Do Humans have an Innate Desire to be Spiritual?

I recently received an email from a Christian who is experiencing doubts about his Christian worldview.  He asked me to respond to a number of his questions.  I will respond to each question in a separate post here on the blog.  His identity will remain anonymous unless he chooses to identify himself.

Question:  Why does it seem mankind has a desire to be spiritual? It would seem there is something inside of us that seeks to “explore” outside naturalism. How do you understand/account for that?

Gary:  I’m not sure that mankind necessarily has a desire to be spiritual.  Rather, it seems to me that man has a curiosity to understand his environment.  The belief in gods was an attempt to make sense of random, unexplained events in a very dangerous, scary world (lightening, floods, droughts, disease, death, etc.).  Now that we have science to explain how our environment operates, the need for imaginary gods is no longer necessary.


3 thoughts on “Do Humans have an Innate Desire to be Spiritual?

  1. I was the one to write in the question and I should not have used the word “seek.” The correct word would be “connect.” For example, New Age Spiritualism, and in his documentary “I am not your guru,” Tony Robbins seeks to “connect with the divine.” My intent of the question was to ask why do humans seek to connect with “a higher power,” hence, “be spiritual.”

    Based upon personal experience and looking at other humans, this does seem to be a nuance we share.

    Thank you for taking time out to answer my questions. As of right now, in this moment, I am inclined to say the facts favor your position. I have told myself for a while now that agnostics were the most intellectually honest. I doubt I could ever embrace atheism, I just do not see how that position is tenable for a myriad of reasons. Agnosticism is definitely a worldview I could see myself embracing, I just do not like the fact that I may never “know” the right answer. While evolution has some evidence, again, it is not fool proof and there are some serious gaps in knowledge when it comes to that theory. Not to say it is not true, but there are some questions I have about the metaphysics of it that are not yet answered by science.

    While there may be reasons to believe Christianity, i.e., philosophical, natural revelation and the like, I am not exactly sure what threshold those reasons meet; with that, I am unsure of what to exactly do with this knowledge. Underneath it all, I have a fear of being wrong and the consequences are severe if I am. Granted, I could embrace Christianity and end up wrong anyway facing the deity or deities of another religion after death.

    All this leaves me in a weird category and I am not sure where I will come out after I process it all. Thank you again for your answers. You gave me a lot to think about.


    1. Hi Neal,

      Keep investigating, my friend. Keep searching for truth where ever that may lead you. Don’t believe any truth claim just because an authority figure says you should. Don’t believe any truth claim out of fear. Don’t believe any truth claim based on your feelings.

      Believe only those truth claims that are supported by GOOD EVIDENCE.


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