Class Warfare Blog

July 23, 2016

Ah, Ha! Check This Out!

I have been working my way through a book (Everybody Is Wrong About God by James A. Lindsay) in which the author addresses how to meet the needs of god-fearers naturally which are now being met by “god.” What I was struck with is how in each psychosocial need believing in a god was a shortcut, a lazy way to a conclusion. (I once joked that a fundamentalist biology textbook would have a simple answer book for all of the listed exercise, namely “The correct answer is a. God did it.”) And in the background of my thoughts was “well, what can you expect from effing human beings.” But . . . in the vein of “seek and you will find” I encountered a brand new Veritasium video that answered my question.

Veritasium is an English-language educational science channel on YouTube created by Derek Muller who is a fricking brilliant, absolutely amazing science communicator (originally from Australia and Canada) although he now lives in L.A. (no accounting for taste, eh?). He is so very good I support his video making through Patreon.

This topic of this short video is cognitive ease, which describes the psychological aspect of our makeup in which the easier something is to take in or the more frequently we see something, the more likely we are to like it or think it is true or paint it as benign or even good. And there are plausible reasons why we evolved to have this “ability.”

Cognitive ease and its opposite cognitive strain explain a great deal of the behavior of god-fearers and the rest of us, too.

Check it out: The Illusion of Truth



  1. Muller is great. Have seen a few of his vids.

    If frequency equals ease, which i have no reason to doubt, then what is becoming of us with the 24hr cable news cycle of death and gloom?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — July 23, 2016 @ 10:20 am | Reply

    • Well, when propaganda went mainstream (marketing and advertising) we have sealed our fate somewhat. Notice the political application of this! Trump has become the master of repetition. Fact-checking shows his claims are false? Repeat, repeat, repeat…

      Truth has been reframed. Instead of something to be discovered, it is something to be created. Religions benefit by repeating phrases and actions. If an alien landed and in a meeting we humans have to preface our meeting with a plea to an imaginary being for success of their efforts, can you and just imagine the alien thinking WTF?

      On Sat, Jul 23, 2016 at 10:20 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 23, 2016 @ 11:13 am | Reply

  2. I have often thought religion is “answers for idjits” People too lazy to want to think about the realities we face on a daily basis. Intellectual sell outs. Easier to believe the preacher than to look it up in an encyclopedia. Hell a lot of people don’t even know what an encyclopedia is these days…


    Comment by shelldigger — July 23, 2016 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

    • Even bright people are conned by the false hopes offered by religions. Evangelicals keep saying they offer everlasting life, while they also claim out souls are eternal, which means we already have everlasting life. It just sounds so nice. But the longer I live the worse I feel, so is that really something we should be rooting for?

      Religion fills needs that people really have and we need to find ways to meet those needs without religion … or we are all doomed.

      On Sat, Jul 23, 2016 at 4:58 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 27, 2016 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

      • That’s interesting I have already met those needs. So have you. Coming to terms with reality, realizing we are all worm dirt when we die, disposes of the unnecessary baggage that religion is. It frees us.

        It makes us understand our legacy is what we leave behind in our family/friends. It allows us to enjoy each and every day knowing they are numbered. Every single sunrise and every starry night are treaures. Every moment an opportunity to appreciate the diversity of life around us. The beauty in nature, and the love of those close to us.

        I have often said the one thing I will miss more than my family and friends is the knowledge of what’s coming next. The next big thing, the next big discovery in science, the next everything. I love to learn things I did not know yesterday.

        We have the tools already to meet the needs of the religious. We have logic and reason. We have understanding of science that explains our reality much better than any religion can. We have our blogs to write, another part of our legacy. All we need do is keep at it. Which reminds me, I should probably go pull some weeds on my blog and post something 🙂


        Comment by shelldigger — July 28, 2016 @ 5:36 am | Reply

        • If you need examples of what is needed, check our northern Europe. As those societies provide for their citizens, they have less and less need for religion. Since the needs are bogus or trivial (such as the need to know why we exist) and the needy are lazy (would rather just accept “God did it” in lieu of studying to see what we know about what actually happened) the task is doable, we just haven’t applied ourselves to the real task. we have tried over and over to use reason and logic to convince people they are wrong, but in many ways that argument has been won, but people just ignore it (or worse pretend it hasn’t). We still have to meet those needs. For one, if we were just stop persecuting black people, they would have less reason to consort to religion (the opiate of the helpless). If we fed the hungry and provided work and shelter for the homeless, all of which can be done for a small slice of our current War Budget (the euphemism “Defense” is no longer appropriate) we would have less need of religion. If our government were truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of a paid affiliate of the rich …

          On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 5:36 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



          Comment by Steve Ruis — July 28, 2016 @ 7:26 am | Reply

          • Well…yes 🙂

            The changing of the times is often too slow for us to see it, much like evolution. But look at us now compared to where non believers used to be. Just implying such a thing would have us tortured, decapitated, and heads upon a pike. Times are a bit better now. Unless of course you live in a Muslim country. All I’m saying is you , me, and the rest of our blog pals and assorted atheists everwhere are part of the change. The numbers are slow but they are improving. This change we want to see takes time. If you could whack a religiot with a reason stick and suddenly turn them around we could be done tomorrow.

            It just takes time. It takes all of our perspectives being put out there for those tweeners/fence sitters/or truly open minded people to be exposed to. So in that way, we are helping. At least I think that be the case. Granted my optimism seems to be running over a bit today, but I doubt it lasts long!

            And yes, if our political influence focused upon helping the needy, the downtrodden, those folks would be less inclined to lean upon that old false hope of religion. It has been shown for some time now that to raise the people from poverty and put them in better conditions, the sense that they need that religion crutch tends to fade away.

            I’m all for the kind of govermental changes you imply. But the times aren’t changing that quickly, give it time, work at electing the progressives that would change our society for the better, discard those who only want to profit at our expense.

            There again, if we only could whack the ignorant with a reason stick so they could see that future, we’d have it done. It just keeps coming back to stupid I think…

            It’s been a long day and I may be rambling incoherently at this point, maybe I should quit now while I might have made some sense 🙂


            Comment by shelldigger — July 28, 2016 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

            • … if we only could whack the ignorant with a reason stick I so LOVE that statement! 🙂


              Comment by Nan — July 28, 2016 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

              • Absolutely my pleasure anytime I can send a smile in your direction 🙂


                Comment by shelldigger — July 29, 2016 @ 6:41 am | Reply

            • I always find it ironic when Christians in the country say they are being persecuted. Ha, they do not know from persecution, having been the persecutors for the last eighteen centuries or so.

              Have atheists ever had as good a time as we have it now? I do not thinks so.

              On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 5:48 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



              Comment by Steve Ruis — July 28, 2016 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

              • Funny how the gruesome facts of their own history get whitewashed away, and much of it is right there in their own damn magic books. What is not in the books though are the innumerable victims of the pious bastards. Damn convenient how none of that is talked about, and if it does it gets shrugged away.

                I said somewhere a long time ago that x-ians think irony is something you do with a shirt. They are oblivious to the fact that THEY are the persecutors.


                Comment by shelldigger — July 29, 2016 @ 6:51 am | Reply

                • Often it is that atheists who are better read in scripture than X-ians and also in church history. One of the shocking facts about the Catholic Inquisition (it wasn’t just Spanish) and you can see it over and over was how ignorant the ordinary “believer” was. They would gladly tell what they “knew” even though it sent them to the stake to be burned alive. They were “taught” mostly in Latin, a language about which they knew nothing and then gleaned their information from the scraps thrown their way in their native tongue. The clerics were often quite corrupt and rarely were good teachers. Also note that they were “believers” by default. Of course they were, everybody was (or else).

                  Today’s believers have services in their native tongues (people died for the translations and only when England cleaved off from the Holy Mother Church did it get scripture in English and once they did, everybody else wanted it too) and they have reams of books, the Internet. I guess their excuse is “they are busy” or that their “old time religion is good enough for them.”

                  On Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 6:51 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



                  Comment by Steve Ruis — July 29, 2016 @ 7:35 am | Reply

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