why do we have to believe in god
Religion is a cultural universal. Humans in every known society practice some type of religion. So itБs tempting to believe that
is part of evolved human, that humans are evolutionarily designed to be religious. Well, the answer is yes and no. In my last post, I discussed how Haselton and NettleБs Error Theory explains intersexual, why men always overinfer womenБs sexual interest in them. One of the great features of Error Management Theory is that it can explain a wide variety of phenomena. It is a truly general theory. Imagine you are our ancestor living on the African savanna 100,000 years ago, and you encounter some ambiguous situation. For example, you heard some rustling noises nearby at night. Or you were walking in the forest, and a large fruit falling from a tree branch hits you on the head. WhatБs going on? In an ambiguous situation like this, you can either attribute the phenomenon to impersonal, inanimate, and unintentional forces (for example, wind blowing gently to make the rustling noises among the bushes and leaves, or a mature fruit falling by the force of gravity and hitting you on the head purely by accident) or to personal, animate, and intentional forces (for example, a predator hiding in the dark and getting ready to attack you, or an enemy hiding in the tree branches and throwing fruits at your head). The question is, which is it? Once again, Error Management Theory suggests that, in your inference, you can make a БType IБ error of false positive or БType IIБ error of false negative, and these two types of error carry vastly different consequences and costs. The cost of a false-positive error is that you become paranoid. You are always looking around and behind your back for predators and enemies that donБt exist. The cost of a false-negative error is that you are dead, being killed by a predator or an enemy when you least expect them. Obviously, itБs better to be paranoid than dead, so evolution should have designed a mind that overinfers personal, animate, and intentional forces even when none exist.
Different theorists call this innate human tendency to commit false-positive errors rather than false-negative errors (and as a consequence be a bit paranoid) Бanimistic Б or Бthe agency-detector mechanism. Б These theorists argue that the evolutionary origins of religious beliefs in forces may have come from such an innate bias to commit false-positive errors rather than false-negative errors, and thus overinfer personal, intentional, and animate forces behind otherwise perfectly natural phenomena. You see a bush on fire. It could have been caused by an impersonal, inanimate, and unintentional force (lightning striking the bush and setting it on fire), or it could have been caused by a personal, animate, and intentional force (God trying to communicate with you). The Бanimistic biasБ or Бagency-detector mechanismБ predisposes you to opt for the latter explanation rather than the former. It predisposes you to see the hands of God at work behind natural, physical phenomena whose exact causes are unknown. In this view, religiosity (the human capacity for belief in supernatural beings) is not an evolved tendency per se; after all, religion in itself is not adaptive. It is instead a byproduct of animistic bias or the agency-detector mechanism, the tendency to be paranoid, which is adaptive because it can save your life. Humans did not evolve to be religious; they evolved to be paranoid. And humans are religious because they are paranoid. Some readers may recognize this argument as a variant of БPascalБs wager. Б The seventeenth-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) argued that given that one cannot know for sure if God exists, it is nonetheless rational to believe in God. If one does not believe in God when He indeed exists (false-negative error), one must spend eternity in hell and damnation, whereas if one believes in God when he actually does not exist (false-positive error), one only wastes a minimal amount of time and effort spent on religious services.
The cost of committing the false-negative error is much greater than the cost of committing the false-positive error. Hence one should rationally believe in God. However, Pascal cannot explain why men always come on to women, whereas Haselton and Nettle can. The intriguing suggestion here is that we may believe in God and the supernatural forces for the same reasons that men overinfer womenБs sexual interest in them and make unwelcome passes at them all the time. Both religious beliefs and sexual miscommunication between the sexes may be consequences of the human designed for efficient error management, to minimize the total costs (rather than the total numbers) of errors. We may believe in God for the same reason that women have to keep slapping Beavis and Butt-head to set them straight. This is THE really BIG life choice question! This most important choice is one of such extreme and eternal consequence that it needs attention in a rather quick and fast degree! Each of us has no guarantee of taking breath even tomorrow! Our time is limited and only God knows what is on our calendar! Believing in God, through His Son, Jesus Christ and asking Him to forgive you of all your sins and then be cleansed of all unrighteousness is in need of your immediate attention! (1 John 1:9) You ask 'Why"? Well, I ask you to think on this. Do you want to be in Heaven after you die? Or, is it just ok to think or make your decision otherwise and REJECT His calling to become a "saved by the Grace of God", by the eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His one and only begotten Son, whom He sent to die for YOUR sins --and-- mine? (Ephesians 2:8) Jesus paid the ULTIMATE price for His SACRIFICE! He gave His very life at that cross to take away, to remove my sins and your sins "as far as the east is from the west"! (Psalms 103:12) His eternal gift at Calvary was and is The Single Greatest act of love and The Single Greatest gift to all of mankind--His Children!
And, HIS guarantee! (2 Corinthians 1:22) (2 Corinthians 5:5) (Ephesians 1:13-14) I ask you to find a place to pray in private. Get on your knees and bow your head and just start talking to God. Ask Him what are His plans for you and your life. , but, first ask him to speak to you inside your heart and mind. He is willing and able, but we each have to respond to His calling. I think he has patiently been calling you and 'nudging' you; I. e. , your very question you've asked here on ebible. com. Give him time to speak to your very thoughts, mind and heart. Patiently "be still and know that He is GOD"! And, that HE hears your request and that HE (God) loves you more than you will ever know. (Psalms 46:10) A children's Sunday school song came into my mind at this very moment! It goes like this: "God loves the little children; all the children of the world! Red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight! God loves the little children of the world.! " (We are ALL GOD'S PRECIOUS CHILDREN. And, So very much are YOU as well! ) Ask HIM to save you! "And, all will be well with your soul". Calling out the name of Jesus Christ and asking Him to save you and that you believe in Him and trust in Him and want Him to forgive you of all your many sins is THE single most important request you will ever make in your entire lifetime. Your very salvation is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT event; and, 'Pivotal' moment of your life and any and every child of God's life! (Romans 10:13) I remember vividly and very strongly that pivotal moment which happened for me on a Friday night back in 1979. May you have your "pivotal, eternity changing moment soon. very soon". As I like to close with my saying: "Praise God that He provided a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ! " ~~~Andy~~~
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