Getting Religion

Nontheists understand that religion is wrong. We discuss religions, rant about them, and fight them. Do we understand them? The goal of here is to learn about religions, how they developed, what they beleive, what makes them tick.

Location: Global
Members: 52
Latest Activity: Jan 18

"Getting Religion" means understanding religions.


File:Stonehenge Closeup.jpg

The impact of religion is pervasive.  Religion flavors all aspects of human life.  Religion has influenced human evolution for thousands of years.


Just as we learn about chemistry, biology, and psychology, learning about religion helps us understand ourselves as a species, and how we came to be who we are.  That understanding may also help us understand how to function in a world where the majority of humans continue to be religious.



Intro to "Getting Religion" - what the group is about.

Paleolithic origins of religion.

Religion in the Neolithic Age.




Here is a link that summarizes the 43 biggest religious or religious belief systems, in the world today.  This is the "Big Religion Chart".


To me, religions are like science fiction.  I like the worlds of Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek, and X-Files, and I like reading about Zoroastrianism, Aztec cosmology, and Catholic papal  intrigues.

-Sentient Biped 5/29/2013


Discussion Forum

Where, and what, is Hell?

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Michael Penn Dec 10, 2014. 42 Replies

The Americas before 1491.

Started by Daniel W Dec 25, 2013. 0 Replies

Religion in the Neolithic Age.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Daniel W May 28, 2013. 1 Reply

Intro to "Getting Religion"

Started by Daniel W May 23, 2013. 0 Replies

Origins of Religion in the Paleolithic Age

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Daniel W May 21, 2013. 26 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Daniel W on September 5, 2010 at 10:52pm
Diana's book came in the mail last week - now to actually read it! So much to learn!
Comment by Daniel W on May 4, 2010 at 2:11pm
Mahatma Gandhi
A friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty.
Comment by Jo Jerome on April 18, 2010 at 10:50am
The great Daniel has spoken!

Sorry - couldn't resist!
Comment by Daniel W on April 15, 2010 at 6:30pm
I have not been active here lately. That should change now, with new posting to follow.
Comment by Daniel W on February 21, 2010 at 10:22am
Newsweek published an article regarding why it's important for students at Harvard to study religion, even as a secular institution.

I'm not enthusiastic about Ivy League elitism, or academic insularity in general, and I can quibble with some of the author's phrasing, but overall it was relevant to this discussion group. The author is Lisa Miller, Newsweek's religion editor. I don't know what her religious or nonreligious bias may be - she seems to be pretty scrupulous about avoiding disclosure of her own beleif or not, in her biographical statement.
Comment by Daniel W on January 17, 2010 at 4:50pm
Thanks for joining. The major goal is to develop a type of "religious literacy". Very few people know much about religions, even the ones that are common in their community and sometimes, their family. By learning about religion, we better understand our families and neighbors, we better understand the news and history, and we arm ourselves against becoming indoctrinated ourselves.
Comment by William Hopper on January 7, 2010 at 9:08pm
Jerome: Take the anthro degree if you want it, but definitely not for job prospects. Trust me on this one... I went to university for a Ba.H in World Religions and a Minors in Classics. Great for your perspective, but not longon jobs out there for anthro/history stuff.
Comment by Jo Jerome on January 7, 2010 at 8:19pm
Daniel: ((( Hugs ))) Glad my 'getting it' gives you the warm fuzzies! This is such an awesome site, with so many awesome people, and here I find one more awesome idea for group discussion.

William: I think you're right. We seem to be hard wired to put things we don't understand into familiar references. Most importantly, we seem hard wired at the most basic level to ask not 'what' made that noise, caused that rock to fall, rattled that tree, caused the sun to go dark midday, but rather 'who' made/caused/rattled these things. I wonder if it's part of the caveman fight-or-flight instinct; we hear/see something strange and as a survival instinct the first thing we're on the lookout for is a 'who' rather than an innocuous 'what.' From there, our higher imaginations take over and poof - religion.

All: I'm thoroughly inspired. Next few hundred spare bucks I have goes into a couple of online courses, inching towards that Anthro degree. ;-)
Comment by Daniel W on January 6, 2010 at 10:46pm
Jo Jerome,

You don't know how good your comment made me feel. I worried that people might either think this group was stealth-apologist, or religion bashing. You completely "get" the idea. Thank you so much.

Thing is, I am currently of the opinion that much of religious belief is physiological, not cultural.In medicine, they teach a "bio-psycho-social" model of disease. The development of many illnesses, and the treatment of many diseases, involves aspects that are biological, psychological, and sociological. In different examples, this is weighted more toward one than the others, but often all 3 have signicant roles. It's kind of live the "nature/nurture" arguments. The real answer is "both".

I'm very glad you're in this group as well. This is great!
Comment by William Hopper on January 6, 2010 at 7:00pm
(I'm a religious history guy by trade... the antho is just a curiosity.)

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