I wouldn’t necessarily say it “makes” them believe, but to many, the beauty of natural things, from flowers, trees, animals, to the complexities of organisms on the cellular level, might lead some to believe that such things cannot be explained through theories such as evolution and that there must be some divine creator, thus the theory of “intelligent design”.
When we didn’t know very much about nature, people believed that something supernatural must be the only way to explain nature. They didn’t understand many of the scientific phenomena that we can explain today. Some people still feel this way, even for the phenomena that we have a lot of evidence for explanations. Though there are still many things that we do not know how to explain, we have a better idea about what pieces of knowledge we are missing to be able to explain them.
The Romantic writers in British literature talked about the sublime in reference to nature. They defined the sublime as something awe-inspiring; beautiful and terrible all at once, something that our minds couldn’t quite grasp ahold of. The sublime was as close as they felt they could come to heaven. Think of when you’ve been overwhelmed by a natural setting; a mountain, a valley, a waterfall, standing on the shore looking out at the ocean. A moment where nature makes you feel like it’s more powerful than you can imagine, but so beautiful you can’t look away is what the Romantics called a sublime moment. This could be one reason why nature makes people believe in religion; sometimes nature feels like a religious phenomenon.
I would agree with the first answer to this question. It reminds me of a buddhist saying that states something along the lines of; “If only one can look at a single flower and understand the miracle that one single flower holds, one would appreciate the world.”
Nature is complex to most individuals. Sure you look at plants, animals and other things but we just tend to look at the surface. Then you look deeper, into the biological features of that living entity and see how it functions. Especially in animals, but of our selves. We look at how we live, how we have feelings and a soul. Most people find the concept of life to be extraordinary and completely astounded. These people tend to compare the being they observe, when they’re living and when they’re dead. How “life” was once in them and in the next, life has diminished and left something tangible behind them, tangible yet lifeless. This dichotomy of life and death has made people believe in religion because the complexity it possesses, regardless of how well science can explain it. For some, nature is too complex that the scientific explanation of nature perplexes them and sends them towards another possible idealogy that can explain it, that of which is religion.
A lot of early religions began as an attempt by early civilizations to answer lingering questions about the natural world. Since they belonged to primitive societies and lived in an age before the development of the scientific method of inquiry, they could establish no absolute scientific facts which grounded reality and made nature less confusing and arbitrary. To combat this feeling of mortal chaos, many ancient cultures created stories based on observations of their surrounding world. The most popular ones stuck and coalesced over time into the cultural conceptions that we today label religion.
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