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May. 14th, 2001

I think much religion originally came to pass as a way for humans to try to influence things not directly under their control, such as weather, disease, food sources, other humans, and so forth.

If that's so, it stands to reason that the original concepts of deities might include the notion that they were scary and capricious entities that could punish just as well as reward.

Life *is* pretty scary and capricious and not particularly well under control.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 14th, 2001 02:37 pm (UTC)
I think religion and mystical experience are two seperate things that sometimes overlap. Your statement covers religion very well, but mysticism is...well....what it is. The religions that came after the later ancient period usually had someone with some kind of mystical experience as its founder, while the older, polytheistic religions were based on eons of accumulated myth and tradition.
Communications technology has a lot to do with the change, the polytheistic religions were founded on an oral tradition, while Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc had the existance of writing being key to the fact that their creeds have survived with the core intact for thousands of years.
Movements like Protestantism was based on the existance of movable type, making possible independant interpetation of the Bible from the priestly class.
Technology has had a major impact on religion in more recent times. Religions like buddhism and christianity have transplanted themselves out of thier native origins because of cheap transportation. My guess is that religions like Falon Gong and Neopaganism have spread further than previous non-mainstream "heretical" religions did in the past, is that rationalism has made them seem less of a threat to the Established Order, plus cheap communications and transportation technology, not to mention the way rationalism has a tendency to erode the otherworldly qualities of a religion once it becomes "respectable" and people hunger for something that is more than a place to exchange business cards and make contacts.
May. 14th, 2001 04:44 pm (UTC)
It seems much more honest in a strange way, having a god as capricious and unpredictable as the rest of life. It's scarier, though.
May. 14th, 2001 07:35 pm (UTC)
Well, God is painted by modern religions as being all loving. Unless assumes there is some spiritual point or message behind all the crap we put up with that is loving in a counter-intuitive way, then one has to figure that the Universe is a Maxis product being played by a 14 year old male with ADHD.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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