AOriginally posted by Conrau K
Well, I see how religion in ancient society was exploited to control people. In Roman religion, the senatorial deification of emperors was obviously a way to legitimate imperial power. Augustus' successors could use the precedent of Caesar and Augustus' deification as a validation of their divine right of rulership. Obviously too Virgil's mythologising of ...[text shortened]... plicated. I doubt it can simply be explained away as an instrument of patriarchal control.
I think the ancient feminine religions led to a kind of emancipation of men, driven to come out from under the thumb of women, so modern religions could be thought of as some kind of payback for centuries of female rule. I think that started with the Minoans who had female gods and such, but the Theran eruption probably led to a weakening of their civilization, it didn't kill them outright but it looks now like the Mycenaean's were able to take advantage of that weakness to attack and take over the Minoans, still having female gods but adding the Olympian crew to the mix and I think that was the beginning of the end of female religious hegemony.
Of course religions have gotten more sophisticated, sneaky even, over the course of centuries since the Minoans, for instance, just a guess on my part but I don't think the ancient religions would give out food to the poor, any giving would have been from the people to the religion. That is just my take on it and I may be totally bonkers about that but religions like Mormonism makes a point out of helping the poorer members of their faith, I know that, seeing my Mormon sister getting substantial help, food and money, from the church. The food they gave her was very high quality, the Deseret brand prided themselves on that.
But there is that tiny problem with the religious monkey on the backs of the average Mormon. When they started, the polygamy, the attacks to drive out non-Mormons made to look like indian attacks, they have a lot to answer for. Of course it was 2 centuries back but religions like that can start up at any time. Just because we think we are in the oh so sophisticated century 21 doesn't have anything to do with the fact a new religion can start up out of the blue with bizarre rituals and such.
All you have to do is look at the "Rapture" and the like, and 20th century tragedies like the Jim Jones massacre to see the so-called sophistication of a society is no protection against religious nut jobs like David Koresh and the like from taking over a group of people, small fry at the start but Mormonism was small at the start and likewise that 'religion' that came out of a boast at a party, L Ron Hubbard says, "I can start a religion, and did just that, making Scientology a billion dollar industry.
Ask Tom Cruise or Kirstie Alley or John Travolta about that one
Christianity was the first religion with a real sales pitch, followed a few centuries later by the second sales pitch religion, Islam.
Now at loggerheads with no end in sight. We may live in some kind of rather tense harmony in the US but try being Christian in Gaza, ask people in Bethlehem, the REAL one, not the one next to us in Allentown
Ask a Bethlehem Christian how many are now left when it used to be about 50/50 and now more like 90/10, pretty blatant anti Christian bias there. I know that for a fact having lived in Jerusalem for 4 years and saw it up close.
Lebanon used to be pretty liberal in the treatment of religions there but lately Christians there have been leaving too.
Islam and Christianity in the East are not compatible and will never be so. They will always, or so it seems, to be at war.
This is not a case of boys will be boys and its just a cultural thing, it goes a lot deeper than that. People who have not lived in the middle east will have a hard time digesting that but neither Christianity or Islam is anything like religions of peace. Sure there will be peace, when there are no Christians left and the rest are all Islam, or vice versa.
This is all based on one issue, fighting over what kind of a god you worship.
If that is not a sign of civilizational immaturity I don't know what it is.
I would not rail against religions if our basic civilization was anything like mature but like immature adults who think they are right and everyone else is wrong, you cannot call such a civilization mature.
Civilization will only be mature when we can either shuck the whole idea of religion, my desire, or to embrace diametrically opposed religions like Christians V Islam, Jesus worshipers V Satanists, allow them in our homes, have parties, marry them, have kids, have barbies, drink a beer while Satanists, Christians, Jews and Muslims are rooting for their home football team, until then we are immature as a civilization.
That's my story and I am sticking to it.