Why don't you believe in science

Why do people believe and why are regions not dying out - part 2

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was already 100 years ago of the firm conviction: "God is dead". Sigmund Freud attested believers a collective obsessional neurosis. Karl Marx's criticism that religion is "the opium of the people" corresponds to Western thinking of placing reason and science above faith.


When the attempt of the Russian communists at the beginning of the 20th century to drive out the Christian Orthodox faith from their compatriots failed, they blamed the "indolence of human nature".

Ulrich Schnabel assumes that "the need for a religious worldview is so deeply anchored in the human psyche that scientific explanations and arguments can hardly impress it."

Give us today our daily bread: rituals

Experts suspect that religious rituals are responsible for this. Rituals maintain belief over time and space. In the brain they mobilize "highly effective substances that trigger intense emotional experiences and create very different feelings such as self-esteem, joy, fear, motivation, pain relief and bonding. In doing so, they create a whole that is far more than the sum of its parts", so the psychiatrist J. Anderson Thomson.


But the tendency towards rituals among believers has diminished in recent decades. In the case of the Christian faith, according to the psychologist of religion Prof. Sebastian Murken, this is largely due to the innovations of the Reformation. "We are physical, emotional and sensual beings and all these elements, the smells, the haptic - the great theater of religions has disappeared." Overall, the church has become more rational for you.

Even with miracles, it's not that far away. If believers used to make it into the scriptures through visions and the word of God, today they can expect an appointment with a neurologist or psychiatrist. The British neurologist Oliver Sacks (1933 - 2015) subsequently diagnosed the nun and mystic Hildegard von Bingen (1098 to 1179) with severe migraines as the culprit of her numerous “visions” of God.

From yoga to guardian angels

The basic religious or spiritual need to feel cared for and to give one's life meaning does not seem to lose its importance in a modern and enlightened society. Regardless of whether religious, spiritual or atheistic: Faith offers us support and structure in a complex world. Many forms of substitute religions can be found in everyday life.

Football offers countless rituals, just like yoga as a cross-religious tradition that promises to bring body and mind into harmony. Many critics call self-optimization the Our Father of the modern age. Our diet becomes sustainable and ritualized. The strong belief in the moral superiority of one's own actions gives some vegetarians missionary traits.


Over the centuries, preferences for astrology and your own horoscope have never gone out of style: Capricorns want to hit the wall with their head and the scales are always balanced. And even an established superstition is rarely questioned: "Of course it happened to me, it's Friday the 13th" Or the belief in the guardian angel who supported us during the last test or through an illness. These little rituals are passed on through stories in the family and the circle of friends and thus never die out.

Status: 13.06.2017, 2.44 p.m.

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