Essays, Analyses and Meditations

Back to my essays | Back to the Philosophy pages | Author

Religion is Immortal

  • Humans are presumably the only animals that believe in gods and practice religion
  • Religion seems to be hard-wired in the human brain: every culture of the world has come up with a belief in the supernatural
  • Religion is often explained as a naive attempt by the human mind to explain the unexplainable
  • But religion could simply be the outcome of natural selection for a species that is cursed with thought
  • If you think, the biggest problem with your own existence is that it is so brief: you never existed before and will never exist again
  • If you think, you realize how pointless your life is, and you may kill yourself or lose interest in procreation... unless you find some meaning to justify your existence
  • Natural selection may have selected those thinking humans who irrationally believed in the afterlife because the afterlife gave meaning to their lives
  • The human mind created many possible justifications for staying alive and procreating, and the one that stuck is the belief in an afterlife "managed" by invisible gods
  • Religion may be the most effective way to cope with the senselessness of life, and therefore has emerged wherever people started thinking
  • Those who didn't believe in gods and the afterlife were eliminated by natural selection: they had no interest in surviving and procreating
  • In recent centuries more and more people stopped believing in the afterlife because curiosity gave thinking people a new reason to be alive: to discover the secrets of nature, even though the mother of all secrets is that our existence is pointless
  • Either the human race will self-destroy once it has satisfied its curiosity about the secrets of the universe or, again, only the ones who believe in supernatural beings will survive and procreate