From: Kate Distin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon 16 Jan 2006 - 10:59:20 GMT
Chris Taylor wrote:
> I think the basic thing is that saying 'God says' sidesteps having to
> reformulate Kantian ethics every damned time you want your associates to
> stop hacking each other to bits.
> God (of whetever kind) is of course attached to all sorts of (frequently
> abhorrent) systems. But then evolution kicks in, which means that of all
> those nascent irrationally founded belief systems, only the functional
> ones (usually Golden Rule plus diet advice plus washing) survive.
> The basic point is that God shortcuts a lot of argumentation, which in a
> philosophically naive context is no bad thing...
> So whatever the reason a seer might see, the reason that meme
> proliferates is entirely functional. I reckon. And of course completely
> anachronistic for us.
> Cheers, Chris.
> Kenneth Van Oost wrote:
>> So is religion than still a disease, a malfunction in the brain !?
>> And was, for that matter, Christ himself a patient !?
Speculation about the reason why belief in God persists - whether the
speculation latches onto genetic or memetic explanations - is irrelevant
to the question of religion's *truth*. An evolutionary account of
religion is usually *based on* the assumption that God doesn't exist: it
is not a proof of that assumption.
The same point stands in response to Kenneth's question whether religion
is a mental disease. Language like this (or like Dawkins's "mental
virus") implies that religion is something harmful and misguided, but
neurological explanations of religion are no more relevant to the
question of God's existence than evolutionary explanations are.
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