Re: virus: Morality

Twirlip of Greymist (
Wed, 28 Feb 1996 16:28:39 -0800 (PST)

/clumsily) trying to talk about why-religions-in-the-first-place rather
/than what-purpose-do-religions-serve-now. My idea - and again I'll stress
/that I'm being simplistic - was that the ORIGINAL reason that religions
/were formed was to provide a reason for people to adhere to a common set
/of morals which may not have benefitted the individual but provided a

There probably is something to this, but while you acknowledged that
this is simplistic I think it may be too simplistic to be useful. I'm
an atheist, raised by two atheists, but when I was young and cowering
under Chicago thunderstorms I could manage the odd prayer "To whom it
may concern" regarding our safety. And this may be after I'd been told
lightning was electricity, et al. Of course I had already been vaguely
exposed by society to the god concept, and I knew my Greek mythology,
but I suspect basic spiritualism comes first from assuming that Someone
is behind Things, particularly big nasty Things. Then you can have a
morality-enforcing religion based on why Someone is being nasty to you.

Comparing my spontaneous rediscovery of Zeus with the complex
spirituality of C.S. Lewis is completely mixing scales.

(I'm responding to everything that's gone by in this thread, regardless
of attribution.)

Simplistic analysis of why religious moralities are similar in many
respects (besides 'memetic selection'): religious prophets have been
bright enough to see that society really would be a nicer place if
everyone loved each other. And religious leaders have been bright
enough to see that society would be a very nice place for them if
everyone else loves each other (and them.) The instability of either
situation, but particularly the first, is most obvious to sustained
ciritical analysis which probably doesn't mesh well with fasting and
mushrooms. And which has been fairly rare in general anyway.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"And what about you? At least my flaw is grand, while yours is merely