Saturday, July 24, 2010

Frame vs. McGrath on the radio (UK)

This debate between Martyn Frame and Joanna Collicut McGrath centered on the question of whether religious beliefs are a trick of the mind, that is, do they arise from inherent quirks in human thinking or do they result from the proper apprehension of actual supernatural reality? Both interlocutors are trained in psychology, but alas, neither one is an experienced religious visionary.

Frame contends that our religious beliefs are best explained in terms of a natural human propensity to over-detect for agency in nature, and to process agency-based explanations in a separate way from mechanical causal explanations. McGrath concedes some of the psychological phenomena mentioned by Frame, but will not allow that theism is so readily dismissed. Then they have a pleasant if a bit rambling discussion on such matters for about an hour. This one really isn't a debate, more like conversational easy listening. Still, they do make the occasional good point and there is a bit of give and take.

No comments: