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--Commnets are pretty good too::::::::  
Religious belief is likely a by-product of human moral reasoning, suggest psychologists Monday.

In an opinion piece in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Ilkka Pyysiainen of Finland's University of Helsinki and Marc Hauser of Harvard, looked at recent experiments in
moral psychology to argue for religion's roots. “We were interested in
making use of this perspective because religion is linked to morality in
different ways,” says Hauser, in a statement. “For some, there is no
morality without religion, while others see religion as merely one way
of expressing one’s moral intuitions.”

Some evolutionary psychologists suggest religion arose as a way to foster cooperation
between groups, but Pyysiainen and Hauser suggest the cooperation came
first, and then was strengthened by religious belief. The pair point to
experiments such as the online "Moral
Sense Test
", for example, which show no differences between
religious and atheist answers to moral dilemmas. As a result, the pair
suggest that, "most, if not all, of the psychological ingredients that
enter into religion originally evolved to solve more general problems of
social interaction and subsequently were co-opted for use in religious

In evolutionary terms, religious belief might have led to more successful societies, they add, leading to its spread
worldwide. Moral psychology tests generally show more willingness among
the religious-minded to sacrifice their lives for others, they note,
which certainly would have helped societies overcome tough times.

By Dan Vergano

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Yes, this strikes me as being basic common sense - morals are codified in religion, not created. As I've pointed out before, when a society produces a religion (religion is a product after all), its current moral standards are articulated therein. Morals exist independently of religion - they are a societal phenomenon. See also my post 'the fundamental immorality of religion' in the group Atheist Morality.
Ugh oh, DOS?” because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection. This sometimes occurs when the server is busy.




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