Download God Is Watching You: How the Fear of God Makes Us Human by Dominic Johnson PDF

April 5, 2017 | Evolution | By admin | 0 Comments

By Dominic Johnson

"And, behold, I, even I, do deliver a flood of waters upon the earth, to break all flesh, in which is the breath of existence, from less than heaven; and each factor that's within the earth shall die." The biblical tale of the flood crystalizes--in its terrifying, dramatic simplicity--the universally well-known thought of divine punishment. For millennia human civilizations have trusted such ideals to create ethical order. those that devote crimes or different undesirable deeds, we're instructed, will undergo retribution, whereas rewards--abstract or material--await those that do solid. this easy yet robust suggestion has lengthy served to discourage self-interest and attain impressive degrees of cooperation. certainly, as all societies appear to have chanced on, those ideals are so stable at selling cooperation that they could were favourite by means of usual choice. this present day, whereas secularism and unbelief are at an all-time excessive, the willingness to think in a few type of payback or karma is still approximately common. Even atheists usually consider they're being monitored and judged. we discover ourselves imagining what our mom and dad, wife, or boss might reflect on our strategies and activities, whether they're miles away and may by no means discover. We speak of eyes burning into the backs of our heads, the partitions listening, a feeling that somebody or whatever is accessible, staring at our each movement, conscious of our ideas and intentions.

God Is staring at You is an exploration of this trust because it has constructed over the years and the way it has formed the process human evolution. Dominic Johnson explores such questions as: used to be a trust in supernatural results instrumental within the origins of human societies? How has it affected the best way human society has replaced, how we are living this present day, and the way we are going to reside sooner or later? Does it extend or restrict the opportunity of neighborhood, neighborhood and worldwide cooperation? How will the present decline in spiritual trust (at least in lots of western nations) impact our skill to reside jointly? And what, if whatever, will mood self-interest and advertise cooperation if faith declines? briefly, will we nonetheless desire God?

Drawing on new examine from anthropology, evolutionary biology, experimental psychology, and neuroscience, Johnson provides a brand new conception of supernatural punishment that provides clean perception into the origins and evolution of not just faith, but in addition human cooperation and society. He exhibits that trust in supernatural gift and punishment is not any quirk of western or Christian tradition, yet a ubiquitous a part of human nature that spans nation-states, cultures, and human historical past.

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Additional resources for God Is Watching You: How the Fear of God Makes Us Human

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The prisoner’s dilemma may seem to represent a rather specific and unusual scenario, but in fact it shows up all over the place in human and animal life. It turns out, for example, to underlie arms races in international relations, inaction on climate change, obstacles to trade, and even natural phenomena such as why trees grow so tall—giant redwoods could save terrific resources by only growing to, say, 50 feet (they usually grow to over 200), but in the competition for light, whoever grows that bit taller at the expense of the others will do better.

But there are always some who don’t. Punishment, or at least the threat of punishment, is necessary for society to function. The idea that punishment has a special power over and above rewards has parallels in some famous works of philosophy. For example, Adam Smith is renowned for his idea that if people simply work for their own rewards, a positive side effect of this self-interested behavior is that it helps society too (as if led by an “invisible hand”). Despite the underlying, self-interested striving for rewards that has been seized upon by many modern economists wishing to show that unregulated free markets lead ineluctably to benefits for all, Smith also said, in fact, that coercion was necessary as well to keep people in tow.

Indeed, individuals may alter their punishment strategy to reap changing benefits as they move between different contexts. 27 But does this animal aggression really count as what we call punishment? Arguably, the essence is the same. 2). This is often referred to as “spite,” since it is mutually costly—I take a hit to make you take a hit. Punishment is clearly costly to the punished, since they suffer the consequences. 2 Behavior can be categorized by its effect on the actor (rows) and its effect on others (columns).

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