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Religion is Darwinian

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Mlw
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Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 17th, 2018, 1:28 pm

The function of religion is to compensate for our worldly obsession and egocentric ambitions. It should serve to remove the believers from the narrow confines of the ego and introduce them to the divine perspective, which transcends the worldly. It is wholesome to get another perspective. Otherwise, the only thing that exists is Ego, like in Fichte's philosophy--a highly unsound state of mind that has detrimental consequences.

Without religion, neither the modern mind nor civilization could have emerged, because people would not have been socializable, unable to see the bigger picture. Religion is the bigger picture. Not everything is about one's personal life. Personality must take in the fresh air outside the narrow confines of the ego and its worldly obsessions with money, career, etc. Point is, if we don't have religion, then we will develop an unhealthy state of mind. This, in turn, will have detrimental effects on our worldly endeavour. So religion has increased the survival value among our species. Why we have religion can be explained from a Darwinian perspective, too.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 18th, 2018, 1:26 am

Bulbulia et al. write:
A wealth of evidence suggests that religions forge solidarity and cooperation [...] Ritual performances emerge among even the most egalitarian foragers, and they appear to build solidarity and both broaden and tighten social ties [...] Recent research suggests that “overimitation” (i.e., the copying of causally opaque behaviors) may have been a crucial adaptation in the evolution both of language and of social norms (on the role of imitation for normative learning [...] Notably, where ritual actions are synchronized in groups, via collective dancing, singing, and marching, overimitation appears to stabilize norms, there being no better way of copying than the “proper” way modeled [...] [R]esearchers have looked to synchronous group behaviors as a basic ingredient of ritual-induced cooperation, conjecturing that synchrony “coevolved biologically and culturally to serve as a technology of social bonding” [...]

Durkheim surmises that it is both a physical and mental alignment during ritual performances that leads to a confounding of self and group; “swelling out” in McNeill’s terms. According to Durkheim, such cooperative motivations are more strongly expressed when partners share conceptions of the “sacred,” or “things set apart and forbidden” (Durkheim 1915/1965:44). On Durkheim’s model, then, it is a combination of shared body movements and sacred values that intensifies solidarity during religious ritual performances [...] Recent evidence suggests that rituals coordinate empathetic arousal among audiences and performers, at unfamiliar social scales, extending cooperative benefits beyond the circle of those who perform rituals [...] Dysphoric (painful or frightening) rituals have been observed to bolster solidarity among initiates [...]

In smaller-scale societies, groups are able to build local solidarity without appealing to moralizing heavenly agents (Gervais et al. 2011). In larger polities, however, moralizing gods appear to be effective in fostering cohesion across multitribal subunits [...] If larger societies (by hypothesis) benefit from larger gods, the kind of intergroup competition that leads to large-scale civilizations should, all things equal, select for “moralizing gods” [...]

Put simply, do moral judgments require beliefs in metaphysical “stuff” to make them true? Charles Taylor has long argued that moral judgments are inextricably linked to metaphysical claims, and that even supposedly secular Enlightenment values can be seen as grounded in such “self-evident” objects of faith (human rights, human dignity, freedom) [...]

In the domain of popular culture, the evolution of religion has been a hot topic, as evidenced by the recent spate of bestselling books and wide media coverage on the topic. A good deal of this recent literature has tended to view religion as a dispensable cognitive spandrel (Dennett 2006) or, worse, as a dangerous delusion (Dawkins 2006). Yet much research suggests that religion is not an aberrant disease or childish illusion, but rather that it may be one of the cornerstones of the evolution of large-scale complex human societies (Atran and Henrich 2010). ('The Cultural Evolution of Religion', https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... f_Religion)

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 18th, 2018, 9:49 pm

Yeah, for animals with such big brains, we're awfully primitive.
Dogs manage pack solidarity just by sniffing one another. It's so much more efficient than building cathedrals and pyramids!
Maybe we could just keep the drums and fire, but discard the expensive parts of religion?

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Spectrum » July 18th, 2018, 11:50 pm

Religion is merely one popular and common effective strategy that arise mainly to cope and relieve the untraceable pains oozing from of an inherent unavoidable existential crisis arising from the survival impulse. All other pros of religions are secondary to the above.

There are other non-religious strategies humans has resorted to cope with that unavoidable existential crisis. This is obvious as there are many successful people who are non-religious and in addition the religion strategy is on the declining trend.

While there are pros from religions, there are also the cons of religions which is at present overweighing the pros of religions.
The evil threat of religions [especially Islam] is potentially so great that it can exterminate the human species.

Since the potentially threat of religion [especially Islam] likely to be catastrophic it would be wiser for humanity to find strategies to wean off religions and replace them with fool proof strategies to deal with than inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 19th, 2018, 3:00 am

No, Islam is not catastrophic to the Arabs. Without Islam, they would still be a remnant of a people living on the Arabian peninsula. Thanks to Islam, they have conquered an enormous territory and killed millions of "infidels". They have conquered Lebensraum for themselves. How can you say that it's not a success story? How can you believe that they will listen to the argument that they shall give up their faith which has given them such great advantages, such as robbing peoples of their riches and keeping European women in sexual slavery? Why should they not follow the Darwinian incentive?

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 19th, 2018, 10:42 am

Mlw wrote:
July 19th, 2018, 3:00 am
No, Islam is not catastrophic to the Arabs. Without Islam, they would still be a remnant of a people living on the Arabian peninsula. Thanks to Islam, they have conquered an enormous territory and killed millions of "infidels".
You know Muhammad invented that religion in self-defence against militant Christianity, right? The desert tribes were doing all right in their separate autonomies, until the Roman - lately turned Holy Roman - empire started mowing them down. They had to unite or die.
They have conquered Lebensraum for themselves.
Beats the hell out of being conquered.
How can you say that it's not a success story? How can you believe that they will listen to the argument that they shall give up their faith which has given them such great advantages, such as robbing peoples of their riches
What, like oil, and the old and new kingdoms of Israel?
and keeping European women in sexual slavery?
Which ones? Where?
and as a footnote of some interest:
Was sexual predation and the subjugation of women unknown in Europe before the rise of Islam?
Does no other religious group have similar practices?
Is it religiously motivated?
Does it provide the perpetrator a genetic advantage over men who marry free women?

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 19th, 2018, 1:16 pm

No, the Christians didn't mow the Arabs down. Some of them were Christians themselves (Jesus is still a prophet in Islam), but the majority were polytheists. Nobody attempted to conquer their arid desert. They warred among themselves (cf. Wikipedia).

According to sharia and the Quran a man may have four wives and an untold number of sex slaves. Sexual slavery has always been part of Islam. Only between the 16th and 19th centuries, between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured. In medieval times, slave traders made expeditions as far as Iceland to capture white women. However, the majority of sex slaves were black women. A rough estimate by scholars of the number of black slaves held over twelve centuries in Muslim lands are between 11.5 million and 14 million (cf. Wikipedia).

It is remarkable that one can be so uninformed as you, when Wikipedia and other encyclopedias are only a click away. Laziness and nonchalance seem to be defining characteristics of human nature.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 19th, 2018, 6:05 pm

Mlw wrote:
July 19th, 2018, 1:16 pm
No, the Christians didn't mow the Arabs down. Some of them were Christians themselves (Jesus is still a prophet in Islam), but the majority were polytheists. Nobody attempted to conquer their arid desert. They warred among themselves (cf. Wikipedia).
All tribes warred among themselves, but that never stopped the Assyrians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and later Turks, French, English and Americans from expanding their empires across the Orient. Jesus is a prophet precisely because Muhammad patterned his uniting religion on the Judeo-Christian tradition, so that they would be "people of the Book": He hoped to be make peace with Christians and Jews.
According to sharia and the Quran a man may have four wives and an untold number of sex slaves. Sexual slavery has always been part of Islam.
The ownership of daughters and wives was just as much a part of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Only between the 16th and 19th centuries, between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured.
And during that same period, how many Africans, Indians, Asians, and American natives were captured by Europeans?
Wiki that, too.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by LuckyR » July 20th, 2018, 1:37 am

Mlw wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 1:28 pm
The function of religion is to compensate for our worldly obsession and egocentric ambitions. It should serve to remove the believers from the narrow confines of the ego and introduce them to the divine perspective, which transcends the worldly. It is wholesome to get another perspective. Otherwise, the only thing that exists is Ego, like in Fichte's philosophy--a highly unsound state of mind that has detrimental consequences.

Without religion, neither the modern mind nor civilization could have emerged, because people would not have been socializable, unable to see the bigger picture. Religion is the bigger picture. Not everything is about one's personal life. Personality must take in the fresh air outside the narrow confines of the ego and its worldly obsessions with money, career, etc. Point is, if we don't have religion, then we will develop an unhealthy state of mind. This, in turn, will have detrimental effects on our worldly endeavour. So religion has increased the survival value among our species. Why we have religion can be explained from a Darwinian perspective, too.

Mats Winther | http://two-paths.com
Religion in antiquity served the purpose of saving the ruling class (few) from being overrun by the rabble (many) who received very few resources here on earth by promising wealth in the afterlife.

In the Modern era, the lower classes receive a higher portion of wealth, so the purpose of religion has changed mostly to cultural habit and the answer for the desire for tradition.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 20th, 2018, 2:41 am

Duh! Why do people who suffer from acute cerebral insufficiency even engage in an intellectual exchange? This, in itself, is a topic of discussion.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 20th, 2018, 6:35 am

Viewing religion under the gaze of Darwinism (by which I am gathering you mean as of evolutionary benefit?) is merely one lens of exploration.

Such an explanation easier to line up with scientific investigation and empirical measures. Useful yes, but it is also ONE lens - the most useful? Again that would depend upon what “use” you wish for from such an endeavor.

I don’t think religion is Darwinism any more than I think anything else can be explained purely through that singular and very particular lens.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 20th, 2018, 7:09 am

Of course, it is merely one angle on religion. However, my point is that it doesn't make much sense when a Darwinist like Richard Dawkins entirely forgets about the Darwinian perspective. He just says that religion is plain silly! What a blunder! According to Darwinism anything goes, as long as it promotes the survival value.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 20th, 2018, 7:28 am

Dawkins is a strange fish. He has at least done a lot to drive the whole debate. He does overlap with other views and does concede a little ground here and there.

He doesn’t deny the uses nor does he consider it all “plain silly,” although he has bolstered that view of himself in the public eye during debates with more myopic views on the otherside of the proverbial fence.

It makes perfect sense when I biologist refers to things in a biological frame. Darwins ideas were not completely confided and used within the scientific sphere and many other fields of study have taken up the principle.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by -1- » July 20th, 2018, 7:29 am

Mlw wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 7:09 am
Of course, it is merely one angle on religion. However, my point is that it doesn't make much sense when a Darwinist like Richard Dawkins entirely forgets about the Darwinian perspective. He just says that religion is plain silly! What a blunder! According to Darwinism anything goes, as long as it promotes the survival value.
Evolutionary advantage includes silliness when it's an advantage. That's precisely what religionism is/does.

Dawkins is not contradicting himself. He does not deny the evolutionary advantage of religion. He just calls it silly.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 20th, 2018, 9:45 am

It's intent is serious. Its content is silly.
Since people like believing silly things, any idjit can be pope, CEO or president and make serious profit.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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