Introduction 1-5 - Causal Problems
A fair amount of time is devoted to psychological ideas and tests of agency. While the complicated writing style gets a bit tedious, especially for those who may have seen much more clear and concise explanations of the same, eventually the discussion hits upon some interesting points.
Unobservable or longer-term productions, such as the complex spatiotemporal patterns of stars, geography, seasons, plants, animals, societies, and people themselves, have no intuitively natural causal interpretation. Human cognitive architecture does not appear to have been selected to spontaneously appreciate such long-term causal histories, in the sense that such an appreciation would represent a solution to a problem of some functional relevance to hominid existence. Agency detection is deployed as the default program for processing and interpreting such information, but in an "extended mode" much as layfolk, philosophers, psychologists, and even many biologists readily (over)extend the concept of a class or lawful "natural kind" to species and other groupings of similar but genetically distinct individuals.
As usual, there are some interesting applications in the deciphering of the quote and the section in which it lies. God gets created as people try to find meaning for events that out last mental analytical programming. Our tendency to explain actions in terms of a directing force goes awry as we apply it in abstract realms. In one sense, God becomes an entity that explains abstract goals.
While I think this type of thinking is indeed a natural inclination for people I am glad that the restoration is based on very pragmatic foundations. As I have mentioned before, this type of abstraction, while supposedly honoring God, may be akin to a type of paganism that removes any of the actual realities of divinity.
I think some of the recent comments about Joseph Smith's foibles fit in here. Just how human can we allow prophets, or even Jesus to really be? It seems like we prefer abstract perfection over reality.