On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 3:46 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 1/30/2013 7:22 AM, Terren Suydam wrote:
>
> Personally, my take on religion is that it has been an extraordinarily
> successful means of organizing groups. I don't religion has ever been any
> one person's Machiavellian scheme,
>
>
> Then perhaps you unaware of Joesph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard.
>
>
haha, sure. Actually I was talking more about the "institution of
religion", or perhaps the "first" religion - loosely defined as appealing
to a supernatural authority.


>  rather I think religion (and other cultural institutions) have been
> selected for in the evolution of culture.
>
>
> This is not contrary to them having been started by a single schemer.
> Note that many - David Koresh, Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite,... schemers
> try but fail and some may come to believe their own myths.
>
>  I also tend to see collectives of humans as organisms-in-themselves, in
> roughly the same way that a hive of bees can be seen as an organism in
> itself; and that human genetics has co-evolved with the cultural memetics.
>
>  As such, I tend to run religious dogma through this filter: does it
> promote values in individuals, that, taken collectively, make the
> collective more likely to persist.
>
>
> You don't care about anything but persistence?
>

Not really, no, at least not in this context. That's all evolution is when
you get down to it, a search of increasingly persistent forms under dynamic
conditions. Perhaps morals just happen to be what a successful (in terms of
persistence) group instills in its constituent members... which would
account for why morals are so divergent across cultures.

Terren


> Brent
>
>  When I run the above prayer through that filter I find that it is a
> pretty good fit for that idea.
>
>  Terren
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM, Kim Jones <kimjo...@ozemail.com.au>wrote:
>
>> This is a pretty well-worn, oft-used, school prayer. Given it is recited
>> or sung by the entire student body and staff at a good many schools and
>> other institutions you would have to assume that it's all fundamentally
>> good stuff.
>>
>>
>>
>> Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deserves;
>> to give and not to count the cost;
>> to fight and not to heed the wounds;
>> to till, and not to seek for rest;
>> to labour, and not to ask for any reward,
>> save that of knowing we do thy will.
>>
>>
>> Amen.
>>
>>
>> But it's all incredibly bad advice, really - don't you think? Why do
>> people assume God wants Earthlings to be such a bunch of try-hards?
>> I hate this prayer. It advertises values that no one can live up to and
>> no one need live up to. Surely we can invent a better, less servile, less
>> obsequious, less cringing, less Gollum-like take on what we think God wants
>> for us.
>>
>> All this servility, this grovelling at the feet of somebody. Is God
>> really into all that? I don't believe it.
>>
>>
>>
>> Kim Jones
>>
>>
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