From 5700-year old Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, a prophecy has often emerged, based on "liver omens" (soothsaying done by analyzing the shape of a sheep's liver), that expressed a yearning for unity at a time when Babylonia had once again disintegrated into a dozen or more small city-states: "There will come a king of the four corners of the earth."
The Jews have spent 3000 years anticipating a "Messiah," while Christians have passed 2000 years waiting for the return of theirs.
Is there something innate and universal within Humans - a lack of faith in our own abilities, perhaps - that subliminally urges us to seek out a savior?
Nein, Du bist kein Dummkopf! (No, you are not a fool!) Mistranslations happen all the time. ;)
Yes. But, you don't have to look far to see it. People seem to 'have to' believe. No matter the context. It manifests itself in a myriad of ways ranging from superstitious acts like throwing a pinch of salt over one's shoulder to being completely enamored with a football team. Leprechauns, good luck numbers like lucky 7 and sports players in little league and beyond who wear their same 'lucky' shirt to every 'home' game are all examples of belief unsupported by facts. Part of this, I believe, comes from the human mind's need to create something from nothing. People like patterns: Both a strength and a curse, it has allowed people to progress unimaginably well. Who else but a human would gaze up at the night's sky and draw patterns within the stars or conceptualize wine from grapes? Since time immemorial, this need to have order and understanding has given rise to religion as a way to understand the world and the people that would see themselves risen up in society by this power and influence. I then tie this notion of wonder and fear with the very basic, human-mammalian need of family. Babies and children idolize, listen and basically worship their parents. Just imagine if they did not. Compare the love of a child for her parent and the love of the so called devout with their 'lord' and a relationship seems to form. Perhaps, though people grow older and hopefully more wise and mature over time, there is a need from childhood that craves a parent figure or authority to offer direction. Man, in his animalistic human nature, still can't quite grasp his innate loneliness and looks to religion as a means to fill the void, provide direction and if done well, a solid social construct. Most people of average intelligence can't make the conceptual leap from faith and belief to understanding of science and reality.
What do you think?
Do Kids Have to be Taught the Supernatural? Figures there is a recent article about the this.