Does anyone really believe that God is actually watching their every move – as preachers suggest he is?
No, according to one author, who claims that ‘not even priests’ believe in most of the details of religion – and that our society could soon become ‘Godless’.
Atheist author Graham Lawton was speaking this week at London’s ExCel to promote new book, ‘How to be Human’.
Lawton claims that people don’t really believe in the truth of religion because it’s a ‘preposterous’ idea – which no one could accept.
He says, ‘If you ask quite religious people about the claims that are made by religion – like the fact that god’s watching you – they don’t really believe that.’
Lawton claims that while people do believe in the idea of God, no one could possibly believe that the Bible was actually a factual document.
Lawton says, ‘This is because it’s preposterous – some of the things that are in the Bible are just crazy’.
Lawton argues that as standards of living on Earth increase, religion will become less common – and our species may face a ‘godless’ future.
In May, a new scientific paper addressed the claim that people who don’t believe in God tend to be more intelligent.
Edward Dutton, of the Ulster Institute for Social Research in the UK, suggests the reason could be explained if religion is considered an instinct – one which intelligence gives people the ability to overcome.
It means that non-religious people may be better problem solvers.
Dutton argues that being intelligent helps people to rise above their instincts during stressful times – a useful skill.
‘If religion is indeed an evolved domain – an instinct – then it will become heightened at times of stress, when people are inclined to act instinctively, and there is clear evidence for this,’ says Dutton ‘It also means that intelligence allows us to able to pause and reason through the situation and the possible consequences of our actions.’
On the flip side, atheists tend to think in the same, cold-hearted manipulative way as psychopaths, a separate study has suggested.
Researchers from Cape Western Reserve University in Ohio conducted eight linked experiments to investigate how atheists and believers differed in the way their brains operated.
The researchers now believe that there are two ‘networks’ in the brain – one devoted to cold, analytical thinking and one towards more social, ‘moral’ thinking.
Atheists ‘push aside’ the more social way of thinking – and in the process become more prone to self-centred, impulsive behaviour, typical of psychopaths.
Religious people push aside analytical behaviour – meaning that, as previous studies have shown, they tend be less intelligent.
Pope suggests ‘better to be atheist than hypocritical Catholic’