Believers' estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs

March 03, 2012

The inherent ambiguity of God's beliefs on major issues and the extent to which religious texts may be open to interpretation and subjective evaluation, suggests not only strong egocentric biases when reasoning about God, but also that people may be consistently more egocentric when reasoning about God's beliefs than when reasoning about other people's beliefs [...]

Although people obviously acquire religious beliefs from a variety of external sources, from parents to broader cultural influences, these data suggest that the self may serve as an important source of religious beliefs as well. Not only are believers likely to acquire the beliefs and theology of others around them, but may also seek out believers and theologies that share their own personal beliefs.

This should surprise no one.

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