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Old 09-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #226
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The answer INDY is looking for is, "Jesus."
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:03 PM   #227
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The answer INDY is looking for is, "Jesus."
Jesus is always the answer but civil society is what dictates which government, economic, judicial and education systems form.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:46 PM   #228
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Religion is a symptom of being afraid to die.
could you be more dismissive of religion in this thread? I mean, really, I appreciate the fact that you feel differently than me, but you're really piling on in this thread.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:50 PM   #229
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civil society is what dictates which government, economic, judicial and education systems form.
Agreed, but just as there are religious people who are civil and hold good values, so too are there non-religious people who also behave and believe similarly.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:58 PM   #230
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Religion is a symptom of being afraid to die.
Now step over to the Abominizer and I will shout slogans at you.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:19 PM   #231
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could you be more dismissive of religion in this thread? I mean, really, I appreciate the fact that you feel differently than me, but you're really piling on in this thread.
Fear of death is the reason religion exists. It's the essence of it. There's no other way around it
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #232
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Fear of death is the reason religion exists. It's the essence of it. There's no other way around it
If you say so. That's not my reasoning for it, but you aren't talking about me in particular. I don't want to start a useless debate in here.

This whole story just makes me sick. I just haven't really had anything to say.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:25 PM   #233
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If you say so. That's not my reasoning for it, but you aren't talking about me in particular. I don't want to start a useless debate in here.

This whole story just makes me sick. I just haven't really had anything to say.
I'm not saying it's the reason you or anyone here is religious. I'm saying that the genesis of all religion - the reason it arose in human history - is because of a fear of no longer existing after we die. There's nothing wrong with that
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:25 PM   #234
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Religion is a symptom of being afraid to die.
I'm not sure if that's exclusively why religion exists, but it's certainly a major proximate cause.

I think it may be interesting to have a thread where everyone describes their personal religious beliefs, but I'm not sure.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:27 PM   #235
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I'm saying that the genesis of all religion - the reason it arose in human history - is because of a fear of no longer existing after we die.
I don't want to seem like I'm picking on you here, but I'd have to challenge this rather strongly. For one, the concept of a well-defined afterlife is a relatively new development. The only pre-Christian society of which I can think that pays any real attention to the afterlife is the ancient Egyptians. Even Judaism, as far as I understand it, does not say much about an afterlife. The mythology about the afterlife in other early religions is vague and often paints a highly depressing picture of what awaits.

Anthropologically speaking, I think it is fairly safe to say that religion, if we define that as some form of ritualized belief in the supernatural, begins as (and largely still is) a means of expressing social value, of demonstrating the importance of certain acts or ideas.

The earliest spiritual rituals, for example, deal with the absolute essentials of life: child-bearing and food-gathering. Then, as family units start to coalesce, ancestor worship develops; next, in early urban environments, deities of farming and warfare appear, and etc.

On this basis I would argue that religion is meant to instill in people a sense of what they have to be doing in order to ensure the survival of their communities. I think that survives even to this day, as you see many religious people believing that their specific values and practices need to be carried out for the good of society at large.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:29 PM   #236
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On this basis I would argue that religion is meant to instill in people a sense of what they have to be doing in order to ensure the survival of their communities. And I'm sure you can see how that pattern could lead to abuse as society became more complex.
Yeah, that's exactly how I feel too.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:31 PM   #237
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I'm not sure if that's exclusively why religion exists, but it's certainly a major proximate cause.
I'm certainly open to hear what other people think. It could be interesting. But I think if you go back far enough, to the very beginning of any semblance of religion, the reason would be fear of death. Any way to prove that definitively? Probably not.
It doesn't take a dismissal of modern religions to concede that point though. And like I said, there's nothing wrong with a fear of death. It's perfectly natural. I know I am
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:35 PM   #238
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I don't want to seem like I'm picking on you here
not at all man. I value and appreciate your knowledge. I'm just about to head out for the night, but looking forward to carrying the convo on tomorrow
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:52 PM   #239
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And like I said, there's nothing wrong with a fear of death. It's perfectly natural. I know I am
The idea definitely freaks me out, too. I may not be very religious, but I do like the idea of there being something after this life is over. What exactly that would be, I couldn't begin to tell you, and of course it's not something that I could prove to be true, but the thought of people I love who've passed being comfortable in some other existence and whatnot is a comforting one for sure.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:06 PM   #240
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Last year, I read "The Evolution of God"...I forgot the author's name. Anyway, the first quarter of the book discusses how religion came about in early societies by looking at cultures like those in Papua New Guinea, which are still very much stone age like. It gives a very good argument on how religion could not be avoided in ancient history. The author is an agnostic, so maybe some of you may want to read it.
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