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The evolution of religion


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Much like humans, some computer programs use randomness in their decision-making. In that case, the program is not deterministic based on what its designer told it to do, and makes "its own" choices much like people. Some programs also learn, and so are affected by previous history of previous games (possibly games against themselves). Their choices are "theirs" just as much as our choices are "ours" rather than the product of our DNA and environment -- only they lack self-awareness and general intelligence. And a chess program can easily beat its designers.

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No it doesn't. Determinism is not at odds with free will. In fact, free will depends upon some level of determinism. It doesn't make much sense to speak of someone making a choice when the choice is b

Are they? What you seem to be arguing is that free will really is determinism, which leads you to the conclusion that free will is deterministic. That's not the view of free will most people hold: a p

no, but you can assess the liklihood of his making a useful, or even coherent contribution. also, by the miracle of literacy, we can read and analyse pioneers post and determine, yep, he's displaying

Computer programers sometimes choose to use pseudo-random number generators that are deterministic in their code to add a degree of variation and complexity because the range of inputs is great so the range of output can be as well. However, there is no contingency in the outcome of these functions. They are as deterministic as every other computer function.

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Computer programers sometimes choose to use pseudo-random number generators that are deterministic in their code to add a degree of variation and complexity because the range of inputs is great so the range of output can be as well. However, there is no contingency in the outcome of these functions. They are as deterministic as every other computer function.

 

What if I use a true random number source?

 

Incidentally, many pseudorandom sources on Linux systems use system entropy (noise from device drivers, system events, and user interactions) to generate true random numbers as well. /dev/random in particular is a true random number generator, based on random interactions with the system, not a pseudorandom function.

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Good point. So what would we have then? It would depend again on how the designer used the random numbers. Would we have the computer making unconstrained free choices? No, it would react in accordance with the rules prescribed by the designer and the results would be random with constraints. The computer and code is passively delegated the constrained range of outcomes to a random generator. We now have an example of a designed system that generates outcomes based on design, necessity and chance.

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My thesis is that the behavior called religion, common to only humans, when it appears, became a means to alter natural instinct. In modern cases, when instinct is repressed, the instinctive output becomes more variable. Natural instinct is more or less deterministic. If you place almost any valid food in front of an animal, the outcome is chew, swallow and digest. If we repress, both the reaction to input, as well as the outcome, the instinct can change; variability.

 

One example, in my own life occurred when I was in my late teens and went for a hike in the mountains. I was new to hiking, and was not prepared. The resulted was dehydration and an amplification of my thirst instinct. Because my water need was severe, I thought it was good idea to drink from the green slimy puddle of water on a bolder. Under any other conditions, this would not even have dawned on me due to being bio-contaminated. But under those conditions of repression, it seemed like the right thing to do; only water I could find. One sip (2 oz) and yuck, my thirst subsided. My mind was clear again, since the instinct was sublimated to protect me from getting sick. With my head clear and my sensory systems now on high alert, I sniffed out a stream that was about a 1/10 mile away and slightly off trail. I was down about six liters of water and once that was satisfied, I was all gun ho to complete the hike.

 

With religion causing repression of the ape-man instinct, new ways appear for a new-man with civilization; from variability, new determinisms. If you read parts of genesis, it tells of a time when angels breed with the daughters of men. If we take this figuratively, ape-man is changing into something totally new. The repressions creates monsters and heros within the variability. This would be both the excessive compulsions of repression and the sublimations of repressions; variability bell curve and the two extremes. Progression to the stresses have a selective advantage, shifting curve toward one end; civilization. The hero kills the monsters (figuratively).

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