Have humans a ‘belief instinct’?

Even hardened atheists find it difficult to shake off the idea that “things happen for a reason”, according to research by the cross-country social science team Understanding Unbelief.

It found that, while atheists and less so agnostics “exhibit lower levels of supernatural belief than do the wider populations”, a minority of both atheists and agnostics come across as “thoroughgoing naturalists”.

American atheists are least likely to believe in supernatural forces, the report says, but only a third entirely reject belief in the afterlife, karma or the idea that significant events are “meant to be”.

I wrote about the issue against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis here


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