Why is belief in God or gods so popular?

Many people in the world today say that they believe in gods or a god or the one God. There are different possible explanations for this. The fact that many people are taught that god or gods exist from an early age is certainly part of the explanation of why many people believe in some sort of god.

It is a matter of fact that people, if they are religious, are most likely to believe in the religion that they were taught as a child. That ought to make them wonder whether their belief really is in an existent god or more a matter of following the local custom, tradition and rituals. But some people are brought up in such a way that they are prevented from questioning such matters.

‘If, in early childhood, certain fundamental views are paraded with unusual solemnity and an air of the greatest earnestness never before visible in anything else.

If, at the same time, the possibility of a doubt about them is completely passed over, or hinted at only to show that doubt is the first step towards eternal damnation, the resulting impression will be so deep that, as a rule, doubt about them will be almost as impossible as doubt about one’s own existence. 

Hardly one in ten thousand will have the strength of mind to ask himself seriously and earnestly – is that true?’
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) philosopher and teacher


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