The Natural History of Secular Christianity

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Human beings are social animals, not solitary ones. Morality is an instinct we have because it helps us socialize, live together harmoniously. This paper reviews how the evolution of morality and other mental functions associated with our survival and sociality gave rise to cultural behavior among the small groups of humans during the Palaeolithic period when the tribe was personified as a supernatural identity and guardian, a totem, an ancestor and ultimately a god. Loyalty to the tribe required loyalty to the tribal god representing the tribe. Preservation of the tribe meant mistrust of other tribes and their gods. The merging of small groups rendered obsolete the tribal, locally cultural conception of religion, but it persisted as monotheism in the imperial stage of society from about 2000 BC, becoming the world religions. Today’s empires are global, and a belief system modelled on local tribes in competition is naïve divisive. Out-group hatred is more of a threat than any in-group moral benefits, and they too are disappearing with the failure to preserve small group coherence, and justice and fairness in capitalist society. The moral failure of imperial religion on the urban and global scale is the “Death of God”. Humans now cannot afford the moral laziness of constantly appealing to a supernatural totem in an otherwise do-nothing religion. Imperial religion was and still is a tool of the political right, used to manipulate us. Yet Christ offered an ethical scheme that is essentially a practical morality of mutual lovingkindness which does not require a supernatural God. It is Secular Christianity, a world view any scientist and atheist could adopt without compromise, and most Christians should.
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Archival date: 2010-10-22
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