Title 6 – May 2017 KQ 3 :How does “faith” influence and in turn gets influenced by “ pattern Seeking” nature?
Further to introducing patternicity in his later book “The Believing Brain (2011), Michael Shermer wrote that humans have “the tendency to infuse patterns with meaning, intention, and agency”, which he called “agenticity. Shermer suggests that it is our sense of self as to why we ascribe purpose or meaning to events. Agenticity is the cognition that entities outside of ourselves control the universe, what and how we do things and that there is somehow a grand-plan. Agenticity is also responsible for belief in new age nonsense and even in elaborate conspiracy theories.”
Though Patternicity and Agenticity explain how the beliefs are formed , scientists and doctors have also found role of some chemicals and related neuron activities in forming and consolidating beliefs. Dopamine , as a neurotransmitter , amplifies the ability to find patterns in randomness through increased firing which results in new neural connections that form long term memory and too much has shown to result auditory and visual hallucinations.
Thus predisposed and holding preassumptions , we automatically beleive.
Belief , in its consolidated form of “ faith” , becomes natural , more like a default option , while , disbelief , skepticism , scientific inquiry , far from being natural , are difficult , uncomfortable and tedious.