Naturalness of Atheism and Unnaturalnes of Religion
The standard model of Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) explains religion as some kind of natural phenomenon. Religious ideas and beliefs are considered as natural not only in the sense of their foundation on cognitive processes and mechanisms, but also as obvious, intuitive, and in some sense inevitable. What is more CSR suggests that religious ideas and beliefs are more natural and evident than atheism. In consequence atheism is considered as unnatural cultural phenomenon which requires special conditions, first of all high development of education and science, in the modern times associated with the Enlightenment. However, biological and evolutionary approaches show that the human being is a species which focuses on natural, sensual information and behaviors which are strategic for survival. Therefore, how can we connect natural selection with religious beliefs which are counter-intuitive and unnatural? Here I would like to show that naturalness of religion hypothesis is not compatible with biological long-orientation perspective. Religion was useful tool after agricultural revolution – however, not for transmission of good moral behavioral patterns. Its main aim was consolidation and strengthening in-group trust and internal network for the purpose of inter-group conflicts and aggression at the level of large groups.
Published: 5 Apr, 2015
Would love to see finished work, but curious how it fits in with the development of various Paleolithic art examples that may hint at beginnings of expressing possible supernatural forces. Perhaps those mark a starting point of 'religion' gaining a foothold?
Thomas Liotta · 27 Jul, 2017