So when you look at the really unique bizarre things humans have come up with,
ranging from cave paintings to Snapchats and everything in between,
probably the most unique and universal thing
we’ve come up with is this religion business.
We talk about the symbolic metaphorical thinking.
Essentially there has been no culture on earth that has not invented some form of
what could be termed meta-magical thinking
attributing things that cannot be seen,
faith-based belief systems, things of that sort.
It’s universal, and 90-95 percent of people
believe in some sort of omnipotent something
or other out there every culture has it.
People have endlessly speculated about the evolution of religiosity,
and at least in terms of westernized religions
it makes perfect sense why they’ve evolved:
Because they’re wonderful mechanisms for reducing stress.
It is an awful, terrifying world out there where bad things happen
and we’re all going to die eventually.
And believing that there is something, someone responsible for it
at least gives some stress reducing attributes built around understanding causality.
If on top of that you believe there is not only something out there
responsible for all of this but that there is a larger purpose to it,
that’s another level of stress reducing explanation.
If then on top of it you believe that individual out there is benevolent—
even more so control and predictability.
Benevolent and listens to human entreaties?
More elements of control.
Benevolent, listens to human entreaties,
and prefers to listen to people like you who look like you,
像你一样 和你一样祈祷 有和你一样的要求 甚至更多
pray like you, request like you? Even more so.
他们完全可控 可预测 他们让你减少压力
They’re just all these levels of control, predictability; they’re stress reducing.
And what is infuriating to me as an utter complete atheist is a
very very solid literature showing the health benefits of religiosity,
independent of you tend to get a social supportive community.
When you’re religious you have fewer lifestyle risk factors.
The mere ability to perceive causality, reason, benevolence—
“Benevolence especially for people like me
if I say the right combination of words and fervently believe in it”
—that’s wonderfully protective and there’s health benefits to it.
If it is a totally heartless indifferent apathetic universe out there
you are far more at risk for all the logical things
which is to conclude it is an utterly depressing universe out there.
Rates of depression are much higher among atheists go figure.
So in terms of that it makes perfect sense why this is something
that people have come up with and rather than asking
why is it that 95% of humans come up with some form of religiosity,
a much more biologically interesting question to me is:
What’s up with the 5% of atheists who don’t do that?