d love a follow-up study with more volunteers!