Two years ago, I received Mattew Alper’s The God Part of the Brain as a present on Valentine’s Day. If I remember correctly, it was about a certain area in the human brain that reacts to the concept of spirituality. And the surprising fact (or not really) is that, by default, it is enabled. What this means is that human beings are hard-wired to believe in a higher authority, the way each one of us is hard-wired to naturally have ten fingers and ten toes. God, therefore, is simply a kind of genetic inheritance, which (like other traits) can be nurtured by the environment.
Though Alper’s theory that God is not a s/he of the sky but an it of the brain could be true, I am having a problem grasping his idea on how some people could deconvert from theism. According to him, having the innate ability to believe in a supernatural deity is a call of evolution. Therefore, Isn’t it naturally risky -dangerous- for some people to transform from believer to nonbeliever? It is safe to assume that many atheists were fundamentalists of their former respective religions, then how logically biological can it be for them to throw away all those beliefs in a span of three years, five, eight, or in simply a decade?
I was once a believer; not a fundamentalist but a believer. When I think about it, I never had the passion that I thought I had. I was an active member of the church, but nurture took over, and opened my mind to a kind of worldly disorder. A disorder that could and should never exist in a place guided by a kind and powerful God. People would say I am bitter, and they are free to do so. Though my atheism initially stemmed out from my own experiences, my current disbelief is fueled by logic. And logic does not condone emotions.
How could the God part of my brain be altered so easily? It scares me sometimes– the realization that it took me practically only two years to become completely godless. It’s like having ten fingers, then two years later, my left hand grew a second thumb.