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On Sun, 23 Sep 2001, Richard Brodie wrote:
> But, really, semantics and definitions aside, religion _is_ a learned
> behavior. Period. It is not innate. Acting as the agent of a religion is
> a learned behavior. Period. It is not innate. Accepting rewards in an
> afterlife is a belief, and beliefs are tenets held _without evidence_.
> Learned tenets.
Logical type police here... Religion is a complex set of learned beliefs
AND behaviors associated with those beliefs.
Not quite sure what Wade means by beliefs being tenets held _without_
evidence_. Most people believe that the sun goes down in the west. We
more enlightened folks all know that no such thing happens, in spite of
the evidence that it does. Our "knowing" is merely a more carefully
crafted belief. I have to take it on faith that people who have studied
the stars and planets haven't made some huge error. I have no evidence
except authoritative heresay to believe that the earth orbits the sun. My
limited personal observations can be explained quite satisfactorily by
other "theories" of celestial movement. Our "knowing" is still a belief,
evidence or no evidence.
As to beliefs without cultural learning, we have few instances of
people being raised by wolves, but do the thought experiment. Would that
wolf-raised person have beliefs? Do beliefs require language? If yes and
no, then an infant could develop beliefs at a preverbal level very
quickly and based on some pretty slim evidence.
-- TJ Olney Western Washington University -
-- What senses do we lack that we cannot perceive another universe all
around us? Frank Herbert Dune
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