Is Religion Just an Assortment of Gut Feelings?

The Huffington Post:

The vast majority of the planet’s seven billion people ascribe to some kind of religious belief — that is, a faith in things that cannot be proven. This makes no sense from a scientific and psychological point of view, because supernatural beliefs — in contrast to our evolved thinking in general — serve no apparent purpose. They don’t help us comprehend and navigate the world. Why would the human mind create them, and allow them to persist?

These are just a few examples of common religious beliefs and practices, drawn from an article to be published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. There are many more. What they all have in common is that they all originate in intuitive beliefs, which “pop up” without deliberate thought, and demand an explanation. In that sense, Baumard and Boyer say, religious notions are not special.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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