Is Religion What We Want? Motivation and the Cultural Transmission of Religious Representations

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture

Abstract

Many psychologists and philosophers have suggested that religious ideas emerge because they are motivationally attractive. This paper attempts to support a version of the motivational thesis by relying on religious creeds as a source of historical evidence. This simple source of evidence indicates that the cultural evolution of religious ideas is partly a function of the motivational attractiveness of the religious ideas.

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