Superposition Powers Are Not Always A Myth
Why are we drawn to such beliefs? The answer cannot be simply that we know. Many beliefs are false because they contradict other similar beliefs. Some believe there’s two gods, some believe there’s one god. People also hold dramatically differing beliefs about the characteristics of these divine beings, according to them in compatible attributes and actions. But believes that reveals many of these beliefs are to be false. Science has also demonstrated that many of these beliefs are false, for example, diseases are produced not by demonic beings but by entirely natural causes, and of course supposed evidence for such beings- sightings of ghosts, fairies, angels, gods and their miraculous activities – is regularly debunked by investigators. Scientists working in the cognitive science of religion have offered other explanations, including the hyperactive agency-detecting device (HADD). Whatever the correct explanation for the particular human tendency to believe falsely in invisible person like beings, the fact that we are so prone to false positive beliefs, particularly when those beliefs are grounded in some combination of testimony and subjective experience, should provide caution to anyone who holds a belief in invisible agency on that basis. Suppose I see a snake on the ground before me. Under most circumstances, it’s then reasonable for me to believe there is indeed a snake there. However, once presented with evidence that I’d been given a drug to cause vivid snake hallucinations, it’s no longer reasonable for me to believe I have not seen a snake. I might still be seeing a real snake but, given the new evidence, I can no longer reasonably suppose that I am.
Similarly, if we posses good evidence that humans are very prone to false belief in invisible beings when those beliefs are based on subjective experience, then I should be worry of such beliefs. And that, in tern, gives me good grounds for doubting that my dead uncle, or an angel, or god, really is currently revealing himself to me, if any only basis for belief is my subjective impression. Under such circumstances, those who insist ‘I just know’ are not being reasonable.