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Damien Sullivan I believe I've seen articles in this news-group discussing why and how natural it was for gods to be thought of. I thought I would offer my own presonal experience for what it is worth: I was raised by 2 atheists and had my curiosity encouraged from day 1, with children's scientific books like Hogben or Asimov. So I had virtually no exposure to religion except as some funny thing other people did and had a very rational and materialistic view of the universe, like I do now. Except when I was young there were exceptions. There were nights when I was home alone because my parents had gone out and there was a very nasty lightning storm out (the Midwest is great for those..) All that noise, light, winds, and knowledge that the light is coming from great bolts of electricity that could blast the house was very scary for a young child (5-7-10 years? It's been a while) so I started praying "please let my parents come home, please let..." consciously addressing this to Somebody. Not the Christian god, to be sure, or any other, just to Something hoping It would hear and do something. Never mind that most of the time I didn't have any belief in such a being, when I got that scared my adrenalin took over and decided temporary religion and whimpering was the best solution to the "fight or flight" problem. My point is that I was a mostly rational, well educated child who in times of scary natural phenomena which I partially understood still resorted to some proto- prayer. Admittedly I had some idea of what a deity was from outer society but I think that the idea of a god is quite natural in such situations -- especially to an utterly ignorant child whose parents had left him in the cave....to a child the god-concept is quite natural as a surrogate or superior parent.

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