Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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Friday, 11 September 2009

'We're born to believe in God'

Humans are ‘programmed’ to believe in God and the supernatural, scientific researchers have found.

A study into the way children’s brains develop suggests that beliefs in the supernatural are present from birth. The findings of Bruce Hood, professor of developmental psychology at Bristol University, challenge the claims of atheists such as Richard Dawkins.

Professor Dawkins’ assertion that religious belief is a result of poor education and ‘indoctrination’ is well known. Professor Hood said: “Our research shows children have a natural, intuitive way of reasoning that leads them to all kinds of supernatural beliefs about how the world works.” Other academics have said that their research supports Prof Hood’s findings.

In the science journal Nature, Washington University anthropologist Professor Pascal Boyer said: “Religious thinking seems to be the path of least resistance for our cognitive systems”.

“By contrast, disbelief is generally the work of deliberate, effortful work against our natural cognitive dispositions — hardly the easiest ideology to propagate.”

Speculating as to why their research showed religious belief to be ‘hardwired’, Prof Hood and his colleagues offered an evolutionary reason. 
They suggest that in the past, shared religious beliefs brought social benefits as believers cooperated to ensure mutual survival, while atheist societies lacked such beneficial cohesion.
The Word of God has long taught this truth. It is not attributable to evolution but rather to creation and the Creator. The God who created man in His own image has created us with an innate knowledge of Himself. Sadly, due to the Fall this knowledge is corrupted, distorted, and partly lost for it not what it was. It is not now a saving knowledge of God. This is why mankind needed the special revelation of the Scriptures. It is what is known as: 'The Seed of Religion':
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse, Romans 1:19,20;
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another, Romans 2:14,15;
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring, Acts 17:24-28.

John Calvin had this to say about the matter:
That there exists in the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, some sense of Deity, we hold to be beyond dispute, since God Himself, to prevent any man from pretending ignorance, has endued all men with some idea of His Godhead, the memory of which He constantly renews and occasionally enlarges, that all to a man, being aware that there is a God, and that He is their Maker, may be condemned by their own conscience when they neither worship Him nor consecrate their lives to His service, Institutes of the Christian Religion 3:3.1.

He further said:
All men of sound Judgment will therefore hold, that a sense of Deity is indelibly engraven on the human heart. And that this belief is naturally engendered in all, and thoroughly fixed as it were in our very bones, is strikingly attested by the contumacy of the wicked, who, though they struggle furiously, are unable to extricate themselves from the fear of God, Institutes of the Christian Religion 3:3.3.

Once again we have another example of those who are wise after this world catching up with the teaching of the Scriptures!

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