Study Shows Belief in God is Part of Human Nature
A three-year study led by Oxford University concluded that humans are predisposed to belief in God – in some form or fashion.
The study, known as the "Cognition, Religion and Theology Project" involved 57 academics in 20 countries in an attempt to determine whether our belief in divine beings and an afterlife were learned or part of human nature.
"This project suggests that religion is not just something for a peculiar few to do on Sundays instead of playing golf," said Professor Roger Trigg, from Oxford University and the project's co-director, according to U.K.-based The Telegraph. "We have gathered a body of evidence that suggests that religion is a common fact of human nature across different societies.
"Attempts to suppress religion are likely to be short-lived as human thought seems to be rooted to religious concepts, such as the existence of supernatural agents or gods, and the possibility of an afterlife or pre-life," he said.
ABC Channel 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah interviewed Monsignor Robert Servatius of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Sandy about the study.
"I think our human happiness depends on the faith we have of a God beyond us," said Monsignor Servatius. Then he pointed to something St. Augustine said: "God, you have made us for yourself. And our hearts are restless until they rest in you."
"That statement says it all, really," Monsignor Servatius added. "That there is something in human nature that looks beyond ourselves and the created world and says there's got to be something more out there that is superior to me."
The Oxford study also concluded that those who hold religious beliefs may be more likely to co-operate as part of societies and that people living in cities in highly developed countries were less likely to hold religious beliefs than those who live a more rural way of life.
Trigg noted that the study strongly implies religion will not wither away.
"The secularization thesis of the 1960s – I think that was hopeless," Trigg said.