I ran into this wedsite, and thought you guys might find it interesting. I's about what we believe. http://www.csicop.org/si/9505/belief.html perception is not a passive gathering of information but, rather, an active construction of a representation of what is going on in our sensory world. Our perceptual apparatus selects and organizes information from the environment, and this process is subject to many well-known biases that can lead to distorted beliefs. Indeed, we are less likely to be influenced by incoming information if it does not already correspond to deeply held beliefs. Thus, the very spiritual Christian may be quite prepared to see the Virgin Mary; information or perceptual experience that suggests that she has appeared may be more easily accepted without critical scrutiny than it would be by someone who is an atheist. It is similar with regard to experiences that might be considered paranormal in nature.