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Old 04-05-2007, 02:55 PM   #1
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Are Humans Hard-Wired for Faith?

Interesting article, given the conversation taking place in the Collins thread about "why we believe."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/04/04...ogy/index.html

Mods, feel free to merge if you think it's appropriate.
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Old 04-05-2007, 03:50 PM   #2
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there was a fascinating, and huge, article on this in the NYT Magazine, about the evolutionary development of religion.

i'll try to dig around for it.

i suppose the question i have for the believers is this: does God have to exist independent of your ability to sense his presence? as in, does belief itself create God?
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:45 PM   #3
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"...and though I can't say why / I know I've got to believe" - U2, Playboy Mansion
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by LyricalDrug
"...and though I can't say why / I know I've got to believe" - U2, Playboy Mansion
This lyric has always been poignant for me because, just as it states, I've just alway's known I believed, yet, I'm still searching for what the belief may encompass.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
does belief itself create God?
Yes in million's, billions of other's belief, probably so. It's only when I am told I have to pick a religion that I run into a problem.
What if it's just there for me , and you can't define it.
I don't feel at this point in my life I have to decide what my faith is. I don't have to prove it to anyone that I'm of a certian belief. How could I possibily do this when it's special to me and I am still deciding it as I go along.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:20 PM   #6
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The trouble is that there are those who are born atheist and spend their entire life atheist, not to mention those born in a "faithful" household and still end up atheist.

I'd say that a more logical answer is that religion is a gigantic cultural construct that spans many millennia, and that most people have "faith," because they are brought up to believe that they should.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus
The trouble is that there are those who are born atheist and spend their entire life atheist, not to mention those born in a "faithful" household and still end up atheist.

I'd say that a more logical answer is that religion is a gigantic cultural construct that spans many millennia, and that most people have "faith," because they are brought up to believe that they should.
You aren't born an Atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslin or any other religion for the rest of your life. If one chooses to stay within the teachings of said religion, then they "chose" to believe. With the exception of parts of the world where someone literally has no choice.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:02 PM   #8
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Everyone is born a non-theist. Theism is a learned behaviour.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by sue4u2
You aren't born an Atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslin or any other religion for the rest of your life. If one chooses to stay within the teachings of said religion, then they "chose" to believe. With the exception of parts of the world where someone literally has no choice.
Except when you're baptized in a religion when you're an infant and/or forced to attend religious services far before you're able to comprehend exactly what it is they're telling you.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:54 PM   #10
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What I will never understand is that there are hundreds of religions, all mutually exclusive, with all followers just as devout and fervent as eachother with their conviction in saying that 'ours is the true religion.'
And following that, if you are part of a monothiestic religion and the sum of all religions is n, that means the other (n-1) religions have been 'made up' for lack of a better word. Therefore there was a human need to concoct the idea of religion and God, and given that all religions have credibility tanamount to eachother, what makes you think your religion wasn't just a human idea?

It brings me back to the rather striking saying for Athiests 'There are over 2000 God's invented by mankind, monothiests don't believe in all but one God, Athiests don't believe in just one more.'

Nice article btw
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:03 AM   #11
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Some atheists saw these brain scans as proof that the emotions attached to religion and God are nothing more than manifestations of brain circuitry.

Scott Atran doesn't consider himself an atheist, but he says the brain scans offer little in terms of understanding why humans believe in God. He is an anthropologist and author of "In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion."

Instead of viewing religion and spirituality as an innate quality hardwired by God in the human brain, he sees religion as a mere byproduct of evolution and Darwinian adaptation.
From the moment our brains evolved to the point where we were able to ask the question 'why,' religion has existed. Even if there was no God, religion and God will always exist as a manifestation of our human 'need' to answer the 'why.'
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman

Even if there was no God, religion and God will always exist as a manifestation of our human 'need' to answer the 'why.'
True, and thanks to inquisitive people like scientists, the list of things credited to a divine being has shrunk dramatically over the past few centuries. Sacrificing a lamb doesn't make your crops grow better or increase your chances of having a baby.
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:02 AM   #13
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I'm beginning to think these kinds of discussions are really pointless. Invariably they seem to come down to attempts by one side or the other, or both, to rig or frame the argument (by claiming knowledge of another person's mind or content of beliefs you don't actually have, by asserting all meaning is just a construct while reserving for yourself the right to deem some constructs innately less meaningful than others, by adducing evidence retrospectively for what is in fact taken as a priori true then holding it against your opponent when the 'method' doesn't work in reverse for them, etc. etc.) with the ultimate aim of demonstrating that the signature feature of your opponent's position is an inability to think properly. It is never really a debate about actual points of argument and probably couldn't be.
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
there was a fascinating, and huge, article on this in the NYT Magazine, about the evolutionary development of religion.

i'll try to dig around for it.

i suppose the question i have for the believers is this: does God have to exist independent of your ability to sense his presence? as in, does belief itself create God?
For me, I believe God exists independently of my ability to sense His presence. But, perhaps the biggest reason I believe is because I DO sense His presence. I personally don't believe that my belief "creates God" but of course I can't prove this.
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:28 AM   #15
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Here's what I believe, yes there is a God, and also his Son in which all good things were made and where all good things came from even before the creation of the world.

Also for those that never heard of Christ in this life, God being both just and merciful will let all of his children (human kind) have that oppurtunity.

Every good person from whatever creed or religion will have an oppurtunity to accept or reject Christ, either in this life or the next, it's all part of God's Plan of Salvation.

People that have heard of Christ in this life and rejected Christ here will not have another oppurtunity in the next life.

Here are the scriptures that explain that all humans have an inborn trait or spark letting them know there is a God or a part of God in them.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
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