LukasDay

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Change My View: Incumbent religions still get too much leeway

It claims to critique "religion" while mostly addressing a peculiar Monotheistic religion. 


Fair point. Author was a bit focused when drawing their analogy. However, I think their thesis is still intact even when compared against Eastern (and Northern, and Southern) religions.

...incumbent religions deserve a lot of credit for helping people survive millennia of scarcity in untamed environments...However much humble respect you have for some Abrahamic religion like Judaism, you should have even more for the primitive spiritualism of hunter gatherer tribes. Such superstitions survive in harsher environments, they have less margin for error, they have tighter feedback loops, their anti-epistemologies are less developed, and all their practitioners have major skin in the game.

It reminds me of another [LessWrong post](https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/ZawRiFR8ytvpqfBPX/the-hard-work-of-translation-buddhism) I was reading a while back. The key takeaway there is

The Buddha had a tougher task because he had to explain causation, locus of control, and other critical concepts to farmers from scratch.

Newer religions (such as Scientology) get a leg up on the old ones in that they have an entire field of psychology and a more current vocabulary to pull from. For instance, look at [Scientology's Training Routines](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Training_routines_(Scientology\)), specifically TR-0: Confronting.

In the first exercise, a student and coach face each other with eyes open. The routine ends when the student can confront the coach for at least two hours without movement, excessive blinking, or loss of attention. The second exercise is the same, except that the coach tries to distract the student both verbally and physically.

Looks like an exercise in self-confidence followed by a lesson in resiliency. 

If one pendulum extreme is "throw out the baby with the bathwater" and the other pendulum extreme is "all religions must be deferred to due to hidden virtue that has helped us survive for tens of thousands of years" then perhaps the equilibrium of this pendulum arc is to discover and assimilate the wisdom of religion in order to ascend religion. 

EDIT: apologies for formatting. working on fixing it. fixed!