To Believe is Human

The capacity to see beyond what’s in front of our eyes has shaped humanity in profound ways, says Agustín Fuentes, the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, CSC, Professor of Anthropology. And, adds the author of The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional, beliefs that stretch the imagination reveal a key aspect of what it means to be human.

“When we talk about belief like these weird, crazy things — fairy tales and ghost stories and stuff like that,” he explains, “we laugh at them and we think that’s funny how the mind can be tricked. But it’s not really about the mind being tricked. It’s about our capacity to develop, to imagine and to commit to those imaginings. And it doesn’t mean they’re not real or true. A lot of people talk about belief as being fooled by a lie. That’s not what we’re talking about. It’s the capacity to come up with ideas or be inspired by ideas and commit to them fully.”

Read more here.

March 7, 2019

Health and SocietyScience and TechnologyAgustín FuentesAnthropologyBrainCollege of Arts and LettersNotre Dame MagazineResearch