X-Message-Number: 32634
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 17:37:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: un person <>
Subject: the folly of cryonics sans religion

Pre-revival cryonics will probably only go mainstream when it becomes part of 
some religion. The following excerpts support my theories on this:


some excerpts:

Anthropologist Lionel Tiger on faith and sexual behaviour, why religion comforts
us, and how churches act as "serotonin factories'

Montreal-born anthropologist Lionel Tiger, 72, best known for coining the phrase
"male bonding," has long been interested in bridging the gap between the 
natural and social sciences. In his latest work, co-authored with psychiatrist 
Michael McGuire, Tiger enters into the new field known as the cognitive science 
of religion. In God's Brain, Tiger and McGuire argue that religious practice 
"brainsoothes""alleviates the sharp edges of the human experience"far more than 
any other human activity.

Q: The ubiquity of belief in all human societies, you argue, means religion is 
rooted in our brains. You see it originating about 150,000 years ago when we 
were coming out of Africa, and were smart enough to contemplate death?

A: Yes, we had developed enough cortical tissue to anticipate a whole series of 
things about the future. The utterly astonishing one, the defining feature of 
religions, is the notion of an afterlife. It's really hard to deny that this is 
an act of marketing genius, if you were to look at this in a cynical sense. 

Nobody likes to die. The idea of an afterlife, for you and for loved ones, is 
very attractive. It seems to me wholly improbable"what's the evidence?"and yet 
it works, it just works. 

If you've got a very bad idea in your head"death"which is causing stress, and 
you can put another idea which is a very good one in its place, then the level 
of serotonin"which fights depression and anxiety and makes people feel good 
about themselves and others"begins to build. 

And you begin an organization to sustain that. Since five billion humans seem to
accept that there is a heaven or reincarnation or something after death, then I
have to say this is something that comforts the species.

Q: From the outside, then, it's not religion's strangeness you see, but its 

A: I've been on panels a couple of times with Richard Dawkins and invariably we 
come to the point where Richard will go on about how terrible religion is, and 
I'll say, "Richard, are you a naturalist?" And he says, "Well, of course I am."

And then I say, "Would you agree, as you've in fact argued in your books, that 
over 90 per cent of people have some religion?" and he finally says, "Yes." 

"How can you be a naturalist and assume that the great majority of the species 
is not natural? That doesn't make any sense." 

Q: Despite increasing secularization, especially in the West, most people have 
not become flat-out rationalists. Do you think that for many environmentalism is
a religion?

A: That's absolutely right, and that's interesting because it is finally the 
fruit of pantheism, a very, very old religious idea. For many people, not using 
more than four sheets of toilet paper is an act of moral purification.

Q: It's clear how socialization works, and how ritual supports belief, but are 
you also saying that the nature of religious belief means it long outlasts 
secular imitations?
A: Yes, those fail"all of them so far. 

All of the great religions came into being during the transition from 
hunting-gathering to agriculture and pastoralism"hence "the Lord is my 

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