Was/Is Religion Useful Even if it isn't True?

by cofty 74 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    What is the basis for assuming that perceptions that promote survival are also objectively true perceptions?

    I am not sure to what extent we "choose" to believe things. My experience of beliefs is not that I can change them at will through "choice". I can't say I will "choose" to believe in homeopathy for example, because it would involve me accepting various thing I don't find reasonable. Beliefs seem to arise from somewhere deeper inside than simply a choice, such as choosing what to wear or where to go on holiday, and is in some sense involuntary. Do you experience beliefs as a choice?

  • Finkelstein
    Finkelstein

    What is the basis for assuming that perceptions that promote survival are also objectively true perceptions?

    Because of the physical evidence of the endeavor which has no engagement toward belief.

    Beliefs are mostly made up of emotive theory with no engagement of physical evidence.

    Working with physical evidence as shown to be much more beneficial than waiting upon beliefs built only upon hearsay to resolve are problems.

  • Finkelstein
    Finkelstein

    Richard Carrier has some interesting thoughts on the subject of religious values in comparison to scientific endeavored values.

    Sorry the video isn't the best .....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyrKMIDSVYE

  • slimboyfat
  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    In Haidt's book there must be a chapter on other things that groups do for people and that is that they provide self acceptance and purpose/teleology. So I wouldn't say that social cohesion is the most important. (btw I'm not arguing for groups here just stating my argument re what religion functioned for and then to address the issue of how to decouple self from group as cofty seems to want to do and as I understand him)

    The thing about teleology is that it must rest on some basis - the basis we choose to rest our sense of purpose on may range between totally untrue, vaguely true, fantasy, illusion, something that could come true etc. So I think when Haidt is addressing the issue of something being untrue yet held as true he is perhaps implying this teleological (purposeful) part of our make-up and then addressing the issue of how to get along with people when our different teleologies clash?.

    a side point though is that If this is the case it is impossible to separate something that we call religion from what we call politics or what we call social life or what we call our history but it is possible to decouple sense of self from groups and groupspeak imo

  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    so I guess what I am arguing is that in addition to Haidt thesis that 'religion is not a meme or a parasite of the mind but a vital development in cultural evolution' it must also be the case that our agent detection system is also used in constructing selfhood at the same time as endeavouring to detect agents (be they divine or mortal) external to us.

  • slimboyfat
  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    at 8.00 mins - classic case of the male leaving the real female for the model - (the beatle that mistakes an old can of beer which seems to have the same textures and colours) for a female beetle and mates with it - in the end the poor beetle only chooses old discarded beer cans to mate with.

    then there is a bull mounting a statue of a cow

    we are shaped by tricks and hacks that keep us alive (at 12 mins) evolution has given us an interface that hides reality (13 mins) that hides complexity (15.50 mins)

    our technology gives us an advantage - the real source of cause and effect 17.50 mins - 19 mins reality may turn out to be more fascinating than we have ever imagined

    we should be depressed about this as our evolution can still get us to reason (20 mins) - he bets that our logic and mathematics may have selective pressures that are advantageous in that these at least put us in the direction of truth

    Hoffman calls his approach conscious realism - now that aim I can wholeheartedly agree with.

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe
    If our brains are descended from ancestors whose brains tended towards groupish ritual that would explain a lot about our world.

    Yes it would. Anglican funerals are a good example. It may be just high church but the vicar was dressed in bright green robes and walked in saying at the top of his voice 'I am the resurrection and the light'. I nearly jumped out of my skin because of course we didn't see him enter as all the pews faced the front. Then the whole church reciting the Lord's Prayer. Creepy!

    I wonder what evolutionary blip has caused some of us to hate groupish ritual. Is it because we were raised JW with its lack of ritual or are people attracted to the new religions because they dislike group ritual. Personally I hated the Memorial, the only groupish ritual we had. Although I suppose you could class singing together as a group ritual. I quite enjoyed that especially at conventions. Now people join and sing in choirs without religion, I see them advertised on town notice boards. We still want to do things in groups even without religion.

  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    hey don't knock rituals - if we didn't have them would we get our of bed in the morning

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