Re: Religion is probably a good thing

Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 13:40:25 MDT

In a message dated 10/25/01 11:44:16 AM, writes:

>Societies of these people are more likely to outcompete other
>groups of people who don't have it. Perhaps it allows these groups of
>people to "stop worrying" and get on with work that might help them
>survive? Or is religion just a fluke- the brain hardware only seems to
>generate feelings of deep meaning and "joy", perhaps feeling attached
>to your surroundings and people helped those people and societies do
>better, and later on those feelings got interpreted by individuals to
>be significant- boom, you get religions.

Religions are ubiquitous in human societies, so any "accident" has been
tolerated by evolution. Group selection is always a weak force and not
a good candidate for explaining complex systems. The continued
existence of religion indicates that people with more developed
"God modules" have more kids than others in the same society.
[Technically, it only indicates this is so in primitive societies
somewhat less religiously inclined than us.]

But remember - that means religion is good *for our genes* - NOT
necessarily good for us. Genes are stupid, unfeeling things, and
their benefit doesn't deserve veneration. Would you want to zap
birth control?

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