Saturday, November 24, 2012

A brief look into the nature of religion

Contemplation on 5 main thesis' on the origin of theism and its relation to human nature.

1. As a result of latent inhibition of past interpretation - It seems to appear as an alternative way of interpretation and approaching reality, brought on by our past interpretations.

It is because we used to interpret the world through mythological archetypes that we continue to see their presence in the modern world.

Past renderings of reality, no longer holding validity to scientific minds, once did because people didn't have a method of testing idea/hypothesis on the basis of its manifestation. Rather, the ideas of human's about the natural phenomenal world were fit into parental hierarchies (father,son) and figures (gods, demons, angels). These are ostensible in themselves. You can find more about this Jungian theory in my book, "Devil, demons, angels, gods." (no longer available).

To deal with this inhibition, society and groups having the agenda to diminish religious interpretation, might fund debates, education, or organizations working towards an informed populace.

2.  As a result of the ease of theistic interpretation - Its much easier to put your mind into religion than to understand science or seek to learn about the natural world through the process of naturalism.

Take for example what Dawkins calls god-of-the-gaps. This a teleological understanding of theological realism. Causes and effects or the world as it is, is said to be that way because of or for "God".

Therefore there is a tendency in human nature, in human beings, to conform to past explanations rather than adapt to conventional thought. Planck pointed this out in his quote "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

This kind of thinking, is also exhibited in people that are conformists because of their indoctrination, which is responsible for the ease of which a mind conforms to provided information.

3. As a result of beneficial ends promised - It is brought on by the promises of reward that may come from adhering to traditions. Not all traditions or rituals followed by a society are always explicitly beneficial, but most are, and if not are implicitly beneficial.

Example of implicit : The Hamar tribe, were women are beaten, and those that are can later come to their masters or "honored" to receive food or care from them (exhibiting their commitment to the tribes "cult-ure"). Example of explicit : Pope's having qualified for their position receive large amounts of tithes and are honored for their identity in the Catholic community.

4. As a result of Authority, slave morality -  In the past the government was theocratic. Through investment of tithes religions have brought themselves up from the lands of the imaginations and story-telling. As they have, there were people in power that controlled the flow of that money, and took on a financial authority and it came with a social influence. During many times, religion has been used as mode of artificial selection, ridding the world of any one that was an antagonist or in popular opposition to the religious creeds.

5. As a result of conformity bias - CB is a tendency to behave similarly to the others in a group. People tend to conform to what a group of others think or tend to do. This is exhibited in isolated groups or tribes, and not so easily understood in secular societies, where other things, such as preference or personal logic might be at work.

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