• December 8, 2014

20. BAT Why do people take up religions, persist with them, and abandon them ? [suggested by Thor]

What­ev­er you think of reli­gions per­son­al­ly, or any par­tic­u­lar reli­gion, they seem to have been around forever amongst (most) humans, and seem unlike­ly to go away entire­ly amongst the species as a whole. Clear­ly though, par­tic­u­lar cul­tures in var­i­ous his­tor­i­cal phas­es have many mem­bers who are attract­ed to reli­gions or sub­sti­tute ide­olo­gies, but tend to drift away from them in oth­er phas­es. At a dif­fer­ent lev­el, wom­en seem to be the most per­sis­tent believ­ers by num­bers, but reli­gious hier­ar­chies are almost always con­trolled by (humour­less old) men…  What is it in human psy­chol­o­gy that gen­er­ates the­se reli­gious phe­nom­e­na?