Endgame, The Premises: Derrick Jensen

Premise Two

Traditional communities do not often voluntarily give up or sell the resources on which their communities are based until their communities have been destroyed.  They also do not willingly allow their landbases to be damaged so that other resources – gold, oil, and so on – can be extracted.  It follows that those who want the resources will do what they can to destroy traditional communities.


One response to “Endgame, The Premises: Derrick Jensen

  1. Religious believers are atincg in accord with evolution Having arrived at a churchless view of reality, I’m amused when true believers accuse me of taking the easy way out by being a skeptic about God and other things divine’ish. They see religious belief as a courageous stand against rampant secularism a bold independent search for ultimate reality that transcends materialistic boundaries.Actually, the truth is far different.Religious belief is the default human condition. What takes courage, effort, and determination is going against the religious current that sweeps the vast majority of people into a faith-based ocean.Interestingly, the evidence for this is scientific.Evolutionary psychology has arrived at well-founded explanations for why religious belief is almost ubiquitious in cultures around the world. So those who decry the theory of evolution as undermining the Bible and other holy books are doing so because of evolutionary influences.They can’t help themselves.Belief in the supernatural essentially is hard-wired into humans. J. Anderson Thomson explains why in the first chapter of his fascinating short book, Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Scientific Science of Faith. (Thanks, Alex, for letting me know about this book via an email.)All known cultures have revolved around some concept of at least one god and/or central mystical figure, with or without a corresponding supernatural world. Why? Why is religion an apparently universal feature of humans and the cultures we create?We are beginning to understand. Over the past two decades there has been a revolution in psychology and the cognitive neurosciences. Out of it has come an evolutionary explanation of why human minds generate religious belief, why we generate specific types of beliefs, and why our minds are prone to accept and spread them. religion, while not an [evolutionary] adaptation in itself, derives from the same mind-brain social adaptations that we use to navigate the sea of people who surround us. These adaptations formed to solve specific social and interpersonal problems as humanity evolved. Almost incidentally, but no less powerfully, they come together to construct the foundation of every religious idea, belief, and ritual. Religious beliefs are basic human social survival concepts with slight alterations. All religions as sets of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe begin with belief in one or more central holy figures or teachers. Most also involve a deity or deities capable of interacting with us, able and willing to intervene in our lives, to hear our silent wishes, and to grant them, and capable of doing literally anything. If, when you were a teenager, your mother had set you up on a blind date and assured you that your date was extraordinarily good looking, wealthy beyond measure, kind, loving, willing to do anything for you even though you’d never met, and wanted nothing more than for you to have the best of everything, would you have believed her? Well, maybe when you were a teenager. For a few minutes.So why are we so willing to believe in an invisible god that does all of that, and more?Compared to what really goes on in our minds, the concept of one holy supernatural entity seems easy. Just to believe in a god, our mind bounces off no fewer than twenty hardwired adaptations evolved over eons of natural selection to help us coexist and communicate with our fellow Homo sapiens to survive and dominate the planet. In the pages that follow, we’ll show you exactly how and why human minds not only accept the impossible but also have created cults of it.We will show you how and why humans came to, among other things, believe in a god, love a god, fear a god, defer to a god, envision a god like us, pray to a god and assume prayers would be answered, create rituals to worship a god, and even die and kill for a god. And we will show you why these handwired social traits make it extradordinarily difficult to depart from those beliefs, even if and when you are so inclined.Difficult, but not impossible. Evolution also has brought us humans a well-developed cerebral cortex that can make progress in sorting through our delusions, untruths, and mistaken beliefs.I’m enjoying Thomson’s book. In future posts I’ll share more insights from it about why people are drawn to religious belief in much the same way as we’re drawn to eat fast food not because it is good for us, but because an inborn appetite is exceedingly strong.

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