Feeling and Reason in Neuroscience

The truth is that in the metaphysical and religious sphere, articulate reasons are cogent for us only when our inarticulate feelings of reality have already been impressed in favor of the same conclusion.

Clearly, we find our own subjective perceptions arrestingly compelling and are more willing to doubt the laws of physics than to doubt our own minds.

Our beliefs and assumptions about events being intended and invisible supernatural agents governing our lives are reinforced by our selective attention, confirmation bias, and hindsight bias (the inclination to see an event as having been meaningful or predictable after it has occurred).

The same cognitive errors also often make us think that we are experiencing seemingly improbable coincidences, even though such coincidences are statistically much more common than we realize.

From our self-centered, self-referential perspective, we tend to attach personal significance and cosmic intention to coincidences, especially if a coincidence is emotionally resonant.

From “Finding Purpose In A Godless World”. Ralph Lewis. 2018.