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Thread: Do humans ave a religion instinct?

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    workmx's Avatar
    workmx is offline Feminazi and semi-professional inconoclast
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    Aug 2012

    Default Do humans ave a religion instinct?

    No, religion is typical human tendencies ("instincts") misdirected and misguided.

    When I was in grade school, there was an anti-drug commercial that regularly came on television. There were a few different versions of it but the gist was, an egg would be shown to the camera as a voice said, “This is your brain.” And then the egg would be smashed by a frying pan and the voice would say, “This is your brain on drugs.” We all got the point: drugs did something to your brain. At my Pentecostal Church, drugs were talked about somewhat differently. We didn’t need them, we were told, because we could get high from God. God could do the same thing to our brain – give us a rush, a sense of euphoria – but our brains wouldn’t end up scrambled. God provided all the “positive benefits” of heroin with none of the damaging side effects. (Of course, when we consider the amount of religious violence throughout history, it’s impossible to claim that there are no damaging side effects to some beliefs in God. More on that later.)

    I long ago left my childhood church and often feel embarrassed about the “God as a drug” theology. But the more I think about religion as an emerging phenomenon, the more I wonder if, for all their sloppy Pentecostal vocabulary, my youth leaders were onto something: God does something to your brain.
    This is your brain. This is your brain on God.”

    More at linky.
    Last edited by workmx; 5th August 2019 at 04:03 PM.
    Forgive me, I'm a sociologist and high horse slut! May contains traces of nuts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Do humans ave a religion instinct?

    Quote workmx said View Post
    No, religion is typical human tendencies ("instincts") misdirected and misguided.

    More at linky.
    Bloody hell.

    There was a young Pentacostal convert in a small office in which I was working. There were six of us. This was one of those earnest young men with a gaze. At ad hoc intervals, he would look up and exclaim "Praise The LORD!" in a loud voice, with fervour. It was quite disconcerting. As supervisor, it fell to me to restore peace to the office.

    I asked him, several times, to stop, as this was an office, not a church. The little prick ignored me. After several more days of this carry on, I was at my wits end. So, I took him aside, quietly, into another room. I said quietly, with fervour and a gaze of my own "if you do that one more time, I'm going to punch your lights out" He had no way of knowing I was bluffing. It worked, but left me with a feeling of failure as a supervisor. I deserved a good birching.

    Also got dragged to a Penatcostal revival, featuring the Rev Jim Spillman. ( I think, this was around 1973) Not an experience easy to forget, I can tell you.

    Is there an urge to the divine? As expressed by happy clappy churches, Catholics et al? I doubt it very much indeed. When belief reaches that stage, it has become organised and quite corrupt, imo. It then has the spirituality (whatever that is) of my Jack Russell..

    Is there an urge to something greater than oneself? I think there probably is, because most of humanity has some form of spiritual belief.

    I think people need to have a sense of understanding of their world. A sense of order and control. EG That loud noise in the sky is Thor's Hammer. We can make it stop with a sacrifice.-------OR more advanced; Pharaoh is a living god .It is through complex ritual that he keeps the world in order----With more complex ritual we can effect the after life, and our relationship the gods which live there.

    Being a member of a religion can impart a real sense of community and help with survival as a social being.I refer specifically to the Jews and to some of the smaller religions. EG The Sikhs, the Bahai, Mormons, the Amish, JW's, Plymouth Brethren.Plus diverse millennial movements which come and go.

    It is my belief that that all pervasive human behaviour has purpose. I believe 'spiritual' beliefs meet some very important human needs .That at times in history, such beliefs could mean life or death.Still seems to be the case in some extreme forms of Islam.

    The fly in the ointment of spiritual beliefs I think probably began with the emergence of Shamans and witch doctors. later, to full fledged priests. Such people may have been a bit smarter anda bit more observant than their fellows. may have ben totally sincere. The smartest shamans would have soon realised there were advantages to being shaman . Eg people did what he/she did, perhaps didn't have to hunt or gather food.

    Eventually there were massive religions/cults, with very rich and very powerful priestly castes; I'm thing of the cult Moloch/Baal in Babylon, of Amun in Egypt, and of course the polysyllabic gods in Meso America----------

    --------through the 613 commandments, Judaism controlled every aspect of people's lives, which included the death penalty for many breaches of ritual..

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