@simonpaynton Are you describing religion as the dark side of the moon and atheism as the lit up side? As a mega Pink Floyd fan, the words appeal to me but I’m totally lost as to the metaphor you are trying to use.
@strega – what I’m saying is that religion has a good side and a bad side, and they’re related but different and distinct (not necessarily opposite).
I believe there is a Muslim saying, “only God can judge”, and the time for judging surely has to be after we die. Some religious people think it is their right to do God’s judgement in this lifetime. That’s the dark side.
In this lifetime, it has to be God’s unconditional love, with judgement if any coming later (if any).
Sorry, Simon, you’re conflating religion with human behavior. It’s not religion that has a dark and light side, it’s humans. Human behaviour spans the spectrum between good and bad as we like to define ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Religion merely mirrors humanity, not the other way around.
You could say exactly the same for art classes or politics or everything in between. They all have a light side and a dark side because that’s human nature.
Leading good people to do bad things is not a purely religious activity. Check out the Stanford Prison experiment. You can find it at http://www.prisonexp.org.
“How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please read the story of what happened and what it tells us about the nature of human nature.”
– generalised mate-guarding, has two aspects: 1) controlling; 2) protecting. This has arisen because of the way we have evolved to rear our children within a monogamous pair-bond (or polygamous, usually one male). In religious terms, no sex outside marriage, and it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. The achievement of mate guarding has moved from individual battles between males (for some reason to do with equality of size and power between males) to society’s rules.
The controlling aspect is therefore junk – because women have even more of a vested interest in monogamy than do males – but the protecting aspect is necessary, useful and helpful.
This conclusion implies that patriarchy is only one way: the power that society exerts over females for the benefit of males. It is true that males are constrained too, in different ways.
– the information I have is that Homo erectus were the first human species where the males and females were approximately the same size, which suggests that there was not much sexual selection for large males, which suggests that a male dominance heirarchy was no longer the way for males to win females, and that males were now approximately the same size. Homo erectus evolved around 1.8 million years ago, and its fossils are mainly in Asia.
The first direct evidence of stone tool use is from Africa around 2.5 million years ago, and indirect evidence is from Africa around 3.39 million years ago.
If stone tools were being used as weapons, and this removed the selection pressure for larger males, then it took around 1.5 million years to happen. Maybe the male dominance heirarchy is also a very strong selection pressure.
After males became the same size, and the human race became cooperative, in that order, then disputes between males over females would not have been settled by violence as a rule, but eventually, by society’s rules.