Religion / Philosophy is just a step in evolution?

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Religion / Philosophy is just a step in evolution?

Remeber this is a broad meaning from wicca to taoism not just christian fundies or islamic extremists. Does it give groups of unlike people bond therefore an ability to survive outside of their primary group. Look at the way it is today it seems to be more of a fight over power and threatened resources then if there really is a God or not. If a pastor know that if he says no there is not god then he absolutely will go hungry.


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Much better post than your

Much better post than your last one, Dogwater.

Remember that evolution does not have a purpose other than "reproduce me."  Having said that, I think religion was probably an inevitable development as our curiosity grew much faster than our knowledge.  One of the theories that is most attractive to me is that religion started as a result of what must certainly have seemed like a supernatural experience -- a natural drug, or perhaps an epileptic seizure that triggered an NDE type experience  (See this essay for a brief summary of NDEs).  The tribal role of medicine man would have naturally arisen from such an experience.  Both the medicine man and the tribe would believe that something magical was happening.

I also feel that it is possible for humanity to outgrow religion.  Whether they will or not is another matter entirely.  I am something of a pessimist when it comes to humanity's long term survival.  I think we'll probably destroy our habitat before we have a chance to ditch religion.

Add to this the fact that we're not really that smart.  We think we're very smart, but the average person truly doesn't know very much, and critical thinking skills are not common, at least with regard to philosophy, metaphysics, and religion.

I also think you're correct about pastors having a vested interest in religion continuing.  Can you imagine the legal and social ramifications if the Catholic Church had to face the reality that there is no god?  Two thousand years of acquired property and wealth would have to be addressed!

Thanks again for posting something without quite so much piss and vinegar.  (Although, I admit, it was damn fun running with it.  I won't lie to you.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cpt_pineapple
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I'm reading 'Breaking the

I'm reading 'Breaking the Spell' by Dennet which covers this.

 

 If you want to see how they 'evolved' read it, it doesn't give any aruguments against God per se.


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~sigh~ So many books.  I

~sigh~

So many books.  I need to read that one, too, but there's only so much I can read in one day.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I AM GOD AS YOU
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  HEY DogWater wrote, 

  HEY DogWater wrote,  "Look at the way it is today

it seems to be more of a fight over power and threatened resources then if there really is a God or not. " ~~~~~~

YUP !

When a famous wise man was asked, "What about God", he replied , who cares ....

, and so they called him a "Buddha",  but he was not the only one .....


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

~sigh~

So many books. I need to read that one, too, but there's only so much I can read in one day.

 

 

I have a bunch of books on my lsit too. But I read very slow, and classes start up again next week.  


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While on a small level, I

While on a small level, I agree it was most likely the simplest stop gap to answer questions that had yet to be answered, I think generally the "benefits" of religion are more apparent on the macro scale for those in charge.   Think about playing a game like Civilization or Total War, you usually introduce religious idols to your population to make them happier, keep them quiet, keep them energized and generally keep them under control. 

You can more efficiently tell folks what to do if "God said so" and the alternative is "eternal punishment."  While solitary people get caught up in the faith loop (question > funny answer > faith > no more questions, repeat) it gives those in charge more time to concentrate on other things.  Install churches, keep people in line, then off to conquer more land, train the military, build up infrastucture and so on.

For the single believer, it's more efficient as well.  IF they go along with the story they're fed, they spend less time with the big questions and can then go about their daily life at work, feeding their family, watching sports, etc. instead of fear the gov't or church for disobeying their commands. 


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Shamanism, mental plasticity, and group dynamics

You pose a good question.  One can interrpret psychotherapy through a modern lense and apply it to ritual magic and shamanistic traditions.  Although more removed, even clergy and priests of the judeo-christian persuasion invoke Jungian archetypes in those who have been socially calibrated to be aware of what their culture's clergy represent.  Americans are even more removed from this having pop culture and political and historical myths to compare ourselves to and also try to embody.  Simply put, we want to become what it is that our culture dictates we should become (morally, socially, PHYSICALLY!).  Shamans and medicine men achieve a niche in their societies because of their (implicit) knowledge of meta-physics and archetypes.  Imagine trying to understand your emotions without any external data to help you make sense of it.  A shaman can intentionally bring you into an emotional state, observe you, and make powerful suggestions as to how you can change these things about yourself.  This is often done under the influence of psycho-active substances, which aid in this therapeutic imprinting (indoctrinization?) process.  I suggest the book "Fools Crow" which gives a semi-modern account of native american shamanism, which behaves much like psychotherapy.  Quite a post, sorry, FIGHT THE POWER!!


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DogWater wrote: Remeber

DogWater wrote:
Remeber this is a broad meaning from wicca to taoism not just christian fundies or islamic extremists. Does it give groups of unlike people bond therefore an ability to survive outside of their primary group. Look at the way it is today it seems to be more of a fight over power and threatened resources then if there really is a God or not. If a pastor know that if he says no there is not god then he absolutely will go hungry.

 

I submit that organized religion has always been about power and resources.  The gods are on our side and we deserve what those godless heathens have.  Or the gods are on our side and we deserve to keep what we have safe from those godless heathens.  And if we lose it's because you were evil and didn't believe strongly enough.  It's never the fault of the gods or their priests.  But if we win it wasn't due to superior tactics, equipment or skills, the gods willed it.

Religion is always used to discredit the enemy - to dehumanize them so that your soldiers can kill theirs.  They worship the wrong gods or worship the same gods in the wrong way or they're not devout enough.  Every pretext has been used and they all worked.  They still work.


wavefreak
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MechaClown wrote: Simply

MechaClown wrote:
Simply put, we want to become what it is that our culture dictates we should become (morally, socially, PHYSICALLY!).

I must really be a freak then. I hold this culture in a great deal of contempt. 


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OccamsChainsaw wrote:   I

OccamsChainsaw wrote:
 

I submit that organized religion has always been about power and resources.

 

I submit that organized anything is always about power and resources. 


OccamsChainsaw
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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:
OccamsChainsaw wrote:
 

I submit that organized religion has always been about power and resources.

 

I submit that organized anything is always about power and resources. 

 

But what about organized . . . !?  Yes, Grasshopper, even that is about power and resources. 

I harped about organized religion because it is used so effectively and to such destructive ends.