Wednesday, February 07, 2007
[Karl Marx, 19th century German economist]
It’s interesting to note that even the greatest skeptics seem to agree that religion does have the capacity to make people happy. Karl Marx famously commented that “Religion is the opium of the people.” One of my fellow bloggers heads his blog with the title “Ignorance is Bliss”, meaning that ignorance of the alleged scientific proof against religion is blissful. Scientific studies tend to support this conclusion.
In addition to this, anthropologists tell us that religion is universal in human societies. Other than eating and sex, religion seems to be one of the most persistent of human needs. The question is, why? After all, animals, from goldfish to mice, cows, dolphins and gorillas seem to manage very well without it.
Harvard psychology professor Dr. Steven Pinker has taken a stab at answering this from an atheistic point of view, however he admits that the answer is “a genuine scientific puzzle”.
In my humble opinion, there is only one reasonable answer. God created us for the purpose of recognizing Him and therefore He created within us a natural desire for religion. See for example the Ramban’s commentary to Exodus 13:16 toward the end of his comments.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 11:30 AM