Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why Do So Many People Believe In God?

That is the questionOxford University researchers will spend $3.7 million trying to figure out.  Do people believe in God because they are taught to?  Or is it more that it is inherent to being human?  Does believing in a god give humans some kind of evolutionary advantage?  Or is it merely a byproduct of sociability?


Dr. Justin Barrett, editor of the Journal of Cognition and Culture, suspects the findings will lead more toward nature than nurture.  “We think there is more on the nature side than a lot of people suppose,” he said.  “It [the belief in an omniscient God] is easy, it is intuitive, it is natural.  It fits our default assumptions about things.”


So what does the Bible say about all this?  Well, you can actually use verses to support either side.  If you wanted to argue for the idea of a God-shaped hole (nature), you could point to verses about conscience and how we are created.  On the other hand, you could also look at verses that speak of learning about God from various sources as well as verses that speak of teaching children about God (nurture).  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the scientists come up with.



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