Is religion just an evolutionary tool?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Ravi, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Where angels no longer fear to tread
     
  2. Shogun
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    it's a tool alright...

    so are it's practitioners.
     
  3. Truthmatters
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    My theory is that it was a stress reliever for ancient man.

    It was a way to explain all the things they could not explain and that in momments of strife something to look to feel less alone and a sense that even if you die there is more left.

    In feeling that death was not the end people could perform in very stressfull conditions without falling appart. When people feel all is lost they are more likely to sit down an give up. Those who persevered even when all felt lost just might make it to the next spring. Stress is a proven human killer. Reducing the stress by believing that some greater being had control and loved you helped people survive.

    Those brains wired to do this better were likely to have a small edge thus passing on their tendency to persevere to produce more offspring. I really think its kinda hardwired into many peoples brains.Then there are the ones Im decended from who did it without this hardwiring.
     
  4. Shogun
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    my theory is that it has been a defense mechanism used to explain natural occurrences that the current social schema wasn't able to explain. From lightening to death religion constantly assimilates scientific comprehension and blames the remainder on the supernatural. We still do this. Modern dogma junkies are no better in their faith than dogma junkies of any earlier tradition. While greek mythology did liven up their theatre offerings it sure as hell didn't illuminate their comprehension of the physical world around them. And why would it? If a dogma junky is content thinking that seasons are caused by kidnapped gods then why rock the boat? such would be blasphemy. We see the exact same thing with faithheads today.
     
  5. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    But it's interesting that humans appear to be the only animals who worship supernatural beings. I've never heard of other animals doing so. We seem to have the capability. The questions are why and how? I saw in the article that the hypotheses have changed on brain function, there is no God centre, it seems to me a function of those parts of the brain that deal with higher order thinking. And the evolutionary hypothesis is really interesting. That's a very good article by the way.
     
  6. Truthmatters
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    Got a link to the article Di?
     
  7. Shogun
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    humans are also the only specie to kill because of beliefs. I think that it's a byproduct of our evolutionary reflexive reaction to percieved threats filtered through our ability to think abstractly in reason and deduction. Who is to say that bees don't worship their queen? They do have a recently discovered method of communication in their movement, eh?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee_learning_and_communication


    And, im not sure i'd rule out a godspot in the brain. Charasmatic christians really are no different in their fanatic behaviour than anyone else responding to perceived celebrity. It's why TBN and the rest of the jim baker types don't concede themselves to work gods plan in anonymity rather than a rationalized luxury.
     
  8. Diuretic
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    Sorry TM I meant the one Ravir posted in the opening post. Very interesting.
     
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    Good point about why we kill due to ideology, hadn't even thought of that point. Jeez we're dangerous buggers! :rofl:

    I don't know about bees worshipping anything but those communication patterns bear further examination, I think I remember hearing this on a science radio show here a few months ago.

    The godspot thing, I was sort of reflecting on the way that brain function theory changes. The localised versus the generalised idea of function and then the return to localised. It's confusing! I mean I know about Broca's Area being concerned with speech but apparently other areas of the cortex are also involved in speech. Let's call it a multi-functioning organ.
     
  10. Truthmatters
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    Oh my bad I read your response to fast.
     

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