mysticism as foundation for moral conduct

Date: Sat Feb 15 2003 - 13:10:05 EST

  • Next message: John Burgeson: "Re: my new paradigm"

    In a message dated 2/15/03 11:43:13 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

    > However, the precise relationship between mysticism and
    > moral belief or practice, and especially the way in which mysticism has
    > served historically as a foundation for moral conduct, has received
    > comparatively little academic attention and remains, to some extent,

    Thanks for the information. It does look interesting, but this is no longer
    uncharted territory. Although my paper True Religion, The Darwinian
    Interpretation of Biblical Symbols covers mysticism specifically by charting
    the psychology and ontology of the fall of Adam and Eve and is beginning to
    make ripples elsewhere, when I offered it to members of this list, I didn't
    get a bite. Here is the abstract. Again, as before, the paper is available
    upon request.


    The paper demonstrates how the religion/science divide can be bridged by
    interpreting two Biblical allegories from a Darwinian perspective. The
    behavioral structure of the religious experience is determined from the
    obvious references to psychological states and evolved behaviors in the
    allegory of the fall of Adam and Eve. A conceptual framework is then
    presented from which inferences regarding ontological anxiety and pure
    altruism are easily drawn, providing new impetus for the study of spiritual
    disciplines. A table lists the basic allegorical symbols from the Biblical
    text with their psychological counterparts. The evolutionary strategy of
    Judaism is revealed in the allegory of Jacob and Esau, “the elder shall serve
    the younger,” by observing the successes and failures of Jacob and his
    progeny over three generations coupled with Jacob’s cunning breeding of
    Laban’s flocks, cited by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species. This
    earliest known Biblical source for religiously disciplined group selection is
    identified. The relevance of religious discipline as nascent “pastoral
    science” for modern communities is rationalized. As a result of researching
    the paper, a translation concern over the nature of Leah’s eyes was
    identified in a few newer editions of the Bible by its departure from an
    otherwise perfect allegorical structure demonstrating the utility of the
    Darwinian toolkit for Biblical exegesis.  The paper was written as religion,
    as psychology/anthropology and as literature.  

    Keywords: Biblical exegesis, religious experience, evolutionary strategy,
    group selection and I.Q.  

    Kevin MacDonald thought very highly of the paper upon reading it. Here are
    MacDonald's credentials.

    “Kevin MacDonald, Ph.D., professor of psychology, California State
    University-Long Beach, is the editor of Population and Environment and former
    editor of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Newsletter. He is the
    author most recently of The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of
    Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements
    (Praeger, 1998), Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary
    Theory of Anti-Semitism (Praeger, 1998), and A People that Shall Dwell Alone:
    Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (Praeger, 1994). As a frequent
    contributor to monographs and author of numerous articles in evolutionary
    psychology, religion and ethnic relations, his previous books
    include:Sociobiological Perspectives on Human Development (Springer-Veriag,
    1988),Social and Personality Development: An Evolutionary Synthesis (Plenum,
    1988) and (editor) Parent-Child Play: Descriptions and Implications (State
    Universityof New York Press, 1993).”

    rich faussette

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