G-d Cannot be Denied, my friends, for Every Soul KNOWS G-d

[reposting this from two years ago – hoping this time it gets read by someone who needs to read it…]

Wacked out.  Even the Wall Street Journal had to give the research column time, with an article A Divine Way to Resist Temptation penned by Jonah Lehrer.  The research done in Ontario at Queen’s University and published in Psychological Science explored how even hints at faith-based words made research participants more successful at staying focused, more able to take on uncomfortable tasks and more able to control themselves.    Okay, okay, in simpler language.  The researchers gave scrambled words “hinting” at G-d based ideas, words such as Bible, to one cohort.  The other cohort got no hint, no scrambled word such as Divine.  Then both groups were given tasks and observed for success rates.  Those who had been “primed” to think of G-d came out ahead consistently.

An interesting study, no?  Showing G-d centered living makes for successful living.  Proving a G-d-focus keeps us steady and strong.  Yet, to me, what the authors of the study were trying to prove is not the most interesting.  I find something else far more amazing.

To quote Lehrer in the WSJ, “the scientists found that,” agnostics and atheists, “were still influenced by subconscious thoughts of G-d.”

Here is where I find fascination.  I always, when arguing with atheists and agnostics, ask them what a child who had no outside influence would believe.  If a child is born apart from civilization and grows up in the wild, will the child believe in G-d or not?  And almost always, even atheists and agnostics tend to think such child would conjure up, on his own, a thought about a G-d creating him.  In my opinion, to me that proves the concept of a soul within us, a soul which KNOWS G-d.  We might try to deny Him to excuse our lifestyle choices, or get talked out of believing in Him by shoddy science or intellectual arguments, but we all start off life knowing G-d.

Now, I think this research study, not meaning to do so, has reinforced my argument.  For, if atheists and agnostics are honest with themselves, if G-d didn’t exist, they wouldn’t automatically think “G-d” when given faith-based words.  The fact that those who are avowed non-believers in G-d are influenced by hints of G-d shows even they have a soul which knows G-d.   Inside of them is imprisoned their G-dly spark, set loose even by the hint of Divine.

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About jewishspectacles

Jewish Spectacles-the kind you look through, not the kind you create!
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4 Responses to G-d Cannot be Denied, my friends, for Every Soul KNOWS G-d

  1. Dena says:

    So you asked a few people a question and now you’re pinning a theological hope on it? Did those who answered have any background in child development? If I live alone in the woods and imagine that a giant tree grew me on a branch, does that mean I have an innate belief in deity? No, it doesn’t. And even if I did, that wouldn’t make it true that the deity exists.

    • No, actually that wasn’t the premise of my article. The premise was that the research was the proof, not the folks I polled. But, yes, I have tutored multiple college students on their child psych and child development courses and know the unfortunate premise rammed down their throats of evolution disguised as child development. But that is for a whole other article. This article was that theology is fact not hope – -and chuckles that even atheists will think of G-d even as they deny Him.

      • Dena says:

        I wasn’t eluding to evolutionary theory on the process of development. I was thinking more along the lines of the cases where children are severely neglected and abandoned. Their behavior is very strange and they are generally unable to communicate. That is what you’d get with a child left alone in the woods. Would they develop a belief in something that could possibly be considered a deity? Perhaps. But it isn’t likely they would be able to describe it to you. I think it is also very possible and more likely, that they wouldn’t.

        Furthermore, lets say that faith based terminology does inspire people to be less impulsive. That isn’t proof of god. That is merely a consequence of growing up in religious societies. Your article includes a quote from Rabbi Wolpe –

        “human nature is deeply shaped by external structures”

        Absolutely, yes. But the external structure here is the perception that god may exist and the language that reflects societies that tend to believe god exists. It is not, in any way, proof that god exists. The study (and I did look it up) is merely evidence that religion has been successful in controlling human beings and continues to have an influence even on those who don’t subscribe to belief in god.

      • You can’t have it both ways, sweet neshama. You seem to opine that an uncivilized child would not be able to communicate G-d to me. The civilized one has been brainwashed. Hence you win. Doesn’t work that way. For there are serious cognitive studies that seem to indicate religion is shaped by internal factors heavily (including one done at Yale, if we want to name-drop). And plenty a memoir I’ve read, while not of the feral child end of the spectrum but rather of a child not tutored or educated, had the author talk of this deep sense of knowing G-d from quite a young age. Kinda like the uniformity of the NDE descriptions across religious and geographic spectrums…the description of kids left to “figure it out on their own” share a huge common factor of that sense of knowing G-d.

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