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

by cofty 74 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    Darwin himself mused that the implication of natural selection is that the human mind is not equipped to perceive reality:

    "with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy" (letter to William Graham 3rd of July 1881, Darwin Correspondance Project [online]) [quoted in Gary Gutting, Talking God (2017)]
  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    slim - we can aim for conscious realism though - did you watch the ted talk yourself?

  • cofty
    cofty

    Which is why we have science.

    I'm having trouble connecting this with the topic though.

  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    the connection for me is to do with the topic title cofty from Haidt - whether or not what is untrue is useful

  • cofty
    cofty

    The topic subject is explained in the OP.

    I am taking it as a given that the supernatural assumptions of religion are not objectively true. If somebody disagrees and wants to discuss that instead then that would be a different thread.

    Did religion play a valuable role in our evolution, binding together large groups of people to achieve common goals? Despite the obvious problems with religion do we lose anything valuable by discarding it completely?

  • Fairlane
    Fairlane

    Are we as rational beings capable of using collective ideas and processes for the benefit of mankind without woo woo?!! God help us if not ! Lol

  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    cofty the problem is that we as humans use religious like thinking to bind/achieve unity within ourselves to focus on a goal/ a purpose in other words to be teleological.

    Haidt is after all a psychologist isn't he?

  • cofty
    cofty
    Are we as rational beings... - Fairlane

    I think it's more true to say that we are only partly rational beings.

    Nobody has more contempt for woo woo than I do but I think Haidt raises an interesting question.

    Step 1 - Superstitious beliefs arose as the side-effect of hypersensitive agency detection. We assume that random events are caused by unseen beings. Humans lived in small family groups of hunter-gatherers.

    Step 2 - Religious ritual activates the "hive switch" and binds hundreds or thousands of people who are not genetically related into groups working for common goals.

    Religions that are more effective in achieving group success dominate or absorb groups with less effective religious beliefs and rituals.

    So what about now? As people increasingly reject irrational belief systems and become more individualistic do we lose anything valuable? If so what can replace it?

    Is the success of Trump partly down to his ability - perhaps unknowingly - to speak to certain intuitions that are part of our evolutionary inheritance?

  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    cofty - great point - hence the need for objective realism

    Is the success of Trump partly down to his ability - perhaps unknowingly - to speak to certain intuitions that are part of our evolutionary inheritance? cofty
  • Fairlane
    Fairlane

    Cofty .... "partly rational"...the capability to reason must give us the choice to reject any 'benefit' of religion for a better method which encompasses group thinking. If their is a ' part' of our psych or makeup which is not rational it would be interesting as the judicial system would have to take into account when dealing with irrational behaviour excuse.

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