Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

“Is Belief in God Innate?” a lecture by Dr. James Beebe

November 15, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Center for Inquiry – Transnational
1310 Sweet Home Road
Amherst, New York 14228 United States

Get Directions

Organized by:
Center for Inquiry Western New York


Recent research in the cognitive science of religion (a blend of psychology, anthropology, and the evolutionary sciences) shows that, while belief in supernatural beings is not strictly speaking innate, the default settings of a number of our cognitive faculties incline people toward believing in such beings, making religious belief very natural and quite prevalent.

These findings run contrary to the received view that has been dubbed ‘the indoctrination hypothesis’–the idea that people would not believe in supernatural beings if they had not been taught to do so. While people would not believe the particular stories (e.g., in the Bible, Koran, etc.) about particular supernatural beings if they weren’t taught to do so, current research shows that people’s innate cognitive faculties make them strongly inclined toward belief in religious or supernatural beings.

Dr. James Beebe is a Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Experimental Epistemology Research Group, and Member of the Center for Cognitive Science at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).

His primary research interests are in epistemology and experimental philosophy (XPhi). Epistemology is the branch of philosophy devoted to studying the nature and extent of human knowledge, rationality, and evidence. XPhi uses the tools of the cognitive and social sciences to shed light on topics of perennial philosophical debate.

This event is free to Students (with ID) and CFI members  – $5 for the general public. Refreshments will be served.

The Center for Inquiry’s mission is to foster a secular society based on reason, science, and freedom of inquiry. We are a community group in Western New York made up of atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, skeptics, and other non-religious folks. We do our best to make a positive difference in the lives of secular and scientific-minded people and show that you don’t have to believe in a god to be good or to do good in the world. We have monthly educational lectures (about topics related to science and secularism) up in Amherst, NY, and social events (potlucks, cafe meetups, game nights, etc.) throughout the year.

For more information call/text John @ 716-238-3821

or Email WNY@CenterforInquiry.org