Is God an Accident?

The most provocative piece in the December Atlantic is one titled Is God an Accident? (subscribers only, I can email it to you if you want):

Despite the vast number of religions, nearly everyone in the world believes in the same things: the existence of a soul, an afterlife, miracles, and the divine creation of the universe. Recently psychologists doing research on the minds of infants have discovered two related facts that may account for this phenomenon. One: human beings come into the world with a predisposition to believe in supernatural phenomena. And two: this predisposition is an incidental by-product of cognitive functioning gone awry.

Also some interesting discussion of our propensity to believe in dualism – our body and soul are separate entities. It’s fascinating to read about studies of young children and how they think about this stuff. Shows that before any socialization some have certain inclinations toward supernatural beliefs.

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