The whole issue of religion has been taking up a bit more space in my head these last few days than in quite a while. I have been reading Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion' and hearing all about the visit of Josef Ratzinger to the UK.
It also reflects on my last blog and religion is, I think a central part of belonging. The central part of belonging is a shared body of assumptions, often without basis in reality. Other religions can seem bizarre even to those who are religious but it is often difficult to see this about the religion that you are brought up in. Dawkin’s puts forward a few possible evolutionary reasons why religion prospers including the need to believe and act on your parent’s instructions unquestioningly (in early human society).
Personally I feel that one of our great evolutionary strengths is our need for an answer and perhaps our weakness is reliance on ‘faith’ where there is no obvious answer. However this weakness doesn’t necessarily have any negative affect. It didn’t affect pastoral communities to believe that the earth was the centre of the universe or that it was flat.