From: Robin Faichney (email@example.com)
Date: Sun 24 Jul 2005 - 17:12:48 GMT
Sunday, July 24, 2005, 3:39:47 PM, Keith wrote:
> At 10:36 AM 24/07/05 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
>>Neuroticism is pandemic due to unhealthy attitudes, opinions and
>>lifestyles, such as religious fundamentalism (but emphatically not
>>only that). It first instills guilt and anxiety, telling you you're a
>>sinner and will go to hell, and then provides a dramatic catharsis in
>>the experience of being "born again": rather a successful strategy.
> I won't argue with your analysis, heck, I wrote very similar things myself
> many years ago, but it really needs to be grounded at a lower level. How
> did "chronic anxiety," "guilt" and related become human psychological
> traits? I.e., how did they (or something else that they are a side effect
> too) convey a selective advantage during the millions of years we lived in
> hunter-gatherer societies?
The answer regarding chronic anxiety is very, very easy: it's the
result of NOT behaving in the ways that evolution has determined suit
us. Guilt is perhaps more difficult, as it might have an adaptive
social function in hierarchical groups.
> Pascal Boyer's book _Religion Explained_ doesn't provide a full explanation
> either, but his observations and insights look like they are leading in the
> right direction. I think they will have to be incorporated into an
> evolutionary psychology explanation of religions.
Religions are extremely complex and diverse phenomena, but I don't
think a general theory of them is possible without consideration of
their relationship with sub-clinical mental illness.
-- Best regards, Robin mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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