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What is the Real origin of Religions?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Wmhoerr
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What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Wmhoerr » January 6th, 2019, 8:55 pm

We all know our parents, our grandparents a little less so, possibly our great grandparents, but older generations only from black and white pictures on the wall. When asked “where are you from?” we might refer to the ancestors we know, a few generations back. We can’t say any more because we don’t know. Are we making the same mistake with religion? Are we looking back far enough?

Sigmund Freud was also a student of religion as well as psychoanalysis. In his last book, Moses and Monotheism, 1939, he discusses the origin of Christianity. I will give my summary of the main ideas when I read the book.

He suggests here that the first Moses was an Egyptian and lived around the 13 or 14 century B.C. The Egyptian pharaoh at the time was Amenhotep (IV) who rejected the polytheism of the previous pharaohs and adopted monotheism during his reign of 17 years. He changed his name to Ikhraton, left Thebes and built a new capital further down the Nile (p. 38–39) which he called Akhetaton. Nefertiti was his wife. It was during this period that Moses lived and he embraced this new religion with Aten his God. Not wanting to abandon this new religion and revert to polytheism upon the pharaoh’s death, Moses and his Egyptian followers (Levites) selected the repressed Semitic tribes of Egypt to leave with him and this departure became the Exodus (p. 47). These various tribes with their new Egyptian religion crossed the Sinai and settled in the Hejaz. Over some hundreds of years and under a new Moses they lost their Egyptian religion and gained the polytheistic religion of the Arabic Midianites (p. 55) of which one of the Gods, the volcano god, was called Jahve (origin of John, Jahweh, Jehovah and so on). Jahve recognised the existence of other Gods and was jealous of them. But over time the repressed monotheism of the lost Egyptian religion came to the fore and reasserted itself and so Jahve became the only God with all other Gods now false Gods. Thus the Jewish religion (and so later Christianity) has as its origin both Egyptian and Arab components.

But is this enough? What was in Ikhraton’s mind when he decided to move away from polytheism and choose monotheism. Was is a genuine inspiration or did he know of earlier religions that were monotheistic? Are most things lost in time, like our knowledge of our ancestors?

“Moses and Monotheism” can be downloaded from Archive.org as it is out of copyright (greater than 70 years old).

Eduk
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Eduk » January 7th, 2019, 9:40 am

Did he have any evidence for this 'first Moses'? Sounds made up to me.
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Burning ghost » January 7th, 2019, 11:06 am

Wm -
We all know our parents, our grandparents a little less so, possibly our great grandparents, but older generations only from black and white pictures on the wall. When asked “where are you from?” we might refer to the ancestors we know, a few generations back. We can’t say any more because we don’t know. Are we making the same mistake with religion? Are we looking back far enough?
Generally when it comes to the origins of religion VERY few people care to look back far enough. I agree with that. I certainly don’t think looking back a few thousand years sheds light on the human phenomenon generally encapsulated as “religion”.

Origins of human behaviour lie in the origins of civilizations, language, knowledge and the human species at large.
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Woodart
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Woodart » January 7th, 2019, 6:48 pm

Wmhoerr wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 8:55 pm

When asked “where are you from?” we might refer to the ancestors we know, a few generations back. We can’t say any more because we don’t know. Are we making the same mistake with religion? Are we looking back far enough?
I think you are on the right track in answering your question:

What is the Real origin of Religions?

Religion started as soon as humans were able to communicate. Early humans back 100,000 years or more – asked the three eternal questions:

1. Who are we?
2. Where did we come from?
3. Where are we going?

These questions have been with us for as long as we have been able to think – and – they are still with us today. Early humans posed and answered these questions soon after language became available. Imagine a group of humans huddled around a fire, in a cave – and – someone asked these questions. The person who answered or gave an explanation was our first Shaman/Priest. And that is the origin of Religion.

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by LuckyR » January 8th, 2019, 5:10 am

Woodart wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 6:48 pm
Wmhoerr wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 8:55 pm

When asked “where are you from?” we might refer to the ancestors we know, a few generations back. We can’t say any more because we don’t know. Are we making the same mistake with religion? Are we looking back far enough?
I think you are on the right track in answering your question:

What is the Real origin of Religions?

Religion started as soon as humans were able to communicate. Early humans back 100,000 years or more – asked the three eternal questions:

1. Who are we?
2. Where did we come from?
3. Where are we going?

These questions have been with us for as long as we have been able to think – and – they are still with us today. Early humans posed and answered these questions soon after language became available. Imagine a group of humans huddled around a fire, in a cave – and – someone asked these questions. The person who answered or gave an explanation was our first Shaman/Priest. And that is the origin of Religion.
I agree. Thus why some find scientific explanations more compelling than mythical stories. However, in the modern era religion is moving away from the past for this reason, and more towards judging behavior.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Eduk » January 8th, 2019, 6:36 am

The person who answered or gave an explanation was our first Shaman/Priest. And that is the origin of Religion.
Out of interest what would you call someone who takes some knowledge (let's just say the knowledge is correct) and writes an entertaining story to illustrate this in order to teach the tribe? For example I would guess the motivation to write 1984 was not purely one to entertain without purpose. (and if you don't like 1984 just imagine I had referenced a book you do you like).
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Woodart » January 8th, 2019, 7:40 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 5:10 am
I agree. Thus why some find scientific explanations more compelling than mythical stories. However, in the modern era religion is moving away from the past for this reason, and more towards judging behavior.
I think religion has always been in the business of judging behavior. Human behavior is based upon the pervasive characteristic of insecurity. We are insecure about the eternal questions, but also what and when we are going to eat; when and/or if we are going to have sex; is that animal or person going to attack me – and on and on. Insecurity drives our motivation to do just about everything. Science is born out of insecurity and pushes it forward. Science is also a type of religion.
Eduk wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 6:36 am
Out of interest what would you call someone who takes some knowledge (let's just say the knowledge is correct) and writes an entertaining story to illustrate this in order to teach the tribe? For example I would guess the motivation to write 1984 was not purely one to entertain without purpose. (and if you don't like 1984 just imagine I had referenced a book you do you like).
Our tribe is preoccupied with stories – we use them educate, enhance, dominate, enlighten and encourage. We need new stories as much as fresh air. Stories literally breathe life into us.

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by LuckyR » January 9th, 2019, 4:22 am

Woodart wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 7:40 pm
LuckyR wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 5:10 am
I agree. Thus why some find scientific explanations more compelling than mythical stories. However, in the modern era religion is moving away from the past for this reason, and more towards judging behavior.
I think religion has always been in the business of judging behavior. Human behavior is based upon the pervasive characteristic of insecurity. We are insecure about the eternal questions, but also what and when we are going to eat; when and/or if we are going to have sex; is that animal or person going to attack me – and on and on. Insecurity drives our motivation to do just about everything. Science is born out of insecurity and pushes it forward. Science is also a type of religion.
Followers of science can find solace similar to what the religious seek and find. But despite what individuals superimpose upon science, it is not a true religion.

We are in agreement that religion (like all bureaucracies) seeks to consolidate power through manipulation of the rabble.
"As usual... it depends."

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cavacava
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by cavacava » January 9th, 2019, 10:57 am

#Wmhoerr
But is this enough? What was in Ikhraton’s mind when he decided to move away from polytheism and choose monotheism. Was is a genuine inspiration or did he know of earlier religions that were monotheistic? Are most things lost in time, like our knowledge of our ancestors?
I have no idea what was on Ikhraton's mind and I am not sure he believed in a god or just one superior god, however, I think civilization made a spectacular leap when it came to believe in an invisible god, one who's very name could not be said, and which had no image. In doing so I think mankind tried to moved past the apparent and the symbolic in an attempt to answer its most basic questions about existence.

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Conodfam4 » January 9th, 2019, 12:44 pm

John the new guy here. I think it is simpler than it appears. People want to belong to something bigger than themselves and with others who are like minded. And people are insecure, as stated previously. They are insecure because they do not trust themselves wholey and want guidance for a proper way to live. So, belief systems are formed with fear, pride, and hope. And when belief systems are challenged by opposing belief systems, wars are started because not every belief can be true.

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Woodart » January 9th, 2019, 6:00 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 9th, 2019, 4:22 am

Followers of science can find solace similar to what the religious seek and find. But despite what individuals superimpose upon science, it is not a true religion.

We are in agreement that religion (like all bureaucracies) seeks to consolidate power through manipulation of the rabble.
Well, what is the true religion is always a sticky wicket. Is the Greek Zeus and the pantheon of Gods the true faith? What about Baal? Most scientists have strong opinions about God or no-God. Many in the field of quantum mechanics say there is strong evidence for the existence of God. Science does talk theology and philosophy – for example – free will verses determinism. I think there is more mystery in the Big Bang theory than evidence. Sciences job is to face the unknown – which is almost everything.

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Eduk » January 9th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Many in the field of quantum mechanics say there is strong evidence for the existence of God.
Please provide evidence of this many.
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Woodart » January 9th, 2019, 7:27 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 9th, 2019, 6:31 pm
Many in the field of quantum mechanics say there is strong evidence for the existence of God.
Please provide evidence of this many.
I am not saying that quantum mechanics proves or disproves God’s existence. What I maintain is that many in the field of quantum physics talk about God’s existence as a distinct possibility. There are many cogent views on both sides of the equation.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnfarrel ... cfbf842c86

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/7040 ... tence-god/

https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/2012 ... lieve-god/

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Felix » January 9th, 2019, 9:50 pm

The origin of religion? In a word, wonder. But it is also a vehicle for sharing cultural values - usually after all the wonder has been squeezed out of it. :)
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Eduk
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Eduk » January 10th, 2019, 4:43 am

@Woodart out of interest what does this mean to you? I mean what do you conclude from this belief?
Let us imagine you knew of ten theoretical physicists who categorically said X proved God.
Do you ask yourself which God?
Does it matter which God?
How many physicists need to believe something before it is reasonable to take it as true?
Is consensus important?
Is non controversial consensus important?
Is an expert physicist necessarily an expert philosopher?
Is it possible to prove expertise in philosophy?
Are there any non controversial consensuses amongst philosophers?

For me the argument that I keep taking from those articles you sent me is that every single one of them says quantum mechanics is not an argument for God.

I believe this is the consensus amongst physicists. But I also take this to be philosophy and I don't consider physicists to have a meaningful consensus regarding philosophy.

I also think calling materialism atheistic is just insane, but there we go.

Plus I think there is overwhelming evidence for free will. Which, I think, says nothing about materialism. And especially says nothing about specific versions of God.
Unknown means unknown.

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