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When it comes down to it, all the wonderful stuff gods supposedly do actually turns out to be the result of people doing stuff to make the world better. Like medicines that get rid of diseases. Or it is an accident, like finding money on the ground.  The bad stuff that happens, like being killed in a tornado, is just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Otherwise it is caused by human action like someone denting your car in the parking lot.  You don't need supernatural explanations for any of that. Sometimes sh!t just happens.

Why is that so hard for people to get through their heads? &) :?
I suspect that a large part of it has to do with the human tendency to favor some degree of control.  Accidents represent a lack of control of an outcome - we know that we can't dodge bullets, teleport away from danger, instantaneously change the weather, or otherwise directly prevent a large number of outcomes from manifesting.  It makes sense to think that the human cognitive engine has a bias favoring explanations that enable some directly actionable control over the consequences of that explanation.  It seems like that would be beneficial for the survival instinct - being in control of a situation should reasonably provide better odds of survival against a similar situation that one has no control over.

With some kind of ultra-powerful sentience in place, that provides an avenue for some means of control over certain consequences.  We can't stop bullets, but we can attempt to implore an ultra-powerful sentience to orchestrate the events of reality to unfold such that we are not in the situation in the first place.  Since we wish to act as morally good entities, it makes sense that we assume this sentience is benevolent as well, as we want to be rewarded for being good and (for some) see others be punished for being bad. 

Ergo, because it feels better, the human mind will be more willing to believe an explanation that involves a sentient entity that aids in providing more control over potential future consequences.

Does that make any sense?
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DumpsterFire Makes perfect sense. July 20, 2013, 09:04:28 AM