This post is motivated by following blog posts
Humans love recreational sex. The desire to thrust ones sexual appendages in to another’s or getting thrust by another and enjoying it is so fundamental to us humans. Any such activity or any fantasy that leads to such activity is enjoyed by us beyond any rational explanation. We may be able to explain this rationally by using evolutionary biology. However a few of dots need to be connected to explain why recreational sex is advantages for the survival of human gene. I have heard that “The Selfish Gene” published in 1975 by Richard Dawkins is a good read on the subject. Haven’t read it as yet; I think I should.
"Selfish", when applied to genes, doesn't mean "selfish" at all. It means, instead, an extremely important quality for which there is no good word in the English language: "the quality of being copied by a Darwinian selection process." This is a complicated mouthful. There ought to be a better, shorter word—but "selfish" isn't it. - Andrew Brown
The group behavior is as fundamental to us as the sexual act. Loads of books have been written on the subject, and I am unable to even single out a good reference.
Humans love the excitement of being in a group. We all like to get together, scratch each other’s backs, pat each other, and have a metaphorical ‘orgy’ of sorts; the literal version of the orgy being a special case of this, which combines our weakness for sex with that of group activity.
OK, I wasn’t planning to discuss group sex. It was just an attention getter. I rather wanted to discuss religions. Religions provide many comforts to humans, and satisfying the group mentality could be only one of them. There have been many criticisms from many “intellectual” corners regarding the “Somawathie Drama” where more than half a million people got together and had a religious orgy or sorts. To me, this is just human nature, and they were just satisfying a very fundamental human need. It is the same need that takes us by thousands in to a cricket field to witness our favorite team kicking the butt of another cricket playing nation. Even if our team got hammered or even if we did not witness “Budu-Res” at Somawathie, nothing can beat the feeling that we were with a group of like-minded and we enjoyed being there. Likewise, the atheists, agnostics, rationalists, fans of Richard Dawnkings etc might get together with the likeminded and would have an “intellectual orgy” just as well the ‘Budu-Res’ loving Sri Lankan Buddhists would have a “collective religious bliss”. The only difference would be that the chances of a physical stampede are less likely with the rationalist-lot. However, the Rationalists might commit an intellectual stampede on opposing views during their gathering. (By the way, I am not suggesting that a stampede happened at Somawathie. I don’t know the facts. I was referring to stampedes happened at similar religious gathering elsewhere in the world.)
I have no rational basis to criticize people fulfilling any of the fundamental human needs as long as they do not violate the rights of any other. There should be freedom for everyone to get-together with the likeminded and have an exciting time. I don’t agree with passing any value judgments on the act of gathering itself. However, I may pass value judgment on the consequences of the alerted mindset of people coming out of such an act. People coming out of exciting group activity might be motivated to ‘thrust’ their mindset in to others (refer the starting line of this essay) regardless of the fact that they are coming out of a religious gathering or ‘rationalist’ gathering. I would not pass value judgments in the act of ‘thrusting’ per se either. I would reserve my value judgments to judge the consequences of such ‘thrusting’. Would they be thrusting on us concepts like “keeping people ignorant, and banning fun activities based on phases of the moon”, or would they be promoting the “value of improving people’s awareness, establishing respect towards others, and grant freedom to choose activities themselves”. In short, I would reserve my value judgments on the consequences rather than acts per se.