Archive for April 27th, 2017

Religion – Symbiote or Parasite?

2017/04/27

(ValerieTarico.com) – Valerie Tarico:

Given that our world is plagued by religious conflict and cruelties, some antitheists have suggested that religion as a whole is a form of pathology. But as worried and angry as we may feel about religious harms, here is a reason this way of construing religion doesn’t quite work: The term pathology implies illness and disability, and not all forms of religion appear to cause harm, even when they contain contagious ideas that are false. …

valerietarico bacteria-religion-part-4

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The Human Mind as a Host for Contagious Ideas

2017/04/27

(ValerieTarico.com) – Valerie Tarico:

I like to think that I am the master of my thoughts – that I generate and control them and that they serve my own purposes. But that is only one way to look at things. …

valerietarico bacteria-religion-part-3

Why We Pass on False Ideas

2017/04/27

(ValerieTarico.com) – Valerie Tarico:

We are vastly more intelligent than pigeons but, also, our lives are vastly more complex. And one thing we do that pigeons can’t is spread superstitions by word of mouth. But we don’t just pass on anything and everything. The superstitious information we share is mostly stuff that is perfectly suited to take advantage of our blind spots and logical glitches, exploiting our dependence on the powerful subconscious processes that enable thinking fast.

It feels real. Very real.

And that, in an odd way, is by design. …

valerietarico bacteria-religion-part-2

The Brain-Changing Power of Religious Belief

2017/04/27

(ValerieTarico.com) – Valerie Tarico:

I wonder if religious belief might be best construed not as psychopathology but as something related that I called a socio-pathology. By this I meant a delusional system that has its root not in a biological malfunction but rather in a malfunction of social information flow.

I now think that hunch was only partly right. To explain, I need to delve into the nature of the human mind, the nature of ideas, and the nature of religion – with a little help from bacteria. …

valerietarico bacteria-religion-part-1