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Do religions evolve?

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posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 11:58 PM
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A thought entered my mind during one of posts. I inadvertently suggested that, like cultures, religions evolve. With the recent violence over the Danish cartoons that many Muslims found to be extremely offensive, I found myself asking whether the rioting, destruction of property, threat to life and generally over-aggressive and provocative behavior was not indicative of religious evolution.

I have not thoroughly researched this topic or concept as of yet, however I can not help but note that many older religions went through periods in their development of extreme violence and and war; I off-hand think of the Old Testament and the Jews, the many wars depicted in early Hindu writings, the often bloody history of the Christian Church. I ask whether these religions did not evolve over time? I must also ask whether the codes of behavior in their religious doctrine have not shaped their history and, ultimately, their present? Is an evolutionary time-line of periodic violence and aggression a necessary or common aspect of any religion? Is Islam developing according to some sort of evolution of faith.

Like other religions, will Islam develop a centralized religious body that can maintain doctrinal authority throughout the Islam world without the sectarian strife and violence that we have witnessed? Is such collectivization of religious knowledge part of a religions organizational development or do religions that do not develop a centralized "authority" ultimately fail through evolutionary attrition?

[edit on 2/11/2006 by benevolent tyrant]

[edit on 2/11/2006 by benevolent tyrant]




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