[ExI] Evolutionary psychology and religion

Seien seienchan at gmail.com
Tue Dec 11 01:23:46 UTC 2007

On 11/12/2007, John <desertpaths2003 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I think a successful meme would promote genetic survival or even better
> reproductive "prosperity (lots of offspring who survive long enough to have
> offspring of their own)" so it has lots of guaranteed new recruits in the
> upcoming generation.  And keep in mind that the early years of childhood are
> a time of mental filters not being in place so the mind is like a sponge
> that will soak up just about any teaching/meme set.  In Islam,
> Mormonism, Fundamentalist Christianity, etc. you will often see the having
> of large families very encouraged (even in the developed world).

That's true, but I don't see how "encouraging big families" helps pick a
mate. It just means that the person you go off with, you should have a lot
of kids with. However, more importantly, Islam, Mormonism and Christianity
are all static memes. These are memes we *shouldn't* have. We're not like
other animals, and our biggest priority is no longer reproduction. It's
morality (or should be). And note that memes frequently override genes in
this respect. It's almost pointless to be talking about genetic reproductive
drives as anything more than a fleeting and parochial interest - it's more
important as a human being to act morally than animalistically.

I don't see how parenting or romance is an anti-rational memeplex.
> Parenting is crucial to successfully raising up offspring (got to get my
> genes into the next generation!) who are very vulnerable for quite a number
> of years.  And that big brain we homo sapiens have from the very
> beginning contributes to a very helpless and top heavy baby being born that
> will need lots of parental devotion.  Parental memes and biological drives
> *drive* reproductive success.  Romantic memeplexes are coupled with
> biological instincts to seek out the highest quality mate possible, again
> for reproductive success.  Memes and genes have a very fascinating
> interplay.

The concept of looking after your children or having a parter themselves,
stated as that and that ONLY with no connotations, are not themselves
antirational. The current idea of what makes for a good parent is HORRIBLY
antirational. This guy, <http://curi.us/dialogs> Elliot Temple, says why -
it's a complex subject and so the dialogues are quite long, but simply apply
some reasoning to any aspect of parenting you like, and it will almost
certainly turn out to be very antirational.

Same for the romance memeplex. It's not useful. It's full of delusions. The
"dating game", the cliches of true love/love at first sight (I mean, what
the hell?), monogamy, the idea that one ought to share one's life with
someone... I mean, these are horrible ideas if you think about what they
actually mean. And look at the way people time and time again get hurt badly
by mistakes they make WRT romance, and go back and follow the same patterns
again. That's not good, that's not dynamic at all. It doesn't employ any
reason. And it gets in the way of people making good ideas and being
creative, because they're so concerned with getting a partner. *Mating isn't
the most important function of a human being. *We're better than that.

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