Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Will We Discover The God-Gene In Time?

Friends, during the writing of the previous post, I was struck by what can be seen as the sad plight of the Jewish people throughout history.

Over millenia their strong involvement with their religion has involved them in endless trouble. They have been hated for centuries in part because they set themselves apart, called themselves The Children of God. They then suffered the Holocaust.

Now, in endeavoring to re-create a homeland they once occupied thousands of years ago, they are again hated by many because of their religiously-inspired, extremely brutal, repressive behavior. Why don't they change themselves, become affable, secular good-old-boys? The answer is that they can't! They've got religion.

What causes people to accept at face value fantastic primitive beliefs that are supported by no scientific evidence? Believers not only accept incredible theological propositions but they run their whole lives on the basis of them being true and they bring up their children to accept the same beliefs. What is most surprising is that they continue with their beliefs (which includes fanciful notions of immortality) despite the fact that billions of other people have entirely different beliefs and gods.

The very number of different gods would suggest to a rational mind that two plus two don't make four, that they can't all be right, even that they might all be wrong! For example:

-3.6 billion people follow Abrahamic religions (Christianity 2.1 billion, Islam 1.5 billion, Judaism 14 million, Bahai 7 million).

-1.4 billion folk follow Indian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism) and

- 0.5 billion people are involved with Far Eastern religions (Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, etc). There are of course many other splinter groups.

That makes up a total of 5.5 billion people which is most of the world's population of 6+ billion (figures from Wiki)! Is it any wonder there is such division in the world?

I wonder if one day scientists will discover the gene that predisposes humans to believe in this or that God? I wonder how different mankind would be if there were no gene that allows religion to take root and flourish or if that gene was to be removed from the human gene pool. I suspect the world would be a much more peaceful place.

For example 14 million Jews probably wouldn't be putting the world in the position of an imminent nuclear war! And Christian America, claiming God is on its side, probably wouldn't be trying to form a dominant empire using military force. And Muslims probably wouldn't be seeking to create an Islamic Caliphate!

Let's find the God-Gene before it's too late, get rid of it!

Photo Link.


Intrepidflame said...

Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion, does a great job of tackling these issues. I am sure you have, bit if you haven't check it out...

Daniel said...

I haven't read Dawkin's book, Intrepid Flame. I tend to work things out for myself but thanks for the reference.

It is really great to hear from you again. Don't wait so long!

Anonymous said...

"For example 14 million Jews probably wouldn't be putting the world in the position of an imminent nuclear war!"

It's a bit of a stretch to link the 14 million Jews worldwide with the minority of that number who live in Israel. Like not all Muslims agree with al-Qaeda or Hamas not all Jews agree with the government of Israel.

Daniel said...

Anony, if we then take the 7 million Jews who live in Israel and allow that one or two million of them are secular or don't support the current government then my comment should read: "...for example 5 million Jews probably..."

That makes my point even stronger, Anonymous, the situation even more ludicrous and bizarre!

Renegade Eye said...

My blog has Kahanist commenters. While secular Zionists are pragmatic political animals, the religious Zionists are totally unrealistic about real politik.

Look up "God Part."

Friedham I. Whont said...

G'day Daniel,

to paraphrase Dawkins, religion is like a virus; people catch it - but not in their 'hardware,' i.e. brains, but in their 'software,' i.e. their minds. Like a physical virus, it's very hard (even impossible) to eliminate, and like a computer virus, the best 'defence' is not to get it at all.

One human vulnerability that religion exploits is the absolute trust immature minds have for their carers (a survival trait: imagine "Car! Stop! Don't go onto the road!" - not hearing, trusting and doing could be fatal); all the more disgusting when the religion-virus is passed from parent/carer/priest etc to defenceless child, this is why such indoctrination can be termed "child abuse."

Daniel said...

An interesting observation, Phil, the 'child-abuse' one because children don't have the maturity or knowledge to evaluate that which parents and authority figures pour into their unsuspecting minds. Cheers.

Morgana said...

Hey Dan!
I just wanted to add, regardless of your opinion, as we are all entitled to one that you may well be missing something in your obsevations.

After my own years of religious study and condemnation of it. I have realised that they are all structured in a facinatingly similar fashion.
It's a belief thread in every culture which runs deep and concretely into the past. Yes it becomes jaded and extreme and chaotic and thats regretable because i belive that if every person of faith and every non believer analysed the COMMONALITY in all religions and ways of life we may all unite and realise that nothing separates us. As a spiritualist I think that if it doesn't happen in the near future many more will suffer due to ignorance, misinformation and intolerance. I think cultural difference is the real challenge.
End rant!
Zoe XXX Luv and miss you!

Daniel said...

You are welcome to 'rant' here anytime, Zoe. I agree with you that there is a huge difference between a spiritualist and a religion fanatic. If all 'believers' were like you, the world would really be a peaceful place.


Morgana said...

Aww....aren't you just lovely! Hey, if your wife ever leaves you........I'm a GREAT catch.
Hehehehehe :~))