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Why You Believe...Anything

Why You Believe...Anything

Why do we believe in things? Not just gods and spirits but anything at all? Why not simply rely upon observation? Dr. Michael Shermer, psychologist, former Christian evangelist, author, Scientific American columnist, and founder of Skeptic Magazine talks about how we form beliefs in his recent New York Times Bestselling book: The Believing Brain - From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies -- How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.

I've included two videos, first a teaser, then a full talk Dr. Shermer gives that explains the basic principals. I saw his presentation a few months ago, read his book, and find the insights fascinating. You can believe whatever you like, The Believing Brain explains why.

Michael Shermer explains why he wrote The Believing Brain

If you have some more time, here's a complete talk on the topic. It runs over an hour with the Q&A at the end but is time well spent, in my opinion. Stick around for the questions at the end.

Michael Shermer talks about The Believing Brain.

The book is worth a read. You'll never see yourself the same way again. Buy it on Amazon.com here:

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  1. [...] have no choice but to live this way and accept being wrong some of the time.4. BeliefsHave you ever wondered why you believe things? I mean anything. Why should you even have beliefs? Shouldn't, or at least wouldn't things be [...]

  2. [...] claims by more than one source.Listen to what you want to hear and ignore the rest. This is called confirmation bias and it's a powerful tool of manipulation. "Lowering taxes will reduce the deficit." No, it won't. [...]

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