A Conversation for The Evolutionary Advantages of Faith

Faith -- evolved?

Post 1


Sorry to be so late coming to this but I only found it now, linked from the Chicken and Egg conversation F48874?thread=346576

The idea that religion evolved along with our other instincts is problematic. Most of the features of religion that we recognise are appropriate to agricultural life (in other words, all gods are agricultural gods) which began some 20,000 years ago when all our instincts were well established.

Of course, the question hinges on what truly is religion and what is not, and that is an open-ended question.

Faith -- evolved?

Post 2

Mrs Zen

I agree with you about religion - religion is memetic and conceptual, and therefore has a minimal requiremnet of intelligence in order to exist.

However, what I was discussing was something more atavistic. It is clear than animals can feel mother-love, fear, happiness, and other emotions. I was postulating that at least some elements of believing or faith are almost as primitive as these emotions.

Less clearly, it seems likely to me that the concept of a being greater than oneself is one which pack animals, and other animals with hierarchical social structures could well share with us as a species. Non-social animals, (for some reason I am thinking of turtles), would not be likely to have the concept of an Ur-Alpha-Male, which is what God is, in most monotheistic religions, after all.

Thanks for your comment and look out for the Belief Project - it tackles the subject from a lot of different angles.

All the best.


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