What Underpins Belief in God?

Are some people born believers, while others are instinctive skeptics? Or is faith something we adopt, or reject, based on cues we pick up from our culture? The question has been debated for centuries, but the intuitive-pull argument has gained favor in recent years. Psychological studies have concluded that people who tend to rely on intuition are more likely than analytical thinkers to have religious faith. But new research strongly challenges that notion. In three quite different studies, it finds no link between one’s cognitive style and religious belief, or lack thereof. “Religious belief is most likely rooted in culture, rather than in some primitive gut intuition,” lead author Miguel Farias of Coventry University said in announcing the findings. The research is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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