Sunday, November 15, 2009

Genetically Predisposed

Humans are genetically wired for religion, claims report in NYTimes. An interesting take, as it's not congenial to either atheist or religionist perspectives, but it's basically what I've always thought about religious beliefs - they're not purely subjective or arbitrary, but they're part of being a human animal, and then shaped by one's culture. And just as one can feel pride and find meaning in one's culture, and yet appreciate and admire others people's cultures, so we can feel about our various faiths.

Check out the last paragraph:

"Could the evolutionary perspective on religion become the basis for some kind of detente between religion and science? Biologists and many atheists have a lot of respect for evolution and its workings, and if they regarded religious behavior as an evolved instinct they might see religion more favorably, or at least recognize its constructive roles. Religion is often blamed for its spectacular excesses, whether in promoting persecution or warfare, but gets less credit for its staple function of patching up the moral fabric of society. But perhaps it doesn’t deserve either blame or credit. If religion is seen as a means of generating social cohesion, it is a society and its leaders that put that cohesion to good or bad ends. "


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