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May 29, 2012

Irrational Belief


Irrational Belief

Is religious belief irrational? From the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with the Point.

Psychologists at the University of British Columbia recently used creative techniques to activate analytical thinking in students. Something as simple as showing them pictures of Rodin's famous "Thinker" sculpture did the trick, believe it or not. When asked the to rate their religious belief, it turned out that the students thinking more rationally rated themselves less religious.

Some say this means faith is irrational. But maybe it’s only irrational for these students. Let's face it: faith is irrational for many people, and not just Christians. Blind belief is also epidemic among many Buddhists, New Agers, Muslims and atheists.

I wonder what would happen if they did these experiments with Christians who knew why they believe. I spend a lot of time with students, helping them think through their faith: what it means and how they know it's true. And, I've seen them rationally handle challenges a lot tougher than a picture of a statue. If this research means anything, it's that we need to do a better job teaching students how to think. For thePointRadio.org, I’m John Stonestreet.

Further Reading

Rationality Undermines Religion? Yes, Maybe and No.
John Stonestreet | Thinking Christian

Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief
Will M. Gervais, Ara Norenzayan | Science | April, 2012


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