This doesn’t surprise me. Shouldn’t it be a given by now that the people who talk the most about their faith (or whatever their hobbyhorse is) are trying to convince themselves of its validity more than anyone else?

There are lots of books to read dealing with the evolutionary roots of religious faith, or more broadly, our conceptual ability that allows us to have abstract ideas about invisible men in the sky who want you to behave a certain way. One thing I’ve taken away from all those is the suspicion that deep down, there’s some part of the brain that just refuses to buy into whatever conceptual fantasies the cerebral cortex dreams up. No matter how much we can dazzle ourselves with our own bullshit theories, we know somewhere underneath it all when we’re just pulling ideas out of thin air and adding a lot of wishful thinking. Obviously, in the ancestral environment, the ability to accurately perceive empirical reality and react to it would have been absolutely necessary, and I imagine this is what kicks in when faced with life-or-death situations. When believers find themselves hooked up to tubes with a heart monitor beeping nearby, suddenly all that blithe talk about heaven and Jesus doesn’t have the same hypnotic power anymore.