Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Over-interpreting evidence

Religious belief is often based on gross over-interpretations of the available information. One stark example is the more or less historically accurate section of the Old Testament after 600 BCE. The evidence quickly vanishes into oblivion and borrowed myth as the time recedes from there. The evidence is very thin and shaky yet believers are willing to make sweeping assumptions from shreds. There are so many other potential explanations for the writings in the Bible other than divine guidance yet thees other possibilities are often dismissed. Rather than accepting the incidental historical shreds as merely incidental they often do just the reverse. The anomaly is twisted in their minds to reject the large amounts of counter evidence.

The same is done with the fleeting feelings that are used to build faith. It is not uncommon for a believer to refer to a few instances and sometimes just one instance where they had a special feeling. All of the other times when they felt nothing are overshadowed as they over-interpret the few moments of emotion.