Believing is seeing

It is with some irony that skeptic Micheal Shermer should write a book on the "Believing Brain" -- that we see things not as they are, but through the lens of personal and cultural belief.

A review of his book (in the Boss Magazine supplement in the Financial Review) explains part of the irony:

A central theme is the purposeful formation of beliefs, emerging from subjective emotional and psychological roots nurtured in social environments and society.

Our beliefs are core to our indentity. We defend, justify and rationalise them with intellectual and reasoned explanations. We want to keep them, even in the face of conflicting science and reason.

What is interesting is that one reviewer on the Amazon site, explains how if we're just biological machines there is no genuine 'subjectivity' -- it's an illusion.