[ExI] de Waal

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 01:57:15 UTC 2018

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 10:12 AM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com
> wrote:

> ​>* ​*
> *I am sure you can agree that there are many who go to some church who
> don't believe a word of it, but don't want to act like a rebel or
> unbeliever. *

They go to church but don't believe a word of it? Not a word? I actually
don't agree, I think that's pretty rare. And those that go to mosque but
don't believe a word of what the Islamic franchise is pushing are even more
rare. You don't fly an airliner into a skyscraper unless you strongly
believe you will get 77 virgins in the afterlife for doing so. Why did they
believe that was true? Because their mommy and daddy told them it was
true.And​ 86% of Muslims living in Egypt believe those leaving Islam should
receive the death penalty, 79% in Afghanistan and 76% in Pakistan believe
the same thing.  Why do they think that would be a good idea? Because their
mommy and daddy told them it was a good idea.

​> ​
> *You don't have to posit a genetic tendency to believe what authorities
> are saying to explain the facts.  It could easily be environmental. *

It's both. Genes predispose the young to believe what the adults in their
environment tell them, so if they are told idiotic things in childhood they
will tend to believe idiot things in adulthood.

>  *Ockham.*

Ockham liked simplicity and our genes are far simpler than our environment;
you could put the entire human genome on a CD, and that format came out
about 35 years ago.

> ​> ​
> *There is some resistance to persuasion in all of us - contrarianism.  We
> don't like to feel manipulated.*

True, and I'm sure none of the 911 hijackers felt manipulated when they
flew airliners into skyscrapers, if they had they wouldn't have done it.

> ​>* ​*
> *What happens when you present conflicting views to a person? *

​That depends on how old they are, with each passing year
conflicting view
 ​will have less impact. And people never get religious views through logic
so they can not be disabused of them through logic.

*​> ​Presenting the other side(s) often knocks the person for a loop - he
> has no defense or counterarguments.*

But he ALWAYS has a ironclad counterargument; "logic be damned, the reveled
WORD OF GOD says I'm right and you're wrong and that's that".

> ​> ​
> If your position is that it is genetic, then you have a hard time
> explaining the world-wide decline in church attendance.

I'm not saying there is a gene for religion, I'm saying there is a gene
that predisposes the young to believe what adults tell them. If adults
don't push religion onto their kids then they probably won't grow up to be
religious nuts. And church attendance may be in decline, at least in
Europe, but I don't think mosque attendance is in decline

John K Clark
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