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THE IDEA OF GOD, CREATION STORIES, THE IDEA OF HEAVEN AND HELL NIENKE MOOR ARIANA NEED WOUT ULTEE RADBOUD UNIVERSITY NIJMEGEN NWO-PROGRAMME EVOLUTION AND.

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Presentation on theme: "THE IDEA OF GOD, CREATION STORIES, THE IDEA OF HEAVEN AND HELL NIENKE MOOR ARIANA NEED WOUT ULTEE RADBOUD UNIVERSITY NIJMEGEN NWO-PROGRAMME EVOLUTION AND."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE IDEA OF GOD, CREATION STORIES, THE IDEA OF HEAVEN AND HELL NIENKE MOOR ARIANA NEED WOUT ULTEE RADBOUD UNIVERSITY NIJMEGEN NWO-PROGRAMME EVOLUTION AND BEHAVIOUR UTRECHT, DECEMBER 9, 2008

2 JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY : GOD MOLDED CLAY IN HIS OWN IMAGE, BLEW LIFE IN IT, AND MAN WAS CREATED MICHELANGELO, VATICAN, SISTINE CHAPEL CEILING, DETAIL A CREATION STORY INVOLVING A GOD

3 THIS IS AN EFFORT IN THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION AND IN GENERAL SOCIOLOGY IN 1970 LENSKI DEVELOPED A GENERAL THEORY CALLED ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM EARLY SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION : THERE ARE NO SOCIETIES WITHOUT RELIGION WHY IS RELIGION A SOCIETAL UNIVERSAL ? RELIGION CONTRIBUTES TO SOCIETAL SURVIVAL

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5 ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM PROPOSES A PROBLEM SHIFT IN THE SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION THE IDEA OF A GOD DIFFERS FROM SOCIETY TO SOCIETY WHY RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY ? ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM EXPLAINS RELIGIOUS IDEAS AS A BY- PRODUCT OF THE HUMAN TENDENCY TO REASON BY ANALOGY

6 RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY ACCORDING TO LENSKI, HUMAN SOCIETIES, FIRST EDITION 1970, PAGE 134 FOUR TYPES OF REPRESENTATIONS OF GOD

7 THIS TABLE WAS OBTAINED FROM MURDOCK’S 1962 ETHNOGRAPHIC ATLAS A SYSTEMATIC CODING OF MONOGRAPHS THAT REPORT FIELD WORK UNDERTAKEN IN PRE-INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES BEFORE 1950 IN THE STANDARD SAMPLE OF 186 SOCIETIES, SOCIETIES DO NOT BORDER SO THAT DIFFUSION THEORIES ARE NOT APPLICABLE

8 ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM : HUMAN POPULATIONS POSSESS TECHNOLOGIES, IN PARTICULAR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SUBSISTENCE MAKING THE BEST OF A SOCIETY’S ENVIRONMENT AND THEY POSSESS IDEOLOGIES, WHICH LEGITIMIZE THE USE OF THIS KNOWLEDGE AND INSPIRE NORMS AND VALUES

9 AGRICULTURE AS SUBSISTENCE : MAN PLOUGHING A FIELD, SOUTHERN CHINA, 1995

10 HORTICULTURE AS SUBSISTENCE : ONLOOKING WOMAN AND MAN WORKING A GARDEN WITH A DIGGING STICK, WEMALE, MALUKU (MOLUCCAS ISLANDS), 1948

11 HUNTING AS SUBSISTENCE : HUNTERS AT THE KEI-ISLAND OF MALUKU 1886

12 TYPES OF SUBSISTENCE : HUNTING AND GATHERING SIMPLE HORTICULTURE ADVANCED HORTICULTURE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY TYPES ARE STAGES IN SOCIETAL EVOLUTION AND THERE ARE EVOLUTIONARY BYPATHS : FISHING SEAFARING HERDING

13 ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM THE HIGHER A SOCIETY’S LEVEL OF SUBSISTENCE TECHNOLOGY, THE MORE ACTIVE ITS GOD(S) BUT WHY WOULD A HIGHER SUBSISTENCE TECHNOLOGY MAKE FOR THE IDEA OF MORE ACTIVE GOD(S) ? THE MORE THE MEMBERS OF A HUMAN SOCIETY INTERVENE FOR THEIR SUBSISTENCE IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT, THE MORE THEIR GOD(S) INTERVENE IN SOCIETY

14 THE UNDERLYING PROPOSITION ? HUME 1757 ANTHROPOMORPHISM : PEOPLE MAKE GODS IN THEIR OWN IMAGE DURKHEIM 1912 SOCIOCENTRISM : PEOPLE ARE ONLY CAPABLE OF REPRESENTING THE WORLD AFTER THE IMAGE OF THE SMALL SOCIAL WORLD IN WHICH THEY LIVE

15 CONTEMPORARY EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY : PINKER’S 1991 HUMAN UNIVERSALS INCLUDE ANTHROPOMORPHIZATION AND METAPHORS ANALOGICAL REASONING AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO WILSON’S 2002 BLIND VARIATION DAWKINS’ 2006 THESIS THAT THE GOD DELUSION IS A BY-PRODUCT OF THE INTENTIONAL STANCE

16 TOPITSCH’S 1954 PROPOSITION PEOPLE COMPREHEND THE UNKNOWN BY ANALOGY WITH THE KNOWN KNOWN ARE VITAL PROCESSES - BIOMORPHISM KNOWN ARE TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENTS - TECHNOMORPHISM KNOWN ARE SOCIETAL ARRANGEMENTS – SOCIOMORPHISM THE UNKNOWN : ORIGINS AND DESTINATIONS

17 IF THE WORLD AROSE BECAUSE HEAVEN MARRIED EARTH, THIS IS AN INSTANCE OF BIOMORPHISM IF GOD CREATED THE FIRST HUMAN BEING BY MOLDING CLAY INTO A SHAPE RESEMBLING GOD THIS IS AN INSTANCE OF TECHNOMORPHISM IF GOD RULES THE WORLD BY PUNISHING EVIL WITH HELL AND REWARDING THE GOOD WITH HEAVEN THIS IS AN INSTANCE OF SOCIOMORPHISM

18 LENSKI’S TYPES OF SUBSISTENCE LINKED TO THE TYPES OF ANALOGIES OF TOPITSCH : HUNTING AND BIOMORPHISMNO SUPREME CREATOR FISHING BIOMORPHISMNO SUPREME CREATOR SIMPLE BIOMORPHISMNON-ACTIVE SUPREME CREATOR HORTICULTURE ADVANCED TECHNOMORPHISMNON-MORAL SUPREME CREATOR HORTICULTURE AGRICULTURE SOCIOMORPHISMMORAL SUPREME CREATOR HERDING SOCIOMORPHISMMORAL SUPREME CREATOR

19 OF COURSE, THERE ARE NO DIRECT MEASURES FOR BIOMORPHISM, TECHNOMORPHISM AND SOCIOMORPHISM IN MURDOCK’S ETHNOGRAPHIC ATLAS BUT THE ETHNOGRAPHIC ATLAS CODES THE PRESENCE OF FULL- TIME CRAFT SPECIALIZATION - THE PRIME MODEL FOR TECHNICAL ANALOGIES AND THE PRESENCE OF ONE RULER - THE PRIME MODEL FOR SOCIETAL ANALOGIES

20 ADVANCED HORTICULTURE MAKES FOR CRAFT SPECIALIZATION, AND AGRICULTURE ALSO FOR RULERS AFTER ADDING TO LOGISTIC REGRESSION MODELS MEASURES FOR CRAFT SPECIALIZATION AND FOR THE PRESENCE OF RULERS THE EFFECT OF AGRICULTURE ON THE PRESENCE OF A MORAL SUPREME CREATOR BECOMES INDIRECT

21 THE EFFECT OF CRAFT SPECIALIZATION IS MORE PRONOUNCED THAN THAT OF RULERS THE PRESENCE OF RULERS INCREASES THE CHANCES OF A SUPREME CREATOR RATHER THAN NO SUPREME CREATOR

22 GOD IN HEAVEN SITTING ON A THRONE WITH A GLOBE IN HIS HAND : GOD AS RULER OF THE WORLD CATHEDRAL OF GERONA IN SPAIN, MANUSCRIPT FROM 975

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24 IF PEOPLE COMPREHEND THE UNKNOWN BY ANALOGY WITH THE KNOWN, QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD ARE OFF THE MARK A SECOND PROBLEM SHIFT IN ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM : FROM QUESTIONS ABOUT GODS WHO NOW AND THEN CREATE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT CREATIONS SOMETIMES INVOLVING A GOD

25 THE PREDECESSOR ON MURDOCK’S ETHNOGRAPHIC ATLAS IS THE HUMAN RELATIONS AREA FILE, COMPRISING ORIGINAL PUBLICATIONS FOR 116 OF THE 186 PRE-INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES IN THE STANDARD SAMPLE WE FOUND CREATION STORIES

26 TO CODE CREATION STORIES, WE EXPANDED OUR LIST OF ANALOGIES SANDAY 1981 MADE US DISTINGUISH MALE INFLUENCE MODELS FROM FEMALE INFLUENCE MODELS TOPITSCH 1988 MADE US DISTINGUISH KINSHIP MODELS FROM RULER MODELS ( BOTH FORMS OF SOCIOMORPHISM ) AND COBB 2006 MADE US BRING IN SPONTANEOUS CREATION MODELS

27 A society’s subsistence technology Analogies in a society’s creation stories Hunting and gathering – Spontaneous creation analogies, sexual reproduction analogies – Kinship analogies, female influence analogies Fishing – Spontaneous creation analogies, sexual reproduction analogies – Kinship analogies, female influence analogies Simple horticulture – Sexual reproduction analogies – Kinship analogies, female influence analogies Advanced horticulture – Sexual reproduction analogies – Technical analogies – Kinship and ruler analogies, female influence analogies Agriculture – Technical analogies – Ruler analogies, male dominance analogies Herding – Technical analogies – Ruler analogies, male dominance analogies POSTULATED LINKS

28 TESTING THE POSTULATED LINKS Presence of a female creator in creation stories of 116 pre-industrial societies according to the subsistence technology of these societies, percentages (absolute frequencies in brackets) Subsistence technology Female creator present Female creator not present hunting and gathering/fishing 36 (15)64 (27) simple horticulture23 (3)77 (10) advanced horticulture 29 (9)71 (22) agriculture/herding10 ** (3)90 (27)

29 ONCE MORE TESTING THE LINKS Presence of a creator who is a parent or ruler in creation stories of 116 pre-industrial societies according to the subsistence technology of these societies, percentages (absolute frequencies in brackets) Subsistence technology ParentRuler YESNOYESNO hunting and gathering/fishing 41 (17)59 (25)17 (7)83 (35) simple horticulture31 (4)69 (9)8 (1)92 (12) advanced horticulture 26 (8)74 (23)23 (7)77 (24) agriculture/herding13 ** (4)87 (26)23 (7)77 (23)

30 Subsistence technology Spontaneous creation Sexual reproduction Technical achievement Command yesnoyesnoyesnoyesno hunting and gathering/ fishing 21 (9)79 (33)33 (14)67 (28)33 (14)67 (28)14 (6)86 (36) simple horticulture 23 (3)77 (10)46 (6)54 (7)46 (6)54 (7)39 * (5)61 (8) advanced horticulture 10 + (3)90 (28)32 (10)68 (21)26 (8)74 (23)23 + (7)77 (24) agriculture/ herding 23 (7)77 (23)13 * (4)87 (26)30 (9)70 (21)30 * (9)70 (21) ONCE MORE TESTING THE LINKS Type of creative act in creation stories of pre-industrial societies according to the subsistence technology of these societies, percentages; 116 pre- industrial societies (absolute frequencies in brackets)

31 REFUTATION OF HYPOTHESES, BUT : TECHNICAL ANALOGIES APPEAR BEFORE FULL-TIME CRAFT SPECIALIZATION EMERGES COMMAND ANALOGIES APPEAR THERE BEFORE RULERS BECOME STRONG

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33 FROM QUESTIONS ABOUT IDEAS OF GOD IN PRE- INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT INDUSTRIALIZATION AND SECULARIZATION

34 THE BIG ISSUE IN THE CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION : IS THERE A EUROPEAN, AND PERHAPS WORLD-WIDE, TREND TOWARDS SECULARITY, OR DOES INDUSTRIALIZATION AND DEMOCRATIZATION MAKE FOR SECULARIZATION ?

35 EXPANDED ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM LISTS THREE CAUSES FOR THE DECLINE OF OLD ANALOGIES THE SHIFT FROM AGRICULTURE TO INDUSTRY ERODES SEXUAL REPRODUCTION ANALOGIES AND CRAFT ANALOGIES DEMOCRATIZATION ERODES RULER ANALOGIES THE INCREASING TENSION BETWEEN THE IDEA THAT HUMAN BEINGS INTERVENE MORE AND MORE IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND THE IDEA THE GOD INTERVENES MORE AND MORE IN SOCIETY

36 ISSUE USED TO BE STUDIED WITH DATA ON CHURCH MEMBERSHIP AND DATA ON CHURCH ATTENDANCE NOWADAYS COMPARABLE DATA ARE AVAILABLE FOR MANY COUNTRIES ON VARIOUS IDEAS OF GOD THE EUROPEAN VALUES SURVEYS AND THE WORLD VALUES SURVEYS THESE SURVEYS DO NOT EXPLICITLY MEASURE THE USE OF ANALOGIES

37 Representations of God, by country EVS (in %) personal godabstract godagnosticatheist N Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Ireland Italy Netherlands Portugal Spain Sweden Great Britain West-Germany

38 industrialization and ideas about god industrialization personal god abstract godabstract / personal god abstract god agnosticismagnosticismagnosticismatheism atheism % %

39 AN AGRICULTURAL JOB AND A HIGHER PERCENT IN AGRICULTURE MAKE A PERSONAL GOD MORE LIKELY MORE EDUCATION AND A HIGHER AVERAGE EDUCATION MAKES A PERSONAL GOD LESS LIKELY VOTING FOR THE LEFT AND MORE LEFT- WING VOTING MAKE A PERSONAL GOD LESS LIKELY BELIEF IN A STRONG LEADER MAKES A PERSONAL GOD MORE LIKELY

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41 ECOLOGICAL EVOLUTIONISM INVITES A THIRD PROBLEM SHIFT IN THE CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION : FROM QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL JEROEN BOSCH, 1510 THE HELL PANEL FROM A TRIPTYCH MADRID, PRADO

42 Religious acts and beliefs by type of society (%) agrarianindustrialpost- industrial etasig weekly church ** belief in god n.s. belief in heaven * belief in hell *** Norris and Inglehart 2004, page 57; data for 74 states from World Values Survey

43 BELIEF IN GOD IS LEAST RELATED TO TECHNOLOGY BELIEF IN HEAVEN MORE SO AND BELIEF IN HELL EVEN MORE SO NORRIS AND INGLEHART HOLD THAT MORE MATERIAL SECURITY MAKES FOR LESS BELIEF BUT WHY DOES BELIEF IN HELL DECREASE MOST ?

44 AND IF RELIGION OFFERS AFTER-LIFE REWARDS FOR MATERIAL INSECURITY NOW, WHY DID PEOPLE EVER THINK THAT GOD PUNISHES PEOPLE BY SENDING THEM TO HELL ? THE TOPITSCH-HYPOTHESIS : IF THE UNKNOWN RESEMBLES THE KNOWN AND IF IN DEMOCRATIC AND INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES MATERIAL INSECURITY DECLINES BELIEF IN HELL SHOULD GO DOWN MORE THAN BELIEF IN HEAVEN

45 Belief in heaven and hell by type of society (%) belief in heaven and hell agrarianIndustrialpost-industrial belief in both heaven and hell belief in heaven, not in hell belief in hell, not in heaven belief in none N WORLD VALUES SURVEY , 74 societies, own calculations THERE ARE HARDLY ANY PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN HELL BUT NOT IN HEAVEN

46 AN AGRICULTURAL JOB AND A HIGHER PERCENT IN AGRICULTURE MAKE BELIEF IN HEAVEN PLUS HELL MORE LIKELY MORE EDUCATION AND A HIGHER AVERAGE EDUCATION MAKES DISBELIEF IN BOTH HEAVEN AND HELL MORE LIKELY VOTING FOR A LEFT WING PARTY AND MORE LEFT-WING VOTES MAKE DISBELIEF IN BOTH HEAVEN AND HELL MORE LIKELY

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48 IF YOU WISH TO SEE THIS POWERPOINT AT A LEISURELY PACE, GO TO AND THEN CLICK FOREIGN PRESENTATIONS OR TYPE IN GOOGLE WOUT ULTEE MY WEBSITE IS THE FIRST HIT


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