[ExI] Prisoner of bad philosophy: Carl Sagan couldn?t allow himself to hope

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Aug 5 05:30:35 UTC 2018

On Sun, 5 Aug 2018 at 2:54 pm, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:

> Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> snip
> >Atheists think they know that there is no evidence for God, and therefore
> that belief in God is without basis.
> It is more complicated.  The question is not about a particular
> belief, but why people believe in *anything:*  The only reason
> acceptable to current science is evolution.  I.e., over some
> considerable stretch of our ancestral past the ability to have beliefs
> must have had a survival advantage over those who did not have this
> ability.
> I have argued the ability to have beliefs at all was selected as one
> of the psychological features of making war.  But the ability could
> have been selected for some entirely different reason.  Not all human
> psychological selection is as obvious as capture-bonding.
> > For some atheists it is upsetting that
> so many base their lives around religious belief given this, and they feel
> obliged to tell them why they are wrong at every opportunity; for other
> atheists peoples? stupidity doesn?t bother them.
> You wonder a bit why the behavior was selected of telling a person
> when they have stupid beliefs?  It's not a direct survival trait.

Being rational has survival value. Philosophy doesn’t have direct survival
value, but it is a side-effect of valuing rationality.
Stathis Papaioannou
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