Belief in God is associated with the ascription of causes to outcomes (i.e., the tendency to think things happen for a reason). But is belief just about thinking causally, or is it embedded in “seeing” causally? Our pilot data indicate that individual differences in visual perception of causality in ambiguous interactions between simple objects are associated with differences in surveyed belief and pictorially conveyed relational schemas of God. In addition, people who perceive causality are more likely to develop stronger belief in God from childhood to adulthood; likewise, people who do not perceive causality are more likely to decrease in belief. Thus, a “hard-wired” perceptual process may help explain how belief in God develops. We propose to confirm and greatly expand these findings in the U.S. and Afghanistan, taking a rigorous psychometric approach to cognitive components of belief in God as a causal agent. We hypothesize that, although faiths differ, similar neurocognitive mechanisms contribute to belief. Thus, a potential high-impact outcome is to provide unifying evidence that believers across two disparate religious and cultural contexts share a fundamental perceptual mechanism through which they come to see God in events. Outputs include a conference on cross-faith human universals of belief, high-impact publications, and attendant media coverage. We anticipate enduring impacts on two levels: cultural and scientific. At the cultural level, this project has the potential to develop understanding and respect for the embeddedness of religious belief in basic human cognitive processes. This understanding has the potential help to establish cross-faith common ground based on universally human elements of belief. At the scientific level, this project seeks to develop the quantifiable phenotype of causality perception as a scientifically accessible point of entry for future rigorous study of the biology of religious cognition, including via neuroimaging.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.
Usted está viendo Templeton.org en español. Tenga en cuenta que solamente hemos traducido algunas páginas a su idioma. El resto permanecen en inglés.
Você está vendo Templeton.org em Português. Apenas algumas páginas do site são traduzidas para o seu idioma. As páginas restantes são apenas em Inglês.
أنت تشاهد Templeton.org باللغة العربية. تتم ترجمة بعض صفحات الموقع فقط إلى لغتك. الصفحات المتبقية هي باللغة الإنجليزية فقط.