Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Hot topics in delusion and rationalization.
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Rob Lister
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Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Post by Rob Lister » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:26 pm

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/this-t ... eve-in-god

I donno. Seems like a good theory. Sounds pretty.

[youtube][/youtube]

It begins by saying that one theory is that people believe because God really exists, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. They then make the claim that it was an evolution advantage to believe it. That back that claim up with a logical explanation but certainly do not provide evidence, extraordinary or no, that it is true. It's just one of those goose/gander things that bug me. If the goose did not reference the gander, it wouldn't bug me in the least.

I for one have always assumed this was true but I can't imagine how one would prove it. Is there a God gene?

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Re: Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:36 pm

Evolved "to" believe in God?

That's how God works, not how evolution works.

If it's evolution, and the propensity to believe in God is somehow genetic, then it's an epiphenomenon of some survival trait, or maybe sexual selection.

And if it's put there by God tweaking things along a bit in the context of evolution, that's still creationism, even if not the popular moronic variety.

And what about all those primitive people who don't believe in God?

I don't mean philosophical atheists. I mean good pious propitiators of their ancestors' ghosts and warders off of various evil spirits who don't believe in GOD (which is a fairly sophisticated concept actually).
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Re: Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:48 pm

Is there any primitive tribe of people somewhere, say in the Amazon, or Borneo or whatever, that doesn't believe in some sort of god?

I put that question to Google, and here's the top result I found:
Pirahã people
According to Everett, the Pirahã have no concept of a supreme spirit or god,[8] and they lost interest in Jesus when they discovered that Everett had never seen him. They require evidence based on personal experience for every claim made.[5] However, they do believe in spirits that can sometimes take on the shape of things in the environment. These spirits can be jaguars, trees, or other visible, tangible things including people.[4](pp112,134–142) Everett reported one incident where the Pirahã said that “Xigagaí, one of the beings that lives above the clouds, was standing on a beach yelling at us, telling us that he would kill us if we go into the jungle.” Everett and his daughter could see nothing and yet the Pirahã insisted that Xigagaí was still on the beach.[4](ppxvi-xvii)
So, make of that what you will. Certainly not all gods are conceived of as almighty or in the monotheistic Abrahamic sense.
I think we did evolve to be social, tribal creatures, and tribes need some kind of organizing principle. God(s) or "spirits" tend to be a convenient one that seems to occur to most primitive people.
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Re: Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:55 pm

Are we talking about "some sort" of god (including ancestors' ghosts) or GOD?

Because "some sort" == infinite wiggle room such as is favored by religious apologists.

You know, order and beauty in nature implies a designer, therefore bronze age savages got it right about Adam and Eve (if not the shape of the Earth).
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Re: Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:42 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:If it's evolution, and the propensity to believe in God is somehow genetic, then it's an epiphenomenon of some survival trait, or maybe sexual selection.
I basically agree with this view. The survival trait is how we are social animals and basically our belief systems are determined by the social group we are born into.
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Re: Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:49 pm

So it's not belief in God as such that is being selected for, it's gullibility and conformism.
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Re: Humans Evolved to Believe in God

Post by Rob Lister » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:35 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:So it's not belief in God as such that is being selected for, it's gullibility and conformism.

More specifically, conformism in the otherwise absence of gullibility.