Scientists: Atheists May Not Exist—Seriously

From Alex Kocman:

For some, “God doesn’t believe in atheists” is just a clever (nor not-so-clever) jab directed against the faithless in our culture. But based on the findings of secular researchers, the statement may not be so far from reality.

That is because multidisciplinary research is increasingly backing the idea that human beings are hard-wired to believe in God, according to Science 2.0 writer Nury Vittachi in an article titled, “Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke.”

“[A]theism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think,” Vittachi cites avowed atheist Graham Lawton as writing in New Scientist. “They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.”

Even atheists hold to several tacitly religious concepts, including the existence of an immortal soul, according to Lawton. The article also cites another atheist researcher who demonstrated that all people engage in internal monologue, regardless of whether the person to whom their thoughts are directed is actually present.

Equally demonstrable is the intrinsic human tendency to believe in divine justice. Vittachi describes both religious and non-religious persons as possessing the innate sense that “If I commit a sin, it is not an isolated event but will have appropriate repercussions.” This sense of cosmic justice is credited for the popular belief in “karma.”

This idea, he writes, is played out on a number of differently levels—including narrative literature, where even atheist authors invariably write stories that “exist to establish that there exists a mechanism or a person—cosmic destiny, karma, God, fate, Mother Nature—to make sure the right thing happens to the right person.”

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