While a few lawyers, atheists and secularist educators strain their social and academic muscles to obtain a different outcome, it seems that according to a just completed Oxford University study known as the "Cognition, Religion and Theology Project," "Humans are naturally pre-disposed to believe in God or gods and life after death."
The $3.7 million project involved 57 academics in 20 countries around the world and spanned disciplines including anthropology, psychology and philosophy.
Here's what they found.
The study was funded specifically to establish "whether belief in divine beings and after life were ideas simply learned from society or integral to human nature."
The research included countries such as China, where religion, especially Christianity, has been strongly suppressed, with aggressive efforts to re-educate and secularize children.
Co-director of the project, Professor Roger Trigg, a professor at Oxford, said their research showed that religion is "not just something for a peculiar few to do on Sundays instead of playing golf."
"We have gathered a body of evidence that suggests that religion is a common fact of human nature across all societies," he told the British press.
He said of the study, "This suggests that attempts to suppress religion are likely to be short lived as human thought seems to be rooted in religious concepts, such as the existence of super natural agents or gods, and the possibility of an after life or pre-life."
"We tend to see purpose in the world"---"We see agency and think that something is there even if we can't see it," he told the press conference last Thursday.
Trigg said, "There is quite a drive to think that religion is private. That belief is wrong. It isn't just the quirky interest of a few, it's basic human nature."
Some compelling take away thoughts.
- It would be tough to be an atheist. Richard Dawkins, an atheist apologist, is already saying atheists have talked themselves into a corner because they can't answer the question, "Where does morality come from?" He is encouraging atheists to lean strongly on Darwin and evolution as the basis for advocating changing morality. It has been said, "It takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian."
- Atheists are already attacking the study and those who conducted it. I will not link the site, but one site that advocates that "evolution is true" began posting yesterday, "This speaks to me of credulity---a credulity easily understood as a result of wish-thinking, fear of death and the need for agency in a cruel and chaotic world."
- This study shows that religion is much more universal, prevalent and deep rooted than atheists, secularists and public educators would have us believe. It is deep rooted and it has got to be reckoned with. They can't simply pretend it isn't there.
- This study affirms we believe there is a God. He did create us. And He has given us an inclination toward Him.
- Countries that have attempted to create an atheist culture have either failed or are in the process of failing socially. China is finding it more and more difficult to suppress the practice of Christianity. Does anyone remember the Soviet Union? And there are lines of people at the border of North Korea, but they are not trying to get in.
- The attempt to remove religious expression---particularly Christian expression, from the fabric of American cultural may be destined for failure. The present course of secularizing America may well lead Americans to rethink their passivity toward the continuing assault on religious freedoms.
- Trigg says he thinks the "Secularization theory of the 1960's was hopeless."
There is a God and He loves you.
Faith and Freedom
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