October 7, 2008

why do evolutionary sociology have to be the route?

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:40 am by changisme

Once and once again, I encounter articles explaining how religions exists because they make people act more prosocially or altruistically, so that the societies they dominate can survive in the floods of history. I really wonder if we have to understand it that way, because in many myths or traditions, the gods are not exactly the most moral beings, and they also don’t always care about humans that much.

I think the reason why religions are so wide spread, is simply because they are easily spread widely! They are stories, and people like to tell stories. I don’t even need to talk about the spreadability of the major religions and mythological systems, even the minor ones, like those spiritual behaviors amongst the native americans, and or the fear for certain ghosts in any little area. It’s all there because people like to talk about them.

As for why people like to talk about stories. Probably because they are easy to tell. Stories are usually linearly told, the same sequence of understanding as our daily lives (as opposed to logical arguments), and stories are identifiable and make people feel familiar. Some may say claim that the preference for familiar behaviors are in itself evolutionary. Maybe in a sense… In nature, probably it is equilibrially benefitial to be renovative 1 out of 10 times. In that case, s/he may have a rather balanced risk/benefit ratio in stepping away from the familiar territory. The rest 9 times, s/he would perform as the tradition, simply because by experience, it works for sure. That way, there is more time spent on following the old ways, than exploring new ways. This makes it appear that people like familiar things, but what it really is, is just they only like to put 10% of their money in the stock market and the rest in the saving account, so that when the market crashes like today, survival is still there.

Of course, this is excrutiatingly simplified. There are special times that preservation via traditions seem less needed, and this proportion is broken temperarily. During those times revolutions occur. Nevertheless, stories pass on, religions succede. It is simply because people like to tell tales.


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