Religious Costs as Adaptations that Signal Altruistic Intention

Show simple item record Bulbulia, Joseph en 2018-10-04T23:59:37Z en 2004 en
dc.identifier.issn 0938-2623 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Most cognitive psychologists explain supernatural understandings as cognitive by-products acquired in specific but fairly common cultural circumstances. This paper uses evolutionary game theory and the biology of animal signalling to promote a contrary view. It explains religious cognition as an exquisite adaptation that enhances individual reproductive success by facilitating reciprocal altruism. The key to understanding the design innovation of religious altruism lies in the specific costs that religious thought and practice impose on the believing organism. These costs play a strategic role in displaying authentic commitment to policies of social exchange, applying critical safeguards to defection from co-operative ventures. The following account explains a suite of otherwise anomalous cognitive features associated with religious thought, such as strong emotional responses to unseen persons and forces; belief in supernatural punishments and reward; illusions about the moral goodness of co-religionists and the vices of heretics; and dispositions to invest in expensive and wasteful ritual displays. The paper offers some testable predictions about the psychological architecture that generates religious thought and suggests some new horizons for psychological exploration. en
dc.publisher Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Evolutions- und Kognitionsforschung en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Evolution and Cognition en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Religious Costs as Adaptations that Signal Altruistic Intention en
dc.type Journal Article en
pubs.issue 1 en
pubs.begin-page 19 en
pubs.volume 10 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en en
pubs.end-page 42 en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 724326 en Arts en Humanities en Theological and Religious Studies en
dc.identifier.eissn 0938-2623 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-02-13 en

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