It is claimed by many that we have violated evolution by being too advanced in science letting it make us too indulgent and lazy.  That is blamed for much of the rampant mental illness and even physical illness that we see around us.  We are not living lives reflecting the animals we actually are.  Have we overstepped?  Do we need to live more basic lives?

Many of us have gone back to basics and feel much better.

And as for those who think we have gone too far why are they not protesting about certain religions? 

It is obvious that we seek and cling to things that make us feel different to animals and godlike in comparison.  The smartphone has as much power over you as the idol had over those who worshipped it in days long gone. When people say they want a spiritual meaning to life, want to revel in the spiritual dimension, what they mean is feeling that some part of them, the more important part, will resist the worst of what nature or anything can throw at it.  Giving a lot of love can be motivated by trying to create and sustain that illusion. One thing we think of at this point is, people want to live as if death is not really going to happen to them and if it does then something is there to protect your core,  your personhood, from final destruction.

We try to think and feel that despite having an animal side that we are not animals.  Doctrines and ideas that can help with that illusion are many.  Here are some.  That we have souls, that we belong in a glorious Heaven, that we are the image of God, that God values us above all other creatures.  Surely then we are using religion to do the same thing as technology does?  We are trying to move too far too fast.  The luck that made us what we are will always be bigger than us.  In other words, trying to be some kind of magical creature defies what we are.

Christianity says that even if survival of the most adaptable or the fittest is true and the cornerstone of evolution we must defy it.  It claims it makes us concentrate on empowering the strong and the clever for nature will eliminate the sick and the weak.   For Nietzsche, this is going too far.  And if you believe in God who says he really wants you to care for the vulnerable?  And if survival of the fittest is true then Christianity by commanding love for the sick cannot defy the truth.  Isn't it the religion that says that defying truth does nothing for the truth is always bigger than you or anything?  It will rush in.  If I have to see everything else as a possible taker, a competitor, if I have to see nature as something that is no better than an enemy, that is what I will be forced to see.  Not looking makes it worse.  Christianity if natural selection is true already knows it deep down and is lying about it being untrue.  Either way it makes itself part of the threat.

Is it not against evolution to put more hope in a good afterlife than in the life we have?  If evolution calls for diligence then religion telling us that no matter how good we are, the goodness is really God’s it dissociates us from ourselves.  That harms our nature if we are advanced animals.  We make what we do as the clock makes the tick.  The dissociation is unnatural.  It may be the reason why believers apart from a few are not exceptionally kind.  We admit that atheism has the same problem.  But if faith is causing believers to be too negligent then that is an issue on its own. The issue of why atheists are lazy is a separate subject.  And a lot of it is down to dependence on scientific advances.  But that is a human issue rather than a specifically atheist one.

The bottom line is religion thinks we are not animals but children of God who happen to have some things in common with them.  The Genesis story has Adam finding no beast suitable as a partner.  Animals were already there when he was made from the dust.  He had to be made separate to highlight that he was not just another animal.  If it is true that we are animals, we need to keep thinking in line with that.  We need to live in line with it.  Harm will happen otherwise.  or more harm than would otherwise happen.  The damage cannot be avoiding by trying to say we are some kind of mini-god or a zombie with some spiritual ghost living in it.  A bit more self-awareness and we would see our animal nature.  We see more than we realise but there are religions out there that seek to confuse us.  We would see that we need to be more consistent with that nature.

Some believe that the religious or spiritual impulse comes from fear.  Others say it is gratitude.  Why does it has to be one or the other?  Everybody reports that they feel thankful and fearful towards the unknown, the supernatural mystery.  And a lot of gratitude is rooted in fear.  You fear that if you are not thankful enough what you have may be taken from you.  And thankfulness is partly based on the notion that life does not have to work out for you.  You feel good because you got something that you might not have got.  You know you will lose it so that is why you feel so good now.  And you fear that if you do not work up thankful emotions the happy occurrence cannot reach you.  You need to let yourself enjoy it fully.  Fear has more to do with the religious drive than anything else.

Control and psychological control are different.  But control is control.  You can sense you are in control by surrendering to the car that drives for you.  Your surrender is control.  If you were driving the car rather than it driving you would be in control in an active sense.  Either way you are taking control.  God is not God to anybody.  Jesus is not Lord to anybody.  They are only God or Lord if you let them be meaning you are the real power, the real God and Lord.  Control and power is the real drive behind faith and religion. 

So we might still wonder what are people seeking to get out of religion anyway?  Is religion about running after a fix without drugs? We all know nature has the power to drug us.  Is that is what is really searched for? Are we trying to get our brain hormones and chemicals to make the fix for us?  Religion relies heavily on people who have at least one momentary experience of transcendence.  It seems to just happen.  But do we really want a Heaven where we have that experience forever?  It seems we will accept just having a moment of significance and then back to normality but having the uplifting consequences remain with us forever.  In psychology, this is a case of a person finding some kind of safe space in life to go back to.  I mean in the midst of turmoil now they may hark back to the experience and they feel better.  This works the same way that a film or good song on the radio can take you out of your bad circumstances momentarily.  The power to switch off is there.  This is normal in life and we have no need to go down the mystical road and talk of transcendence in such terms.  Transcendence must mean escapism and nothing else.


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