The problem with all religions is that they are inevitable at variance with reality, and this creates tension between those who believe in any particular set of myths and reality itself. Hence book-burning, people-burning, and thousands of other regressive acts (such as ensuring that teaching real science in schools is prevented or diminished). It is certainly true that we humans evolved mythological beliefs a long time ago, but it’s also true that we used to live in small violent hunter-gatherer societies perpetually at war with all the other surrounding groups. We can’t argue we should return to this baleful condition merely because we used to live that way a long time ago.

Furthermore, as our society becomes increasingly reality-driven by our dependence on sophisticated technologies it’s odd to argue that we should encourage people to be less rational and more inclined to magical thinking. That’s not how airplanes and smartphones and buildings and vaccines etc. are created. And of course the problem with all mythologies is that they fail entirely to answer any real-world questions. Let’s remember that the naive question “where did all this come from if not from my particular god(s)?” is in fact an empty question, because one merely then asks, “OK, so where did your god(s) come from?” In other words, a pointless regression than answers nothing and enfeebles the believer.

Furthermore, Jung’s ideas were hopelessly naive as he apparently failed to understand anything about evolution (if, in fact, he had ever even heard about it). There is no mechanism by means of which “collective unconscious” could have arisen. Understanding evolution opens the door to understanding what can, and what cannot, arise in metabolic organisms. Sadly even more than 150 years after Darwin, most people still do not grasp the implications.

Written by

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store