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religion and the brain

Paul Bramscher brams006_nospam at tc.umn.edu
Fri Oct 22 15:06:55 EST 2004

Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:
> rick++ wrote:
>> This week's Time magazine reviews the new book "The God Gene".
>> It takes the materialistic view that transcendental feelings
>> have an evolutionary biology role as a community-enhancing survival 
>> trait.
>> One could equally take the opposing view that there is a spiritual 
>> reality
>> out there and life has developed rudimentary senses to perceive it.
> Sure, but why would life do that? Other living things get along just 
> fine without any awareness of a spiritual reality. By contrast, humans 
> have a propensity to kill each other in disputes about the nature of 
> spiritual reality (more precisely, they kill each other over 
> disagreements about the correct ways to talk about it.) If that's what 
> awareness of spiritual reality leads to, I earnestly pray to it to make 
> itself unavailable to whatever sense is supposedly aware of it.

It had to be said -- you beat me to it.

One look at human history since ancient Sumeria casts an ill omen on any 
spiritual propensity among us.  Indeed, crusades, genocides, bigotries, 
and the like might be nature's way of weeding "spirituality" out, rather 
than in.  Spirituality has been connected to financial power, political 
hierarchy, and warfare since at least ancient Sumer.  The only sort of 
spirituality which seems to survive in the face of this is a carnivorous 
sort, a subversive/oppressed sort, or none at all.

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