Reply To: The evolutionary benefit of instrumental religious truths – Discussion

Index Forums Spirituality & Philosophy The evolutionary benefit of instrumental religious truths – Discussion Reply To: The evolutionary benefit of instrumental religious truths – Discussion

Auburn
Keymaster
  • Type: TiNe
  • Development: l--l
  • Attitude: Adaptive

What is your position on the notion of preserving religious ideas for the sake of their instrumental evolutionary benefit?

I don’t agree with the notion, logically or ethically.

Even if there were practical benefits that we were getting from religious beliefs when we were more ignorant of the sciences, I don’t think we can get those benefits now after knowing what we do —unless we pretend we don’t, or stop seeking the highest truth. This is because I believe that there is also a disadvantage in not acting faithful to what you know to be most true. This disadvantage is personal, at the level of cognitive dissonance, and social at the level of institutional misdirection.

I think that there’s a scalable cultural disadvantage when people don’t hold true to what they know to be the most accurate view— or when we’re not pushing for the highest truth to be broadcasted and elevated in our zeitgeist. In the 21st century, keeping these instrumental religious beliefs comes at the compromise of other mental/emotional faculties — which, if we cultivated to their fullness, may lead somewhere new and far better.

For example, we don’t yet know the full capacities that secularism may have in the world, for offering good. If we don’t hold to the ‘truest’ version of facts that we know, but instead hold onto useful but false notions, then it’s like we don’t wanna let go of the rope and journey forward. But what if secular thought leads the way towards genetic engineering of disease out of our society. What if it leads to immortality and exploration of the stars. What if secularism leads to “heaven on earth”, by being forthright about the state of the world and addressing problems with science and innovation rather than faith in other metaphorical powers?

Secularism, being literally true, can create for us a reality that mirrors or surpasses the tales we previously told, which were metaphorical and false.

In that sense, I believe the power of prioritizing what is literally true, is more instrumental in the long run (and short run) to human society. Honesty has always been the best policy, and it will continue to be so. We have no choice but to adapt to our new knowledge. Individuals can vary in their religious beliefs for now, but as a whole, as a human species — our conscience won’t let us rest, nor will we get the benefit out of it anymore. It’s like realizing Santa’s not real. Nothing can really bring back the ‘magic’ of Christmas. (Actually I never bought into Santa, but you get the idea). We could only sustain this benefit with genuine ignorance. Sustaining it now comes at another cost that may outweigh the previous benefit.

  • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Auburn.
  • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Auburn.
  • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Auburn.
  • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Auburn.
  • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Auburn.
  • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Auburn.

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