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Well so many people just assume that faith is something we're taught to believe.
And where that may be true in terms of organized religion it falls short of explaining why all cultures everywhere believe in -- -- But a new book shows that in fact we are -- to believe in something.
Doesn't Barrett is the author and the book is called warm believers the signs of children's religious beliefs and -- joins me now from Los Angeles welcome Justin.
Thank you very much well thank you for being here -- -- -- talk about a natural religion and I want to.
If you could explain what you mean by.
That children are born with a natural religion what does that.
Good -- born believers I mean that.
Much like Michael Jordan we might see as a born basketball player or Mozart was a born musician.
That essentially all of us are born believers in the sense that we have natural dispositions that required.
Very little my way of the right cultural inputs that we grab -- hold of and embrace religious beliefs of various sorts.
For what I try to do in the book -- specify.
Well exactly why that is hand.
And what it what are those natural propensity is look like in terms.
The kinds of things that we have this natural polled believe that we might call religion and I end up calling that natural religion.
He didn't the other side of that though is that they did that you Clinton snaps collision actually undermines the other theory about children that -- -- are indoctrinated into religion you're saying that's not true.
Well and certainly some children are indoctrinated but that's insufficient to explain why it is that people the world over are religious.
I I think they'll look a little bit similar to language sure it's the case that we're going to learn the language that we're brought up again.
But it's also the case that research shows we have a natural tendencies to learn language our minds are sort of naturally wired up for language learning and we're gonna learn language in particular kinds of ways in a similar way it seems that because the way our minds naturally develop.
We have a propensity -- certain kinds of religious ideas and we're just waiting for the details to fill in these sort of general rules for these forms that are natural part of our.
-- -- -- -- If that -- of the idea of who organized religion you've got many many thousands of different religions of their today and yet how and how do any of them fit into this idea of natural religion.
He out well you at least the way that I see it is that if a religion out there and organized belief system.
Fix these sort of natural intuition -- we have already.
It stands a really good likelihood of successful transmission it's gonna be meaningful the people it's gonna seem right.
And it's gonna spread successfully.
If he deviates too far from natural religion as I've termed it.
It's always going to be a strain it is gonna require special indoctrination or.
Pulling people out -- the little compounds in brain washing them or something like that.
But if their basic tenets and the basic practices of the religion fit the natural religion and these natural cognitive dispositions that we all have.
It's going to seem intuitive it's going to be an easy sell.
Is this Tillman on believe in fairy -- trying to say religion is a -- -- it's -- but there is some similarities of belief and they.
And they any super kind of higher power Nora super credit.
The super natural moral morality that only a virtuous.
Strong person can't achieve.
There's something kind of similar fairy tales of children con glom on to that they understand.
He had there there are a couple of parallels but as you've -- suggested there are some important differences as well.
So it seems that we have a natural tendency to gravitate soared toward certain moral themes that's one of the little anchors or natural foundations.
We're also really interest -- naturally in explaining that.
The world around us why it is the way it is in terms of someone doing some thing as opposed to American mystic or chance kinds of explanations we like whodunit it's.
Who is it out there.
And children very quickly know people don't account for that designed very naturally see in the world around on the mountains and rivers to plants and animals.
As far as -- so far that fairy tales do you have -- similar kinds of accounts they're they're trafficking on the same patterns that religions are.
But as you say there were some important differences as well right children from a very early age you know the difference between fantasy.
And reality and they regard fairy tales -- fantasy.
They don't typically regard religious ideas -- fantasy.
Interesting interesting and just a question about.
Children then become adults and many of those adults lose their religion is it that they replace their religion with something else to believe and well or their belief and a higher -- with something else the Lehman or.
Or did they just let go of it as you know a fantasy in -- Usually.
I think thoughtful people do a certain kind of replacement.
That is they've got certain in tuitions like.
-- the natural world around me looks purposeful.
And they need something to fill that space.
Traditionally some kind of a creator god -- that space very nicely but with a little bit of intellectual work I can make evolution by natural selection fit that space now I'm not saying that's a bad thing to do.
I'm just saying it takes a little more intellectual work to fill that space.
And then maybe that helps satisfy some of those in tuitions.
So that's one way it goes but another thing -- bear in mind here is that.
You mean those conditions where people do give up their belief that actually fairly unusual there and have we if we look historically and across cultures.
They're special circumstances where people are in relatively affluent.
That's -- environments.
Usually with very strong.
With centralized governments that are meeting all of their needs so that the urgency isn't the same.
Families urbanized in the divorce from the natural order it's it's and heavy education to sort of override are naturally very.
Very interesting -- wanna thank you for being -- the book called born believers.
The science of children's religious beliefs thank you so much you just in there for being here it's very fascinating topic thank you so much thanks for having me.
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