Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oxford University: "Belief In God Is A Natural Human Response"

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Oxford University has found that belief in God or gods is a natural normal human response.

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

"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.

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."
A personal note: I have been reading extensively today on this news release. In nearly every case, atheist writers connect, in some way, the "homosexual marriage--equality" campaign with this issue. This should not have surprised me.
  • 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.
A country whose legal system was built on Blackstone's codification of Scripture, whose freedoms were believed to be given by God, not government, and a people who valued life above all things, because they believed God had created human beings in His image and likeness, may well reconsider their natural inclinations toward God and experience spiritual renewal that will reclaim and restore our culture. I pray so.
  • Trigg says he thinks the "Secularization theory of the 1960's was hopeless."
I pray that the secularization assault on America in the 21st Century will also be seen by future generations as a hopeless failure.

There is a God and He loves you.


Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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  1. The goodness of God is all around us. Who can not help but notice it?

    I saw a robin the other day as I was out on a walk. It was a beautiful sunny morning. The bird had in it's mouth a neat bundle of straw, or dry grass. It stopped to look at me, as if to say, "See what I'm doing? I'm so happy to be a bird and to be here where I can find all this dry grass. I have it neatly in my mouth, a fine bundle of it and it will make a fine building / repair material for my nest that I am building. I'm just so happy to be alive and to be what God has made me to be. How about you? What are you doing today?"

    The glory of God is all around us. It's good to simply say to the One we do not yet see with our eyes, "Thank you."

    Everything God made is good. It all has a purpose. Everything he made should give him praise. If anything is evil, I think I should just put that on the Devil's side. Everything God made was good.

    How could I not believe in God? He gave me so much favor and grace with which to have faith in him.

  2. Again a case of the study not saying what you wish it does.

    Just a few years ago there was a similar study that showed how humans are prone to believe in supernatural beings as a cognitive defect, just as our defective innate understanding of probability makes us gamble in situation where we can only lose.

    To recap, humans before the age of two are wired to think their parents are all knowing - they know what the child knows. When stressed the go to ground, thinking that someone knows what they know.

    Evolutionarily it is safest to assume that everything that happens has an active agent behind it - the grass moves, its best for survival purposes to assume something moved it. We are evolutionarily selected to gravitate to assigning intent and purpose to all things whether they actually do or not.

    We can't conceive of our own death. Even in some cultures in recent times dreams and visions of dead people were perceived as the individuals themselves. Our ability to have complex memories of individuals makes them immortal in our minds and we project that quality upon ourselves.

    We have no innate understanding of probability - we get a rush at 'winning' a game of chance far larger than the one we get from losing one. As such we will take repeat behaviors that have been so rewarded even if a pragmatic look shows that over all we are losing money.

    All of these are cognitive defects - understandable ones but inconsistent with reality none the less.

    These flaws will always keep the world filled with churches and casinos. that doesn't mean they're good things.

    As to morality, even Jesus said the source of all the law was obvious:

    Love God (love the world)
    Love your neighbor as you love yourself (the golden rule which is rationally obvious)

    Where does morality come from? Reference the above. Is the rule you are looking at not derive from those then its just a rule that doesn't have anything to do with morality. That's why there's nothing immoral about being gay, or working on Sunday, or wearing 2 fiber cloth or all the other silly 'immoralities' that primitive cultures worried about.

    Yes people will always want to pretend that some parent is watching over them, or that they will live forever and as long as these fictions don't lead them to harming others I don't see the problem, unfortunately that too seems to be part of human nature.

  3. Why won't you link to the site? Afraid of having your followers introduced to Truth?

  4. Because our fallen nature is so flawed, we who have come to Jesus Christ for healing, have been receiving of his grace to mend us, rehabilitate us, and bring us into his kingdom which is for the glory and will of God, a kingdom without end. It was the only right thing to do.

  5. You guys always want to play the victim, but there is no effort to suppress religion in america. You are free to believe and worship as you please. No one is trying to restrict that.

    Efforts by others to resist living under your control is in no way an effort to suppress your individual religion.

  6. True religion is always being suppressed all over the world
    as it has always been. Nailing Jesus to the cross was most surely an attempt to suppress godliness. Jesus made it clear often times about how men wish to suppress the truth, yet he made himself a willing sacrifice to God, whose wrath against our sins had to be taken by someone who was truly righteous. Jesus was the only one who could do that for us, showing us also the way in which we should suffer for the sake of others who do not know God.

    Anon 3:46 PM, are you willing to suffer with him for the sake of eternal life?

  7. 7:57

    OK, I'll bite, how is religion being suppressed the US? Specific answers, please.

    To answer your question, no, I live in the reality based world.


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