It's Supernatural.
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08-12-2013, 09:20 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 05:04 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(07-12-2013 06:51 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  I am a part of the school of thought that says that religion didn't add any morality to a society it just took what was there and codified it. The shared celebrations and feasts however did provide a sense of community (even now shared celebration is what makes a culture) Besides we are talking about the original religions elemental shamanistic fertility based not the dogmatic patriarchal monotheism that popped up much later.

I agree, it didn't add morality. It did, however, add "the law". Which gave further support to morality.
I don't see why a tribe couldn't govern themselves without religion. Grievances were resolved more peacefully by common family bonds and also to preserve the life of tribe. With religion you get what to do with your dead or rituals of sacrifice of animals, crops, or humans. I'm not sure humans back then saw them as separate from the animals they killed. They had to kill to eat and live and animals were highly sacred to them and they performed ritual and made sure the animal was given a quick death without suffering. I could speculate that this is how more efficient weapons were developed to insure that. Every part of the animal was used to make not only food but clothes and tools from skin and bone. This grief that they filled very well could have set the basis of religion in order to deal with this harsh reality, a coping mechanism if you will. Some even wore animal skins so they would "become" animal, they'd stalk the prey and act like them learn their mannerisms in order to get close enough for a swift kill. Some would eat them since they believed they will gain power from it. Quite reasonable when you think about it, they are getting the calories and nutrients they needed which is actually power for the body.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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08-12-2013, 09:33 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 09:20 AM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  
(08-12-2013 05:04 AM)Dom Wrote:  I agree, it didn't add morality. It did, however, add "the law". Which gave further support to morality.
I don't see why a tribe couldn't govern themselves without religion. Grievances were resolved more peacefully by common family bonds and also to preserve the life of tribe. With religion you get what to do with your dead or rituals of sacrifice of animals, crops, or humans. I'm not sure humans back then saw them as separate from the animals they killed. They had to kill to eat and live and animals were highly sacred to them and they performed ritual and made sure the animal was given a quick death without suffering. I could speculate that this is how more efficient weapons were developed to insure that. Every part of the animal was used to make not only food but clothes and tools from skin and bone. This grief that they filled very well could have set the basis of religion in order to deal with this harsh reality, a coping mechanism if you will. Some even wore animal skins so they would "become" animal, they'd stalk the prey and act like them learn their mannerisms in order to get close enough for a swift kill. Some would eat them since they believed they will gain power from it. Quite reasonable when you think about it, they are getting the calories and nutrients they needed which is actually power for the body.

Thats what Shamanism is, everything has a spirit. The spirit of the animals you eat must be appeased or you food source would leave, generally it was a way of passing on information that was vital to survival such as herd migrations. At least it was in the tribes that still followed these religions in more modern times. This is a matter of some speculation simply because there was no written history for this period.

1 theory about Cave Paintings is they were part of a shaman's spell for a good hunt. Which is why the animals they were hunting were in full color and in great detail but the depictions of the hunters was left very vague so the spell would not affect them. Remember we are talking about people that were as smart as we are today but with much less accumulated knowledge and in the H/G days they actually had more free time than when the shift to settlements and agriculture began.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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08-12-2013, 10:13 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 09:33 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Remember we are talking about people that were as smart as we are today but with much less accumulated knowledge...

So much this.

It's not particularly relevant, but one thing that always pisses me off is the idea that our ancestors were not just ignorant but actually stupid. Given how the two are rampantly conflated all the time, I can't say it's surprising, but it is, of course, entirely wrong...

(08-12-2013 09:33 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  ... and in the H/G days they actually had more free time than when the shift to settlements and agriculture began.

Pedantic correction:
The average individual's free time was indeed greater. The societal pool of free time was smaller - or perhaps we might say less efficient. But that isn't a simple direct consequence, but a function of primarily increasing social stratification and secondarily population density.

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08-12-2013, 10:48 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 10:13 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(08-12-2013 09:33 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  ... and in the H/G days they actually had more free time than when the shift to settlements and agriculture began.

Pedantic correction:
The average individual's free time was indeed greater. The societal pool of free time was smaller - or perhaps we might say less efficient. But that isn't a simple direct consequence, but a function of primarily increasing social stratification and secondarily population density.

I meant only in the earliest stages of settlement, of course once everything is established the benefits were apparent but in the very beginning there is a noticeable drop in nutrition and health and in many ways we are only now getting back to the body sizes that were the norm in H/G days. It was a price that had to be paid, probably for alcohol production (possibly for religious ceremonies) to advance. H/G was arguable better than 1st and 2nd gen civilization but only on the smallest of scales. 25 people was probably about the max you could have in your group and be able to live off of hunting and forage, and then if something happened to your hunters (say a bad hunt where multiple men were killed) it could destroy your entire tribe.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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08-12-2013, 11:52 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
Then religions evolved into agricultural societies with very little to no hunting. Religion is a response to the the changes within a culture. I don't know why people still practice ancient religions that have very little to relate with. There needs to be a new mythology thats all religion really is. Do you not deny that we still practice myths? Its all around us, the words we use, the way we view things, the whole entertainment industry, pop culture and sports heroes. Why do we have heroes still? They are the stuff of myths and legends. Heroes are just people you look up to those who are above average those who aren't prone to mediocre lives. Mythologies were always about how a culture views the world and how it came to be and explain natural phenomena. We're still trying to figure out the world but this is the very first time we have incredible tools of accurate observation and a method that actually works. It's a global mythology, and still growing out into space. No gods or the supernatural. Just Earth, humans and the plants and animals we share it with. Who knows, we might find aliens too. Then a new cycle will begin.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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08-12-2013, 11:59 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 11:52 AM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  Then religions evolved into agricultural societies with very little to no hunting. Religion is a response to the the changes within a culture. I don't know why people still practice ancient religions that have very little to relate with. There needs to be a new mythology thats all religion really is. Do you not deny that we still practice myths? Its all around us, the words we use, the way we view things, the whole entertainment industry, pop culture and sports heroes. Why do we have heroes still? They are the stuff of myths and legends. Heroes are just people you look up to those who are above average those who aren't prone to mediocre lives. Mythologies were always about how a culture views the world and how it came to be and explain natural phenomena. We're still trying to figure out the world but this is the very first time we have incredible tools of accurate observation and a method that actually works. It's a global mythology, and still growing out into space. No gods or the supernatural. Just Earth, humans and the plants and animals we share it with. Who knows, we might find aliens too. Then a new cycle will begin.



Really great post, Griz. Thank you. Sorry - in a rush today. But I will return to discuss this post you've made cause there's great material, questions and contributions.


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08-12-2013, 03:09 PM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 11:52 AM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  Then religions evolved into agricultural societies with very little to no hunting. Religion is a response to the the changes within a culture. I don't know why people still practice ancient religions that have very little to relate with. There needs to be a new mythology thats all religion really is. Do you not deny that we still practice myths? Its all around us, the words we use, the way we view things, the whole entertainment industry, pop culture and sports heroes. Why do we have heroes still? They are the stuff of myths and legends. Heroes are just people you look up to those who are above average those who aren't prone to mediocre lives. Mythologies were always about how a culture views the world and how it came to be and explain natural phenomena. We're still trying to figure out the world but this is the very first time we have incredible tools of accurate observation and a method that actually works. It's a global mythology, and still growing out into space. No gods or the supernatural. Just Earth, humans and the plants and animals we share it with. Who knows, we might find aliens too. Then a new cycle will begin.

Fantastic post and very correct. Religion is always a mirror of the society and shifts with the times (albeit at a slower pace, Religions are nearly always conservative) Just look at today's Hippy Jesus and God of Love. How many times do you hear christians going on about Gods Love blah blah blah... it is a direct result of a societal shift away from Authoritarian to the whole Hippy Free Love movement. Most of those Hippies are now the ones inheriting the mantel of leadership in these religions and as God has always been made in the image of Man so they put their spin on the story.

The fact that what they are selling has nothing to do with the book they carry around is irrelevant. The book would have been replaced ages ago except it is easier to shift the current culture than to remove and replace. In the beginning it was animal spirits and Shamans because that was what the society was, all about the hunt for food. Fertility gods then came in and for a long time co-occupied a place with the spirits of the hunt. Earth Mothers abound in the distant past and at one time Spirits were the realm of Women. This of course changed when Men began to realise just how useful religion was for control and slowly the old fertility goddesses were replaced by Male gods of war and thunder and armies.

To this day however the female fertility goddesses still have their place, hidden but if you know where to look, what is the cult of Mary but another Fertility Goddess?

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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08-12-2013, 03:56 PM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 03:09 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(08-12-2013 11:52 AM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  Then religions evolved into agricultural societies with very little to no hunting. Religion is a response to the the changes within a culture. I don't know why people still practice ancient religions that have very little to relate with. There needs to be a new mythology thats all religion really is. Do you not deny that we still practice myths? Its all around us, the words we use, the way we view things, the whole entertainment industry, pop culture and sports heroes. Why do we have heroes still? They are the stuff of myths and legends. Heroes are just people you look up to those who are above average those who aren't prone to mediocre lives. Mythologies were always about how a culture views the world and how it came to be and explain natural phenomena. We're still trying to figure out the world but this is the very first time we have incredible tools of accurate observation and a method that actually works. It's a global mythology, and still growing out into space. No gods or the supernatural. Just Earth, humans and the plants and animals we share it with. Who knows, we might find aliens too. Then a new cycle will begin.

Fantastic post and very correct. Religion is always a mirror of the society and shifts with the times (albeit at a slower pace, Religions are nearly always conservative) Just look at today's Hippy Jesus and God of Love. How many times do you hear christians going on about Gods Love blah blah blah... it is a direct result of a societal shift away from Authoritarian to the whole Hippy Free Love movement. Most of those Hippies are now the ones inheriting the mantel of leadership in these religions and as God has always been made in the image of Man so they put their spin on the story.

The fact that what they are selling has nothing to do with the book they carry around is irrelevant. The book would have been replaced ages ago except it is easier to shift the current culture than to remove and replace. In the beginning it was animal spirits and Shamans because that was what the society was, all about the hunt for food. Fertility gods then came in and for a long time co-occupied a place with the spirits of the hunt. Earth Mothers abound in the distant past and at one time Spirits were the realm of Women. This of course changed when Men began to realise just how useful religion was for control and slowly the old fertility goddesses were replaced by Male gods of war and thunder and armies.

To this day however the female fertility goddesses still have their place, hidden but if you know where to look, what is the cult of Mary but another Fertility Goddess?
Yes, it is the shifting times. I can be friends with that person, I could relate although they could be preachy annoying but hey don't want to screw with people's rights, that's fine. Exactly Mary is by far the most positive female force in Christianity. The rest just seductress, temptress and whores. The bible is dripping with testosterone. When Christianity became more popular it proceeded to stomp out paganism even if they were never a threat to them. Converted pagan practices into christian ones, highly manipulative nature they had. Also calling all opposing views the work of the devil or Satan misleading them from god. This was definitely propaganda you still hear it all the time. Especially against us atheistsTongue
People need to separate the propaganda from religions before there can be a coherent discussion.
Many of the well as we come to call them "pagan" many had positive views of men and women and together they held high spiritual roles as priest and priestess. Maybe not always equal but capable. Of course this was inherently the opposite since only men could only have high roles in the church. There is no question that today is still male dominated but in certain cases it is changing. Also priests are allowed to mary. There needs to be change, its part of our humanity and you can't suppress human nature that churches often try to do.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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12-12-2013, 04:41 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 11:52 AM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  I don't know why people still practice ancient religions that have very little to relate with.


Personally, I don't think it's too odd that people might want to connect to an ancient past culture for a verity of reasons. A connection to something pre-christian since I found christianity so wanting made sense to me. As far as being Truly able to relate to something *ancient* you are, of course, right. But much having to do with religion (whichever one) has a great deal to do with wishing and not subject to rational explanations.

I will tell you a funny story tho.....
Once on a forum Waaay back in the late 90s....... we were visiting and sharing on a forum and some guy comes crashing in bullying everyone that we weren't TRUE pagans unless we started growing our own food, keeping a cow for milk, riding a horse for transportation, etc. Really his rant was epic.
People defended themselves right and left (I waited) till he came out and directly asked me if I agreed with him that we should *be* more pagan(?)
My answer was easy. I wrote back "When I receive your diatribe via messenger pigeon I will give credit to the argument you're trying to make. Until then....you're a dumbass and ON THE INTERNET the same as everyone else here. So go milk your cow and I'll buy mine at the store thank you very much."



I think, though, exploring Why people are attracted to ancient methods is maybe dependent per person and their own personal draw to such (?) I think a great deal of draw towards pre-Abrahamic religions is to somehow get back to something *special* before religion became a force of control.

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12-12-2013, 05:39 AM
RE: It's Supernatural.
(08-12-2013 09:33 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Thats what Shamanism is, everything has a spirit.

No, you are confusing animism with shamanism. There is no universally agreed upon definition of exactly what shamanism is but the central idea is that the shaman acts as an intermediary between the "spririt world" and this world. Many traditional cultures that have shamans are not animistic, e.g. Inuit shamanism is not animistic, they don't believe that inanimate objects have spirits.
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