From: Chris Taylor (email@example.com)
Date: Mon 16 Jan 2006 - 11:25:34 GMT
The point is that where people have no clearly-grounded
non-spiritual hypotheses about why things are the way they are,
or should be the way they might not be, God fills a many-faceted
niche in their mental make-up. That is a full-on
evolutionary-memetic raison d'etre. Evidentiary arguments as to
the truth of any assertions about God are unfortunately outwith
the boundary of things we can discuss, as there is naught but
And anyway isn't the set of things that could be God subsumed by
the set of things that are simply aliens? I don't seek to demean
a literal God (as opposed to the more C of E view [iyswim] of a
personal god) but as we look to and begin to understand the
stars and all that, surely religion founded millenia ago need a
polish? And although we can tie Judaism to Islam to Christianity
on a family tree, would you assert that the many other religions
are simply wrong?
Through my screaming (ex-Catholic) atheism let me acknowledge
that church-goers _are_ generally happier than matched controls
and do linger longer (that started as a typo but I liked it --
hooray for systemic errors). But how many have died for
unsubstantiated belief? I think the jury is still out on whether
it is a good thing.
I of course still think (believe) that sociologists from the
stars are playing with us in all this; otherwise it _would_ take
a God, or some _really_ unlikely coincidences, to kick it off
imho but then I would put God and alien on the same synonym list
as I would magic and science, where in both cases the former is
a version of the latter that we do not yet understand). Someone
should explain the prime directive to these green, betentacled
grad students (not that Kirk et al. ever stuck to it).
And in closing, I would defend with all I have your right to
believe what you like in any arena, but you cannot make a
substantial defence of it based on a non-proof; we just have to
agree to differ from the outset and not jointly open that can of
Kate Distin wrote:
> 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.
> 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
-- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ firstname.lastname@example.org http://psidev.sf.net/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =============================================================== 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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