1. Joined
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    24 Mar '07 19:15
    I am doing some research on the origins of religion What I have found are a variety of theories. These include:

    1. The Nature Worship Theory. Max Muller suggested that human beings developed their religions by observing the forces of nature and then personalizing them.
    2. The Animistic Theory. This theory promoted in a book by Sir Edward Burnett Tylor argued that pimitive peoples had trouble distinguishing dreams and reality. It was when they dreamed about their dead relatives that they begin to believe that a spiritual world existed.
    3. The Monotheism Theory. All of the worlds religions are corruptions of an original monotheistic religion. This theory was introduced by a Jesuit priest who studied primitive areas in Africa and Australia where religions were either animistic or polytheistic, however, there was a persistent belief that once there was a single great God above all.

    Does anyone have any other theories to add?
  2. Standard memberNemesio
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    24 Mar '07 20:36
    Originally posted by whodey
    I am doing some research on the origins of religion What I have found are a variety of theories. These include:

    1. The Nature Worship Theory. Max Muller suggested that human beings developed their religions by observing the forces of nature and then personalizing them.
    2. The Animistic Theory. This theory promoted in a book by Sir Edward Burnett Tylor ...[text shortened]... that once there was a single great God above all.

    Does anyone have any other theories to add?
    Read 'The Science of Good and Evil' by Shermer. He believes that
    religion is the necessary byproduct of a desire for moral order when
    the internal pressures by members within a propinquity group become
    to diffuse because of increased number.

    Nemesio
  3. Joined
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    25 Mar '07 00:06
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Read 'The Science of Good and Evil' by Shermer. He believes that
    religion is the necessary byproduct of a desire for moral order when
    the internal pressures by members within a propinquity group become
    to diffuse because of increased number.

    Nemesio
    Thanks for the info. So I assume you have read it and think it is a good read. So does this need for moral order possibly be due to being instilled in us by a higher power or is the book written from an atheistic view point according to Shermer?
  4. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    25 Mar '07 00:09
    Originally posted by whodey
    Thanks for the info. So I assume you have read it and think it is a good read. So does this need for moral order possibly be due to being instilled in us by a higher power or is the book written from an atheistic view point according to Shermer?
    Where did God get his morality from? Did he have it imbued by a higher power, or isn't that necessary? And if it's not necessary for God to have morality imbued from a higher power, why is it a requirement that we had our sense of morality imbued by a higher power? Especially when we have a mechanism (evolution) which can reach exactly the same result without the need for "magic man".
  5. Joined
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    25 Mar '07 02:463 edits
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Where did God get his morality from? Did he have it imbued by a higher power, or isn't that necessary? And if it's not necessary for God to have morality imbued from a higher power, why is it a requirement that we had our sense of morality imbued by a higher power? Especially when we have a mechanism (evolution) which can reach exactly the same result without the need for "magic man".
    The need for a moral code of some kind is human nature. Likewise, God has a nature as well that dictates that a moral code is necessary. For example, God is said to be holy. The term "holy" assumes that that he is sinless or incapable of sinful behavoir. How then can all of this be possible without a moral code of some kind? Without a moral code of some kind there could be no sin. Since man was made in God's image this moral code was then imbued to us via a conscience.

    I suppose you could make the arguement that since man is deemed dependent on attaining his morality from a higher power then why not God? I would say, however, that God had no beginning. He simply always was and is. Therefore, to ask where God recieved his moral code would be to imply that he had a beginning. However, we know for a fact that man had a beginning, but not so with God. Also, you further assume that the evolutionary process is devoid of supernatural origins. I do not agree.
  6. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    25 Mar '07 03:49
    Originally posted by whodey
    I would say, however, that God had no beginning.
    Based on what evidence exactly?
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    25 Mar '07 04:001 edit
    For all of you crazy people of faith like myself who agree with the monotheistic theory, I have found an interesting perspective in regards to why religion has deviated from the one true God. A man by the name of Larry Richards states that he thinks that other religions deviate from the one true God in order to distance themselves from God rather than assuming that their purpose is an ill concieved attempt to reach out to him. He says that this "distancing" has many strategies. The first strategy is to create stories that depersonalize God. In other words, God's existence is acknowledged, but he has become irrelevant. He is viewed as so distant that attempted personal interaction with him would be deemed futile for the most part. He uses the modern day example of Hinduism which states that the Brahman (god) is everything and nothing, unknown and unknowable but essentially part of ourselves. In other words, you would be better served getting in tune with your own "god" self than reaching out to a personal God of some kind. Another stategy is to impose a subordinate God by creating other gods and goddesses. Gods and goddesses that were said to be created by the original God are then moved into focus and slowly but surely replace the original God. An example are the ancient people of Canaan. Their primary God of worship was at one time named "El". However, despite his primacy, he became increasingly depicted in myths as physically weak, indecisive, senile, and resigned. El was said to be the head of a pantheon of dietes originally, however, he gradually becomes replaced by the lesser diety named Baal. Baal gained his supremacy over El after he attacked El with some confederates, wounded him, tied him up, and castrated him. In this ancient culture, such castration then excluded a person from sovereignty. El then escaped and fled to the end of the world. Baal was then seen as the stronger of the two and became the object of worship instead of El.

    For me this is a new and interesting perspective on why other religions are born into the world.
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    25 Mar '07 04:061 edit
    Originally posted by scottishinnz
    Based on what evidence exactly?
    Evidence? I talk only of the God of the Bible who says so. Now if you want evidence for God I suppose their is only one way to go about it, however, I would not recommend it. After all, we would miss ya around here Scotty. :'(
  9. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Mar '07 04:16
    Originally posted by whodey
    For all of you crazy people of faith like myself who agree with the monotheistic theory, I have found an interesting perspective in regards to why religion has deviated from the one true God. A man by the name of Larry Richards states that he thinks that other religions deviate from the one true God in order to distance themselves from God rather than assumi ...[text shortened]... was then seen as the stronger of the two and became the object of worship instead of El.
    whodey: He uses the modern day example of Hinduism which states that the Brahman (god) is everything and nothing, unknown and unknowable but essentially part of ourselves.

    A) That is an inaccurate description of Brahman as as already been explained to you;

    B) The "modern day example of Hinduism" has written records dating back 5000 years.
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    25 Mar '07 04:251 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    whodey: He uses the modern day example of Hinduism which states that the Brahman (god) is everything and nothing, unknown and unknowable but essentially part of ourselves.

    A) That is an inaccurate description of Brahman as as already been explained to you;

    B) The "modern day example of Hinduism" has written records dating back 5000 years.
    If my interpretation is wrong then explain.

    Also, I know that Hinduism predates the God of the Bible.....or at least ONLY in terms of recorded historical evidence. I am not sure you can prove that it actually predates those who may have worshiped the God of the Bible originally.
  11. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Mar '07 04:301 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    If my interpretation is wrong then explain.

    Also, I know that Hinduism predates the God of the Bible.....or at least ONLY in terms of recorded historical evidence. I am not sure you can prove that it actually predates those who may have worshiped the God of the Bible originally.
    Brahman is everything, not nothing.

    We are part of Brahman (as is everything), not vice versa.

    With fanatics like you, no proof would ever be sufficient. There are no records of any worship of the OT Monster God prior to 600 BC or so. That makes it about 2500 years younger than the WRITTEN records of "modern day" Hinduism (and it is reasonable to assume that Hinduism existed for some time before it was recorded). I point this out because your post leaves the ridiculous and false impression that Hinduism is some recent creation.
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    25 Mar '07 04:40
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    [b]Brahman is everything, not nothing.

    We are part of Brahman (as is everything), not vice versa.
    But I am talking about depersonalizing a personal God if he, in fact, does exist. To simply say that he is everything I think erodes his personhood. After all, I would not want someone referring me as "all of mankind." I have a name, I have feelings, I have desires that are individual in nature. I also have a need to interact and form relationships with those I love. If you really believe that we are created in the image of God I think you would have to assume that he is much the same in this regard.
  13. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Mar '07 04:431 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    [b/]But I am talking about depersonalizing a personal God if he, in fact, does exist. To simply say that he is everything I think erodes his personhood. After all, I would not want someone referring me as "all of mankind." I have a name, I have feelings, I have desires that are individual in nature. I also have a need to interact and form relationships with ...[text shortened]... in the image of God I think you would have to assume that he is much the same in this regard.[/b]
    I don't care what you believe. You are falsely characterizing another belief system. Have you no shame?

    That you start from the premise that there is a personal, anthromorphic God and then assume that it is impossible for that belief to be wrong is your delusion and curse.
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    25 Mar '07 04:53
    Originally posted by whodey
    But I am talking about depersonalizing a personal God if he, in fact, does exist. To simply say that he is everything I think erodes his personhood. After all, I would not want someone referring me as "all of mankind." I have a name, I have feelings, I have desires that are individual in nature. I also have a need to interact and form relationships with t ...[text shortened]... in the image of God I think you would have to assume that he is much the same in this regard.
    Brahman is not generally seen as personal. Therefore, I would argue that one does not relate to Brahman directly, but to the manifestations of Brahman—including this atman/self that I am.

    I distinguish between a monotheism that posits a supernatural being separate from the cosmos, and monism (or non-duality) that speaks in terms only of the ground of being, the ultimate One without a second, the All without another. For monotheism, generally, the God creates the world of phenomena; for monism, the phenomena arise from the whole, subsist within it, and ultimately return—a common metaphor is waves on the ocean.

    Some monists occasionally speak in “theistic” terms just because of that relational motivation you mentioned. But the personal gods they “relate to” are images (icons) of the ultimate reality, not a description of that reality itself. Their aesthetics is not to be confused with their “theology.” The personal perspective itself is part of the world of forms: our form, our consiousness.

    As the poet Kabir said it:

    The holy One manifests in myriad forms;
    I sing the glory of the forms.
  15. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Mar '07 04:56
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Brahman is not generally seen as personal. Therefore, I would argue that one does not relate to Brahman directly, but to the manifestations of Brahman—including this atman/self that I am.

    I distinguish between a monotheism that posits a supernatural being separate from the cosmos, and monism (or non-duality) that speaks in terms only of the ground of bei ...[text shortened]... e poet Kabir said it:

    The holy One manifests in myriad forms;
    I sing the glory of the forms.
    We've been through this with whodey before. He is incapable and/or unwilling to bother to attempt to understand any belief system but his own.

    A discussion of maya would probably be interesting to us only.
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