Oldest recorded "God"?
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22-01-2013, 07:04 AM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
OK, Chas.

Tell me then. What is the American Psychological Association's position on the dysfunction of superstition?

And yes, I did misunderstand him lol. I though he was saying women were irrationally fearful. Oops. But that's just flat out incorrect. Women were often revered in egalitarian cultures. It's only in patriarchal societies that they're put in the back seat because in patriarchies they have to be mechanised into baby making machines to provide fodder for the wars of attrition the men wage. This is an excellent video by Gwyn Dyre on the rise of patriarchy and offers some stunning insight into the history of Egyptian matriarchal society.





Hey, Jefe.

No. No dysfunction. There is dysfunction in Down's syndrome and in sleep apnea and in depression and in bipolar disorder, but none in superstition. There are hundreds of superstitious cultures that do rather well for themselves and no psychological evidence supporting the notion that it leads to dysfunction. The notion that it's base or dangerous or stupid is a value judgement only because there is no scientific basis. As I mentioned to Chas, if you can find some finding by the APA that shows the dysfunction, I'll recant happilly. But it doesn't exist as far as I know, making the task rather difficult.

It has nothing to do with my tolerance or lack of tolerance for the practices of other cultures. Cultural disagreement does not mean dysfunction. Maybe their practices are whack, but that is an entirely different matter than superstition causing dysfunction. That is a very specific position that has to be supported by scientific evidence, not based on preference or cultural divide.

For example, pretty much ALL of the native American First Peoples were superstitious and they did rather well for themselves before white people killed 95% of them. Can you explain to me how all the First Peoples of the Americas were dysfunctional?

Hey, Baud.

Like I said before and like you mentioned, the written record only goes back so far. But we know that Animism predates it. In terms of supreme being, that wasn't really Animism's thing. That only really shows up with the advent of polytheism and later monotheism; which, if I'm not mistaken, comes after the written record begins (or around the same time). Which makes sense to me, because the Theistic gods are unique to settled agrarian societies. But for sure Animism stretches back thousands of years before that. Where exactly, I can't say.

Hey, fst.

Yeah, I'm officially done dignifying the notion that cultural relativism doesn't exist. I work in the social sciences. Not only is relativism accepted, it is a foundational understanding of how human systems function. To tell a social scientist that there's no such thing as relativism is like telling a biologist that there's no such thing as evolution. Really, it's silly. I'm done treating the objection with any dignity.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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22-01-2013, 08:30 AM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
Thanks Ghost (again) for my lesson.

Although the history of the patriarchal society was not a new thing for me, I had not come across Gwynne Dyer so I've just watch the whole series... impressive.

Thought I'd delve a bit deeper to check his credentials / biases... found this, where he predicts the Arab Spring. Yes






Sorry to be Offtopic but it's an interesting interview.

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22-01-2013, 12:15 PM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
Hey, DLJ.

Yeah, that documentary is the shit. Super illuminating. One of those rare ones that fundamentally recalibrated my understanding of the world.

As for the man, Gwynne Dyer is a famous Canadian journalist. He's also a military historian and pops up as a pundit frequently in military matters (or at least he did; crazy kids with your Intertubes). He's got credentials galore.

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Matt
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22-01-2013, 01:03 PM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
(20-01-2013 02:39 PM)poolboyg88 Wrote:  What is the oldest recorded reference to a "God"? By record, I mean a sculpture, or painting/hieroglyph, or written down account. And by "God" I mean some sort of embodiment of nature, or immortal being.

I'm guessing it's one of those fertility statues - a fertility god.
I'm going to suppose something simple probably related to relief of circumstance - something to be appeased.
The Sun is a pretty good bet - it was warm and showed up each day and when it wasn't it there life was probably uncomfortable and scary.
Fire is a good one - in fact, fire could be interpreted as the earthly manifestation of the Sun; it's warm, good things happen in it's presence, etc.,.
Perhaps the Moon.
[Image: mooncalendar_zpsa3622ef1.jpg]
The Oldest Lunar Calendars and Earliest Constellations have been identified in cave art found in France and Germany. The astronomer-priests of these late Upper Paleolithic Cultures understood mathematical sets, and the interplay between the moon annual cycle, ecliptic, solstice and seasonal changes on earth.

The First (Lunar) Calendar –

The archaeological record's earliest data that speaks to human awareness of the stars and ‘heavens’ dates to the Aurignacian Culture of Europe, c.32,000 B.C. Between 1964 and the early 1990s, Alexander Marshack published breakthrough research that documented the mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the Late Upper Paleolithic Cultures of Europe. Marshack deciphered sets of marks carved into animal bones, and occasionally on the walls of caves, as records of the lunar cycle. These marks are sets of crescents or lines. Artisans carefully controlled line thickness so that a correlation with lunar phases would be as easy as possible to perceive. Sets of marks were often laid out in a serpentine pattern that suggests a snake deity or streams and rivers.

I got this here.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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23-01-2013, 03:30 PM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
(22-01-2013 07:04 AM)Ghost Wrote:  OK, Chas.

Tell me then. What is the American Psychological Association's position on the dysfunction of superstition?

And yes, I did misunderstand him lol. I though he was saying women were irrationally fearful. Oops. But that's just flat out incorrect. Women were often revered in egalitarian cultures. It's only in patriarchal societies that they're put in the back seat because in patriarchies they have to be mechanised into baby making machines to provide fodder for the wars of attrition the men wage. This is an excellent video by Gwyn Dyre on the rise of patriarchy and offers some stunning insight into the history of Egyptian matriarchal society.





Hey, Jefe.

No. No dysfunction. There is dysfunction in Down's syndrome and in sleep apnea and in depression and in bipolar disorder, but none in superstition. There are hundreds of superstitious cultures that do rather well for themselves and no psychological evidence supporting the notion that it leads to dysfunction. The notion that it's base or dangerous or stupid is a value judgement only because there is no scientific basis. As I mentioned to Chas, if you can find some finding by the APA that shows the dysfunction, I'll recant happilly. But it doesn't exist as far as I know, making the task rather difficult.

It has nothing to do with my tolerance or lack of tolerance for the practices of other cultures. Cultural disagreement does not mean dysfunction. Maybe their practices are whack, but that is an entirely different matter than superstition causing dysfunction. That is a very specific position that has to be supported by scientific evidence, not based on preference or cultural divide.

For example, pretty much ALL of the native American First Peoples were superstitious and they did rather well for themselves before white people killed 95% of them. Can you explain to me how all the First Peoples of the Americas were dysfunctional?

Hey, Baud.

Like I said before and like you mentioned, the written record only goes back so far. But we know that Animism predates it. In terms of supreme being, that wasn't really Animism's thing. That only really shows up with the advent of polytheism and later monotheism; which, if I'm not mistaken, comes after the written record begins (or around the same time). Which makes sense to me, because the Theistic gods are unique to settled agrarian societies. But for sure Animism stretches back thousands of years before that. Where exactly, I can't say.

Hey, fst.

Yeah, I'm officially done dignifying the notion that cultural relativism doesn't exist. I work in the social sciences. Not only is relativism accepted, it is a foundational understanding of how human systems function. To tell a social scientist that there's no such thing as relativism is like telling a biologist that there's no such thing as evolution. Really, it's silly. I'm done treating the objection with any dignity.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Then why even argue if everybody's truth is as equal as yours?

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23-01-2013, 03:37 PM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
Hinduism: Since Sanskrit is the oldest written language, as far as religion being written down, and as far as organized religion is concerned, it would be Hinduism. It is said that when Rama appeared, according to our calendar, was a million or so years ago (not sure of the exact date, but it's a long time!) And Krishna, God himself according to the Vedic scriptures, appeared here 5,000 years ago. Buddha, about 500 B.C., Jesus, about 2,000 years ago. If you go through the different religious book and study this question deeply, you will find out that Hinduism is the oldest religion of the world. There are no dates and facts, but its history is about more than 50000 thousands years ago.

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23-01-2013, 10:58 PM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
Hey, fst.

Your question does not compute. Care to elaborate?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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23-01-2013, 11:06 PM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
the sun?
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24-01-2013, 10:32 AM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
"Maybe their practices are whack, but that is an entirely different matter than superstition causing dysfunction."

I didn't suggest that superstition causes dysfunction. I said superstition is a dysfunction. It could be argued that it's not a biological dysfunction but brain scans of religious people do show abnormalities in the area of the brain associated with cognitive reasoning. Of course, that's also the case with victims of child abuse, so it's not conclusive. However, to assert that superstitious rituals which involve killing, maiming or otherwise causing physical harm to one's self or someone else isn't dysfunctional is both callous and void of empathy. Even today, in the absence of death and maiming rituals, superstitious people engage in self destructive behavior as a result of their belief in the supernatural. That a superstitious person or society is otherwise successful in any respect does not indicate that there is no dysfunction.

"Women were often revered in egalitarian cultures. It's only in
patriarchal societies that they're put in the back seat because in
patriarchies they have to be mechanised into baby making machines to
provide fodder for the wars of attrition the men wage."


That's a pretty foggy statement. True, in an egalitarian society women would be respected. However, such societies are and definitely have been historically, the exception and not the rule. Women (and children) have been treated miserably throughout human history. As art reflects the mood of society, one needs only to look at historical depictions of women to get a sense of the lives they led. They have been universally depicted as sad, pitiful creatures. Even in paintings of women with children, you'll rarely, if ever, find a mother smiling or playing with her child. Moreover, political cartoons in all countries in conflict have depicted their enemies as evil women, as pregnant beasts devouring the bodies and souls of young men and children, etc. You can find this negative portrayal of women all the way up to the American political imagery from the Iraq wars. The plight of women is also evidenced in literature, historical law and in the personal diaries of men and women throughout history.
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24-01-2013, 02:02 PM
RE: Oldest recorded "God"?
Hey, Jefe.

Foggy eh? Interesting.

1 - Where did I say anything about the frequency of hierarchical patriarchies vs egalitarian societies? The answer is nowhere in case you were wondering.
2 - I can only assume that by "human history" you are referring to the recorded history of patriarchal civilisations. If that is indeed the case, then you're stating the obvious.
3 - By art, I can only assume you mean the collected works of patriarchal civilisations and not the art of ancient or extant egalitarian societies. If so, again, you're stating the obvious.
4 - Universally depicted as sad and pitiful? Yeah, you dug your own grave on that one. I ain't touchin that with a ten foot pole.
5 - I'm not going to bother with the rest. I am however, still very curious about what exactly you mean by foggy. You said it and didn't back it up.

Superstition is a dysfunction? Again. Show me something, anything, the APA has to say about it.

Furthermore, how do you account for the THOUSANDS of superstitious cultures that thrive?

It could be argued that my anus is a hat, but that don't make it so.

What are the conclusions drawn from these brain scans, where were these scans taken and by whom?

Quote:However, to assert that superstitious rituals which involve killing, maiming or otherwise causing physical harm to one's self or someone else isn't dysfunctional is both callous and void of empathy. Even today, in the absence of death and maiming rituals, superstitious people engage in self destructive behavior as a result of their belief in the supernatural. That a superstitious person or society is otherwise successful in any respect does not indicate that there is no dysfunction.

The logical fallacies in these three statements are staggering.

Furthermore, as you can confirm with other members of this site, I have ZERO patience for ad hominem attacks. My reaction is almost always very aggressive. I'm letting you off with a warning this time. Don't go there.

I won't dignify the statements with a response.
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