"but one cannot change those beliefs on command." I agree on this statement from the article.
I see the nature vs. nurture discussed in the article -- That topic is still highly debated in Psychology classes.
From my psychology class (a while back): How much can be attributed to nature and how much can be attributed to nurture.
Thank you for sharing the article, Dave...this sort of information is encouraging. The idea that religious conservatives are trying to keep back the ever-growing flood of scientific information/evidence is pretty apparent. They seem to be promoting the unfounded notion that terrible and adverse consequences will occur if we don't maintain a creator belief in this society and across the globe:
"By creating a social and political environment where religion is presumed to be central to morality and patriotism, and where open personal secularity is seen as unacceptable, religious conservatives lower the likelihood that more will gravitate toward a secular lifestance. This is why they support laws, none of which were approved by the Founders, encouraging Americans to believe that they must trust in God (per the national motto), that the nation is under God (per the Pledge of Allegiance), and that we must have an annual National Day of Prayer. They want us to believe that America is a "Christian nation," because such a social and political environment strongly discourages personal secularity."
I will continue to see science as a philosophy of discovery, secularism as a philosophy of freethought, and religion as a philosophy that promotes willful blindness and keeping people in the dark. It's not that long ago in human history that mathematics was believed to be the work of the devil.
If you have to force yourself the belief may not last. Kind of like Pascal's wager, "you are better off believing in god just in case he exists," is not exactly belief.
btw: Good article, thanks Dave.
I say that is pretending to believe. That person would be going through the motions but deep down still doubting it's true.