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from the cultures of old, back to the days of the cavemen, religion has evolved into what it is today. but what is it that gives these different cultures the desire to bring about religion in the first place? looking at it from a psycological standpoint, is it a side effect of evolved intelegence? or is there truly something more behind it?

 

ive heard many arguments on this. that it stems from gods desire for us to know him, that its mans desire to explain the world around him, that its a side effect of intelegence. but what do you believe?

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from the cultures of old, back to the days of the cavemen, religion has evolved into what it is today. but what is it that gives these different cultures the desire to bring about religion in the first place? looking at it from a psycological standpoint, is it a side effect of evolved intelegence? or is there truly something more behind it?

 

ive heard many arguments on this. that it stems from gods desire for us to know him, that its mans desire to explain the world around him, that its a side effect of intelegence. but what do you believe?

 

Personally the desire for religion is an extension of our curioisity and question asking, we're curious and we want to know. It goes beyond just an explanation for understanding, we desire an "ultimate understanding" or certainty about origins or the first cause, and many call that first cause god it seems pretty universal among all humans to espouse and wonder about it. Since even those who are secular have some sort of interest that functions as a religion would, if they were religious.

 

Religion is also about the psychological need for community and socializing with people who (hopefully) have shared values, and shared history, it helps bring people together in times of uncertainty or tragedy. That is one major thing that secular society hasn't quite figured out how to replace yet.

 

Lastly religion is about survival, everyone wants to belive in some way they can live again and that this harsh unfair life is not all there is. Religion functions as a way to keep everyone in line and help the the group survive.

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Worshipping John Moses Browning simply requires of its adherants the ability to appreciate a .035 hole drilled by several self protective devices tossed through target at 250+ meters on a regular basis..

 

Everything else is 1911 range work, and thats another discipline..

 

Nuttin' hard about having ones faith in something that works...

 

kFL

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I think part of it stems from the need to have some kind of explanation for things we don't understand.

 

Old times, thunderstorms and earthquakes, hmmm.... must be the gods.

 

Today, Big Bang, Quantum Physics, morality, hmmm... must be god.

 

In the future, Superstrings, Loop Quantum Gravity and parallel universes... hmmm... must be God.

 

That, but also the fear of death or loss of awareness. Going into oblivion is a hard thing to deal with. Must invent an answer we can live with so we don't go crazy.

 

Another side of the coin is the political power religion gives. It started with peoples problem to understand reality and existence, but then type-A people saw the opportunity to use it for control. And hence, organized religion instead of just belief, was invented.

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By and large I think it's indeed because humans crave explanations. And where "worldly/scientific/whathaveyou" explanations aren't (yet?) available, something else will do.

 

Of course there are always exceptions.

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i think the predominent reason people search out religion is the promise of heaven, eternal life. every person has a fear of death, and religion offers a alternative to it or a solution to the problem.

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I look at it this way. Like any animal subject to the forces of evolution, we have a will to survive. We have also evolved a brain capable of complex cognitive thinking, and a strong sense of the ego or "me".

 

Put those together and you end up with an organism capable of understanding death, but with a strong will to survive - so it formulates the idea of the ego living on beyond death using its evolved cognitive brain.

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so the general consensus said that religion was formed to explain what people saw as unexplainable.

so why do people continue to reject science in favor of spiritual belief? some sects of chrisitianity still believe that evolution is false and that satan placed the fossilized remains of the dinosaurs to try to prove god dosnt exist. thankfully these sects are small enough to not be taken serriously, but large enough to prove they arnt all crazy.

 

to fearing death, that is quite untrue. this is easily disproved by the fact that classic judaism had no concept of the afterlife. they beleived when you die, thats it. many old religions had this same concept. others did believe in an afterlife that was much worse than what life gave. such as the ancient greek concept of the underworld.

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rrcanna:

 

i am sorry if my answer was not some philisophicall epiphany. i gave you the answer that first attracted me to christianity when i was a very small boy. probably 5 or so. but did you ever wonder why there are so many old people in church?

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from the cultures of old, back to the days of the cavemen, religion has evolved into what it is today. but what is it that gives these different cultures the desire to bring about religion in the first place? looking at it from a psycological standpoint, is it a side effect of evolved intelegence? or is there truly something more behind it?

 

ive heard many arguments on this. that it stems from gods desire for us to know him, that its mans desire to explain the world around him, that its a side effect of intelegence. but what do you believe?

 

I have a feeling that thre is more to life that meets the eye... whether that be defined as God or some mystical power or mother nature ..whatever. I call it my spiritual side but others may define it diferently.

 

This belief is NOT ..

..because I fear death or want an afterlife.

..because I think society needs something to unify them (although this can be a good thing)

..Or because I need some unproven answer to the origins or life

 

Its just a feeling inside that is not satisfied with just exactly what you can see and touch.

Maybe 'it' is rubbish from a scientific view point but it makes alot of sense to me in my everyday life.

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Moses, for instance, who couldn't find his way out of a dinky-assed little desert about the size of Manhattan, ...

Of course he didn't. He was supposedly 80 years old at that time, he was probably blind as a bat, and no bat-sense.

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rrcanna:

 

i am sorry if my answer was not some philisophicall epiphany. i gave you the answer that first attracted me to christianity when i was a very small boy. probably 5 or so. but did you ever wonder why there are so many old people in church?

:HaHa: That was funny, in a sad kinda way. :HaHa:

 

Moses, for instance, who couldn't find his way out of a dinky-assed little desert about the size of Manhattan, ...

Of course he didn't. He was supposedly 80 years old at that time, he was probably blind as a bat, and no bat-sense.

Hans, you know he was a young pup. Didn't he live to like 900 or something...or was that Noah? :scratch:

 

Okay...120 years old. He was just over the hill a little. :D

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from the cultures of old, back to the days of the cavemen, religion has evolved into what it is today. but what is it that gives these different cultures the desire to bring about religion in the first place?

 

 

The answer is right in front of you. Homo Sapien succeded in the evolution game not by having claws, thick fur, speed, or sharp teeth, but thanks to high brain capacity, and it's development as a social animal.

 

There are a lot of social animals. Wolves, lions, hyenas, primates, and whatnot. Humanity survived in groups. They did not survive as loners.

 

Remember for a social animal, alone = death.

 

Now imagine man, with his higher brain capacity and innate social need, and he's sitting around a campfire while most of his other tribemates are asleep. He's close to the fire, because the darkness surrounding the campsite is full of those who would eat them without the mysterious protection of the fire. So he's sitting there, not really tired yet, and he looks up at the night sky. All those stars.

 

Now as he stares at those stars, do you think he's picturing them as big balls of burning gasses billions of miles away? And that in this place with people, he would look up at those stars and see empty void with no life like him at all? That his sentient species is alone? Of course not! He cannot think that, because alone=death! He's a social animal.

 

If he wonders what the stars are, he's going to think along the lines of what he knows, understands, and is comfortable with. Is it that much of a stretch for him to look at those stars and imagine each of them to be campfires just like the one he's sitting by? Surrounded by spirits or ancestors, just as his own tribemates surround the fire he sits at now? This is a much more comfortable notion than picturing the frightening (for him) possibility that a great black gulf (remembering he understands darkness as being dangerous) seperates his species from any other sentient species that may be out there....but that most of those stars have nothing with any life around them? That would be too terrible to contemplate for a man whose tribe already has to struggle to eke out an existence to continue surviving!

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rrcanna:

 

i am sorry if my answer was not some philisophicall epiphany. i gave you the answer that first attracted me to christianity when i was a very small boy. probably 5 or so. but did you ever wonder why there are so many old people in church?

Hey I thought you told me that you became a christian at the age of 20. Something seems fishy here. :scratch:

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Hans, you know he was a young pup. Didn't he live to like 900 or something...or was that Noah? :scratch:

 

Okay...120 years old. He was just over the hill a little. :D

I'm just pulling this out of the hat, but I think Moses (according to the legend story) was 40 when he killed the Egyptian and had to flee to the desert by himself, and then he got married with this sand-queen and lived there for another 40 years, then came back and did all his magic tricks, and then 40 years again in the desert completely lost of directions. So, totally 120 years. Impressive.

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from the cultures of old, back to the days of the cavemen, religion has evolved into what it is today. but what is it that gives these different cultures the desire to bring about religion in the first place?

 

 

The answer is right in front of you. Homo Sapien succeded in the evolution game not by having claws, thick fur, speed, or sharp teeth, but thanks to high brain capacity, and it's development as a social animal.

 

There are a lot of social animals. Wolves, lions, hyenas, primates, and whatnot. Humanity survived in groups. They did not survive as loners.

 

Remember for a social animal, alone = death.

 

Now imagine man, with his higher brain capacity and innate social need, and he's sitting around a campfire while most of his other tribemates are asleep. He's close to the fire, because the darkness surrounding the campsite is full of those who would eat them without the mysterious protection of the fire. So he's sitting there, not really tired yet, and he looks up at the night sky. All those stars.

 

Now as he stares at those stars, do you think he's picturing them as big balls of burning gasses billions of miles away? And that in this place with people, he would look up at those stars and see empty void with no life like him at all? That his sentient species is alone? Of course not! He cannot think that, because alone=death! He's a social animal.

 

If he wonders what the stars are, he's going to think along the lines of what he knows, understands, and is comfortable with. Is it that much of a stretch for him to look at those stars and imagine each of them to be campfires just like the one he's sitting by? Surrounded by spirits or ancestors, just as his own tribemates surround the fire he sits at now? This is a much more comfortable notion than picturing the frightening (for him) possibility that a great black gulf (remembering he understands darkness as being dangerous) seperates his species from any other sentient species that may be out there....but that most of those stars have nothing with any life around them? That would be too terrible to contemplate for a man whose tribe already has to struggle to eke out an existence to continue surviving!

 

 

so out of fear, and to explain what they couldent explain. ok that works. so what about my second question?

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so the general consensus said that religion was formed to explain what people saw as unexplainable.

so why do people continue to reject science in favor of spiritual belief? some sects of chrisitianity still believe that evolution is false and that satan placed the fossilized remains of the dinosaurs to try to prove god dosnt exist. thankfully these sects are small enough to not be taken serriously, but large enough to prove they arnt all crazy.

Yes, religion was/is a way to explain the unexplainable, but more specifically it is Mythology that was created for this purpose. Religion is more the system which becomes the repository of mythological knowledge. Myth is really a language. Without the language of science, myth was a way for man to talk about the world. Language defines everything for us. Without language, we have a blob of “something” that has no meaning, no context, no framework for understanding it and relating to it.

 

So to address your question why then does myth persist when we now have the language of science to talk about the natural world? Do you speak multiple languages? Which is the easiest language for you to communicate in? See my point?

 

Culture teaches us to perceive the world in a certain language, and when you have ignorance of the language of science, it’s terms, it usage, its concepts, it sounds like so much “gibberish” to you. So why do you have groups like those in Kansas who are fighting to keep science out of the classroom and replace it with mythology? They are protecting the purity of their language, and their language is how they frame the understanding of themselves, their culture, and the world around them. Whether right or wrong, it is perceived by them as a threat to them for this reason.

 

 

 

Now imagine man, with his higher brain capacity and innate social need, and he's sitting around a campfire while most of his other tribemates are asleep. He's close to the fire, because the darkness surrounding the campsite is full of those who would eat them without the mysterious protection of the fire. So he's sitting there, not really tired yet, and he looks up at the night sky. All those stars.

 

Now as he stares at those stars, do you think he's picturing them as big balls of burning gasses billions of miles away? And that in this place with people, he would look up at those stars and see empty void with no life like him at all? That his sentient species is alone? Of course not! He cannot think that, because alone=death! He's a social animal.

 

If he wonders what the stars are, he's going to think along the lines of what he knows, understands, and is comfortable with. Is it that much of a stretch for him to look at those stars and imagine each of them to be campfires just like the one he's sitting by? Surrounded by spirits or ancestors, just as his own tribemates surround the fire he sits at now? This is a much more comfortable notion than picturing the frightening (for him) possibility that a great black gulf (remembering he understands darkness as being dangerous) seperates his species from any other sentient species that may be out there....but that most of those stars have nothing with any life around them? That would be too terrible to contemplate for a man whose tribe already has to struggle to eke out an existence to continue surviving!

I really like this image a great deal! I’m going to run with this and throw out some other ideas on this:

 

As he looked up at the stars and imagined distant campfires in the heavens, he wondered as to who these tribes might be and what they were like. Were they friendly? Were they a threat? How can he talk to them? Then from this the events in his world became somehow tied to these mysterious tribes in the sky with their campfires, and he begins to see mystical connections from them to his world here, since he could after all see them, they likewise could see him!!

 

So now a language is born to relate to the world around him, to discuss with others his perceptions. Then those perceptions become reality to them, influencing their actions, their values, the relations with one another, and the stories are shared and passed on for others to talk about the world and to be a part of their society.

 

As the societies evolved into agricultural societies and the complexity of culture evolved, the people in the sky became figures of departed leaders, who later became regional gods, who later became a global god, who later became a human in the person of Jesus, who united the earth tribes with one language and bridged the gap between the sky tribes and the earth tribes, bringing all the tribes of the whole universe into one tribe.

 

Then came another language system with science, and messed it all up! Now the struggle is to make the language of science and the language of myth work to keep the heavens and earth united, and the language that influences social values, traditions, sense of identity, etc, alive and vital in the human's understanding of his world of reality born through the language of myth.

 

Wow, I’ll bet that dude who first looked up and wondered, had no idea what would become of that thought!!! This was the real Adam. :grin:

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so the general consensus said that religion was formed to explain what people saw as unexplainable.

so why do people continue to reject science in favor of spiritual belief? some sects of chrisitianity still believe that evolution is false and that satan placed the fossilized remains of the dinosaurs to try to prove god dosnt exist. thankfully these sects are small enough to not be taken serriously, but large enough to prove they arnt all crazy.

 

Not sure about the 'not crazy' part there...lol. Also, I'm not sure why you are focusing on these small sects...they are few and far between.

 

Science vs. Spiritual Belief? My answer would be that science doesn't explain 'everything'...and there is still enough that science can't answer that must be answered in other ways...enter mythology/religion/spirituality. I don't see much in the way of 'rejecting' science per se, but I do see a lot of trying to consolidate the two to work in harmony. (not an easy feat but I've seen it be done quite well by some)

 

Those who flat out 'reject' answers that science DOES give...well, I just shake my head at them... :shrug: ...but it's the things that science has yet to answer that I am intrigued with....these are the things a spiritual pursuit is made of.

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I think there is alot of truth in every post on this thread regarding the origins of religion (ie, explanation of the unknown, security, fear, etc.), but I really think that the primary function of religion is for social identification... individuals identifying with the larger group for favors and access to general resources.

 

In the ancient world, religious "cults" were largely nationalistic. A royal, priestly caste typically controlled the cult. Individuals in the cult gave a tithe of their "fruits" to the priest, who then "redistributed" it according to a "divine mandate" that the priests had actually made up to make themselves more powerful.

 

A tidbit from my personal experience: When I "de-converted," my mom's loudest complaint wasn't that I was "going to hell" or anything like that. She said "I'm afraid becaue you're not one of us."

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