How Religion Got Started
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22-03-2016, 06:18 AM
How Religion Got Started
Here's something I've thought about for some time.

How did religion get started?

I have no evidence (nor does anyone else, really) of how or why it all started -- but I can make a few guesses.

.....

As humans evolved - their emotions became more complex - and more of a factor in their day to day lives.

Lower primates face death fairly simply. It's been observed that chimps and some other lower primates seem to understand death in it's most basic of terms. The dead member of the group is no longer going to move, eat, or do anything else except decay and smell bad. The surviving members seem to feel bad for a day or so, then go on about normal life.

Humans on the other hand, do more thinking about it, and tend to get hung up on it. We also have the tendency to extend our maternal instincts to it, and try to shield the young from the hurt of a group member's death.

What I expect happened - is long ago - a group of hunter/gatherers had a member of the group that had a flair for storytelling -- and when one of the beloved members of the group died he/she told the kids a story about how that dead member hadn't really died --- "But went to a better place to live" -- in order to make the kids feel better.

If you've been around kids for more than two minutes - you know how they incessantly ask questions. The storyteller had to make more shit up all the time to keep the kids believing in the story.

The problem - some of the more impressionable kids actually believed it. It's likely that the storyteller never fessed up -- or the kids who believed the nonsense got separated from the group, and went on propagating the stories as real.

Thoughts?

.......................................

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22-03-2016, 06:26 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 06:18 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Here's something I've thought about for some time.

How did religion get started?

I have no evidence (nor does anyone else, really) of how or why it all started -- but I can make a few guesses.

.....

As humans evolved - their emotions became more complex - and more of a factor in their day to day lives.

Lower primates face death fairly simply. It's been observed that chimps and some other lower primates seem to understand death in it's most basic of terms. The dead member of the group is no longer going to move, eat, or do anything else except decay and smell bad. The surviving members seem to feel bad for a day or so, then go on about normal life.

Humans on the other hand, do more thinking about it, and tend to get hung up on it. We also have the tendency to extend our maternal instincts to it, and try to shield the young from the hurt of a group member's death.

What I expect happened - is long ago - a group of hunter/gatherers had a member of the group that had a flair for storytelling -- and when one of the beloved members of the group died he/she told the kids a story about how that dead member hadn't really died --- "But went to a better place to live" -- in order to make the kids feel better.

If you've been around kids for more than two minutes - you know how they incessantly ask questions. The storyteller had to make more shit up all the time to keep the kids believing in the story.

The problem - some of the more impressionable kids actually believed it. It's likely that the storyteller never fessed up -- or the kids who believed the nonsense got separated from the group, and went on propagating the stories as real.

Thoughts?

Seems like it could be plausible Tongue
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22-03-2016, 06:53 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 06:18 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Here's something I've thought about for some time.

How did religion get started?

I have no evidence (nor does anyone else, really) of how or why it all started -- but I can make a few guesses.

.....

As humans evolved - their emotions became more complex - and more of a factor in their day to day lives.

Lower primates face death fairly simply. It's been observed that chimps and some other lower primates seem to understand death in it's most basic of terms. The dead member of the group is no longer going to move, eat, or do anything else except decay and smell bad. The surviving members seem to feel bad for a day or so, then go on about normal life.

Humans on the other hand, do more thinking about it, and tend to get hung up on it. We also have the tendency to extend our maternal instincts to it, and try to shield the young from the hurt of a group member's death.

What I expect happened - is long ago - a group of hunter/gatherers had a member of the group that had a flair for storytelling -- and when one of the beloved members of the group died he/she told the kids a story about how that dead member hadn't really died --- "But went to a better place to live" -- in order to make the kids feel better.

If you've been around kids for more than two minutes - you know how they incessantly ask questions. The storyteller had to make more shit up all the time to keep the kids believing in the story.

The problem - some of the more impressionable kids actually believed it. It's likely that the storyteller never fessed up -- or the kids who believed the nonsense got separated from the group, and went on propagating the stories as real.

Thoughts?

Sounds plausible, our ancient ancestors would have assigned incorrect causes to things. It rained on so-and-so's crop because they pleased our god, it didn't rain on so-and-so's crop because it displeased our god.

Then they learn about what pleases and displeases god(s) through the person that tells the most convincing story, when someone asks questions when the world doesn't behave according to the storytellers, the storytellers come up with a more elaborate explanation and so it goes, we have a world with as many gods in it as there are people that like to tell stories.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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22-03-2016, 07:10 AM (This post was last modified: 22-03-2016 08:10 AM by god has no twitter account.)
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 06:18 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Here's something I've thought about for some time.

How did religion get started?

I have no evidence (nor does anyone else, really) of how or why it all started -- but I can make a few guesses.

.....

As humans evolved - their emotions became more complex - and more of a factor in their day to day lives.

Lower primates face death fairly simply. It's been observed that chimps and some other lower primates seem to understand death in it's most basic of terms. The dead member of the group is no longer going to move, eat, or do anything else except decay and smell bad. The surviving members seem to feel bad for a day or so, then go on about normal life.

Humans on the other hand, do more thinking about it, and tend to get hung up on it. We also have the tendency to extend our maternal instincts to it, and try to shield the young from the hurt of a group member's death.

What I expect happened - is long ago - a group of hunter/gatherers had a member of the group that had a flair for storytelling -- and when one of the beloved members of the group died he/she told the kids a story about how that dead member hadn't really died --- "But went to a better place to live" -- in order to make the kids feel better.

If you've been around kids for more than two minutes - you know how they incessantly ask questions. The storyteller had to make more shit up all the time to keep the kids believing in the story.

The problem - some of the more impressionable kids actually believed it. It's likely that the storyteller never fessed up -- or the kids who believed the nonsense got separated from the group, and went on propagating the stories as real.

Thoughts?

I think that you are right but there's additional reasons.

Nature thinks it has the right to scare Man half to death and kill by sending hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, earth quakes and the like. Before science, Man had no understanding of these phenomena and so may have attributed them to deities.

There's also other natural phenomena that early Man had no understanding of such as the traversing of the sun across the sky and rain. This too would have been attributed to deities by early Man.

Basically, the creation of deities was a way of helping Man better understand his environment.

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22-03-2016, 07:51 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 06:18 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Here's something I've thought about for some time.

How did religion get started?

I have no evidence (nor does anyone else, really) of how or why it all started -- but I can make a few guesses.

.....

As humans evolved - their emotions became more complex - and more of a factor in their day to day lives.

Lower primates face death fairly simply. It's been observed that chimps and some other lower primates seem to understand death in it's most basic of terms. The dead member of the group is no longer going to move, eat, or do anything else except decay and smell bad. The surviving members seem to feel bad for a day or so, then go on about normal life.

Humans on the other hand, do more thinking about it, and tend to get hung up on it. We also have the tendency to extend our maternal instincts to it, and try to shield the young from the hurt of a group member's death.

What I expect happened - is long ago - a group of hunter/gatherers had a member of the group that had a flair for storytelling -- and when one of the beloved members of the group died he/she told the kids a story about how that dead member hadn't really died --- "But went to a better place to live" -- in order to make the kids feel better.

If you've been around kids for more than two minutes - you know how they incessantly ask questions. The storyteller had to make more shit up all the time to keep the kids believing in the story.

The problem - some of the more impressionable kids actually believed it. It's likely that the storyteller never fessed up -- or the kids who believed the nonsense got separated from the group, and went on propagating the stories as real.

Thoughts?
I think you're exactly right. And then someone else died and his or her loved ones came to the same person for consolation and the first shaman or holy man was born.

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22-03-2016, 08:05 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
To quote Mark Twain:

Religion was invented when the first conman met the first fool.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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22-03-2016, 08:15 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
I think that religions really took off when it was realised by some that it could be used to control their fellow man and to benefit themselves at the same time.

A good example of this is the 'Medicine Man' of the tribe who, in terms of seniority, was probably a tad down from the Chief. Such was there perceived importance.

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22-03-2016, 08:28 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
My guess is it all started with the sun and the fear that it wouldn't return each day.

For the night is dark and full of terrors.
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22-03-2016, 08:32 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 08:28 AM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  My guess is it all started with the sun and the fear that it wouldn't return each day.

For the night is dark and full of terrors.

A total eclipse of the sun should have scared them witless then.

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22-03-2016, 08:34 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
I think that it stemmed from a desire to get fed and laid without actually doing any work. Why waste your life sitting around chipping rocks when you can paint and make up tall tales all day?

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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