If we believe that human behaviour is a special case of animal behaviour, there is nothing that requires explanation when we find humans acting to the advantage of in-groups over out-groups. This is the kind of behaviour that will have benefited their ancestors. There's no need to suggest that there is something uniquely poisonous about religion so that people behave worse when they are believers than otherwise. The morality of the Old Testament may be reprehensible - though no worse than the morality of the Iliad - but it worked: the descendants of the children of Israel are still here and the descendants of the previous male inhabitants of the Promised Land are not.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
One atheist to another. Andrew Brown deconstructs the fundamental(ist) incoherence of Richard Dawkins: