Some of you must be wondering what is a Pokemon? Just in case if you are living under rock. Pokemon is acronym for Pocket Monster. It is a famous cartoon initially created in 1996.But we are going to look at the game Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go is a smart phone Augmented reality game.Where visual elements are superimposed on on reality. This is seen by using the camera on phone.
You must be wondering, what does this have to do with Christians?Pokemon Go truly has a religious following of millions of Pokemon fans. Add nostalgia and cool features to that as well. You have a good conversion rate, from people having no idea what a Pokemon is to being addicted to playing the game.
Just like a religion, it consists of entities with powers.
You might think I am a idiot to compare a game with a religion. This post is more of a study than my opinion.
Here is something interesting I found in Facebook:
This post as you will notice has 9500 positive feed backs. I can safely assume 9500 people think there is no difference between Pokemon enthusiast and God believer.
In Social Psychology there is interesting topic called False Consensus effect. We are going to look in depths into this theory in context, to establish this post more of a case study rather than a opinion.
According to False consensus effect, we are all intuitive psychologists.
Quoting thesis on “False Consensus Effect” (The name : “An Egocentric Bias in Social Perception and Attribution Processes”)
“every social observer is an intuitive psychologist who is
forced by everyday experience to judge the causes and implications of
Thesis PDF for reference:
As humans we need to make choices on beliefs and behaviors. Therefore we need to assess peoples behaviors in order to have choices. Thus making us intuitive psychologists!!
This leaves a big margin for error or bias.As there is a entire subject in psychology called attribution theory. Study of models that help describe why people behave a certain way.
Since normal people like me or you are not educated in his field of study for correctly explaining peoples behavior. We can easily fall prey to having wrong world views.
Quoting from thesis,
The professional psychologist relies upon well-defined sampling
techniques and statistical procedures for estimating the commonness of
Thus making my point.
In our Case 9500 people most likely don’t believe in God. As intuitive psychologists, people would assume their behavior is completely normal.
As this is Facebook, their prerequisite knowledge is no of likes on the pic before them hitting the like button.Although a huge population still believes in God, the atheists feel completely socially comfortable liking the pic.
A atheist in order to chose this open behavior of liking the pic, they went by subjective impression i.e what they felt is “right”(need not be necessarily right).
Quoting from thesis,
To the extent that their systems for interpreting social responses depend upon estimates of commonness or oddity they must, accordingly, rely largely upon
subjective impressions and intuitions.
As a normal person, wrong estimates of commonness or oddity of behavior can cause you to wrong conclusions what is acceptable/right or unacceptable/wrong behavior.
Is eating with left hand wrong? Is eating at a party with spoons wrong?
Questions like these, more than your own study,its subjected to acceptability or common behavior.
As a reader,
If you are a christian or believer in God, you would feel this is stupid. To compare fictional characters to your belief.
If you are a atheist, you would feel this comparison makes allot of sense.
As a person, you have made a choice to stick by your beliefs based on your own intuitive psychological study. Thus as a atheist, you would feel God believers are complete idiots. Vice versa.
If you are a Christian with a set of beliefs(As there are various sects) , that means at some point in your life, you have already conducted your own intuitive,biased,naive study that your beliefs are right. As of now you are reading this, most probably biased by your intuitive study.
Likewise if you are a atheist with set of beliefs, that mean the same as well.
A Christian’s intuitive study is contradictory to a atheists intuitive study. Each will tend to find fault with each others study with great attention to detail.
Quoting from thesis:
The intuitive psychologist judges those responses that differ from his own to be more revealing of the actor’s stable dispositions than those responses which are similar to his own.
Just like Atheist vs Christians discussion, similar example quoting from thesis:
Thus, we contend that the person who feeds squirrels, votes Republican, or drinks
Drambuie for breakfast will see such behaviors or choices by an actor as
relatively common and relatively devoid of information about his personal
characteristics. By contrast, another person who ignores hungry squirrels,
votes Democrat, or abstains at breakfast will see the former actor’s responses as relatively odd and rich with implications about the actor’s personality.
In fact I have stated the same thing,just taking out the Republicans and Democrats.
We can infer this from the bible verse as well:
King James Bible
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
countenance meaning: admit as acceptable or possible.
Having more people around you in acceptance with your own intuitive study will push you more towards applying it as behavior. If it is already right without doubt, this process is helpful. But if the intuitive study is questionable then it can lead to bias and wrong decisions.
Conclusion of Study
As far as atheists are concerned, you too are very much a victim of false consensus effect despite being a minority.
For Example: Evolution theory, a widely accepted theory among Scientists.
For Christians it is interesting to note that no matter what sect of Christianity you belong to, you are no better than the other sects.False consensus effect felt in group of like minded people. So it really doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or Protestant or Baptist or Pentecostal. You all can get into your own forms of stupidity and wrong practices. Of course maybe unique and different.
That is why we need to take Apostle Paul seriously as per 1 Corinthians 10-17
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.