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How Religion Helps People


Guyver

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9 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

We’re not talking about what gene expression’s are impacted by but your specific claim that we are hard-wired to believe. You’ve not shown that to be true. 
 

cormac

We know for a fact we are hardwired to accept social conditioning.  If not, we’d all be dead right now.

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3 minutes ago, Guyver said:

No, I have not shown that to be true.  You are correct.  I have offered an argument with reasonable evidence demonstrating that it could be true.

Not really as being hard-wired suggests there is/are a gene or genes responsible for beliefs which is just as erroneous IMO as claiming there are such that regulate specific thoughts. Yours would more properly be considered “soft-wired” as a consequence or byproduct of sapience. 
 

cormac

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2 minutes ago, Guyver said:

We know for a fact we are hardwired to accept social conditioning.  If not, we’d all be dead right now.

That’s a generalization but NOT evidence of your specific claim. 
 

cormac

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1 minute ago, cormac mac airt said:

That’s a generalization but NOT evidence of your specific claim. 
 

cormac

Well, it’s evidence of a similar thing isn’t it?

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4 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Not really as being hard-wired suggests there is/are a gene or genes responsible for beliefs which is just as erroneous IMO as claiming there are such that regulate specific thoughts. Yours would more properly be considered “soft-wired” as a consequence or byproduct of sapience. 
 

cormac

Perhaps it is the ability to accept beliefs and not the actual beliefs themselves that are the issue.

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6 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Not really as being hard-wired suggests there is/are a gene or genes responsible for beliefs which is just as erroneous IMO as claiming there are such that regulate specific thoughts. Yours would more properly be considered “soft-wired” as a consequence or byproduct of sapience. 
 

cormac

It’s the survival genes.  Those are speaking.  We survived?  How?  By learning from our ancestors. You don’t think that **** gets passed on?

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4 minutes ago, Guyver said:

Well, it’s evidence of a similar thing isn’t it?

Your specific claim would be a biproduct of that at best, not an equivalent. 
 

cormac

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1 minute ago, cormac mac airt said:

Your specific claim would be a biproduct of that at best, not an equivalent. 
 

cormac

Sorry, I can’t consider this properly now.  I’ll get back to this point.  Thank you for it. Good night.

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4 minutes ago, Guyver said:

Perhaps it is the ability to accept beliefs and not the actual beliefs themselves that are the issue.

Still a biproduct of sapience and modern consciousness, and its associated modern craniomorphology, something of which occurred within just the last circa 100,000 years. 
 

cormac

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6 minutes ago, Guyver said:

It’s the survival genes.  Those are speaking.  We survived?  How?  By learning from our ancestors. You don’t think that **** gets passed on?

Beliefs specifically are not necessary to our survival. 
 

cormac

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10 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Still a biproduct of sapience and modern consciousness, and its associated modern craniomorphology, something of which occurred within just the last circa 100,000 years. 
 

cormac

So what if it was?!  It proves my point.  It’s natural.

PS.  Sorry to post after saying good-night….it was an emotional response.

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2 minutes ago, Guyver said:

So what if it was?!  It proves my point.  It’s natural.

PS.  Sorry to post after saying good-night….it was an emotional response.

Natural and hard-wired are two different things. 
 

cormac

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5 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Natural and hard-wired are two different things. 
 

cormac

What?!!!!! No, they are not. 

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4 minutes ago, Guyver said:

What?!!!!! No, they are not. 

Yes, they are. Any aspect of the human body can be called “natural” and rightly so but that doesn’t automatically make them “hard-wired”, especially where DNA and genetics are concerned. You’re mixing up two separate concepts. 

cormac

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9 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Yes, they are. Any aspect of the human body can be called “natural” and rightly so but that doesn’t automatically make them “hard-wired”, especially where DNA and genetics are concerned. You’re mixing up two separate concepts. 

cormac

Cormac, the only thing we have proof of are natural processes. I’m not mixing anything up.  Everything that you are is natural.  You are stardust, don’t you recall?

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4 minutes ago, Guyver said:

Cormac, the only thing we have proof of are natural processes. I’m not mixing anything up.  Everything that you are is natural.  You are stardust, don’t you recall?

None of that means hard-wired. You can mix all the concepts and metaphors you want but it still won’t mean that. And a belief is not a natural physical process which is what being hard-wired is in reference to. 
 

cormac

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1 hour ago, Guyver said:

In a sense, maybe yes.  If we abandon all beliefs and only stick with what we know, we are going to live here for a while, experience the joys and sorrows that life brings, then we are going to rot in the ground as our bodies decompose and there will be nothing.  How is that hopeful?  It’s not.  It is true, and maybe for some the truth hurts. Maybe for some people, just hoping that their actions in this life can somehow benefit them for the next life coming gives them a sense of purpose and a righteous path to follow.  

You heard about the golfer who went to heaven? Best greens. Great carts full of top shelf spirits. Perfect clubs.

After a couple thousand years, he was perfect. He got sick of playing perfect games all the time. Hole in one every shot.

In the end he wished for death. 

If one can accept a finite existence, it becomes quickly apparent what a privilege this life is. To be born at a time with modern marvels and space exploration. We have accomplished more than any species on the planet ever came close to doing.

For one, in pretty happy to be on this world, where I am, at this time, and able to marvel at our understanding of the universe.

1 hour ago, Guyver said:

You know this belief goes to the Egyptians as easily provable, but who’s to say this type of thinking did not predate the Egyptians?  I bet someone on this very forum might be knowledgeable enough to show that religious beliefs about the afterlife predate the Egyptians.  But even if not, that’s a long time for people to be carrying beliefs. And we could argue collective soul on this point I bet.

Oh I know about the book of the dead. Pioneers creating ideas about our deepest desires. Kings surely being told they will continue to rule and be revered across time. Hubris had a lot to do with the original writings. 

When my father passed away I researched the subject intensely for about a decade. I had faith back then too. Years of pursuit can jade the origin quest as one gathers information.

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1 hour ago, Guyver said:

People thrive as humans when they have hope, and they perish when they have none.  That’s why.

But why the need for an Overlord? I find it hard to understand why people turn to religion for hope. There's so many things in this world that offer so much more. 

Personally I'm a get it done yourself person. It's the only way in the long run. 

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8 hours ago, Guyver said:

I mean, I could look it up.  I have the video A Conversation with Koko. It's available on youtube.   The quote I gave was from Dr. Patterson herself.  

So the answer to my question is no, you do not have a link.

I did take a quick look here:

https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/32155/does-the-gorilla-koko-have-an-iq-in-the-range-70-95

Assuming that the information there is accurate and that I am interpreting it correctly, Koko took some tests suited for human toddlers that predict how human children will develop and what their adult IQ will be. Since Koko did not develop into an adult human being, her test results cannot be interpeted as what her adult IQ would have been had she developed into a human being.

In the context of your post, Koko's results reinforce an impression that's been in the literature for a long time, that very young human children and other apes (young and old) show remarkably comparable cognitive attainments. One thing that distinguishes humans from other apes is a "long childhood" during which cognitive capacity continues to grow. The result is that human adults usually have vastly greater cognitive capacity than human toddlers, and human toddlers are the level at which Koko performed.

tl;dr: It is probably a good idea that human adults tell toddlers what to do rather than leaving the tots to make their own life choices. Koko's test performance does not support depriving ordinary human adults of their autonomy and human rights.

8 hours ago, Guyver said:

I mean, are we talking about two different things here?  On the one hand, you seem to object to the validity of IQ test, or have some objection to them.....

I object to the use to which you would put the test result. The test itself is what it is, measures something (if only the ability to excel on such tests), and that something can be called intelligence so long as one remembers how loosely that term is defined and how slippery it is.

Quote

and then the next point is how I'm claiming that religious beliefs and superstitions appear to be hard wired in the human population.

which is a factual claim which, for reasons already stated in earlier posting, I believe to be factually false.

That human beings, like all intentional life forms, must act and cannot possibly know all the consequences of their actions, means that we must have "beliefs." Absent magic, some of those beliefs will be true, some will be false, and some of the false beliefs will be close enough that we survive acting on them.

None of that has anything to do with "wiring," but simply restates the existential predicament of being a terrestial life form. There is no evidence that the content of beliefs or the confidence with which they are held is biologically determined.

Example: Either a god exists or else no god exists. I don't know which is true, or I think I do know. Therefore I have a religious opinion (at least one of yes, no, or I think I don't know). This is not "wiring," it is tautology. Having an opinion is inevitable; the issue arises independently of me and independently of anything about me, and the content of the opinion is contingent.

At the risk of repetition, we have no disagreement that humans (possibly among other animals) engage in ritual behavior, actions that change our "state of consciousness" but do not otherwise materially change the environment. My friend did not "summon her absent dog" by hugging the plush toy, but by her action, probably measurably changed her physiology while undeniably comforting her mental and emotional state.

I don't understand why ritual does what it does, nor do I deny a physiological or anatomical component to the phenomenon. What I deny is that a person's interpretation of the experience is biologically determined.

We know from our shared experiences here at UM that some people - not my late friend necessarily, but some people - would report a paranormal dimension to what happens when they handle an absent loved one's "idol." And some people wouldn't. But both kinds of people engage in similar rituals, and we would be fools not to take what comfort we can, living as we all do in a tough universe.

8 hours ago, Guyver said:

I mean....what am I supposed to say to that?  OK?  Its way too vague and nonspecific, IMO.  

What you quoted is aspirational - what the speaker (whom you don't name) wishes to find in the scholarship. I think I located your source (why am I having to hunt down something you quoted?)

https://philarchive.org/archive/LITWIRv2

OK. I'll just withdraw the claim. I'm pulling these things about "rational belief" out of my butt, or so you are free to believe. Which still gives you no license to deprive any adult of their human rights, nor any warrant to pronounce them better off being told what to do rather than thinking for themselves, nor any rational foundation for electing religious authorities as fit to do the telling.

 

Edited by eight bits
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6 hours ago, psyche101 said:

 

If one can accept a finite existence, it becomes quickly apparent what a privilege this life is. To be born at a time with modern marvels and space exploration. We have accomplished more than any species on the planet ever came close to doing.

For one, in pretty happy to be on this world, where I am, at this time, and able to marvel at our understanding of the universe.

 

You’ve perfectly summed up my position as well. 

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8 hours ago, Guyver said:

We know for a fact we are hardwired to accept social conditioning.  If not, we’d all be dead right now.

Guyv, while it is true that human beings are “influenced” by social conditioning, the idea of being "hardwired" to accept it is not entirely accurate. Human behavior and beliefs are shaped by a combination of genetic predispositions, individual experiences, cultural influences, and social norms. While we are certainly influenced by our environment, our capacity to think critically, reflect on our beliefs, and make choices allows us to question, challenge, and even reject certain aspects of social conditioning. Just a suggestion it is important to recognize the balance between the influence of external factors and our own agency in shaping our beliefs and actions.


 

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Faith is more or less dealing with the psychological aspect of a person. How they cope with the hardships of life. Why do people always want to scientifically validate God? There is zero reason. You either believe that life has some god/s given meaning or you don't. 

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2 hours ago, eight bits said:

So the answer to my question is no, you do not have a link.

I did take a quick look here:

https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/32155/does-the-gorilla-koko-have-an-iq-in-the-range-70-95

Assuming that the information there is accurate and that I am interpreting it correctly, Koko took some tests suited for human toddlers that predict how human children will develop and what their adult IQ will be. Since Koko did not develop into an adult human being, her test results cannot be interpeted as what her adult IQ would have been had she developed into a human being.

In the context of your post, Koko's results reinforce an impression that's been in the literature for a long time, that very young human children and other apes (young and old) show remarkably comparable cognitive attainments. One thing that distinguishes humans from other apes is a "long childhood" during which cognitive capacity continues to grow. The result is that human adults usually have vastly greater cognitive capacity than human toddlers, and human toddlers are the level at which Koko performed.

tl;dr: It is probably a good idea that human adults tell toddlers what to do rather than leaving the tots to make their own life choices. Koko's test performance does not support depriving ordinary human adults of their autonomy and human rights.

I object to the use to which you would put the test result. The test itself is what it is, measures something (if only the ability to excel on such tests), and that something can be called intelligence so long as one remembers how loosely that term is defined and how slippery it is.

which is a factual claim which, for reasons already stated in earlier posting, I believe to be factually false.

That human beings, like all intentional life forms, must act and cannot possibly know all the consequences of their actions, means that we must have "beliefs." Absent magic, some of those beliefs will be true, some will be false, and some of the false beliefs will be close enough that we survive acting on them.

None of that has anything to do with "wiring," but simply restates the existential predicament of being a terrestial life form. There is no evidence that the content of beliefs or the confidence with which they are held is biologically determined.

Example: Either a god exists or else no god exists. I don't know which is true, or I think I do know. Therefore I have a religious opinion (at least one of yes, no, or I think I don't know). This is not "wiring," it is tautology. Having an opinion is inevitable; the issue arises independently of me and independently of anything about me, and the content of the opinion is contingent.

At the risk of repetition, we have no disagreement that humans (possibly among other animals) engage in ritual behavior, actions that change our "state of consciousness" but do not otherwise materially change the environment. My friend did not "summon her absent dog" by hugging the plush toy, but by her action, probably measurably changed her physiology while undeniably comforting her mental and emotional state.

I don't understand why ritual does what it does, nor do I deny a physiological or anatomical component to the phenomenon. What I deny is that a person's interpretation of the experience is biologically determined.

We know from our shared experiences here at UM that some people - not my late friend necessarily, but some people - would report a paranormal dimension to what happens when they handle an absent loved one's "idol." And some people wouldn't. But both kinds of people engage in similar rituals, and we would be fools not to take what comfort we can, living as we all do in a tough universe.

What you quoted is aspirational - what the speaker (whom you don't name) wishes to find in the scholarship. I think I located your source (why am I having to hunt down something you quoted?)

https://philarchive.org/archive/LITWIRv2

OK. I'll just withdraw the claim. I'm pulling these things about "rational belief" out of my butt, or so you are free to believe. Which still gives you no license to deprive any adult of their human rights, nor any warrant to pronounce them better off being told what to do rather than thinking for themselves, nor any rational foundation for electing religious authorities as fit to do the telling.

 


Excellent post. 

An add to: I think Guyv is confusing conditioning with hardwired.

Both, conditioning and hard wiring are two different concepts. Conditioning points to the process by which people learn and internalize behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs through repeated exposure to certain stimuli or experiences. On the other hand, hard wiring refers to innate, genetic, or biological characteristics that are present from birth and can impact certain aspects of behavior or cognitive functioning. Conditioning can influence behavior and beliefs, while hard wiring points to more fundamental, innate traits.

 

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1 minute ago, Sherapy said:

Excellent post. 

An add to: I think Guyv is confusing conditioning with hardwired.

Both, conditioning and hard wiring are two different concepts. Conditioning points to the process by which people learn and internalize behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs through repeated exposure to certain stimuli or experiences. On the other hand, hard wiring refers to innate, genetic, or biological characteristics that are present from birth and can impact certain aspects of behavior or cognitive functioning. Conditioning can influence behavior and beliefs, while hard wiring points to more fundamental, innate traits.

Thank you for that, I don’t think he understands that there IS a difference. 
 

cormac

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10 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Faith is more or less dealing with the psychological aspect of a person. How they cope with the hardships of life. Why do people always want to scientifically validate God? There is zero reason. You either believe that life has some god/s given meaning or you don't. 

Faith is indeed associated with the psychological aspect of a person and can and does provide individuals with a frame for coping with the hardships of life. For some it can offer comfort, guidance, and a sense of purpose. 

 

An add to:  it is worth mentioning that some people seek scientific explanations/evidence to align their religious beliefs as a way to reconcile or validate their faith within the context of their understanding of the physical world too.  


 

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