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Re: Religion thread -- we need mental causes for religious

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  • Tom Potocki
    Rich wrote: Religion is not heritable - the disposition to religion caused by a marked increase in ontological anxiety that came with developing self
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 31, 2002
      Rich wrote:

      "Religion is
      not
      heritable - the disposition to religion caused by a
      marked increase in
      ontological anxiety that came with developing self
      consciousness is
      heritable."

      Hi Rich:

      Do we in fact know the answer to the following
      question -- is the cause of religious disposition (as
      you put it): a) heritable an ontological anxiety, as
      you suggest, or b) the tendency to posit existence of
      supernatural beings (as pascal boyer and guthrie,
      among others, suggest)?

      Is, in fact, the reason why women (on the whole) are
      more relgious than men (on the whole) the same reason
      why women are more skilled at social interaction than
      men -- i.e. ability to posit "intelligence" at work
      and interact with it intuitive ("folk-psychological")
      ways?

      No doubt, some of us do come to religion because of
      ontological (or other) anxiety. But most, I am
      guessing, come to it for other reasons?

      very best regards,
      tom

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    • Rich Faussette
      In a message dated 10/31/02 10:42:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... rich: Reflective self-consciousness is heritable - the increase in potential for ontological
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 1, 2002
        In a message dated 10/31/02 10:42:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, tomaszjanpotocki@... writes:


        Hi Rich:

        Do we in fact know the answer to the following question -- is the cause of religious disposition (as you put it): �a) heritable an ontological anxiety, as
        you suggest, or b) the tendency to posit existence of supernatural beings (as pascal boyer and guthrie, among others, suggest)? �


        rich:
        Reflective self-consciousness is heritable - the increase in potential for ontological anxiety is a product of that self consciousness - I haven't read what Boyer and Guthrie suggest about the existence of supernatural beings �- I look to the religious mystics to tell me about the religious experience, not the people who interpret them or speculate about them. I look to see for example what Adolph Franke or Gershom Scholem say about the Kabbalah or the nature and tactics of the Baal Shem Tov who kick started the Hasidic renewal or how the Nag Hammadi texts compare to the synoptic gospels or how the desription of the self sacrifice in the Vedas compares to DT Suzuki's Zen no-mind. I also look to see what scientists say about pure altruism. �The self sacrifice is the essence of pure altruism. It is an absolute. The story of the 36 hidden just men from Jewish mysticism is an absolute portraying an act of pure altruism. These are men no one will know (no chance for reciprocity) who save the world.
        I can speculate that with the realization of self consciousness man mistakenly for a time assumed the same self consciousness for all manifestations and an overriding consciousness that governed them because its the simplest and most parsimonious speculation. I am conscious, therefore all are conscious.

        The comparison I made in the table between stages in man's evolutionary development and the allegory regarding the fall of adam and eve in genesis are perfect. I didn't build the allegories. I'm just reading them from a darwinian perspective.

        tom:
        Is, in fact, the reason why women (on the whole) are more relgious than men (on the whole) the same reason why women are more skilled at social interaction than men -- i.e. ability to posit "intelligence" at work and interact with it intuitive ("folk-psychological") ways?


        rich:
        In a society in which the understanding of the man's unique self sacrifice and the significance of the unique male role is lost, men abandon religion. Women, on the other hand who exhibit greater sociality which is an aspect of their unique gender role, let go of communal religion much less readily.


        tom:

        No doubt, some of us do come to religion because of ontological (or other) anxiety. �But most, I am guessing, come to it for other reasons? �

        very best regards,
        tom


        rich:
        You say 'some of us.' I am not speaking of individual choices. I am saying that the reason why the religious experience is ubiquitous is because it is a result of the development of self-consciousness and with great selection stresses populations aquire religious disciplines which is simply a way of acting in concert to make communally adaptive behaviors intuitive much the same way Colinvaux describes the religious discipline of the roman legions in Fates Of Nations. This assumption of religious discipline is accomplished personally and/or communally.

        Thanks for your reasoned response tom.
        rich
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