Re: Another question for athiests.
While bigfoot may be based on primates, known primate species don't live in areas like North America or other places with stories of similar creatures, so the stories aren't based on local primates, accept humans of course. Bigfoot legend based on hairy men? It's not just Bigfoot, goblins, sea serpents, are present in many cultures, although they tend to have different attributes according to different cultures. Given the differences, they're not as universal as you seem to suggest, and I a little skeptical about how universal you claim them to be.
A lot of religions have the golden rule and "don't kill people" in their teachings. A lot of non-religious organisations have a "don't kill people" policy as well. Arriving at the golden rule seems independent of gods.
Every culture has some higher power concept, or agency or agencies controlling things in the background, for good or evil. Humans seem biased toward agency as an explanation. One explanation could be that there is an agency but if you look at religion that's not really going to give you an idea of what that agency is, there's quite a bit of variety. I don't think you can get geniune universals from all religions without becoming meaningless like "higher being" which isn't a good description at all.
Another explanation could be that bias towards an agency evolved as paranoia that was an evolutionary advantage. If you're paranoid, sometimes you're going to be right. Conspiracy theorists were right about Iran-Contra, but that doesn't make them right about other theories. If you're an ape, being paranoid and wrong most of the time might be a disadvantage in some enviroments, but might be a big advantage in other enviroments. You can be right once out of a hundred, but that once might be really important to your ability to replicate your genes.
Humans are biased towards bad logic, especially when young, but even really intelligent experts in other fields get statistics terrible wrong if they've never been educated in it. So innate qualities in humans to believe in certain things, I think are most likely explained through psychology, not through theology.
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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