Damien on… The History Of Religion
When one is a child, all sustenance, caring and wisdom comes from one’s parents. Therefore, as a child, one’s parents are effectively GODS. But when one grows up, one quickly comes to realize they actually have feet of clay – which leaves one feeling rather alone.
And thus it has been, ever since Man first gained the power of THOUGHT. But once he BEGAN to think, he put enormous effort into trying to overcome the problem. Looking around, the first thing he noticed was the Sun. It gave him warmth, light – and plants didn’t seem to grow in the shade. Therefore in a triumph of logic, he surmised that the Sun was God.
But then, he realised that this could not be the entire story. Water seemed to be kind of important too. And without earth… So pretty soon, he became convinced that they too must be gods. And with that realization, since men were his only point of reference, he attributed to them man-like qualities. And so began to worship them. And give sacrifices to them.
Further on down the line, Man developed civilizations. And with those civilizations (the Greeks, the Romans) came development of those early ideas. They devised gods for EVERYTHING that seemed important. Wine, love, travel – you name it, they had a god for it. But this got ridiculous – enter mono-theism.
A single god was easier to handle, but Man needed some sort of connection with this deity, thus he came up with prophets, sons-of, holy men, witch-doctors – again, you name it.
But since civilizations had their differences, it was inevitable that their religions would vary also. And since religious devotion had become so powerful, that devotion would lead to “holy wars”. Thus much blood was spilled over whose gods were best.
But eventually, Man grew UP. He invented SCIENCE, which provided answers to the questions of the creation of the Universe, the way the World worked and the evolution of himself. At least, by now that’s what SHOULD have happened – but it hasn’t has it?
The absurdities of Man’s modern religions are mind-boggling.
The simplest question, which a five-year-old can ask, but which the most intelligent theologian in the World cannot answer, is, “If God made Man, who made God?”
Then there are the variations. Given that the major religions are markedly different in their beliefs, it stands to reason that they can’t ALL be right. Which means that anyone claiming THEIR religion is the only “true” one is, by inference, dismissing the followers of all other religions as a bunch of poor deluded saps.
In fact, religions are a bit like washing liquids and powders – they all do much the same job, but all of their manufacturers claim that only THEIRS washes RIGHT.
But what job DOES religion do? Well, they do many. Going back to that primitive Man, they answer the unanswerable questions – what is the purpose/meaning of life – sort of. And they give people a father-figure. Someone to ask for stuff. Help, comfort – a good crop.
And of course, they calm the fear which EVERYONE has of DEATH, by promising some sort of after-life – from the Happy Hunting Ground to Heaven. And they also enable men to CONTROL other men by offering up threats of the OPPOSITE, if they don’t behave.
But if that were true, where would the cut-off point be? We all live lives filled with good and bad deeds (see “Good And Evil”, elsewhere in these ramblings) so how much evil can you do and STILL make it to the good place? With some religions, seemingly plenty – provided you can get a “holy man” to give you absolution just before you die.
And if Man is born in God’s image, it follows that God looks like Man. But what would HE do with reproductive organs? And where do WOMEN come in all of that?
And if God is perfect, why do some religions make “alterations” to babies? “Lord, your work is ALMOST perfect, but we want to make just ONE little ‘improvement’…”
Okay, at this point I am forced to skip over the many, MANY other absurdities of individual religions for fear of bringing down a ton of CRAP upon myself – as I’ve said elsewhere, these are just words, people – and make just one more point…
A person’s religion – or belief system – is developed over their life- time, so why do God-Squads CONTINUE to believe they can CHANGE people’s beliefs, on a door-step, in half an hour? Don’t they realize the only “conversions” they will achieve will be amongst the lonely, the desperate, the vulnerable – and people whose soaps are about to start on TV?
[For more on this, check out… http://corneliusatloppers.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/cornelius-on-my-belief-system/ ]