Friday, November 30, 2012

The origin of religious belief

I've never liked it when people try to dismiss religious belief as a matter of wishful thinking, etc.  That has always struck me as an obvious genetic fallacy.  Nevertheless, I do think there is an explanation for religious belief in general that should (in my mind) satisfy all parties involved.  Here's my hypothesis:

Religious belief is the result of one's perception of the order exhibited throughout reality.

Which is more fundamental to reality: order or chaos?  If the opponent of the argument suggests chaos is more fundamental, then he runs into an insurmountable difficulty.  For, chaos is intelligible, and intelligibility presupposes order.  It's not as if allegedly chaotic events are suddenly known and then suddenly unknown, or that chaos violates any of the laws of logic.

What this means is that even reputedly chaotic events have an underlying order, which means that order is the most fundamental aspect of reality.  The religious inclination is the result of the sense of awe and wonder caused by the perception of order.  The laws of logic, mathematics, and morality are parts of the "language" of God, if you will.