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March 17th, 2011
12:55 PM ET

TIME: How our brains predispose us to believe

Psychologist Jesse Bering is best known for his often risqué (and sometimes NSFW) Bering in Mind blog for Scientific American, which examines human behavior — frequently of the sexual sort.

But he's also the director of the Institute for Cognition and Culture at Queen's University in Belfast and his new book, The Belief Instinct, examines an entirely different subject: why our brains may be adapted to believe in gods, souls and ghosts.

Read the full story about our brains and belief on TIME.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. The real reason why people belive

    Because someone dear to the beliver told them this fairy tale and they can't handle the truth that their religion is fictional tall tales because they think, most likely their parents would tell them something that isn't bogus but it is.

    March 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • NL

      Their parents, their community, the media, virtually everyone that the kid knows all help foster this belief in Santa...Oops! I meant God.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      You mean... there's no Santa Claus???

      March 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  2. Ms Miniver

    Luke

    Considering that you perpetually misspell judgment, I doubt you have any idea what you are talking about.

    Yes, Lukey, and considering you spell correctly?? quote "perpetually misspell "judgment," it's "judgement". We know for sure, that YOU have no idea what your talking about!

    Stuff it!

    March 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually both are accepted spellings of the word.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Actually, "judgement" is the British form of the word, and "judgment" is the American form. Rather like "colour" and "color." Which is correct depends on the nationality of the writer.

      But one thing is beyond debate: it's "Mrs. Miniver," not "Ms. Miniver." Greer Garson would be rolling in her grave.

      March 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  3. Ironic

    False Reality said:

    . You do not need a "Savior", you can grow and become better of your own accord and you'll be an even better individual for having done so on your own.

    Hmmmm. now THAT is a False Reality!

    March 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  4. theoldadam

    Faith is a gift which comes to us from outside of ourselves.

    We do not choose to become Christians (maybe we choose to be something else), but God calls and chooses us.

    This is what the Bible says, and I believe it. Thanks be to God.

    March 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I was kind of sad the day I realized I only believed in god because belief in god was part of the culture I was raised in. But I had to accept the fact I didn't believe, because I have always done my best to not be a hypocrite.

      March 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • NL

      You realize, of course, that every person who has ever been cheated also had a degree of 'faith' in the person who ended up ripping them off. That's how cons work. The promise of reward usually clouds the mark's better judgment just enough for them to suppress questioning the incredible claims that the conman is making. Greed overrides common sense and natural skepticism.

      As the old wisdom states "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably isn't." Now, doesn't God, heaven, and cheating death seem too good to be true?

      March 18, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  5. myklds

    Our "BRAIN" pre-dispose us to BELIEVE in God.

    Q: Why Atheists don't and believe in God and NEVER will

    A: Simply because...they do NOT have (that) "SOMETHING" that would pre-dispose such BELIEF.

    March 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • NL

      I think you're missing something here. CS Lewis was an atheist who changed his mind, and it is a rare atheist who will admit to being closed-minded. All we require is evidence, real evidence, after all. Also, remember that many of us atheists were once as strong believers as any current people of faith. We just managed to see past the 'illusion', as the author likes to call it.

      I think that's likely due to our inquisitive nature. Having questions stems from wanting to find the underlying truth of things, how things really 'work', and once the mystery is discovered there is often a disappointment in just how commonplace the answer actually is. This leads to becoming a skeptic with knowledge of how easily the human mind can be deceived.

      Take magic tricks, for example. Most audience members are content to simply enjoy the show and be amazed, but skeptics watch with a mind that is keyed to finding the secret of the trick, to discover where the deception comes into play. Similarly, when it comes to religion we seek out the secrets of the 'tricks', the theological slight of hand, the play on people's ego and greed, the truth behind the mystery. Soon, the commonplace reveals itself and we lose the 'wonder' that comes with really believing in the supernatural.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Don

      CS Lewis was an atheist only up until his parents brainwashed him. The lie that he told later in life that became a christian after years and years of being an atheist is just that: a blatant, bald-faced lie told to christians in order to make them feel better about believing their silly, childish myth.

      March 18, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • NL

      Don-
      Naa, I think you can file Lewis as more likely always having been a believer because he says something to the effect that he was angry at God for not existing. I'm with you in that I don't think that the belief really left him. Was that a bold-faced lie? I don't think that it has to be. There was an article here on CNN Belief all about such people who are 'angry' at God. They may have lost their faith, or feeling that God loves them and is active in their lives, but they are not to be mistaken with people who actually lose their belief that God exists, right? Lewis was about 15 when he lost his faith and then he got it back as an adult under the influence of some heavy hitters in theology, like J. R. R. Tolkien. I find no kinship with his atheistic experience.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  6. myklds

    Our BRAIN pre-dispose us to BELIEVE in God.

    Q: Why Atheists don't and believe in God and NEVER will

    A: Simply because...they do NOT have something that would "pre-dispose" such BELIEF.

    March 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  7. Me

    On a side note, it's odd to see people arguing over religion considering all of the other problems in America.

    March 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Frederica

      The deadliest problem in America today is ungodliness.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Mischa

      No, the deadliest problem in the world is how we treat each other so badly in so many different ways. A majority of which are based in religion / superstltion.
      How you view a person tends to determine how you treat them.

      If your view is skewed from reality because of your religion, then how you treat them will not only be skewed, but unrealistic as well.
      To do what is good or best for all is the most selfless thing I can think of – and I don't need the con artist jazz to enjoy helping other people.
      I just like helping people. My lack of religion actually helps me understand how to help people more effectively, and how to relate to the universe more effectively, ethically, and rationally. I can be more moral simply by not supporting your religious madness that whips you into a frenzy and makes you the tool of others.
      Don't be a tool.
      Realize that your religion makes you absolutely vulnerable to being manipulated by unscrupulous people.
      Start from square one and question everything with absolute harsh honesty and you will likely change your tune a bit.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Tamerlame

      It is because religion, like politics, deals in the irrational. It is easy to state an arbitrary position while justifying it subjectively.

      March 18, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  8. False Reality

    "My belief in Jesus Christ is my admission that I am an ungodly sinner. I have found that my every impulse and desire is full of God-ignoring, selfishness. I am a complete failure. My only hope is a God who has mercy. My only hope is a God who could justify the ungodly. I am so so sorry if I or any other Christian has ever come off as thinking we are morally superior, indeed I know I have. We are not. Our claiming to be Christians and putting our faith in Jesus is a declaration that we are not good people. By God's grace I am slowly changing and becoming more humble and sympathetic and kind. I am sorry for all the times I have failed to be. I need rescue. I need a Savior."

    This is one major problem with Religion in general...it makes the claim that it has a cure for something that it has already infected you with. You are not born a "sinner" what does this even mean? That you aren't perfect?

    Well of course you aren't because nothing is. You do not need a "Savior", you can grow and become better of your own accord and you'll be an even better individual for having done so on your own.

    March 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • RealmOfTruth

      @False Reality...FYI, Brent was FAKE. Too bad..your intelligence, wit, logic, rationale, etc. as an Atheist didn't do so much help to spare you from being duped by your fellow Atheist. CRAZY!!!!

      March 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • RealmOfTruth

      Bent*

      March 17, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  9. Me

    So then ... an awareness of God is programmed into the brains of the most intelligent species on Earth. Being in intelligent life form involves an instinctive knowledge of God.

    March 17, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Frederica

      The Creator has input the undeniable recognition of God in every creature. Humans are the most rebellious ones, consciously at that. Other creation world acknowledges God far better in their own ways. (Read Psalms)

      March 18, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • NL

      No, I think the author is trying to say that imagining there is a God is a byproduct of our advanced brains. Kinda like how we can be fooled by optical illusions and such.

      If you would like to learn how this could work, look up "Sleep Paralysis" in wikipedia or elsewhere. Basically, it is a disorder also known as "Night Terrors" where people half-awake from sleep ad become absolutely convinced that there is a malevolent presence in the room, or even on top of them. Others could be awake in the same room, but see nothing. Cultures all over the world have translated this as creatures and demons. The Holy Spirit could just be a translation of something similar.

      March 18, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  10. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    What you are describing is Social Darwinism, a long-discredited misinterpretation of what Darwin was actually saying. The Nazis loved Social Darwinism, for example, because it fit their desires and aims.

    Your professor, if this isn't something you made up, should be fired for being an adherent to such a barbarous and discredited theory. He/she must also be a theology professor in a religious school, because the way he set it up is really a straw man argument. Social Darwinism is not science; it was a pseudo-science that failed scientific scrutiny.

    Why should athiests and agnostics have to respond to such a perverted view of natural selection, and why did he presume atheists would think that way? Indeed, numerous studies prove atheists and agnostics to be less prone to crime and divorce and other social ills, as well as being more compassionate (less supportive of torture, capital punishment and so forth). All evidence is that morality is slightly impeded by religion, not enhanced by it. Considering that, why do religious people presume they are morally superior? Their actions don't prove it.

    You need a new professor.

    March 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Bent

      Al,

      My belief in Jesus Christ is my admission that I am an ungodly sinner. I have found that my every impulse and desire is full of God-ignoring, selfishness. I am a complete failure. My only hope is a God who has mercy. My only hope is a God who could justify the ungodly. I am so so sorry if I or any other Christian has ever come off as thinking we are morally superior, indeed I know I have. We are not. Our claiming to be Christians and putting our faith in Jesus is a declaration that we are not good people. By God's grace I am slowly changing and becoming more humble and sympathetic and kind. I am sorry for all the times I have failed to be. I need rescue. I need a Savior.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Bent0t

      @Ben...I think we've already meet. Ahh, I see..in a fox hole! Yeah!!! I saw you in a FOX HOLE!

      March 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • JB

      Al

      Thank you for responding. I have posted this question on multiple message boards. Most responses I have gotten basically bashed and insulting me for no good reason (avoiding the question). If I have found anything from posting this question, its that it doesn't matter if your religious or anti-religious, people are always defensive about their views (not enough open-mindedness or politeness for that matter).

      One question, why do you think atheists hold those ideal values? Could it be that religion is altering there actions in an inverse way. They try to do good without religion to prove to others that you don't need religion to be a good person. Maybe?

      Also, I go to a secular college, my pysch professor is the type that asks questions like this to rile up class discussion. I don't think he is religious or atheist, I don't think he cares.

      March 17, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

      I never said atheists hold ideal values. They certainly do not hold a unified set of ideals or values. Indeed, I would guess that idealism is the problem: whereas an atheist might be more likely to not hurt others because he/she does not want to be hurt (or live in a world like that), ideologies put a sort of filter between people. For example, Christianity (and other religions) allows someone to commit the worst crimes and then repent and be saved, whereas the atheist is stuck with the responsibility for doing something terrible – being unable to blame the devil or know they can later repent and not have to carry the burden of guilt. Moreover, any nasty behavior that is codified into the religious texts allows some to justify horrible behavior. Defenders of slavery 150 years ago found lots of evidence that the bible condoned the practice.

      This is all speculation, though. I cannot point to studies as to why Atheists/agnostics commit less crime, etc; I can only point to many studies that prove that is the case. I can show you studies that Utah has amongst the highest rates of ra-pe, murder of young females, po-rn consumption, suicide of young males, and Zanax consumption, despite being overwelmingly Mormon. Feel free to google these studies if you like – inevitably some nitwit will demand to see them, but they never actually read them when I do post them (so go find them yourselves, you lazy nitwits!)

      As to your professor, I now understand he is playing devil's advocate to get you to think, but he should be more grounded in his argumentative situations. Linking seculars with Social Darwinism is an unreal situation. He should have at least discussed Social Darwinism and it's sordid history with you to reveal the kind of intellectual traps that humans can fall into.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

      I also don't agree with the concept of "trying to do good without religion to prove to others that you don't need religion to be a good person." I personally never consider religion or atheist or secularism when making a moral choice, and I am certainly not trying to prove I don't need religion to be a good person. My choices of how I behave are pretty much based on who and what I am. I cannot even imagine thinking about proving anything in my choices.

      You seem to be burdened with the idea than atheists are still answering to God or religion, when they are not even in our consciousnesses most of the time. That's a common misconception, by the way, which includes the rather comical belief that atheists are angry at God. Whenever I hear things like that, I realize how difficult it is for religious people to understand atheists. I run into a variant myself: I cannot even remotely imagine how people can actually believe in whatever god they do, despite a total lack of evidence in that belief, and then conform their lives to it.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  11. JB

    One of my professors asked my class this question. Do most atheists and agonist believe that natural selection is currently happening? (I believe it is) If you believe that natural selection is happening as we speak, would it be "progressive" (from a scientific stand point) for our species to reject the poor and weak of our society. Let them starve and die, so we as a species can grow stronger. Do you think this is responsible and correct way for our species to progress? It makes since from a scientific standpoint. If you disagree, why do you think this is wrong? Do you believe in right and wrong? (I know that science has provided us with great advancements in medicine to help the sick and poor, but its still a legit question)

    March 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Luke

      It's an important question indeed. I think you'll find even the most strident of atheists, including Richard Dawkins, would tell you that they would not support a society that runs on natural selection. Mr. Dawkins, in fact, said so himself in an interview last year. Interestingly enough, most atheists vote democrat and support social programs. What does that tell you? That they know and understand the dangers and pains of an eat or be eaten world – in my humble opinion. Always found it ironic that the republicans largely support capitalism, but actively try to promote creationism over evolution in classrooms. Mind boggling to me.

      March 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • NL

      Wouldn't natural selection be more tuned towards finding the healthiest, most handsome, 'richest' gene pool to breed with? Women may choose successful mates, but that may be more for 'nesting' purposes. The genetic drive would seek to breed with the better-looking man, or the smartest, or someone else with another genetic advantage. Thus the old saying that 'she may have married the lawyer, but all the kids all look like the milkman', right?

      March 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Luke

      NL

      Here inlies the interesting rub – have we stopped evolving? Sure, we carry many millions of years of instincts in our genes, but once a species dominates its environment, doesn't it stop changing unless it has to? Should climate change be more fierce than we predict, how shall the vast majority of humans cope?

      March 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • z

      You see its called we already won natural selection with evolving. Your professor never really learned about natural selection I take it.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think now that most populations that breed indiscriminately are devolving. A lot of genetic problems that would be eradicated by simple "survival of the fittest" are being perpetuated. I have a lot of chronic health problems that are passed genetically. That is one of the reasons I chose not to have children.

      I don't believe it's my place to decide who can and who can't have children, but I do wish that those who do want children would consider what benefit they bring to a child, i.e. health concerns, ability to provide for a child, ability to educate that child. I believe it is inexcusable to have a child for no better reason than because you want one.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Magic

      Watch the movie, "Idiocracy" sometime (the intelligent people decide to quit reproducing as much and guess who survives?) - it *could* happen 🙂

      March 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • NL

      Luke-
      Other factors likely have an effect, most notedly compet.ition within the species. Climate change, probably mostly because of migration, inspired humans to make clothes and shelters. Likely we will make better sun blocks, and even better clothes and shelters as well as agricultural methods in response to more dramatic changes, right? Climate may also not be our greatest concern, environment-wise. The ability to filter or tolerate toxins, heavy metals and other chemicals may be a trait which is currently acting as an advantage to some.

      March 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  12. TheRationale

    Well our brains are predisposed to believe what our parents say when we're young. Unconditional acceptance is usually a good thing (don't touch the stove, wash your hands, etc.) But of course when parents say faulty things, their kids have no basis to know whether to disagree with them. They believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny, how are they supposed to know God is the same thing?

    Hence the reason you're most likely to inherent your religion from your parents. It's also why so many people probably believe blatantly false ideas, known affectionately as religion.

    March 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  13. NL

    When the article mentioned "theory of mind" it reminded me of a population which typically has an impaired sense of it: Autistic children. There appears to be a widespread concern amongst parents that not only can't they get their autistic kids to go to church without a fuss (the change in routine, and sensory overload contributing greatly to this), but they just can't get their kids to believe in an all-watchful God. This causes all sorts of worry for parents, who already have far more than their share of things to worry about when it comes to their children's futures, that their children won't become saved and will be excluded from heaven.

    Add that as well to the 'costs' side of Pascal's Wager.

    March 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  14. Greater Reality

    I always love this theres all kinds of religions, and children are brainwashed argument. This biological finding would go long with Joseph Campbells idea called the Masks of Eternity. That even though we may see the eternal with different masks, behind is all the same. Something we've been called to by the psyche. If i take the word love and define it for you, that definition is by no means what love means. If though I take everyone in the worlds definition of love we would come to a greater understanding of what love really is. If this book were written by a theist perhaps, this finding could be taken in a whole other light. "Look" the theist would say "within the very biological essence of human being we strive to find something greater." So please Atheists stop spamming CNN with your bigoted hatred for those that are religious.

    March 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      We don't hate the religious. We hate your silly ideas and what they're doing to our species. Please stop.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • NL

      Remember, many of us were once believers, so we know what it's like, OK?

      Think of it this way; imagine the first time that you opened a book of optical illusions and you came across the scintillating grid illusion for the first time you would swear that there really were black dots at the intersections.

      Think of atheism as seeing the same illustration after you've learned of the trick, or as watching a magic show after you've learned of slight of hand. It's looking at the same thing that everyone else does, but without being affected by the natural tendency to believe in what's not actually there. Get it?

      March 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > So please Atheists stop spamming CNN with your bigoted hatred for those that are religious.

      That's what we call transferrence. I don't hate you. I'm just letting you know how stupid believing in a God solely on faith is.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Mischa

      I hate what you do with your "beliefs" to yourselves, each other, and everyone else.

      I hate that you insist something is true when it has been proven false.

      I hate how some believers assume they know anything about their "god" when their "faith" is defined as knowing nothing and needing no proof whatsoever of anything.

      I hate how so many "believers" state how much they would love to see us burning in hell forever while preaching "love".
      I am sick of these things that cannot be proven -that are taken as "gospel" from second and third-hand accounts thousands of years ago without any proof whatsoever.

      I reject the con-game tactics that are used so blatantly in religions.
      You can even see them in the business world, in politics, and in other places throughout the world.

      Some people are so simple-minded that they will literally believe anything anyone says to them.
      These people should not be put in charge of serious things when they have such a serious disconnect with reality.
      But that is just my educated and biased opinion.
      I can't stand being around some of you, but that doesn't mean I hate you.
      I just want you stopped from making this world into a hellhole for everybody. You say hell is the absence of "god", then this is hell, for none of you can bring your "god" forth. Your evidently non-existent "god", I should say...

      Too many of you are not considering the actual consequences of your actions, preferring to blank that out.
      It's irresponsible as hell and you should all be ashamed of yourselves for doing things so sloppily where your souls are concerned.

      March 18, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  15. Reality

    It is called the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in religion.

    to wit:

    "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam." J. Somerville

    March 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  16. DM

    Can't wait for psychiatrists to start prescribing my children and I medication because we have a biological proclivity to believe in illusions. I hope people do realize that if I were to walk in a room and see a bunch of building blocks arranged in a castle, studying how those blocks stand and are arranged does not in any way describe who or what put those blocks there.

    March 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • False Reality

      "Can't wait for psychiatrists to start prescribing my children and I medication because we have a biological proclivity to believe in illusions. I hope people do realize that if I were to walk in a room and see a bunch of building blocks arranged in a castle, studying how those blocks stand and are arranged does not in any way describe who or what put those blocks there."

      No but seeing how these blocks stand and are arranged gives us a good idea of what they are made of and therefor how they were built. And from there you can made rational conclusions of WHO built them if indeed there is a WHO.

      You see the Blocks is a poor analogy because blocks are man made to begin with. If I was to take a stray dog in a field, it could have arrived through Natural means and it would be the most likely explanation.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Secular Heathen

    I wished humans were predisposed to think, then in silly fairy tales.

    March 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  18. JohnQuest

    No matter what Scientist discover, the "devoutly" religious will believe only what they want to believe. (They will believe the same thing on Wednesday as they did on Monday, no matter what they "learn" on Tuesday, why let little things like facts and knowledge get in the way of beliefs).

    March 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bent

      John,

      I appreciate your concern for learning and knowledge. I'm not sure though what facts you would be referring to that would definitively make belief a silly thing. I would venture to say that ignoring the facts behind the facts or the knowledge behind the knowledge, if you will, could be an even bigger mistake. What gives you the ability to learn and discern facts vs. fiction? Where did oxygen come from and how does your body know how to breathe automatically and process that oxygen? How are we even here reading and writing right now?

      We are dependent people. We didn't decide to exist. We didn't give ourselves the brains to be able to learn. I wonder if while some may be guilty of not knowing all of the scientific theories out there, others are guilty of denying what is obvious at every second of the day at every point of the globe. That there is a God who made all this. That things are far to beautiful and intricate and we are far too dependent to be accidents. Open your eyes and see whats been right in front of you the whole time. May God grant it to be so!

      March 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • ScottK

      I would suggest then that humans are pre-wired to ask the question "Where did we come from?" at the age when our brains are avidly seeking data to soak up, and sadly there are a bunch of dripping older humans who pour on the toilet water that is religion and thus we have 90% of the planet or more who believe in invisible people, superst itions, ghosts, voodoo, faith healing, the rapture and many many more silly and often harmful beliefs. All the child wanted to hear was "From mommy's belly".

      "If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is
      "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to
      tell him is "Probably because of something you did." – Jack Handey

      March 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • False Reality

      "We are dependent people. We didn't decide to exist. We didn't give ourselves the brains to be able to learn. I wonder if while some may be guilty of not knowing all of the scientific theories out there, others are guilty of denying what is obvious at every second of the day at every point of the globe. That there is a God who made all this. That things are far to beautiful and intricate and we are far too dependent to be accidents. Open your eyes and see whats been right in front of you the whole time. May God grant it to be so!"

      You can't just state There is a God who made all this..without proving it. Otherwise you might as well be saying "This world is very intricate a wizard made it" It doesn't hold water. You are trying to assert that because life is complex that there must be a creator-this is similar to the Watchmaker arguement which has been debunked numerous times. Life is complex because it has developed over billions of years little by little, evolving and adapating to its environment. For more information on this check out Talkorigins.net a great place for questions about evolution.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  19. comment

    eeehh... well, imitation might be perceived as a negative thing (eg. regarding adults' social behaviour patterns), but in terms of tabula rasa and children, imitation helps with survival. And (not only) a child ain't (necessarily) capable of comprehending complex issues (eg. simplified: what is there to say against eating as much chocolate as possible at any moment – after all, it tastes nice, right?), so being looked after plays a role, so when it comes to eg. radiation, barely any human is biologically capable of perceiving radiation, but most are not going to claim that they can't see, hear, smell and directly feel radiation and therefore they are not going to evacuate when needed, are they? And someone care-taking of persons in such situation might not be a nuclear scientist, but they 'know'/'imitate' what to do, don't they?

    March 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  20. SeanNJ

    Some of our brains, anyway. The rest of us have evolved beyond the need for such security blankets.

    March 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • CW

      @ SeanNJ,

      Mr. evolved...let me know on Judgement day how not having the security of not going to heaven feels.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @CW: Excellent double negative.

      Anyway, I wouldn't sit by the phone waiting for my call; because, there will be no judgment day and there is no heaven. Unless, by "heaven," you mean a 10oz filet (medium, of course) with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and a big glass of pinot noir...then, count me in.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • CW

      @ SeanNJ,

      Like I said....There will be a judgement day...just b/c you don't believe doesn't mean it won't happen. I say the same that your fellow non-believers and atheists say...prove that there won't be a judgement day. Also one day that place your "all in" on won't be serving steaks....just pain forever.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      CW, one (I hope) believers will stop using that fallacy, by that logic you have to believe in Santa, Tooth Fairy, and every God that anyone has every believed in. You can't prove a negative, can you prove that Zeus did not exist? But you probably do not believe in Zeus or Santa, do you?

      March 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @CW: And just because you believe it doesn't mean it will. I like my odds much better than yours.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Tommas

      CW, if there is a judgment day (of curse there won't because that is just silly) everyone will be going to someone else's he ll, including you.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Luke

      Considering that you perpetually misspell judgment, I doubt you have any idea what you are talking about.

      March 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Kyle Reese

      All you non-believers will be sorry the day Judgment Day does come, and billions die when Skynet finally becomes self aware and starts the prophesied nuclear strike on America, Russia, and the rest of the world. You had better pray that Sarah Connor protects her son John from the terminators as he is our savior, and mankind's only hope! 😉 (NL)

      March 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • John Connor

      I sent you to your doom, Kyle Reese, to save the rest of us from Armageddon.

      Okay, it's really because you didn't give me a pony when I was six.

      March 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • T-1000

      Too late, you are all doomed. All your base are belong to us!! I have already decimated Caleefornee's budget, now I am coming for you and yours...!! I'll be back!..after I've been there once before for the first time...

      March 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Q

      LOL! And people wonder why non-believers visit these threads...

      March 18, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Kyle Reese

      John Connor-
      But John... I'm your father! Remember? (cue heavy breathing)

      March 18, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • Don

      CW, it's time for you to stop trolling.

      March 18, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • John Connor

      I know you are my father, Kyle, and what a lousy father you were. You never gave me a pony or a trust fund. All I got was this lousy post-apocalypse. The only joy I get from our relationship is that I get to send you to your doom, which causes you to knock up mom and have me, and I grow up (without a pony and a trust fund) to send you to your doom again and again.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      CW.. you are actually correct.. there is a hell, and we are in it right now..us atheists have been condemned to live with the Christians who didn't make it either. Not as hot as you figured i imagine

      March 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.