Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Evolution of God

Posted on 5:03 PM by merrilymerrily

I found this article a really great summary of thoughts. I've always found it odd that the most vocal athiests appear to attempt to prove that the God of religion does not exist, when I feel it would be far easier to offer a robust explanation of how religion came to be from a social science standpoint. Turns out there are a few of those out there too, whom I relate to far better than Richard Dawkins and co. I find the venomous nature of both sides of the argument distasteful, I particularly find the attacks on religion by athiests to be particularly puzzling and unhelpful and wish they could be self aware enough to understand the origins of their strong emotional reactions and need for evangelism. It would be far better if there were a representation of those who understood religious systems as an effective method of social governance which individuals in our society may elect to opt out of if they recognise it for what it is. Perhaps this is the key to the negative emotional response of the athiest. As a society we have evolved to a point where we have the luxury of individualism. Religion assures us that submission to the group will ultimately result in benefit for the individual also. Uniformity and shared understanding provides social stability, yes, but I think as a greater society we have moved beyond that in Maslow's hierarchy of needs to desire personal fulfilment in creativity, expression and self determination.

Ultimately I have a suspicion that social diversity works quite similarly to biodiversity, in which the maximum amount of variance results in the most robust system. It is the competition between different forces in a changing environment which cause evolution to occur. I suspect this closed minded social conflict, however distasteful I find it, to be a part of this system.

A lot of my thinking has been done previously, but I've never really felt the need to have a 'stance' as such, particularly since the majority of the thinking occurred whilst attempting to participate in organised religion. . I still don't really, but I'm conscious that there may be a time where I have to explain my position. I don't know how that conversation would go exactly, or how strongly I would put forth the argument given that I honesty think it would be easier for others to remain within the confines of established religion if possible. What I don't want is for my point of view to be dismissed as the reactions of anger, or a person in pain, although I will wish to communicate those too I guess.

I could change my mind again, and I love that about me.

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