why are we superstitious or how we created God
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12-03-2011, 11:33 PM
 
Question why are we superstitious or how we created God
Recently, I was watching a cricket match and during the game realized how superstitious I was. I always found myself to be a very rational person but even then I believed that somehow my switching the channel had some effect on a match being played on the other side of the world.
I spent a lot of time thinking about it and realized that I tend to find a pattern in everything. All humans tend to do this. May be all animals try to find a pattern for everything in their life. Why would anyone do that? After some more thinking I realized the answer was very simple. To survive.. "My father went into a tiger's cave, he never came back. My uncle went into the same cave, he also did not come back. May be I should also not go into the cave"
But how do we find patterns in things we dont understand or are not effected by our immediate surroundings? How do we find a pattern to justify a chronic disease which we do not know about?
In this struggle to find a pattern we start making things up. Things like a door bell control sports being played thousands of miles away. And when there is no door bell it must be the invisible person living above us.
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13-03-2011, 01:49 AM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
That describes part of the phenomenon of religion quite well. Throw in fear of the unknown which includes the fear of the death, add some megalomaniacal need to control others, stir and bingo, instant insanity....I mean religion.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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13-03-2011, 02:09 AM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
Well, technically any spirituality is classified as religious practice. A culture that buries their dead is considered to have religion. The control freak stuff is generally organized religion. I don't see the real point in fear of the unknown at this point, there's plenty of real things to fear for a whole lifetime. It's easy enough to assure someone that answers are found often, and that the unknown will be known eventually. Rather than say, that's the realm of divinity and it's unknown because it is beyond our understanding yet divinity desires theses actions of us.

I think organized religions main pull nowadays is that children are being taught that they need religion. Were there not a feeling that religion was needed organized religions would cave in as the proof they suggest is debunked. Currently most every Christian I meet is not really a Christian. They just keep the religion because of their feeling of needing to have it, but generally only choose to seek a few things from the spectrum. Most of the people I know when asked why they need their belief to be called something it's due to the public image, because they have no interest in the harsh rules and systems.

If the bible belt ever realizes that the rest of the world doesn't think that way they might stop thinking they're the majority. But that would require Americans to look beyond something local =p

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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13-03-2011, 11:55 AM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
@ Lilith, would that then include Confucianism as a religion? I have only recently learned more about their practices, and I know that (at least for traditional Confucianism) they participate in a lot of rites and ceremonies, some of which are meant to placate their dead relatives. I had never really thought of it as a religion in the same way christianity or islam or the other big ones are, but now I wonder.

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13-03-2011, 02:43 PM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
Yes, the anthropological term for religion has to do with rights and services held by people of a spiritual nature. Believing in god is not the only form of religion, it's just the big one. That's why we have a separate term for theism. To be religious is to assign special value to things that don't necessarily hold that value. Such as the common tribal belief of animism, that everything has a spirit, it doesn't exactly change the world vastly but there is no way to know of spirit. According to anthropology if a god existed and did the things expected of them, then that would not be a religion. Religions can have figureheads but they are only religious if they place something unverifiable in that figurehead. Religion is basically a term for the belief in something unknown or unknowable. Which of course means that as it becomes known that thing loses religious status for a people.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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13-03-2011, 02:50 PM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
(13-03-2011 02:43 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Yes, the anthropological term for religion has to do with rights and services held by people of a spiritual nature. Believing in god is not the only form of religion, it's just the big one. That's why we have a separate term for theism. To be religious is to assign special value to things that don't necessarily hold that value. Such as the common tribal belief of animism, that everything has a spirit, it doesn't exactly change the world vastly but there is no way to know of spirit. According to anthropology if a god existed and did the things expected of them, then that would not be a religion. Religions can have figureheads but they are only religious if they place something unverifiable in that figurehead. Religion is basically a term for the belief in something unknown or unknowable. Which of course means that as it becomes known that thing loses religious status for a people.
Thank you for that insight. I have an essay due in a week and a half comparing and contrasting differences in philosophy and religion between India and China. This gives me new direction for both Confucianism and Taoism.

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13-03-2011, 04:50 PM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
Glad to hear that I helped Magnet

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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13-03-2011, 10:42 PM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
(13-03-2011 02:09 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  If the bible belt ever realizes that the rest of the world doesn't think that way they might stop thinking they're the majority. But that would require Americans to look beyond something local =p

The fact of the matter is that they simply don't care. They think they are right, and everyone else is wrong, and that's that.

Part of the religious practice is willful ignorance. They practice it daily.

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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14-03-2011, 12:54 AM
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
(13-03-2011 02:43 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Religion is basically a term for the belief in something unknown or unknowable. Which of course means that as it becomes known that thing loses religious status for a people.

I think that religion also includes "that which is proven and known", but the religious absolutely refuse to accept it because their beliefs are all they care about.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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14-03-2011, 06:24 AM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2011 06:42 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: why are we superstitious or how we created God
That would mean that it isn't known to them. When looking at proof you're looking at it for the culture you study not the world. If you study a group of Christians and for them something that people around them know for certain is false then they still do not know it. Stupid yes, but true. Anthropology accepts that world views vary excessively between groups, and very often are two different groups seen to interact yet give no useful information between them. A church population in Texas is studied the same as a small group outside of Kenya. In many cultures it's a vastly important part of their lives that they don't believe something which those around them do.

The term unknowable is usually a misnomer but that's the case in these situations. Some things to certain groups are considered unknowable, which means that whatever evidence that answers these things is false by fact that you can't know this. Violence is often seen in response to education on things. This is generally a fear that their world view will disappear upon knowing something contradictory to their current lives. Normally these things are called taboo. Taboos are things that have no place in the culture that considers them such.

Look at the Amish, they've created a worldview that everything past a certain period of time is no longer god's work but the devil's. For them there is an unending amount of taboos. Yet they live near a rather advanced culture.

when looking at nations it's important to remember how valued a subculture can be. Just because the USA is considered a group does not mean it holds a bunch of people with the same opinions.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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