Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Point

In the last few days I've stumbled across a really well-written blog by the science fiction author John C. Wright, who was once a vehement atheist, but converted to Roman Catholicism.

Here's a nugget:

[U]nder this assumption there is some advantage to the Darwinian struggle for reproduction in religion which is absent in skepticism. And this assumption is that skepticism delivers a true picture of the universe, and prevents irrational acts prompted by religious delusion.

In other words, we have to assume human beings live in an environment where the people whose brains function improperly, the ones who listen to invisible voices, rejoice at unrealistic hopes and quail at entirely imaginary goblins, prosper and have more children than the rational people, who see the universe as it is: perception is disadvantageous for child-bearing.

You would not make this far-fetched assumption for any other organ in the body. If we found a heart or liver in an organism that did not do what hearts or livers were supposed to do, we would have to make a pretty strong case to say there was a Darwinian advantage to this malfunction.

Does it not seem like a bit of a coincidence that we just so happen to live in an environment where by accident all the facts just so happen to be arranged so that the religious-hallucination-causing lobe of the brain is the only organ in the body which has a Darwinian advantage when it malfunctions?

It is not a simpler explanation to assume the religious perception in the soul, in people otherwise sane and healthy, functions as its Creator designed?

The first model postulates an incredible ad hoc coincidence; the second one postulates a cause and effect.

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