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Why we are born to believe in God

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » July 29th, 2018, 8:05 pm

Felix wrote:
July 29th, 2018, 6:13 pm
What seems more likely than being wired to believe in a deity (or deities) is simply a tendency to worship - to kowtow to dominants, be they physical or metaphysical. Mao, Kim and Stalin were/are not God, yet they were worshipped in a similar way.
Not even in the same ballpark: veneration out of fear and reverence out of love have nothing in common.
It is not only the same ballpark, but the same base.

Mortal dread is a critical aspect of theism - fear of hellfire and/or oblivion. In each instance, whether the deity is human of supernatural, we still end up with vulnerable underlings cowtowing to entities that they believe have the power to destroy them.

Also note that Mao and Stalin were loved as much as feared, sometimes believed to be divine.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Spectrum » July 29th, 2018, 10:24 pm

Gordon975 wrote:
July 29th, 2018, 8:05 am
Spectrum Wrote:
Which 4 books of the NT are you referring to. I will take another look at it. Can you summarize the main points of that philosophy?
Just Matthew Mark Luke and John, the rest of the bible is in so many ways for politicians and population control. In the past I have tried to summarise the main points and have just tried again, but given the age of the text and its sometimes obscure use of language for our modern interpretation it is best to read all the text within its own context.
OK, the Gospels.

I understand the NT comprised of the Gospels, Pauline Epistles and General Epistles.
I believe the epistles are like the Ahadiths of Islam and in a way equivalent to blog articles and posts or even forum posts in our modern Era. These were collected, selected [vulnerable to confirmation bias] and compiled as the NT.

In Islam one Ahadith collector [Bukhari] collected 700,000 hadiths [equivalent to blog posts and gossips] and filtered them down to 7,000+ and claimed these authentic ones carry the authority of God. :shock: :shock:

Suggestion:
One of the best strategy [which I had used for the Quran 6,236 verses], is to put all the verses of the 4 books [don't think there are many] into one column in Microsoft Excel and analyze sideways into various columns elements and whatever categories one can think of.
From there one will be able to abstract a possible main theme and its various sub- and sub-sub themes via various types of sorting.
I had analyzed the Quran's 6,236 verses into 1,300 columns of categories and sub-themes. and was able to abstract a main theme [nb: it is evil-laden] that linked all the verses.
Islam is the only religion that insists the Arabic Quran is the verbatim [word for word] of the message that Allah communicated to Muhammad and had remained unchanged and uncorrupted
Muhammad could neither read nor write and all that is written down was done by others, not that it matters, a religious text is what it is and it is in the human mind with its natural predisposition to a belief in the supernatural, as with all religious ideologies, that means that it becomes revered by its adherents sometimes to the extreme and with results that are often impossible to comprehend.
It is not me but Islam the religion [Muslims] that made those claims and argued aggressively for it. [Personally, it is bulls...].
The Quran [man-made of course] claim itself to be immutable and the verbatim words of God were orally communicated perfected via memory [???] without corruption till it was written.
Based on facts of evil deeds by Muslims all over the world
Moslem never do good deeds?
Non Moslems never do bad deeds?
Muslims as human beings have done good deeds.
In principle, Muslims as Muslim per-se i.e. in accordance to the doctrines of Islam in Quran -in general - cannot do any good deeds to non-Muslims but only do good to other true Muslims [not to those Muslims so accused as hypocrites or apostates].
The truth is the underlying impulse to believe in God, the supernatural or whatever it takes to relieve the existential pains will not disappear, perhaps at all
I agree but understanding the impulse to believe in God is, is the first step to healing its more extreme consequences.
Yes, that first step is most critical but they should continue to seek knowledge beyond that which is not easy for most theists who are in a state of near-drowning [striving to sustain primordial survival instincts] and clinging on to a God or deity.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » July 29th, 2018, 11:26 pm

Let us all talk about Muslims
Let us talk about Islam
Let's talk about it every single day
About the Koran and the imams.

Lets us air all our fears
For everyone to see
Let us air them every single day
And double on weekends for free!

Let us repeat our words
Again and again
And again and again
And again and again
And again ...
And yet Again ...
There's another one!
And another!

But it is never enough
The addict needs the next fix.
Some prefer booze or opiates
Others rhetorical bricks.

They do this to assuage the frission within
The fear of self, what's under one's skin
So they distract themselves by shifting the blame
To their obsessions and ego-soothing games.

So many Muslims, so little time
To speak against them all
Satan's spawn, the Devil's rind
And they are coming to kick your soft behind!

So, alas, dear reader, every thread
That is even vaguely religious in kind
Is a tool for this hater to shred
On his special fetish, albeit excessively mined.

It's so much fun to speak every single day
About the same thing in every single way
To repeat ad infinitum
To continually bite' em
Wanting to fight 'em.

Specially cool to to use someone else's bandwidth
And resources as a tool of one's obsessions.
The only cost is to the sucker who owns it
And unfortunate readers who surely don't Jones it.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Spectrum » July 30th, 2018, 12:52 am

Greta wrote:
July 29th, 2018, 11:26 pm

Specially cool to to use someone else's bandwidth
And resources as a tool of one's obsessions.
The only cost is to the sucker who owns it
And unfortunate readers who surely don't Jones it.
I and a few members post on Islam but I believe my posts re Islam is minimal in comparison to Christianity and the Christian God [repeated ad nauseam] in terms of the total number of posts in this forum.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » July 30th, 2018, 1:31 am

Spectrum wrote:
July 30th, 2018, 12:52 am
Greta wrote:
July 29th, 2018, 11:26 pm

Specially cool to to use someone else's bandwidth
And resources as a tool of one's obsessions.
The only cost is to the sucker who owns it
And unfortunate readers who surely don't Jones it.
I and a few members post on Islam but I believe my posts re Islam is minimal in comparison to Christianity and the Christian God [repeated ad nauseam] in terms of the total number of posts in this forum.
You are about as exploitative as each other in using others' bandwidth to effectively support what are effectively single issue blogs.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Gordon975 » July 30th, 2018, 3:48 am

Greta Wrote:
Gordon, you can't just dismiss all those atheists as theists-in-waiting just because China is importing more from the west with globalisation than money. There will logically still be many, many non religious people in the world who very much not born to believe.
One of my assertions in understanding the existence of God is to begin from the standpoint of suggesting that there is no such thing as an Atheist. Neither you nor I can not believe in a God what we can do is use rational thought to counter our instinctive belief in the supernatural and therefore lead our lives without its influence, in doing so we can address the woes within our world rather than accept them as acts of God and the supernatural, as we may have done in more primitive times.
Indeed, there is a survival mechanism involved but - and this is very much my point - people are not uniform in this. Some operate as if they don't care about eternal life, and I only as "as if" because they may feel differently when confronted by The Reaper.
My argument is that those that don't care about eternal life have an intellect that believes it will never die and in fact all people are uniform in this. The avoidance of death for the intellect can come in the form of reincarnation or a glorious after life in heaven or perhaps a slightly worse one in hell, rational thought can I think never completely dismiss these myths from our minds because they are needed by our intellect to justify its belief its own life after death.

Spectrum Wrote:
Suggestion:
One of the best strategy [which I had used for the Quran 6,236 verses], is to put all the verses of the 4 books [don't think there are many] into one column in Microsoft Excel and analyse sideways into various columns elements and whatever categories one can think of.
From there one will be able to abstract a possible main theme and its various sub- and sub-sub themes via various types of sorting.
I had analysed the Quran's 6,236 verses into 1,300 columns of categories and sub-themes. and was able to abstract a main theme [nb: it is evil-laden] that linked all the verses.
Sounds very complicated basically there is just "love your enemy "and "Do as you would be done Unto" as the central revolutionary precept of the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament.
Muslims as human beings have done good deeds.
"
I agree that's Certainly My experience.
"understanding the impulse to believe in God is, the first step to healing its more extreme consequences."
Yes, that first step is most critical but they should continue to seek knowledge beyond that which is not easy for most theists who are in a state of near-drowning [striving to sustain primordial survival instincts] and clinging on to a God or deity.
A belief in a God or deity is in us all and is there to enable our intellect to function successfully. Its not the fault of anyone if they believe in a God we are all made that way.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Thinking critical » July 30th, 2018, 6:59 am

Gordon975 wrote:
July 30th, 2018, 3:48 am
Greta Wrote:
One of my assertions in understanding the existence of God is to begin from the standpoint of suggesting that there is no such thing as an Atheist. Neither you nor I can not believe in a God what we can do is use rational thought to counter our instinctive belief in the supernatural and therefore lead our lives without its influence, in doing so we can address the woes within our world rather than accept them as acts of God and the supernatural, as we may have done in more primitive times.
The reason they're called "assertions" is because independent of the assertion they logically do not stand, such as the case with this argument.
You are claiming to know how to percieve the sujective experience of a subject independent of your self, so I guess you must actually believe that you are some kind of god yes?
There is no instinct to believe the super natural, just a natural tendency to be intrigued by the idea of it.
My argument is that those that don't care about eternal life have an intellect that believes it will never die and in fact all people are uniform in this.
Nonsense, people that don't think about eternal life don't do it because it's pointless, why entertain ourselves with an idea such as an afterlife, if the entire idea is equivalent to a child's fairytale.
The avoidance of death for the intellect can come in the form of reincarnation or a glorious after life in heaven or perhaps a slightly worse one in hell, rational thought can I think never completely dismiss these myths from our minds because they are needed by our intellect to justify its belief its own life after death.
This is only relevant if one believes the proposition that some part of individual persona somehow transcends death. Of course once we realise the undeniable causal relationship between the brain and the conscious mind, the rational intellect tends to dismiss such silly notions and excepts it's own mortal fate. This by far in my opinion is a much healthier and more productive mind set to have.
A belief in a God or deity is in us all and is there to enable our intellect to function successfully. Its not the fault of anyone if they believe in a God we are all made that way.
This unsubstantiated claim lacks any credibility, you offer no philosophical insight or line of reasoning just your own biast opinion. Any claim to the cognitive predispisition of human nature is a scientific one, therefore you ought to have no problem providing evidence and data to back this up. If your claim were true surely we would expect to see a broader spread of theistic populations across the entire face of the globe? Instead we see density in regions where religion is traditionally dominant and very little across the more secular nations.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Spectrum » July 30th, 2018, 11:04 pm

Gordon975 wrote:
July 30th, 2018, 3:48 am
Spectrum Wrote:
Suggestion:
One of the best strategy [which I had used for the Quran 6,236 verses], is to put all the verses of the 4 books [don't think there are many] into one column in Microsoft Excel and analyse sideways into various columns elements and whatever categories one can think of.
From there one will be able to abstract a possible main theme and its various sub- and sub-sub themes via various types of sorting.
I had analysed the Quran's 6,236 verses into 1,300 columns of categories and sub-themes. and was able to abstract a main theme [nb: it is evil-laden] that linked all the verses.
Sounds very complicated basically there is just "love your enemy "and "Do as you would be done Unto" as the central revolutionary precept of the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament.
That would be your personal conclusion but to convince others there need be be more completeness and objectivity. To be more effective one need to account for all [100%] verses to ensure there are no other verses that contra your above points and avoid being accused of cherry-picking.

Take for example Matthew Chapter 1-28 where there are 1071 verses.
In this Wiki article, all the 1071 verses are categories into following main categories;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Matthew
  • 1. Birth Stories
    2. Baptism and early ministry
    3. Sermon on the Mount (5–7)
    4. Healing and miracles
    5. Little Commission (10:1–11:1)
    6. Responses to Jesus
    7. Conflicts, rejections, and conferences with disciples
    8. Life in the Christian community
    9. Journey to Jerusalem
    10. Jerusalem, cleansing of the temple, debates
1.0 Birth Stories is further analyzed as
  • 1.1 Genealogy (1:1–17)
    1.2 Nativity (1:18–25)
    1.3 Biblical Magi (2:1–12)
    1.4 Flight into Egypt (2:13–20)
    1.5 Jesus in Nazareth (2:21–23)
The rest of the main headings contain other sub-headings.

However note the above headings did not highlight your main "love your enemy " [5:43-44].

Thus to be more effective, there is a need for additional columns of Categories in Microsoft Excel [I presume you know how to use this program?].

I would suggest additional Categories like;
  • 1. Morality
    2. Violent/evil elements [if any].
    3. Eschatology
    4. Non-Christians
From the Category of Morality, one can then pick out Matt 5:43-44 [love thy enemies] and other verses which has elements related to Morality.
Re Morality, I like this verse;
  • 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
I can substitute 'Father' for the Ideal Morality.

One can do a detailed analysis for the 4 Gospels which has about 3700 verses.
From the analysis, one can compare the impact of evil/violent elements from Gospels with that of the Quran and extract the difference.
The Gospels do mention non-Christians we should be able to deduce the Gospels do not compel Christians to kill non-Christians like how the Quran does.

Point is for the purpose of communicating with others especially non-Christians one need to more precise. To be more precise one need to account for ALL the verses and demonstrate what is exactly in the Gospels.
Muslims as human beings have done good deeds.
"
I agree that's Certainly My experience.
You have to note if you have a friend who is a Muslim, s/he is only friendly to you because s/he is being humane like any other human being.
But as a Muslim s/he cannot be your friend, otherwise s/he would have sinned as a Muslim. Note this verse among many other similar verses;
Quran 3:118.
O ye [Muslims] who believe! Take not for intimates [friends biṭānatan بِطَانَةً ب ط ن ] others [infidels] than your own folk, who [these infidels] would spare no pains to ruin you [Muslims]; they [infidels] love to hamper [ʿanittum عَنِتُّمْ ع ن ت ] you [Muslims]. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their [infidels] mouths, but that which their [infidels] breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you [Muslims] the revelations [AYW; ayah] if ye will understand.
Therefore it is wrong to say, you have know Muslims who are friendly [a Category Error fallacy]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_mistake
On this point, you just have to ignore they are Muslims and state "I have human friends [who happened to be Muslims] who are friendly."
"understanding the impulse to believe in God is, the first step to healing its more extreme consequences."
Yes, that first step is most critical but they should continue to seek knowledge beyond that which is not easy for most theists who are in a state of near-drowning [striving to sustain primordial survival instincts] and clinging on to a God or deity.
A belief in a God or deity is in us all and is there to enable our intellect to function successfully. Its not the fault of anyone if they believe in a God we are all made that way.
It is only the potential [likely] that is embedded in all humans but this potential is not activated fully in ALL humans.
Besides, progress wise for humanity, that potential directed at theism [which providing psychological security and comfort] is only temporary and it has tons of negative side effects.
Due to the trend of the cons of theism outweighing its pros, there is a need for humanity to wean off theism in the next future and replace it with fool proof alternatives [generic spiritual approaches] to deal with that inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Gordon975 » August 1st, 2018, 11:51 am

Gordon975 Wrote:
One of my assertions in understanding the existence of God is to begin from the standpoint of suggesting that there is no such thing as an Atheist. Neither you nor I can not believe in a God what we can do is use rational thought to counter our instinctive belief in the supernatural and therefore lead our lives without its influence, in doing so we can address the woes within our world rather than accept them as acts of God and the supernatural, as we may have done in more primitive times.
Critical Thinking Wrote:
The reason they're called "assertions" is because independent of the assertion they logically do not stand, such as the case with this argument.
You are claiming to know how to perceive the subjective experience of a subject independent of your self, so I guess you must actually believe that you are some kind of god yes?
What would lead anyone to believe in the possible existence in the supernatural in the first place?. Some people who perhaps you would not expect from their education and from the evidence often believe in a God and this interests me. Often a person with a great intellect is convinced of the existence of a deity and this seems strange and the reason for putting forward the arguments here, my explanation and that of others is that our brains are “hard wired” in some way perhaps to explain the death of the intellect with that of the body and to explain that which the intellect cannot explain.

Gordon Wrote:
My argument is that those that don't care about eternal life have an intellect that believes it will never die and in fact all people are uniform in this.
Critical Thinking Wrote:
Nonsense, people that don't think about eternal life don't do it because it's pointless, why entertain ourselves with an idea such as an afterlife, if the entire idea is equivalent to a child's fairytale.
My suggestion is that although eternal life is not something we consciously think about it is something that sub consciously our intellect thinks it must have while knowing that it cannot, in human evolution those that believed in an afterlife or reincarnation could cope better with this enigma than those that didn’t.

Gordon Wrote:
The avoidance of death for the intellect can come in the form of reincarnation or a glorious after life in heaven or perhaps a slightly worse one in hell, rational thought can I think never completely dismiss these myths from our minds because they are needed by our intellect to justify its belief its own life after death.
Critical Thinking Wrote:
This is only relevant if one believes the proposition that some part of individual persona somehow transcends death. Of course once we realise the undeniable causal relationship between the brain and the conscious mind, the rational intellect tends to dismiss such silly notions and excepts it's own mortal fate. This by far in my opinion is a much healthier and more productive mind set to have.
Gordon Wrote:
A belief in a God or deity is in us all and is there to enable our intellect to function successfully. Its not the fault of anyone if they believe in a God we are all made that way.
Critical Thinking Wrote:
This unsubstantiated claim lacks any credibility, you offer no philosophical insight or line of reasoning just your own biast opinion. Any claim to the cognitive predisposition of human nature is a scientific one, therefore you ought to have no problem providing evidence and data to back this up. If your claim were true surely we would expect to see a broader spread of theistic populations across the entire face of the globe? Instead we see density in regions where religion is traditionally dominant and very little across the more secular nations.

I'm not alone in by thoughts on this subject Studies have shown that there is some validity of the truth of my suggestions. Please do your own research but perhaps start with the following links :

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... logist.htm

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists ... n-God.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politi ... study.html

Throughout out the world on every continent there is good evidence that all cultures develop some form of God based religion and beleive in the supernatural have creation theories and believe in an afterlife or reincarnation, and they do this independent of one another. In the western cultures belief in various gods and their worship followed along the lines of Wicca beliefs embodying witchcraft up until the introduction of monotheist religions from the middle east.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Thinking critical » August 2nd, 2018, 11:07 pm

Gordon, all you have demonstrated here is that humans have a tendency to be attracted to the possibility of the supernatural and metaphysical, I am certainly NOT arguing that this isn't the case. However gods, afterlife, reincarnation and so forth are ideologies which are built on a supernatural/metaphysical foundation. These ideologies rely on the human condition to except that such ideas are possible because we have a predisposition to think both existentially and transcendently.
All definitions of what supernatural entities are, are matters after the fact, to say we are predisposed to believe in god(s) straight off the bat is putting the cart before the horse so speak.

As for your assumptions and assertions regarding the correlation between believing in an afterlife in order to better cope with the death of the intellect, this is a non sequitur, it does not logically follow the premise that we are hard wired this way. All this does is highlight the fact that we can delude ourselves into a false sense of reality as a form of coping mechanism to better deal with our own mortality. I have no problem excepting that this function may have evolutionary advantages for the survival, however again, this is not a predisposition specifically assigned to "belief in afterlife" (afterlife is a concept not a function) this false sense hope is most likely intrinsic to the survival instinct in that we stay possitive and fight to survive till our very last breath.

Lastly, the widespread population of religious type ideologies is certainly not evidence that we are born to believe in gods, this is some what tautological reasoning everyone is born to believe gods because people everywhere believe in gods, I could just as easily use your line of reasoning to say that we're born to kill each other because people everywhere kill each other.
The fact that religion and other cultural rituals based on supernatural ideas are so widespread proves that humans are attracted to the idea of metaphysical and supernatural things and that the ideologies we invent successfully meet that need.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » August 2nd, 2018, 11:51 pm

Bruce Springsteen sang that we were Born to Run. Delta Goodram was Born to Try. Patrick Hernandez, rather more logically, was Born to Be Alive.

The Count on Sesame Street was Born to Add. Lemmy from Motorhead was Born to Raise Hell, the band Choking Victim was (understandably enough) Born to Die while Natalie Grant was simply Born To Be, perhaps reflecting an interest in German existentialism.

In hindsight, there is perhaps an issue with the rhetorical flourish, "born to", when applied to an entire species rather than individuals.

Besides, if humanity is born to believe in God yet I am not one to believe in gods, snarks and grumpkins, does that mean I am not fully human, sub-human? I'm prepared to consider that possibility if need be, but only if a sufficiently good (or entertaining) rationale is provided.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Barely existing » August 5th, 2018, 8:43 pm

No one wants to be all alone in this big cosmic playground🤗🤗

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Gordon975 » August 7th, 2018, 9:46 am

Thinking critical wrote:
The fact that religion and other cultural rituals based on supernatural ideas are so widespread proves that humans are attracted to the idea of metaphysical and supernatural things and that the ideologies we invent successfully meet that need.
I agree with your argument here and would concur that making a scientific proclamation about the certainty of anything related to the operation of the human brain and its intellect especially within this topic, as I think you are suggesting, is almost impossible with total certanty, but there has tended to be a an attraction to the supernatural within cultures previous to our own time which has reduced as the result of scientific discovery and technologies undreamt of in previous ones.
What perhaps society should be concerned about is the loss of "God" in a persons life that perhaps has been needed through out hundreds of millennia and has always been there to explain the unexplainable. It is interesting that when we are stressed and Swear so much of the language used is related to things of instinct and conscience, and much of it to God and people tend to do this often while professing disbelief in a deity.


Greta Wrote:
Bruce Springsteen sang that we were Born to Run. Delta Goodram was Born to Try. Patrick Hernandez, rather more logically, was Born to Be Alive.

The Count on Sesame Street was Born to Add. Lemmy from Motorhead was Born to Raise Hell, the band Choking Victim was (understandably enough) Born to Die while Natalie Grant was simply Born To Be, perhaps reflecting an interest in German existentialism.

In hindsight, there is perhaps an issue with the rhetorical flourish, "born to", when applied to an entire species rather than individuals.
I did take the title for the topic from the headline in the Daily Mail online newspaper which might give a reason for its somewhat clichéd associations, and the Mail newspaper probably intended this.
Besides, if humanity is born to believe in God yet I am not one to believe in gods, snarks and grumpkins, does that mean I am not fully human, sub-human? I'm prepared to consider that possibility if need be, but only if a sufficiently good (or entertaining) rationale is provided.
All life you me and everything else is trying to survive in an environment and as a result produce the best possible result for the survival of all life within that environment. If our intellect and its education enables us to reject the notion of God the importance of this will be reflected not just in the everyday existence but in the long term development and evolution of human life during the millennia to come. The human belief in the existence of the supernatural and gods has been a part of a developmental evolutionary step for our species, only with time will we be able to answer whether the rejection of the notion of a supernatural realm and the existence of associated Gods will be a good or bad thing.

Perhaps to understand why we might be born to believe in god we need to throw away our use of language and imagine that we live in a primitive pre intellectual culture but with the intelligence to create an intellectually influenced logical rule based one, with that situation our mind might not be unable to explain what we was happening but know that perhaps an explanation was possible.

Humans at that time of their development might find an explanation to the problems that they faced and they would be many just as they are now but probably in terms of survival far more serious ones. Often without our scientific knowledge there would have been two options in that situation, give up and turn to some form of escapism or find an external explanation that they could blame, some would therefore find a solution in God and the supernatural of their imagination others would not and perhaps lose the will to live.

Potentially the perceived loss of god and the supernatural in our lives arising from modern culture could account for some of the mental stress and its resulting anxieties that many people experience.

We are all fully human but evolving rapidly (perhaps to rapidly) via our intellect rather than via the slow process of reproductive natural selection.

Barely existing Wrote:
No one wants to be all alone in this big cosmic playground
How very true that is.

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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by Greta » August 8th, 2018, 2:31 am

Gordon975 wrote:
August 7th, 2018, 9:46 am
I did take the title for the topic from the headline in the Daily Mail online newspaper which might give a reason for its somewhat clichéd associations, and the Mail newspaper probably intended this.
I could never abide the statement, "We are born to believe in God" but your subsequent clarifications suggest more "We tend towards superstition", which seems fair enough to me.
Gordon975 wrote:
Besides, if humanity is born to believe in God yet I am not one to believe in gods, snarks and grumpkins, does that mean I am not fully human, sub-human? I'm prepared to consider that possibility if need be, but only if a sufficiently good (or entertaining) rationale is provided.
All life you me and everything else is trying to survive in an environment and as a result produce the best possible result for the survival of all life within that environment. If our intellect and its education enables us to reject the notion of God the importance of this will be reflected not just in the everyday existence but in the long term development and evolution of human life during the millennia to come. The human belief in the existence of the supernatural and gods has been a part of a developmental evolutionary step for our species, only with time will we be able to answer whether the rejection of the notion of a supernatural realm and the existence of associated Gods will be a good or bad thing.

Perhaps to understand why we might be born to believe in god we need to throw away our use of language and imagine that we live in a primitive pre intellectual culture but with the intelligence to create an intellectually influenced logical rule based one, with that situation our mind might not be unable to explain what we was happening but know that perhaps an explanation was possible.

Humans at that time of their development might find an explanation to the problems that they faced and they would be many just as they are now but probably in terms of survival far more serious ones. Often without our scientific knowledge there would have been two options in that situation, give up and turn to some form of escapism or find an external explanation that they could blame, some would therefore find a solution in God and the supernatural of their imagination others would not and perhaps lose the will to live.

Potentially the perceived loss of god and the supernatural in our lives arising from modern culture could account for some of the mental stress and its resulting anxieties that many people experience.

We are all fully human but evolving rapidly (perhaps to rapidly) via our intellect rather than via the slow process of reproductive natural selection.
I can see why you may wonder if the loss of hope in supernatural possibilities results in stress but, in the past, "atheists" just pretended to believe anyway. I'm not so sure much has changed there, just that more people are unafraid to "come out" as unbelievers.

Generally it's the poor and uneducated who are the most devout. When a person's life is painful enough then belief in a better afterlife where fairness rules and justice is done can keep a person interested in making the effort to persist with life. So those who believed would have tended to have survived to breed a little better than those who did not, resulting in genetic selection for belief as you posited.

However, this effect seems much more pronounced in the poor. For the rich, belief is not so much a lifeline and raison d'etre as personal expression (aside from politicos and other shysters leveraging a professed belief for status and power).

So there's the wealthy, their "cream of the crop" workers, and their increasingly intelligent machines, and then there are the poor riding their beliefs and relationships to survive their shorter, more harsh and fecund lives - as the poor have always done.

One part of society is changing faster than the other. It appears that religiosity is gradually being dropped off amongst the rich like a vestigial meme - since its efficacy is much less for those with few obvious reasons for existential despair. I see this as a continuation of the emergence and evolution of reason, and the whole process is more than a little analogous in its dynamics of control and exploitation to the way humans split from other species.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Why we are born to believe in God

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 8th, 2018, 4:01 am

I think this whole subject is misconceived.
Genes do not come with labels on them, and they do not emerge FOR specific purposes.
Initially they emerge randomly and are inadvertently "selected" by the natural process of differential survival.
What we have hear is a tendency to revere parents, and elders in the clade. Combined with a tendency towards teleology makes for people are are easy to deceive through ideas such as "God the Father`" or "Mother Godess", in a world in which everything seems to "have a reason".
The evolution of the parent child relationship, especially in mammals needs no explanation as why it is useful and an aid to survival.
The evolution of the idea of teleology urges us all to see the world in terms of utility and has been of vital importance for the discovery and invention of tools; the belief in providence; and the arrogance of our place on the planet against the rest of 'creation'.

But like so much else, our evolved responses to physical needs is now made out-of-date by the modern world and its time to grow up and smell the rationality.

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