Tuesday, March 06, 2007
More Harm Than Good?
As you've probably seen, the NYT Magazine ran an article this Sunday that suggested that religious belief may have granted humans certain evolutionary advantages such as, for example, group cohesion, group fitness, etc.
Of course, after surveying Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim groups at each others' throats around the world, some might argue that religion is in fact the source of much of the world's ills today. The group cohesion that comes with religious belief often seems to rely on the creation of an outside realm of others: strangers and enemies against which a group stands in opposition. (Here it may be interesting to consider the deep connections between religiosity and nationalism. Nationalism, of course, is another way to create group cohesion, usually at terrible costs.)