Religion consist of a category of education we evolved for the purpose of training the intuition (emotions), such that we are less dependent upon reason, calculation, and computation, and can reduce our stress (effort) by limiting the demand for reason(calculation, computation) in a universe seemingly kaleidic (nearly random).
So just as we have:
|ANALOGIES| children’s stories > fairy tales, myths and legends > young adult stories > stories > novels > biographies > histories > the sciences and law > mathematics;
and we have:
|ETHICS| Imitation of Parents > Hero Ethics > Virtue Ethics > Rule Ethics > Outcome Ethics;
we also have:
|EDUCATION| Physical Training > Emotional training > Calculation training > Knowledge training > Professional Skills Training;
And so we have developed these institutions to provide training:
|INSTITUTIONS| Play/Sports/Work(physical) > Church (emotion) > Primary School (Grammar: Repetition and Memorization) > Secondary School (Reason: Logic and Rhetoric) > College (Skills) > University (Professions) > Graduate and PhD(Research).
WHAT WE LEARN FROM RELIGION
What we learn from religion can be taught by many methods. Unfortunately, abrahamic religions are one of the worst possible methods because they have a near perfect record of manufacturing ignorance.
Despite being the most literate people in Europe the Jews contributed nothing to mankind for two thousand years until converted to Aristotelianism (Testimonial Truth). Christianity created order cheaply but maintained ignorance that cut the rate of literacy, learning, and innovation to near zero for over a thousand years. Islam destroyed the accumulated capital of every single great civilization of the ancient world other than India, China, and southern Africa who were all geographically isolated from Muslim Raiders, and their continuous destruction of capital, and mandated ignorance through religiously enforced predetermination.
Of the major religions of Abrahamism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Ancestor-Nature Worship, and Stoicism, it is quite clear without exception that Nature-Ancestor Worship and Stoicism are the optimum methods – Particularly for the optimum group evolutionary strategy: ethnocentrism and nationalism. In fact, every other strategy is far worse than ethnocentrism. And only ethnocentrism leads to beneficial continuous eugenic evolution, by resisting regression to the mean, because of the continuous dysgenia of underclass reproduction.
That does not mean church(education and universal cults) and temples(banks and minor cults) aren’t a good thing. Church (communal ritual of lesson, oath, and feast) is a good thing if it’s actually transmitting temporally and intertemporally useful content. (iIts not currently.)
But the lies of the abrahamic religions are horrifically destructive compared to the Trials of Achilles, hero, ancestor, and nature worship; or the continuous self-authoring of virtues in stoicism and buddhism. Our original religions of nature, ancestor worship (thankfulness) and Stoicism (mindfulness) were far superior at making mentally healthy people who are able to adapt to constantly changing conditions – and possessed of independent minds: something the authoritarian semitic religions could not tolerate, and actively suppressed.
THE CONSTITUTION OF RELIGION
Religion Consists of:
|RELIGION| Mythos (strategy) > Repetition (ritual), Recital (oath) > Feast and Festival.
But so does every other category of education:
|EDUCATION| Mythos (Logic) > Repetition/Ritual (Grammar) > Recital (Rhetoric) > Reward (Recognition of Achievement)
All education follows the same process:
|LEARNING| Logic > Grammar > Rhetoric > Success by accolade, application, or achievement.
All knowledge follows the same process:
|EPISTEMOLOGY| free association (+ test) > hypothesis (+ test) > theory (+test) > law ( survival).
All due diligence in the production of knowledge follows the same process:
|DUE DILIGENCE| identity > consistency > correspondence > demonstrated possibility > rational choice > reciprocity, coherence > limits > and completeness.
So, we have a rather odd misconception of ‘religion’ as something other than training the emotions such that we intuit values and relations that are coherent with our group evolutionary strategy (embedded in our mythos), which we rarely if ever understand – those rules of evolutionary strategy are obscured at the metaphysical level. This invisibility makes them sturdier because they are less vulnerable to argument and criticism and therefore more likely to persist due to simply imitation of myths and rituals that produces that strategy by externality rather than by direct apprehension.
IMITATION BY ANTHROPOCENTRIC CALCULATION: THE EASIEST LOGIC OF ALL
Our brains evolved and are organized to think in human experience and actions just like cows are for cows and dogs for dogs, etc. Our ‘most primitive and intuitionistic form of computation is imitation’. We do not think of imitation as algorithm but imitation produces a host of algorithms.
The value of a narrative is that we can convey thousands of times the density of experience that we can experience as individuals alone. We can, in that sense, compress time, by storytelling. As in all things, we are not wealthier than cavemen, we have just made better use of time by cooperating such that everything in our world is cheaper – including ideas, information, and experiences.
When listening to ‘stories’ are capable of suspension of disbelief, and suggestion, that would otherwise subject to criticism (testing). This suggestion provides categories, relations, and values.
When in Groups Listening to Stories, especially if we recite them, sing with them, dance them, march with them, work with them, walk with them, or play with them, of celebrate with them, we experience the Submission to the Pack Response, under which we can abandon reason and worry in the safety of harmony. This experience is euphoric for most. Combining the myth, the recitation (any ritual), and the pack response provides us with what we call mindfulness – but is better thought of as a calm submissive sense of safety, where the mind is free of the ever present stress of continuous calculation and comprehension of the world around us. Given enough practice, by repeating that ritual, we can restore that sense of safety. It is this ‘chemical reward’ (the spectrum of calm, to safety, to euphoria) in combination with the lessons and suggestions of ‘stories’ (loose algorithms) that each of the categories, relations, actions, and values, that provides the emotional training we found in religion – but is present in all forms of learning and education.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF STORIES (ALGORITHMS)
A story consists of a series of transactions (actions) that accumulate to produce a sequence of changes in state. Stories serve as search algorithms so that we may seek to seek or avoid opportunities for gain or loss.
All stories consist of Outcomes:
|OUTCOME| Positive (Happy Ending) > Negative (Unhappy Ending) > or Tragedy (Catastrophic Ending)
And, all stories contain Changes in State:
|CHANGE IN STATE| Rise, or Fall > Rise-Fall, or Fall-Rise > Rise-Fall-Rise, or Fall-Rise-Fall;
… or some combination. With the most common being Rise-Fall-Rise (Cinderella), Fall-Rise-Fall (Oedipus), Fall-Rise-Fall-Rise (Rescue), and Rise-Fall-Rise-Fall (Tragic Cinderella): all which, being common, are warnings against hubris.
And, all stories follow a Plot (Fix Problem, Satisfy A Want, Caution against Hubris)
|PLOT| Rebirth > Rags to Riches > Quest (And Return) > Overcoming an Evil > Tragedy > Comedy;
Although a full survey of the plots would expand this list in to the twenties or thirties depending upon the level of detail, that list is not infinite – it is, contrary to our intuitions, quite a small set of ‘algorithms’ (lessons).
And, all Characters reflect a Stage of Life:
|STAGE| The Innocent(Child) > the Commoner(Youth) > The Hero (Adult) > The Saint (Sage)
And, all Characters apply a Strategy (Archetype):
|CHARACTER| Jester (Play/Intuition/Child) > Magician (Action/Cunning/Youth) > Ruler (Power/Authority/Father) > Sage (Truth/Wisdom/Mother)
And an InGroup Organization:
|ORGANIZATION| The Herd (Feminine) > The Market (Ascendant Male Pack) > The Hierarchy (The Dominant Male Army) > The Anarchist (The Solitary Hunter)
And a Group Morality as Competitive Strategy against Other Groups:
|MORAL BIAS| Charity (Feminine/Hindu/Buddhist) > Reciprocity (Christian /Libertarian /Anglo-Scandinavian /Japanese-Korean ) > Rule (Authoritarian /French /Chinese /Russian) > Parasitism (Gypsies) > Predation (Judaism-Poly-Ethicalism) > Destruction (Islam – Eternal Conquest).
And all Environments a Relationship between mankind and Nature:
|METAPHYSICS| Submissive (Feminine, Religion, Submission, Herd, Equality) > Harmony (Balanced, Philosophy, Agreement, Proportionality) > Dominance (Male, Law, Limits, Hierarchy).
And all Fictional Worlds Permit a Hyperbole for the purpose of simplifying illustration:
|HYPERBOLE| The Unknown: Magic/Technology(Real,Amazing, Fairy Tales) >The Past: Surreal/Supernormal(Ideal, Mythical,Legends) > The Eternal: Occult/Supernatural (Mystical, The Dead, Religion)
And a position on Truth:
|TRUTH| Truth No Matter What > Truth To the Limit of Harm > Cunning to Avoid The Truth > Deception and Cunning as Heroic.
Which corresponds to a position on Face:
And they teach (communicate) a Lesson (General Rule):
|LESSON|: A Defense of Intuition vs Reason > A Defense Against Intuition(Cognitive Bias) > A Redirection of Intuition (to Norms) > A Falsification of Intuition ( To preserve Norms).
The most well documented example being the “Lessons” of Aesop’s Fables.
The Ant and the Chrysalis: Appearances are deceptive
The Ant and the Dove: One good turn deserves another
The Ant and the Grasshopper: It is best to prepare for the days of necessity
There are over 600 more of these general rules in the standard Canon.
ANY DIFFERENCE FROM LAW?
THERE IS ONLY ONE ‘LAW’
While there is only one law, that law has two variants, and broad application:
Do not unto others, as they would not have done unto them. (The via-negativa, or “Silver Rule”.) And it’s method of testing: Do only unto others that which you would have done unto you.” (The via-positiva, or Golden Rule.) The difference between thes Silver (Negative) and the Golden (Positive) versions of this rule, are that we can only judge others by our own desires if we are equal. If we are unequal then we cannot judge others by our own measures, but we must seek to understand their measures so that we do not cause them to retaliate against us for what they perceive is an aggression (Crime). The Primacy of the Silver Rule in western civilization, where we all men were liable for (Had a Duty for) military service and lived in a permanent hierarchy, and the Golden Rule in Semitic civilization where they evolved as a vast permanent equalitarian poor, was due to the independence (Sovereignty) of the individual western warrior, no matter his wealth, and the dependence (Submission) of the individual peasant and raider.
ANY DIFFERENCE FROM GEOMETRY?
The Value of Costly Rituals
( … )
Rituals As Investments (In the Self)
Rituals as Cost Bearing (Commons)
Rituals As Bribes (Sacrifices)
Rituals As Debt Payments
( … )
Therefore ‘What debts do you want to generate in a population such that they persist in paying them?‘
THE NEED TO COUNTER THE CONSEQUENCES OF NORMATIVE INGROUP EDUCATION
Sun tzu et all are reminding us… this is the problem… we have no ‘balance’ in our education and moral intuition is boundless rather than lmited.
RELIGION IS JUST ANOTHER FORM OF EDUCATION
There is nothing special about religion. If we look at the hierarchy of choice:
|REACTION| Physical Response (Automatic) > Emotional Response (intuition) > Rational Response(reason) > Calculated Response (calculation) > Computed Response (Computation) > Market-Calculated Response (Markets divide labor of reason, calculation, and computation in a network);
… then EACH ONE OF THOSE STEPS allows for increase in precision in the EXISTENCE of knowledge, and GRACEFUL FAILURE in the ABSENCE of knowledge.
This hierarchy means that at about every Standard Deviation (15 points) in human mental (cognitive) ability, (75->150 IQ) there exists a grammar of decision making (methodology or set of algorithms) from the base animal instinct up to the most skilled professional, that we can use from when we have very little knowledge and ability, to when we have very much knowledge and ability.
TRUTH IS A VERY SIMPLE THING
Humans are very simple creatures. It’s the lies we tell ourselves that confuse us, and keep us mere animals, responding by intuition and automatic reaction, rather than possessed of agency and welding reason, calculation, computation, and markets, such that we evolve into the gods we imagine.
The Philosophy of Aristocracy
The Propertarian Institute