Re: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.)

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 07:55:07 MDT

Eliezer wrote:
>Suppose churchgoers did live longer. So what?

It would demonstrate in an especially vivid way the large
personal benefits to be gained from believing falsities.
And my reading of the evidence is that in fact churchgoers
do live longer. People make choices about what sort of
person to become, and the sort of person who tends to go
to church more tends to live more. Choosing to become
that sort of person makes you go to church, and live longer.

There are of course costs to making yourself susceptible
to believing such falsities. It might make you less
likely to sign up for cryonics, for example. But on
average in practice so far the benefits outweigh the costs.

I might like it to be otherwise. I might like the "sin"
of not seeking truth to be punished by the god of nature
so that such sinners had less of the things they wanted.
But wishing doesn't make it so.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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