Perhaps, in a species with a probable cultural diversity, the suite of propensities commonly known as ‘’religion ‘’ tops the list of the species especially the human universals.Most of the people in most cultures throughout the history are and have been deeply religious, and yet the evolutionary science in the society is only beginning to catch up with the above phenomenon that is both a product and a shaper of the human minds.The religion beliefs are considered to be the result of the cultural transformation, and it’s affected by the changing psychology. The core cognitive features of religion make it possible for many people to believe and hence get routed in it (Atran & Henrich, 2010).
The Ecological theories created in the society usually explain religion as a method that assists humans to manage the natural worlds. Although religious ritual tends to operate on an otherworldly plane, it often serves practical duties. The anthropologists like Roy Rappaport was one of the exponents of the ecological regulation or control approach to the religion in the universe today. He detailed the analysis of the kaiko pig feast rituals among the Tsembaga people in New Guinea. The commitment slaughtering of the pigs was meant for giving the offering to their ancestors. The entertainment festival effectively assisted in the distribution of the surplus method and facilitated trade among the people.
The recent works on the role of the religion ritual have demonstrated that these rituals are structured in a way that is similar to more mundane activities (Atran & Henrich, 2010). In other words, the religious group rituals do follow the basic format of any actions sequence where an agent performs an action on the patients. For example, a minister baptizing an infant, this process is very distinct from an ordinary person taking a trough and then washes the baby. The ritual theories argue that the fundamental difference is simply that the divine action is presumed to involve a supernatural agent, while the ordinary one is not. The divine involvement makes it be extraordinary process or activities.
There could be several reasons why the thoughts of the supernatural agents could increase the noticed tendencies prosaically. This medium is due to the ability of the behaviors to be influenced positively or sometimes negatively (Atran & Henrich, 2010).It is, however, conceivable that the religious groups in the society increased the prosocial behavior of the people by influencing their thoughts and therefore the ability to change their lives for the betterment. This mechanism of change impacts the society positively through a healing series and for these reasons the community has adopted to follow the ways of the soul.
Secondly, the behavioral priming actions of the religious people involve the likelihood of having real plans and the goals about lives. The spiritual concepts such as God and prophets are moral actors semantically and dynamically associated with the acts of generosity and a charitable giving. These mechanisms have made people follow religion concepts in the society. Irrespective of the reputational concerns, the participants may have automatically behaved more generously when the concepts about giving are activated (Atran & Henrich, 2010).
Third, solving the cheating behavior and unfaithfulness in the society has made most people take refuge in the soul mechanism (Atran & Henrich, 2010). These have been enabled by the supernatural policing agents to assist reduce selfishness and thus increase the adoption of fairness norms to run a society full of blame games.I sincerely speculate that the combination of reduced cheating and increased altruism and pro-sociality would have led to the creation of the cohesive communities and therefore paving the way for the rapid growth in the size of a stable human social groups systems.These techniques assisted in the creation of a stable society.
Fourth, religion is considered to be a species-specific human universal. It is both the product of genetic and cultural evolution, a twin inheritance that characterizes the peculiar of nature of the human development. A rich array of culture-specific beliefs and practices have assisted in the supplementation of these features and hence leading to the vast and complex religious traditions that are existing today. Over time, some cultural variants of supernatural agents have emerged that assisted in the facilitation of the cooperative societies of the genetically unrelated individuals. Religions do take culturally distinct but divergent paths that are usually constrained by a complex evolutionary landscape reflecting cognitive, emotional and materials conditions for better social lives in the community (Atran & Henrich, 2010).
There is an interesting bit about the rituals carried out and what it does to people especially to the more emotionally engaging.The ceremonies have moved to the extent of having powerful transformational effects on the people. This is due to the creation of the supernatural presence to perform the extraordinary works upon the lives of individuals ‘’ the spirit was present’’. Even the non-believers sometimes do feel the effects of these rituals and then experience some relatively lasting impact from them. The credit is attributed to nothing but the presence of the supernatural that is believed to perform all the works (Atran & Henrich, 2010).
Atran, S., & Henrich, J. (2010). The evolution of religion: How cognitive by-products, adaptive learning heuristics, ritual displays, and group competition generate deep commitments to prosocial religions. Biological Theory, 5(1), 18-30.