2nd November 2016

“One needs to see what the benefits of being a member of a religion are, in order to see what is at stake. A religious adherent can appeal to co-religionists for aid and succour. This is a classic case of reciprocal altruism, in which the religion acts as an honest advertisement of commitment, or 'costly signalling', which is why religions require acceptance by their adherents of absurd ideas, like the 'fact' that the communion wafer is literally the flesh of Jesus. So when these costly signals are challenged, the reactions get heated. There's a lot at stake here – the unity of the entire community and the reciprocal altruism that it provides. Obviously one must forcibly protect this.”

John S. Wilkins