Origins has always fascinated me, either in history, holidays, and yes, even scientific theories. For years evolutionists have been attempting to explain the origin of various religious beliefs including Christianity.
In the Richard Dawkins camp, the origin of religious beliefs comes from “indoctrination” by the parents. In his book, “The God Delusion” he talks about evolution replacing what was being taught by the parents. I suspect Dawkins also believes in the “indoctrination” hypothesis when it comes to children being brought up by humanists and atheists.
In the other camp, which is vastly different from the Dawkins preception, the origin of religious beliefs is more based on survival as stated in New Scientist…
“The origin of religious belief is something of a mystery, but in recent years scientists have started to make suggestions. One leading idea is that religion is an evolutionary adaptation that makes people more likely to survive and pass their genes onto the next generation.
“In this view, shared religious belief helped our ancestors form tightly knit groups that cooperated in hunting, foraging and childcare, enabling these groups to outcompete others. In this way, the theory goes, religion was selected for by evolution, and eventually permeated every human society.”
Anthropologist Scott Atran of the University of Michigan does particularly see it in this light. He thinks people who believe in the after life is a hinderance for survival because the focus is not totally on the “here and now” mentality which also affects reproduction according to him as well.
Sounds like a football coach, or basketball coach, or something from the hippie movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s “me generation”, doesn’t it? None of these speculative conclusions about origins of beliefs in God or pagan gods are actually correct. In fact, Anthropologist Scott Atran in his own bias poorly portrays people who believe in God.
I believe it’s silly to think, a Christian is going to be less focused on surviving in the world because he or she has hope in God and the after life. Christians have purpose and directives, now I know Anthropologist Scott Atran either doesn’t know much about Christian women who dream of getting married in their youth, or just hates people believing in God, but many Christians are called to get married and have families. The belief in God doesn’t hinder reproduction either!
Christian men want to take care of their families, it’s their God-given duty and if not, they are backsliding. They are no less focus than an atheist trying to take care of his or her family unless that particular atheist acts irresponsibility which results in neglect of his or her family. Only difference between the two there is a profound purpose in life, for Christianity there is hope not in material things, or pagan gods, nor evolution, but God.