[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Tue Apr 24 16:31:44 UTC 2007

On 4/24/07, Keith Henson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
>  Right now I can't tell if the capacity for humans to have religions is a
> bug or a feature.

Its both.  A feature allows one to accept a system and act productively
within said system without having to go through the painstaking process of
proving to oneself every last little detail of the system (science is built
upon this).  (God where am I going to find 3 lbs of plutonium to construct a
critical mass so I can prove to myself that nuclear fission is indeed a real

There are some cases where "belief" (and faith) are the most efficient

There are other cases where the willingness to believe (or trust authority)
can be abused.   Picking a non-religious example, one might consider the
entire population (20+ million people) of North Korea.

I doubt humanity would have spread if there was not a mechanism built into
us for "trust the preacher".  (You mean, what, you want me to climb into a
little canoe and paddle out into the middle of the "Great Sea" (Pacific
Ocean) in the faint hope that we will find an island to colonize, are
completely *nuts*?!?)  The interesting part of this discussion is that we do
not know how many human beings followed the "chief"/"witch doctor"/etc. and
whose descendants are not here to relate the adventure.

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