Found 996 Documents across 100 Pages (0.01 seconds)
  1. Broad supernatural punishment but not moralizing high gods precede the evolution of political complexity in AustronesiaWatts, Joseph - Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2015 - 4 Hypotheses

    The authors investigate whether moralizing high gods and, more generally, supernatural punishment precede, sustain, or follow political complexity. The cultural traits at hand are mapped onto phylogenetic trees representing the descent and relatedness of 96 Austronesian cultures.

    Related DocumentsCite
  2. The dead may kill you: Do ancestor spirit beliefs promote cooperation in traditional small-scale societiesWhite, Claire - The Journal of Cognition and Culture, 1 - 3 Hypotheses

    Using 57 cultures from the Human Relations Area Files database, this paper examines the function and effectiveness of the belief of punitive ancestors in small-scale societies. The authors found that belief in dangerous ancestral entities is widespread and common and that harm is preventable through ritualized mortuary practices. The authors concluded that the fear of ancestral spirits did not promote social cooperation or inhibit self-interest behavior, contrary to the supernatural punishment hypothesis.

    Related DocumentsCite
  3. Gods, rituals, and the moral orderStark, Rodney - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2001 - 2 Hypotheses

    Stark attempts to resituate Tylor's formulation of religion by calling into question Swanson's (1960) and Peregrine's (1996) findings that supernatural sanctions and moral behavior are consistently correlated in small-scale societies. Positing that Swanson's correlations were confounded by variables related to cultural complexity, Stark tests the association of presence of moralizing Gods with cultural complexity explicitly, as well as measures of morality in various nations as provided by the World Values Survey (1990-1991). The robust correlations across cultures noted below, as well as cross-national findings, provide support for the researcher's theory that it is particular conceptions of God rather than participation in rites and rituals which empower religion to sustain complex moral culture.

    Related DocumentsCite
  4. RETRACTED: Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world historyWhitehouse, Harvey - Nature, 2019 - 3 Hypotheses

    Researchers tackle the moral gods hypothesis which proposes that moral gods enabled large-scale societies to evolve. They use 414 societies spanning 10,000 years in Seshat: Global History Databank and code 51 measures of social complexity and four measures of moral gods. The findings of the present study challenge the moral gods hypothesis. In the societies studied, complex societies appear to precede moral gods rather than the inverse of moral gods preceding complex societies.

    Related DocumentsCite
  5. Cultural macroevolution mattersGray, Russell D. - PNAS, 2017 - 3 Hypotheses

    Researchers sampled 106 Austronesian societies from the Pulotu database to study the way political complexity evolves in relation to religious beliefs and practices. Specifically, they attempt to test the causal theory that supernatural punishment played a causal role in the emergence of large, complex societies. They use phylogenetic models to control for Galton's Problem in testing the supernatural punishment hypothesis in an effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing cross-cultural datasets in evaluating evolutionary change in human social organization.

    Related DocumentsCite
  6. God's punishment and public goodsJohnson, Dominic D.P. - Human Nature, 2005 - 9 Hypotheses

    This study tests the relationship between supernatural punishment (indexed by the importance of moralizing "high gods") and several proxy measures of cooperation. Results suggest that the presence of high gods is associated with money and credit, credit source, community size, jurisdictional hierarchy beyond the local community, and sanctions.

    Related DocumentsCite
  7. Explaining the rise of moralizing religions: a test of competing hypotheses using the Seshat DatabankTurchin, Peter - Religion, Brain & Behavior, 2023 - 4 Hypotheses

    How did moralizing religions rise, and what have they caused? The authors test the Big Gods theory, which suggests moralizing religions as a predictor of large-scale complex societies. In addition, they propose their hypothesis, which indicates that warfare, animal husbandry, and agricultural productivity have a role in producing moralizing religions. The results show no significant support for the Big Gods hypothesis. However, they support intergroup warfare, particularly military technologies and cavalry, as an important predictor of social complexity and moralizing religions. In addition, pastoralism has a moderate effect as a predictor for the rise of moralizing religions.

    Related DocumentsCite
  8. Supernatural punishment and individual social compliance across culturesBourrat, Pierrick - Religion, Brain & Behavior, 2011 - 3 Hypotheses

    Derived from the fear of supernatural punishment hypothesis, this paper explores whether the prosocial attitude of a group or individuals will increase with the threat of punishment from a high god or visible supernatural agent, such as sorcerers and witches. The author found that fear of supernatural punishment did not affect prosocial behavior and suggested that religious beliefs may give rise to institutions with the task of enforcing social compliance rather than direct control.

    Related DocumentsCite
  9. Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment and the expansion of human socialityPurzycki, Benjamin Grant - Nature, 2016 - 2 Hypotheses

    Does belief in moralizing and punitive gods promote sociality between coreligionists who are otherwise strangers? A recent dataset of behavioral economic experiment results and demographic and religious data among eight disparate populations allows the researchers to test their hypothesis of a positive association between deity's perceived interest in human morality and favorability of treatment of outsiders who share a religion. Their findings mostly support this hypothesis, which they suggest lends credibility to a theory in which religion encourages cooperation between large groups of people, and is thus a successful product of cultural evolution.

    Related DocumentsCite
  10. The power of religionBentzen, Jeanet Sinding - Journal of Economic Growth, 2022 - 6 Hypotheses

    This paper seeks to understand the extent to which religion has been used to legitimize political power in the past, and the extent to which that carries into contemporary institutions. The authors seek to demonstrate that there is a strong link between the stratification of societies in the past and the presence of autocracies in many of those same areas today. They make their case by putting forward, and testing, three linked theories -- first, that stratified societies are more likely to develop religions based on moralizing high gods as a means of divine legitimization, second, that the societies that used religion for legitimacy in their past are more likely to have religion embedded in their institutions today, and third, that societies that used religion for legitimacy in the past are more likely to be autocracies today.

    Related DocumentsCite