Say what?

 

The title brought you here because it was intended to provoke a response.

 

But seriously, this question deserves some serious thought. We have seen recent debates (largely dismissing) the "God Spot" and Hope has enlightened us with some discussion of the God helmet... but consider this for a moment: were we born to believe?

 

Believing what we are told is a powerful survival mechanism. I had thought that we instinctively feared different creatures and things with a certain sexual bias. Men feared things that could harm them; women the same and both sexes feared things that could harm us equally.

 

There's some credence to the theory that women (for instance) tend to be more fearful of spiders and creepy crawlies than men; and I had wondered if that was pre-wired but it makes more sense if this is actually a learned response: handed down over thousands of generations just like a physical gene.

 

The ability to believe without question that which is told to you as a child is a powerful survival mechanism - which I suspect we have evolved as sure as we have developed language.

 

Gods were invented by primitive man to explain the world around him. Over time, most have either being replaced or cobbled together into one mystery that we still cannot explain: the creation of life. (You can replace that with the creation of the universe, but that's actually demonstrable and probably better understood.)

 

Dawkins and others refer to this idea as a meme - but memes, as I recall, seem to have fallen into disuse.(Someone, please do correct me if I'm wrong).

 

Real atheists (that is ones who have thought it out) seem to be those most able to think outside of a box; whereas people who devoutly believe in some form of all-powerful creator are almost always the product of a powerful outside influence. An influence that is able to connect a memory with strong emotion from a very early age (or occasionally, when the subject is in a receptive state; such as when suffering a bereavement.)

 

This is a very wide brush on what I believe to be a very detailed subject, but if this assertion is correct, we're in serious trouble: we might not have a "god" spot but we do seem to have a belief area - in a very primitive part of our memory - and that's just as dangerous; perhaps even more so.

Tags: evolition, psychology

Views: 8

Replies to This Discussion

It's more to do with what Richard Dawkins calls an intentional stance.

 

Correction:  That's Dennet's invention, Dawkins finds it useful to appropriate, just like 'cranes and skyhooks.'

 

 

And he probably quoted it as such.  I can't remember all of the attributions.  Heh.

 

I haven't read any of Dennet's books yet.  Anything you can recommend?

Consciousness explained and the one about evolution; the title of which just escaped me.  Which respectively contain the ideas we are discussing  including darwin's strange inversion of reasoning', and 'the universal acid'  - which are more Dennet concepts.

 

CE doesn't do what it says on the box either, what it does do is review  dualism from the perspective of philosophy of mind, information sciences / computing AI  and neurology and finds it to be bunk.  Then forwards a new hypothesis of multi-pass conscious streams as an alternative consistent with what we know about the brain.  I've seen that concept cited in a recent humanities paper I read, so it is not an insignificant proposal.

Hmm, I'll check that first one out.  Thanks.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea, was the other one.  It just came to me.

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