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Which came first? Civilization or Religion?

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posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 05:42 PM
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This may have been addressed previously. If so, I apologize.

Assuming not or not recently, then to my point.

I've always held the view that one of the greatest contributions from religion was their moral code. In the case of Western civilization, the Judeo-Christian moral code.

Rules of conduct fairly loose yet with definite limits which allow co-operation between people that permitted a society to develop.

I really had no factual basis for that believe. More intuitive than anything. Is there evidence to back this belief up or am I wrong?




posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

The Judeo-Christian moral code actually comes from Hammurabi which was rooted in more Babylonian/Sumerian religious principles.

As far as what came first, it would depend on what you define as "religion" and "civilization". People looked at the stars and told stories about them during the hunter/gatherer days so you could say those are examples of rudimentary religion and civilization coexisting. They both became more organized alongside each other. As people started making settlements, temples started being built. Religion is so entwined with the growth of civilization that it's difficult to look at them as mutually exclusive in most cultures.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 05:55 PM
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I think as soon as people were able to wonder, they started to ask "why" which led to spirituality and religiousity. I believe we were created to have that natural curiosity and propensity toward the spiritual, but then, I'm a believer. I'm sure an atheist would have the inverse opinion.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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Wouldn't and couldn't have said it better myself. That's exactly what was at the tip of my tongue just waiting for someone to say it.

But I do think that civilization may have been pretty messy without religion. During its infancy at least. Not impossible, but even a leader claiming to be more powerful than any man would be the pilot program of a religion. Without that person, the good and bad may never coalesce into a functioning society. Maybe never...who knows

a reply to: Cuervo




posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Cuervo

I've also considered the priest having been given food and survival means had the time and latitude to spend more time "looking at the stars and wondering'-the genus of science?- than the average dude who was far more concerned with immediate survival.

The original con job or having establish worth via insights shared with others. A mixture of both?



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

In some lot of cultures, the shaman type was usually marked out in some way as being different. Sometimes, that could mean physically impaired. So a job as the shaman might actually have been a life-saver for some unfortunate member of the tribe who would otherwise not have been able to support themselves.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:09 PM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: Cuervo

I've also considered the priest having been given food and survival means had the time and latitude to spend more time "looking at the stars and wondering'-the genus of science?- than the average dude who was far more concerned with immediate survival.

The original con job or having establish worth via insights shared with others. A mixture of both?



The scientific mind and the spiritual mind are very similar. They both are looking for answers and, at one time, religion and science were indistinguishable. It wasn't until theocratic dogma developed on one end and the scientific method developed on the other end that we got the two concepts butting heads.

At their core, science and spirituality are both ways of observing our universe.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:12 PM
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a reply to: Cuervo

Also, I was aware that there isn't much original in Christianity, other than the obvious.

Still, the moral code aspect of Religion, or at least the more modern religions, in the case of the "Ten Commandments" predate Christianity by quite a bit. A pretty definitive articulation all at once...

Is that moral code also derived from earlier Religions?

Bah, that raises the question should this thread say moral code or Civilization rather than Religion or Civilization? Can religion and morals be separated when it comes to civilization?

I'm getting a headache....


edit on 22-2-2015 by nwtrucker because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

I've always held the view that one of the greatest contributions from religion was their moral code. In the case of Western civilization, the Judeo-Christian moral code.


“If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: 'Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.' Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.”
― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

"Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing [in the ten commandments] about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide? Or is it too exactingly “in context” to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?"
― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great
edit on 22-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I'm sure an atheist would have the inverse opinion.

Actually I agreed with your entire post.

*Minus what you meant by "created"
edit on 22-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:17 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

Try do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is a single simple precept that is nearly universal across all faiths and philosophies.

If you follow that your grand statement above is unnecessary. And yes, this statement is found in Christianity, too.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:19 PM
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originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
a reply to: ketsuko

I'm sure an atheist would have the inverse opinion.

Actually I agreed with your entire post.

*Minus what you meant by "created"


Which is precisely what I meant.

You believe man created religion. I believe we were created to have religion.

That statement says nothing about how I believe we arose as a species, but I can easily believe our development was guided and that the need to believe is more or less universal. Even if you don't believe in faith, you have something you will believe in with a similar fervor. I've seen it in most every person I've ever met.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

How are you defining religion? I would define it as the performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity/deities.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:24 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

For sure. Golden Rule [and the Silver Rule] is a moral gem. It however didn't originate from Judeo-Christianity nor is it dependent on religion. So while I agree with you that it's a philosophy to cherish, found throughout religions, it's not really supporting the OPs premise.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:24 PM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: Cuervo

...
Still, the moral code aspect of Religion, or at least the more modern religions, in the case of the "Ten Commandments" predate Christianity by quite a bit. A pretty definitive articulation all at once...

....


Really? How far back does the first of the Ten Commandments date? Humans (ie. Homo sapiens) have existed for about 200,000 years.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:26 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

Considering the level of conflict that existed in the day, not harming anything or anyone would have led to a quick end to those concepts. Not very workable.

Base survival tends to trump civilized morals...



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:28 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

You believe man created religion.


I definitely do, yes.

Just as you no doubt share that sentiment on many religions yourself.


but I can easily believe our development was guided

I am open to that. It's possible. I don't know. Belief in that idea can be separate from belief in any religious doctrine though.


and that the need to believe is more or less universal.

No disagreement there, yet the amount of belief is not in of itself evidence for its objective truthfulness.


Even if you don't believe in faith, you have something you will believe in with a similar fervor.

That's more or less been my experience.
edit on 22-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:29 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine

I didn't say the Ten Commandment were first, I said they pre-dated Christianity. That version seems to have been 'published' all at once.

I assume that there were previous Moral Codes to the Ten Commandments as there were previous Religions.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:30 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Considering the level of conflict that existed in the day

Isn't it interesting how so much of the 'moral code' is strictly contextual to those times yet supposedly coming from an omniscient and omnibenevolent god? I think it's quite telling.
edit on 22-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

It's not a premise, per say, more of a question.

I took a smoke break and thought this out a bit more.

As Religion has diminished in the west, I have also observed a definite drop in morals at all levels of society.

This is empirical and the correlation is hard to argue. Secularism and it's rise is also part of this observation. That's where this question comes up.

In general, moral codes seem to have their genus in religion. I care not which came first the chicken or the egg.




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