The belief mechanism

I'm not entirely sure whether people actually "believe" in things when they say they do. I think often enough people WANT something to be true and then block from their mind any critical analysis of it.

So it's not so much a "belief mechanism" so much as it is a "suspension of critical analysis" mechanism. Such a mechanism is, I believe, very much rooted in our biological make-up; if we were to keep confronting certain uncomfortable truths on an hourly basis we would not be able to function as a species. Blocking them out is useful from a evolutionary perspective.

I've been confronted many times with: "why don't you believe in X - don't you like the idea of...?". My answer is: "wishing don't make it so".

Hence I don't "believe" in the theory of evolution, for example. It is merely a theory that makes inductive sense to me. I incline towards it on a strong balance of probabilities - like the theory of gravity. If something comes along that logically displaced evolution as a theory, I'd incline towards that new theory without any hesitation, qualms or sadness. In other words, I have no emotional or other "investment" in the theory of evolution; no biological impulse/mechanism has operated to inline me towards it.