On what basis do you think they did not anthropomorphise these forces of nature?? Do you think they realised they were natural forces of nature? If that was the case, why do you think that people, as they became more stable and were surviving more successfully, made that natural system into a more and more complicated system of worshipping the gods/spirits that they imagined, and told people, were behind them?Quote
Actually Susan, I think that what ancient people decided was that there were forces of Nature that did NOT do what people wanted. Like volcanoes, storms, earthquakes etc. We call them, even today, forces of nature. They can still destroy us and our plans.
They worked to placate them, built places for these forces to be worshipped. If, right from that logical start, they knew they were exploiting the people with their apparent power to intercede with whatever gods they had invented, that makes religions and their leaders an unhelpful way of living – I was going to say, ‘a blight’ but that is too derogatory a term - on society for more like a million years rather than tens of thousands I think, don’t you?
If ancient people went from understanding that natural events were just that – natural, it would have been a backward step, evolutionarily if nothing else, to thentreat them as gods/spirits/etc.
Well, yes, that is what superstition is, isn’t it?! :) To say that religious beliefs are not superstitions doesn’t hold water. If you believe they are different, can you explain why?Quote
I suggest that what was superstitious was thinking people could do things which avert these natural processes.
No, I’ll make it clear – ancient superstitions were understandable; alternative superstitions that followed and continue today, were and are religious beliefs, with supposed gods or spirits as their focus.Quote
So I take it now that “alternative superstition “ simply means ancient superstitions or Susan’s interpretation of ancient superstitions.
That, as we have learnt from evolutionary studies, is a vital survival trait. As long as it continues to be passed on, the human race will continue to survive, in spite of the unevidenced ideas of many, whether they are meant in as kind and good a manner or not. Religious leaders are so deeply embedded and involved in the necessity for perpetuating these faith beliefs that I suppose enough of them work for the good of the people for them to be supported until such time as they become a minority view. I shake my head sadly that there are still such vast numbers who can inculcate, indoctrinate, teach as truth, etc daft beliefs like people flying on winged horses, angels with wings, resurrections of people who then rise – whyrise? We know enough about the Earth, galaxies and the universe to understand what is above us” – into some mythical heaven.Quote
In terms of your last two sentences, I think that modern religions have already handled the issues of ancient or original superstitions quite well. God for modern religions is really tied to the concept of good or goodness. Especially, a lifestyle based on love of life and reciprocity towards one’s neighbors.
Doesn’t matter what it was based on – it is a false idea which gets religious leaders out of the hole they are in.Quote
Now the notion that ‘god is beyond space and time’ was a later notion based on
I will also say that as far as I’m concerned, the CofE, shaky as it is, provides the background stability needed by humans and should stay until something more able to form that background becomes available.
Of course, there is no obligation, ;ought or should to do that. Why do you think it should? For one thing, as I might have mentioned occasionally, there is zero evidence for any godd/spirit/etc existing other than as an idea in human brains.Quote
You know Susan, god does not have to be interpreted as a “supernatural existent”
You’ll have to explain that – I can’t see what you mean.Quote
and , if so, then you don’t have an argument at all. I can only suggest being careful with the argument of supernatural reality.
What does?!! And How?Quote
It works both ways. IMO, of course.
If that were true, then there would be a cessation of people killing others because of the others’ beliefs. And, of course, the word God would lose its authority because the religious leaders claiming its existence would be shown to be spreading falsehoods.Quote
My definition is simple, god is the word people use to name the meaning they find in life. Not “supernatural “ at all.
I don’t know about that, but it has made a very interesting start to my Saturday! Thank you.Quote
Hope this helps!