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When Did Religion Start?

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posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 07:30 AM
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After reading many threads, posts, forums, comments and talking with many different people from many different places and religious backgrounds, I have noticed a strange thing, people really think religion began with Judeo/Christianity and that it was "founded" to keep the masses in fear and subjection.

But let's take a moment and consider what religion really is...

The definition of religion


n. noun
1: Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
2: A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
3:The life or condition of a person in a religious order.


And everyone's favorite Wikipedia...

Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.[note 1] Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle.


That is why we call science a religion, by the pure definition of religion. Look at the meaning, an ORGANIZED collection of beliefs, cultural systems and world views to EXPLAIN what? The order of existence. Yes, the world view that evolution explains our existence and then organizes a collection of belief surrounding evolution makes it a religion, by pure definition.

Evolution is a world view...so what is a world view?


1:The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
2:A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.


As per the definition or POWERS regarded as the creator Evolution holds that natural power created and governs the universe. So in the definition of religion, it does not rely solely on the supernatural.

Putting that aside, then let's think about when religion started. As many people believe Christianity "started" the whole mess, they aren't looking into the entire world history of religiosity. So let's go through some of the ancient ones...

Zoroastrianism and the Avestas
Rig Vedas
Gobekli Tepe
Canaanite Religion
Egyptian Religion

These religions are older than Christianity, and by no means is this an exhaustive list. But I hear so many times "organized religion", all religions are organized. And I hear "the founders of organized religion". Who were the founders of the Vedic Age before Hinduism?

We know Zarathustra may have been a "founder" but what did he invent? He merely organized monotheism from the current world views of his day, as all "founders" have done. But everyone of you has a religion, because you have organized a world view to interpret your world. And I find it humorous that people say "I have no world view", well, if you come to post your ideas to explain your collection of belief, then you do have a world view. I don't think many people really understand the definition of religion or world view. Yes, Richard Dawkins, by pure definition of religion and world view, has a religion. He organized his collection of thoughts to explain life. That's religion.

While many people believe a religion must have symbols to be a religion, not all religions have symbols, some symbols are merely borrowed and many symbols don't have the same meaning. For instance, the Schwasticka. The Nazis borrowed a symbol and gave new meaning to it. The Star of David is also a borrowed symbol with a new meaning.

People have then said that "this religion is really that one because of the symbols". But if you look at the meaning of symbolism, then you understand that symbols only hold meaning to the person giving meaning to it. We would never say the Nazis were Hindu or Navajo because of the schwasticka, so why then do that to other religions?

Does science need symbols to be a religion? Yes, the elemental chart of chemicals contain symbols. While you say that is merely assigning a symbol to a natural object, the schwasticka is a symbol of the sun. Either apply the concept broadly or not at all. You can't decide the definition is applicable for one and then dismiss the concept for another, that is not being intellectually honest.

But why the assumption of Christianity as the beginning of organized religion, when it clearly is not? And as far as controlling the masses, every culture had organized religion. Most cultures even had state religions. This was true under Egypt, among the Vikings, Greece, Persia, China, the Mayans, the Aztecs, Rapa Nui, Bora Bora and many others. When a religion becomes the dominant religion in a state, or an organized political area, then it is a state religion. Islam is a state religion, Judaism is a quasi-state religion only within Israel.

The Vatican City is the only real state religion, because its state is the papacy government, and it is a country on its own.

So while you may disagree with my thread, what you are really doing is challenging the definition of religion and world view and denying that religion existed long before Christianity. So let's talk about how ancient religions changed the world. Be the grown up intellectual you claim to be and really invest your mind into looking beyond criticism of just one religion. Be objective just for a moment.




edit on 11/5/2013 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)
edit on 11/5/2013 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 07:39 AM
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When did religion start?

I think it has always been there. From the first campfires to the modern era.

Organized Religion is another control used by governments to manipulate the masses just like patriotism. If we can't get you waving a flag to rally around a cause, then we'll get you to wave a Bible and rally around that same cause.

God and Country

For some its a double whammy…



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 07:49 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


You have a point about symbolism, but the symbols in science are not as deeply woven as they are with religions.

The huge difference between religion and science, is that science questions existence & will not stop until the answers are found, but understands that we will have different ideas about this, and the ideas are fluid because its constant change. Unlike religion, that thinks its an absolute definite & has no reason to question its self & looks down on people who don't hold these same beliefs.

By the way, its rare I S&F this forum subject, nicely wrote and thought about.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 07:49 AM
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intrptr
When did religion start?

I think it has always been there. From the first campfires to the modern era.

Organized Religion is another control used by governments to manipulate the masses just like patriotism. If we can't get you waving a flag to rally around a cause, then we'll get you to wave a Bible and rally around that same cause.

God and Country

For some its a double whammy…


To which organized religion are you referring?

Be objective for a moment, and tell me, didn't the Vikings also do the same thing? You have still held to the view it's Christianity that does this without looking at history. Please refer to history.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 07:53 AM
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n00bUK
reply to post by WarminIndy
 


You have a point about symbolism, but the symbols in science are not as deeply woven as they are with religions.

The huge difference between religion and science, is that science questions existence & will not stop until the answers are found, but understands that we will have different ideas about this, and the ideas are fluid because its constant change. Unlike religion, that thinks its an absolute definite & has no reason to question its self & looks down on people who don't hold these same beliefs.

By the way, its rare I S&F this forum subject, nicely wrote and thought about.


Thank you. I have studied Comparative Religion and even though I am a Christian, I can look past that to see other cultures and religions.

Science is an evolving religion. It seeks new interpretations to explain existence. All religion has evolved from something prior, even Christianity. Please refer back to the definitions, as they are not mine. I am a Christian, but have not tried to vaunt a Christian agenda, I merely want people to take an objective view of history and religion.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


I would agree with you up until you make it all about Christianity again with that obvious jab at nationalism at the end.

Personally, I think mankind in general has a need to believe in something. Which for me is one of the reasons that I argue for a belief in a higher power. If our natural state is atheism, there would be much less belief in the world and much less of an inner need to believe.

Do the animals, even the higher ones, spend any time worrying about the "why" of everything like humans do?



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:14 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


The suggestion that Christianity is the founding religion would come from the theology that Jesus was the creator (as found in verses from Hebrews and John) and as the theology goes of no one seeing the Father, then that means Jesus in his pre-incarnate form was the one who was walking with Adam and Eve in Eden. Thus, the first people worshiped Jesus (i.e Christianity).

Now if we include some hard evidence for a global flood we get a strong support for supernatural creation (as it would not give enough time for any hoped for evolution to occur) and in support of Genesis as fact not copied myth from the Babylonian or neo-Assyrian religions.

Genesis 7-8 talks of a global flood, dated Biblically to occurred around 2500BCE. Is there any evidence for this event? 95% of all fossils are marine invertebrates occurring throughout ever layer and all over the continental landmasses. {John Morris, The Young Earth (Colorado Springs: Master Books, 1994). p.70. Data by Paleontologist Kurt Wise.}

Marine fossils are found on the highest mountain ranges in the world like the Himalayas, so how did they get there? The father of modern geology, Nicolas Steno, understood the strata layers formed by a marine deluge that covered the whole Earth with scripture and nature in agreement. {Nicolas Steno: Biography and Original Papers of a 17th Century Scientist, (Heidelberg: Springer, 2013). pp.654-6.}

The Cretaceous layer extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs is even recognised by competing explanations, like meteorite impact, to produce marine sediments where water that spanned the whole Earth was needed to create the observed tell-tale calcium carbonate chalk layer from ocean algal blooms. {P. I. Premovic, "Distal "Impact" Layers and Global Acidification of Ocean Water at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary (Kpb)," Geochemistry International 49, no. 1 (January 2011). p.60-2; L. Pomar and P. Hallock, "Carbonate Factories: A Conundrum in Sedimentary Geology," Earth-Science Reviews 87, no. 3–4 (March 2008). pp.134-49, 154-9, 162.}

All the layers below this extinction-level events are likewise water deposited and laced with marine fossils, thus a global flood is established inorder to create the observed hard evidence of the fossils, where they are located and the 'chalk' layer which is only created in water and is the only universal layer across the Earth.

Dating the Earth
We'll look at a fairly unbiased indicator to calculate earth ages, nitrogen from the atmosphere being exposed to cosmic rays created radioactive carbon14 and nitrogen filling up in clays, both occur at sustained rates free of fluctuations.

Nitrogen is absorbed by clays and various rocks so if life evolved over millions or billions of years on Earth, then this essential building block of life, making up about 78% of the atmosphere should be found full up in those absorbing sediments, these filled sediments have never found.

"If there ever was a primitive soup, then we would expect to find at least somewhere on this planet either massive sediments containing enormous amounts of the various nitrogenous organic compounds...In fact no such materials have been found anywhere on earth. Indeed to the contrary, the very oldest sediments...are extremely short of nitrogen"
(J. Brooks, and Shaw, G., Origin and Development of Living Systems (New York: Academic Press, 1973). p.359).


The source of radioactive carbon14 is cosmic waves from the sun striking atmospheric nitrogen. Libby, the creator of the carbon14 dating method in 1952 said it would take twenty to thirty thousand years for the carbon14 production rate to reach equilibrium considering its half-life breakdown rate. {Willard F. Libby, Radiocarbon Dating (Chicago: University of Chiicago Press, 1952). pp.4-9.}

He ignored his measurements indicating that equilibrium had not been reached yet assuming Earth's atmosphere is billions of years old already. Stansfield, in 1977 calculated the production rate exceeding the decay rate still by 30%.

"It now appears that the C14 decay rate in living organisms is about 30 per cent less that its production rate in the upper atmosphere"
William D. Stansfield, Science of Evolution (New York: Macmillian Publishing Co, 1977). p.83.


These findings perfectly explain why certain clay sediments aren't full up with nitrogen already, compresses all of Earth's history into a time period of less than 20-30 thousand years and is thus supports Biblical creationist time frames solely.

At this stage we have a global flood and all life (including all the strata layer) having to fit into a time period of less than 20k years to fit observation. When understanding any religion these have to be taken into account and explained (I could add many others but will try to keep the convo free from too much complication).
---------------
Now where do we proceed from here. I would like to see your thoughts on how you frame religion in light of a necessary global flood and young earth ages which the unbiased measures forces one to do (radio-active dating for examples contains lots of assumptions of things that are unknown and can not be included as reliable indicators).

I could add other evidence into the mix like evidence for the resurrection, that Jesus is still active performing miracles today (from scholarly sources) or for supernatural creation, which would then force you to frame religion in light of having to have a supernatural being create the universe and life and that Jesus and shown himself to be capable of supernatural acts. Once that evidence is logically pursued then much of your assumptions against Christianity disappears.

How do you frame religion in light of a global extinction level flood and young earth age...what does this mean for you understanding of the originating religion?



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


I think we are so removed from ancient mankind that today the things he marvelled at and took note of we either can't see because of light pollution or our concrete cities have taken from our everyday world so much of nature that we maybe don't connect with it as man once did. If you ask most people what they think of nature they invariably only consider an actual item such as a tree or dolphin, but they do not usually consider a spiritual side to natural things, which IMHO creates a huge gulf between their views and those held in today's religion's idea of spirituality and life.

If you look at ancient cultures that are far removed from 'civilisation' and have maintained their isolation yhou seem to find the Shaman. RT today is doing a lovely documentary of a lake with spiritual qualities that a Scientist has found is making his re-examine this views on this relationship between man and his environment. I would recommend it to you if you can get RT.

What I find interesting though about religion is the Priesthood because apparently this role developed as soon as a priest could be financially supported within the community. When you look at the role of groups such as
Druids etc these people were healers and arbiters according to several talks I have attended. They were the men who carried the measuring rod with them. This was to divide out the land for each family so they had 3 runs to cultivate and provide for themselves and their community. One of the reasons they 'had to go' was that they saw land as something owned by all but the Church saw land ownership as power and grabbed as much as it could.

When one considers that Jesus supposedly taught the disciples to heal and then one looks at the men in frocks of today and their lack of healing power, I think the lack of this ability or to work any form of miracles says it all about the state of the Priesthood we have had take good care of itself at our expense throughout the last couple of thousand years.

I also think that what ancient man believed in was a very synergistic relationship between the heavens and the earth and everything upon and in it on one side and well thought out deities on the other. He also saw individual characterists within men and women and the natural world and included both men and women on an equal basis, which I think shows a wiser and more balanced view of life than the Catholic Church hjas ever achieved.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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My view is, when we started to think instead of just surviving and basic routines


When a man had no understanding why something has happened, lightning, thunder or even a rock which might have dropped to the head, we started to believe in something greater and more powerful than us. We needed an explanation to a question WHY ?

This same reason apply to science too and why science could be thought as a religion as they seek answers to very same question.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:25 AM
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Well I'm sure religion has been around ever since we humans have been around basically. Maybe not in our earliest of years, but eventually people began looking around and wondering what exactly is this place, and why we're here.

I believe religion was mostly influenced by the cosmos. People began looking up at the stars for guidance, and ancient people tracked the stars quite closely. The stars influenced us so much because we relied on it. Mostly because we needed them to keep track of time. We needed to know when and when not to plant crops, and when to harvest them. So it's no mystery why we began to create myths and stories about the stars. You have stuff like the Mayan calendar, the Chinese Zodiac, the pyramids, stonehenge, and the list goes on.

Not to mention the most worshiped and revered object in human history has been the sun. And it's easy to explain why. The sun gave us everything we needed basically. It keeps our planet in it's orbit, it provides us with warmth, it makes the crops grow, and it provides us with vision and security. Plus it's hard not to see a huge flaming ball of plasma everyday. After all, it is the largest thing that we see in the sky.

So to answer your question. "When did religion start?"

Whenever we first started looking up at the stars and tracking them. It's a pretty vague answer, but it's hard to say with 100% doubt when exactly humans began to do that.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:26 AM
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I suppose if religion had an advertising slogan it would have been something like ... Religion, created by people, abused by governments since 9000BC+

That's nothing particularly new though, and am not sure if many people think Christianity was the first organised belief, it's just one current thing. Never met anyone that doesn't acknowledge the existence of older organised beliefs and religions.

Regarding the science vs religion argument ... There always seems to be this idea that if science can be put in the same league as religion it suddenly evens the playing field. This would hold true except science (including evolutionary branches) has produced practical observable results. Combustion isn't an opinion in the same way my thoughts on Paul's gospels are, passages on electrons aren't parables, and God didn't tell us how evaporation works.

Changing or playing with the definition of religion doesn't change what science is any more than redefining the word science makes the bible a substitute for light theory and biology books.

edit on 5-11-2013 by Pinke because: Typo



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:33 AM
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reply to post by JesuitGarlic
 


That was all very good information, but I think you missed that I am a Christian.

I do believe there was a world wide flood, as it has been recorded in all ancient cultures and religions. But as the Christian believes Jesus is the Creator, we only know Jesus by his Hebrew name, Yeshua, or Yehoshua as some people say. But it is through the Hebrew writings that we have come to know Him.

I believe that all religions knew the one we call Jesus, albeit in their own language. Jesus did say He had sheep of another fold. Where that fold was, we don't know. But as salvation has been offered to every man, then Jesus would have had to be where men are to offer it. We see characteristics of Him in other religions, a person fits His description in other places. But we can't say it is a different person just because it is in their language.

China and Noah's Flood

Shang Di is the God of the ancient Chinese and they have the story of the flood in their Bone Oracles, even to the point of saying there were eight people in this boat. That's what the Bible says also, that there were eight people.

But here is a list of flood stories from around the world..
Floods

There is simply not enough space to list all of them. But if you read them, there is an apparent cause of the flood for all of them, that recurring theme is wickedness in humanity. So that doesn't come just from Christianity.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by ketsuko
 



I would agree with you up until you make it all about Christianity again with that obvious jab at nationalism at the end.

Not Christianity as you put it. More like Churchianity. Theres a difference. Sorry about the jab.


Personally, I think mankind in general has a need to believe in something. Which for me is one of the reasons that I argue for a belief in a higher power. If our natural state is atheism, there would be much less belief in the world and much less of an inner need to believe.

Absolutely. Belief in something more is innate (imo). Don't stop searching for that within you.


Do the animals, even the higher ones, spend any time worrying about the "why" of everything like humans do?

Thats up for debate. But not here. I think they do, by the way. They just aren't as vocal as us.

By organizing religion or nationalism it is easier for governments to motivate or rally the people when the time comes.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:44 AM
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Pinke
I suppose if religion had an advertising slogan it would have an advertising campaign slogan something like ... Religion, created by people, abused by governments since 9000BC+

That's nothing particularly new though, and am not sure if many people think Christianity was the first organised belief, it's just one current thing. Never met anyone that doesn't acknowledge the existence of older organised beliefs and religions.

Regarding the science vs religion argument ... There always seems to be this idea that if science can be put in the same league as religion it suddenly evens the playing field. This would hold true except science (including evolutionary branches) has produced practical observable results. Combustion isn't an opinion in the same way my thoughts on Paul's gospels are, passages on electrons aren't parables, and God didn't tell us how evaporation works.

Changing or playing with the definition of religion doesn't change what science is any more than redefining the word science makes the bible a substitute for light theory and biology books.



I went solely by the pure definition of religion.

But dismissing the definition of religion, and the pure definition does not include God, just supernatural power OR powers that bring existence or governs the universe, just means you can't bridge the thought that religion and world view are hand in hand. Religion attempts to explain, science attempts to explain, both attempting to explain what brought about our existence and the end goal.

But as science is a religion by definition, then what you really mean is Christian Vs. Evolution theories about the universe. You may have to separate them according to the definition of religion.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


To which organized religion are you referring?

The "organized" ones.


Be objective for a moment, and tell me, didn't the Vikings also do the same thing? You have still held to the view it's Christianity that does this without looking at history. Please refer to history.

I agree with you. Thats what I meant. It is historically prevalent. I also think that some organized religions are there to repress the truth and steer people away from true spirituality.

Thats the most insidious part. Wolves in sheeps clothing. That is probably why they killed Jesus too. He made both religion and the state mad.

Oh, and Socrates. They made him drink Hemlock because he wouldn't shut up.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


Actually that last statement is a misunderstanding. Where was the nationalism during the Crusades? And the Nazis didn't rally people around the Christian cause in their nationalism.

Hitler didn't wave the Bible in the air proclaiming all of Germany as Christian, quite the opposite. But he did wave German nationalism with the Nazi party as the new religion. Nationalism and Christianity are slightly woven in all of history, but nationalism does not depend on Christianity.



edit on 11/5/2013 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


They are all organized.

All religions are an organized collection of world views. Even the Polynesians who worshiped Pele, the volcano goddess, were organized in their world view.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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OP. Regarding your view of science as a religion. I think people often make the mistake of lumping science together with those who practice it, and/or rely on it. The two are distinguishable, and separate.

Science is a methodology. It is a set of basic rules used to determine probabilities. It is the method scientists use in the search for answers and understanding.

Those who practice science, and/or rely on it, believe in it, etc. might become religious about it, but that doesn't make science itself a religion. Science hasn't changed. It is still what it started out to be. A formula. A method.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:56 AM
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From Robert Wright's The Evolution of God chapter One, which is titled "The Primordial Faith". Click the link for more of the excerpt - this was the final paragraph of it. LOTS more excerpts from the book all appear on the site, from every chapter, as well as the Appendices. REQUIRED READING for anyone intelligently looking into "when religion started," REGARDLESS of their beliefs or lack thereof.


the idea is that “primitive” religion broadly, as recorded by anthropologists and other visitors, can give us some idea of the ancestral milieu of modern religions.
.
Through the happenstance of geographic isolation, cultures such as the Chukchee escaped the technological revolution—the advent of writing—that placed other parts of the world on the historical record and pushed them toward modernity. If these “primitive” cultures don’t show us the particular prehistoric religions out of which the early recorded religions emerged, they at least give us a general picture.
.
Though monotheistic prayer didn’t grow out of Chukchee rituals or beliefs, maybe the logic of monotheistic prayer did grow out of a kind of belief the Chukchee held, the notion that forces of nature are animated by minds or spirits that you can influence through negotiation.…
(I split up the paragraph for easier reading on the screen).



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


And the Nazis didn't rally people around the Christian cause in their nationalism.
Absolutely he did. The Church was allowed to thrive under Nazism, albeit under a twisted cross offshoot. It was as vague and misleading as all the rest.

Involved with Teutonic knights, Arian superman, Arthur, Holy Grail… the works. Hitler attended church to marry aficionados, many Nazis were married in churches. Not covered very well historically, guess why.

Hitler fancied he was the return of Christ to establish the world order for a thousand years (Biblical reference).

Yes he did allow and foster his own brand of Christianity. You just don't hear Christ mentioned much officially. Guess what, neither do we today. Not in the main stream…

History will wonder about that when they look back and find the official records blank.





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