[ExI] In Europe and U.S., Nonbelievers Are Increasingly Vocal
hkhenson at rogers.com
Fri Sep 21 16:45:13 UTC 2007
At 08:51 PM 9/20/2007, Michael wrote:
>- Suppose you could push a button and instantaneously cause everyone
>on Earth to not be a monotheist.
The advantages/disadvantages come from religion and religious like
xenophobic memes (such as Communism). I don't see where the number
of gods makes any difference.
>- Is there any sheaf of risk likelihoods that would keep you from
>pushing that button?
>I'm not asking for paragraphs, I'm asking for a response of yes, no or "mu".
It's a poorly framed question so mu.
Religions (or rather the brain structures that are "infected" with
religions) are a result of human evolutionary history, most of which
was spent living in small, closely related bands and tribes. Those
tribes were at war with neighbors any time resources (i.e., food) got
short, which happened every time the population grew to some
War was the way population was limited when something else didn't do
it. Current religions have to be considered in the context of our
hunter gatherer past where xenophobic memes had more or less sway
over the tribe depending on the perception of the need to thin out
the neighbors so your kids could be fed.
Religions are the (memetic) descendants of tribal xenophobic
memes. In times of plenty (peace) religions are seed xenophobic
memes, ready to spread and induce war as the need is
perceived. (They have side effects, but that's the main one.)
Humans (obviously) have evolved brain mechanisms that hold religions
more or less intensely depending on the perception of how good or bad
the future will be. Now if you asked me if the brain structure
behind religions should be deleted at the push of a button, I would say no.
As it has been in the past, and it may be in the future, humans
sometimes need to thin their numbers by wars induced by xenophobic
religious memes. In fact, you could make a case that this is the
situation in substantial parts of the world right now.
This is not advocacy of religions or wars, just an evolutionary
psychology view of their function. It does imply that if you don't
want wars, keeping population growth below economic growth for _every
group on the planet_ is a long term requirement.
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