Jesse Bering on 'The Belief Instinct'

Monday, February 07, 2011

Why do some of us believe in God? Why do we grapple for meaning and a sense of purpose in our everyday lives? Author, Jesse Bering explores whether humans are evolutionarily designed to believe in a higher power in his new book, “The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life.”


Bering says that evolution has shaped us into religious beings. Beyond that, he finds that even though there is no scientific proof that god exists, believing in god has psychological and health benefits.


Jesse Bering

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [3]

Robert Call from Puyallup, WA

Has Mr. Berring taken into account that correlation is not causation? What exactly is the scientific evidence in this case except that people behave better when they believe they are being watched? I would like to read the arguments in his book, but what I've heard so far is pure speculation, oh, and a great leap of faith.

Feb. 08 2011 09:45 AM
Micah R. Whitley from Miami, FL

Bering's argument (as expressed on this show) has one major flaw: he only addresses "God" from the "watchdog" angle. In this day & age, I think he would find that when people choose to believe in "God", there is much more to it than that higher being being a "watchdog". How does he address "God" & "purpose" in human life? How does he account for the scientifically proven benefits that come from a "belief" in a higher being that reach far beyond simple genetic or societal disposition?

Feb. 07 2011 10:15 AM
Ed from Larchmont

We are probably hard-wired to interact with God. But it is a free-will choice whether a person chooses to interact with God or not.

Feb. 07 2011 08:22 AM

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