There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who can "see" direct
proof of God's existence and those who can't. Those who can sense God,
may choose to associate themselves with a specific religion, as they
usually try to rationalize (as much as possible) their experiences.
I will not concentrate on specific religions or sects in this article. Rather, I will examine what I consider to be the cause behind unquestionable faith (i.e. faith without doubt).
Someone once said, that "religion is a mind crutch for those whose cognitive immune systems have failed". While the previous phrase sounds impressive, it still is a perspective of those who have never had direct "proof" that God exists. And when one has such direct proof, similar phrases sound like complete nonsense.
The reason being that it may be the case that those who can sense the existence of God without a doubt, may, after all, have had no choice, when viewed diachronically. There's something else at play here, which I will attempt to pinpoint exactly: An "agent" if you will, which may be responsible for such doubtless faith.
It appears that the "choice" to doubtlessly "feel" God's existence vs ignore it, is hard-coded in our DNA. This "code" (for lack of better word), sits dormant in our brains and has existed since the creation of the first man. If indeed the first man was created by a supreme being, there had to exist some way to obfuscate this direct knowledge, using some sort of "patch".
The result of this patch applied, is the average atheist. The result of this patch lifted, is the average God-sensing theist. This patch seems to be a solution to the problem of free will. Some device had to be found to isolate man from the knowledge of "sensing" God on a 24 hour basis. I have analyzed this patch elsewhere, in an article that talks about The Veil.
The most important choice in the life of any individual, seems to be whether one is taught the existence of God by one's parents. At an early developmental stage, such ideas, as well as ideas that relate to specific religions, seem to be programmed deep into the subconscious of the child and as such, they seem to be regurgitated later with a vengeance.
This "regurgitation" happens regardless of whether a person ends up a theist or an atheist. It just happens. And it happens because the self regresses into childhood so often, that it becomes impossible to ignore directives given by one's parents. These directives may lie dormant for a period of years, but eventually they will re-surface and cause havoc.
And I say "havoc", because such directives (the proper way to call them would be "memes") eventually act as "catalytes" in the overall thought patterns and processes of an adult, later in life. It is utterly impossible for one to ignore these directives once they have been inserted into the conscious/subconscious mind.
Once these directives activate, they cause a situation which is akin to schizophrenia. The rational mind will try to oust them away, even at the expense of its own sanity. It appears that when the mind is successful in getting rid of such memes, the result is some sort of dementia, perhaps even schizophrenia. When the mind succumbs to their power, the result is a doubtless theist.
The above begs a very interesting question: Did I (or you, as a theist) ever have a chance to exercise true free will, if I was taught as a child the fundamentals of belief in God or if an appropriate "agent" was always in my system? That is, if one's parents are active believers, what are my chances of "escaping" doubtless theism?
It is my sincere belief that such cases are pretty much pre-determined. Once belief memes enter one's mind, those memes will eventually cause the activation of what I will call "The God Gene" (for lack of better word), which eventually will turn one into a doubtless believer.
The "activation" (or if you will the catalyzing process) may take years to complete. An individual will usually examine all possible paths and avenues of atheism, prior to fully succumbing to the power of The God Gene. Such paths may include self-denial, psychological aberrations, self or externally administered medication, hospitalization and in extreme cases complete and irreversible dementia, when there are no options left.
I am not aware what causes denial in these cases. It may be a combination of a heightened sense of ego or self, as the self does not want to consciously succumb to "external" or "unknown" forces. Such beliefs, directives and memes are usually seen by the self as unwanted byproducts of one's upbringing, so it may be possible that the self does not consider them one's own. Thus the discrepancy.
Once The God Gene enters the mind, it needs a "trigger" to activate. Here lies what I believe is the crux of the matter: The question of "what is the meaning of all this". This question may prompt one to start various investigations during one's life. In others, this question may be dormant for their entire life. When this question becomes overwhelmingly important, this is the first stage of The God Gene's activation. For people who do not consider this question important, no activation happens.
There may also be issues with various "side triggers". Such triggers may include (but may not be limited to) extreme pain, depression and usage of various drugs. Overall, the trigger's purpose is to cause a complete refutation of any opposition to The God Gene. Once this happens, The God Gene dominates and pushes away any opposition. This, in effect, is entirely similar to a "lifting" of The Veil, of which I have written about elsewhere.
On the other hand, conscious suppression of The God Gene, is bound to result in partial or even complete insanity, at least in the long run. Once this gene activates, it will eventually displace its opposition, even opposition based on rational memes and discourse. As such, the power of this gene, appears to be incredible. It is already agreed that religious memes are of the strongest kind, so in effect going against them is akin to kicking against a hard wall.
For the doubtless theist, evidence of the existence of God is obvious. For the atheist, this evidence is non-existent. This extreme dichotomy proves that these two classes of people differ by something which is very fundamental, in terms of cognitive power. Assuming all humans have similar cognitive processes, it is highly contradictory to view the two extreme cases simultaneously, without knowing about what this difference is about.
In-between cases, such as cases of agnostics or lukewarm believers, are bound to be temporary, simply because such cognitive systems are unstable. A small further trigger, whether accidental or not, might shift the system towards further activation of The God Gene or might bring the subject closer to dementia, when new "evidence" is being presented.
We therefore, are witnessing an increasing surge which feeds two distinct factions, those who believe in the existence of God and those who don't. The natural end result of all this is the eventual and complete separation of the two factions in some distant future, simply because the cognitive capacities of each will naturally differ too much from the other's.
A separation of our future is created at some point in time: The world will consist of those who will want their future to be determined by their own will and of those who will succumb to The God Gene. These two elements are bound to clash eventually. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but if God exists, those who choose to follow their own will, will undoubtedly find themselves in a hard pressed corner with no easy available answers.
It is my sincere belief that the various religious doctrines serve the purposes of triggering The God Gene. Even when one wants to view organized religion as a cognitive virus or meme, its proliferation in our society cannot be explained, unless one identifies them as possible triggers for something which has been lying dormant in our minds for millions of years, The God Gene.
Thus, The God Gene, may be viewed as a gateway to a higher, transcendant reality, where the "true" children of God (Gene) will be gathered finally under the auspices of their true parent: A supreme Creator, who gives on one hand freedom of will to all, but eventually wants all His true children back to His domain of existence.
Such a dichotomy, although superficially present in today's world (because we cannot sense God directly) is bound to become reality in the future, because a supreme Creator cannot hide forever from His creation. His hiding is temporary and is a device for the exercise of free will. Once us, the created, have been tested through The God Gene, there is no further need for Him to hide under The Veil. In a sense, our destiny had been predetermined since ages ago.
For those in whom The God Gene has completely activated, all answers relating to God are as obvious as the light of day. For those in whom this gene has not activated, answers relating to God are completely obfuscated, perhaps as to not yet violate their freedom of choice. It is my sincere belief that all will eventually be tested and as a result there are only two possible paths: Recognition of the existence of God, or complete insanity. There are no inbetween cases.
All the *current* in-between cases, such as agnostics or lukewarm believers, are the way they are, because they have not been tested yet. A time will come when they will be tested and they will have to choose a path between the previous two.
The activation of The God Gene is very painful. It first overturns the current cognitive consensus and tries to overthrow all rational reasoning. As such, because as human beings we have no other handle except rational thinking, fear and pain are the predominant feelings when a trigger activates this gene. The activation period may be very long: In my case the activation started in 1986 and the gene has been fully activated in 2005. That's 19 years of pain and upheaval. After all this time, I can say it was worth it. I now know what I needed to know, albeit at a very great price.
As for the origin of The God Gene, I can only speculate: It is probably alien in origin. It is not something that is found in other animals. It can only be found in humans. Tracing our ancestral lines back to whichever creation you want to believe, it appears that it is "installed" in our conscious and subconscious, by the Creator Himself.
In theoretical terms, this installation also takes place during our childhood, but the desire to find out more about "the meaning of all this", predates mankind. This sort of question has been circulating in our minds since time immemorial. Therefore its "cognitive agent" (if there is to be a word for it) appears to predate mankind.
The emergence of human consciousness as we know it, may have something to do with it, although I am not sure about this. "What's the meaning of all this", seems to be directly related to advanced cognition. Therefore, The God Gene has to be at least as old as our advanced cognition. Lately, after the decoding of the human genome, there have been found areas of the DNA code, which are seemingly "useless", in that they do not look like they are associated with any specific gene or function. There has been evidence that certain viruses are able to modify these areas according to their needs, so perhaps specific viruses are the aforementioned "agents" of The God Gene. If this is the case, we have all been programmed to sooner or later make this choice by the auspicious intervention of such "agents" or "triggers".
The above is largely speculation, but one thing is certain: Choice in further determining whether such transcendant knowledge is useful, seems to be an integral part of human evolution. It also seems to be eventually unavoidable. Perhaps what we are witnessing, is the "passing" of the more "primitive" mind into a domain where there is acceptance that free will or choice is basically an illusion and that in all actual reality our actions are all predetermined volitions of a Supreme Being.
Some people may not want to accept this, as a way of things. Perhaps that's why the God Gene is still dormant in them. Time will tell.
In any case, a google search on The God Gene, reveals some new and interesting information.
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