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The Believing PrimateScientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion$
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Jeffrey Schloss and Michael Murray

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557028.001.0001

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Hand of God, Mind of Man

Hand of God, Mind of Man

Punishment and Cognition in the Evolution of Cooperation

Chapter:
(p.26) 1 Hand of God, Mind of Man
Source:
The Believing Primate
Author(s):

Dominic Johnson

Jesse Bering

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557028.003.0002

This chapter argues that the point of promoting cooperation, self-sacrifice, and charity can be developed through evolutionary biology, in spite of having ‘selfish genes’. It is seen that religion has something to do with cooperation, but only for groups that adapt more religious rituals (as compared with secular groups). Supernatural punishment, which is suggested by cognitive mechanism as another factor in promoting cooperation, is also discussed. The chapter concludes that the thinking abilities of man influenced cooperation more than religion.

Keywords:   cooperation, cognitive abilities, religion, charity

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