Why did we invent religion? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Why did we invent religion?


Being brought up in a staunchly religious home makes me constantly inquisitive about religion. Perhaps the question should have been - Was the idea of ĎGodí invented? But I already have an answer to that, however subjective, but one that I can live with. God exists or existed at some point. And regardless of what thousands of science articles and papers trying to explain God away would have you believe, common sense is all it would take to believe there is/was a God. No amount of big bang theories has successfully explained why there is an array of complex life on earth, why there are universal laws/cycles (gravity, nitrogen cycle, water cycle), or how intelligent beings can be a product of mindless cataclysmic explosions that is the big bang. So yes God(creator) exists or at least existed. Life on earth is simply too organized, complex and yet diverse all at once that itíd be irrational to say otherwise. (Before I go any further, let me state clearly that Iím a non-religious person)

Religion is a different topic entirely. Was it invented? I think so. God did not invent religion. It was mostly borne out of manís desire to acknowledge a higher being that must have been responsible for their existence. Manís fear of death and his quest to find meaning in life led to the creation of religion. This is observed in the theme of most religions which is to encourage its adherents to live a life that will qualify you for a higher life (in heaven , Paradise earth, nirvana).

Interesting isnít it? I think thatís one of the allures of religion. It has managed to hold our interest for hundreds of years. Once we begin to get bored, it will be death of religion and all the social and political capital and privileges (heck they don't even pay taxes since someone somewhere believes they are non-profit organizations. For the records its profit making just that the currency is mostly influence not just cash) accorded its leaders and members. God in my opinion has no business with religion. Someone who is has powerful as we believe God is doesnít need religion to fight for him or validate his existence. So why then do religions take it upon themselves to fight for God?
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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We invented Religion. But Why?


Being brought up in a staunchly religious home makes me constantly inquisitive about religion. Perhaps the question should have been - Was the idea of ĎGodí invented? But I already have an answer to that, however subjective, but one that I can live with. God exists or existed at some point. And regardless of what thousands of science articles and papers trying to explain God away would have you believe, common sense is all it would take to believe there is/was a God. No amount of big bang theories has successfully explained why there is an array of complex life on earth, why there are universal laws/cycles (gravity, nitrogen cycle, water cycle), or how intelligent beings can be a product of mindless cataclysmic explosions that is the big bang. So yes God(creator) exists or at least existed. Life on earth is simply too organized, complex and yet diverse all at once that itíd be irrational to say otherwise. (Before I go any further, let me state clearly that Iím a non-religious person)

Religion is a different topic entirely. Was it invented? I think so. God did not invent religion. It was mostly borne out of manís desire to acknowledge a higher being that must have been responsible for their existence. Manís fear of death and his quest to find meaning in life led to the creation of religion. This is observed in the theme of most religions which is to encourage its adherents to live a life that will qualify you for a higher life (in heaven , Paradise earth, nirvana).

Interesting isnít it? I think thatís one of the allures of religion. It has managed to hold our interest for hundreds of years. Once we begin to get bored, it will be death of religion and all the social and political capital and privileges (heck they don't even pay taxes since someone somewhere believes they are non-profit organizations. For the records its profit making just that the currency is mostly influence not just cash) accorded its leaders and members. God in my opinion has no business with religion. Someone who is has powerful as we believe God is doesnít need religion to fight for him or validate his existence. So why then do religions take it upon themselves to fight for God?
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 03:29 PM
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People have historically used religion to explain things they can't explain and to self-soothe and cope with existential angst, and then some parts of religion (some religions have more of these than others,) were also designed to control people.
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 03:44 PM
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^ probably the same purpose as horoscopes. yeah I'm sure every single Leo has the same exact day and week as every other, based on a horoscope. but if you choose to beleive in it and it coinacidentally works out to fall in line with what happens, then I suppose it might help that person be comforted etc.
I think religions much the same idea

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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 03:56 PM
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I do believe God exists too. Men (males) written religious books when we talk about abrahamic faiths. That's obvious and only muslims are denying it. But how do you know what God is and why do you need to know that without religion? I mean religions have their dogmas about God and actually give answers to those questions. Because all ideas that you have about God are shaped by what you've heard of God or spirituality from various sources or saw or etc. if you refuse a specific religion. If you refuse that all then God is basically nothing and why should we even think about Her/Him if we can't know? If you don't have an orientation then you can turn into God (idolize) virtually anything, i.e. inanimate objects, animals, people, yourself, whatever human imagination can do. You're going back to some prehistoric state of people. It's just how human mind seems to work.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 05:32 PM
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we did not invent . god (and aliens) is real, they show themself many times to humans and send prophets, then people write about this (and this gave us religions).
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ljubo View Post
we did not invent . god (and aliens) is real, they show themself many times to humans and send prophets, then people write about this (and this gave us religions).
You're my hero.

Staff edit

But part of this reason he's my hero is because of that thread!

Just putting 'you're my hero' without anything backing it up makes a mockery of what I wrote!

Last edited by Silent Memory; 03-26-2017 at 06:05 PM. Reason: I removed an inappropriate sentence.
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 06:09 PM
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Yes, I agree with your point except for the lack of the need of religion, because what would God be if we didn't have religious dogmas and all? God would be nothing and everything at once. People need notions to define what God is as I posted in your another duplicate thread. (I'm quite persistent, ain't I?)
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 07:27 PM
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Religion has a few purposes.

Firstly, it comforts people. They can rest assured that if they dont do anything evil, they will go to heaven forever. They can rest assured that their enemies will go to hell. They can rest assured that their lives are being protected by an omniscient being.

Secondly, it gives them hope. Hope that their life will continue on in the next life. They wont die, they wont be forgotten about.

Thirdly, it provides an explanation for why things are the way they are. Religion fills in the gaps of everything perfectly, but science has made religion seem obselete.
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 07:52 PM
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Religion was invented to explain things humans don't yet fully understand. Before abrahamic faiths humans worshiped the sun and had a complicated ritual process of their deities explaining why the sun fell each day such as the tale of Ra. Now we know why the sun falls only to reappear every day rather than believing there is a battle of the God's and Ra dies only to be re birthed the next day. It will be the same story for creationists.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 08:33 PM
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You obviously don't know much about evolutionary science or the history of our planet and universe. There is "an array of complex life on earth" because it evolved that way over the course of billions of years. Obviously there were no intelligent beings in the beginning; it took a very long time for the original single-cell organisms to evolve and adapt to the changing climate and geographical conditions on this planet before multi-celled organisms came into being, and much longer still for those organisms to evolve into the complex life we see today. It's all about vast amounts of time and random chance; organisms that were weak or ill-equipped to deal with their environment died off, while the rest thrived. And asking why there are universal laws or cycles is utterly ridiculous; you may as well ask why grass is green or why water is wet. But the existence of said laws and cycles in no way requires a creator. You may want to do more research and study before making claims like the existence of God is "common sense," because I assure you it's not.

I don't think that it was originally a desire to acknowledge a higher being that led to the invention of the first religions, either. Because monotheism and all of its trappings is a relatively new phenomenon; all of the most ancient civilizations we know of were pantheistic. I think that it was probably the desire for knowledge that led to the first primitive religions. People thousands of years ago couldn't understand natural phenomena like weather patterns or natural disasters. They couldn't even understand the cycle of day and night. But we seem to be incapable of taking "I don't know" for an answer, so our inquisitive ancestors came up with elaborate ways to explain the unexplained -- like lightning being the wrath of a god who lived in the clouds, or the sun being pulled by a chariot high up in the sky. And those beliefs and customs evolved, just as life has, over time. The problem is people who refuse to change their beliefs even in the face of contradictory facts.

Many people don't realize that, before the violent rise of the Abrahamic religions, each indigenous people around the world had their own creation myths, ceremonies and rituals. Because originally human populations were very small and insular; people could only travel so far on foot, so a person in one place would never come into contact with a person on the other side of the continent, much less the other side of the world. But as our methods of travel evolved and the world gradually opened up, people encountered others with wildly differing belief systems and deities. And I would argue that arrogance and confirmation bias are the main causes for violence done in the name of God.

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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 08:47 PM
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The real question is why people continue to believe in religion.
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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bettyone View Post
Being brought up in a staunchly religious home makes me constantly inquisitive about religion. Perhaps the question should have been - Was the idea of ĎGodí invented? But I already have an answer to that, however subjective, but one that I can live with. God exists or existed at some point. And regardless of what thousands of science articles and papers trying to explain God away would have you believe, common sense is all it would take to believe there is/was a God. No amount of big bang theories has successfully explained why there is an array of complex life on earth, why there are universal laws/cycles (gravity, nitrogen cycle, water cycle), or how intelligent beings can be a product of mindless cataclysmic explosions that is the big bang. So yes God(creator) exists or at least existed. Life on earth is simply too organized, complex and yet diverse all at once that itíd be irrational to say otherwise. (Before I go any further, let me state clearly that Iím a non-religious person)

Religion is a different topic entirely. Was it invented? I think so. God did not invent religion. It was mostly borne out of manís desire to acknowledge a higher being that must have been responsible for their existence. Manís fear of death and his quest to find meaning in life led to the creation of religion. This is observed in the theme of most religions which is to encourage its adherents to live a life that will qualify you for a higher life (in heaven , Paradise earth, nirvana).

Interesting isnít it? I think thatís one of the allures of religion. It has managed to hold our interest for hundreds of years. Once we begin to get bored, it will be death of religion and all the social and political capital and privileges (heck they don't even pay taxes since someone somewhere believes they are non-profit organizations. For the records its profit making just that the currency is mostly influence not just cash) accorded its leaders and members. God in my opinion has no business with religion. Someone who is has powerful as we believe God is doesnít need religion to fight for him or validate his existence. So why then do religions take it upon themselves to fight for God?
The actual essence of religion is rooted in spirituality, so religion is like the fossils of spirituality as Peter Russell puts it.

Religion also addresses several human needs; the need to have meaning in life, community, protection (to some extent), or even food and shelter.

The actual mystics who are really seeking answers to life's mysteries may be a part of a religion but their inquiry is independent of religion because scripture can only point the way, but it is only through rigorous prayer, meditation, yoga that mystics are able to attain states attained by such personalities as the Buddha, Christ, Mohammad etc.

Religion can provide a frame work by which to attain these experiences, such as the precepts observed in Buddhism which are aimed to protect the student from damaging his or her spiritual awakening by not taking drugs, not killing etc, so there is a function that rules and regulations serve.

"if the mountain were smooth, you couldnít climb it.Ē
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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 05:18 AM
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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 08:22 AM
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@Bettyone

I sometimes think that religion tries to point out an 'ideal' way to live, by saying these things are good, and those things are bad.

But we never know if our actions will ultimately turn out to be good or bad. Indeed, any human action can have both good and bad effects, no matter whether the person was trying to achieve a good or bad aim. This is because good and bad are relative. If I win a million at the local poker game, that's good for me, but bad for the losers. So the same act is perceived as 'good' or 'bad' in accordance with what a person's past experience has taught him.

If there is any 'good' or 'bad', it is a subjective thing. We don't know if any action will produce more good or more bad, but we do know what our intentions were; either good or bad. But our intentions ultimately find their source in our earlier experience and learning, over which we have minimal control. You really can not control what experiences life will throw at you. And these experiences build your subjective morals and world view.

So Abrahamic religions are mistaken, when they prescribe 'good' and 'bad' actions, and rewards for 'good' and punishments for 'bad'.

I think that these religions need a new interpretation. If we would just consider our 'self' to be the society of mankind to which we belong, and act accordingly, life would be just as good as any heaven that we can imagine. If everyone lived for the benefit of all, viewing each 'other' as an intricate part of their 'self' identity, humanity would operate as one individual; perhaps as the god that we have always imagined.

I don't know if I believe in a god. But if you follow the science to its very basic level, there does seem to be some magic involved. Or at least some stuff which we are incapable of understanding. So I call myself agnostic.

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post #16 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 07:31 PM
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You obviously don't know much about evolutionary science or the history of our planet and universe. There is "an array of complex life on earth" because it evolved that way over the course of billions of years. Obviously there were no intelligent beings in the beginning; it took a very long time for the original single-cell organisms to evolve and adapt to the changing climate and geographical conditions on this planet before multi-celled organisms came into being, and much longer still for those organisms to evolve into the complex life we see today. It's all about vast amounts of time and random chance; organisms that were weak or ill-equipped to deal with their environment died off, while the rest thrived. And asking why there are universal laws or cycles is utterly ridiculous; you may as well ask why grass is green or why water is wet. But the existence of said laws and cycles in no way requires a creator. You may want to do more research and study before making claims like the existence of God is "common sense," because I assure you it's not.

I don't think that it was originally a desire to acknowledge a higher being that led to the invention of the first religions, either. Because monotheism and all of its trappings is a relatively new phenomenon; all of the most ancient civilizations we know of were pantheistic. I think that it was probably the desire for knowledge that led to the first primitive religions. People thousands of years ago couldn't understand natural phenomena like weather patterns or natural disasters. They couldn't even understand the cycle of day and night. But we seem to be incapable of taking "I don't know" for an answer, so our inquisitive ancestors came up with elaborate ways to explain the unexplained -- like lightning being the wrath of a god who lived in the clouds, or the sun being pulled by a chariot high up in the sky. And those beliefs and customs evolved, just as life has, over time. The problem is people who refuse to change their beliefs even in the face of contradictory facts.

Many people don't realize that, before the violent rise of the Abrahamic religions, each indigenous people around the world had their own creation myths, ceremonies and rituals. Because originally human populations were very small and insular; people could only travel so far on foot, so a person in one place would never come into contact with a person on the other side of the continent, much less the other side of the world. But as our methods of travel evolved and the world gradually opened up, people encountered others with wildly differing belief systems and deities. And I would argue that arrogance and confirmation bias are the main causes for violence done in the name of God.


this is a high quality response. I question one assertion, which is that ancient cultures were usually/always pantheistic before the Abrahamic faiths. do you mean polytheistic? I can't think of how pantheism was ubiquitous pre or at the same time as (the writing of) Judaism.
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post #17 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 07:34 PM
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To create boundaries in a world where people were barbaric as hell and wouldn't follow the damn rules, religion helped give a nice sense of balance especially after the collapse of Rome.
But now? We don't need it anymore, It's actually harmful to current civilization and one of them especially more than others (you know who I'm talking about).
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post #18 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 08:40 PM
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Look at Americans who turn into zombies on Black Friday. Yeah, those kind of people are the majority of people on Earth. It's always been like that. Now you understand why they need to be guided and shepherded in life. That's where organized religion comes in.
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post #19 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 09:45 PM
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To help them understand the complexities of life. It's a lot easier to assume the earth was created by a God when the technology and knowledge didn't exist to properly explain how things came to be.

Of course you then end up with people who still believed fairy tales when the technology and knowledge does exist and sadly they also breed.

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post #20 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:26 PM
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Atheist reality: you were born simply at random cause your parents were horny that particular day and had sex. You exist made in the image of nobody (other than your mortal parents, who may be defective lunatics). Your life path was not laid out for you. You ended up where you are due to a long sequence of choices, good or bad, and eventually you will die. You might drop dead on the kitchen floor of a heart attack, as my brother did at 45. Or you may live to be 105.

In any case, as soon as you're born you are dying, and this is a most troubling thought to the human mind. Few can deal with the harsh reality of being random beings, alone in the universe, with nothing but death as the only certainty. Or they require pot, alcohol, opioids, and every other drug under the sun to help numb their mind from this grim reality, that the Grim Reaper awaits them, and the Reaper never fails to show up when it is time for him to make a kill.

Religion, on the other hand, makes for this wonderful fantasy land where you were created in the image of God -- imagine that! Being made in the imagine of God is mighty damn special. And the Lord laid out this plan for your life. He wisely handpicked what would happen to you, his child. And while you will still die in this fantasy land, you don't really die, as your immortal soul simply leaves your body for an eternal vacation in paradise.

I think you can see why religion is so wildly popular. The Atheist reality is simply the ultimate downer, now isn't it? The truth sucks!
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