Our Weak Compared to Strong Moral Evaluations
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Post No.: 0439   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Our ‘weak or non-moral evaluations’ are those evaluations that are highly subjective, such as what pudding, painting or piece of music is best, and we wouldn’t really be bothered if someone else differed … Read More

How to Create a Cult
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Post No.: 0417   Furrywisepuppy says:   This post isn’t really about teaching people how to start a cult(!) Its purpose is learning about and watching out for some of the common signs of cults so that you or someone … Read More

Facts are One Thing, Subjective Values are Another
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Post No.: 0399   Furrywisepuppy says:   Human rights don’t arise from genetic evolution per se – nothing in genetic evolution or ‘survival of the fittest’ even says that people must behave morally. Humans have genetic instincts for both compassion … Read More

Religion for Social Support, Purpose and Meaning
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Post No.: 0387   Furrywisepuppy says:   Religiosity or spirituality is, generally, correlated with better health outcomes, such as lower levels of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, hypertension, emphysema, some cancers, chronic pain and premature death overall. This may be … Read More

Credibility Enhancing and Undermining Displays
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Post No.: 0349   Furrywisepuppy says:   Credibility enhancing displays (CREDs) are behaviours that signal one’s belief in and commitment to something, such as to a religion. Examples that enhance one’s credibility include putting your own money where your mouth … Read More

Is Religiosity in Decline?
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Post No.: 0322   Furrywisepuppy says:   In the industrialised world, religiosity has been on a marked decline, even in the USA. This may be because life has somewhat improved for many people overall over the past several decades, and … Read More

Rituals and Demonstrating Commitment to the Group
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Post No.: 0304   Furrywisepuppy says:   Post No.: 0283 discussed rituals and their personal effects on individuals. In this post, we’ll explore their social effects on groups…   For groups – rituals can bring and bind people together in … Read More

Religious Rituals and Anxiety Relief
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Post No.: 0283   Furrywisepuppy says:   The vast majority of people in the world currently affiliate themselves with a religion, whether they’re actively practising or not. Religion can be broken down into the beliefs (e.g. gods, afterlives, spirits and … Read More

What Religious Beliefs Say About Morality
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Post No.: 0258   Furrywisepuppy says:   Humans weren’t completely amoral before religion was invented. Other social primate relatives and mammals demonstrate what seem like compassionate behaviours and a sense of fairness too (although to a lesser degree e.g. chimpanzees … Read More

Religion, Fidelity and the Benefits for the Group
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Post No.: 0247   Furrywisepuppy says:   Religion is affiliated with commitment and family values, and therefore religiosity arguably makes a long-term mate more attractive – for women (commitment and fidelity) as well as for men (reducing the risk of … Read More

Religious Norms on Sex and Marriage
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Post No.: 0217   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Religions have had, and still currently have, a lot to directly say about sex and marriage norms across the world. Different major religions have different fertility rates, and other factors (e.g. poverty levels) … Read More

Groups and Cultural Group Selection
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Post No.: 0203   Furrywisepuppy says:   ‘Cultural group selection’ occurs because there’s inter-group competition. Group selection is basically natural selection but played out between groups rather than individuals. And via this inter-group competition, we developed ways to enhance intra-group … Read More

Sacred Values and Their Effects on Conflict
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Post No.: 0162   Furrywisepuppy says:   Sacred values or beliefs (special values or beliefs placed above the merely material, secular or profane) are considered non-tradable or non-negotiable – thus they violate rational cost-benefit rules. This is because they are … Read More

Are Atheists Regarded as Lacking a Moral Compass?
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Post No.: 0153   Furrywisepuppy says:   Anti-atheist prejudice or antipathy can sometimes result because a lot of people will only trust in a state leader (or any other person in a role where trust is particularly important) who holds … Read More

Gene-Culture Co-Evolution in Humans
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Post No.: 0120   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Homo sapiens (who have been around for only ~200,000 years so far, or at least a number of this order of magnitude as the best estimate at the time of writing) only started … Read More

Trying to Answer the Questions that Science Cannot
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Post No.: 0113   Furrywisepuppy says:   Following on from Post No.: 0023 about how science cannot always answer what we ought to do with the facts we find – philosophy, religion and politics attempt to answer the questions that … Read More

The Compensatory Control Model and Religious Beliefs
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Post No.: 0096   Furrywisepuppy says:   ‘Priming’ is a fluffy technique that involves exposing people to a prior stimulus (or prime) in order to influence their responses to a subsequent stimulus, without their conscious guidance or intention. In experiments, … Read More

Perceiving Apophenia and Pareidolia
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Post No.: 0086   Furrywisepuppy says:   Our instincts didn’t evolve to make a 1:1 accurate representation of the real world or the truth – they evolved for survival and reproduction success. So if misperceptions or lies don’t immediately kill … Read More

The Intuitive Belief in Immaterial Souls and Afterlives
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Post No.: 0070   Furrywisepuppy says:   As a follow-on from Post No.: 0039, we detect faces extremely well in order to avoid predators, but we ‘see’ faces even in inanimate objects, which may explain why we over-read and over-attribute … Read More

How Do Religions (and Other Cultural Memes) Spread?
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Post No.: 0054   Fluffystealthkitten says:   To clarify something first of all – memes in this context are any cultural elements that can be copied and passed on from individual-to-individual, analogously to how genes can be copied and passed … Read More

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