"If God Wasn't Real, It Would Be Necessary to Invent Him."
It's so much easier to put your fate in another's hands, even if those hands are metaphysical. It makes it easier to accept the shit when it flys your way.
"Everything Happens for a Reason"
"It's God's Will."
But, when you think about it, even those who do not believe in a God kind of do this same thing.
Some horrendous unforseen episode resulting in a gruesome, untimely death.
"Eh, the universe is random. That's the way it goes."
It would seem, that even if we don't deify or personify a higher power, there is still an instinct to defer to one. Even if it's an Inanimate Everything and Nothing.
Believing in Nothing is still believing in Something.
This doesn't seem very accurate. I know a few people who I have yet to say shit like this (one is a Jew...so he is religious), even in during extremely rough times.
It seems that this could be a result of being raised in a society (or worse, household) where this sort of thing is commonplace, and there is little questioning why things happen as they do. Even if the individual has decided they do not believe the bullshit there is still that imprint, and their mind will still go that direction.
Seconded. I read the OP and instantly wanted to call "Bullshit" on it.
I agree with everything rygD said here, and wanted to add that there is a huge fat not-too-well-defined fuzzy line between the ultimate abstraction of God as the universe and the universe being a personification of something or other.
There is no 'instinct' to seek blame on a higher power. From what I can see, the people in the West have a long and sullied tradition of scapegoating instead of owning up to their inability to protect themselves from shit they don't see coming. It's shit like this that makes me wish reverse time travel was actually possible so I could find the asshats responsible for the entire Judeo-Christo-Islamic fuckfest and ventilate their skulls with blunt instruments.
RP, always cheers the death of religious nuts.