Why does man have religions?

Category: General

Human beings, alone of all living creatures on this planet, have an inherent religious instinct; to date anthropologists have not discovered a race lacking this instinct and consequently without any form of religious expression. It was once thought that a certain very primitive tribe in New Guinea lacked the instinct, but more careful research revealed that it had a form of religious expression which it kept secret from outsiders. Some people have claimed that they do not believe in and do not possess this instinct, but deep hypnosis has revealed that such claims are not valid. Fervent atheists have been found to have a very pronounced religious instinct which they have sought to suppress but which has found outlet in some other form. Sufficient research has now been carried out in the United States, France and Germany, to establish that such an instinct does exist in human beings, although it need not necessarily manifest in some form of overtly religious expression. However, where it is repressed then in many if not most instances it reacts detrimentally on the individual. We know that throughout Nature there is no known instinct which does not have some related end or purpose and so it would be illogical to assume that the religious instinct in man were the exception. Because it is found only in the creatures at the highest earthly level of evolution (although it is still rudimentary in most people), it is reasonable to assume that it is something relating to human development. This is substantiated when we note that this instinct finds expression in, and responds to, feelings and emotions not discernible in the animal kingdom, i.e. appreciation of beauty, music, sentimentality, love, an awareness of goodness, justice, mercy and so on. In fact many things in the human make up would be liabilities rather than assets were the upward evolutionary drive sustained purely by the survival of the fittest. There is something in the human individual which can have its origin and stimulus only outside the area of physical evolutionary development.


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