Gud tycker som jag

Hur kommer religiösa människor fram till vad deras gud anser i olika frågor? Ny forskning av professor Nicholas Epley, ”Believers’ Estimates of God’s Beliefs Are More Egocentric than Estimates of Other People’s Beliefs”, publicerad i PNAS, finner att de i hög grad menar att deras gud tycker som de själva redan gör:

[P]eople’s own beliefs on important social and ethical issues were consistently correlated more strongly with estimates of God’s beliefs than with estimates of other people’s beliefs (Studies 1–4). Manipulating people’s beliefs similarly influenced estimates of God’s beliefs but did not as consistently influence estimates of other people’s beliefs (Studies 5 and 6). A final neuroimaging study demonstrated a clear convergence in neural activity when reasoning about one’s own beliefs and God’s beliefs, but clear divergences when reasoning about another person’s beliefs (Study 7). In particular, reasoning about God’s beliefs activated areas associated with self-referential thinking more so than did reasoning about another person’s beliefs. Believers commonly use inferences about God’s beliefs as a moral compass, but that compass appears especially dependent on one’s own existing beliefs.

Dessa resultat ger ytterligare skäl för att betrakta påståendet att ateism underminerar ”god moral” som undermåligt. Alla moraluppfattningar är subjektiva.

För en populärvetenskaplig presentation, se Not Exactly Rocket Science.