Fear of Death Drives Belief in Religion

Fear of death drives belief in religion.  This is a main point in Tom Stoppard’s new play, “The Hard Problem”, which I’ve reviewed on Amazon.  Here’s the review, with a link to a related study, as well as comments about “love” and “hate”.

Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem is a thespian presentation of the debate between materialists who affirm the scientific/biological/genetic foundation of all things human—including feelings (love), hopes, beliefs—and those who, because they don’t understand and fear death, posit a non-materialist reality:
Hilary (non-materialist) “But you need something for it [things we believe are right or wrong, say cruelty] to be true, some kind of overall moral intelligence. . . .[S]omewhere between apemen and the beginning of religion, we became aware of an enormous fact we didn’t understand.”
Spike (materialist) “We did. Its name was death.” (p. 51)For a complete statement of the scientific/biological foundations of all things human, see Anthony Walsh, Biosociology, Biosociology: Bridging the Biology-Sociology Divide which I’ve also reviewed on Amazon.

I’ve given both books 4 stars rather than 5 because, consistent with the scientific/biological foundations of all things human, only mothers “love” their children. No one else “loves” anybody or anything else.  No one actually “loves” a book. Thus, “love” should be removed from Amazon’s book rating scale

“Hate” should also be removed from Amazon’s book rating scale. No one should “hate” anything, or anybody. No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems.


About georgebeam

George Beam is an educator and author. The perspectives that inform his interpretations of the topics of this blog–-as well as his other writings and university courses -–are system analysis, behaviorism, and Internet effects. Specific interests include quality management, methodology, and politics. He is Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Public Administration; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Political Science; and, previously, Head, Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
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