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I was watching this talk by Phil Plait given at TAM(The Amazing Meeting) 8. You can find a partial transcript here. It will help provide some context.

In the talk he makes the following claim:

Studies have shown that people who lose their faith tend to replace it with something else, with a different type of belief. If you start out religious and lose your faith in God, you’ll replace that with something else, some other non-evidence-based reasoning.

My questions:

Q1: Which studies is he referring to?

Q2: How much evidence is there to support the claim ?

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I hope this is appropriately tagged –  I like Cake Jul 19 at 18:20
Jung states quite a few times that people replace religion with "isms", as our psyches are hardwired to "believe" in something. He doesn't provide any proof or evidence other than his own experience with his patients. –  please delete me Jul 21 at 15:06
Interesting question. I personally see a lot of these kind of conversions going on, but I don't know if that's just an observation bias on my part or if they can generalizable. From my non-PC, non-researched point of view, I just think that these generally are people with (1) limited intelligence and (2) an attraction to beautiful/interesting/comforting/et cetera theories rather than believable theories. On another note, is that "context" really necessary for your question? I don't see how it is and I would edit it out if I were you. –  Speldosa Jul 21 at 16:40
@Speldosa I edited it out. There is still a link to a site which has a partial transcript, which I think helps a little to understand where he is coming from. –  I like Cake Jul 21 at 19:50
This sounds a lot like the "need for control" literature. As far as I can recall, the argument is that people will, for example, put a certain degree of faith in the functioning of a political system. –  blz Jul 21 at 20:26

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