The need for a god is universal.

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by amsterdamage, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Isn't it interesting that every single person feels the need to believe in a god or higher power of some sort?

    Since it's so universal believing in a god must have given us an advantage to help keep us alive and the people who didn't feel this need must have perished so their genes didn't get passed on.

    It seems irrelevant whether there actually is a god or higher power, the advantage seems to come from just believing that there is.

    It's the same with the universal reaction we all have to "scary" noises. We probably first heard these sounds when wind blew through trees and since wild animals can hide in trees the people who found the noise of the wind howling through the them scary and therefore moved away from them survived to pass on their genes (and therefore passed on this fear) while the people who didn't have this fear got eaten and therefore the lack of this trait didn't get passed on.

    I'd be interested to hear what everyone else thinks.
  2. You're correct, people want to believe in a higher power. I think that people today have it completely wrong. I do not believe in the christian god or any specific god. I believe organized religion was a poor attempt at making sense of everything and that's why everything's so flawed. Think back to ancient times where people were spiritual rather than religious. They had it right IMHO.
  3. While obviously I can't speak for everyone when I say this, but I think that is a colossal statement and I hope you have some facts to back it up. I don't believe in God or any higher power, and I know plenty of people who feel the same.

    Once again, a huge statement with no facts to back it up. Albert Camus, Che Guevara, Richard Dawkins, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sarte, Sigmund Freud, Mikhail Gorbachev, Arthur Miller were all atheists. Are you really trying to say that some of the smartest, most influential people the world has ever seen are somehow "less evolved" simply because they don't believe in God?

    Care to explain these advantages so I can see exactly what I'm missing out on?

    I don't agree with this at all, and it has absolutely no basis. When I was a younger I slept over at a friend's house and was up half the night freaking out because I heard a "scary noise". The next morning I asked about it and she said "Oh, that was just my hamster". While kids with an overactive imagination will dive under their blankets because the wind is blowing the trees, I think you'd be hard pressed to find an adult who behaves in the same way.
  4. I agree with most of what you're saying.

    Except that "every single person feels the need to believe in a god or higher power of some sort". I know plenty of people who do not believe in a god or higher power.

    There have been times in my life where I wish I could. I see the strength that others derive from such a belief, but I would be sacrificing my cognitive worldview.
  5. It seems that you think a belief in God is somehow a genetic trait, as is a predisposition to being afraid of noises.

    If you find the "God gene" or the "Scary sound gene" I'll gladly retract all of my statements and give you a home-made Nobel Prize
  6. Buddhists don't believe in a higher power. or a god. Neither do Taoists if I'm not mistaken.

    Also there are tribes in deep Africa that have no spiritual concept of god, or worship of any deities or ancestors.

    Not to mention all the people that have been raised religiously and have chosen to discontinue belief in god. Atheists I mean.
  7. What about some sort of instinct instead of a gene? Would it be plausible then?

    I think it makes sense.
  8. Eureka! Now where heading in the proper direction.
  9. Personally, I think it has a lot more to do with upbringing and life experiences whether someone believes in God/ higher power or not, but as you said, it does make sense for it to be instinctual
  10. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I think you'll find about a billion chinese that are not religious in any way shape or form. For some reason, religion never really caught on amongst the chinese.

    In addition comes countless non-believers around the world, especially many are found in Russia and Europe. Not to mention India, where atheism is rising dramatically.

    So belief in deities are not in any way universal. And the only ones who have perished for lack of god beliefs, are the ones various religions have persecuted and killed for being infidels.
  11. #11 CaliGrown., Jan 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2010
    Not everyone wants to. Most people in regions around the world do, but not everyone. You also can't come to that conclusion because you don't know what really happened in the past. Religion has been used as, in my opinion, one of the earliest forms of mind control known to man.
    One group of taller, lighter skinned, SMARTER people meets a group of dumbasses that are eating bugs and scraps of other species' dinner, and tells them they're God-The superior, improved version of you. They tell them that appeasing them, the Gods, is the most important thing in the dark person's life, and that their whole life, culture, and future should revolve around God. Then, they promise a return in the future, and take off back to their native land. A thousand years later, after nearly complete isolation, the light skinned people return, and the people are much smarter, civilized, they have a form of religion, and have begun certain forms of practicing said religion. The light skins then plant a few more future seeds, and wisk away, once again.
    Well, in this completely hypothetical example, before the arrival of "God," those people had no will to believe in a higher power, as far as we know, right?
    If you ask me, the earliest religions probably focused on life in general, as people didn't differentiate and consider themselves superior to animals like we do, now. Take the Native Americans, for example. They were very tied into the earth, the skies, the stars, and most importantly the other inhabitants of Earth. They were all a part of the land; the land that provided life for all. This is no where close to believing in an omniscent, all-knowing presence who will punish you if you do not appease him or if you break the rules of life that he gave you. There are examples of this appeasal to the gods in South America, but who is to say that they even started believing in that on their own? Do you seriously belive that a society focused on appeasing the Gods and human sacrifice can amass such wealth and power? I don't think so. Someone gave them that idea. Human sacrifice has roots deeply embedded in paganism, and that could have been the start of religion being used to "tame the people." Ancient Europe was a continent bent on dominating anything that can be dominated, and controlling the entire world.

    This is all hypthetical, of course.

    Any thoughts?

    What is an instinct, but a gene? In order for a memory stored in one brain to be transferred to another without a form of communication, it must be genetic.

  12. Then we're back to there being a "God gene". In that case, believing in a higher power has been the dominant allele throughout history, where as atheism would be recessive, if I remember high school biology right:p
  13. i think god is an energy force that connects all living things
  14. [ame=]YouTube - The Origin Of God Douglas Adams -[/ame]

    I've posted this well OVER 9000 times.
  15. Thanks guys, great feedback!

    When I said god or higher force I was including everything like karma, fate, superstition, and anything else that isn't strictly based on the laws of physics and biology.

    Although I haven't asked every person on the earth today or all the ones who have lived here and then died it just seems that an overwhelming majority of people believe in some kind of "power" that is greater than and separate from the physical and biological laws that we can observe and quantify.

    I feel that anything that is universally innate in us must be there because it served to protect us and give us an advantage over those individuals who didn't have it.

    I personally don't see any evidence to support the theory of a god or any higher force at all but I do find the overwhelming belief in something higher to be of great interest.

    I'm interested to hear more..
  16. I really dont think there is a "god" gene.
    Instincts are inherited, however believeing in some sort of god, deity, or anything else of the kind is more of an ideal, which i don't think can be passed on through genetics.
    Being a religios person is purely relative to the individual.
    There are some cases were a person is raised in an enviroment where they are told what to believe in and that individual will follow those guidlines.
    Then their are other individuals who are raised in the same enviroment who do not follow those guidlines that are given to them and become athiest, agnostic or whatever.
    I don't know, I just think that animal instincts are inherited, while ideals and topics of faith and religion are not.
    As far as why people chose to believe in these sorts of things, it could be for a number of reasons; the comfort in thinking you know all the answers, a sense of belonging to something, or maybe it's just easier to follow something and not have to figure things out for yourself.
  17. Aren't instincts inherited through genes, if not then how are they inherited?

    But if it's just a case of how we're raised then belief would be sporadic and transitory like our taste in music.

    But quite often they still believe in something like luck or palm reading or superstition or something.

    Yes those could well be the advantages that belief gave to people to give them an advantage over the others. I know today if you have kids who want to get into music and play with others then a church is the only practical option, at least to get them started. Then there's all the social needs that a church fills that are extremely hard to fill in any other way. It just seems that believing in something that doesn't exist gives us an advantage that isn't available to us were we to believe in only real things.
  18. Yeah, I do think that instincts are inherited, but that believeing in god or anything else in that category in not an intinct so it is not iherited genetically.

    I'm trying to understand exactly what your saying, is it that we believe in a higher power and all those other supersitous things because it was benfitial to our ancestors in someway and therefore gave them the advantage of passing on their genes because they survived; and that because it helped them to survive it became instintual and was passed on genetically?

    woah I've never thought of it that way, I guess you have a new theory amoung theories.

    What I'm trying to say is that I believe that it is always relative to the individual what they chose to believe in. It may depend uopn their personality or something elese, but as far as ideals, in this case being religion, a person always has the choice to either believe and practice what is told to them, or find their own answers. I think it just depends on what kind of person you are.

    And yeah, some people can still have supertious beliefs even though they wouldn't consider themselves a religious person, and I honestly dont know why that is.

    I'd hate to say it was just ignorance, so maybe it's their own personal interpertations of the way things work.
    If you don't believe in god, you can believe in luck.

    Maybe people want to believe that they don't have to do everything alone, or that theyre not alone, and that everything is not indefinate and something lucky can happen.

    Or maybe they just like thinking there is more than what is around us???????
    (physically speaking)

    Hope that made sense!
  19. I'm afraid I feel no need to believe in a god or higher power.
  20. If this^^^ is what you mean by "god," then I think this quote sums up my view nicely:

    "Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones." - Bertrand Russell

    When we don't know, or aren't sure, or are puzzled, or are in awe, we try to avoid suspending judgment. When things go chaotic, we say it's just chaos. When things fall into place, we demand an organizer.

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