Another attempt to find a purpose for religion as a concept. While it is true that most attributes that remain with a species long term confer an "evolutionary" advantage, the truth is that detrimental characteristics get passed on as well, as long as the organism survives them and nothing better comes along. Still, this was an interesting read.

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It might help us to understand why we are as we are and how we have survived over the many years. It's hard for me to buy into everything.

On another site I have many disagreeing with me because they all think they can be "spiritual" and that they even have a right to be so. They want to give me examples that pre-date Christianity. I don't buy it. Fertility rituals, sunsets and sun worship, Wicca, et al, cannot be viewed as modern spirituality. Without Christianity you do not even have the word "spiritual." It's because of this usage that being "spiritual" can be just about anything that you want it to be.

As a definition of the word, the first is about the best. "Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to physical or material things." This tells me it is woo. Being "spiritual" is another made up thing that you simply can never prove. In other words, it's nonsense.

I'm certainly no anthropologist and have no background in the subject, but this assertion gives me pause. While it seems intuitive to me that communal rituals and activities among members of tribes or within cultural groups create a sense of belonging and being part of something bigger, I wonder why the emphasis on religion specifically. In this context, are religious rituals per se any more or less influential than, say, rites of passage ceremonies, or perhaps funeral customs and practices? And if other such communal events produce the same or similar bonding experiences, why would religion be singled out? Is there something about indulgence in mythical fantasy that holds special sway over people that other practices and experiences cannot? On the other hand, it's hard to believe that a legitimate, peer reviewed work would have such a fundamental flaw...




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