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Random Thoughts on Religion and Humanity

March 6, 2014

Religion is about behavioral change, at a time when that change is needed. Religion has changed some of the behaviors we once shared with the other primates and mammals. God was the ultimate antidote to would be, or wannabe human leaders. The ultimate kick in the face to any aspiring alpha male. You cannot be our leader. No human leader is good enough. Any human leader will just arouse too much hatred and rivalry and envy in others. That will inevitably lead to a tightening spiral of conflict and revenge. The Caesars of the Roman Empire is a classic example of this.

Such a social structure as religion is a result of millenium-spanning solutions to social problems. If you think you can pin it down to the merely erroneous belief in a non-existent god of an individual who exists here and now, then you are in for a surprise. Belief in god or a higher power is not so much an expression of faith in them, as an expression of disgust at worldly leaders past and present. Human individuals always get corrupted by power. Human individuals cannot bear in themselves the destiny and life of us all. And anyone who has tried, has come to be despised. Unless they do it in complete non-attachment to the world and its powerful material forces. They have to martyr themselves of this material realm. And this is the grand wheel of religion and spirituality of humanity that turns around and around.

You won’t find it out in nature. Don’t waste your time looking, or imagining its absence there is of any significance. It is in our heads. Yet it is no illusion. It is as real as we are ourselves. Because we are defined by our stories, by our history, by what has got humanity to where it is today, distinct from the animals. Humans are not natural. But not in a worrying, unhealthy sense. Humans are not natural, because we ourselves are humans. And there is nothing in nature to capture that awareness.

  1. Crazy to think of it this way. Religion was also a great way for adults to play the “because I’m your father and I said so” card on each other. You see a lot of this in the Old Testament. God told them not to eat pork or shellfish because when another adult tried to tell them these things, they had no reason to listen to that person because they were peers.

    • This was how many of the prophets achieved their influence over others also. By getting people to believe they were expressing the word of god, rather than their own ego and what they personally wanted people to do. And legitimately or illegitimately it does force people who want power this way to take a more self-sacrificing spiritual path. And so it changes the kind of society we have. Thanks for your comment, I am always looking for different ways to look at things like this, as it is easy to get into a fixed world view that either dismisses, misunderstands, or too readily accepts religion at face value.

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