An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion.
"... [Dr. Wathey's] book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond...[He] argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy.
These insights shed new light on some of the most vexing puzzles of religion, like:
It depends on what you think being a Christian means. To us it means that we believe in Christ. We do not worship Joseph Smith, nor do we seek to worship anyone else except the true and living God and His son Jesus Christ. You have no proof that Mormons aren’t Christian. In fact, the Book of Mormon overwhelmingly mentions Christ and his workings and wonders in the Americas. We have always believed in the Bible, the King James
Version anyway, as well as the Book of Mormon. Like you said, “Study it for yourself.” Only then will you be able to come to a full knowledge of our beliefs.
For all his self-deprecation, Lee is an unexpectedly formidable presence — trim, youthful-looking, unflappably self-possessed, with a hint of steel lurking beneath his affability. "He can be intimidating because he's so smart, and such a man of the world," says Raskulinecz, producer on Rush's past two albums. "In my experience, Geddy is the leader of the band." With his shoulder-length hair, distinctive nose and John Lennon glasses, he's certainly the most recognizable member — even with a cap pulled low, fans interrupt him a good 20 times as we try to take in a minor-league baseball game in Tulsa. ("My features are kind of profound in a cartoonish way," says Lee, "and I haven't changed much physically. Whereas as Alex has aged, he's gotten more of a squarish head. He looks more like a normal person. I don't look like a normal person.")