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Complex societies gave birth to big gods, not the other way around: study


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An international research team, including a member of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, investigated the role of "big gods" in the rise of complex large-scale societies. Big gods are defined as moralizing deities who punish ethical transgressions. Contrary to prevailing theories, the team found that beliefs in big gods are a consequence, not a cause, of the evolution of complex societies. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Nature.
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-complex-societies-gave-birth-big.html

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Complex societies gave birth to big gods, not the other way around.

Wow very insightful news, I don’t know what I’d be thinking if it wasn’t for the title of this post, I feel enlightened thanks. 

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Thank you Iotero for an interesting link. I'm not sure why Koti and Externet have chosen to misunderstand its significance, but I appreciated it. Based on general reading in anthropology texts I too had the idea that religion that stipulated moral gods provided much of the social coherence to enable the emergence of complex societies. It's intriguing (see what I did there?) that this research turns the idea on its head.

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I have always thought this was the case (based on no real evidence!) - it seemed natural to me that religion would be adapted to serve the state as power became more centralised 

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Human imagination created gods.  Gigazillion mankind-hours of praying have not produced any response from gods and will never happen, neither 'punishing ethical transgressions'.

Surprising is that took an international research team in 'complexity science' to determine it.

16 hours ago, Itoero said:

...the team found that beliefs in big gods are a consequence, not a cause, of the evolution of complex societies.

 

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9 minutes ago, Externet said:

Surprising is that took an international research team in 'complexity science' to determine it.

The question of whether the concept of moralising gods proceeded complex societies or vice versa is not a trivial one. Other than your own biases why would you suppose one over the other?

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1 hour ago, Externet said:

Human imagination created gods.  Gigazillion mankind-hours of praying have not produced any response from gods and will never happen, neither 'punishing ethical transgressions'.

Surprising is that took an international research team in 'complexity science' to determine it.

 

Did you read the article? Your comments seem misplaced.

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