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Author Topic: Religious belief is human nature, huge new study claims  (Read 1060 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 12, 2011, 05:44:32 PM »

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Religion comes naturally, even instinctively, to human beings, a massive new study of cultures all around the world suggests.

"We tend to see purpose in the world," Oxford University professor Roger Trigg said Thursday. "We see agency. We think that something is there even if you can't see it. ... All this tends to build up to a religious way of thinking."

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/12/religious-belief-is-human-nature-huge-new-study-claims/?hpt=C1

Fascinating.
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 05:51:48 PM »

God knows what he's doing Wink
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 01:27:13 PM »

And...?  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 01:32:54 PM »

And...?  Smiley

Well at least this might refute the claim of some Atheists that we are all born as Atheists.

Of course this doesn't prove the existence of God but it's an interesting study nonetheless.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 01:35:09 PM »

I will say that I've always found the nature of this debate to be intriguing. Most people, on all sides of the spiritual fence, would concede and have always conceded that, at the very least, there is a very strong religious urge amongst men, but it's funny how differently the believing and un-believing factions employ that idea.

For me, and I think for most believers, the existence of a religious urge is explained in a fairly straightforward way: why would we have it for no reason? This points to there being a God. This is the essence of many major philosophical "proofs" of God, but without getting all ontological, it makes sense on a personal level.

For atheists/agnostics, it points to our need to create such an idea, perhaps merely to comfort ourselves, or to have something to rally around.

I find (obviously) the former angle more compelling, because I just don't see any examples of such a universal human urge that serve no definite purpose, and I think the atheist's argument in this scenario is a rather convenient twisting of reality...
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 01:37:10 PM »

And...?  Smiley

Every other natural human impulse or desire is present for a purpose. We are naturally hungry, ichy, tired, horny, lazy, jumpy, angry, etc., and they all have an purposeful intent for our mortal lives (non-perverted passions included).

However, atheist would have us believe the "desire for God" is a fluke impulse. EVERYONE has it, yet it means nothing, or is some mass psychological disorder.

How about, it's present because, like our hunger, we naturally need and want God.
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2011, 01:43:59 PM »

And...?  Smiley

Every other natural human impulse or desire is present for a purpose. We are naturally hungry, ichy, tired, horny, lazy, jumpy, angry, etc., and they all have an purposeful intent for our mortal lives (non-perverted passions included).

However, atheist would have us believe the "desire for God" is a fluke impulse. EVERYONE has it, yet it means nothing, or is some mass psychological disorder.

How about, it's present because, like our hunger, we naturally need and want God.

It's that idea of a mass psychological disorder that makes the atheist's argument so difficult to digest. It's similar to the Christ/madman argument. There really is no middle ground:
Either there is a God, or the vast majority of the human race has been composed, for thousands of years, of maniacs. One could argue that religious ideas served a purpose in the past, if only to unite communities and help scientifically uninformed peoples find meaning in a mysterious world, but those would just be nice byproducts of that underlying mental illness, similar to the intense productivity of certain obsessive compulsive/manic people. Either He is, or we're crazy.
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 01:44:42 PM »

And...?  Smiley

Well at least this might refute the claim of some Atheists that we are all born as Atheists.

Of course this doesn't prove the existence of God but it's an interesting study nonetheless.

Alas, I think that according to the way many atheists define their terms ("an atheist is one who lacks belief in a God or gods"), that the atheist would still argue that an infant is an atheist by definition, even if the infant will, later in life, develop spiritual or religious feelings or beliefs that could be called natural.

However, atheist would have us believe the "desire for God" is a fluke impulse. EVERYONE has it, yet it means nothing, or is some mass psychological disorder.

Not really. Even if there is no God, that doesn't mean this yearning for something "other" or "larger," or this religious feeling, or however you want to talk about it, couldn't have had a purpose or beneficial role in the survival of our species.
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2011, 01:55:27 PM »

However, atheist would have us believe the "desire for God" is a fluke impulse. EVERYONE has it, yet it means nothing, or is some mass psychological disorder.

Not really. Even if there is no God, that doesn't mean this yearning for something "other" or "larger," or this religious feeling, or however you want to talk about it, couldn't have had a purpose or beneficial role in the survival of our species.

What are you suggesting? This is very open ended.

The subject is a "desire for God/divine/cosmic order" is natural in the human condition.

We naturally want God because we...?

I say this boldly, because we are literally trying to find a new shape to fit the circle.
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2011, 02:04:47 PM »

From an atheist/agnostic perspective, if they are an evolutionist, one would assume that by "nature" they don't me put there by a Deity, but rather, developed because it had some type of beneficial role. I don't know what that role would have been... keeping the tribe together and unified? providing a framework and way of thinking in which people could be raised, live, and die? Giving an easy answer that would satisfy primitive people's curiosity ("where fire from? God of fire give it!"), so that they could focus on surviving long enough to procreate. Providing a reason to develop socialization tools... customs, language, mythology, etc., which could further help the tribe in many ways. I dunno, I'm just throwing stuff out there, I haven't really given it a lot of thoughts. But when I was an atheist and agnostic I didn't think that people were under some kind of grand and mass psychological delusion, and I could see that there was something more to it, deeper and even a natural part of people.

Now, I will admit that this need or want or desire for God (or whatever word you want to use)--the argument from religious experience--probably persuaded me more than any other argument for the existence of God. Still, it isn't a home run IMO, and I didn't have an issue with the concept that people "naturally" yearned for a God, even when I was an unbeliever.
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2011, 02:13:49 PM »

Peter Kreeft provides a very interesting lecture for the existence of God. You can go the web page and download the audio file:

http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/23_desire.htm
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 02:18:19 PM »

Peter Kreeft provides a very interesting lecture for the existence of God. You can go the web page and download the audio file:

http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/23_desire.htm

Thanks for the link, downloading it now...
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2011, 02:19:44 PM »

Peter Kreeft provides a very interesting lecture for the existence of God. You can go the web page and download the audio file:

http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/23_desire.htm

Thanks for the link, downloading it now...
He actually has quite a few lectures that I would classify as "philosophy for laymen" here:
http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio.htm

Though, it is likely that your studies are more advanced.
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 02:22:20 PM »

Peter Kreeft provides a very interesting lecture for the existence of God. You can go the web page and download the audio file:

http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/23_desire.htm


I should have mentioned that this is about the Argument from Desire.
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 02:27:49 PM »

Quote
Religion comes naturally, even instinctively, to human beings, a massive new study of cultures all around the world suggests.

"We tend to see purpose in the world," Oxford University professor Roger Trigg said Thursday. "We see agency. We think that something is there even if you can't see it. ... All this tends to build up to a religious way of thinking."

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/12/religious-belief-is-human-nature-huge-new-study-claims/?hpt=C1

Fascinating.
Now I eagerly await a study that shows whether religious experience comes naturally, even instinctively.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2011, 11:14:03 PM »

If God does not exist, then why is there a desire for God? The argument for desire has always been a powerful argument to me, I don't think you could really argue that it is delusional to say so.
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