Friday, February 06, 2009

It's Official: People Believe in Bullshit

Brains 'are hardwired to believe in God and imaginary friends':

Religion is part of human nature and our brains are hard wired to believe in God, scientists believe.

The evidence includes studies of babies and children which have shown the brain is programmed to think of the mind as being separate from the body.

This distinction allows us to believe in the supernatural, to conjure up imaginary friends - and to conceive of gods, this week's New Scientist reports.

Other studies suggest our minds come with an overdeveloped sense of cause and effect, which primes us to see purpose and design everywhere, even when there is none.
Children as young as seven or eight believe that rocks, rivers and birds have been created for a specific purpose.

Taken together, the two traits mean were are perfectly programmed to believe in god.

Professor Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University in the US, said: 'There's now a lot of evidence that some of the foundations for our religious beliefs are hard-wired.
'All humans possess the brain circuitry and it never goes away.'

16 comments:

Hambydammit said...

I hope there is reason to believe that despite the hardwiring, we are capable of using reason to overcome it. We demonstrate the ability to bypass instinct with things like diet and birth control. I mean, there are lots of atheists in the world despite the hardwiring we all presumably have. Hopefully it's not all for nothing.

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/

rgz said...

Christian have this idea that [the western christian] God is universal and that planted a need in the heart of people to sought [the western christian] God.

After telling them just what you wrote, they take it as a confirmation! I have to point, illusion by illusion, the evolutionary reasons behind them.

When they are not idiots, they reflect upon these things for a bit, realize they don't have a point, then retreat to the confortable "you just have to accept it on faith" argument.

Sure you can't convert them but those 2 silent seconds when their rusty brain cogs turn a few steps are priceless.

Armageddon Thru To You said...

Armageddon Thru To You

If you've been wondering why it seems like the world around us is unraveling, it's because the last days as foretold in the bible are now upon us. Just as it was 2000 years ago, many were unable to discern the signs of Jesus Christ's first coming (Mat 16:3), as will many concerning his second coming, which will occur very soon. Yes many have proclaimed a similar sentiment many times in the past, but their errors have no bearing on today other than to lull you into spiritual apathy, and that too was prophesied to occur in the last days.


If you're not a believer in Jesus Christ because you're an atheist, consider that the underlying impetus for your disbelief is most likely borne of pride and here's why:

When we die, if you as an atheist were right, then there is no upside or downside for anyone regarding the afterlife. We will all simply cease to exist

However if we Christians were right about our belief in the afterlife, then we will be given eternal life and you as an atheist will receive eternal damnation

Given the choices, the position held by an atheist is a fools bet any way you look at it because the atheist has everything to lose and nothing to gain. It is tantamount to accepting a “heads I win, tails you lose” coin toss proposition from someone. And that someone by the way is Satan (see Ephesians 6:12).

The only way to explain the attitude held by an atheist is pride, pure and simple. The intellectually dishonest and/or tortured reasoning used by atheists to try and disprove the existence of God is nothing more than attempts to posture themselves as superior (a symptom of pride). And as anyone who has read their bible knows, this is precisely the character flaw that befell Lucifer, God's formerly most high angel. (Isaiah 14:12-15). Is it any wonder then why the bible is so replete with references to pride as the cause of mankind's downfall?

Pride permeates our lives and burdens us in ways that most of us seldom recognize. Ironically, pride is the one thing that can blind someone to things even the unsighted can see. And sadly pride will blind many with an otherwise good heart, to accepting the offer of eternal salvation that Christ bought and paid for with his life.


In any event, if you're an atheist, I wish you only the best for every day of the rest of your life because for you, this life is as close to heaven as you'll ever get, but for believers in Christ, this life is as close to hell as we'll ever get.





If you're not a believer and follower of Jesus Christ because you are of another faith, please take the time to very carefully compare your faith to Christianity and ask yourself, why is the bible the only religious book with both hundreds of proven prophecies already fulfilled as well as those being fulfilled today? No other religion can claim anything remotely close to this fact. Many Christians who are serious students of bible prophecy are already aware of the role and significance of bible prophecy in foretelling end time events. God gave us prophecy as evidence of his divine holiness to know the begining from the end (Isa 46:10). God also believed prophecy to be so important that to those willing to read the most prophetic book in the bible, the Book of Revelation, he promised a special blessing (see Rev 1:3), and this is the only book in the bible that God gives its reader a special blessing for reading. Something to think about.


Don't risk losing Christ's offer of eternal life by not accepting him as your savior and by thinking that the bible is nothing more than a compilation of unrelated and scattered stories about people who lived 2,000 plus years ago. If you take the time to study (not just read) the bible, you will literally be shocked to learn things you would have never imagined would be revealed in it. Did you know that like parables, God also uses particular months and days in the Jewish calendar, Jewish Feasts and customs, solar and lunar phases, celestial alignments, gematria (Hebrew numerology) early bible events and more as patterns and models to foretell future events?


Consider the following interesting facts about the bible that testify to its God-inspired authorship:

Did you know that in Gen 12:2, God said he would bless Israel?. How else can you explain the grossly disproportionate level of success achieved by Jewish people as a tiny minority in the world, especially after all they have gone through? And how can you explain the success achieved by the tiny nation of Israel, surrounded by enemies outnumbering them 100 to 1 and yet still they remain victorious in all their wars?


Did you know that as evidence to indicate that Israel is the epicenter of the world from God's point of view is the fact that languages to the west of Israel are written and read from left to right as if pointing to Israel, and languages from countries to the east of Israel are written and read from right to left, again as though pointing to Israel. Just a coincidence, you say? I think not.


Did you know that the six days of creation and seventh day of rest in Genesis is a model for the six thousand years of this age (ending very soon), that is to be followed by a 1,000 year millennial reign by Christ (see 2 Peter 3:8)? Adam was born sometime prior to 4000 B.C., therefore our 6000 years are almost up.


Did you kow that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hidden in the meaning of the Hebrew names listed in the genealogy of the book of Genesis (Research it online)? To deny this was God-inspired, one has to instead believe that a group of Jewish rabbis conspired to hide the Christian Gospel right inside a genealogy of their venerated Torah, which is not a very plausible explanation.


Did you know that solar eclipses, which the bible describes as the sun being black as sackcloth, and lunar eclipses, which the bible refers to as blood red moons, have prophetic meaning? Research it online. God showed Adam (and us) his plan for man's redemption through the use of celestial alignments. (research Mazzaroth online)

Did you know that much of the symbolism in the book of revelation refers to planetary alignments that will occur when certain events occur as prophesied? These planetary alignments also explained the birth of Christ, just search out The Bethlehem Star movie on the Internet.

Did you know that the references in Eze 39:4-17 and Rev 19:17-21 in the battle of Gog/Magog and Armageddon respectively, in which birds of prey will eat the flesh of the dead in battle from two enormous wars is based on fact? The largest bird migration in the world consisting of bilions of birds (34 species of raptors and various carrion birds) from several continents converge and fly over Israel every spring and fall. Coincidence? I think not.

Did you know that Hebrew numerology, also known as Gematria, and the numbers with biblical and prophetic significance are hidden in the Star of David? Google the video called "Seal of Jesus Christ"

Did you know that the seven Churches mentioned at the beginning of the Book of Revelation describe the seven stages the Church will go through?

There are literally hundreds of hidden messages in the bible like these that testify to the fact that the bible was God inspired, and statistically speaking, are all exponentially beyond the likelihood of any coincidence. You can find them yourselves if you only take the time to look into it. Remember Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings".


And finally, if you are Catholic, or one who subscribes to the emergent Church or seeker-friendly Church movement, please compare the doctrine taught, advocated or accepted by your Church, with the actual bible, notwithstanding some new-age version of the bible. And remember that although the bible is often referred to as the living bible, the word "living" was never intended to imply in any way that the bible "evolves" over time to meet, or be consistent with, the standards of man. It's just the opposite.


Well, am I getting through to you? If not, the answer might be explained in the response given by Jesus Christ in his Olivet discourse when he was asked by his disciples why he spoke the way he did (in parables, etc.) in the book of Matthew 13:10-16. What Jesus said could have easily been paraphrased more clearly as "so that the damned won't get it". Why did Christ respond the way he did when asked why he spoke this way? Is there something about pride (the bible says there is) that closes one's heart to seeing or hearing the messages supernaturally hidden in bible parables, models, typologies, and similes, etc.? That should give you something to think about, but don't take too long. Time is now very short.


If it sometimes seems like there are powers at work behind the powers we know, remember what it says in Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." If you study the bible, it will become clearer.


And by the way, if you are a scoffer, this too was prophesied to occur in the last days. See 2 Peter 3:3.


Thank you and God Bless you!
Armageddon.thru.to.you (at) gmail.com

Aaron Kinney said...

RE: Armageddon thru to you,

Yes, please believe in the Biblical armageddon. And please hold your breath for it to happen. :D

breakerslion said...

Unnatural selection. The same process that bred farm animals has been used on humans by the various shamans and clergy throughout the millennia to selectively breed humans that believe their brand of bullshit. Simple really, just ostracize, stone, or burn those that object to your fantasy and pathological lies.

Armageddon Thru to You:

"If you're not a believer in Jesus Christ because you're an atheist, consider that the underlying impetus for your disbelief is most likely borne of pride and here's why:"

You don't know me at all, yet you think you do. That alone brands you an idiot.

Chew on this:

The End of Pascal's Wager - Only Nontheists Go to Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the New York Times article about the Catholic Church bringing back "indulgences" so that people can pay to avoid "purgatory"? The comments by our fellow atheists out there, and agnostics too, are priceless.
They had me laughing out loud. Just go to the Times's NY Region section and you'll see that it's one of the most popular articles.

Aaron Kinney said...

Thanks for the info anonymous, I'll check it out!

Anonymous said...

I think some of you should look into Nietzsche's work. I don't agree with much of it, but he does point out that there is a distinction between truth and value. Therefore, it could be true that religion, morality, etc. could be the product of historical and evolutionary processes, but this does not mitigate their value. In fact, I would say that the current statistics that humans and their livestock currently make up 98% of the terrestrial vertebrate biomass is a sure sign that our species is successful. Therefore, trying to undercut the very evolutionary outcomes that lead to group cooperation (morality- reciprocity; religion- strong source of identity) is somewhat misguided. It might be true that most atheists are able to understand morality without religion, but it is nothing to pat yourselves on the back for. Morality is just a chimera, just like religion, but both produce group enhancing characteristics. The goal of atheists should not be to tear down religion, nor should it be to sit in ivory towers and make fun of the general person. The goal of atheists should be to use the tools that are already available and expand the group that is included by religions. For example, since Christianity supposedly promotes acceptance of those who are lower in the social ladder, it should be the job of the atheist to point out the othering that occurs frequently within religious communities, which is inconsistent with their own teachings. Therefore, if you truly want to improve the humanity, don't try to rip away their hard-wired senses. Rather, take those sensibilities and beliefs and use them to create a better place for everyone. Atheism in itself is not an answer.

wanderer610 said...

"Religion is part of human nature and our brains are hard wired to believe in God, scientists believe."

Thats right. They believe.

"The evidence includes studies of babies and children which have shown the brain is programmed to think of the mind as being separate from the body."

What exactly were these 'studies'? And how exactly are the results being interpreted.


Whether or not the mind and body are two seperate things is a debatable issue. Considering you see things from your own perspective, nobody can really can demonstrate to an onlooker (maybe after you die, youd get to know for sure) But anyway, till that day... where you stand on this issue is a matter of personal belief.
Before, you can say that you have tons of "evidence" to support what you believe in... know that scientists are yet to demonstrate how exactly a nervous system evolved from single celled organisms that never possesed one; let alone become "hardwired" to believe in God.

Yes, "naturalselectiondidit" is a pretty easy answer. But how? and more importantly, why?

Ill borrow a good comment left on the dailytelegraph website by some user...
"Surely, if our brains were 'hard wired to believe in god', then we would have no choice - we all would".

CashewElliott/John said...

Did that guy just use pascals wager?

Seriously, it's like arguing with children. God.

I think your post is important, because, as a militant atheist, it's important for me to remember that other people do legitimately feel the feelings of God. What got me to stop believing in God was not rational arguments against my religion (of which there are multitudes - Mormonism) but attending my girlfriends (now wife) independent fundamentalist baptist church and feeling myself, over six months, start to feel the same feelings there I had always attributed to god's spirit in my 19 years as a mormon. I was already intellectually struggling with certain facts of life, like geological time frames and evolution, etc, but really, pulling the loose tooth, was recognizing that the psychology is real, that our brains ARE wired for this shit, that people really DO believe in scientology, not because they are insane, but because they are evolutionary wired to, and haven't recognized that every other religion creates the same fucking feelings.

There is a reason why the most successful religions are militant about not cross-marrying, about not "being unequally yoked with nonbelievers." The other religions will destroy ones faith because one will finally recognize that the other is not foolish or wrong, they are exactly the same.

Moral of the story is not to let people create policy based on myth just because it feels good (and really does to them) but rather to use the understanding in the fight for rational policy and rational discussion, and to use the understanding as key to explaining to smart people who are confused by the psychological effects of religion.

Jacob said...

People don't believe stuff because of evolutionary traits! They believe it because of their own thoughts or they hear about it and then they choose to believe it. The sad part is that most people believe in lies, like mormonism, atheism, hinduism, "free-thinking," etc. You weren't born an atheist, you chose. Religion is the same way, except a lot of people can call themselves Christians, but that doesn't make you a Christian of the bible. So most statistics on christianity are wrong because people don't even know what they believe, or how to act on it. What's wrong is that most people choose for their own selfish desires.

Another thing, Religion isn't based on feelings CashewElliott. True religion is based on evidence. Jesus fulfilled hundreds of documented prophesies, how do you refute that? Unless you've been in every religion legitimately, you wouldn't know what feelings they create anyways, so how would you know they're the same?

Obviously all religions can't be the same, or right. They have different teaching on core issues.

I believe Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
Maybe it's God who gave humans the inherent believe in himself for a reason, frankly, that he exists.

Cashew said this:

"Moral of the story is not to let people create policy based on myth just because it feels good (and really does to them) but rather to use the understanding in the fight for rational policy and rational discussion, and to use the understanding as key to explaining to smart people who are confused by the psychological effects of religion."

This is interesting because I think the same thing about Atheists (except for the "smart" part), just switch the word Religion with "the world."
Do you think people die for their believes because it feels good? You could argue a yes out of this, but then the question becomes, aren't you an Atheist because it feels good? Aren't you creating policy based on "theory?" (evolution) The answer is yes.

You think you're eyes can see, but I think that you're blinded by the world. The secular media that just brushes God aside. All the TV, MTV, secular philosophies, music and media.

You're not hopelessly addicted to freedom, you're just a slave to your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

@Jacob, Aren't you creating policy based on "theory?" (evolution) The answer is yes.

You know the meaning theory in science is not the same thing as a "theory" as you claim it is. A theory in science is a study that meets specific requirements and has gone through numerous tested and proven research. So think next time you make wild claims and try to sound knowledgeable.

By the way atheism is not a religion it is science. Monotheism, polytheism whatever floats your boat has nothing scientifically to support it any way what so ever. Atheism on the other hand has countless science to back it up including "theories" like evolution.

Anonymous said...

Thing that bugs me the most about religion is this notion that if you believe, all will be ok, if you don't, eternal damnation for you. Only a nut would come up with a shell game system like that.

Anonymous said...

This life is pointless without an afterlife. I think you have it confused. Why do anything useful in this life? When you die it will be as if you never lived at all.

But I don't believe in that crap. I believe in Orch-OR Bet that makes you angry! >:D
Nuf said! :P

Estelle said...

Generally, spirits are just leftover energy.

Anonymous said...

I LOST MY PARTNER 1.7.13 THEN LOST HIS FAVORITE CAT 6.12.13 AFTERLIFE DON'T BELIEVE.FAKE PEOPLE TELLING ME HE HAPPY ALIVE AND WELL IN THE AFTERLIFE.THEN THESE PEOPLE ASK FOR MONEY.MEDIUM ARE ALL FAKE .THEY FEED OFF YOUR FEELINGS ONLY.INCLUDING ANTHONY LEGGETT AND LONG ISLAND MEDIUM. ANTHONY LEGGETT DOESN'T ASK FOR MONEY .BUT BILLS YOUR HOPE AND LET YOU DOWN