Why do we look for God?

A recent article in the New York Times considered the current state of the scientific debate on how evolutionary theory can explain religious consciousness. Like all scientific theories where one enters the debate largely determines one’s findings. Those with Christian faith read the evidence that we are hard wired for religion because God made us that way. Sceptics however read the evidence as some kind of residual from a bye-gone era. The great problem that all have of course is defining religion. That religion means so many different things to so many different people.
I rather lean towards CS Lewis notion that our hunger for God is an appetite like any other appetite. That is that where we have an appetite it suggests that it has a capacity to be filled. It echoes Augustine’s great line, ‘O Lord you have made us for yourself; and so our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.’
The current scientific debate reminds us of the failure of modernity- that not everything can be explained by scientific data. Human knowing is not at the centre God is.
Scott Atran’s youthful outburst quoted in the article rather sums up the whole situation, ‘God exists, or if he doesn’t we’re in trouble.’
You can read the whole article at

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2 Responses to “Why do we look for God?”

  1. Feargal Says:

    The hunger, craving for more than things or power is universal. That, I believe, is Paul’s point in Romans 1.

    If atheism is, as Bretrand Russell postulated, only to be based on unshakeable despair, then theism may be a cowardly retreat, or the bravest launch into the unknown we may conduct.

    Does the current denial of guilt represent a genuine searing of conscience, or does it reflect a child’s pulling the bedclothes over it head to keep the monsters at bay? Do we as christians wish to bring the horrible notion of guilt before a watching world, BEFORE we speak of forgiveness?

  2. sibbesian Says:

    Without guilt forgiveness makes no sense.

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