How did the notion of organized belief and religion begin?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by KnowSelf, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    In the beginning, if you support Creationism, God communed with Adam and Eve. Then came Abraham and the 12 Tribes of Israel. This may have been the beginning of an organized belief system as only selected members of the house given the ability to receive blessings and instructions from God.

    Moses led the Israelite's who were great in number, to the Promised Land in concordance with the Covenant made between God and Moses. The Commandments for living served the Israelite's as laws and regulations for worship and daily living. At the time following these rules for worshiping and living were essential for the Children of Israel to survive.

    The New Testament comes along discarding the old and bringing in the new. With the birth of Christ ordinary people were accepted by God's as His own and did not have to an Israelite.

    I don't know when it became necessary to worship in groups or for that matter the formation of religion. Maybe there is strength in numbers or possibly the more people enlisted the greater the cash flow. Being social animals the human race banned together for the sake of worship and all who oppose, well you're on your own. But you can have membership pass for the asking
     
  2. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    Would you consider the Noahide Laws a form (or evidence) of a Pre-Abrahamic organized belief system ?

    1. Do not deny God.
    2. Do not murder.
    3. Do not steal.
    4. Do not engage in sexual immorality.
    5. Do not blaspheme.
    6. Do not eat of a live animal.
    7. Establish courts and legal systems to ensure obedience of these laws.

     
  3. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    @KnowSelf -

    G-d did not make a covenant with Moses. According to the Torah, the covenant was made with the Israelites.
     
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  4. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Agree
     
  5. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    These look like a set of instructions for morality, not necessarily an organized religion. Correct me if i am mistaken but religion seems to hold an idea or a deity in regard for the sake of worship. If the above list is privy to a specific group of people following specific guidelines for living, then indeed religion may be the following of those rules and regulations. Religion is the repetition of acts and practices for a specific cause. That is religion
     
  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    A very broad definition. Would it cover secular acts, practices, and causes? Do you want it to?
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I like the how "banned" in the first part of the sentence fits with "you're on your own" in the second.

    Many whom you condemn in this sentence are quite happy to be ostracized by this sentence from organized religion.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Religious structures grew out of social structures.

    Reading about the Gobekli Tepe, the world's oldest known religious site, is interesting.

    If speculation is right, what we have is a site where population expansions among hunter-gatherers (the site predates the beginning of fixed agriculture) could gather and engage in shamanic practices to develop common rituals to reduce tensions, resolve conflicts and negotiate access to resources, territorial claims, etc.

    Speculation is that Gobekli Tepe was a site of a 'cult of the dead' ... a fully-articulated belief in deities did not develop until later, in Mesopotamia.

    So man never really saw himself as individual, or alone. There were the ancestors, the spirits, he was always part of the whole, one in a collective. Probably a survival thing.

    So what you have is religion emerging out of pre-existing social structures.

    The easier question is when did the idea of individuality emerge? That's much, much later. The monastic aspect is as old as man, but the contemporary notion of the individual v organised religion is really quite new, it's just another aspect of post-WWII anti-authoritarianism and individualism.

    As ever, my question is to wonder what 'disorganised religion' looks like :D
     
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  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    and I am right here!
     
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  10. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Religion: a particular system of faith and worship. Johnny religiously walks two miles to school five days a week
     
  11. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Good question, can disorganized religion exist when religion consist of collected like minds
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I was being a tad sarcastic.

    It's my response to the 'I'm spiritual but not religious' meme.

    David Bentley Hart sums it nicely.

    Today, the 'personal freedom' and 'autonomy' to be perceived as 'a unique individual' is paramount. When it comes to religion we pick this and reject that, we can choose which bits to adopt, which values to uphold.

    The term 'dogma' has become a pejorative term. It means 'truth', but any suggestion that 'truth' supersedes my subjectivity is rejected.

    America is the foremost purveyor of self-serving pseudo-spiritualities. The 'gods of the boutique' can come from can come from anywhere, and can be found anywhere we choose to look for them. What such spiritualities signify is the dreamier side of the personality and the collective zeitgeist. It's all down to us and our politics.

    So such spiritualities are disorganised in as much as they represent gods conformed to us.
     
  13. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    So such spiritualities are disorganised in as much as they represent gods conformed to us. Could this be the source of maladaptivity?
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Yes, basically they're projections of what we want our gods to be, and they're tailored to suit those wants.

    In my lifetime, for example, Christ has been presented as gay, a radical socialist, a libertine, a tireless peaceworker, a feminist, a misogynist, a teacher, a preacher, a prophet, an apocalyptic prophet, as antisemitic, anti-authoritarian, etc., etc. All of the above are projections from a given stance within a sociopolitical context, d'you see? It's Christ conformed to the politics of the day.

    Well that's a new term to me, but I'd say you'd have to contextualise adaptive/maladaptive in this instance.

    Some New Age Gurus / Self Help Gurus have adapted elements of religion or religious practice for commercial gain and made a lot of money and are highly regarded in society. Yoga was a spiritual practice within a religious context, now it's keep fit/wellbeing and its a million if not billion dollar industry ... the proliferation of asana (yoga positions) in the last century is enormous, hundreds of new poses have found their way into the curriculum.

    On the other hand, bad teaching, as I would call it, exemplified by some of the more radical fundamentalist churches are inarguably racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., and thereby socially corrosive.

    Theology books are expensive, prohibitively so, because of limited sales. Yet there are certain writers who pen theological best-sellers. The 'trick' is to find a radical and revolutionary position that challenges orthodoxy and make a big deal about turning everything we know on its head, about criticising orthodoxy as such, make it simple, don't worry too much about proofs, or peer-review of evidence, and if you can throw in a claim of being hounded and set upon by the powers-that-be, all the better ...

    The DaVinci Code is a classic example. It's a badly written book, Stephen Fry's phrase 'arse gravy' stuck in my mind, but that itself has never stopped anything being a best-seller. Fifty Shades of Grey is equally execrable, apparently.

    But they work because they tick meme boxes. Be it anti-religionism, or sexual titillation, they say what people want to hear, and they 'entertain', but the danger of course is they normalise what in the first instance is the modern superstition which we in the atheist age call 'conspiracy theory' (but really its the same thing: unseen powers controlling destiny), and in the second BDSM is presented as sexy, romantic, etc., when what you've got is a classic money-and-power patriarchic abuse ...

    And staying on that tack for a moment: the issue here is that internet porn is massively distorting a generation's view of what is the norm, what is acceptable sexual behaviour and what isn't ... there is a cause for concern among sexual health professionals — I'm not sure if that's an example of maladaptive behaviour?
     
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  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the above —

    Just listened to a BBC radio documentary on atheism.

    The landscape has shifted: There is a generation of atheists (mostly older, mostly male) who don't believe in anything 'supernatural'.

    The 'new Atheism' of Dawkins, Hitchens etc., is dismissed by the up-coming generation who regard their arguments as flawed, aggressive and abusive (notably in Hitchens Islamaphobic).

    The new regard themselves as 'nones' rather than atheist, as they're unhappy with the associations that go with that term. They find hard atheists as dogmatic as religionists, people who rather offensively regard themselves as intellectually superior to the believer.

    The nones might well say they don't believe in God, but they do (and this trend in increasing) tend to believe in a soul, in angels, in ghosts, in Gaia, in spiritual healing for example, so while they do not believe in God, they do believe in a supernatural element.

    The atheist regards such nones as simply displaying a lack of critical thinking, prevalent in contemporary society, all evidenced by the belief in fake news, and generally a tendency to believe in whatI believe even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
     
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  16. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Well said! I could not agree with you more.
     
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  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Yes many bones are believers who don't ascribe to any one denomination or belief.

    But many agnostics are among them and wish to separate themselves from the militant arrogant atheists. I know a bunch of them (MAA) and find them to be hypocrites...they are bible literalists and very vociferous and downright nasty in their beliefs until among family members or believers they respect for one reason or another and suddenly they hold.their tongue.
     
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  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Well, social media in general 'dumbs us down.' Anyone can write anything -- anyone can make a meme and get it centred on the page and post it up there -- and a very large number of people don't bother to check and so just pass it on. Fortunately we have websites like this one, where illiterate and unresearched and mispelled memes are few. Long may we run ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    <raises hand>
     
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  20. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    What was the first religion and how did it begin? Did God start in Genesis?
     

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