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Humans Are Religious By Nature, Says Study

We humans have a “predisposition” to believe in some kind of divine being and in the afterlife; to be religious. Such beliefs are, indeed, part of what makes us human and are innate rather than learned, says an international project, The Cognition, Religion and Theology Project, based at Oxford University academics.

For over three years, 57 researchers conducted over 40 separate studies (both empirical and analytical/interpretative) in 20 countries representing a diverse range of cultures, says Science Daily. Humans, they found, are predisposed to believe in both gods and an afterlife, and “both theology and atheism are reasoned responses to what is a basic impulse of the human mind.”

The point of the project was not to prove that “some divine power” exists, but to get a better sense about “whether concepts such as gods and an afterlife appear to be entirely taught or basic expressions of human nature” — whether such concepts are the result of nurture or are innate. Science Daily describes two other findings by the Cognition, Religion and Theology Project concerning whether young children believe in some sort of “superhuman properties,” and whether such beliefs extend across cultures:


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