Is God In Our Genes?

Let’s start with your own experience. Do you remember the first time you became beware of your self, the environment you discovered and the people who looked after you? How old were you?

My memory goes back to when I was three years old. Of course, I was aware before that but my memory had developed at a slower rate; awareness seems to evolve earlier than memory. Some senses, such as hearing, developed in the womb, but visual input occurs only after birth. Experiments in neuroscience have discovered that very young children cannot discriminate between animate or inanimate objects such as toys. They do form an awareness about their caregivers, such as a parent, and form an impression of an almighty, infallible authority, which cannot be questioned, demands to be obeyed and on which they are totally dependant. Thus the idea of a “god” is a natural development of growing up in the early stages.

When one becomes aware that these “gods” are actually grown up versions of themselves, the natural state is the rejection of the god idea when maturing unless it is transferred by indoctrination to an imaginary authority by the caregivers, in order to be able to control behavior. Santa is a pure example of that attempt to control; Santa loves you and brings you presents (sustenance in the old days) and will punish you if you don’t behave. You might hang on to your belief in Santa longer if you weren’t told eventually that he is a myth, although the original St. Nicholas was an actual existing person. Other cultures have similar legends (Odin, Befana) that were used for control.

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Are you surprised? One can easily see that the God myth is very similar, and would fade out when one matures, just like Santa’s legend, but because of indoctrination by parents and/or religious leaders, is persistent. Since it is a surefire method to control behavior, the belief in a god is encouraged by religious leaders and many politicians. During elections many candidates assure their listeners that god has told them they are god’s choice.

Why would we bother pointing out to people that continuing to believe in a myth and needing it to control their behavior because they do not think that they can take responsibility for their own behavior, is a copout? The problem arises when unelected religious leaders convince the politicians and the masses that we all must conform to their way of thinking and cause laws to pass that attempt to control everyone. We have a job to do to fight for freedom from religion. We must convince people to take full responsibility for their own actions and reduce the strife, disharmony and hatred we see around us.  We must not ignore it but convince our fellow man to reject the childish belief in a god, just as they did with Santa.

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