What Causes Religion and Superstitions?



The author seems to utilize sociology to describe the origin of religion and superstitions. I suspect he’s leaning toward a genetic fallacy. Am I correct?


Clearly the author is blind to the religion of irreligion. The catechism, section 44, teaches that man is by nature and vocation a religious creature. To deny that reveals much more about the critic than it does about religion.


He’s wrong right from the beginning by associating religion with superstition.

He falls right outta the gate. Don’t even have to read it to know hes blowing smoke.


Where an atheist may say What Causes Religion and Superstitions?: The psychological, physiological, cognitive and sociological causes of religion

That would be an incorrect view for a Catholic to take.

What Causes Religion and Superstitions?: The supernatural revelation of an Omnipotent Deity and the deceptions of the devils and human ignorance.

That’s a proper Catholic title.


Such a sage was Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet and essayist, who famously quipped:

“The devil’s greatest trick was to convince us that he does not exist.”


He uses psychological theories that state “religion is a by-product of otherwise-normal processes in the brain” of “misapplied cognitive function”.

He mentions Hyperactive Agent Detection Device (HADD): “as a highly social species, we are always looking in the shadows for signs of plots, for possible indirect effects of ‘behind the scenes’ actors who are organizing against us - or who are potential allies.”, which primitive man evolved. This of course can’t disprove (or prove) God.

He also states: “much evidence in history that the profound religious insights occur alongside mental dysfunction.” Leading that St. Paul might of had an “epileptic seizure” on the road to Damascus. A seizure inducing religious feelings would not disprove God.

Also that “religious feelings, and adult ideas about religion, are actually childhood fantasies in disguise… Paul says ‘when I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me’ (1 Corinthians 13:11). Although this may be the conscious and intellectualized testimony, religion is largely the subconscious survival of childhood fantasy into adulthood.” He asserts this, how could that be proven? Could I get thoughts on this?

“Many people believe that one of the greatest appeals of religion is that it provides reassurance against the spectre of death.” Again this needs to be proven.

If we have evolved to believe in a higher power, ultimate purpose/meaning, to cope with death; this information can not disprove God at all.


But some religions certainly are superstitious.


All religions are susceptible to superstition.

Look at folk Catholic practices in various cultures - most as superstitions of various sorts.


Yes. In other words, man has a God-shaped hole in is psyche, and he will work to fill it with something, whether or not that “something” fits.


It couldn’t possibly be that part of our brain realizes that there is some greater force out there than ourselves and the logical world, now could it?


The near universal belief in God causes these types to have to come up with some explanation.
That’s the issue with evolutionary psychology, you’re working backwards. It’s a just so story. You have the conclusion, you just need to make up a way that it could have possibly happened.

And it seems this article combines multiple just so stories.


It amuses me that people seem to equate the fact that the brain functions (and that we have a loose understanding of it), as the reason why it functions, or have that loose understanding of it at all.

Things can be simultaneously true. Indeed, false ideas of existence can come from the chemical workings of the mind. But so can true statements and ideas.

What Truly ‘is’, lies as entirely independent from what we might want to think - or dont.

As usual, a scientific circle jerk. Meant to unsettle those who doubted already. The actions of those quite desperate to rid themselves and others of God. A pity they miss the part where the works of God are all around. Not confined to one persons mind.


How the author states: “religious feelings, and adult ideas about religion, are actually childhood fantasies in disguise” does nothing to disprove God. “Feelings” of course don’t equal truth.

If you equate this with falling in love with someone, love is “childlike” in ways. We want to give the world to this person we love, we feel like we’d do seemingly impossible things for this person.

We can certainly give “conscious and intellectualized” reasons for our love, but it comes down to “childlike” motivations to be loved. This doesn’t prove the childhood desires aren’t “fantasies”.


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