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#146699 - 02/19/06 05:46 PM The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It?
ScarletInfidelle Offline


Registered: 02/17/06
Posts: 4
Loc: North Carolina, United States ...
A subject I find to be of particular interest is the origin of religion. The question has recently been asked of me, "Does this need to externalize extend from our evolution into our present level of intelligence, or is it a culturally derived phenomenon?"
In order to fully answer the question, from my view, I would first distinguish between those religions which were found within the primitive tribal cultures, which existed for many thousands of years before the culture with which we are familiar today became the dominant one, and those religions which are common to our culture (Christianity, Islam, etc.). I believe that these two groups had different origins, one being resultant of our evolution into our present species, and the other resultant of the mass expansion of a single culture: ours.
Regarding the first group, those tribal, animistic religions of which evidence of ritualism has been discovered to the very foundations of our homo sapien ancestry, I would suggest that the need to explain those phenomena which were inexplicable at the time was inherent in early man. No person at that time understood the causes of weather change, animal behavior, or those things which could be observed in the sky, and in order to reconcile this lack of information with man's obvious exceeding of base animal intelligence, these things were attributed to the influence of outside (externalized) entities, or gods. Our primitive ancestors had obvious advantages over their simpler primate kin, such as more complex reasoning skills, and an ability to deduce future, or past events, based on more than mere immediate sensory input. An ape might see the footprints of another animal in the dirt, but would not consider it to be of any significance. A human, however, would see those same tracks in the dirt, and deduce that an animal whose feet/hooves/paws corresponded to the shape of the track had traversed that area. Humanity had made a great leap forward, (yes, the evolutionary process for this took a great deal of time, but the ultimate effect was rather extraordinary) and was possessed of a need to understand the world, and to give them some idea as to how to interact effectively with it. When mere naked-eye observation was insufficient to explain an occurrence, the need to explain it did not dissipate. The result of this dilemma? Gods.
I've a different opinion on the matter of salvationist religions, which I define as those which purport that the human spirit/soul is inherently flawed in some capacity, and requires a combination of ritual/penance and the intervention of some divine/supernatural being in order to acquire a desirable place in the afterlife. I believe that the popularity, statistically speaking, of these religions has its origins in our culture. When the relatively rapid increase in population produced undesirable side-effects, such as famine and overpopulation, the impoverished, frequently diseased, miserable masses would be, of course, in turmoil, and demand some resolution to this miserable existence. What better solution to this problem than to convince these ignorant masses that their physical lives were unimportant in the grand scheme, when compared to... you guessed it... their spiritual salvation? When, in fact, accepting their pathetic existences, and living them in humility and even gratefulness would help to ensure an immortal existence in bliss after death? Of course, this idea would appeal to these people, who were constantly fearful of every illness, and more aware of their mortality than they were of anything else! Why not? Surely, something must cause their suffering... it is a test of their resilience, and their devotion to their God! One must admit that the convergence of this unpleasant lifestyle and system of belief seems rather convenient. At least, I am of the opinion that this is so.
I am by no means an expert in the subject of history, or of evolutionary theory, but I'm not entirely ignorant of these topics, either. I've read up on several different ideas on this matter (including, you may have noticed, Daniel Quinn's book, "The Story of B"), and so far, these are my conclusions. They are by no means written in stone, and should anyone find that their thoughts on the matter differ from my own, I would quite readily further explore any reasonable presented alternative.
Hail Satan!
_________________________
"Religion has never really had a problem with murder. More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason." - George Carlin

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#146700 - 02/19/06 05:53 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: ScarletInfidelle]
Disease0fTheKing Offline


Registered: 02/17/06
Posts: 13
Loc: Oregon USA
The proof is in the pudding, you should eat it slowly.
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:O

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#146701 - 02/19/06 06:56 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: ScarletInfidelle]
jedisolo Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Behind My Eyes
Good presentation of your post and well thought out. As you are aware your ideas of the origin of religion is not new. Some may say to a extent that yes, people develope these religions for physcological reasons.
I do not however see people developing these religions for the idea of immortalilty. Are there any serious actions that people take to truely live forever? No. They waste time, energy, money and even thier health on a promise. A promise that if you do this or that you will be rewarded. With this blind believe the only thing that is accomplished is a salvery of the mind, nothing more.
People desire to be slaves. No matter how sugar coated it may look.

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#146702 - 02/19/06 08:33 PM Tonight... [Re: ScarletInfidelle]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12592
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Tonight when you next dream and experience a world of fantasy made completely real to your experience you will be further conditioning your nervous system and mind.

Now how many people sleep and dream about every twelve to sixteen hours?

Ah.

All of them.

Mystery solved.

Religion and religious experience derive directly from daily human experience.

And always has.

Simple.

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#146703 - 02/20/06 02:27 PM Re: Tonight... [Re: Nemo]
Witch_Scarlet Offline

CoS Witch

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 787
Loc: Texas
People sleep every twelve to sixteen hours? I knew I was missing something!

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#146704 - 02/20/06 03:11 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: ScarletInfidelle]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11566
Loc: New England, USA
>>When mere naked-eye observation was insufficient to
>>explain an occurrence, the need to explain it did not
>>dissipate. The result of this dilemma? Gods.

Theism is not a sufficient definition, nor even a necessary component, of religion. First of all, deity wasn't the only kind of purely hypothetical explanation that people had used for natural phenomena. People had other wild explanations for certain things that did not involve personification. However, humans have always had a drive for pattern-seeking, and trying to find rules for these established explanations is where religion really comes in to play (e.g., sacrifice an ox on this particular day, and the next harvest goes well).

It is these sorts of components, ritual and dogma, that define religion. Of course, the human need for ritual and dogma is a subject already well-discussed in The Satanic Bible, so I won't bother repeating the other reasons for them here.

>>I've a different opinion on the matter of salvationist
>>religions, which I define as those which purport that
>>the human spirit/soul is inherently flawed in some
>>capacity, and requires a combination of ritual/penance
>>and the intervention of some divine/supernatural being
>>in order to acquire a desirable place in the afterlife.

While most of the world's religions do seem have the dogma of "you and/or the world is flawed, but we know how to fix it", not all of them take the approach you mention. Buddhism, in the purest sense, is not theistic. Their core dogma (the 4 Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path), while sometimes manifesting a form of ritualistic penance, do not need theism nor a belief in an afterlife in order to operate.

>> I believe that the popularity, statistically speaking,
>>of these religions has its origins in our culture.

This still begs the question of why so many individuals actively seek out religion. While most "religious" people are simply carrying on with whatever religion their parents forced on them, there are still plenty of people who by their own free will explore what religions have to offer. As for what motivates such people, I think it was explained quite well in "The God You Save May Be Yourself" from The Satanic Bible.
_________________________
Reverend Bill M.

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#146705 - 02/20/06 03:33 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Bill_M]
Satanya Offline
Banned

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 2241
Quote:

While most of the world's religions do seem have the dogma of "you and/or the world is flawed, but we know how to fix it", not all of them take the approach you mention. Buddhism, in the purest sense, is not theistic. Their core dogma (the 4 Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path), while sometimes manifesting a form of ritualistic penance, do not need theism nor a belief in an afterlife in order to operate.




Not directly, but don´t they still base their practices, if you will, on egalitarian principles, i.e. all can, all should, for all good, etc. That´d take you back to some form of theism, I´d suppose?

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#146706 - 02/20/06 04:10 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Satanya]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11566
Loc: New England, USA
>>Not directly, but don´t they still base their practices,
>>if you will, on egalitarian principles, i.e. all can, all
>>should, for all good, etc. That´d take you back to some
>>form of theism, I´d suppose?

How so? I don't see what those points you bring up have to do with deity.
_________________________
Reverend Bill M.

http://www.devilsmischief.com: Carnal Comedy Clips, Netherworld Novelty Numbers,
New hour every week. Download the mp3 now!

http://www.aplaceformystuff.org: Tales of Combat Clutter and other Adventures

(Wenn du Google's Übersetzer verwendest, um diese Worte zu lesen, dann bist du ein Arschloch.)

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#146707 - 02/20/06 04:35 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Bill_M]
Satanya Offline
Banned

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 2241
I don´t know. I can only see some deity behind anything egalitarian.

Plus Buddhism seeks self-less-ness. Why, if for no "hidden/subcounscious" theistic purpose then?

From http://www.buddhanet.net/4noble.htm :

Quote:

This deep understanding comes from the previous nine insights. So there is a sequence leading to Right Understanding of things as they are, namely that: All that is subject to arising is subject to ceasing and is not-self. With Right Understanding, you have given up the illusion of a self that is connected to mortal conditions.

--RIGHT UNDERSTANDING



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#146708 - 02/20/06 05:26 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Satanya]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11566
Loc: New England, USA
>>I don´t know. I can only see some deity
>>behind anything egalitarian.

Again, why? And again, there have plenty of groups over the years who presented the idea of "this is what's wrong with you (or the world in general), and here's how to fix it", and didn't include a mention of deity anywhere. Just look at people who've blindly submitted themselves to non-theistic religions, or political ideologies, or race-based philosophies, etc.

>>Plus Buddhism seeks self-less-ness. Why, if for
>>no "hidden/subcounscious" theistic purpose then?

Just read the two lists I mentioned. What makes you think belief in deity is necessary for either of them?
_________________________
Reverend Bill M.

http://www.devilsmischief.com: Carnal Comedy Clips, Netherworld Novelty Numbers,
New hour every week. Download the mp3 now!

http://www.aplaceformystuff.org: Tales of Combat Clutter and other Adventures

(Wenn du Google's Übersetzer verwendest, um diese Worte zu lesen, dann bist du ein Arschloch.)

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#146709 - 02/20/06 05:43 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Bill_M]
Satanya Offline
Banned

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 2241
Quote:

Just look at people who've blindly submitted themselves to non-theistic religions, or political ideologies, or race-based philosophies, etc.




They do so for self-righteousness -- there is always a greater-good behind their motives. Can any greater-good really be non-theistic? I am just trying to understand these mechanisms, that´s all.

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#146710 - 02/20/06 06:18 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Satanya]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
Quote:

Can any greater-good really be non-theistic?




I apologize but answering a question that wasn’t directed to me, but I’d like to mention examples of non-theistic “greater good” delusions.

Many social and political movements and organizations are dedicated to a “greater good” while not having any religious affiliation. Some are even declared atheists.

In Communist countries, people were fed propaganda (not very different form Jehovah witness pamphlets) telling them they were building “a paradise on earth” for their great-grandchildren. Those people knew they would never see or enjoy that magical future, yet they worked themselves half to death for this Utopia.

The guerrillas that infect many countries have the same messianic complex that makes them execute suicidal attacks all in the name of “the cause”.

In both cases, there is no theistic element present, but you see people sacrificing their lives for a “greater cause”. They didn’t even have a promise of being rewarded in the afterlife for their sacrifice.

Sheep doesn’t always need a God to walk happily to the slaughter, some times a nice speech and some color pictures is enough.
_________________________
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein


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#146711 - 02/20/06 09:00 PM Yes. [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12592
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
If they tried to sleep every 24 hours there would be zero sleep time.

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#146712 - 02/20/06 09:01 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Old_Pig]
Satanya Offline
Banned

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 2241
Thanks for your input.

I however do not see it possible for any egalitarian nor self-less based religion to be deity-less principled.

HS!

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#146713 - 02/20/06 10:02 PM Re: The Origin of Religion, or: What's God Got to Do With It? [Re: Satanya]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
In my opinion, those people are the same than theistic fanatics. They just change God for "the cause" or "the party" or whathever they choose to sacrifice for. But at the bottom they are all the same, they need to worship something "superior" than themselves.

So they are not really deity-less, they just adore non-conventional deities.
_________________________
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein


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