[lit-ideas] Faith and Instinct

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
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  • Date: Tue, 27 May 2014 11:53:26 -0400 (EDT)

My last post today!

In a message dated  5/27/2014 10:49:52 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx  writes in "In search of the religious Gene": 
quotes Darwin as writing,  “Nor must we overlook the probability of the 
constant inculcation in a belief in  God on the minds of children producing so 
strong and perhaps an inherited effect  on their brains not yet fully 
developed, that it would be as difficult for them  to throw off their belief in 
 “Perhaps an inherited effect”?   How very unDarwin of you."

And then, predating all this, was Locke -- Grice's _second favourite  
philosopher --.
In sections 7-17 of Essay Concerning Humane [sic] Understanding, the Oxford 
 philosopher Locke (after whom the Locke lectures that Grice delivered were 
 named) discusses the “innateness” of the idea of a deity:
I iv 7-17 
Is the idea that the deity is to be worshiped an innate one? 
If so, then the ideas of a deity and of worship must be innate!  
But there is no universal idea of worship. 
-*I iv 8 
Locke claims that the idea of “God” is not innate: 
“if any idea can be imagined innate, then the idea of God may, of all  
others, for many reasons, be thought so; since it is hard to conceive, how 
 should be innate moral principles, without an innate idea of a deity; 
without  the notion of a lawmaker, it is impossible to have a notion of a law, 
and an  obligation to observe it.” 
But, Locke notes, there are whole “nations” which lack the idea which the  
continental rationalists rely upon here! 
-I iv 9 
Moreover, Locke notes, even if all human being had the idea of a  deity, 
this would not prove that the idea was innate. 
“...the visible marks of extraordinary wisdom and power, appear so plainly  
in all the works of the creation, that a rational creature, who will 
seriously  reflect on them, cannot miss the discovery of a deity....” 
Finally, in I iv 14 Locke contends that the “idea of a deity” varies  
amongst human beings
Yet, it should be pointed out that Wade's idea is the 'faith instinct' --  
which seems v. popular, in various formats, in his alma mater of Eton, as  
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