Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Origin Of the Gods?

My dear, darling Anne,

What do you make of this:

  • Humans naturally attribute personalities to things, including other humans.
  • When you look at it closely, though, a personality is no more than a predictive model of behavior. To say that Uncle Harry has a "sweet" or "pleasant" personality is to make a prediction of sorts about his behavior.
  • There are obvious survival advantages to predicting the behavior of others, which is perhaps how this trait of attributing personalities to things might have arisen in us through the process of natural selection.
  • It is but a short step from attributing a personality to Uncle Harry and attributing one to other things -- even non-human things. Thinking of the weather as "Old Man Weather" comes to mind. So does calling one's car "Betsy" and believing it too has a personality.
  • From such simple projections, it is but another short step to creating spirits and then gods.

Is that sound reasoning, Anne, or should I gather my wits about me with another cup of coffee and re-think it all?


Reference: Church Of the Churchless Blog

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