"The bias to read purpose and design when it does not exist is most obvious in children. If you ask a child what lakes are for, she might say for fish to swim in. What are birds for? To sing.
"Children have been described as “intuitive theists.” Children show what is called promiscuous teleology, a basic preference to understand the world in terms of purpose. This contributes to what we now know about children’s
belief. Children will spontaneously adopt the concept of God and a created world with no adult intervention. At heart we are all born creationists. Disbelief requires effort.
"Our bias to overread purpose and our baseline inability to comprehend the blind, purposeless mechanics of life’s
evolution can make religious belief the path of least resistance. We have an innate need for order in our lives,
and religion fills it."
From: J. Anderson Thomson, Clare Aukofer : "Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith"
We like to ask questions. Children love asking questions. Where do babies come from? Why is Granny dead? We feed them pap because we fear they cannot handle the truth. But what are the questions for? Not just for the sake of conversation, I'm sure. They really want to know. I wonder why. I feel it is part of our evolution, asking questions to understand things better so as to be safer in our environment. Or to do better in our environment, maybe.
total b.s. "Children will spontaneously adopt the concept of God and a created world with no adult intervention." Just how will they get that "concept of God?" Why won't they believe that their dog created the universe? That's the problem with people just adopting a premise without any basis. Start with a faulty premise and everything that follows makes perfect sense Try this: People have an innate need for freedom from pain. At heart we are all drug addicts that seek relief from pain. Religion is the opiate of the masses so we need religion. If you buy any of that I have some lake bottom property to sell you.
Children and Adults both gain belief from those around them. Children are less critical of belief and more open to new ideas, which can be positive or negative depending on the environment they live within.
Our brains are wired to believe those around us, it just makes sense from a survival standpoint.
In order to be an atheist you are either taught it or you step out of the primitive system of belief you have experienced as a child.
If my friend says lions are dangerous, it is very costly to me personally to discard that idea and test it myself.
Recognizing how we think (metacognition) is critical to being able to sort rational ideas from the bullshit.
The article is mistaken. Children in non religious cultures don't spontaneously developed a belief in God. As far as the question posed about the lake, the problem lies in the leading nature of the question, not in the response of the child who naturally follows the lead of the adult questioner. The example illustrates the opposite of what is claimed. It is the adult who believes in a purpose that guides to child into thinking that there is indeed such a purpose.
Interesting perspective. No matter what our emotional needs are, that does not explain away our questions about existence in a strange and eerie reality. Despite what many people say, there is some evidence for a higher intelligence—that which I call universal awareness. My emotional needs are interesting, but the fact that I have such needs does not address that evidence or refute the concept in any way. Psychoanalyzing your opponent is not a very good way to persuade people.
We have an innate need to comprehend, but recognize that there are many, many things that we do not comprehend. That which we do not comprehend we cannot build into our cognitive structures which comprise our understanding of the world -- ergo, the basis for responding effectively to that world.
That is the appeal of religion: It claims to include and explain everything via the myth of an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent deity or group of deities. That gives the false sense of power and understanding by attaching ourselves to those non-existent deities and by joining with the body of true believers to advance the purposes of the deity. Anyone who has not read Erich Fromm's ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM should read it.