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The origin and purpose of religion

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posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:38 PM
Religion has been around for thousands of years. A common belief is that man created religion as he began to question the world around. The first religions were based on what people noticed most, such as the sun and the moon, and the animals that they interacted with.
There is enough evidence to suggest that many religions share common themes, such as the story of a flood that destroyed the world, and the virgin birth.

Later religions began to deal with human behavior, and more fundamental and spiritual issues dealing with the origin of creation, and man's place within it.

Monotheism came as an idea that suggested that there is only one creator of the universe. This idea took hold, and today it remains the most accepted religious principle.

What do you think is the purpose of religion?
Is it possible that religion is not completely the product of human imagination?

posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 08:03 PM
I believe religion is a criterion of civilization, a standard on which decisive conclusions may be drawn among the people.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington is an interesting read.

edit on 1/23/11 by Soke33 because: title correction

posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 08:25 PM
I have always perceived religion as a "control of the masses" device. So long as humanity lives in fear of any type of punishment in an afterlife, the world is somewhat safer, even if it's by the smallest degree.

It is hat logic that actually makes me "fear" a ufo disclosure. I the world were to learn of alien beings who, as we might be told, seeded the origin of humanity on Earth, then a great deal of the population may begin to abandon more aspect of the teachings of their churches.

I know it's an old idea, and I am all for a type of disclosure, but, I would fear the consequences may be more than society can handle.
All in all, since we now know that in the old days, churches used to used mechanical devices that made church doors open or statues that would cry tears of blood, or milk, we then know that the churches tried to lure "the flock" so to speak.

Was going to provide a link to video, but can't find it, will look more later.

posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 08:27 PM
reply to post by dccruibay

Dear dccruibay

The origin of religion is not complicated and you do not need to be a rocket boffin.

You have tribes and as such you have a leader a chief. Who is not necessary the cleverest of the tribe.

Therefore there was a position in authority for a clever one, a priest who was the brightest in many cases. Who was able to hold some degree of power.

All about power, always was always will be.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 12:04 PM
I tend to believe that religion is a tool. Tools can be used for benefit or harm.

Some use religion as means of control, power, and wealth. However, much personal and societal benefit can be pulled from religion. Peace, love, courage, compassion, enlightenment, and all other sorts of great virtue can be learned from religion, whereas without religion it may never be achieved.

There are so many separate and distinct belief systems, opinions, understandings, and motives that it seems illogical to group religious origins into one big theory. Too much of our past has been lost, hidden, and erased as to come up with any ideas outside the realms of speculation.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 12:18 PM
My own theory on the origin of religion is one based on the bible. I would say that man had a very close relationship with God since the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve communicated directly with Him, as read in Genesis. Unfortunately Adam and Eve both fell out of favor with God and mankind drifted from Him over generations. In the bible you read about many rebellious people who hate God. One such man, Nimrod, created his own religion to lead people away from the one true faith. Other religions could have come about in a similar fashion. You have people who simply don't want to accept God and they create their own religion, amass followers, and the rest just snowballs from there.

That's just a quick summary of my theory. it's much deeper, but this gives you the general idea.
edit on 24-1-2011 by aletheia because: Fixed grammar.

posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:29 AM

A common belief is that man created religion as he began to question the world around.

Without evidence, of course.

I first encountered the idea from Christians, especially Christians from technically advanced nations that sent "missions" to the less developed areas of the world to convert heathens. Of course, the heathens already had a religion.

Christians needed a story about why their religion was remarkably different from the beliefs they sought to extinguish and replace with their own. Why do the missionaries expect to teach the heathens, rather than to learn from them?

So, the apologists seized upon another difference between themselves and the heathens: technology. This gives a nicely compact theory: heathens live nasty, brutal and short lives because they have confused religion and science, and therefore screwed up both. By an amazing coincidence, the missionary's culture has excelled at both, and so it is just and rightful that the missionary should "minister to" the heathen, and not vice versa.

Later on, I encountered the same argument from atheists. From their perspective, Christians have mixed up, and so screwed up, religion (by having piety at all) and science (because some Christians still do not believe in evolution by natural selection). So, some atheists look at Christians the way some Christians look at heathens.

Similar problems often give rise to similar solutions. In this case, activists of one system of beliefs about religious subjects concoct a fantasy about the origins of another system.

Is it possible that religion is not completely the product of human imagination?

Depends on what you mean by "human imagination." Also depends on what you mean by "completely."

Products of the human imagination, like art, music, mathematics, and scientific generalization involve cognitive operations on apprehensible raw material. Many of those operations are unconscious, and feature mixing contents of the unconscious with waking experience. Why would religion be different? How could religion be different?

I think it is ironic that mathematicians have parallel discussions. They ask, Are the objects of mathematical contemplation discovered or invented? It is fairly obvious that they are revealed by the human imagination, but do they have some existence apart from that?

That's a very hard question. Assuming the question of gods is not simpler than that, then maybe you can see how some people end up as agnostics.


edit on 25-1-2011 by eight bits because: sinister dexterity.

posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:52 PM
Religion is nothing more than 1's and 0's defined culturally. Environment defines the arrangement and sophistication.

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