2 of 2
2
Do you think the world would have been better without religion?
Posted: 08 March 2011 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1741
Joined  2007-10-22
Scndthe2nd - 06 March 2011 10:50 AM

Religion is a method for one person to control many

.

That’s the Marxist viewpoint that I once supported.  However, upon further review, I have changed my mind.  After 40 years of suding the problem I have come to the conclusion that religion is a social tool with many purposes.  Even then foundation myths of Christianity, the four gospels reflect this.  If you would take time to read or reread these you will see reflected within them strong reflections of the struggle between the Jewish peasants and the high priests and Kings who had accepted and were promoting Grecco-Roman culture and economic methods based upon a plantation economy.

Also keep in mind that until the reformation/enlightenment religion and govenrment were the same thing, and as such religion was often used to oppose oppressors as well as to support them.

[ Edited: 08 March 2011 05:27 PM by garythehuman ]
 Signature 

Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 March 2011 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1332
Joined  2010-06-07

And the Torah is mostly civil laws. Much of the remainder of the OT is written to give the tribe of Judah political control over the rest of Israel who forsake the “true” God of Israel and followed foreign Gods.

Solomon a legend created to cement the greatness and wisdom of the linage of the Judaic David and to explain great cities left behind by Assyria.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 March 2011 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1741
Joined  2007-10-22
Gnostikosis - 08 March 2011 05:42 PM

And the Torah is mostly civil laws. Much of the remainder of the OT is written to give the tribe of Judah political control over the rest of Israel who forsake the “true” God of Israel and followed foreign Gods.

Solomon a legend created to cement the greatness and wisdom of the linage of the Judaic David and to explain great cities left behind by Assyria.

A large part, if not all of the Torah was “rediscovered” by the Jewish elite when they were rebuilding the Temple upon their return from Babylon.

 Signature 

Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 March 2011 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  10
Joined  2011-03-08

I would take it from a slightly different perspective.

I think the question itself is similar to asking “What if the sky smelled yellow?” 
Let me explain.  A part of the development of humans and early primates made it critical that we adopt a kind of dualistic reality simulator in our brain.  This made the process of projecting and predicting behavior of others much easier for us.  Evolution being the efficient machine it is did not bother to codify that in such a way that it discriminated between hominids and anything else though so we found we anthropomorphized everything we ran across.  You see evidence in the early animistic cultures where some spiritual attribute is assigned to every rock, tree, nook and cranny! As our understanding was limited, this model worked, after all, avoiding the dangerous precipice because the meteorological conditions made the face of the rock conducive to slippery fungi and easy to slip from is just as effective as avoiding it because the local spirits liked throwing people off.  The pre-agricultural revolution humans were hunter/gatherers and just didn’t have time to analyze the details.  It was good enough to know that you tend to fall from such places and dead is dead, be it naturalistic or spiritual causes!

As such, I would say that religion is an emergent property of a wildly important part of our development.  The ability to look outside of our immediate self is what gave rise to language, socialization, culture and the Iphone (which may call it into question once again…).  Our culture, our technology, the sciences and everything that we now see as progress is informed by the very same drives that made us religious in the first place.  We needed religion to bring us to the place that we could question it at all!

 Signature 

Wisdom is not found in thinking outside the box.  Wisdom is the realization that there is no box.  Truth and reality extend as far as the eye can see and infinitely further.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 March 2011 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9284
Joined  2006-08-29
bradthebard - 09 March 2011 07:32 AM

The pre-agricultural revolution humans were hunter/gatherers and just didn’t have time to analyze the details.

Actually, it’s exactly the other way around. The hunter gatherers had a lot more free time (as they still do today) than the societies following the agricultural revolution.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 March 2011 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  10
Joined  2011-03-08
George - 09 March 2011 09:11 AM
bradthebard - 09 March 2011 07:32 AM

The pre-agricultural revolution humans were hunter/gatherers and just didn’t have time to analyze the details.

Actually, it’s exactly the other way around. The hunter gatherers had a lot more free time (as they still do today) than the societies following the agricultural revolution.

It seems to me it would depend on resource availability.  In areas rich in natural resources there would be more free time. 


...of course, come to think of it, the Austrailian Aboriginies would sorta contradict that idea too.


May the jury be aware that I would like to strike that section from the record…:D I do think the dualistic mental model part holds true though.  Perhaps it was less a question of time than it was the inclination to investigate or the technology to spur such inclination.

 Signature 

Wisdom is not found in thinking outside the box.  Wisdom is the realization that there is no box.  Truth and reality extend as far as the eye can see and infinitely further.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 March 2011 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  118
Joined  2011-02-05
bradthebard - 09 March 2011 07:32 AM

I would take it from a slightly different perspective.

I think the question itself is similar to asking “What if the sky smelled yellow?” 
Let me explain.  A part of the development of humans and early primates made it critical that we adopt a kind of dualistic reality simulator in our brain.  This made the process of projecting and predicting behavior of others much easier for us.  Evolution being the efficient machine it is did not bother to codify that in such a way that it discriminated between hominids and anything else though so we found we anthropomorphized everything we ran across.  You see evidence in the early animistic cultures where some spiritual attribute is assigned to every rock, tree, nook and cranny! As our understanding was limited, this model worked, after all, avoiding the dangerous precipice because the meteorological conditions made the face of the rock conducive to slippery fungi and easy to slip from is just as effective as avoiding it because the local spirits liked throwing people off.  The pre-agricultural revolution humans were hunter/gatherers and just didn’t have time to analyze the details.  It was good enough to know that you tend to fall from such places and dead is dead, be it naturalistic or spiritual causes!

As such, I would say that religion is an emergent property of a wildly important part of our development.  The ability to look outside of our immediate self is what gave rise to language, socialization, culture and the Iphone (which may call it into question once again…).  Our culture, our technology, the sciences and everything that we now see as progress is informed by the very same drives that made us religious in the first place.  We needed religion to bring us to the place that we could question it at all!

I don’t think that (bolded) notion is very well supported. Post-aristotilian Western society tends to be dualistic, but Eastern philosophy rarely is/has been. To say that dualism is an implication of evolution ignores the first 5 or 6 thousand years of religious history prior to really developed dualistic thinking.

 Signature 

“Ah! How cheerfully we consign ourselves to Perdition!”
-Melville-

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.”
-Pynchon-

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 March 2011 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  10
Joined  2011-03-08
The_Au_Mean - 09 March 2011 02:39 PM

I don’t think that (bolded) notion is very well supported. Post-aristotilian Western society tends to be dualistic, but Eastern philosophy rarely is/has been. To say that dualism is an implication of evolution ignores the first 5 or 6 thousand years of religious history prior to really developed dualistic thinking.

Well I don’t exactly mean in relation to religion per se.  I simply mean the dualistic notions that make us feel as if we have a body, rather than we are a body.  Western religions took that idea to a whole new level (the jury is out as to whether it is a level up or down…).  The objectification of the material body by the church aside, even eastern philosophy talks about chi as a central sort of life force intertwined but distinct enough to seperate from the person.  I don’t think it is an absence of dualism, rather a difference of degree.

 Signature 

Wisdom is not found in thinking outside the box.  Wisdom is the realization that there is no box.  Truth and reality extend as far as the eye can see and infinitely further.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 March 2011 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  636
Joined  2010-07-01
Occam. - 07 March 2011 02:04 PM

I agree that in the main it has been destructive and held progress back, but I think the earliest forms may have been the only vehicle that helped the small tribes develop moral behavior necessary to survive as a group.

Occam

I can only imagine that maybe REAL early on in human history as a way to keep tribes controlled, that maybe religion would have had some benefit, but I obviously couldn’t even confirm that. As for the more recent years of religious history, I see it as extremely segregating even amongst families. An example is my niece Brianna who’s fallen into the religious crowd now isolates herself from her family. Churches do a nice job of segregating the people an us and them scenario. To us now, she’s been taught that her family is full of Non-believers. You know, those “‘corrupt a-holes who hate Gud and will burn in hell for it one day”. But I won’t let that allow me to discriminate between my viewpoint of the Churches, because they’re all selling snake oil. The only difference is everyone’s carrying a different brand.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2011 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5191
Joined  2010-06-16

Of course, even if Brianna’s parents didn’t have any strong beliefs, if they sent her to a religious school because they felt it had some specific academic advantage, they’ve pretty well doomed her.  Early religious training (brainwashing) is all that’s needed to pretty well assure that the kid will be a customer for that snake oil for life.

Occam

 Signature 

Succinctness, clarity’s core.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2