Baby I was Born This Way: A Thought Experiment

While passing time on a walk this morning a thought struck me.  Since my thoughts tend to border on rambling let me explain:

Premise 1: Race issues are prevalent in media and social networking sites.

Premise 2: Homosexuality and Atheism do not get as much “air time”.

Premise 3: Race is harder to “hide” than one’s sexual orientation or religious preference so it’s more noticeable.

Premise 4: Many people still believe that homosexuality is a choice and almost everyone believes religion is a choice.

Now my next thought was this:

WHAT IF Atheism is like homosexuality?  An inherent personality trait which one can chose to act upon but as far as “urges” are concerned, you are hard wired internally.  Now I know I said before that we are all technically BORN atheists. But let’s go down a different path just for fun.  Say we are all predisposed to be atheists just in the definition that we do not know of any religion yet.  But what if some of us are just natural born skeptics and some are just naturally born believers of the supernatural?

For example.  I never had an imaginary friend.  That’s not to say I never had an imagination or that I do not enjoy fiction.  I have just always been pretty adept at separating the two.  I believed in Santa only so long as I believed it was physically possible for him to actually exist.  I believed in fairies, dragons, demons etc all for the same reason.  I genuinely believed they existed until further investigation and curiosity proved me wrong.  And I was tearing apart mythology at the same rate I was tearing apart electronics to see how they worked.

So, what about people who have always had “faith” in things like Santa, ghosts, big foot, UFOs etc?  Perhaps they are just genetically inclined to the supernatural.  Perhaps they did not become religious merely because of how they were raised.  But perhaps they are just more inclined to put faith into fantastic ideas no matter what the source.  I am willing to bet that if such research were conducted studying varying levels of skepticism throughout childhood, we would find that  those of use who managed to break the spell of faith were already showing intense levels of curiosity and impetuousness as children.

I have always wondered what would happen if we spent more time teaching children to embrace curiosity, critical thinking and questioning the source of authority.


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