Another recommendation! If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you probably know I am a big fan of “This American Life,” the Chicago-based radio show about the ordinary and extraordinary lives of Americans today. Each show explores a different topic, and a recent episode’s theme was a spin off of another famous American radio show, “This I Believe.”
Rather than exploring what people believe and why they believe it, “This I Used to Believe” includes various stories about what people used to believe, and what happened that made them change their minds.
This episode made me realize how much more fascinated I am with why people believe what they believe than I am with the “what” of their beliefs themselves. For that matter, I am more fascinated with why people disbelieve something than what they disbelieve.
I am fascinated by people’s testimonies of belief or disbelief because they reveal the complexities of the human person that we can so easily overlook in religion, and philosophy too. Particularly in our post-Enlightenment society, it is easy to imagine that convictions and commitments are the direct result of logical thought processes. While that may be apart of our “conversions” to/from this or that, the stories I have heard of belief and disbelief have continuously led me to believe that reason is only a part of our complex web of persuasive influences.
I hope you enjoy the podcast, and hopefully, the subsequent thoughts about why you believe, or don’t believe, some things.