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Re: Andrew S. takes his questions to Equipment Tal

Started by Settimio, 12/17/2003 07:00PM
Posted 12/17/2003 07:00PM Opening Post
I was wondering what happened.

To many windows open.

Any thoughts?

The first Step towards failure is trying. - Homer Simpson
Posted 12/17/2003 09:59PM #1
There will always be some sort of 'belief' ... we can debate whether it will be 'religion' as we understand it or not but really who knows.

I have often pondered the very issue of 'faith' -- why does it exist, etc. Some have simply posited that it exists as a by-product of a fear of death but this is too simplistic. Not all religions even have an afterlife doctrine.

We have the power of abstract thought to deduce or 'guess' what something is doing once it is out of our sight. But why do we have the ability to believe in things which we have never even seen? This seems universal across cultures, across religions, etc. Why are we even capable of this? It goes way beyond simple conjecture based on extrapolation of known things. It must serve a purpose or why would such ability have evolved?

I think it may be partly a result of the need to work in complex societies. To work with other humans even in small groups, we have to have 'trust'. Trust that they will work to the common good of the tribe, that they won't steal my food or just bean me with a club, etc. In order to function as a group, in order to 'trust', we have to believe that others will behave a certain way, although objectively we cannot know that they will. So we NEED to have the ability to believe things that we do not have objective evidence for. Enter abstract thought. The more complex the society, the more abstract this becomes. In a highly complex socety, you have to believe in other people's belief that useless little green pieces of paper are worth something, otherwise why would you go to work to get these useless little green pieces of paper? So not only must we trust, we must trust in other people's trust, believe in each other's belief, etc. try to get your arms around that.

So throw the evolved necessity of 'belief' as a mental process, together with the power of abstract thought, slap it against the great unknowns of life, the universe, and everything, and Viola! Religion in some form or other is all but inevitable. I'd say it sticks in some form, at least for a very long time.
Posted 12/18/2003 11:43AM #2
"I was wondering what happened.

To many windows open.

Any thoughts?"

Not too many windows. There is a glitch in the Astromart software. Lets say you're browsing this forum (not logged in) and you go to post a message. The software takes you to the login window, you log in, and then it takes to to a reply window which is for the EQUIPMENT FORUM, regardless of which forum you were browsing prior.

It would help to avoid postings in the wrong forum if the Astromart programming were corrected so that the user is taken back to the forum that they were actually trying to post in.