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ccgwebmaster

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Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« on: September 02, 2015, 07:48:17 AM »
In my opinion one of the most important elements of a civilisation is "software" - the beliefs and ideology that underpin it. Easily overlooked when distracted by tangible hardware, but surely ultimately far more important for truly long lived efforts (hardware naturally follows given the right mindset).

I've tended to be rather cynical about religion personally, understanding it's function as the opiate of the masses, yet not really considering it to necessarily have a key role to play in such endeavours.

This article however gave me pause to consider the importance of religion in the long term context of the achievements and evolution of a civilisation:

http://news.sciencemag.org/archaeology/2015/08/feature-why-big-societies-need-big-gods

I'm curious what opinions people hold, with one caveat - we're not talking about an idealised theoretical world, we're talking about the practical world we have to inhabit and work with. So we're talking about what works, not what we wish would work.

wili

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 08:07:10 AM »
Good article.

I think 'big societies' really mean empire. Empire needs 'big gods' for intimidation, I would say, though from a distance, that can look like cooperation. It makes universal the ideology that there is one (or a very few) big powers, that they act out of justice, so they are legitimate, and that they are very powerful, so you better not mess with them in any case.

That is theologized hegemony. Very useful if you want to run, maintain, and expand empire.

The first thoroughgoing monotheism (that lasted longer than a few years) was probably Zarathustra's, and it was adopted by the Persians, who formed the first long-lasting empire to stretch across (parts of) three continents.

The co-occurrence of those two is, imvho, no coincidence.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 01:39:32 AM »
I think 'big societies' really mean empire. Empire needs 'big gods' for intimidation, I would say, though from a distance, that can look like cooperation. It makes universal the ideology that there is one (or a very few) big powers, that they act out of justice, so they are legitimate, and that they are very powerful, so you better not mess with them in any case.

But what's the difference between an empire and a big society? How do you get big without growth? Having started to grow how do you stop? A society that lacks imperial dreams isn't going to grow per se to become big on such scales, and one question is can we achieve a productive outcome without a large monolithic structure providing cohesion?

Whether you see it as intimidation or cooperation it's still a sort of cooperation I'd argue. Death in revolt is always a choice, just one seldom exercised. You cooperate with your government when you pay taxes (presumably), despite failure to do so being forcefully reacted to (in most western societies at least, unless you're very rich). Although there's coercion in that, there's still mass scale cooperation in the sense that if people en masse wanted to, they could overthrow it.

wili

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2015, 05:25:24 AM »
That's why I say that from a distance, it looks like cooperation. And in a way it is.

But it is very, very different from the cooperation you get in real cooperative, small scale enterprises. I think it may be some kind of sociological or anthropological definition of 'cooperation' being used here, though.

Would you care to try to define what you mean by "productive outcome"?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

TerryM

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2015, 06:14:29 AM »
CCG
Read the article in it's entirety, but have to say it doesn't fit my read of where we're headed. I see more than a few generations of scavengers, warlords, hunters, gatherers, before anything like a rebuild begins. Under this scenario whatever religions one advances will almost certainly be superseded by whatever mythology's evolve.
As a devout Atheist I'd hope that in the generations to come, people would look back, see where the fallacy of deviating from rational thought lead, and would act to stomp out all superstition wherever it raised it's pointy little head.
I have no hope that this path will be followed.
Terry

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 09:45:29 PM »
Read the article in it's entirety, but have to say it doesn't fit my read of where we're headed. I see more than a few generations of scavengers, warlords, hunters, gatherers, before anything like a rebuild begins. Under this scenario whatever religions one advances will almost certainly be superseded by whatever mythology's evolve.

I guess it depends what you class as a rebuild? Clearly we're not going to do anything like what we have now (probably ever again) and that's a good thing, we can't operate at such high resource intensity (even if the choice is forced by trashing so much stuff first pass, though perpetuating increasingly small iterations of collapse is still a real concern moving into the future).

The thing is though - I see those warlords, scavengers, etc as potential future civilisations. They're all potential "seeds" for such in my view (even if the vast majority as not viable as such and go to the wall or are absorbed into whichever ones do work). Accordingly the question I ask myself is - how can I design a "seed" (which initially may superficially look rather like some of those groups I grant) that not only addresses the short term demands but has a better chance of evolving into a secure and stable long term civilisation on a grander scale? One must simultaneously solve both the short term competitive demands and the long term problems - very much a non trivial problem (and some might say insoluble). You don't get to kick the can down the road, cos that's what my ancestors have been doing, and the can is gonna crush most of us shortly.

As a devout Atheist I'd hope that in the generations to come, people would look back, see where the fallacy of deviating from rational thought lead, and would act to stomp out all superstition wherever it raised it's pointy little head.
I have no hope that this path will be followed.

The problem is, even pigeons (per link) can readily develop superstition, and from there it's just codification and complexification. If it's inevitable my argument is one might as well design for it, so you get what you want in place, and counter unhelpful thinking preemptively (eg how much damage have biblical religions done through belief in Genesis that man was given dominion over the earth?).

http://www.psychologistworld.com/superstition.php

As a devout atheist, would you be completely opposed to a religion that had avoided the utter mess that we're headed for now? If it had people behaving in a manner suitable to avoid collapse (and theoretically have achieved the non crash outcomes originally thought possible in Limits to Growth, say)? What if the scientific method was encapsulated into a religion? (to the extent possible, clearly one likely needs some unprovable assertions to embed divine authority into human minds).

The problem is that even in a affluent first world nation (say, America) with widespead college/university education, people ignore reality. They don't grasp basic science, nor want to. Yet collectively they run the show - and that's where I see "software" as mattering a great deal. You need to provide a framework for people, most people are not capable of deriving their world without simply conforming to and embracing that which surrounds them.

To me, ultimately, one must be practical rather than ideological.

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2015, 09:53:08 PM »
But it is very, very different from the cooperation you get in real cooperative, small scale enterprises. I think it may be some kind of sociological or anthropological definition of 'cooperation' being used here, though.

Can you think of a way to scale up the small level cooperation you're thinking of (which I would argue is predicated on everyone knowing everyone) to larger scales where people don't know each other? (as in a city)

Would you care to try to define what you mean by "productive outcome"?

I can try. It's still a bit open to debate (my offline life is essentially insane, and I get much less time than I really need to contemplate these questions properly currently).

To me - I suppose a productive outcome for our species is one where:
  • we live indefinitely in essential harmony with our environment, without appreciably reducing biodiversity (obviously we're going to have some footprint)
  • the human condition is one where we fairly universally enjoy the benefits our intelligence can grant (the fruits of civilisation if one will, and things I note the modern world does a very poor job of extending to people today - even in such basic areas as literacy, education, healthcare, etc)
  • we can progress forwards (and here I primarily think in terms of knowledge, with the caveat that knowledge brings technology and empowerment and this needs handled very carefully)

All thoughts welcome...

wili

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2015, 07:37:57 AM »
Thanks, ccg. I'm  pretty sure we need to give up on most concepts of progress, unless it means progressing toward better and better sustainability.

Life doesn't generally do anything that might be called progress, and certainly not on time scales relevant cultural.

But the others can and have been achieved by what I would call pretty sustainable communities of various sorts.

There are pretty large cooperative ventures where not everyone knows each other. Lots right here in Minneapolis.

I hope your life calms down soon, so you can spend more time contemplating these important issues.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

TerryM

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2015, 07:41:50 PM »
ccg, wili

I've reread the link, noting that the authors, like almost everyone extent, grew up under a moral god theology. They apparently believe that living under the watchful eye of a moral deity promotes moral actions.

If you haven't recently read the "Trolley Problem" I'd recommend it highly.
 
In a nutshell the Trolley Problem proves that morality is universally understood by everyone & that doctors of divinity have the same understanding of what's right or wrong as does a savage that sees a book as a source of kindling.

If the Trolley Problem's observations are correct it means that Morality Theology is at best self delusion & the arguments presented at ccg's link are false.

If people are equally moral whether they believe that a god is snooping or not, then the reason powerful god cultures expand must be found elsewhere. I'd postulate that slavery might be the answer.

Slaves, slave owners & casual observers are all aware that slavery is wrong. When a powerful omniscient being regulates slavery, rather than banning it, sentient beings must somehow be convinced that the omniscient one is also a moral entity, otherwise they would simply do the right thing and tear the slaver limb from limb.
By removing the onus from slavery these early agricultural cultures could build more rapidly than those without slaves. Equating their rapid rise to their belief in "moral" gods while ignoring slavery is an example of how blinding the belief in morality theology can be.

Rather than planting a seed postulating moral gods, why not nurture our inherent belief that ownership of another is abhorrent?
Terry

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2015, 09:06:52 PM »
Terry, I  do think that the veneer of acting under the aegis of a 'moral god' does allow for all sorts of horrors to be practices but rationalized as 'the will of God.'

I'm just not sure that, historically, slavery is the best example of this. The Roman (and Greek...) gods were basically immoral and everyone knew this. Those cultures had slavery.

As Christianity came along, mostly formal slavery went with it. (Though serfdom, which is pretty darn close, certainly thrived.) Certainly, later on, Christianity and Islam both failed to condemn and banish the slavery of Black Africans. But it's not a very consistent pattern in history to say that 'moral gods' allow for slavery more easily or readily than do 'immoral gods.' But maybe I'm missing something?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

TerryM

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 06:10:14 PM »
Terry, I  do think that the veneer of acting under the aegis of a 'moral god' does allow for all sorts of horrors to be practices but rationalized as 'the will of God.'

I'm just not sure that, historically, slavery is the best example of this. The Roman (and Greek...) gods were basically immoral and everyone knew this. Those cultures had slavery.

As Christianity came along, mostly formal slavery went with it. (Though serfdom, which is pretty darn close, certainly thrived.) Certainly, later on, Christianity and Islam both failed to condemn and banish the slavery of Black Africans. But it's not a very consistent pattern in history to say that 'moral gods' allow for slavery more easily or readily than do 'immoral gods.' But maybe I'm missing something?


The first bolded section is evidence that you're missing very little. ;>)


I don't know how to define morality, or how to punish the guilty without resorting to mob justice. I am sure that rational thought is preferable to superstition.


If a perfectly benign superstition/religion reared it's head, I'd advise (s)quashing it before it morphed into something malignant. Once imaginary beings are given precedence, or even a seat at the table, it's not long before they make demands that no prima donna would dare.


I don't see my attitude as ideologically driven, but rather predicated on hope of survival. A small band of people with no outside authority can spin out of control in a very short time, especially if under the influence of demons or deities. In fiction Lord of the Flies springs to mind.


People (and pigeons), may be driven to finding linkages where none exist, but we owe it, at least to the people, to discourage such behavior.


Terry




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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2015, 08:34:29 AM »
In a nutshell the Trolley Problem proves that morality is universally understood by everyone & that doctors of divinity have the same understanding of what's right or wrong as does a savage that sees a book as a source of kindling.

But does it apply universally in all societies in all times? I'm vaguely familiar with what the problem entails but not the details of the sample populations used to arrive at the conclusions. In any event, I think from what little I recall that it proves morality isn't universal as a given percentage of people do take a contrary action to the majority.

If the Trolley Problem's observations are correct it means that Morality Theology is at best self delusion & the arguments presented at ccg's link are false.

If people are equally moral whether they believe that a god is snooping or not, then the reason powerful god cultures expand must be found elsewhere. I'd postulate that slavery might be the answer.

I actually don't see it as a moral problem - for me morality is separate from religion, and the omniscient god figure merely serves to encourage compliance without rationality.

To me, therefore, one could use religion as a tool to encourage moral actions without the logic behind those acts being understood (just as much as it can also encourage immoral acts as history attests).

Suppose civilisation collapses, and we need to try to safeguard the future - would it not make sense to leave instructions prohibiting the combustion of additional fossil fuel resources? Could it not perhaps be productive to encourage biochar and possibly mandate the maintainance of trees - with an eye to the very long term future and accelerating the drawdown of greenhouse gases through human interaction with the environment.

But how can you do that? With the loss of civilisation goes the understanding of why these things matter and how the earth system works. It's folly to think we can maintain anything like the current bulk of human knowledge. Suppose one could use religion to propagate this behaviour across truly long term timescales as in some ancient societies - wouldn't this potentially be moral to do? (or whatever actions one determines to be helpful to incorporate into long term human behaviour in a post collapse context)

By removing the onus from slavery these early agricultural cultures could build more rapidly than those without slaves. Equating their rapid rise to their belief in "moral" gods while ignoring slavery is an example of how blinding the belief in morality theology can be.

Rather than planting a seed postulating moral gods, why not nurture our inherent belief that ownership of another is abhorrent?

I'm curious why slavery receives special mention here?

In any event - what precisely is the line between slavery and not slavery - surely slavery is effectively just the result of a very large power imbalance within the human population? By some measure are we not implicitly enslaved to the systems that we live within? (there are very many things I am not free to do through no choice of my own). In that measure, it is a spectrum of grey, not a black and white matter. We have always had and probably always will have some measure of imbalance here, the key is to avoid extreme inequality (also a civilisation threatening stressor).

If you want to nurture a belief that ownership of humans by other humans is abhorrent - why could you not enforce that through the religious mechanism? It's a convenient way to explain things to those without a complex understanding - and the world is going to be a lot simpler post collapse. Knowledge is just one of the many things we stand to lose, and a part of my hypothetical strategy is a guiding roadmap to jumpstart civilisation (over many generations, granted).

We today have the benefit of hindsight with key mistakes we made. Yet to use this over the indefinite period post collapse, I believe requires a great simplification and condensing of information to a level where it can be maintained in that environment until such time as human knowledge is able to adequately understand the systems (and I don't believe we got to that point even today - though as much from misguided priorities as lack of resource).

johnm33

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2015, 02:07:56 PM »
I'm not sure how close to the point I am but this, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/09/cereals-appropriability-and-hierarchy.html seems to me more significant to the establihment of an 'establishment' . It's dangerous to ignore the fact that the 'church' is/was stuffed with the non inheriting sons of the aristocracy, a bit like the navy, or banking are now. Addressing the paper more directly they're clearly ignorant about Egypt and extrapolate wildly from their 'mis' understanding. Every temple had a 'nileometer' connected to the nile, and tax demands depended on how high the water rose in the 'nileometer' the higher the better [for the preisthood], blocking the waters would clearly result in lower taxes, or false accusations, of blocking, could provide a simple 'god given' excuse for the failure of the flood, for which the preisthood as 'the chosen of god' [to intervene on behalf of humanity] claimed full credit, and would allow for the 'blameless' elimination of opposition. The dissociation of the 'elite/ preisthood' grew in concert with their exploitation of those too busy to have time to think. The role of the preisthood in Egypt was similar to that of the MSM/educational establishment today, that is to create a false sense of reality in the massess such that even though they think they are acting in their own interests the very framework of society, which they pay for, is designed to fleece them.Or as Bernays said “•The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.” You could substitue any for his first use of democratic.

TerryM

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2015, 10:54:46 PM »
In a nutshell the Trolley Problem proves that morality is universally understood by everyone & that doctors of divinity have the same understanding of what's right or wrong as does a savage that sees a book as a source of kindling.

But does it apply universally in all societies in all times? I'm vaguely familiar with what the problem entails but not the details of the sample populations used to arrive at the conclusions. In any event, I think from what little I recall that it proves morality isn't universal as a given percentage of people do take a contrary action to the majority.

If the Trolley Problem's observations are correct it means that Morality Theology is at best self delusion & the arguments presented at ccg's link are false.

If people are equally moral whether they believe that a god is snooping or not, then the reason powerful god cultures expand must be found elsewhere. I'd postulate that slavery might be the answer.

I actually don't see it as a moral problem - for me morality is separate from religion, and the omniscient god figure merely serves to encourage compliance without rationality.

To me, therefore, one could use religion as a tool to encourage moral actions without the logic behind those acts being understood (just as much as it can also encourage immoral acts as history attests).

Suppose civilisation collapses, and we need to try to safeguard the future - would it not make sense to leave instructions prohibiting the combustion of additional fossil fuel resources? Could it not perhaps be productive to encourage biochar and possibly mandate the maintainance of trees - with an eye to the very long term future and accelerating the drawdown of greenhouse gases through human interaction with the environment.

But how can you do that? With the loss of civilisation goes the understanding of why these things matter and how the earth system works. It's folly to think we can maintain anything like the current bulk of human knowledge. Suppose one could use religion to propagate this behaviour across truly long term timescales as in some ancient societies - wouldn't this potentially be moral to do? (or whatever actions one determines to be helpful to incorporate into long term human behaviour in a post collapse context)

By removing the onus from slavery these early agricultural cultures could build more rapidly than those without slaves. Equating their rapid rise to their belief in "moral" gods while ignoring slavery is an example of how blinding the belief in morality theology can be.

Rather than planting a seed postulating moral gods, why not nurture our inherent belief that ownership of another is abhorrent?

I'm curious why slavery receives special mention here?

In any event - what precisely is the line between slavery and not slavery - surely slavery is effectively just the result of a very large power imbalance within the human population? By some measure are we not implicitly enslaved to the systems that we live within? (there are very many things I am not free to do through no choice of my own). In that measure, it is a spectrum of grey, not a black and white matter. We have always had and probably always will have some measure of imbalance here, the key is to avoid extreme inequality (also a civilisation threatening stressor).

If you want to nurture a belief that ownership of humans by other humans is abhorrent - why could you not enforce that through the religious mechanism? It's a convenient way to explain things to those without a complex understanding - and the world is going to be a lot simpler post collapse. Knowledge is just one of the many things we stand to lose, and a part of my hypothetical strategy is a guiding roadmap to jumpstart civilisation (over many generations, granted).

We today have the benefit of hindsight with key mistakes we made. Yet to use this over the indefinite period post collapse, I believe requires a great simplification and condensing of information to a level where it can be maintained in that environment until such time as human knowledge is able to adequately understand the systems (and I don't believe we got to that point even today - though as much from misguided priorities as lack of resource).


The Trolley Problem and similar probes into morality have shown that all viable cultures are in agreement about what actions are moral (sorry quote keys do not work). They even extrapolated their questions to primates and found the same responses.
http://www.joshua-greene.net/
Once religion gives up the mantle of moral leadership, what is left that we should support. At a dinner party this last week I brought up your arguments and the best response I got was that religion might act as a cohesive factor to promote a sense of community. If this cohesiveness is at the expense of cooperation with others then it is worth very little.
I agree that we should attempt to pass on what we have learned about the dangers of utilizing dangerous combustibles, but feel that there has to be a better way than by simply rewriting texts designed to separate us from our neighbor (who worships the wrong god).
With about 9/10ths of humanity believing in some form of god or gods I have no hope that a godless utopia will spring from the detritus of our culture. Belief in god(s) increases with intuitive thinking, even when IQ is accounted for. I fear that the percentage of intuitive thinkers, as opposed to reflective thinkers, is probably close to a constant and that as our knowledge base shrinks the God of the Gaps will expand to fill these niches.
I probably erred with my emphasis on slavery. I had merely attempted to use it as an example of things that we now consider reprehensible that were defended and institutionalized in certain religions. Child marriage, stonings, the Children's Crusades, and others would have done as well.

I will do my best to pass on what science and engineering books I possess, and will have no qualms about tossing any religious texts to make room for a few old issues of Mechanics Today. The dark ages saw the rise of totalitarian theology & it took hundreds of years before the age of reason dared raise its head. Adding another layer of superstition is not (I hope) the way forward.

Terry

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2015, 09:00:18 AM »
The Trolley Problem and similar probes into morality have shown that all viable cultures are in agreement about what actions are moral (sorry quote keys do not work). They even extrapolated their questions to primates and found the same responses.
http://www.joshua-greene.net/
Once religion gives up the mantle of moral leadership, what is left that we should support. At a dinner party this last week I brought up your arguments and the best response I got was that religion might act as a cohesive factor to promote a sense of community. If this cohesiveness is at the expense of cooperation with others then it is worth very little.

It's the capacity of religion to give people a cohesive foundation upon which to operate that doesn't depend on rational understanding that seems on point to me. With respect to cooperating with others - well, to me that depends what those others are doing. I foresee post collapse that a significant number of fragmented groups will remain. Some will merge, some will fade out, and some will continue to compete - history repeating itself.

Many will adopt non sustainable approaches, which seems to be normal for most human societies across history. I see no case for cooperation with those, as that thinking is indirectly a sort of warfare in its own right - the appropriation of resources today from those who could use them later (and this including renewable resources such as fish stocks, which can be converted to non renewables for short term advantage).

So how can one ensure a sustainable ideology comes to dominate and outcompete all those groups unlikely to be operating that way? I don't see how cooperation is viable, and short term unsustainable behaviour grants a competitive advantage (hence it's so popular and widespread), making it a priority to eliminate that thinking early and aggressively.

The only idea I have so far is that the sustainable ideology must eliminate non sustainable ideologies - through warfare if necessary. I realise that's a rather ugly idea, but how better can we safeguard the future?

The argued value of religion here is the ability to create dogma and fanaticism - morally ugly, but a practical candidate solution to a rather intractable problem.

Even today, with all our education, science, and knowledge - we operate unsustainably - in fact - we leverage the former to do so more effectively. Rational thinking doesn't therefore seem effective at getting us to a sustainable paradigm - leaving what?

Arguably, this isn't an end goal - merely a way to buy enough time to usher in rational thinking that is sustainable. For example, would we have rushed to adopt combustion technologies using fossil resources had we generally realised from the outset what the consequences would be? One would hope not - although... one has little faith in people.

I probably erred with my emphasis on slavery. I had merely attempted to use it as an example of things that we now consider reprehensible that were defended and institutionalized in certain religions. Child marriage, stonings, the Children's Crusades, and others would have done as well.

Morality is a tricky area though? It's interesting if the trolley solutions are universal as part of human nature - but it seems to me a lot of things vary greatly within societies. I have done my fair share of things that some might say were immoral, because even though I haven't sought to cause harm to another in any clear fashion, I might not have always obeyed "the rules" as mandated in various jurisdictions, and some call that immoral. I call it practical, because too often in life there are no nice choices available (and besides, what value do "the rules" of modern society really have, when it's doing what it is?).

I will do my best to pass on what science and engineering books I possess, and will have no qualms about tossing any religious texts to make room for a few old issues of Mechanics Today. The dark ages saw the rise of totalitarian theology & it took hundreds of years before the age of reason dared raise its head. Adding another layer of superstition is not (I hope) the way forward.

I wouldn't hesitate to toss (and indeed would proactively discard) any existing religious texts. They are competing unhelpful ideologies, and not sustainably founded (look at the propensity for religions to promote population growth for instance). I'd be tempted to tear out pages on combustion technologies from the more rational texts too - though I'm not sure if that's necessarily a good idea or not.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Building civilisations from scratch - religion
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2019, 01:40:52 PM »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS