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Is human kind predisposed to religion?
05-20-2009, 04:34 PM
Post: #1
Is human kind predisposed to religion?
It's a question I've always wondered. From the beginning of civilization there is evidence of religious practice.

Why is that?

People seem to assume they're not alone, whether it's God, UFO's, Ghosts. Is that just wishful thinking?

Also, I had a semi religious upbringing. All my life I've had the experience of sitting through Mass feeling like none of it applies to me. I've read scripture and none of it's appealed to me. I do have a sense of wonder about the universe, but i wouldn't say that leads to a belief or faith in God.

Are some people more inclined to religion than others? How much of a role dose culture and tradition play?

I would be interested to hear peoples views on this .. ..
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05-20-2009, 04:48 PM
Post: #2
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
You know, I've often wondered this myself. I can't claim I understand all of it yet, but this is what I've worked out.

First, we're predisposed to curiosity. People are naturally curious. It's a part of sentience. In olden times the most logical explanation was magical people in the sky who made things happen. So that explains the creation of religion.

In addition, we are rather neatly divided into leaders and followers. Some are more predisposed to one than the other. A lot of this seems to be tied not to intelligence, but to mental dexterity, namely how often we question things. Those who have trained their minds to question everything are more likely to question establishments and analyze things. These people understand that the rest of people just want to follow something, and so they start looking for something they can follow. Thus they strike on religion, which is singularly suited to the purpose of controlling the masses. It says to believe and be devoted to invisible and mysterious forces that you cannot prove, who can cause disasters if you do not appease them. That's perfect stuff. So the incredulous begin codifying religion into stories and tales, which eventually become dogma, and the credible follow them.

If a religion gets past a few generations it becomes self-perpetuating and no longer needs this separation, and true believers, sheep though they may be, can simply perpetuate dogma like they have been taught to lead others. On the other hand, the truly charismatic leaders of religious movements are more likely to become leaders of splinter-sects, cults, or else to actually be hypocrites.

Finally, there are two ways to motivate people effectively. Appeal to their fear and hatred, or appeal to their guilt. This is the Hitler vs. Gandhi method. Both led massive popular movements, but one appealed to the Id, while the other appealed to the Superego. Both manipulated their followers extremely effectively, one appealing to their fear and hatred of outsiders, and one appealing to the guilt of his followers (as in, "you know this is how you SHOULD be acting".) The same two principles are the two guiding principles of religion. The more fundamentalist religions focus on hatred and fear of "sinners", while the more liberal religions rely mostly on ideas of guilt and conscience to get people to do the right thing.

So yes, mankind is predisposed to religion. It is predisposed toward finding explanations to explain the world, and then a certain portion of humanity is predisposed toward manipulating those explanations, blowing them out of context, and forming institutions around them in order to control the populace. The populace, on the other hand, prefers to be controlled instead of the fearful existence of being independent, so they go along with it.
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05-20-2009, 05:06 PM (This post was last modified: 05-20-2009 05:10 PM by rhiannon1890.)
Post: #3
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
The populace, on the other hand, prefers to be controlled instead of the fearful existence of being independent, so they go along with it.

Thats interesting. I remember studying Hobbes at university. Although he had a bleak outlook on human nature, he gave the idea that humans had to be controlled for a society to remain stable .

So if thats true, then do we need religious control?

Over Christmas, I visited a place called Nova Huwta just outside Krakow in Poland. Stalin had it built in 10 years for hundreds of thousands of steel workers. It is a magnificent place, but the one thing Uncle Joe forgot to include was a church (in Poland i know!) The people built that church with their own money and skills, and in the years to come it became a solid symbol of anti-communist feeling.

[Image: the_world_2007.1190229900.img_1741.jpg]

Perhaps we need something stronger to believe in than just human kind.

And if thats the case, what might the results be of the secularisation of many parts of the world be? The West in particular?

People often say that religion causes wars and violence for example, but if you look at religious communities, they are often regimented. Everyone has their place (whether outsiders agree with these or not). The problem occurs when they come into conflict with people who do not share their traditions and their hierarchies.

If we all shared the same religion would we be at peace? It's a very star trek thought.
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05-20-2009, 10:16 PM
Post: #4
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
In my opinion (and whenever a guy like me starts arguing with the truly great philosophers I want to make it plain it's just my opinion,) Hobbes took the easy way out. Yes, people being controlled DOES lead to a stable society, but it's not the only way to lead to a stable society. Other ways, however, involve uplifting rather than exploiting human nature, that is, encouraging the "better angels of our nature" to become predominant, rather than taking advantage of the worst parts of human nature. This is a difficult part, and is usually utterly profitless for the power-hungry, so it's rarely tried.

Your point about the church is an interesting one. I've noticed that when a church is oppressed and a minority, it is often a beacon of strength, a place uplifting the best parts of the human spirit, and a rallying point in the fight against tyranny. However, once you stop persecuting the church it becomes entrenched in the establishment, and instantly becomes a place of hatred, bigotry, and hypocrisy.

I posit that it was never the church that was the beacon of hope, but rather the people themselves. The church just became a convenient rallying point.

As for the "Star Trek" thought, I direct you to the infinitely better-written Babylon 5. One of the earliest episodes involved the predominant religions of all the races. Commander Sinclair was expected to show human religion, so he brought all the ambassadors to the cargo bay, where he had dozens and dozens of people lined up, each one a spiritual leader from a different religion. Babylon 5 often dealt with religious issues, and rather than become preachy it seemed to emphasize the fact that there is rarely a right answer when it comes to religion. The writer seemed to wish to emphasize that we have strength in our diversity, but observing the series for a while I got a much different picture of it. Basically in the future, we will have evolved to a point where religion is so marginalized that it's no more controversial than what music you like to listen to or which ancient philosopher is your favorite. You're a Jew? You're a Muslim? You're an Atheist? That's fine, after all the three of you will all respond exactly the same way to any given moral situation, because morality is not tied to religion at all.

I like that idea. I'm not foolish enough to think we can ever get rid of religion, silly though I find it. I have high hopes, however, that it will soon become just another personality fashion accessory.
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05-21-2009, 05:49 PM
Post: #5
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
'that it will soon become just another personality fashion accessory'.

That's scary, I live in a city where wearing a crucifix is a silent way of showing what football team you support.

And that, mixed with history, causes a whole different sort of hatred.
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05-23-2009, 10:26 AM
Post: #6
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
Quote:Is human kind predisposed to rewligion?

Yes.

Now that's settled, next question?
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05-24-2009, 07:58 AM
Post: #7
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
But it's a far more superficial hatred. Well, not necessarily, but it's a hatred that your neighbors are far more likely to condemn. When religion has become just another accessory, and we're all behaving morally, well, it's just foolish to hate someone for what amounts to an accessory isn't it? It's deviant. Those who do will find they have no support, as opposed to now when a preacher speaking out against gays can have a small army of deluded sheep on the streets with "God hates fags" signs.
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04-26-2010, 04:43 AM
Post: #8
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
Why is that?
people feel in God always , some thing inside them
People seem to assume they're not alone, whether it's God, UFO's, Ghosts. Is that just wishful thinking?
it is wishful and if you practice you will know it is feel ful , too Smile
Are some people more inclined to religion than others?
we are the same we like religion by the same anoumt
How much of a role dose culture and tradition play?
It transfer you from astage you wish there is God
to stage you feel god before you become older
after you feel it is so hard not to believe what you feel
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11-07-2012, 05:09 PM
Post: #9
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
Yes it is.why because the human brain is connected or wired in to omni presents.or no thingness where from emotions get there source.can you wonder why most observers have some belief its natural for man to be religious .
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11-07-2012, 05:18 PM
Post: #10
RE: Is human kind predisposed to religion?
(05-20-2009 04:34 PM)rhiannon1890 Wrote:  It's a question I've always wondered. From the beginning of civilization there is evidence of religious practice.

Why is that?

People seem to assume they're not alone, whether it's God, UFO's, Ghosts. Is that just wishful thinking?

Also, I had a semi religious upbringing. All my life I've had the experience of sitting through Mass feeling like none of it applies to me. I've read scripture and none of it's appealed to me. I do have a sense of wonder about the universe, but i wouldn't say that leads to a belief or faith in God.

Are some people more inclined to religion than others? How much of a role dose culture and tradition play?

I would be interested to hear peoples views on this .. ..

That tells me there is no Fire without smoke

Click Here to know more about Islam
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