Friday, May 13, 2011

Hot-Wired for God

We’re hot-wired for God, and it’s not just Christians who are saying this. Roger Trigg, director of the Oxford study, known as the Cognition, Religion and Theology Project, said

"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.”

• 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.

The article suggested that even the arch-atheist Richard Dawkins would readily agree with the findings. However, he’d probably respond, “Get over it!” Indeed, he’d most likely respond in this manner, but the atheist is left with a big fat problem. According to evolution, we evolve in ways that confers upon us a “survival advantage.” Translating this into other words, this means that a faith in God is a good thing – an offensive conclusion for an atheist, who is left struggling with the question, “How can the “God delusion” be a good thing?”

This is an embarrassing conundrum. Evolution wouldn’t have predicted such a thing. Instead, evolution would have predicted that pervasive delusions of religious ideas would make humankind less able to learn and to adapt to the rigors of their environment. However, in accordance with the findings, the Bible tells us very clearly that we are wired for God:

• Romans 1:18-21, 32 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened…. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Generally, the theory that has the best predictive power is the one to be preferred. Besides, if we’re hot-wired for God, maybe we should not “get over it!” Maybe it would be best to accept this felicitous human condition?

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