Religion Origins – How Did Belief Evolve? – SAPIENS

… science and rules cannot ensure lasting change without belief—the most creative and destructive ability humans have ever evolved.

Most people assume “belief” refers to religion. But it is so much more. Belief is the ability to combine histories and experiences with imagination, to think beyond the here and now. It enables humans to see, feel, and know an idea that is not immediately present to the senses, then wholly invest in making that idea one’s reality.

We must believe in ideas and abilities in order to invent iPhones, construct rockets, and make movies. We must believe in the value of goods, currencies, and knowledge to build economies. We must believe in collective ideals, constitutions, and institutions to form nations. We must believe in love (something no one can clearly see, define, or understand) to engage in relationships.
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