Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
it is like accidental brainwash, the kids are taught young long before they are smart enough to have their own opinion, and they grow up believing it and pass it down ignorant of what they are doing.
If you subscribe to the hypothesis of Memes, then it becomes clear that no person need benefit from 'brainwashing', whether religeous or not.
To re-state the requirements for evolution through natural selection...
1. Replication - organisms must reproduce themselves.
2. Variation - the reproduction must not be perfect: offspring must not be exact copies of parents.
3. Competition - There must be limited resources needed for reproduction.
Now thing of 'ideas' as the organisms (particularly in pre-industrial times)...
1. Ideas reproduce - they are passed on from person to person
2. Ideas do not reproduce perfectly - each person will tell the story / descibe the event / teach the process slightly differently.
3. There are limited resources - There are only so many people you can teach an idea and if it's not an idea they are receptive to, they will loose interest and not pass it on themselves.
So it is the ideas (or Memes as they have come to be known) that are the subject of evolution in this case. It is they who benefit from the brainwashing. Whether we benefit or not is another question entirely and is irrelevant so long as we pass on the idea.