1. Joined
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    25 Jul '11 20:24
    I thought about posting this on the science forum. It's here because a lot of discussion centers on the factuality of claims. Also, I have argued for the idea that societies enshrine their moral code in religions. This explains some of that.

    Here is the crux of it, from

    http://atheism.about.com/b/2006/11/13/evolution-morality-and-religion.htm

    Quote, from partway through:

    Gods, as full-access strategic agents, occupy a unique role that allows them to detect and punish cheaters and reward cooperators. In moral religions, such gods are conceived of as “interested parties in moral choices.” They are concerned with social interactions and fully cognizant of the behavior and motives of those involved. Communal belief in such beings lowers the risk of cooperating and raises the cost of cheating by making detection more probable and punishment more certain. Promoting the belief that one will be caught and punished if they cheat isn’t sufficient, though, because there are always people who won’t accept that belief (or who will cheat anyway). Thus, religion also offers another advantage: it provides a means by which people can more quickly identify likely cooperators and likely defectors.

    Religious rituals and rules function as ... hard-to-fake signals, and indeed, Irons has characterized religion as a “hard-to-fake sign of commitment.” He points out that religions are learned over a long span of time, their traditions are often sufficiently complex to be hard for an outsider to imitate, and their rituals provide opportunities for members to monitor each other for signs of sincerity. This is a costly and time-consuming process.

    Showing oneself to be a member of a religion signals that one has already made a significant contribution of time and energy to the group. That is, it signals that one is a reliable partner in social interactions and can be trusted to reciprocate.

    From an evolutionary perspective, religious morality provides a vehicle for extending the evolutionary mechanisms for morality, kin selection, and reciprocal altruism. Also, by serving as a hard-to-fake sign of commitment, religions function to discriminate between in-group members (those who have invested in the religion and so can be trusted) and out-group members (those who have not invested in the religion and so cannot be trusted).

    If this is true, and it certainly sounds plausible, it may provide some insight on the question of why liberal religious groups in America have been declining while conservative ones have been growing. Perhaps the more liberal the church, the less commitment is required by the members — in that case, though, the church and religious community do not serve to help people predict whether someone is trustworthy because the signals are too easy to fake. Conservative churches which require more commitment, however, may be more appealing because people unconsciously recognize the higher value of the hard-to-fake signals that such churches develop.

    unquote

    One this forum, we see skirmishes between self-styled Christians over subtleties of Christian doctrine, and downright battles over more substantial differences between, say, "positive atheists" and "fundamentalist Christians." While there are few opportunities for the arguers to actually need to know about each others reliability, I suppose it's good to stay in practice.🙂
  2. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    25 Jul '11 21:07
    Originally posted by JS357
    I thought about posting this on the science forum. It's here because a lot of discussion centers on the factuality of claims. Also, I have argued for the idea that societies enshrine their moral code in religions. This explains some of that.

    Here is the crux of it, from

    http://atheism.about.com/b/2006/11/13/evolution-morality-and-religion.htm

    Quote, f ...[text shortened]... lly need to know about each others reliability, I suppose it's good to stay in practice.🙂
    Thus guaranteeing permanent polarization and thus continuous war. Nice. Him V Us. 2000 years ago, 5000 years ago, right now, 1000 years from now, no end in sight. That is until the last human gasps her last breath. Then the religious wars will be over. And the planet can finally rest in peace.
  3. Joined
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    25 Jul '11 23:24
    Originally posted by JS357
    I thought about posting this on the science forum. It's here because a lot of discussion centers on the factuality of claims. Also, I have argued for the idea that societies enshrine their moral code in religions. This explains some of that.

    Here is the crux of it, from

    http://atheism.about.com/b/2006/11/13/evolution-morality-and-religion.htm

    Quote, f ...[text shortened]... lly need to know about each others reliability, I suppose it's good to stay in practice.🙂
    I'll stick with God's interpretation of man's current condition. Thank you very much.
  4. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    26 Jul '11 01:30
    Its certainly plausible; there MUST be some value in religion for primitive societies (since all have religion) and by "natural selection" the most beneficial (to their members) religions out-live the less beneficial. To this day we still see religions 'evolving' as they adapt to new environments.

    Sonhouses vision will only come about when the environment is no longer suitable and all religion is extinct. Unfortunately that is some way off.

    I wonder if some future Social Scientist will use government grants to artificially sustain some religions? (In the same way that we keep endangered animals in zoos and maintain dying languages (e.g. Welsh & Maori))
  5. Joined
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    26 Jul '11 02:14
    Originally posted by josephw
    I'll stick with God's interpretation of man's current condition. Thank you very much.
    That would fit the hypothesis.
  6. Joined
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    26 Jul '11 02:43
    Originally posted by JS357
    I thought about posting this on the science forum. It's here because a lot of discussion centers on the factuality of claims. Also, I have argued for the idea that societies enshrine their moral code in religions. This explains some of that.

    Here is the crux of it, from

    http://atheism.about.com/b/2006/11/13/evolution-morality-and-religion.htm

    Quote, f ...[text shortened]... lly need to know about each others reliability, I suppose it's good to stay in practice.🙂
    I think there is much truth in this; power-bases evolve from various sources. Religious organisations do place considerable pressure on members to conform and that conformity is rewarded with inclusion benefits and of course an implied access to the afterlife. Those who choose to leave such groups come under intense social and psychological pressure. There is perceived benefit to the established leadership in this of course, in that the rest of the group remain compliant.

    Organised religion as we generally see it today, is a social construct designed and developed by the established clergy to control the laity; the various denominations and offshoots of Christianity around the world are very powerful and manipulative, and yet are completely superfluous in terms of seeking God.
  7. Joined
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    26 Jul '11 03:04
    Originally posted by divegeester
    I think there is much truth in this; power-bases evolve from various sources. Religious organisations do place considerable pressure on members to conform and that conformity is rewarded with inclusion benefits and of course an implied access to the afterlife. Those who choose to leave such groups come under intense social and psychological pressure. ...[text shortened]... are very powerful and manipulative, and yet are completely superfluous in terms of seeking God.
    If there were a God, or gods, is it theoretically possible that there is a correct organized religion with respect to that God or gods? Or is there something about organized religions that separates them from this possibility?
  8. Joined
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    26 Jul '11 03:09
    Originally posted by JS357
    If there were a God, or gods, is it theoretically possible that there is a correct organized religion with respect to that God or gods? Or is there something about organized religions that separates them from this possibility?
    In theory most things are possible; the problem God has is the existence of organised religions, not the lack of a "true" one.
  9. Joined
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    29 Jul '11 02:12
    The funny part is that even evolution can not be proven. So in essence, it is, by definition, a religion. It just removes the possibility of a God in all interpretations of evidence.
  10. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    29 Jul '11 03:15
    Originally posted by longken
    The funny part is that even evolution can not be proven. So in essence, it is, by definition, a religion. It just removes the possibility of a God in all interpretations of evidence.
    "by definition" - what are you talking about? whose definition? Yours?

    Most things at some level can not be proven - is everything therefore a religion?

    What is so frightening about the absence of religion that you have to rename science? Its bizarre.
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