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Reason and Revelation Volume 39 #3

Belief in God is Hard-Wired into Man

A.C. Grayling wrote a book titled The God Argument. Those in atheistic circles have lauded it as a profound and insightful representation of atheism. Remarkably, Grayling makes an error that is extremely common within the writings of unbelievers. He contends that mankind has no religious nature and that all belief in God is a product of teaching passed on to children from parents, teachers, or other environmental factors. He wrote:

It would, though, be far better if religious doctrines and systems were not taught to people until they had attained maturity. If this were the case, how many would subscribe to a religion? Without being given a predisposition through childhood indoctrination to think there might be something in one of the many and conflicting religious beliefs on offer, the likely answer would surely be: not very many.1

It seems as though Grayling completely fails to acknowledge the massive amount of research that proves that belief in God comes naturally to mankind and is hard-wired in to the fabric of humanity.2 Atheist Richard Dawkins contradicts Grayling and admits that humans have “a lust for gods.”3 He noted that people are “innately predisposed to be creationists” and said that children are “native teleologists, and many never grow out of it.”4 Renowned atheist Sam Harris is forced to concede that “several experiments suggest that children are predisposed to assume design and intention behind natural events—leaving many psychologists and anthropologists to believe that children, left entirely on their own devices, would invent some conception of God.”5

Since atheism cannot explain why people are born to believe in God, many of them simply deny the truth that they are. The logical explanation for this innate belief is the idea that the Creator “put eternity” in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), so that all people might “seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).


1 A.C. Grayling (2013), The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism  (New York: Bloomsbury), p. 39.

2 See Kyle Butt (2013), “Why is Belief in God Natural to Mankind?”

3 Richard Dawkins (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin), p. 169.

4 Ibid., pp. 180-181.

5 Sam Harris (2010), The Moral Landscape (New York: Free Press), p. 151, emp. added.

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