Salon interviews Bob Wright author of "The Evolution of God"

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, I wrote a post featuring Andrew Sullivan’s conversation with the author of “The Evolution of God,” Bob Wright. Now, Steve Paulson has interviewed Wright for Salon.com in an article entitled: God, He’s moody.

Here’s an excerpt:

At the very beginning of your book, you describe yourself as a materialist. This raises an interesting question: Can a materialist really explain the history of religion?

I tend to explain things in terms of material causes. So when I see God changing moods, as he does a lot in the Bible and the Quran, I ask, what was going on politically or economically that might explain why the people who wrote this scripture were inclined to depict God as being in a bad mood or a good mood? Sometimes God is advocating horrific things, like annihilating nearby peoples, or sometimes he’s very compassionate and loving. So I wanted to figure out why the mood fluctuates. I do think the answers lie in the facts on the ground. And that’s what I mean by being a materialist.

What do you mean by the facts on the ground?

My basic premise is that when a religious group sees itself as having something to gain through peaceful interaction with another group of people, including a different religion, it will find a basis for tolerance in its scriptures and religion. When groups see each other as being in a non-zero sum relationship — there’s a possibility of a win-win outcome if they play their cards right, or a lose-lose outcome if they don’t — then they tend to warm up to one another. By contrast, if people see themselves in a zero-sum relationship with another group of people — they can only win if the other group loses — that brings out the intolerance and the dark side of religion. You see that in the world today. A lot of Palestinians and Israelis think they’re playing a win-lose game. They think their interests are opposed and inversely correlated. In the long run, I think they’re wrong. They’re either both going to win or both going to lose.

This explains, a little bit, as to why Wright is still a believer. His arguments are great and he does a wonderful job explaining the origins of religion. However, perhaps by design, he never deals with the simple question of whether god(s) exist or not.

Brother Richard

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
"You are mis-interpreting the Bible.The actual text is “The fool says in his heart ‘There ..."

Richard Dawkins Is NOT An Atheist!
"So a year old article is actual right now? Get your shit together Patheos."

Charisma Claims That Ray Comfort Dismantles ..."
"I wrote this in 2015 a year after I had laid into Eric Hovind, then ..."

Defending Kent Hovind From Religious Persecution
"Both "Dr." Kent Hovind and Eric Hovind are academically dishonest who pass "Young Earth Creation ..."

Defending Kent Hovind From Religious Persecution

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment