Reading this, as awful a read as it is, I was reminded of discussions here about how religion is socialized acquired behaviour, and we are all born atheists. I would LOVE to believe that. But I dont. Life experience suggests to me that some people are born predisposed to religion, sadly. A neurological disorder, in effect. Like this author here. "I always had a sense of God." There's the key line. Born in an atheist family as well.
I find it depressing that it is likely that some people will always be born needing religion. Their brains need it, apparently.
I know Adrian Chiles from him being a TV presenter in the UK. This guy had a top job presenting The One Show on BBC every evening at 7...he was a household name and one of the top earners. He decided it wasn’t enough money and left to go to ITV and a new startup early morning programme Daybreak, persuading his co-presenter on the One Show, Christine Bleakley, to join him. The new programme spectacularly bombed and was axed in a short space of time. His decision nearly killed off both of their careers. He fell back on his experience as a Sports commentator, but she really struggled until she married Frank Lampard the Chelsea & England footballer. I think his judgment and decision making are questionable, this may just be another bad idea of his....but at least it appears he hasn’t persuaded anyone else to go along with it this time. Best of luck stepping out of enlightenment and into superstition and darkness Adrian, I hope it works out well!
There is nothing in that story that demonstrates that he was "predisposed to god". The whole story is incredibly lacking in any kind of detail as to the "appalled" family and how this "shock" manifested. So the title was designed to get people to read it, not to speak on the subject implied. More like catholic propaganda than anything else.
Interesting read. Thanks for sharing. Religion is like a security blanket for some people. I went to a Catholic school. It did not provide me with anything I needed and I was not drawn to anything about it. As an organization, the Catholic church has committed too many sins to be forgiven such as protecting priests doing evil acts or supporting imperial/colonial practices for a long time in many countries not to mention the sexist practices. I cannot see how that can be forgotten or ignored by anyone living in the modern world.
We are (neurologically) predisposed to socialization, and the church is one of the oldest institutions. As long as you conform, you'll be welcomed and part of the family. As for "having a sense of god"- I suspect the author had a sense of being smaller than the world around him and needed something to offset that; some "higher power" that cared personally about him.
It takes a strong mind to go eyeball to eyeball with the Universe and not blink.
Perhaps not so much a neurological disorder or a predisposition to religion but having been trained to seek help from a higher authority by your parents. As a child one asks for help from parents when we are being hurt or things don't seem fair so we fall back on this same pattern, but who is a higher authority when you're an adult? Hence the tendency to invent a mythical higher being who can make things fair. That's one of the reasons that most adult conversions to religion are by people who feel desperate for help.
I remember when David Ike joined a nutty new age group and published a lot of weird and wonderful theories it was explained by one "expert" as the pressures of being a TV presenter and being in the public eye had affected his mental state. Could be a similar condition with this guy.
Oh we most definitely are born with human brains, which are highly prone to confirmation bias and agency inference, which find their most popularly codified expression in religion.
So while it's true that no one is born believing in a particular deity or dogma -- that requires indoctrination -- it is true that we are disposed to see connections that don't exist and beings that don't exist and to pay more attention to negatives than to positives and to evidence that tends to confirm our presuppositions rather than evidence that disconfirms them. We also tend to want to believe what pleases and comforts us and helps us "fit in" and "belong" in social groups.
While specific beliefs, including religious beliefs, are a function of social / operant conditioning, the basis which makes those beliefs seem plausible to the uneducated, undisciplined mind, is inherent in us all. Some more than others of course.
Seems to me those you say were born to believe in god are just replacing a natural curiosity with what they believe to satisfy that curiosity. They want an easy answer to not having to think for themselves. Better to say they were born intellectually lazy.
"Bobby" was the third son of the family across the street. They were observant Jews and many of their relatives had been murdered in the Holocaust. Bobby was both Bar Mitzvah'd and Confirmed before going off to college. After several years in college, Bobby met a Catholic gal. After a year, they got married. They decided to hold two ceremonies, one in the Catholic Church, and later, a Jewish ceremony at the reception (in the basement). When I saw him kneeling with his Fiancee in front of the priest, I felt that he had betrayed his family. But then, I did my best to convey my lack of beliefs to Bobby. Life is complex. But Catholicism is utter bullshit.
There's no doubt about it, to my mind. Belief in an alpha male is in our DNA. The important point here is that we evolved from pack--hunting carnivores. The alpha male ate first and lived the longest. Notice that people from the time of the onset of agriculture adored a paternal deity. It's always God the Father.
Agriculture brought on private property, rigid hierarchy, and a Mafia Don mentality. Before agriculture millions of years of a hunter/gatherer life style brought with it a female fertility deity.
I'm happy that he's found a sense of identity and a community that embraces him. Doesn't mean that God exists or that the church didn't cover up rampant child abuse, but what makes one man happy is fine by me. And hopefully with an atheist family and memory of being on the outside he'll be resist the urge to consider non catholics to be his enemy.
One of my favorite authors was Graham Greene. He came from an agnostic family but converted to Catholicism at Cambridge in the 1930s, It seems odd when many of his contemporaries were becoming communists. It kind of gave him a questioning attitude. Books like "The power and the Glory" "Heart of the Matter" and "Monsieur Quixote" Did not find much favor with the Vatican.