I assume that religion is subject to evolution just like everything else. If I am right, then there must have been a beginning for religion. I suspect it started with agriculture when people found that they had more free time. They didn't have to spend every waking moment hunting and gathering food anymore. With more time, people started to do more thinking.

And thinking led to more questions. What are the stars in the sky? Where is my dead son now? Why do I see my dead son when I sleep, but not when I am awake? When will I die? What happens when I die? How did I come to be? How did the world come to be? What went on before? What will happen in the future? 


And I imagine that the wise man of the group had to answer all these questions. Does he answer with "I don't know"? That would never quiet the questions, so, what does he answer with? I suspect that he answered with things that seemed intelligent, but there was no way to prove him right or wrong.


And as the groups got bigger and people had specialized jobs, the wise man became wise men, and the wise men came up with something that gave them more power and control over the group. So that they would not contradict each other, they probably had to standardize their religion.


And after 5000 years, religion is still the way to control the masses.


Do I sound like one of those wise men? :o)


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Comment by MCT on January 23, 2011 at 10:59pm

I think it happened something like that. You must check out part one of Zeitgeist, if you haven't already, The Greatest Story Ever Told. It is awesome. It's on Youtube.

One needs to see truth as a value in order for the attainment of it to make one happy. I don't think that we can make anyone feel better with the truth, unless they value intellectual honesty to begin with. How can we make someone value intellectual honesty? Not indoctrinating them into a cult shortly after birth would be a good start, but once their grown, who knows? Maybe by showing them that reason always prevails over superstition whenever we get the chance over the next few centuries.

Comment by Cane Kostovski on January 22, 2011 at 2:36am
Hello Adebowale! (I am assuming that your first name is Adebowale) I Googled your book and found this web site: http://davidgmcafee.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-crisis-of-religion...

I would like to talk about this question you were asked: Q: Despite the abundance of strong criticisms from Non-Theists, religion has continued to wax stronger; Why?
And about part of your answer: "Throughout the history of humankind, from civilization through civilization, it has always been the natural tendency of humans to believe what is not true."

I will start with a question about the part of your answer I have quoted above. Why do people in the past and present have the tendency of believing what is not true?

I would like to offer an answer to my own question. I like Dr. Carl Sagan's opinion of religion and how it compares to science. You can hear it in his own words in this video of the last interview he attended: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jod7v-m573k

I paraphrase: "Science is after the way the Universe really is and not what makes us feel good, and a lot of the competing doctrines are after what feels good and not what's true."

I believe Dr. Sagan is completely correct in his opinion. I would ask if you agree to the following statement: After people have their need for food and shelter satisfied, for most people, the next thing they need is feeling good.

If you agree, then I put forth another statement: Most people will go to great lengths to feel good including believing the unbelievable.

So, if a person who is an average person is having a troubling time and someone comes to say that if the person having trouble believes in something unbelievable, that person's troubles will go away, will that person be more likely to believe it or not? I think your observation above answers that question.

So, I pose the next question to all nontheists: How do you make the religious feel good with the truth?
Comment by Adebowale Ojowuro on January 22, 2011 at 12:18am
Of course your hypothesis does sound wise, Trekjunky! You may also take a look at my philosophy on the development of religion from my latest literary work in print - The Crisis of Religion, subtitled, The Feral Excesses of the Gullibility of Man. The first chapter under the heading, "In Search of God," sheds some penetrating lights into the evolutioary origin of religion into the human culture. You will surely find the piece a good read! The Crisis of Religion is available on Amazon.com, ISBN 9780620445832. Cheers! -:) 



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