Why are we religious, if there is nothing there?

juantoo3

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The ancient pantheon of deities up until the newer more recently ones were to fill up the blanks that scared the shit out of our ancestors. If humanity up until now is summarized its best to compare our race with 2 naive youngsters in a hate/love relationship holding each-others hand while exploring and supporting through competition the big scary and dangerous world that surrounds them. Neglecting their exploration of their inner-world though....

The godlike entity of the major religions, (Allah,Upu,God,YHWH,Great Spirit or w/e) basically is the child of all humanity up until now, as an echo or response to all the suffering that our race were/are exposed to. We created such an entity that makes us feel safe through hope and a big fat shield of selfish love. Hence it requires faith which is the same as blind devotion and put your valuable trust in something that is not really answering.

Anti desperation is the purest reason why religion exist without its corrupted features, sadly the ego that plagues our race and oxidated this perspective of religion over millennia. It's only through trace amounts of information and logic that i found this out that religion equals pure hope and was born through humanities godly feature which is also to create.

As a living sentient being we want to survive first then after feeling safe enough we want to grow and give reason to your/our existence and eventually share your best version of you with others which brings pure bliss to oneself and others. Experiencing bliss or happiness if you will is the main goal of anyone that exist, even for a supreme god. It is the reason why creation once started, the goal of creation is to create and experiencing bliss.

The reason why we as a sentient young race created gods or God? First to stabilize desperation due to the exposure of traumatic natural disasters and forcing an explanation what on that moment was plausible to form a sense of hope and thus a sense of safety and control. Needless to say eventually this led to mostly monopolizing the ego for the worse.

The legacy of all lessons learned eventually formed the godlike entity our race needed for at-least hope. One day somewhere near or far in the future we do not ask for such a godlike entity for help but instead once we finally fed up of all past mistakes our race becomes it, which means have the same altruistic features as such a godlike entity. This all happens once we to stop asking and believing for a miracle help and grow some balls and be our own savior.

And so,

thus behold, humanity past the test of all young sentient races trying to leave its nest, its ego. Now they can finally spread its fully developed wings and can now partake its healthy and fruitful journeys to aid the recovering of its ecosystem an spread life beyond Earth and perhaps if stable enough eventually encounter extraterrestrial life what leads to interstellar trade like in the days of the famed silk-roads.
Care to elaborate? Seems from what I see you presume already that Deity / Divine exists and trying to force the evidence to fit your preconceived notions. Rather, I've taken the opposite tack, attempting to see how humanity could have possibly contrived "god" if no such thing exists...

Scholarship teaches me to set aside my biases and suppositions in an effort to follow where the evidence leads. Starting with the conclusion, and working backwards forcing things to fit to suit your agenda is not scholarship...that is propaganda.
 

wil

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a figment of your imagination
or confirmation bias... something i have issues with...

because despite we can't prove a G!d or Christ as the connection....I believe that the words, the congregation, the contemplation, the interpretation can benefit me in my life and those around me....and that is why I am religious.

Of course I also believe the words of Buddha, Krishna, Lao, Thay, Moses, at and McGiver can have benefits as well..

Oh, and I forgot 123...that guy is always great to take in some thought...but he as everyone also has to be taken with a grain of salt...some a Lot more than others.
 

juantoo3

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Of course I also believe the words of Buddha, Krishna, Lao, Thay, Moses, at and McGiver can have benefits as well.
OK, but then would that not also include Star Trek, Harry Potter and the Marvel comic universe?

Beneficial words can be found all around if one only takes the time to look, or more appropriately listen. Whether all beneficial words are on the same level of benefit is a source of debate. Is the wisdom of Captain Kangaroo of the same caliber as that to be found in the Vedas? On some level the answer is yes, on another level the answer is no. One distinction I notice right off is that one does not take itself too seriously, where the other does nothing but take itself seriously.
 

wil

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One distinction I notice right off is that one does not take itself too seriously, where the other does nothing but take itself seriously.
In all you have to separate the wheat from the chaff. In Captn Kangaroo it may be the serious from the not serious, or inspiration from the joking....but even in the joking you may often find metaphor or parable. In the vedas, I don't know them well enough. But in the bible, time has eroded some of the texts...anyone here wear clothing of mixed fabrics or think adultery to be a crime punishable by death?
 

juantoo3

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In all you have to separate the wheat from the chaff. In Captn Kangaroo it may be the serious from the not serious, or inspiration from the joking....but even in the joking you may often find metaphor or parable. In the vedas, I don't know them well enough. But in the bible, time has eroded some of the texts...anyone here wear clothing of mixed fabrics or think adultery to be a crime punishable by death?
You don't wear Poly-cotton underwear? Mixed fabrics abound in modern, first world wardrobes.

And I only have to open the newspaper to find instances of jealous spouses executing their cheating mate or potential rival...doesn't matter what I think, it happens all around me.

Like I said, some do nothing but take themselves (too) seriously.
 

juantoo3

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Yes, I imagine M, M, L, n J left out Jesus's good jokes...and I'll bet they were almighty knee slappers.
LOL...I know G-d has a sense of humor. He smote one of the Old Testament bad guy groups with hemorrhoids. Just not enough of the funny stuff to take it out of the serious column.
 

Arif Ghamiq

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Nasruddin was a 13th century Sufi who was basically a comedian. His jokes often conveyed deep spiritual meaning, but I think he also used humor for shock - just to wake people up from sleepwalking. He was often considered to be inappropriate by leadership, but people loved him then and now.
 

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What I find intriguing is the beginning of religion...why have humans ever even bothered to develop such a comprehensive system of recognizing the Divine? If, as atheists argue, there is no god, then why did prehistoric humanity universally pursue reconnection with the Divine? Not just Cro Magnon, there is evidence among Neandertals, and I suspect there will be finds eventually among Denisovans. *All* of us carry genetic material from these three distinct species of homo, in greater and lesser amounts. I just read yesterday that in one Island culture there is genetic material that points to a 4th distinct species of homo we have yet to identify. What stands so amazing is the finds from Cro Magnon and Neanderthal sites indicating a reverential desire to reconnect with the Divine, to "seek blessing" as it were, that spans entire continents and entire "ages."

Why would Hunter Gatherer societies consumed daily with the struggles of survival create anything like religion...if there were no god to pursue? Mass hysteria? OK, then that hysteria was effectively worldwide, across cultures and species, and it lasted we know for tens of thousands of years. That is a mighty long mass hysteria, and if so would suggest humanity continues to labor under the same delusion, worldwide. I don't think so...unless the whole of humanity is *entirely* stark raving nuts (that would include atheists by association).

I don't think a hunter gatherer society could afford a frivolous pursuit to the extent that was given to religion, unless there was some survival benefit. Something is out there, we intuitively know it. We've been chasing it since we became human.

Lascaux, Cosquer, Chauvet, Niaux, Altamira, Pech Merle, Fumane, Blombos, Niah, Bomeo, Maros, Padah-Lin, Tabon, Khoit Tsenkher, and more display artwork that is routinely defined by anthropologists in the field as religious in application. This spans all of the Old World habited continents except Australia and all dated well into prehistoric "stone age." There are cliff paintings in Australia that fit this as well for dates and purposes.

There are Pre-Columbian finds in the New World as well. All of this points to humanity pursuing the Divine LONG before religion was formally systematized and organized into competing faiths. Even the prehistoric uncivilized barbaric unlearned preliterate heathens still sought Divine guidance.

Blombos cave in South Africa provided pierced shell beads...art...dated to 100,000 years before present.

There is a bone flute attributed to Neanderthals (Divja Babe, Slovenia)...music...dated at 55,000 years before present. Not even anatomically modern humans, our species seems to have gotten music from Neanderthals.

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi has given up cave paintings that rival the oldest in Europe for age, as old as those at El Castillo in Spain dated nearly 41,000 years before present, and remarkable because the "reverse handprint" style graffiti seems a common theme throughout the Neolithic era and across the span of continents.

Portable art in the form of "Venus" fertility figures, various animals, and even the "Lion Man" Löwenmensch from Hohlenstein, many of which date up to 40,000 years before present.

Red Ochre is another common theme throughout, ritual use as a pigment and as a medium to be carved can again be found across the gamut and throughout the time period under discussion.

My point being religion, art, and music have been with humanity a VERY long time, cross culturally and cross species of homo, appear to be universal pursuits, and are linked inextricably with reaching out to the Divine.

Moreover, at Skhul cave at Qafzeh, Israel the oldest known to date careful human burials were found, dated conservatively at 100,000 years old, including a Cro Magnon man with a boar mandible placed carefully across his chest, and a mother and child whose bones were deliberately stained with red ochre.

The oldest careful Neanderthal burial is noted as 130,000 years ago, at Krapina in Croatia.

Shanidar 1 (Iraq) is a Neanderthal that was not only carefully buried, but because of illness and injury had to have a great deal of compassionate assistance to survive during his 40 years of life. This demonstrates Neanderthals were cooperative to the point of providing aid to their elderly and infirm. Another Neanderthal find at La Chapelle-aux-Saints suggests the same theme, though this find still seems to be under question.

The oldest ritual burial in Australia is dated at 42,000 years ago at Lake Mungo.

So the question to me is not "who has seniority?" among world religions. Every single major world faith owes a debt of gratitude to our prehistoric forebears.

The question to me has long been "why are we religious, if there is nothing there?"

1. Maybe because we are hard-wired to be spiritual?

2. Maybe because we experience an existential vacuum that only spirituality can fill?

3. Maybe because from the earliest times humans have experienced "things of the Spirit", shared the experience, after which sects, cults and religions arose based on others' belief in the experience of the "Founders"?
 

juantoo3

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1. Maybe because we are hard-wired to be spiritual?

2. Maybe because we experience an existential vacuum that only spirituality can fill?

3. Maybe because from the earliest times humans have experienced "things of the Spirit", shared the experience, after which sects, cults and religions arose based on others' belief in the experience of the "Founders"?
Maybe.

Maybe not.

1. Can you demonstrate the "hard-wire" and its specific location?

2. Can you demonstrate the "existential vacuum," let alone the spirituality that fills it?

3. As with #2, can you demonstrate "things of the Spirit?" Can you demonstrate "Founders?"

It is one thing to posit conjecture...the world is full of conjectures, soliloquies, anecdotes and platitudes.

It is quite another to support with actual evidence. That is what makes this subject so difficult to tackle in a scholarly manner.

Not that I particularly disagree, but there is no evidence that I've found to support your assertions. :)
 

RJM

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Maybe.

Maybe not.

1. Can you demonstrate the "hard-wire" and its specific location?

2. Can you demonstrate the "existential vacuum," let alone the spirituality that fills it?

3. As with #2, can you demonstrate "things of the Spirit?" Can you demonstrate "Founders?"

It is one thing to posit conjecture...the world is full of conjectures, soliloquies, anecdotes and platitudes.

It is quite another to support with actual evidence. That is what makes this subject so difficult to tackle in a scholarly manner.

Not that I particularly disagree, but there is no evidence that I've found to support your assertions. :)
Yay! Welcome back Juan :)
 

Thomas

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Hi Juantoo3 —

1. Can you demonstrate the "hard-wire" and its specific location?
New Scientist seems to think we are.

Really, it's one of those 'science v religion' questions and that's where it falls down. is there 'hard' = 'empirical' evidence?
No.

But there is evidence — experience — that can be measured within empirical parameters and therefore constitute evidence but the interpretation is something else ...

... Religion is ... hardwired into the brain, says Persinger (neuroscientist at Laurentian University in Ontario). We are hardwired to have experiences from time to time that give us a sense of a presence, and as primates we’re hardwired to categorise our experiences. And we crave social interaction and spatial proximity with others that are the same. What’s not hardwired is the content.

So where does all this leave us? For whatever reason—natural or supernatural—our big, powerful brains clearly allow a novel sort of experience that we call religion. But it’s difficult to say much more than that.

Sceptics of religion are quick to claim that the brain’s hardwiring proves that God has no real existence, that it’s all in the brain. The real common
denominator here is brain activity, not anything else, says Ron Barrier, a spokesman for American Atheists based in Cranford, New Jersey. There is nothing to indicate that this is externally imposed or that you are somehow tapping into a divine entity.

But Newberg (a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania) isn’t so sure. We can’t say they’re wrong, he says. On the other hand, if you’re a religious person, it makes sense that the brain can do this, because if there is a God, it makes sense to design the brain so that we can have some sort of interaction. And we can’t say that’s wrong, either. The problem is that all of our experiences are equal, in that they are all in the brain. Our experience of reality, our experience of science, our mystical experiences are all in the brain.
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg17022874-400-in-search-of-god/#ixzz62yNOh9rT
 

ScholarlySeeker

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...I think therefore I am?

No! I AM, therefore I think.

God bless you :)
Lol! Yes indeed eh? The one sure thing is here I am, and I actually know it.....at least for now... so, this kinda opens up a can o worms doesn't it..... is subjectivity the actual only real we ought to worry about and think on? I can't convince anyone that I actually think, but I really do actually think, so therefore I know I am here, for now. I think...
 
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