[ExI] psychology

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 19:04:26 UTC 2020

If we think of atheism as a religion, and I don't, then we can think of
what religion offers - here is a start:

rapture - feeling of oneness with the universe and god- nirvana - peak
experiences accompanied by speaking in tongues - feeling of lost identity

forgiveness of sins - purification into a better person perhaps through
suffering and flagellation and fasting - being forgiven by an agency of the
church and thus a god (Jesus loves me)

merging identity with fellow believers - being a part of a whole - loved
and loving in return

more to come - what do you think atheism offers comparable to those things

bill w

On Thu, Apr 23, 2020 at 1:26 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 23/04/2020 18:36, bill w wrote:
> to wonder how evolution shaped humans to believe in gods.
> Keith
> That's my question.  Perhaps there is some cognitive function that we
> absolutely need to function properly that has the consequence, or side
> effect, or extension, of believing in things without data or reason.
> Speculation invited.
> I always thought that religion was the result of our desire to understand
> how the world works, but kind of gone wrong. I remember writing a little
> story a long time ago called "The Heavy Breathing Sea Slapper" or something
> similar, which was about how people managed to come up with the idea of a
> crazy invisible being, on the basis of their observations of the weather,
> and a desire to *explain* things, at any cost.
> Another factor is probably our tendency to attribute agency to things,
> even when it's not appropriate. Kids do this all the time to inanimate
> objects. Something only needs to have a suggestion of big eyes, and it
> becomes a friend.
> There might be a good evolutionary explanation, in the idea that it's
> better to assume that the rustling in the bushes is a lion, and run away,
> than to assume it's just the wind, and ignore it. So everything that moves
> becomes associated with something with (usually malicious) intent.
> It seems to me that religions started off as just our own curiosity and
> drive to understand (with maybe a bit of fear and drive to survive, as
> well), then somehow turned sour. In that view, science and religion have
> the same roots, just very different outcomes.
> The real puzzle, to me, is not how religion came to be, but how it
> persists. There are signs that it might not, in the long term, but that
> might just be wishful thinking.
> --
> Ben Zaiboc
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