Now look. Let’s stop with the hand waving and silly pop culture ideas.
Brain science is very good but it has no idea how behavior is caused in invertebrates, let alone rats, mammals, primates – let alone humans. Medical science, and it is medical science, has no strong models for how human behavior happens – or any animal behavior. It will likely be decades before that problem is solved, maybe longer.
It is therefore the height of childish nonsense to presume that what people say in any way causes or even describes the processes deep in the brain, happening in approx 140 ms, that drives an individual’s behavior. It is patently nonsensical. Especially of people like Coyne, Harris and the whole atheist club who know better.
Maybe beliefs – what people say – causes behavior, but we do not have any evidence of that. OK, include religious behavior. Does going to church cause you to avoid vaccinations? We just don’t know.
Remember that any proof of conscious statements and behaviors prior behavior causing subsequent behaviors will have to specify the physiological and molecular processes in the brain and body that do this! How far are we from that all being proven out!?
Now the no free will research proves that humans have no conscious control of behavior. Generally, consciousness is defined by language statements and self-reports. So religious folks have no conscious control of how they behave. We all agree on that but Coyne/Harris atheists say religious folks DO have conscious control of their behavior! Huh?
So no only don’t they have scientific proof that beliefs, any beliefs, cause behavior Coyne/Harris/atheists contradict their own stated acceptance of the no free will and conscious control of behavior statements.
Which is it? Something smells of overripe cheese here….