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Religion and other diseases.
Posted: 14 January 2012 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have come to the conclusion that religion exists for the same reason other deadly diseases exist. That purpose is to kill people.
Evolution would have stalled out without the introduction of death as a way to clear the field. The process of aging is not a mechanical inevitability but rather a necessary element in evolution, it kills people.
How many wars were carried out with a religious justification? The groups that were the most wacked out on their beliefs would kill themselves making them more effective in combat.

My 2 cents and first post.

[ Edited: 14 January 2012 03:50 PM by Tazman ]
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Posted: 14 January 2012 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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So religion is actually Darwinism in action? Now wouldn’t that hint of cosmic irony…....

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Posted: 14 January 2012 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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If you’re referring to the genetic predisposition for religion then the “god gene” may be the foundation for all beliefs but the last word isn’t in yet.


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

Also read Frazier’s “The Golden Bough” for the cultural origin of religion. BTW religion wasn’t created to destroy but to explain natural phenomena in a prescientific world. What people and groups did to twist it to their advantage is what caused the killing.


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Posted: 14 January 2012 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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“BTW religion wasn’t created to destroy but to explain natural phenomena in a prescientific world. What people and groups did to twist it to their advantage is what caused the killing.”

This does not explain why religion hijacks the brain.  It does not explain why people are willing to kill others in the name of their beliefs.
It might be a case of “breeding” that somehow attached this propensity to the personality or mind that also accepts simple explanations.

I think the brain got wired this way during the same period that the ability to become hypnotized developed.
It’s a convoluted mess that seems to more good than harm, at least from the genes point of view.

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Posted: 14 January 2012 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well, one might consider religion to be another expression of identifying oneself with a group, i.e. nationalism, rooting for your team, common defense, and of course “my group is superior”.

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Posted: 14 January 2012 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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“BTW religion wasn’t created to destroy but to explain natural phenomena in a prescientific world. What people and groups did to twist it to their advantage is what caused the killing.”

This does not explain why religion hijacks the brain.  It does not explain why people are willing to kill others in the name of their beliefs.
It might be a case of “breeding” that somehow attached this propensity to the personality or mind that also accepts simple explanations.

I think the brain got wired this way during the same period that the ability to become hypnotized developed.
It’s a convoluted mess that seems to more good than harm, at least from the genes point of view.


Did you read the post? The contention is that religion is hard wired INTO the brain, therefore it doesn’t hijack it, it’s part of the thinking process. People kill in the name of fill in the blank. All they need is to be convinced in the rightness of their cause. Aggression is part of normal human behavior and given the right circumstances may be channeled into killing For revenge or any unintended slight. The brain was wired this way before hominids split from our simian cousins. Chimps are as aggressive as humans and don’t rely on religion to kill or maim for territory. BTW, ever wonder why skeptics can’t be hypnotized?


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Posted: 15 January 2012 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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“Did you read the post? “
Yes
“The contention is that religion is hard wired INTO the brain, therefore it doesn’t hijack it, it’s part of the thinking process.”

Religion is not part of a thinking process, if it were smart people would not be religious. It’s a non thinking process caused by the intentional failure of logic. (virus of the mind)
The aggression part of human nature resides in the reptile portion of the brain and has nothing to do with thinking. When the other layers formed there had to be a way of hijacking the logic of the new brain. If the reptile brain was to function as designed, a work around was needed. We all experience this trickery even if we are not religious.
When people think they are in love it is nothing more than this same type of trickery. Reptile brain says reproduce and the thinking part says I am in love.

” Chimps are as aggressive as humans and don’t rely on religion to kill or maim for territory.”

They don’t need religion because there is no need for it. There is no highly developed language or thinking process that needs to be short circuited.

If aggression and rage was need cause early life to for killing to obtain territory or resources and if religion allows this to continue , I maintain that it’s the most important reason whey religion exists.

In my first post I said “cause” but the word should have been “allow”

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Posted: 15 January 2012 10:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Tazman - 14 January 2012 04:24 PM

“BTW religion wasn’t created to destroy but to explain natural phenomena in a prescientific world. What people and groups did to twist it to their advantage is what caused the killing.”

This does not explain why religion hijacks the brain.  It does not explain why people are willing to kill others in the name of their beliefs.
It might be a case of “breeding” that somehow attached this propensity to the personality or mind that also accepts simple explanations.

I think the brain got wired this way during the same period that the ability to become hypnotized developed.
It’s a convoluted mess that seems to more good than harm, at least from the genes point of view.

Well I think you’re right to this extent:

Cultures develop in a way that is analagous to the process of evolution.  Species evolve when new characteristics /abilities of organisms provide a relative survival to reproduction advantage.

Cultures being essentially sets of rules, beliefs, traditions, etc. survive and grow when those rules beliefs, traditions, being passed on, give the culture a relative survival advantage.

I think you may also be on the right track, in thinking that there is something about how humans (as a species) have evolved that makes us (generally) susceptable to religious thinking.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 15 January 2012 10:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Tazman: If aggression and rage was need cause early life to for killing to obtain territory or resources and if religion allows this to continue , I maintain that it’s the most important reason whey religion exists.

I think you left out a word, there somewhere, but is your proposition something to the effect as:

“Religion develops and thrives because it enables people to become so rageful and aggressive that they can kill to obtain territory or resources (and thereby religion provides an advantage for those people to pass on their religion and/or to wipe out non-religious people or people of other religions)?”

Note: I am not presenting this as my own thought.  I am just asking if it essentially represents what you are trying to get across.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 16 January 2012 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Yes this is what I am saying. I think it maintains the idea that it’s the killing that is most important.

Maybe a sugar coated way of saying it would be, religion is an adaptation that allows humans to continue to evolve in the way of our ancestors.

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Posted: 16 January 2012 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Tazman - 16 January 2012 07:38 AM

Yes this is what I am saying. I think it maintains the idea that it’s the killing that is most important.

Maybe a sugar coated way of saying it would be, religion is an adaptation that allows humans to continue to evolve in the way of our ancestors.

Well, I am not saying that I am in perfect agreement with your proposition, but evidence to support it could be the preponderance of Christianity and Islam in the world today, as both religions, despite presenting themselves as religions of peace, have had murderous elements and murderous justifications, historically, that have apparently supported their establishment and growth.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 16 January 2012 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Yes, the establishment of religion by hook or by crook is what we are constantly fighting. against.

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Posted: 17 January 2012 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Tazman - 15 January 2012 02:54 PM

“Did you read the post? “
Yes
“The contention is that religion is hard wired INTO the brain, therefore it doesn’t hijack it, it’s part of the thinking process.”

Religion is not part of a thinking process, if it were smart people would not be religious. It’s a non thinking process caused by the intentional failure of logic. (virus of the mind)
The aggression part of human nature resides in the reptile portion of the brain and has nothing to do with thinking. When the other layers formed there had to be a way of hijacking the logic of the new brain. If the reptile brain was to function as designed, a work around was needed. We all experience this trickery even if we are not religious.
When people think they are in love it is nothing more than this same type of trickery. Reptile brain says reproduce and the thinking part says I am in love.

” Chimps are as aggressive as humans and don’t rely on religion to kill or maim for territory.”

They don’t need religion because there is no need for it. There is no highly developed language or thinking process that needs to be short circuited.

If aggression and rage was need cause early life to for killing to obtain territory or resources and if religion allows this to continue , I maintain that it’s the most important reason whey religion exists.

In my first post I said “cause” but the word should have been “allow”


I’ll give this a mental chew before I post on it, but I have a question that may be relevant.  Using your theory, how can we explain converts?  Either to or from religion or between disparate religions?

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Posted: 17 January 2012 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TimB - 16 January 2012 10:16 AM
Tazman - 16 January 2012 07:38 AM

Yes this is what I am saying. I think it maintains the idea that it’s the killing that is most important.

Maybe a sugar coated way of saying it would be, religion is an adaptation that allows humans to continue to evolve in the way of our ancestors.

Well, I am not saying that I am in perfect agreement with your proposition, but evidence to support it could be the preponderance of Christianity and Islam in the world today, as both religions, despite presenting themselves as religions of peace, have had murderous elements and murderous justifications, historically, that have apparently supported their establishment and growth.

There are lots of atheists that have justified murder without introducing god into the equation as well.  All that we’ve established is that humans have a capacity to kill each other, not that it is based in religion.  There are correlations, sure, and many historical events were carried out for religious reasons, but not all of them.

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I’m atheist, not agnostic. To say that god is unknowable is to say that god is.

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Posted: 17 January 2012 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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“There are lots of atheists that have justified murder without introducing god into the equation as well. “

But individuals are normally punished for murder. Religion justifies it and there is no punishment for going to war as long as god is on your side.

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Posted: 17 January 2012 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Tazman - 17 January 2012 04:29 PM

“There are lots of atheists that have justified murder without introducing god into the equation as well. “

But individuals are normally punished for murder. Religion justifies it and there is no punishment for going to war as long as god is on your side.

And proves that in the end a belief in god does nothing to prevent anyone from committing crimes to begin with. Except maybe Mother Theresa, but then to her credit, she was a doubter.

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