When my grandfather died, the farm was sold and my mother and her four siblings each received a share of the proceeds. And when my parents bought their first house in 1954, they used her modest inheritance for the down payment. They also obtained an affordable mortgage from the Federal Housing Administration set up after World War II to help returning veterans buy their own homes. Being ordinary citizens, they may well have been unaware of the fact that federal regulations and guidelines governing FHA loans overwhelmingly favored whites over people of color, putting them on the receiving end of white privilege in one of the biggest transfers of wealth in . history. Whether they knew it or not, however, the effect is the same.
An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion.
"... [Dr. Wathey's] book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond...[He] argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy.
These insights shed new light on some of the most vexing puzzles of religion, like: