Is there a “religious” impulse?
|July 16, 2008||Posted by O'Leary under Intelligent Design, Religion|
To look at this account of the religious fervour surrounding Barack Obama by Michael Medved, one would think so. Consider
Author Garen Thomas makes similar observations in “Yes We Can: A Biography of Barack Obama”, a newly published book for children. “There has emerged a new leader who seems to be granting Americans a renewed license to dream. Barack Obama has proven repeatedly that he can touch people from all genders,” (not just both of them, you’ll note, but all of ‘em), “political affiliations, and across racial divides. There are few times in your life when you have a real opportunity to alter the course of history and put civilization back on a course toward prosperity and unity for all races and genders.” All of them—again. “If you were to look at dates in your history books, you might see centuries pass before something remarkable and worth noting occurred, when one person or a group of people stood up for change, making an enlightened leap in the evolution of the human story.”
It goes on. Take your anti-nausea prescription before you follow it up.
Now, some, including Logan Gage at the Discovery Institute, think that innate religiosity proves that religion is an innate human impulse. I have never agreed with that, and in The Spiritual Brain neuroscientist Mario Beauregard and I made clear that there is no innate religious impulse. Here’s the skinny:
If you have a human mind, you naturally wonder about stuff like
– Are there laws that govern the universe? Can I influence them in any way?
– Could beings greater than myself be in charge of what happens? Can I contact them?
– I know I will die, but what will happen then? What happened to my parents and grandparents?
– Does it matter how I live? Can I change anything by thinking or praying about it?
– Why do bad things happen to good people?
And so forth.
I am not convinced that we need anything more than a human mind to ask these questions because the mind will generate them when in contact with reality, for the same reasons as mathematics works.
If I am wrong, I would like to hear a reasonable explanation why that is so.
Also, at the Post-Darwinist:<<
Saint Darwin: Science mags still pipe the hype, and no, you are NOT just imagining that uproar behind the curtains …
Burying Darwin while he is still hot? The Altenberg 16 (I keep updating this … )
Intellectual freedom in Canada: The first order of business is comedy!
Trees: When the truth is dug up, dogmatic science theories are sometimes uprooted too
*I am a Canadian. I do not vote in the United States. But the whole Obama thing reminds me so much of late 1960s Trudeau-mania in Canada … Trudeau was a smart guy and a hero to some.
But on his account, many of us are now in the fight of our lives against his Nanny Monster. We will win. He will lose. She will die. But it will be messy. Hey, watch the National Hockey League. Get the idea.