[ExI] Why religion at all?.

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sat Jun 5 18:18:33 UTC 2010

On 6/5/2010 12:31 PM, John Clark wrote:

> most people have this usually advantageous tendency to believe into
> adulthood whatever they were taught as children. And so screwy religious
> ideas that start small propagate.

Yes, but the odd thing about screwy religious ideas is how vehemently 
and murderously they can be held. You can deny the Tooth Fairy without 
too many people losing control on the spot and shooting you dead, but do 
a simple sketch of a non-Presbyterian prophet and many of his followers 
will go bugfuck crazy and hack you to death while setting random cars on 
fire. Of course this is an outlet for backed-up hormones and political 
grievances, but somehow religion has a singular capacity to fire up 
superstimuli uber-releasers. Keith's kill-the-Other evolutionary psych 
story is clearly part of what's going on, but that seems to me likely to 
be a side consequence of something far more deeply rooted in group and 
individual psychology (along the lines of informing a drunk redneck that 
his mother is a 'ho).

Damien Broderick

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