The project cost something like 4 million bucks to tell us something else we already know –
Religion comes naturally, even instinctively, to human beings, a massive new study of cultures all around the world suggests.
“We tend to see purpose in the world,” Oxford University professor Roger Trigg said Thursday. “We see agency. We think that something is there even if you can’t see it. … All this tends to build up to a religious way of thinking.”
Trigg is co-director of the three-year Oxford-based project, which incorporated more than 40 different studies by dozens of researchers looking at countries from China to Poland and the United States to Micronesia.
Both atheists and religious people could use the study to argue their sides, Trigg told CNN.
Famed secularist Richard “Dawkins would accept our findings and say we’ve got to grow out of it,” Trigg argued.
But people of faith could argue that the universality of religious sentiment serves God’s purpose, the philosophy professor said.
“Religious people would say, ‘If there is a God, then … he would have given us inclinations to look for him,'” Trigg said.
Why get rid of these things? If this is part of our evolutionary design, then why is it such a bad thing, especially when it has been shown to be what causes us to develop many of the aspects of our civilization?
- Afterlife belief is part of our nature (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
- New Oxford study: religion pervasive, ergo impossible to eradicate (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- Large Templeton-funded study at Oxford – Richard Allen Greene – CNN (richarddawkins.net)
- Is Religious Belief Part of Human Nature? (friendlyatheist.com)
- Belief in God is Part of Human Nature (frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)
- Flotsam and jetsam (5/13) (westernthm.wordpress.com)