Thursday, March 21, 2019

Judgmental gods and societal development

From Science Magazine. OMG!  "It's my god, my god, talking about myyyy god, my god." Sung to this tune.

"Many scholars argue that moralizing gods were needed to build large-scale societies, an idea sometimes known as the “big gods” hypothesis, although it applies to impersonal supernatural moral laws like karma as well. Hunter-gatherers live in small bands in which everybody knows everybody else, so immoral behavior is virtually guaranteed to be discovered and punished. But in larger, more anonymous societies—from networks of interconnected villages to the first cities—people can break the rules without anyone noticing. If everyone did that, society would fall apart, so moralizing gods were needed to keep an eye on everyone and encourage cooperation instead of cheating. The more people cooperate, the more the society can grow."

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