Show 593: Chris Shelton; Former Scientologist

Chris Shelton: Former Scientologist Tells His Story…

(From Chris’s Website): “I used to be a Scientologist and got myself out of that situation in late 2013. As part of my road out of that mess, I discovered skepticism and the whole subject of critical thinking. It was an epiphany for me and a very important step on my road to recovery. No one wants to think that they were duped or made a fool of, and no one wants to think that they could be so easily deceived. Once I started learning about logic and reason, I made it my mission in life to spread this new “gospel” so as to help others in their lives.”

Show 399: The Belief Instinct w/ Jesse Bering

The Belief Instinct

Equal Time for Freethought will host evolutionary psychologist Jesse Bering, director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University Belfast, and a writer for the weekly column “Bering in Mind” on the Scientific American website. We will talk about his book, “The Belief Instinct,” which explores the psychological underpinnings of humanity’s ability to believe in a variety of unseen things, such as life after death, a Supreme Being, Karma and more.

Have we evolved in such a way which has allowed such psychologically propensities? If so, does that mean there’s anything substantial to things unseen which may confirm our almost universal, often independently developed religious beliefs; or have our brains evolved this way as a survival mechanism?

And what are the psychological consequences of maintaining these beliefs in a time where dogmatic thinking can dangerously be combined with weapons of mass destruction? Also, why hasn’t the development of science – including the science of religion itself – been enough to eradicate magical thinking?