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Michael Shermer: Why Do We Need a Belief in God?

THE BRILLIANCE BUT ALSO IGNORANCE OF RELIGIOSITY… We are here, we did well…. Millions of years of struggle, lots of predators, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, meteorites, snow storms, floods, famine, drought, disease and the fear of other strangers, all of that to contend with…. VERY SCARY OUT THERE, THE ULTIMATE OBSTACLE COURSE….. Our ancient ancestors found a way to form larger groups though, learning that working together helps with the fight through all the yuk life had to offer… Evolution is brilliant like that, it found a way. Ten is better than one when going out to fish or fending off that lion…
As we became human, finally completing the shift from ‘lower’ chimp-like ape (NO WE DIDN’T EVOLVE FROM CHIMPS, WE HAD THE SAME COMMON ANCESTORS THOUGH) we developed a unique brain exclusive to humans… On top of the lower brain areas shared with the rest of the animal kingdom, our frontal lobe developed further which meant the beginnings of being the only creature out of the millions out there that could begin a process of understanding itself and the world around it….It’s served us well… We now have things like Cadbury’s chocolate, soccer and The Comedy Channel, as the exclusive and very advanced frontal lobe allowed us to form narrative, we started creating elaborate storylines to aid the survival process alongside the all powerful and overpowering lower brain natural / innate, automatic survival fight / flight / freeze responses…
Bundles of creativity, layer upon layer of constant adaptation, BUT ONLY TO HELP US SURVIVE AND REPRODUCE…. However, this also came at a price… A paradox… The new frontal lobe capabilities helped create new tools, better shelter and intricate, skilled survival techniques… the bad news though, ancient civilizations were not armed with science and reason in the same manner as we have today…. It was easier for the groups with that brand new, advanced frontal lobe to therefore create myth and superstition, unable to observe that the brain liked forming any type of pattern that would help with the process of progress… Myth and superstition tweaked and set in stone by powerful leaders of the group, thousands of others ‘BENEATH’ them easily conforming, having an innate evolved knowing that group was better than individual, gladly believed if it gave them comfort and safety and hope of prosperity.
Just a few few thousand years on from the start of myth and superstition (a brilliant invention for the time) and it’s only now we are beginning the next phase of understanding the world around us in more detail… However, patterns of myth and superstition have set in deep, generation after generation and now deeply rooted into the fabric of global group think…. The brain loves keeping patterns that have helped survival in a relatively smooth manner… BUT THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH ANYMORE… We have come to the point of realizing that we are a global community and myth and superstition we are only now noticing in the last 2500 years or so are very different to each other globally and therefore each individual one compromised.. All claim reality, honesty and divinity, but woooops….. each storyline clashes with the multiple others SO WHICH ONE IS THE REAL ONE, IF ANY AT ALL??? is being asked more and more :o… Religiosity, political affiliation, capitalism are myths and superstition formed in times where we knew no better… and we still know no better as survival aids constantly adapting according only to circumstances became PROUD ‘REALITIES’….
There are rumblings now though… A better understanding of how the brain creates mind in just the last 20 years via neuroscience and research from the scientific fields of social psychology and behavioral economics, we are only now collectively beginning to understand how that brain creates a mind and why it holds onto irrational patterns… We are only now observing how those patterns are appropriate for survival but rarely did they form through rational, critical thinking processes guided by reason…. We are the new era, only now beginning the next phase of understanding. Our ancestors could only do their very best with the knowledge they had at the time… Religiosity is therefore a major reason we made it this far maybe?.. Mass groups controlled with fear of a hell and punishment by a god for example…. A great idea to control those masses who lacked our present day science and reasoning? It helped calm the newly formed greatest of apes ‘human’ where you can now put 80,000 of them together for 2 hours in a soccer stadium and there will be no fighting….. Try setting that up with chimps…. PANDEMONIUM!!!! 😮
NEW ERA NOW THOUGH.. BE VERY EXCITED… REASON ALWAYS WINS OUT, not always immediately but eventually yes… exponential growth will occur as we have even better tools now… Compassion will take over and the desperate need for material possessions and formed myths that seem so real, just to help gloss over deep insecurities, these will begin a process of decline, a new paradigm forming… MY GUESS IS WE ARE POSSIBLY 3-6 GENERATIONS AWAY FROM A WONDERFUL WORLD TO LIVE IN… By you reading this now, and thinking about thinking, you are contributing toward that speedy adaptation… 🙂 
By Panayiotis Stavrou
[Video source: bdw5000 YouTube link]