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    05 May '06 09:511 edit
    Anthropologists long thought totemisim to be the first religion/cult. The anthropologist Claude levi-Strauss called this an anthropological mirage and stated that totemism was humanitites way of categorising plants and animals and how man/woman interacts with them and how cultural objects coexist with natural ones.
    So.....'if' this hypothesis is true ? Can we extend it to religion and cite religion in the same terms as Levi-Strauss's conception of totemisim? Is religion humanities way of classification, is it a way of understanding how we interconnect with animals , plants the world, the universe, life, death and so on? or as Ninian Smart states, religion is a 'worldview'.
    Thoughts ?
  2. Cape Town
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    05 May '06 10:14
    Originally posted by Vladamir no1
    Anthropologists long thought totemisim to be the first religion/cult. The anthropologist Claude levi-Strauss called this an anthropological mirage and stated that totemism was humanitites way of categorising plants and animals and how man/woman interacts with them and how cultural objects coexist with natural ones.
    So.....'if' this hypothesis is true ? ...[text shortened]... terconnect with animals , plants the world, the universe, life, death and so on?
    Thoughts ?
    I would start by disagreeing with the view that totemisim was the first religion/cult. I dont see how anyone could possibly know what the first religion/cult was. The definition of religion/cult is rather vague.
    Religion is clearly far more than the words you have listed but maybe thats included in the 'and so on'.

    I would say that most religions have to do with coming to terms with the finite nature of life (or avoidance of it). Also they have to do with coming to terms with our inability to totally adapt our environment to suit ourselves (causing us to experience pain, suffering, dissatisfaction etc). I believe that it is a definate trend that the more you feel you can control your own destiny the less religious you are.
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    05 May '06 10:261 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I would start by disagreeing with the view that totemisim was the first religion/cult. I dont see how anyone could possibly know what the first religion/cult was. The definition of religion/cult is rather vague.
    Religion is clearly far more than the words you have listed but maybe thats included in the 'and so on'.

    I would say that most religions have ...[text shortened]... nate trend that the more you feel you can control your own destiny the less religious you are.
    I agree with:
    I would start by disagreeing with the view that totemisim was the first religion/cult. I dont see how anyone could possibly know what the first religion/cult was. The definition of religion/cult is rather vague.

    As stated this thread revolves aound Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism 'not' what anthropologists though totemism was before Levi-Straus re-conceptualised it.

    As for:

    I believe that it is a definate trend that the more you feel you can control your own destiny the less religious you are.

    Again i would agree, if we synthesise this through Nietzschean (The will to power, amour fatti) or Buddhist philosophy, they come to similar conclusions.....BUT...this thread is dealing with 'what' religion is , can it be in its origins conceptualised and made analogous to Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism, that is the question....???
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 May '06 10:47
    Originally posted by Vladamir no1
    I agree with:
    I would start by disagreeing with the view that totemisim was the first religion/cult. I dont see how anyone could possibly know what the first religion/cult was. The definition of religion/cult is rather vague.

    As stated this thread revolves aound Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism 'not' what anthropologists though totemism was be ...[text shortened]... d and made analogous to Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism, that is the question....???
    Going back in time say 100,000 years or so or even earlier, religious feelings may have come from natural effects like thunder following lightning or a savanna fire. If a person from that era was actually hit by lightning and maybe killed which no doubt happened from time to time, especially if you are in the central plains of some large country like Russia or the US or Australia where there are a lot of thunderstorms and lightning, it wouldn't take much to see that as thought of as supernatural and for them to think a mind was behind it and therefore it was the agent of a god and therefore to be feared or worshipped, and maybe sacrifices started to appease said god and when thunder and lightning hit around them, statistically most of them would not be hit but they would have attributed that to the gods being satisfied with their supplications or sacrifices. You could see that in the case of tornadoes for instance, now there is a natural phenomenon that can draw out fear in people even today, so think what it would have been like to have seen one of those a half million years ago when the primates of the time who had brains almost as big as ours, its not a big stretch for those people to have seen it as a god or apparition and build a religion around it.
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    05 May '06 10:503 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Going back in time say 100,000 years or so or even earlier, religious feelings may have come from natural effects like thunder following lightning or a savanna fire. If a person from that era was actually hit by lightning and maybe killed which no doubt happened from time to time, especially if you are in the central plains of some large country like Russia stretch for those people to have seen it as a god or apparition and build a religion around it.
    Point well taken but with all due respect you are not addressing the question raised within this thread....

    Can religion be in its origins conceptualised and made analogous to Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism? That is the question....

    FYI

    Lévi-Strauss offered a new and different interpretation of "totemism", a feature of many cultures which had fascinated anthropologists and others. This is a phenomenon in which an animal, plant or other object (a totem) becomes identified with a particular social group ( generally a tribe or clan). Sociologist, Emile Durkheim viewed it as a primitive form of religion. Psychologist, Freud, saw it as related to the incest taboo. But Lévi-Strauss considered it a system of signs by which means pre-literate societies could organise their relation to nature. He considered the entire concept of totemism as an artifact of western thinking imposed by anthropology. It was a projection of Christian thought, which clearly separated man and nature, on societies whose thought patterns still functioned in a mythic, timeless mode.
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    05 May '06 11:22
    Originally posted by catfoodtim
    http://www.creatorix.com.au/philosophy/24/24f04.html

    You forgot your reference again.
    You're such a fool, of course I copied and pasted the FYI for everyones info rather than labourisly typing my own synthesis of Levi-Straussian thought on totemism..... try and contribute something constructive for once or stick to the general forum....Thankyou
  7. Cape Town
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    05 May '06 11:50
    Originally posted by Vladamir no1
    Can religion be in its origins conceptualised and made analogous to Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism? That is the question....
    What do you mean by religions origins? Different religions have different origins and to a large extent religion is not a historical phenomena but a characteristic of the species. There is a big difference between:
    1 asking why particular religions started, spread and became successfull and
    2 asking why people in general are religious.
    Though 2 is obviously important for 1.

    Also the assumption that religion arose in one place at one time or for only one reason should first be investigated.

    sonhouse talks about how people 100,000 years ago explained phenomena they didnt understand with religion, but I dont really see why he went back 100,000 years, as almost all people in the world today do exactly the same thing. It wouldnt surprise me if some animals have similar beliefs.
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    05 May '06 11:54
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    What do you mean by religions origins? Different religions have different origins and to a large extent religion is not a historical phenomena but a characteristic of the species. There is a big difference between:
    1 asking why particular religions started, spread and became successfull and
    2 asking why people in general are religious.
    Though 2 is obvi ...[text shortened]... ld today do exactly the same thing. It wouldnt surprise me if some animals have similar beliefs.
    yes i'm well aware of these points but the point I'm trying to explore is can we utilise Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism to further our understanding of the emergence of religion. Instead of addressing the routine explainations such as 'primitive' people utilising god/religion as an explaination for natural phenomena such as earthquakes hurricanes and so on.
    Do you see what I'm getting at?
  9. Cape Town
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    05 May '06 13:55
    Originally posted by Vladamir no1
    yes i'm well aware of these points but the point I'm trying to explore is can we utilise Levi-Strauss's conception of totemism to further our understanding of the emergence of religion. Instead of addressing the routine explainations such as 'primitive' people utilising god/religion as an explaination for natural phenomena such as earthquakes hurricanes and so on.
    Do you see what I'm getting at?
    I do not see any need to look at 'primitive people' at all. The reasons why people are religious are probably the same today as they were in the past so why not look at why people are religious today.
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    05 May '06 17:311 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I do not see any need to look at 'primitive people' at all. The reasons why people are religious are probably the same today as they were in the past so why not look at why people are religious today.
    because this thread is to do with the formation/emergence of religion not religion in its contemporary from..........ie did religion emerge from humanities need to classify and compare culture and nature?
  11. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    05 May '06 18:331 edit
    Originally posted by Vladamir no1
    You're such a fool, of course I copied and pasted the FYI for everyones info rather than labourisly typing my own synthesis of Levi-Straussian thought on totemism..... try and contribute something constructive for once or stick to the general forum....Thankyou
    His point is that you need to credit your source; otherwise you look like a common plaigarist. Just C&P the website URL along with the text and you won't have this problem.
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    05 May '06 20:58
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    His point is that you need to credit your source; otherwise you look like a common plaigarist. Just C&P the website URL along with the text and you won't have this problem.
    If i was a common plagerist I'd pick something that would make me look good not some general info to help give some people info...stop being so pedantic and contribute to the thread or keep quiet...so annoying!
  13. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    05 May '06 21:551 edit
    Originally posted by Vladamir no1
    If i was a common plagerist I'd pick something that would make me look good not some general info to help give some people info...stop being so pedantic and contribute to the thread or keep quiet...so annoying!
    It's irrelevant whether the material lifted is 'good' or not. Credit the source, or you'll rightly be labelled a plaigarist. Others have tried to get away with this crap over and over again, until they found that they could hardly start a thread without being called on their unannounced C&P jobs. You're stuck in a room full of pedants. Damn! Who let them in??? It's as if this is a public forum. 🙄🙄🙄
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    05 May '06 22:00
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    It's irrelevant whether the material lifted is 'good' or not. Credit the source, or you'll rightly be labelled a plaigarist. Others have tried to get away with this crap over and over again, until they found that they could hardly start a thread without being called on their unannounced C&P jobs. You're stuck in a room full of pedants. Damn! Who let them in??? It's as if this is a public forum. 🙄🙄🙄
    My intoductory post was not refering to any reference it was only when some people were confused that i added a synopsis on a later post that saved me typing one up,,,If you take it in context it's not plagerim...But I'll bear in mind the uncontextual pendantics of the site and will in future name the year author and page number if anything to keep the thread on track and stop people making irrelavant posts 😕
  15. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    07 May '06 07:51
    Originally posted by Vladamir no1
    My intoductory post was not refering to any reference it was only when some people were confused that i added a synopsis on a later post that saved me typing one up,,,If you take it in context it's not plagerim...But I'll bear in mind the uncontextual pendantics of the site and will in future name the year author and page number if anything to keep the thread on track and stop people making irrelavant posts 😕
    Context is irrelevant. You're still passing off the words of others as if they are your own.

    All you had to do is just copy and paste the URL, or even put quote ( " ) marks around the text, followed by the name of the author. I guess anyone who asks you to get off your lazy arse and do something that takes 2 seconds must be a pedant.

    🙄🙄🙄
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