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the origins of religion

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posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 07:35 AM
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There are so much things that we can learn by studying the transition from the paleolithic to the neolithic. And one of those things is the emergence of religion. Agriculture and livestock breeding really changed everything about how humans lived and about how they saw themselves and the world around them, and their place in that world. We can't really understand the world in which we live today if we don't understand what happened around 12k years ago.

According to palaeoanthropology, anatomically modern humans emerged 200k years ago and modern human behavior around 50k years ago. Which means that to this day, our species has lived outside of civilization for 95% of its existence. And during that time, humans have lived integrated into Nature. And as such, humans didn't feel the need to invent unseen entities, because they already felt that they were part of something bigger than them, part of a system that treated them in no different way that it treated the game that they hunted. Nature was untouched and thus could provide for everything that humans needed. it was seen as a lush and mysterious caring Mother. Humans didn't have the knowledge to transform their surroundings but also they didn't feel the need to, as they were nomad hunter-gatherers.

Agriculture changed all of that. It created a physical and symbolic distance between humans and nature. A physical distance because as humans became sedentary, they started to transform their immediate surrounding, they started to transform nature. Sedentarization made them build houses and roads and small villages, etc.. And it created a symbolic distance between them and nature because humans started to feel more and more different, more unique, more isolated from nature. They started to master nature, they domesticated plants and animals and those became resources to be manipulated and harvested. Humans felt as if they had been planted there, they felt so different as if they were not part of this whole. And they started to invent invisible entities to which they could connect to, entities that could give a meaning to their situation, that could symbolize what they had lost in the transition.

All religions today try to convey this symbolic meaning : that we are not alone and isolated, that all of this is not meaningless, that we are part of the whole, that there is a plan for us, etc.. Even religions that have multiple gods, because in the end it's the same symbolism. Paleolithic men didn't need this symbolism, because it was all over the place, and they were living it thus they didn't need to intellectualize it, they didn't need a system of ideas to represent it. Nature was god and god was nature, and they had a direct relationship with it. With civilization, we made a difference between what is sacred and what is not, while before civilization they didn't need to make this distinction, as everything they did in their daily life was sacral because it was a direct relation to mother nature, or god as we would say today.

There are many other things that we can learn from the transition to the neolithic, as it gave rise to sedentarization, inequalities, patriarchate, militarization, and so on.

Also, I made this thread some time ago to talk about a theory that I had that says that the story of Adam and Eve is actually a metaphor to symbolize this transition from the paleolithic to the neolithic www.abovetopsecret.com...

Also this thread about inequalities in which I talk about the fact that our inequality-meter has been fine-tuned by many millennia of negligible levels of inequalities www.abovetopsecret.com...




posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 08:06 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

I believe you bring up some interesting considerations, certainly, understanding our past, our history is enormously important. However, as you know, a substantial piece of the written word which was in the great library created by Alexander was lost tragically forever due to an unfortunate fire.....losing volumes of early history. Today we rely heavily on archeology to help fill in the many missing pieces.

Now back to the origin of religion. Remember, almost all religions were fear-based. The night skies were full of wonderous unimaginable sightings of comets, meteors, eclipses, shooting stars....etc. Things they did not understand. Often when some of these events took place, significant tragedies took place (you are spot on about the agriculture aspect) and droughts, floods, insects nearly destroyed them. Hence, these celestial events were perceived to be acts by a higher power, a god.

So the evolution of early religion was fear based, praying to the god of water, god of thunder, god of prosperity, god of the sun and the celestial bodies that they later translated into the zodiac like Orions belt.

Slowly over time, the powerful ruled, and forced their belief systems on their citizens and death would be the punishment if you did not believe. Any first time event, such as a grass fire, was a message from god showing he disapproved of the actions of his children.

So a a rudimentary beginning, you can see how religion evolved. Myths, passed down through centuries, forced upon an uneducated populace...passed down again and again. And the signs from the sky, floods, lightning, thunder, the wonders of the sky left them to believe that the Almighty lived in the heavens above. Sacrifices needed to be made to keep them happy, to prosper their agriculture and their strength as one tribe against another.

I will stop here.....but I think you can see how the origins began....and matriculated over time by the ruling power of the day to force the populace to believe and accept these myths.

Peace

KD



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 08:10 AM
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If God didn't exist it would become necessary to invent him.

Iow, replay the control freak tapes of yar.

Around the village there rose such a clamour, someone was claiming they had magic power, to inflict harm from invisible beings, if you don't do exactly as they scream.

Religious control 101.
edit on 5-9-2016 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 08:18 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn
And as such, humans didn't feel the need to invent unseen entities, because they already felt that they were part of something bigger than them, part of a system that treated them in no different way that it treated the game that they hunted.

You don't think they would have seen spiritual entities in or governing the game they were hunting?
Isn't that one of the theories about palaeolithic art, that the hunters were trying to engage with such entities, perhaps as part of pre-hunting cermonies? "Oh Sacred Elk, we need food, please let us have one of your children". Or something like that.
Also the needs of the hunter would have been one good reason for venerating the light-giving moon, one of the oldest of the cults.


edit on 5-9-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 08:20 AM
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It has been said that religion exists so men who were/are too lazy to work could still make a living. In this context, religion is nothing but a con job.

Whether this is true or not I couldn't say, but it does make a certain sense.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 08:55 AM
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Or perhaps much of what we've been taught about history and religion is wrong.

I have an innate sense of awe and reverence, so it isn't inconceivable to me that God has always been a part of human thought. How would we know, anyway?
edit on 5-9-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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"Religion™ is for folks afraid of Hell, "Spirituality" is for folks who've already been..." The Great Sioux Nation



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

So, why do aboriginal tribes have gods? How do you know they didn't believe in gods, spirits or other invisible entities before written records were kept?



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

early humans were to concerned with how to take that big mammoth down for dinner or, how to escape that sabre tooth tiger.
as people progressed and times became easier, people had more spare time, and time to kill, gather the kids around while you make supper and i'll tell the story of horus and set and what happens to the sun at night.
different people and tribes had their own stories and versions, which was cool, for a while.
enter the romans, they had a habit of conquering tribes whacking the taxes up but, allowed these tribes to keep their old idols, kind of.
here are some examples, they shared them.
the jews only had one god while hindus a tonne, which became tricky choices for rome, they weren't gonna pray to an elephant so left india alone and, took a version of judaism, christianity, and the rest is history.


All religions today try to convey this symbolic meaning : that we are not alone and isolated, that all of this is not meaningless, that we are part of the whole, that there is a plan for us

not necessarily, buddhism has no god figure.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 12:00 PM
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Gods have been part of humans life before learning to master there surroundings. Over simplified but you still make some valid points.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn

Cool! So, Zombie-Aliens did not created the world... Uh, my kid will be disappointed.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 01:13 PM
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Refer to the Venus of Willendorf (I think I spelled it correctly), which is of the paleolithic era. Religion has always been around in some form since the dawn of man.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn

People work better together when everyone believes the same thing.

Religion was developed to promote cooperation in social groups.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 03:19 PM
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Jesus said that those conscious of their spiritual need would be happy.

A lot of people are not conscious of the need for the spiritual. It is as intimate a part of life as is eating and breathing and drinking.

If you one day realize the need you have of your spirituality, your eyes will open and you will become happy. Because God feeds the need of all those searching to quench their hunger for spiritual truth and right.
edit on 5-9-2016 by GailNot because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 03:28 PM
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originally posted by: GailNot
Because God feeds the need of all those searching to quench their hunger for spiritual truth and right.

Yet he doesn't feel the need to quench the actual hunger of millions of people, or the agony of rape, murder or torture suffered by millions. Or defend those who cannot defend themselves.

Nope. He's happy to give you the heavenly, "thumbs up", for being....you!

Awww. What a gosh darn swell feller.

edit on 5-9-2016 by noonebutme because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 04:04 PM
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a reply to: noonebutme

He does feel the need to do so. That is why he is getting rid of human rule and everyone that refuse to obey him.

He has been patient, but his patience will come to an end and he will correct things.

If you were to seek for truth you would know this.

It isn't his fault people have turned their face from him and reject his just and correct way of doing things.

He has allowed human rule for a time, in his wisdom to show people what the world would be like by rejecting him. It isn't his fault they did it.

And when he fixes things it will be complete and total.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 04:29 PM
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originally posted by: stinkelbaum
a reply to: gosseyn

not necessarily, buddhism has no god figure.

It has always seemed to me that Buddhism is more philosophical, than religious. That may be due to my naivete regarding Buddhism, as I'm not familiar with their many Gods and such, but from the writings I have read, it seems Buddhism gives one more to ponder and think about than something to ' believe' in and worship. Anyone that knows more about it may correct me, please.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 04:31 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn

Agricultural revolution are generally seen as the onset of religions but there is evidence that there were religious beliefs in hunter-gatherer people. There are also beliefs in the present hunter-gatherers. Although, since there were much less free time and many threats in that life style as you said, it is far from deep religion with lots of rules, more like shamanic ideas and rituals.

There is also the issue of the Gobekli Tepe site in Turkey (10-8 millennium BC). It could only mean that agriculture revolution happened earlier than previously thought but if those were built by hunter-gatherers as many believe, then beliefs were very important to them.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 04:57 PM
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originally posted by: GailNot
a reply to: noonebutme

He does feel the need to do so. That is why he is getting rid of human rule and everyone that refuse to obey him.

He has been patient, but his patience will come to an end and he will correct things.

If you were to seek for truth you would know this.

It isn't his fault people have turned their face from him and reject his just and correct way of doing things.

He has allowed human rule for a time, in his wisdom to show people what the world would be like by rejecting him. It isn't his fault they did it.

And when he fixes things it will be complete and total.


Would you agree that God is the creator? Would you also agree that God is infallible, and perfect? Would you agree that God and sin cannot coexist in the same environment, with sin being abhorrent to God? So, therefore, if God is an infallible creator, then this creation IS perfect. It is EXACTLY as GOD wished it to be, and it is only when humans attempt to 'judge' it and each other that WE come into ideas such as sin and imperfection. You keep saying, "it isn't his fault...for such and such" like you believe he needs you to defend him, but, in reality, there is no such fault to be had by God or anyone else, because no matter how bad you, or anyone, may feel that the creation has become(which, btw, you most likely only are aware of a tiny portion of it anyway), it came from God, IT is all Gods creation, and since GOD can do nothing wrong, nor make errors, it always has been, and will be, perfect. Even the imperfections you see, or believe in, are perfect, and come from the same creator. Satan, sin, hell, diarrhea, death, sickness, Trump...all creations from His hands, and hence, perfect. Man, free will notwithstanding, cannot supersede this simple truth, can he? You have lived in perfection all along, but were maybe too busy judging it to notice (which, by the way, is also perfect, so no worries, mate!) You probably didn't expect perfection to look like this, did ya? He works in mysterious ways...who are we to judge?



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:35 PM
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a reply to: eatbliss

That's some pretty twisted thinking there.

Like God himself said:

"The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness who is never unjust; Righteous and upright is he. They are the ones who have acted corruptly. They are not his children, the defect is their own. They are a crooked and twisted generation!" - Deuteronomy 32:4, 5.

The defect is their own. It isn't God's. So while yes he is perfect and didn't create anything imperfect, when the man sinned he became imperfect. When Satan sinned he became imperfect.

So they chose imperfection by themselves. God did not do it. He allowed it because he gives us free-will.

And he has chosen to allow the rebellious course of angels and man for a certain time limit. It will not always be so. He will do away with all badness and restore mankind to perfection even as he has promised.

edit on 5-9-2016 by GailNot because: (no reason given)



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