Theologians have been trying to answer the questions around the origins of faith for thousands of years. A piece by CNN reports that a new study concludes that religious belief is an aspect of human nature. Here are a few clips from it:
Religion comes naturally, even instinctively, to human beings, a massive new study of cultures all around the world suggests.I expanded the word 'religion' to 'believing in God' in the title because it is a bit more specific. I think that many disagree with this study and would say that we are not born with the ability to believe in God. To atheists the idea that all have some kind of belief is a bit ludicrous. Yet there are religious people who believe that people are born without the ability to believe and God grants some the ability later in their lives.
Studies around the world came up with similar findings, including widespread belief in some kind of afterlife and an instinctive tendency to suggest that natural phenomena happen for a purpose.
"Children in particular found it very easy to think in religious ways," such as believing in God's omniscience, said Trigg. But adults also jumped first for explanations that implied an unseen agent at work in the world, the study found.
"If you've got something so deep-rooted in human nature, thwarting it is in some sense not enabling humans to fulfill their basic interests," Trigg said.
"There is quite a drive to think that religion is private," he said, arguing that such a belief is wrong. "It isn't just a quirky interest of a few, it's basic human nature."
"This shows that it's much more universal, prevalent, and deep-rooted. It's got to be reckoned with. You can't just pretend it isn't there," he said.
I love these kinds of questions. It reminds me how early in my life I believed in God. Yet later in life I became a practical agnostic that embraced a sort of deism where I believed in a God who created the universe but was no longer involved in it. Thankfully, when I was 27, that agnostic belief turned into real faith. And I guess faith is the issue. Whether we are born with the ability to believe in God or not the real issue is what we do with that belief.
... originally posted on May 29, 2011.
... for more Best of Bob click here.