The evolution of religious beliefs:

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by mightypeon, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    Troughout History, lifeforms developed into more and more sophisticated organisms, and often were more and more able to kick the living snot out of other lifeforms.

    Lets start with a little review.

    At one point, man got the idea that Fire was usefull.
    In fact, it was incredibly usefull, you could warm yourself with it, scare off big Fuzzy Animals with claws by it and process Big Fuzzy Animals with claws into small tasty Steaks through its truly divine intervention.
    This obviously raised the question "Where the Hell did that Fire came from?" The most direct awnser that various tribe around the earth got was: "It lives!", and "It has to be appeased!" This was the most likely origin of the first "House Gods".

    As civilisation developed, many more questions were asked.
    "Why does my neighbour catch more fish than I?"
    "Why does the sun go black sometimes?"
    "Why does the youth never listen to their elders?"
    "What the hell does Mightypeon want to say with this friggin wall of text?"

    To awnser this, many more gods were created, and to keep track of all of those Gods, a caste of priests or Shamans came into beeing.
    Lets call this "Look Look, my Tribe got a God!"
    Of course, the priests and shamans wanted to stay priests and shamans, meaning that travel, and the increasing contact to other civilisation in the antique times could have been a bit of a strain to their position.
    Naturally, they came to the easy solution, our gods are our gods, their gods are their gods, and if a particular gods of their looks fun to worship, we change his name a bit and worship him too.
    Smart souls usually said prayers to all known and unknown gods, and, while a Roman and a German of those times could come up with about 10 reasons to kill each other upon sight, religions was none of them.
    Then someone made an innovation:

    "My Tribes God is true, and all else are false!"
    Unfortunatly for the Midians, Khananites and various other people of the Near East, the Tribes of Juda took the task of cleansing their surroundings of unbelievers quite literally, however, ethnic cleansing happened before montheistic religions too, as a matter of fact, the clash between a nomadic society like the early tribes and and agrarian society like the Midians or Khananits had violence and genocide as the most usual outcome.

    Fortunatly for everyone else, Juda was not excatly a global power, and had next to no influence extending her borders. For time beeing, Germans, Celts and Romans continued to kill each other for more material reasons.

    After a while, the idea made a severy Jump.
    "My Tribes God is true, all else are false, and you can join my tribe by also saying that my tribes God is true!".
    While this may sound like a fairly convoluted sentence, it basically sums up the main difference between Christianity and Judaism, as far as non Christians/ non Jews are concerned.
    This idea was so appealing that, after a while, the Roman Empire thought that this idea may be usefull for empire building.

    A short while later,
    "My Tribes God is true, all else are false, and you can join my tribe by also saying that my tribes God is true! MK2"
    came on line, commonly known as Islam. The difference? Islam could be more aptly described with
    "My Tribes God is true, all else are false (some are falser than others), and you can join my tribe by also saying that my tribes god is true. If you prefer to use the outdated ""My Tribes God is true, all else are false, and you can join my tribe by also saying that my tribes God is true!"" Version, you are a Dhimmi and have to pay a Fee."
    This not only added the novel "Dont kill all unbelievers" aspect to religious warfare, it also indicated a signficant amount of commercial aptitude by the religion founder.

    No for a long while not much, apart from a very long and very bloody argument between the adherants of
    "My Tribes God is true, all else are false, and you can join my tribe by also saying that my tribes God is true!"
    and
    "My Tribes God is true, all else are false, and you can join my tribe by also saying that my tribes God is true! MK2", also known as the Crusades, happened.

    Then, at an age where religion founding was no longer exactly vouge, 2 new Ideas rose up.
    "My Tribe IS God, everyone else is false!"
    and
    "My Tribe Can become God, everyone else is false, but you can join us in our quest to do so!"
    Also non as Nationalism and Communism rose up.
    Immidiatly, both of those made quite a point of beeing not very kind to the adherants of earlier versions. Than they tried to kill each other, a conflict which "My Tribe Can become God, everyone else is false, but you can join us in our quest to do so!" won, largely due to not beeing as totally unforgiving as its competition.

    Due to beeing more interested in theorical discussion of "Becoming God" (also known as "reaching true Communism") than in supplying the population with needed things,
    "My Tribe Can become God, everyone else is false, but you can join us in our quest to do so!" lost towards a often encountered sentiment of "I dont care much about God anymore, lets get on with life".

    I hope a lot that "I dont care much about God anymore, lets get on with life" will eventually win the argument.
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Funny how you dont bother to ask whether there actually is a God in this analysis. that seems completely irrelevant to your viewpoint here.
     
  3. amrchaos
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    amrchaos Pentheus torn apart

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    Maybe it is due to the silliness of MP opinion that asking "Is there a god" becomes pointless.

    He focus on a much deeper question--the role and steady change of religion!! In truth, his question strikes ate the true purpose of religion. Religion is to advise--everything else is pretty much BS used to give theologians status as advisors. No need for God or Gods to do this, either.
     
  4. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Since there is no evidence of a magical God and there has never been, then the question "is there a God" becomes irrelevant. It's just a made up nonsensical question. Like, "is the center of the moon made of soft creamy cheese"? Of course, you can't prove that it isn't, but on the other hand, a rational mind will tell you it "isn't".
     
  5. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    I was mainly interested in how "religions" would appear to an outside observer.

    Personally, I do not know wether there is a god or not (and if yes, how many), I even think that the question "What is God if he exists" would be at least as interesting.

    Oh, and I strongly believe that adding more sillyness, more humour and more well, "humanity" to religion would reduce a great amount of violence.
     
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  6. MajikMyst
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    MajikMyst Honorary Non-member

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    Religion in the early days was simply a means to explain somethning that man at the time could not explain.. In a nutshell.. That was the entire purpose of religion when it started.. It has since become a means to control people and give authorty to people that would otherwise have none..

    The problem is, as science comes along and explains things, like a rainy day or an eclipse.. The religious fight back and deny science.. Global warming comes to mind..

    God is an invention of man.. Plain and simple.. The fact that so many people believe in him is evidence of the dedication of the religous and what lengths they will go through to maintain the ignorance..

    Religion has killed countless million in history.. It hasn't done anything positive for mankind.. Count;rss babies sacarficed, molested, or burned for being a witch.. Countless innocent murdered in the name of religion.. Countless killed in wars that are about absolutely nothing except religion..

    Even today, religion is screwing up our society.. Religion is the single largest issue preventing moral growth.. Mankind would be much better off without religion in all it's forms..
     
  7. antagon
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    antagon The Man

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    Might i propose that science is a religion as well? some people blindly sign on to the cutting edge of science in a way i parallel to the role of faith in religion... global warming comes to mind.

    on one side of the arguement, religious extremists promote stupidity to counteract science, by denying evolution, for example. science extremists argue that our limited understanding of our world displaces the existence of god entirely, essentially elevating science to the position of omniscient, omnipotent.

    i am a chemical engineer and science lover, but failing to be one of these extremists, the more ive learned about our world, the greater i see the god that made it.
     
  8. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    Sciense is not a religion.
    One can make a very good point about both Communism, Fascism and even militant Atheism beeing religions, one can not do so with Science, unless one definies all attempts at explaining the universe as religious.

    Why is science not a religion?
    1: While Science and religion have a common causes, both are fundamentally systems for explaining the universe, science admits that its knowledge is limited and all of its theorems are always up for discussion (you can change any scientific Hypotheses, Theory or Law, provided you have scientific proof. You cannot do the same with religious dogmas), compared to religious ideas, the correctness of many scientific principles can be proven in everyday life.

    2: Science tries to seek the most simple awnser for a phenomenon that is possible.
    While this may sound strange to many persons (After all "God did it!" Seems to be a more simple sentence than the theory of evolution), it is actually true.
    Basically, god is supposed to be omnipotent and omnicient (which is a contradiction in itself), and arguably a very, I would say infinitly, complex phenomenon. Thus, any awnser involving god involves an infinitly complex phenomenon and is thus infinitly more complex than any awnser involving science, which by definition is limited.

    3: Science actually allows dissenting non scientific opinions. From Sciences pov, any idea is either disproven or not (waiting to be disproven), with the "or not" ideas beeing seperated into "disprovable" and "not disprovable". Non disprovable ideas are usually those including mentions of omnipotent entities and are not a part of science. Not yet disproven ideas (like Evolution, Gravity and Global Warming) always have clear cut ways under which disproving them is possible.
    Want to disprove Gravity? Levitate yourself to Oslo and you are in for the Nobel prize. Disproving evolution? 200 million year old Rabit Bones should do the trick.
    Disprove Global Warming: Consitently prove that the accumulation of Greenhouse Gasses in the area will not cause an increase in temperature.
     
  9. antagon
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    antagon The Man

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    i would broaden the roles of faith and science beyond explaining the universe alone, but i'll accept those arguements, although they speak of science as an ideal. some practitioners of science trample the same arguements which youve made much the same as christian or muslim radicals butcher their faiths. this is even more common among the wider 'congregation' of science.

    just as faiths dont function as religions just through clergy, science is not promoted by scientists alone. using global warming to demonstrate, the hyperbole that activists as laudable as al gore bring to the table undermine the credibility of their scientific impotice and round findings up to the nearest fitting conclusion. your ideal based around scientific method is lost in the cause-effect mechanisms in gore's movie, and in fact your accumulation of Greenhouse Gasses in the area will not cause an increase in temperature. i submit thats not science. perhaps the religion of science with scientific method being god, but not really science.

    id say religious persons hoping to deny science or affect political change malpractice all the same, taking what ever they want to conclude and twisting their faith to fit as a modus.
     
  10. MajikMyst
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    MajikMyst Honorary Non-member

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    Science is not a religion as science is based on provable facts and theories.. Religion is not..

    I know.. Theories aren't facts some would say.. Gravity is a theory, feel free to prove that it doesn't exist..

    That last part wasn't directed at you antagon.. I just know some right winger somewhere would lock on to the entire theory thing even though they don't understand what the word means..

    God did not make this world, it is impossible as there is no god.. The only reason for a god is to explain something you can't explain..
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009

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