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Thread: "Belief in God is apparently a psychological artifact of mammalian reproduction."

  1. #1 "Belief in God is apparently a psychological artifact of mammalian reproduction." 
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    "Belief in God is apparently a psychological artifact of mammalian reproduction."

    This is a quote from Arthur Clarke's scifi book Fountains of Paradise (1979). Does anyone know what this means?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    "Belief in God is apparently a psychological artifact of mammalian reproduction."

    This is a quote from Arthur Clarke's scifi book Fountains of Paradise (1979). Does anyone know what this means?
    It has something to do with passing from the inside to the outside when being born. So death is passing from one side to the other side too. I read that somewhere no idea where now, but that might give you a clue.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    Does anyone know what this means?
    Sir Arthur C. Clarke briefly touched on that in an interview with a magazine from the 90's.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurCClarke.net
    FI: What are your thoughts regarding the future development of something else you've often written about - religion?
    Clarke: Well, I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development. I think that religion may be some random by-product of mammalian reproduction. If that's true, would non-mammalian aliens have a religion? Anyway, that's one of the nice things about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project; if it is successful, we could perhaps answer such questions one day. I've just seen Contact, by my late friend Carl Sagan. It's quite an impressive film that offers hints on this subject.

    FI: If religion does indeed represent an immature stage of humanity, do you see any prospects for humanity growing up?
    Clarke: Yes, there is the possibility that humankind can outgrown its infantile tendencies, as I suggested in Childhood's End. But it is amazing how childishly gullible humans are. There are, for example, so many different religions - each of them claiming to have the truth, each saying that their truths are clearly superior to the truths of others - how can someone possibly take any of them seriously? I mean, that's insane. And such insanity concerns me, especially now that waves of lunacy are washing over the United States and the world in the form of millennial cults. Time magazine recently reported on them. The crazy thing is, according to traditional Christian dogma, the real millennium was four years ago, for Jesus was supposedly born circa 5 B.C.E. - so it's already 2004! Apparently some millennial nuts are blithely ignoring their own dogma.

    FI: Do you see any value at all in the various religions?
    Clarke: Though I sometimes call myself a crypto-Buddhist, Buddhism is not a religion. Of those around at the moment, Islam is the only one that has any appeal to me. But, of course, Islam has been tainted by other influences. The Muslims are behaving like Christians, I'm afraid.

    FI: What appeals to you in Islam?
    Clarke: Historically, Islam had a great deal of tolerance for other views and offered the world its priceless wisdom in the form of astronomy and algebra. And, as you know, Islam helped rescue Western civilization from the Dark Ages by preserving classical texts and transmitting them to the West. We, on the other hand, burned the library at Alexandria. If Islam hadn't fallen into internecine warfare and had gone on to conquer the rest of Europe, we'd have avoided a thousand years of Christian barbarism.

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    Nice, though I loved his stories despite their sometimes difficult descriptions of alien environments, I wasn't familiar with his views on religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    Does anyone know what this means?
    Sir Arthur C. Clarke briefly touched on that in an interview with a magazine from the 90's.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurCClarke.net
    FI: What are your thoughts regarding the future development of something else you've often written about - religion?
    Clarke: Well, I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development. I think that religion may be some random by-product of mammalian reproduction. If that's true, would non-mammalian aliens have a religion? Anyway, that's one of the nice things about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project; if it is successful, we could perhaps answer such questions one day. I've just seen Contact, by my late friend Carl Sagan. It's quite an impressive film that offers hints on this subject.

    FI: If religion does indeed represent an immature stage of humanity, do you see any prospects for humanity growing up?
    Clarke: Yes, there is the possibility that humankind can outgrown its infantile tendencies, as I suggested in Childhood's End. But it is amazing how childishly gullible humans are. There are, for example, so many different religions - each of them claiming to have the truth, each saying that their truths are clearly superior to the truths of others - how can someone possibly take any of them seriously? I mean, that's insane. And such insanity concerns me, especially now that waves of lunacy are washing over the United States and the world in the form of millennial cults. Time magazine recently reported on them. The crazy thing is, according to traditional Christian dogma, the real millennium was four years ago, for Jesus was supposedly born circa 5 B.C.E. - so it's already 2004! Apparently some millennial nuts are blithely ignoring their own dogma.

    FI: Do you see any value at all in the various religions?
    Clarke: Though I sometimes call myself a crypto-Buddhist, Buddhism is not a religion. Of those around at the moment, Islam is the only one that has any appeal to me. But, of course, Islam has been tainted by other influences. The Muslims are behaving like Christians, I'm afraid.

    FI: What appeals to you in Islam?
    Clarke: Historically, Islam had a great deal of tolerance for other views and offered the world its priceless wisdom in the form of astronomy and algebra. And, as you know, Islam helped rescue Western civilization from the Dark Ages by preserving classical texts and transmitting them to the West. We, on the other hand, burned the library at Alexandria. If Islam hadn't fallen into internecine warfare and had gone on to conquer the rest of Europe, we'd have avoided a thousand years of Christian barbarism.

    Source


    Thank you for finding and posting this. I see lines from a couple of his novels in his responses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Nice, though I loved his stories despite their sometimes difficult descriptions of alien environments, I wasn't familiar with his views on religion.
    He touches on religion in most of the novels that I have read. I like his views on religion -- they match mine pretty closely. Even the Buddhism part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    "Belief in God is apparently a psychological artifact of mammalian reproduction."

    This is a quote from Arthur Clarke's scifi book Fountains of Paradise (1979). Does anyone know what this means?
    It has something to do with passing from the inside to the outside when being born. So death is passing from one side to the other side too. I read that somewhere no idea where now, but that might give you a clue.

    That idea has pretty much been thrown out the window.

    Have not read Dawkins...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    "Belief in God is apparently a psychological artifact of mammalian reproduction."

    This is a quote from Arthur Clarke's scifi book Fountains of Paradise (1979). Does anyone know what this means?
    It has something to do with passing from the inside to the outside when being born. So death is passing from one side to the other side too. I read that somewhere no idea where now, but that might give you a clue.

    That idea has pretty much been thrown out the window.

    Have not read Dawkins...
    That might be the reference.
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