7/6 - enthalpy - When humans are unknowing and confused they make theories in order to solve things. In years to come these theories are usually proven false and it takes generations to believe the proof. One such example is the sun revolving around the earth. We now know that this theory is false, the earth revolves around the sun. I feel that religion is the same. Humans were confused about how we came about, and needed something to lean on to erase that unknowing. They came up with the idea that we were placed here by something greater than life itself. Science has proven evolution in so many different ways. It will take many generations before the world sees this.
There is also the theory that the world was flat that has been disproven. There are so many other reasons why people need religion, not only the beginning our existance. Here are just a few of them: a moral reminder, the idea that we are not alone to struggle through life, the idea that there is some higher purpose to our existance, and that there is life after death for ourselves and our loved ones. To provide substitutes, there are evolutionary morals and the meaning of life defined by contentment and love. But, with evolution, this also means that we just don't exist after we die. As much as I like evolution, it is another one of those theories that is compelling yet hard to prove or disprove. Religion is more than a handful of ideas, just as the need for it is equally complicated. The need is strong, and hard to dismantle.
polly - i think that it must stem from some innate need for a parental figure. the need to feel controlled, or rather have a dominant figure in one's life. When we grow up, there is a need for structure, which is usually provided by the parents, and in most cases, it is the father who enforces things, while the mother is more nurturing. when we are grown, we lack that in our lives, for the most part. so perhaps god is that nurturing and guiding power that people lack otherwise. it's something that they can look up to, once they have lost their innocent idea that their parents are the strongest, truest and most perfect people in the world. god is omniscient, according to many that believe in a god. that is something that the human spirit admires, i believe. and god, b/c of it's ability to nurture and to provide structure- should not be classified as a he or a she, as so many argue over just what god is.
That is a great theory. I love theories like this one. It is supported, logical, consice, and contributes to the whole of the main theory. I think this is yet another piece of the psychology behind why we need god. Thank you polly!
6/5 - Regardless whether there is a God or not, people have a burning desire to seach for one. Why is that? Maybe God has instilled something in us or pushes us towards Him every once in a while. But, on a more practical stand, people need to have security in the unknown. They need somewhere to run to with their fears, ignorance, and their problems. Some examples of our ignorances are the concepts of infinity and nothingness. Nonexistance outside the realm of life is a scary thought, for ourselves and our loved ones. Life is uncertain and people need something they can count on. So, if there is a God then he fills these voids. And if there isn't, the belief that he does exist serves the same purpose. I think most of what people call encounters of God can be explained psychologically. And I also think that religion is brainwashing, however willfull or not. Think about it. It's the same techniques used in brainwashing. Not that I'm downing religion or Christianty, nor am I saying that there isn't any. I'm just stating some ideas.