Apr 17, 2013 | By

Why Do Children Believe in God?

April 17, 2013. Justin Barrett posed an interesting hypothesis in the Templeton Foundations “Big Questions Online” forum in March 2013 – that children are born with a propensity to believe in a transcendent intentional being (God). She notes that the “maturationally natural cognitive subsystems” with which humans are endowed, specifically the ones that allow us to understand intentional agency and recognize other minds, lead to a readiness for the conceptualization of God. Added to this is the inherent understanding children have that things, including natural phenomena, happen for a reason. Although the commentary and response in the forum is not extensive, the article itself is a good summary of what may be a consensus in the field. The article thankfully does not take a position on whether these findings prove or disprove the validity of such a belief in God. Atheists will say it is evident that belief in God is merely a trick of evolution. Theologians may respond by quoting from the gospels: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”


Join the Discussion

Why ask?