The Evolution of God
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07-06-2013, 10:42 AM
The Evolution of God
I few years back I was thinking about the evolution of God or Gods as a cultural construct, or "meme" as it were. After all we didn't start out with Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, Vishnu, Ra, Zeus, Shiva, or the rest of them at all. At one point we were just naked apes running around in the Savannah trying to survive long enough to see another day, and perhaps to insure that our offspring did as well.

So where did it all come from, how did it all begin, and more to the point, how did it manage to get to this point, to look as it does now? It's easy to grasp the concept of nature worship by a primitive people. The wind blows unusually hard, destroying our settlements...it must have done that on purpose because it's mad at us. We need to find a way to appease it so it won't do that again. This leads to myths about the winds personality, and desires, an evolving personification...a deity is born. A lot of them, one for every thing that happens of importance. The wind, river, ocean, jaguars, earthquakes, the sun, and the moon and so on.

But at some point these must all converge on our modern "monotheistic" (they are monotheist in name only), polytheistic, and deistic, religions, "churches" and "clergy" of today. This book I found, while attempting to research that very subject, covered exactly that. In fact so well it is simply titled "The Evolution of God". Exactly what I was looking for! In fact it doesn't just cover how the Abraham religions came on the scene, but actually how they evolved and grew. Meaning Yahweh was not always Yahweh, he used to simply be yahweh, and he was far from alone.

I'll add a link to the book's website below, I think it has excerpts from each chapter if interested. It can be a bit heavy and dense, but in my mind an essential read.

http://www.evolutionofgod.net/
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07-06-2013, 10:50 AM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2013 11:09 AM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: The Evolution of God
(07-06-2013 10:42 AM)Cloud Strife Wrote:  So where did it all come from, how did it all begin, and more to the point, how did it manage to get to this point, to look as it does now? It's easy to grasp the concept of nature worship by a primitive people. The wind blows unusually hard, destroying our settlements...it must have done that on purpose because it's mad at us. We need to find a way to appease it so it won't do that again. This leads to myths about the winds personality, and desires, an evolving personification...a deity is born. A lot of them, one for every thing that happens of importance. The wind, river, ocean, jaguars, earthquakes, the sun, and the moon and so on.

I started a thread about the precursor of religion, but it didn't get any replies.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...f-religion

I've read the author before. I'm sure this is a wonderful book.
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07-06-2013, 11:05 AM
RE: The Evolution of God
Great and fascinating topic. Sorry I missed your thread GhostE.
I'll have to read the links.
Yahweh did indeed evolve.
From one of the 40 sons of El Elyon in the Babylonian/Sumerian pantheon > Hebrew god of the armies, (war god) WITH A WIFE, > what he eventually ended up as. (Actually the Western god is still evolving as human culture continues to evolve).
100 years ago no one would have said "god is love". In fact Saul of Tarsus said something COMPLETELY different.

There is another book, not so much about the gods, but the evolution and beginnings religion in general, by the famous Sociologist, "Religion in Human Evolution, from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age", by Robert N Bellah.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist and Levitating yogi, CAAT-LY.
Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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