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mazingerz88's avatar

Is the existence of a God merely one of many ideas humans are bound to have-?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18343 points ) 2 weeks ago

If you accept evolution as the reason behind man’s existence, do you think belief in a god is merely a natural and an inevitable result of either the human brain’s evolutionary progression or maybe even regression-?

Or could there be something else going on-? Like nature for example, in its natural course of creation and destruction, induces man to think there is a god.

How did humans get into thinking they were created by a God-?

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24 Answers

ucme's avatar

The only thing I can come up with is some form of mass hypnotism, the power of suggestion.

dabbler's avatar

The human mind likes – nay, needs – an explanation for everything.
Because the human mind doesn’t and can’t understand everything, it will make things up to explain important things.
Whether or not “God” exists, our ‘understanding’ of God, pretty much by definition, is incomplete and our minds make the best of it.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

They may have got into thinking they were created by God because He told them so. Back in the Olden days, apparently God was on speaking terms with humans. She still is, of course, but you have to be able to listen. And it is quite possible that all people still hear God, but have gotten quite adept at silencing His voice.

Of course if there is a God, then He made all things able to evolve.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I think it happened something like this.

zenvelo's avatar

Evolution and the existence of the Divine are not mutually exclusive concepts, in fact evolution is used by some mainstream faiths as a demonstration of the power of the Cosmos.

Man seeks understanding and explanation, and, applying Occam’s Razor, the existence of a higher power who created the natural world with the laws of thermodynamics and the process of evolution and general theories of relativity all make sense.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Belief in God or a god is no natural or evidential occurrence. In the natural state, man wants to be his own god, he doesn’t want to believe there is anything better, mightier, or smarter than him; hence the aversion so many have that they are not totally in control but some other entity. To fathom there can be anything greater than man out there, anywhere, is enough to give many the heebie jeebies.

How did humans get to thinking there is a God? He told the prophets, and the prophets told the people; that is when He did not reveal Himself as the Angel of The Lord.

flip86's avatar

Hasn’t this subject been bled to death here on Fluther? What more could possibly be said that already hasn’t?

kevbo's avatar

God (however you may name it) is all there is. We and our experiences of life are like light bent and separated through a kaleidoscope. The illusion is that we are distinct and separate, that life is temporal and that one event causes another. These are all concepts of the mind as is the idea that we are separate or distinct from God or that God is even something that can be named or quantified as a concept. Like the example of the light, God comes before the separation, but it also comes after in the guise of the forms resulting from the separation.

Our belief in our distinct identity, and the tyranny of the mind in asserting it’s primacy in our experience creates the illusion of separation from God or the negation of the idea (indeed, who among us has no experience of God or no God—to whom does this question simply not occur?) One might say the spiritual journey, itself an imagination of separation (a la the poet Rumi’s “Knocking on the door, it opens. I have been knocking from inside.”) is a journey from the head to the heart. We focus on the world and everything in it for the sake of experience—an illusion that we are something distinct experiencing something else that is distinct. When we tire of experience the opportunity to look inward presents itself and when that begins it becomes possible to experience directly one’s connection to or origin as God.

But even without all that, the mind wants to imagine everything. So yes.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Yes.

The ultimate conclusion that humans of all intelligence levels and various ages make regarding a “god” is simply the never ending progression of humankind’s knowledge.

Much of this comes to us through science, however now and then men and women sense the fact that we are on our way to eventually knowing all there is to know, finally making mankind the god our collective conscience always suspected we were.

Man is not god yet but given enough time we will be.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think I ever would have come up with God on my own. I remember first hearing about Him and the powers He was supposed to have when I was a teenager. The word God had been mentioned, but it didn’t really mean anything to me, it was just sayings.

I have heard that “they” whoever they are, believe most people have an inclination to come up with God since we see it in so many societies historically.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think the belief in God or gods among men through ages is the natural outgrowth of the inherent need in our species for explanations. The moment language was acquired and people gathered into groups, folks required explanations for things they didn’t understand. The quickest way to status and power would be to come up with explanations. The guy who steps up and says “God did it, and I’m here to tell you why” gets listened to. It then is a simple matter to proceed to “He would like it very much if you’re particularly nice to me, and will punish you severely should you refuse to follow my directions”. And the formula has been with us, basically unchanged for at least 50,000 years.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I think most of these answers are merely parroting what these jellies have been told to think. It is a shame there aren’t more deep thinkers who actually think for themselves on questions of this nature.

Even the OP is obviously prejudiced against belief in the Creator.

mazingerz88's avatar

Bah blah blah blah @Dan_Lyons….deep deep answer you posted there…

Mimishu1995's avatar

You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.—Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)

Sorry I didn’t answer your question. It’s Aldous Huxley who did :)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It’s all part of God’s evil plan.

Mr Aldous Huxley should be reminded that none of those animals have control over The Word either. They do not understand that in the beginning was The Word, and The Word was God, and The Word became flesh.

That’s why asses can’t bray liturgy. They have no words to bray one with. Dog urine is not a sentence. Feline eating habits don’t express meaning. I’m ashamed that Aldous, a word smith would make such comparisons, then claim those who don’t behave with “gratuitous folly”.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I didn’t mean to step on your toes there @mazingerz88

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

More about The Word.

Today, on NPR, scientist spoke of how right handedness became most common. It occurred about the same time period as humans developed language skills with abstract thinking. The brain actually changed dynamics, with motor skills being moved from the right brain to the left brain hemisphere. This allowed greater complexity in the mouth, lips, tongue systems, and caused right handedness to become dominant.

It was hypothesized that 10% of left handedness remains as an evolutionary failsafe mechanism. If the environment suddenly changed, evolution would be better served with more options to cope with. That’s why we’re not all right handed. I personally hypothesize that psychopathy may be around for the same reasons. Were conditions present that normal people could not survive, those who are sneaky and deceitful may have an evolutionary advantage to save the species.

mazingerz88's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Wow that’s interesting. In light of the common notion that each human being is unique, there seems to be a human evolutionary process which renders us as one “intelligent blob” with the main purpose of survival by all means.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It is very interesting, especially the mechanisms to prevent an entire species from unifying with right handedness.

Alas, we are all unique. The courts will prove that after identifying the DNA from my last crime spree. And my reasons for committing the crimes will undoubtedly be unique to my desires alone. Far away from your crime sprees @mazingerz88.

mazingerz88's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies My crime sprees are mostly nocturnal and entails a lot of liquid food consumption. heh heh : )

Haleth's avatar

In a sense you could say that belief in a god comes from evolution, because humans are naturally inquisitive. Over countless generations of trial-and-error, our brains became hardwired to solve problems and learn about the world around us. That quality helped our species survive and proliferate.

Our curiosity has gone from being an evolutionary advantage to something much more. We’ve started asking questions about the world that go beyond our basic survival and get to the heart of things, like “why are we here?” and “where does the universe come from?”

A couple thousand years ago, belief in a god was the best answer we could come up with given the information that was available. If you don’t understand the natural processes in your world, it feels right to believe that they are meant to be a mystery, and beyond your understanding. A belief like that offers meaning in a seemingly random and chaotic world.

Belief in an all-knowing god is a comforting thought that explains why things are the way they are, in the face of the seemingly unexplainable. That may be why deities are a reflection of the culture they come from. The ancient Hebrews were a patriarchal society with a nomadic life based on herding livestock. Therefore the god of the Old Testament is a father figure and a shepherd. (“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”)

If you live somewhere with a lot of competing cultural beliefs, and competition for resources, it makes sense to have an all-knowing god who stands for your beliefs, because it means the right on your side. Belief in your own rightness helps the people band together, and it helps your survival.

However, I don’t think the ancient people were thinking of it that way. An all-knowing god was the most logical answer back then, given the evidence at hand.

We know a lot more about the world now. I think we might be close to a big step forward for humanity. Probably not in my lifetime, but maybe in the next generation’s lifetime, we’ll start exploring space in earnest. That’s the next important step in our evolution, because the Earth is fragile and won’t last forever.

If we want to truly understand the universe, then we can’t rest on our laurels and be satisfied with answers from thousands of years ago. We need to put all our beliefs to the test of logical scrutiny. Otherwise we will miss out on evidence, and the truth, in favor of clinging to comforting beliefs.

Right now, science is the best means we have for gathering and understanding evidence- so it’s our best way forward to the truth. I actually don’t have any preconceived notion as to what the truth is. We’re discovering mind-boggling new shit about the world all the time. If it turns out that the most logical, fact-based explanation is that there is a god, then I will believe in one.

Comforting beliefs got us this far. We’re basically super-intelligent apes. Maybe it’s time to let them go, and be something more?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

“We are god for only we can create the idea of his existence in our holy brains.”

-Domingo by Yello

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