In my view, the apostle Paul goes too far in claiming that non-believers know that the Christian God exists. However, if I'm to look for any validity in his statement, I find that I do have this feeling and/or need for something transcendent. That certainly is not enough to point to anything as specific as the God of the Bible, but it does point to spirituality, in general. One book that touches on this idea is The God Gene by Dean Hamer. Here's one review:19 because that which is known about God is evident [n]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21
I really want to know the following:In Hamer's argument, spiritual experiences and religion are nearly universal human attributes. Hamer measures spirituality on a scale of 'self-transcendence', or the ability to see beyond oneself, a concept first introduced by psychologist Robert Cloninger. He draws a sharp distinction between spirituality, which is a personality trait that some of us have to a greater or lesser extent than others, and religion or belief in a particular god, which is a culturally transmitted expression of spirituality.
Hamer admits in his introduction that the volume is misnamed; he isn't talking about genes for being a god, but rather about those that predispose us to religion-neutral spiritual beliefs, experiences and interpretations. Spirituality is not controlled by the product of a single gene but is complex, involving many genes, each making a small contribution to the phenotype, combined with a very strong environmental influence.
1. Did this feeling or sense or need for something greater play any role in leading you to religion or spirituality?
2. For the non-believer or atheist, are you aware of this feeling? Does it lead you to doubt atheism? (in my case, my doubt does not lead me to believe, but instead it drives me to search even more).