How Religion Got Started
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22-03-2016, 09:02 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
I've always wondered what the social implications of the discovery of fire were. Did something like a religion develop around whichever group had fire first? Did other groups claim to have discovered fire "first" and claimed to be "chosen people"?

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22-03-2016, 09:14 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started



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22-03-2016, 09:16 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
Self-important apes with hyperactive pattern detection.

To assume deliberate intent is, I think, quite an overreach.

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22-03-2016, 09:42 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 have also been intrigued by the relationship between death and religion. I think that is how it started. More importantly, for contemporary purposes, I see religion as an imported culture.

As an example. Most pre-colonial sub-saharan African communities make no distinction between religion and culture. When you steal a goat, you are punished and may need to be cleansed by some ritual to appease a departed ancestor who may be upset by the crime. A criminal justice system that flawlessly incorporates superstition. The superstition having arisen for reasons similar to those you give.

This is a prevalent arrangement in quite a few primitive societies. In that context, religion does not exist as something special or distinct from the culture. When such ideas are transferred to another group through conquest, trade, charisma or otherwise, they tend to share space with vestiges of the conquered culture. That way it becomes easier to identify them as foreign practices and ultimately put the religion tag on them.

Look at Islam. They have sharia which governs their daily lives. Its harsh practices are indistinguishable from Arabic culture, in its Middle East cradle. The further away from the Middle East, the more of a distinct practice it seems; because local Muslims, in Buganda for example, will still typically subscribe to a separate culture that they share with the surrounding non-Muslim culture.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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22-03-2016, 10:16 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 06:18 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  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?

... and then some cocksucker realized he could use this fear of death as a means to garner money and power.
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22-03-2016, 10:19 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
Try Graham Hancock's latest book Supernatural. He has some convincing ideas how religion got started. he goes from cave painting to smoking mushrooms. Great book.
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22-03-2016, 10:20 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 08:32 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  
(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, 10:32 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 06:18 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  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.

The problem with that basic assumption is that's it not true, the notion of a better place after death, a wonderful afterlife, is not as common as you would think. The ancient hebrews didn't seem to hold such a view for starters. OT passages rarely ever paint a picture of a wonderful life after death. Conceptions of the afterlife in pagan mythologies, often make it appear drab, less appealing than the life in front of us.

While death likely played a significant part in the formation of religion, it doesn't seem that beliefs in an wonderful life afterlife did.

There's more to be said about the way we ritualize death, in funerals and burials, the sort of reverence we have for in memorializing the dead, as precursors to religion, than beliefs in an afterlife.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-03-2016, 10:34 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
(22-03-2016 10:16 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 06:18 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  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?

... and then some cocksucker realized he could use this fear of death as a means to garner money and power.

And probably got laid as well............

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

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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22-03-2016, 10:47 AM
RE: How Religion Got Started
I think religion was started by the very first bloke to have a transorbital lobotomy. Big Grin

(Many lobotomies turned the recipients into intellectual vegetables, and in the late 1940s, the lobotomy was considered a possible cure for homosexuality.)

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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