Did we create God as an evolutionary adaptation?
In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.” They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence (including “imaging” studies of the brain at work), that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer we can come to “no heaven … no hell … and no religion too.” Read the entire article
It is easy for people to dismiss ideas like this because we know that they are based on faulty assumptions. Its fascinating to me to see how people will do anything to rationalize away the fact that God exists. And of course they do it by starting from assumptions that are based on their belief that God does not exist. “Why do we conjure up gods the article asks?” implying that our religious beliefs are irrational thoughts that are conjured up by our imaginations. Maybe we should start from another assumption. How about we conjure up gods because God exists and there is this need deep within all of us to connect to the living God who created the universe and all that is in it. Maybe we conjure up gods because the nature of God is imprinted on our DNA… maybe it is because we are made in the image of God rather than because we have made God in our image.
On the other hand, I understand the need to do away with some of our reasons for religion. The problem is that the gods we conjure up are sometimes violent, irrational and judgmental. And we become like the gods we believe in. Part of the reason the author wants to do away with religion is because of how often it leads to violence and indifferent loveless attitudes towards others.
Before John Lennon imagined “living life in peace,” he conjured “no heaven … / no hell below us …/ and no religion too.”
No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without “divine” messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to “God’s will.” Where politicians no longer compete to prove who believes more strongly in the irrational and untenable. Where critical thinking is an ideal. In short, a world that makes sense. Read the entire article
If this is what those who want to rationalize away God believe it is no wonder they do it.
Why I wonder do we people of faith believe in a god of love, compassion and peace when there is so much hate and violence in our world? Is it because we long for something different or is it because the intrinsic nature of humanity is the nature of God – even though we have rebelled, polluted and ignored it? Our faith should lead to greater engagement in peacemaking, a deeper passion for renewal of the earth and a longing for abundance, peace and wholeness for all. And maybe if people saw we believed in this kind of god through the way we lived and acted, they would believe in God too.
What do you think?