[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Tue Apr 24 17:06:46 UTC 2007

Mike Dougherty wrote:
> On 4/24/07, Keith Henson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
>> The mental mechanisms in brains where religion "resides" and runs was
>> shaped by evolution going back millions of years.  What manifests as
>> religions today is the result of these mechanisms.  Now there are two major
>> choices, the mechanism(s) were selected for something else and happen to be
>> used by religions, or they were directly evolved for something like
>> religion.  In either case, because they are so widespread, there must have
>> been a considerable selection advantage for these mechanisms.
The alternative is that religion or the thinking and psychological 
patterns that give rise to it are a by product of one or more 
evolutionary advantageous developments.   If this is so and if religion 
in moderns is problematic then it may well take a pretty active 
conscious set of decisions and some energy to counteract this effect in 
oneself.    Certain types of magical thinking, superstition, 
authoritarianism and so on may be roughly defaults in human beings.

- samantha

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