Re: playing at suicide

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Sun Jan 13 2002 - 05:00:44 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "RE: playing at suicide"

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    Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 00:00:44 -0500
    From: "Philip Jonkers" <>
    Subject: Re: playing at suicide
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    >>Religion is hopelessly outdated and obsolete in
    >>society. This is reflected by the Pope admitting
    >>more and more scienctific truisms in catholic
    >>religion. If we want to reach unity as a people
    >>world-wide, religion is the foremost obstacle that
    >>has to be eliminated. Since the vast majority of
    >>humans adhere to some sort of religion this is
    >>a truly daunting task. I doubt if it will ever be
    >>feasible, all the more since it seems that religion
    >>is ingrained in the human brain.
    >By ingrained are you implying a genetically based
    predisposition for
    >religion? If so, this assumption bears on what you
    say below. Or maybe you
    >meant ingrained in the sense of people growing up
    with the ideas their
    >entire life, so that these ideas become part of their
    psychic fabric.

    I guess I have already said something about this
    but I'm happy to repeat myself. Actually I mean both,
    religion is both biologically ingrained and
    culturally nurtured. Basically what it boils down
    to is the Baldwin effect. Religion supposedly offers
    greater survival chances and therefore the more
    biologically predisposed brain has better survival
    chances and automatically increases in frequency by
    selective forces that favor `religious' genes.
    The phenotypical expression of religion may be only
    a sub-set of a more general `spiritual' phenotype, in
    the same way that it is unlikely that there are
    special genes for car-driving ability but rather
    genes responsible for more general properties such as
    reaction speed, caution etc...

    >>Maybe after many
    >>generations of enlightenment it may get evolved out.
    >By what mechanism would many generations of
    enlightment evolve a
    >(genetically based?) religious predisposition out of
    the human psyche? Could
    >this elimination of religious predisposition occur in
    a universal manner
    >throughout the human population of Earth? Would there
    be harsh selection
    >pressure for such an eliminative evolutionary shift
    in religiously biasing
    >alleles or would they drift out in such a large
    population? Maybe in the
    >absence of selection (if there is actually any for
    religiously biasing
    >alleles) mutations which eliminate the bias could
    accumulate without

    >Were you thinking of some neo-Lamarckian mechanism
    where disuse of the
    >religious faculty results in its deterioration?

    If humans find better survival strategies *without*
    religion such selection pressures would emerge
    naturally. Quite the opposite of what history
    presumably offered. Scientific enlightenment is
    pushing us in this direction, tradition and the
    latent utility of religion as a political
    weapon and control instrument is retarding
    this progression at the same time. Who will have the
    longest breath?


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