On 9/10/2012 12:30 PM, John Clark wrote:
On Mon, Sep 10, 2012, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com <mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com>> wrote:


    > What would you say is the reason for:
    1. The anthropological universality of spiritual concepts


The fear of death.

    > 2. That religious-philosophical development is universal pre-requisite 
for the
    emergence of science, ie. science never emerges ab initio from a culture 
devoid of a
    history of religious thought.


I wouldn't call it thought but no culture is devoid of a history of religion and I have a theory as to why. In general it would be a Evolutionary advantage for children to listen to and believe what adults, particularly parents, have to say; don't eat those berries they will kill you, don't swim in that river there are crocodiles, etc. Most people may not be born with innate religious feelings and visions but some are, and they teach their children that belief. And when those children grow up they in turn teach their children that belief too, that's why religious belief has a strong geographical pattern. So the root cause is that most people have a tendency (which started out as a advantage) to believe into adulthood whatever they were told as children. And so screwy religious ideas that start small propagate and become huge.

And there are two slim but excellent books about this propagation: "The Religion Virus" by Craig James and "The God Virus" by Darrel Ray. Despite their similarity of title and subject matter they are different and complementary explications. James considers social and political factors, Ray personal psychology.

Brent

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