Feed on Posts or Comments 22 November 2014

Christianity Johnson on 26 Nov 2008 12:04 am

Where does religion come from?

Douglas Adams gave a speech entitled:

Is there an Artificial God?

In this speech he summarizes the most obvious reason for the origin of religion. It goes like this:

Where does the idea of God come from? Well, I think we have a very skewed point of view on an awful lot of things, but let’s try and see where our point of view comes from. Imagine early man. Early man is, like everything else, an evolved creature and he finds himself in a world that he’s begun to take a little charge of; he’s begun to be a tool-maker, a changer of his environment with the tools that he’s made and he makes tools, when he does, in order to make changes in his environment. To give an example of the way man operates compared to other animals, consider speciation, which, as we know, tends to occur when a small group of animals gets separated from the rest of the herd by some geological upheaval, population pressure, food shortage or whatever and finds itself in a new environment with maybe something different going on. Take a very simple example; maybe a bunch of animals suddenly finds itself in a place where the weather is rather colder. We know that in a few generations those genes which favour a thicker coat will have come to the fore and we’ll come and we’ll find that the animals have now got thicker coats. Early man, who’s a tool maker, doesn’t have to do this: he can inhabit an extraordinarily wide range of habitats on earth, from tundra to the Gobi Desert – he even manages to live in New York for heaven’s sake – and the reason is that when he arrives in a new environment he doesn’t have to wait for several generations; if he arrives in a colder environment and sees an animal that has those genes which favour a thicker coat, he says “I’ll have it off him”. Tools have enabled us to think intentionally, to make things and to do things to create a world that fits us better. Now imagine an early man surveying his surroundings at the end of a happy day’s tool making. He looks around and he sees a world which pleases him mightily: behind him are mountains with caves in – mountains are great because you can go and hide in the caves and you are out of the rain and the bears can’t get you; in front of him there’s the forest – it’s got nuts and berries and delicious food; there’s a stream going by, which is full of water – water’s delicious to drink, you can float your boats in it and do all sorts of stuff with it; here’s cousin Ug and he’s caught a mammoth – mammoth’s are great, you can eat them, you can wear their coats, you can use their bones to create weapons to catch other mammoths. I mean this is a great world, it’s fantastic. But our early man has a moment to reflect and he thinks to himself, ‘well, this is an interesting world that I find myself in’ and then he asks himself a very treacherous question, a question which is totally meaningless and fallacious, but only comes about because of the nature of the sort of person he is, the sort of person he has evolved into and the sort of person who has thrived because he thinks this particular way. Man the maker looks at his world and says ‘So who made this then?’ Who made this? – you can see why it’s a treacherous question. Early man thinks, ‘Well, because there’s only one sort of being I know about who makes things, whoever made all this must therefore be a much bigger, much more powerful and necessarily invisible, one of me and because I tend to be the strong one who does all the stuff, he’s probably male’. And so we have the idea of a god. Then, because when we make things we do it with the intention of doing something with them, early man asks himself , ‘If he made it, what did he make it for?’ Now the real trap springs, because early man is thinking, ‘This world fits me very well. Here are all these things that support me and feed me and look after me; yes, this world fits me nicely’ and he reaches the inescapable conclusion that whoever made it, made it for him.

There is one additional layer to this explanation that bears exposure. Man does imagine a “god” because man is a maker. But in addition, primitive man cannot yet see any other possible source for all of it. Lacking science and its close companion technology, man cannot see gravity or DNA or atoms or chemical reactions or any of the other processes that actually, really make it work. An invisible “god” is the apparent answer, lacking science.

Today we do have science, and we realize where everything comes from. Unfortunately, science is hard compared to superstition. Science requires study and thought. Thus we have ignorance. Everyone who is ignorant goes with the default answer for ignorant people: an imaginary “god”. So religion persists even though we have science.

That wouldn’t be so bad if religions like Christianity and Islam didn’t always come bundled with hatred, bigotry, superstition and war. But they do, and these attributes threaten humanity.

Our only hope is to treat religion like smoking. We must push religion deeper and deeper underground so that fewer and fewer children are exposed to it. And we must educate children while they are young so their brains are inoculated against religion. And then we must wait a few decades for the remaining religious people to die off. That is our only hope for ending religion.

48 Responses to “Where does religion come from?”

  1. on 27 Nov 2008 at 4:05 am 1.GotMooo said …

    One of my favorite posts.

    “Today we do have science, and we realize where everything comes from. Unfortunately, science is hard compared to superstition. Science requires study and thought. Thus we have ignorance. Everyone who is ignorant goes with the default answer for ignorant people: an imaginary “god”. So religion persists even though we have science.”

    Absolutely!

  2. on 27 Nov 2008 at 4:19 am 2.Alex1 said …

    I pose the question then, if Science knows where “everything” came from- where did the initial energy come from that started the big bang. Secondly where did the first protein, let alone microorganism come from?

    I presume you understand the implications on how virtually impossible it is for science to explain the development of the first protein compound- let alone for those proteins to assemble into a living organism with such complexities as DNA, RNA, enzymes etc.

    If Science does have an answer to these I actually would be very interested to hear it because I haven’t yet heard of this discovery.

  3. on 27 Nov 2008 at 9:52 am 3.Hermes said …

    Alex, which scientists say they know were *everything* came from? Why is this a big deal for you?

  4. on 27 Nov 2008 at 10:36 am 4.3D said …

    Alex1 said:

    > I presume you understand the implications
    > on how virtually impossible it is for
    > science to explain the development of
    > the first protein compound- let alone for
    > those proteins to assemble into a living
    > organism with such complexities as DNA, RNA,
    > enzymes etc.
    >
    > If Science does have an answer to these I
    > actually would be very interested to hear
    > it because I haven’t yet heard of this
    > discovery.

    The poster above me pointed out that this is a strawman argument — science doesn’t claim to “know everything”.

    I would add one further point, that religion doesn’t answer these questions either. It just punts them down the field. For example: What catalyzed the Big Bang and how did the first organism get here? GOD! OK, so how did God get here?

  5. on 27 Nov 2008 at 6:57 pm 5.Jessica said …

    I’m sorry. Becasue I know God. How? I HAVE seen Him and I HAVE heard Him and I HAVE seen Him work. He preforms the miraculous for those who love Him. Yet I am hated for it. But in the end, in the end it will be known. I’m seventeen but I have a relationship with God, why? because I have not hardened my heart, so that I CAN see, hear and understand. I am a Christian and my peace even at my young age transends all understanding, why? because my peace is not my own. I don’t feel a nawing emptyness, a cold darkness, or fear. Becasue the love of God has broke me free and I am free indeed.

  6. on 27 Nov 2008 at 6:59 pm 6.Jessica said …

    and, by the way, He does, God does heal amputees.

  7. on 27 Nov 2008 at 8:17 pm 7.Hermes said …

    Jessica: “and, by the way, He does, God does heal amputees.”

    Great! Got evidence? If you do, you’d be the first one I’ve ever encountered!

  8. on 27 Nov 2008 at 8:19 pm 8.Hermes said …

    Jessica, or anyone else, if you are interested in talking in an open forum instead of a blog, feel free to drop by the forums. I use the same user name there;

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php

  9. on 28 Nov 2008 at 12:23 am 9.Dax Xenos said …

    This place is made up of some pretty stupid people.

    Talking to God is easy and he does talk back.

    Just that these people have their heads so far up their asses, they can’t hear him.

    Poor stupid people, good thing for you there is a God.

  10. on 28 Nov 2008 at 12:28 am 10.Hermes said …

    A fact packed great comment! Well reasoned, informative, and mature too.

    Keep it up; you are a great advertisement for your faith and what it is really founded upon. Keep posting!

  11. on 28 Nov 2008 at 4:02 am 11.Adina said …

    Wow. Hermes. Not a gentleman again.
    And I thought I was bitter.

    You smash down Alex1 and you re not able to stand up for your own words. You posted after all quote:

    “Today we do have science, and we realize where everything comes from.”.

    You realize where everything comes from.. because you have science. So alex asked you to elaborate further. YOu are not able to, instead, you attack Alex ridiculing him and implying he said God created everything, which ALEX DID NOT SAY in his post. Alex asked questions, your post claiming that “you realize where everything comes from’. So then, he asked: where does the first protein link and the RNA DNA enzymes etc come?

    Your Answer should be: I DO NOT KNOW.

    But . instead of doing that, you again ridicule Alex for raising questions you are unable to answer, and suggesting he is a blind believer..

    So I guess whoever quotes you and proves you wrong is just another idiot.. whom you invite to join your forums.

    so busy gathering members for your forums you dont have time to explain what science knows or does not know?

  12. on 28 Nov 2008 at 9:52 am 12.Hermes said …

    Adina: “Wow. Hermes. Not a gentleman again.
    And I thought I was bitter.”

    I was of course referring to Dax’s wonderful post. Don’t you agree it is a shining example of what his/her faith means to them? If you think otherwise, and don’t see the acidity from Dax, feel free to let me know.

    Adina:”"You smash down Alex1 and you re not able to stand up for your own words. You posted after all quote:

    “Today we do have science, and we realize where everything comes from.”. “”

    I did not write that. I have to remind you once again to be careful with your attributions of thoughts and words.

    I wrote;

    “Alex, which scientists say they know were *everything* came from? Why is this a big deal for you?”

    I was wondering why he’s being so nit picky, as well as disagreeing with the quote you mis-attributed to me.

    So, if you want to get a more thoughtful response … post on the forums. Like yourself, I’m not giving my best here on the blog on purpose and most of the time I don’t need to. Are we clear?

  13. on 29 Nov 2008 at 4:29 am 13.Jim said …

    I like how Jessica is fooled by the chemicals and endorphins that her brain induces.

    Very interesting, had she been taught to pray to the Giant purple smurf God, she would also be experiencing the identical relationship.

    All Hail the Giant Purple Smurf God.

  14. on 29 Nov 2008 at 12:55 pm 14.Adina said …

    He he he he.. Hermes.. you were nitpicking as well when wondering why is Alex1 is nitpicking, instead of answering his pertinent question.. why can t you simply answer the man’s (Alex1) question?
    Because you do not have an answer. So that s why you need to ridicule and nitpick on him.

    Are we clear?

    As for me joining your forums.. for the best you have not given here, I have doubts you can give a “better best” somewhere else.. on the forums… yeah. I am grammatically incorrect, so nitpick on me for the improper use of superlatives, if you please..

    … joining your forums?
    Dream on.

    If you want me to stop posting here, simply say so. I ll respect your choice.

    If you cannot answer questions here, then what are you doing here? NitPick and chose only… what suits your agenda?

    typical of misinformers.
    Such petty excuses.
    Yeah..
    Are we clear?

  15. on 30 Nov 2008 at 2:29 am 15.Alex1 said …

    Actually, the article says that Science has an answer to everything- I never claimed that it was a scientist- hence my point. As you, hermes, have so aptly displayed we do not have an answer to everything. And I believe, in the case of science especially, nitpicking is kind of essential.

    And, as Adina said, just because I pose a question as far as sciences vast and exact knowledge, you immediately attribute that to religion; even though I never actually mentioned it at all.

    I was under the impression that in science we are all to be inquisitive. I was actually serious. If science had a breakthrough and new everything about everything I was very keen to hearing it.

    I appreciate your fervor though Hermes!
    Alex

  16. on 30 Nov 2008 at 2:46 am 16.Alex1 said …

    [quote]Our only hope is to treat religion like smoking. We must push religion deeper and deeper underground so that fewer and fewer children are exposed to it. And we must educate children while they are young so their brains are inoculated against religion. And then we must wait a few decades for the remaining religious people to die off. That is our only hope for ending religion. [/quote]

    This, is why I post on this forum. It’s one thing to try to expand science. It’s another to attack religion for the sake of science. Is this not, essentially, the exact opposite of one of the complaints of religion? That they intent on superimposing their beliefs on others?

    I don’t know about anyone else here, but in my profession, an individuals religion is what gives them hope, it’s what gives them support in trying times of their life, and is sometimes the only way they can get through hard times. I have witnessed people come out of coma’s, cancer, gunshot wounds, car accidents, physical abuse, and much worse and the thing they attributed their healing to the most was their religion. Medical studies show that people who are more prone to pray or meditate are more likely to heal and heal faster than those who do not. Treating religion like smoking, something that kills people, is, in my opinion, not a very positive act. I truly hope people are not serious about this.

    Alex

  17. on 30 Nov 2008 at 5:02 am 17.RevRev said …

    Bless you! I certainly admire your dedication and tenacity in debunking a concept you so clearly believe in. For you have a very finely etched vision of all the things you say you don’t believe in. If you do not believe, where did you get so detailed a picture of this thing in the sky judging us? There is a VAST difference between God and religion. And frankly the bible was not meant to be read by anyone less than a biblical scholar, and certainly not meant to be taken as a damn history book. We’re talking allegory here, folks. Allegory. Don’t be so scared. Frankly, most “religious” people hold tightly to the same warped concept of a deity as you do; a force dispensing goodies and favors just because we ask often enough. These folks are fools. God is not a cosmic Wal-Mart. Folks will commit atrocities in the name of religion as well and as thoroughly as they do for the Homeland (seig heil anyone?). Or my team is better than your team. You select the assholes of the world to justify a position you clearly have doubts about. Learn the truth, for god’s sake. Understand who we are and how we got here. Don’t say you do not believe in Noah’s Ark, because nobody with an ounce of brains does. What has it to do with God? And why are you so enraged? I would be delighted to discuss this and show you two things: 1) You are dead wrong. And 2) You are absolutely correct about most everything you say. Work it out or let it go. If it’s false, why wrap yourself up in it? So many atheists should practice what they preach. But I see you so wrapped up in it that it has as much a hold on you as it has on the simplistic bone-heads who think that God is Judge Judy and we dasn’t piss her off. End of sermon. You know where to find me.

  18. on 30 Nov 2008 at 5:17 am 18.Anonymous said …

    Revev, where do I find you?

  19. on 30 Nov 2008 at 4:33 pm 19.RevRev said …

    @anonymous: Ah, I may be reached here: revrev@ata-tarot.com.
    I can also be reached through lulu.com. Here’s the link to a collection of my essays:
    http://www.lulu.com/content/946686 (there should be a link this time to the site by clicking my name on this comment).
    Within LULU there’s a mailbox accessible by clicking on my name at the top, just below the title. That sends one to my “storefront” (this is hardly a sales pitch since I have nothing on that site to sell besides my modest book) where you will see “send this user a message.”
    So either way will work.
    Hope to hear from you and anybody else who cares to find me.
    Peace.

  20. on 30 Nov 2008 at 9:33 pm 20.Anonymous said …

    Who ever created this website well u r pretty stupid.come on now why will start this website that god is imaginary.well ok look i dont know why u would talk bout god like that he who created u.u should really thanks him 4 making u a life and u come up that GOD is imaginary.im christian and i believe in GOD, but u,i bet,believe in science right.this is where questions come up:HOW WERE U CREATE;HOW DA UNIVERSE WAS CREATED;AND FINIALLY WHERE SCIENCE CAME FROM OR CREATED.das all.

  21. on 30 Nov 2008 at 9:50 pm 21.Anonymous said …

    I AGREE U JESSICA JUST LET ME TELL SOMETHING LET PEOPLE BELIEVE WHAT THEY WANT 2 BELIEVE OK.IM CHRISTIAN TOO.I JUST WANT 2 KNOW WHERE THIS PPL [PEOPLE]CAME FROM SAYING THAT SCENICE IS HOW THIS ALL STARTED.CUASE SCIENCE DIDNT COME OF THIN AIR UH IM JUST VERY DISAPOINTED THAT THIS PPL THINK GOD IS IMAGINARY BUT KNOW HE IST.I JUST THINK GOD SHOULD DISERVE THEIR N EVERYBODYS LOVE.GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. on 30 Nov 2008 at 10:43 pm 22.Hermes said …

    Anonymous, thank you for your lucid comments. They speak well for your beliefs and your deep and thoughtful consideration of all the issues involved. Keep it up. Please.

  23. on 01 Dec 2008 at 2:55 am 23.Alex1 said …

    Hermes,
    I disagree with virtually everything you say, but this is a very funny comment. Thank you for the laugh.

    Note, I am not encouraging slander…

    P.S.
    People truly need to learn how to communicate if they are going to do anything for this world.

  24. on 01 Dec 2008 at 4:41 am 24.RevRev said …

    Just was informed that the email I posted above has an extra period at the end. The sentence ended and the poor little dot became erroneously attached (sounds like a description of my first marriage…). So here it is without the annoying period (and, no I won’t use that last description for another cheap gag about my ex): revrev@ata-tarot.com

  25. on 01 Dec 2008 at 1:17 pm 25.Hermes said …

    Alex1: “People truly need to learn how to communicate if they are going to do anything for this world.”

    As I’ve said many times … and the religious aren’t interested. Superstition, supernaturalism, and dogma trump all avenues of discussion.

  26. on 01 Dec 2008 at 2:13 pm 26.Alex1 said …

    It is never good to talk in absolutes Hermes. There are plenty of people whom are religious and discuss. What I have noticed from this blog is that many people jump to conclusions, criticize, and slander before discussion takes place; though there are some that don’t. I am a religious person, as I am sure you are aware, but I feel that I have done my best to discuss on an intellectual level in hopes that it will counteract statements made by my zealous friends in Christ.

    I am sure that there are people on both sides that do and act in the same way. I have seen zealous “Darwinists/scientists” who do the exact same thing as “Christians/ those ignorant religious people”. I apologize for those who say stupid things. But understand that it is not a one way street.

    Alex

  27. on 01 Dec 2008 at 2:35 pm 27.Hermes said …

    Alex, look at the conversations I’ve been in on the forums … and tell me who the absolutists are.

    Who speaks honestly or who plays games and refuses accountability. Who is open to be shown that they are wrong and who is not open to be questioned. The trend is clear and some things are not up for discussion — and it’s not for lack of effort on my part.

    Example (one of dozens);

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=1294.msg52284#msg52284

  28. on 01 Dec 2008 at 2:55 pm 28.Hermes said …

    A second example (showing my more patient side when a more thoughtful person arrives);

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=1294.msg24720#msg24720

  29. on 01 Dec 2008 at 3:37 pm 29.Alex said …

    I read through the post and understand what you are saying. And I apologize for arrogance that some have.

    I do not presume to know everything or even enough to speak to some people here on an intelligent level. I started talking on this blog to learn- both sides. Either by reading through the scientific aspect, or trying to defend my own.

    Science, to me, has just as many unexplained answers, though, as religion.

    In the site you sent me you ask who is a leading ID theorist? Well, I would argue that ID is not a theory yet, but a hypothesis. Therefor it’s a work in progress. The day Darwin finished his book Evolution was not an explained theory, it took time.

    Second, theory does not mean fact- that is something I see people misconstruing all of the time. Theory merely explains to the best of ability tested phenomena. Darwin used a small population in order to apply it to the population as a whole, and as we know from Statistics it can’t be done that way for everything.

    Third, ID, though started by a creationist, does not equate creationism. Keep the two ideas separate. One tries to explain how Evolution could have occurred, the other disregards evolution. They are two different ideas.

    Fourth, Darwin did not have nearly the same information we do today on concepts such as the in depthness of DNA sequencing, Einstein’s theories, the sheer volume of species on this planet. His theory is lacking vital information, and is in continual revision; and ID is just a hypothesis (which to me makes more sense than backs of crystals or aliens).

    Fifth, without the idea of ID, science cannot, and does not, attempt to explain where matter came from, or how a series of random events could have caused 250 proteins to align properly in an environment that is not conducive (this test, being abandoned after many failed attempts.), or how the time line of the age of earth and the time it would take for true evolution to occur.

    In my opinion, there are just as many unanswered questions on both sides of the fence.

    Alex

  30. on 01 Dec 2008 at 3:58 pm 30.Hermes said …

    There is no parity between theology and the sciences. One requires submission to dogma, and the other requires investigation and revision.

    As for ID, you are free to jump in where moG left off. His Parkenson’s disease — a disease that could be cured faster if the religious limitations on stem cell research were not put into law — is keeping him from posting.

    I could spend time on your second to last paragraph, but I won’t do so in the blog where comments get lost quickly and it is difficult to check on past comments.

  31. on 01 Dec 2008 at 5:05 pm 31.Alex said …

    Understandable.

  32. on 01 Dec 2008 at 7:11 pm 32.Hermes said …

    I’ve started a new thread on the value of theology as a discipline. Feel free to post to it if you have any insights;

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=2750

    Some excerpts;

    “Every year, in almost any discipline, there is an expectation of new knowledge and progress. Change is expected and encouraged.

    In business there are think tanks and professional groups that develop new methods of managing projects and people. Accountants work on new methods of improving their fields. Even plumbers have innovations in tools and practices that change that field every year. …

    … Yet, I see no innovations from the theologians or other religious professionals. No new knowledge. No new practices. The only consensus is based on dogmas of a specific sect — dogmas that don’t span from a Baptist to a Buddhist, a Hindu living deity to an Imam. …”

    Q. “What new knowledge have religious professionals
    brought to the world in the last 50 years?”

  33. on 02 Dec 2008 at 2:06 am 33.Adina said …

    That s a good point, Hermes.

    That s a good point. Q. “What new knowledge have religious professionals
    brought to the world in the last 50 years?”
    I fully agree with this topic and new thread.

    I have another suggestion for another thread. How about inserting here some due respect to the Judaism, which is just as dangerous as all other religions?

    Is there a reason for which Judaism is not chriticized here?

    Are you a Jew?
    I m happy Mr. Gern Blansten stopped his hateful comments against Christian god and Islamic god here.. remember , I ain t no christian myself.

    But I hope Blansten could take his little hat off, go to his sinagogue and convince his rabbi that religion is bullshit.
    Only after that is he entitled to come preach christians that their god is not real.

    Don t you think so?
    So, enhance this blog by adding it s due respect or un-respect, to Judaism as well.

    As long as you do not have ulterior motives to protect it, god forbid we cause some unpleasant reactions here when we touch this taboo.

    Shitting on everybody as ignorants and stupid is ok.
    Not on the chosen people, right?
    Are you one of them, Hermes?

  34. on 02 Dec 2008 at 7:13 am 34.RevRev said …

    Hey, neighbors. At the risk of continuing what seems to me to be a side issue, I see on this forum an awful lot of discussing the discussion and not much of discussion of the topic. I am appalled at the level of vitriolic posts by people who profess a belief in the old boy in the sky. Weaving in and around these obviously frightened “believers” I have found threads of a fascinating discussion – which I guess this blog was started for. From some of the angry and seemingly threatened believers, I urge you to drop the smug pose and lift yourself up from the jejune arguments on the childish level of name calling and dividing. Why so threatened by science? The fascinating exchange of ideas between Hermes and Alex should educate you rather than making you react as though somebody was trying to take the rubber ducky out of your bathtub. Take pleasure in this mature discussion which probes an area so deeply ingrained in the human psyche that it deserves another look. Find the beauty in these discussions; savor this rather than fear it. As one great student of enlightenment so wisely noted in the early 20th Century:
    “We place no reliance
    on virgin or pigeon.
    Our method is science,
    Our aim is religion.”

    And once again, sermon over.

  35. on 02 Dec 2008 at 8:39 am 35.Hermes said …

    Adina, the survey is open to any input from religious professionals as I specifically mentioned “Baptist to a Buddhist, a Hindu living deity to an Imam” to open that up.

    Check the full message in the forums for additional details;

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=2750

    As for Jewish religious professionals, if they have something that fits drop a note in the forums and add them.

    Side note: I’m not a theist so no I’m not a Jew. As for why I haven’t mentioned them specifically, it’s probably the same reason why the web site owner hasn’t focused on them; numbers.

    While believers in Judiasm get a lot of press mainly due to Middle East politics, they are not a significant group as an audience making up only _0.22%_ of all people (religious or not).

    Take a look for yourself;

    http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    Here’s the list (Judiasm comes in at #12);

    1. Christianity: 2.1 billion
    2. Islam: 1.5 billion
    3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
    4. Hinduism: 900 million
    5. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
    6. Buddhism: 376 million
    7. primal-indigenous: 300 million
    8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
    9. Sikhism: 23 million
    10. Juche: 19 million
    11. Spiritism: 15 million
    12. Judaism: 14 million
    13. Baha’i: 7 million
    14. Jainism: 4.2 million
    15. Shinto: 4 million
    16. Cao Dai: 4 million
    17. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
    18. Tenrikyo: 2 million
    19. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
    20. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
    21. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
    22. Scientology: 500 thousand

  36. on 02 Dec 2008 at 11:48 am 36.Adina said …

    I appreciate your reply, Hermes.

    My assumption was that as always, we can shit on anyone, bot God forbid we touch the chosen people, or that you may be a chosen one yourself. I m glad the reason is not either of these.

    I really do appreciate your reply, your explanation makes a lot of sense to me.

    I do however still chose to point out for your consideration only, that the Judaism is one of the most pregnant if not The most pregnant example of the effect of religion on social/cultural/political aspects. in this case religion is much more intermingled with race than most of the other religions. Of course, it is again up to the site owner to give this some consideration or to ignore this aspect.

    However, again, I do appreciate your rely.
    We’re finally talking and thank you for that.

  37. on 02 Dec 2008 at 1:59 pm 37.Hermes said …

    This isn’t really a place to discuss the nuances of theology while sipping coniac in a smoky room while reclining in an easychair. In comparison to Christians, there just aren’t that many Jews to talk with.

    The Muslims flood the forums at a significant rate, though the videos and web site don’t address Islam either. Both would be a distraction, though. Not everyone can do everything at once.

  38. on 02 Dec 2008 at 6:09 pm 38.RevRev said …

    @ Adina: Ah, the old “Chosen People” as a slur rears its ugly rear once more. Do you know what is meant by “the chosen people”? Do you think that it is, say, a badge of distinction? An honor that makes The Chosen One, as you so snidely repeat the epithet, better than others? Have you ever been chosen for Jury Duty? If so, did that make you feel like you were better than others around you? Were you ever chosen by the IRS for what they call a life-time audit? If so, did that make you feel superior to you neighbors? If you are a male of the right age, were you ever chosen by the draft board to get sucked into the army? Made you feel mighty damn special and even privileged, didn’t it? Like many who bandy the term about, you obviously have no idea of what is meant by the Jewish people having been “chosen.” I suggest you read up on that which you criticize. Clearly you have very little knowledge or understanding of the basics of Jewish religion or history (and I select the terms “Knowledge” and “Understanding” for a specific reason. Do you see why?). Judaism, and the religion founded by followers of one of its lesser rabbis, have an entire set of books – around for millennia – which could offer insight, had you the ability to see it. But I can’t blame you. As I may have mentioned before, that set of books was never meant to be read by any other than certain scholars. Otherwise, a person not educated in the meaning of those books will use them improperly. Like, oh, say, focusing hate and prejudice on the words Chosen People. I agree with one opinion oft expressed as a reason to get people away from religion: too much blood has been shed by ignorant people who take literally a set of holy books from an era gone by. People have shown themselves too immature to use these books properly. Just as the local TV news wherever you are shows night after night that humanity is not even mature enough to use gunpowder properly. Religion and God are not the same thing. Leave the books alone until you really know what those books are about. HINT: They are not about reinforcing your ignorant interpretations of it. Get a spiritual guide to these books before you become one of the millions of ordinary, good, religious folks who do damage to the world in the name of God.

  39. on 03 Dec 2008 at 1:02 am 39.Adina said …

    Wow Wow.. Rev Rev. No doubt what you are.
    jewish religious books are OK. As they are there since millenia.. what a reason to make them right.
    I though some millenia ago people were quite ignorant.. and mainly the chiefs of religions, whatever religion, were manipulators who wrote with their own tiny hands certain texts to manipulate the sheeple and control them, keep them obedient, claiming that god spoke his rule and gave his guidance in these books, which they closely “interpreted” as suited their control needs…
    but I guess according to you.. Jewish books are special, different, chosen, only scholars should accede to them.. and being old millenia, makes them truthful. Is it that because something is old millenia that makes it truthful?
    Or does it make it pathetic and outdated? As

    Hermes rightly pointed, nothing special under the sub, no update and upgrade to bring these old texts and thinking to reality?

    what a mountain of crap.
    Inconsistent.

    As long as religion is bad, all religions are bad.

    Now you have become a religion apologist for the fraction of jewish religion only?

    I m really confused about your stance.
    swinging?
    or are you covering your head too?
    I guess it is OK to be hateful against ignorant dumb ass christians, but God forbid we touch the Judaism. don t we?

    P.S. Ah Rev Rev, in your book you write about subjects such as Prayer, The Tarot, The Middle Pillar Technique, Will Power, The Bible, Incense, Oils, Happiness, Talismans, Amulets, Black Magick even Life After Death!
    And I thought religious people are deranged!!!

  40. on 03 Dec 2008 at 2:55 am 40.RevRev said …

    Dearest troubled Adina. My, my we seem agitated today, don’t we? Please take a stress pill and try to put your doc’s number on speed-dial. Both should do you a world of good. Since you say, ” No doubt what you are,” pray tell: What am I? I await your riveting answer. Do you still get computer privileges at this hour? If not, I understand so I’ll wait. And tell me, what makes you think (and I use that word quite loosely) that I ever said that something being around for Millennia makes it special? Ignorance has been around for centuries and you seem perfectly to illustrate how ignorance is anything but sacred. Are you incapable of exchanging ideas? Of course you are confused by my stance. No doubt many things confuse you, so I don’t hold that against you. Perhaps the following quotation may give you an inkling as to what I meant. I advise you to read it and then actually take some time to mull it over. It is about the people (yes, I said people) who wrote the Holy Bible:
    “These sages were full-time holy guys. They wrote this stuff for other full-time holy guys, and the tiny segment of every generation who would be equipped with the intelligence, the spiritual drive (and leisure time) necessary to embark upon a lifelong quest for enlightenment. I assure you, these ancient mystics would have produced a radically different body of work had they in their wildest nightmares imagined that in some future dark age their secret coded scriptures would be seized by half-witted and sadistic European cannibals and interpreted literally like some grotesque racist history book.” (Lon Milo Duquette From “The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford”)
    I await your answer to my question, which I shall now repeat because it has been a minute or two since I posed it: “What exactly am I?” I wait but doubt that I shall be enlightened since you utterly failed to answer my questions in the post above. Ranting, even from as scintillating a wit as your own, is of no use as an evasion.

  41. on 03 Dec 2008 at 5:18 am 41.Adina said …

    You are deranged, rev rev. not me.
    And definitely a theist, as you call the Bible Holy.
    YOU ARE deranged, and not only, you seem to exhibit some personal conviction that there is a selected group of individuals (mystics and their scholars) who own some higher degree of knowledge unavailable to us, mere cannibalistic dark aged unintelligent creatures.

    I m sure YOU ARE such a mystic, as You are writing and MAKING BUCKS out of “Prayer, The Tarot, The Middle Pillar Technique, Will Power, The Bible, Incense, Oils, Happiness, Talismans, Amulets, Black Magick even Life After Death”…

    I m sure you are also mystical endowed enough as to unbreak the Secret Secret Secret codes of these “precious” writings.. aren t you?
    tell me , rev rev, what s in for my future in the cartoons TAROT cards you master ?
    I m sure YOU ARE capable to tell it to me, aren t you?

    Need I say more?
    Look who’s talking about getting medicated.

  42. on 03 Dec 2008 at 11:11 am 42.RevRev said …

    As far as the poor soul who ignores the request to answer simple questions regarding that poster’s penchant for personal invective, I rest my case.

    Now down to work. Where does religion come from? I believe that first we need to examine what the very first conscious thought was and who had it. I agree the answer is found in cave-man times. Could the first thought have been, “Who am I and where am I?” I don’t think so for those are such inward oriented questions that they demand that all other needs be filled prior to raising them. But I am hoping that the first thought was indeed a question. A lightning bolt flashes across the sky, thunder roars and perhaps the first thought was, “What the hell was that!” Of course without a concept yet of the man-made place called “hell,” you should substitute a similar invective for our pristine cave dweller. What the hell was that, coupled with a startled look at the sky must have caused him/her/them to think that there’s something up there and we should definitely avoid it angry. Thus began all sorts of mythology. Mythology, of course, is the name folks apply to a religion gone out of fashion. I wonder how Joseph Campbell felt when he was repeatedly denounced for discussing what he called the Jesus Myth. Drove so many jesus christers nuts, it did. So do we consider it fair so say that religion looks like it may have begun out of fear and ignorance? If so, then have we changed at all since then? I don’t believe so. Just our machines have gotten “better” over the years. This point was driven home by Arthur C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey when they made the famous jump-cut from the ape/man with his bone to an outer space riddled with orbiting weapons. It is still the Dawn of Man according to the films inter-titles. (BTW, 2001 has been called the only movie about religion which never shows god) Well, that’s all as to where I think religion as normally practiced today comes from. Where religious sects come from is another thing. But I have often wondered if sociologists have taken note of the newest religion? In this new religion, a charismatic man tells stories through songs. People love him and believe him to be more than human. He is showered with love, adoration and wealth. Then he dies tragically young. People flock to his home by the millions. Then he returns! He is spotted all over the world. People develop “theories” about why he is seen by so many followers. Those who worship the dead man who they insist still lives, become the butt of jokes as they dress like him and try to gather souvenirs from their idol’s home, appropriately enough called Graceland. And the sightings continue to this day; the people who spot the great god Elvis become local celebrities. Elvis is even accorded the ultimate in 21st century worship: His holy image appears on a piece of toast. And every year the gatherings – conventions – continue as does the required pilgrimage to Graceland. It is a new religion in the making. And it is quite peaceful. Peaceful until the sightings of Carl Perkins begin…

  43. on 03 Dec 2008 at 11:47 am 43.JAB said …

    if elvis could see you now…
    :)

  44. on 07 Dec 2009 at 1:44 am 44.wonderer said …

    I came to this site to answer the question “Where does religion originate?” I have not answered that question but answered an even better one:
    “Why do people know other religions so well yet not understand they’re own?” And I can give you a honest answer that everyone will take offense to even though it is true.
    A: No one knows anything about their religion and cannot prove in the slightest that they know about others. sure they may have “facts” and “satistics” but the person judging be athiest or christian or anything of the like will not know the same comfort in faith that the other knows because they cannot devoute themselves wholly into another’s life and culture because they are stuck in their own little boxes of belief, not faith.
    Anyone who says otherwise can stick their religion in their mouth and not talk about it in such a manour that will make their god (or gods) lower their heads in emmbarassment. Because even though they don’t think it the woman talking about god and christianity or about science is sinning (vanity)

    please forgive if you took this to offense. I got alittle caught up… also forgive if this sounds like word vomit. my hands can’t keep up with my mind. (not the word vomit like “what this person’s saying is crap.”)

  45. on 07 Dec 2009 at 2:39 pm 45.chris said …

    I can tell you why a person does not study every religon out there. I have a friend who has lived in most places around the world and studied every religon possible. Yet because he has done that he has become so delusional with it all he has choose to believe there all wrong. So i asked the question how can they all be wrong, one has to be right? His response was if one is right then why not this one or that one giving good reason why each one would represent its self as the righteous religon. So of course i brought up Christ, to which the response was,” if Christ was real then i would lean more towards the christian side but Buddhism seems to be a big religon as well but how can a God as Buddha teach self-awareness when he cant even teach himself the same thing on eatting hes fat.” He just gave up on religon all together because if he couldnt pick one then dont pick at all.

  46. on 07 Dec 2009 at 6:06 pm 46.wonderer said …

    well thats a hard one. Buddha wasn’t fat in the fist place, so that rules that out. even Jewish and Muslin say Jesus of Nazerith existed, as a prophet and not the messaih.
    No religion is right, no religion is wrong. All believe in the same higher power but the relationship with that higher power has changed with each culture. Even the Incas and Mayans believed in a god above the rest. that is called Henotheism, but it is also melded with pantheism which is the higher power is all and all is the higher power.
    I have no religion I can agree on as well but I have not given up. I am currently my own self with my higherpowers. and I do not mind the confusion of the others as well as my own. I know little to nothing of my own and will admit I know little to nothing of other religions though I try to understand them a little better.

  47. on 07 Dec 2009 at 8:37 pm 47.chris said …

    Wonderer…. your point is not valid on ” No one knows anything about their religion.” I may not know about every religion out there but ask a question on Christ or the Holly bible and you will get an answer, but not a question that God did not want to be answered. I study about the word, meaning and etc…. If a christian can not answer a question by thierself then someone they know can help find the exact answer you are looking for to a question. The holly bible has been translated from hebrew (original) to english (foreign) thats it. So make no mistake about it, nothing was changed or left out or add to this book from the original copies. I had that question myself and researched the answer. So i am 100% percent sure im right on that.

  48. on 08 Dec 2009 at 12:20 am 48.chris said …

    Ok this dont have much if any to do with this topic but, i have to say it. Ive watched the videos on here and roll my eyes on every single statement made. Why i do is the videos say only a piece of what is said now he reads the whole scrip. sometimes but not like it is ment at all. Example, if you watched a video on how to build a car and most of it was left out or what was said was way off from what was ment your car more than likely wouldnt run start and damn sure wouldnt drive. If the word logic and illusion or imaginary is said so much on here for christians, then how about the word brain washed for a atheist. Why i say that is i hear, all sorts of things about how smart you are, well if so then figure this out? Why male and female only? Why does every body have the same thing exactly( 2 eyes 2 arms 10 fingers etc…? If there is no God how does everything fall (perfectly) into place? Them videos are a joke for real. No evidence that God dont exist.

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