Quote of the Day: DoctorPlausible on Rain Dances and God

Quote of the Day: DoctorPlausible on Rain Dances and God November 27, 2016

This comment was something I meant to post ages ago, and was put on a thread for one of my videos, linked below. It concerns the psychology, the function, of religion and thus God:

Nice conversation. Pretty much my opinions on that. Sometimes I give the example of the rain dance, which goes likes this: If there‘s been no rain for some time and a tribe does the dance and then it rains, has the dance worked? In what sense can it be said to have worked? Suppose it doesn’t rain. Well, one might say it will rain eventually, and then the dancers will say “Look, it’s worked!”

But the real function of the rain dance is not really to make rain, is it? We KNOW it has no effect on the weather. So why is the rain dance there? What is its function? I‘d say it’s there in order to keep the tribe’s cohesion and to make everyone do something while there’s nothing else to so, both because there‘s been no rain for some time and because the tribe doesn’t know any better way of passing the time peacefully.

And this last bit is what I think of god-believers. Because they know no better way of passing their time peacefully, they must fill their lives with rites and traditions. Because they have to fill their vacuums with words, they borrow the words of others. And so it goes from generation to generation. It’s a dreamy pastime between one reality and another.

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