By Rodney Stark
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Extra resources for Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion
In addition to facing conﬂicting goals, humans also must function within limits, often quite severe, on their information and their available options. Consequently, we feel it excessive to use the maximizing proposition. But, being equally reluctant to resort to a neologism such as satisﬁcing, we shall adapt Simon’s later () formulation of subjective rationality. ” But, whatever the good reasons for making choices, the imputation of rationality always assumes the presence of subjective eﬀorts to weigh the anticipated rewards against the anticipated costs, although these eﬀorts usually are inexact and somewhat casual.
Edmund Brunner, Douglass’s colleague at the Institute of Social and Religious Research, described one evangelical congregation as “a poor class of mixed blood and of moronic intelligence” (, –). And Warren Wilson, another member of the Institute, blamed the growth of evangelical Protestant groups in rural America on the fact that “among country people there are many inferior minds” (, ). ” More typically, however, the ignorance and poor reasoning theory of religious belief is posed only in an implicit way, as the writer stresses the beneﬁts of education in overcoming the illusions of faith.
As Peter Blau has noted: The [deductive] theorist’s aim is to discover a few theoretical generalizations from which many diﬀerent empirical propositions may be derived. Strange as it may seem, the higher level [axioms] that explain the lower-level propositions are accepted as valid purely on the basis that they do explain them, in the speciﬁc sense that they logically imply them, and without independent evidence; whereas acceptance of the lower-level propositions that need to be explained is contingent on empirical evidence.