Author Topic: Why were there so many different religions in the world?  (Read 1069 times)

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holydragon

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Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« on: January 15, 2013, 03:50:52 AM »
not sure if anybody started this before, but im new~ so i guess its alright.

So, back to the topic.
Why is there so many different beliefs in this world.
What made YOU think that your god is the correct one?
or
Do you suggest that ALL these gods are indeed real?
or
Do you suggest that ALL these gods are actually pointing to the one same GOD?
Yet he decide to reveal himself at different forms and give different beliefs to all of them?

For starter, i think this will be sufficient for my questions.
Anyway, im a free thinker, so i need to be convinced by both team here.

I love this place so far.

Offline William

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 04:02:16 AM »
Why is there so many different beliefs in this world.
There are many diverse clergy seeking sheltered employment.


What made YOU think that your god is the correct one?
See answer above.

Do you suggest that ALL these gods are indeed real?
Well no, some gods are really worried about the market share of unreal gods  :)


Do you suggest that ALL these gods are actually pointing to the one same GOD?
If that idea will make you comfortable to tithe here, okay  :angel:

Yet he decide to reveal himself at different forms and give different beliefs to all of them?
He's fucking clever - different strokes for different folks.  Pick the god with a franchise outlet nearest to your parents house :laugh:
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 04:06:35 AM by William »
Git mit uns

Offline IAmFirst

Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 05:33:14 AM »
Simple answer: because the worshippers CREATE the god they worship as they go along. If you notice, the older you get, the more diverse answers you'll receive for basic questions, like why does god let so may people starve to death? Post that on Facebook and you'll get different answers, all vague, but all made up. This is because one person's Jesus is the only Jesus they're interested in.

There a lot more answers to this question though. If you just take one sect-- Catholic for example-- look at where they've spread their beliefs and how they incorporated them. Where I grew up in the U.S., all catholic churches are large, new, plenty of parking and well stocked with plenty of white people, towing their kids in brand new church clothes, although some high school football uniforms were seen to. Now go to a tiny village that practices catholicism and it's entirely different. Even down to the circular wafers bought from a religious bakery in the U.S. where they may use donated bread, even leaves in communion.

You can't have ONE sect and expect people of all cultures to act the way you expect at a service that you grew up with or even find acceptable, so incorporate local customs, tell them the pope's got their back and boom, you're a catholic in a jungle. All the other sects do the same thing for strength in numbers. 
2nd of all, if all you believe in is peer-reviewed papers, you won't go very far in life...

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Offline Nick

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 11:26:33 AM »
It's a cultural and regional thing.  Remember, it was not easy getting around back then or communicating.  Religion filled some kind of need for early man.  Helped explain things they did not understand and try to understand death.  I think there have been 3800+ gods out there over time.  Most were ancestor based gods/spirits.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 11:51:09 AM »
Made up stuff has no reason to be consistent.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 11:52:52 AM »
Removed. Posted in wrong thread

Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 12:52:06 PM »
It's a good opening question to ask theists. I would then follow with "If the specific faith you subscibe to is the 'one true religion' as dictated by your 'one true god', then why... at it's founding... was it limited to the region of it's origin and not spontaniously world-wide?".

One example: why were the ancient Chinese... who were an already established civilization long before the advent of the Abrahmic religions (around 1300BC)... completely unaware of the laws, customs and commandments of the Judeo-Christian god? You would think god would have made his wishes known to all of his children, and not just a select few in a specific, geographical location.

The same goes for Christianity... ask any theist why, say, the American Indians or the aboriginal Australians had never heard of Jesus until the Western Euopeans and their missionaries came?

Of course, the answer is that Jesus's world tour was... ahhhhh... 'prematurely' canceled....  &)
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Offline natlegend

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 01:22:43 AM »
Not sure who said it originally but, “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours”

"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where God should have come up and said hello. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you fucking turn up and say well done." - Eddie Izzard

You keep using that word. I do not think it means

Offline anthony_retford

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 07:59:49 AM »
I have heard the number of gods bandied around to be 3,000 or 3,800. But where can I get a listing of all of these gods?
People are 'erroneously confident' in their knowledge and underestimate the odds that their information or beliefs will be proved wrong. They tend to seek additional information in ways that confirm what they already believe.
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Offline plethora

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 08:33:49 AM »
Not sure who said it originally but, “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours”

Stephen F Roberts  8)
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 10:42:19 AM »
Evolutionarily[1] speaking, if a religion were true, one would assume that there'd be some benefit from following that religion. Therefor, one religion would prevail. Anyone who started an offshoot would quickly find himself without the benefit and he'd be less ... fruitful.

So, looking at it that way, they're all male bovine excrement.

But, hang on, the theist will say, doesn't this show that RELIGION itself is beneficial?

Just because it gets copied from one generation to the next doesn't mean it's good. Religion could be (and I think I'm preaching to the choir here) and probably IS just a mind-virus that hitches along.

Re: Anthony ... I have yet to come across a really exhaustive god-list. If you google list of gods, you're burried in the results. For the purpose of writing fiction, I've used Godchecker and good old Wikipedia (that one has a neat listing of Armenian gods, which I needed at one time). Also, some lists include deliberatly fictional gods like Crom, Cthulhu and the FSM, right in there among Amon, Yahweh and Thor.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 02:37:04 PM »
Evolutionarily[1] speaking, if a religion were true, one would assume that there'd be some benefit from following that religion. Therefor, one religion would prevail. Anyone who started an offshoot would quickly find himself without the benefit and he'd be less ... fruitful.
 1. word of the day

Not only "some benefit", but the ultimate benefit: having a god that is only more than willing to smite your enemies... namely, any and everyone who doesn't subscribe to that particular religion.
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

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Offline Fiji

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 03:13:13 PM »
^indeed, and that's another reason why the old testament is a load of putrid dingo's kidneys.

The Hebrew had a GOD in their corner. A god who happily destroyed entire cities for them and who wiped out the most powerful army on the planet just so that they could blunder about the Sinaï for 40 years.
... And they DIDN'T pull off a Mongol-style conquest?!?!

Yeah, yeah, promised land blablabla ... milk and honey, sure. Except, at the time, Israel wasn't exactly prime real estate. Their god couldn't have led them to ... I don't know ... The Crimea? Sicily? The Peloponesos? Whip up a couple of Arks ... done! (Maybe he ran out of gopher wood) ;)
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Offline rev45

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 04:06:33 PM »
I have heard the number of gods bandied around to be 3,000 or 3,800. But where can I get a listing of all of these gods?
Wiki list.  I've only checked a few of the links.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gods

And on this link I've spot checked a few of the names I wasn't familiar with and came up with nothing on google.  Maybe I misspelled the name or didn't dig deep enough, but the names listed here might be a starting point.
http://twicsy.com/i/MYNZPb
Here read a book.  It's free.
http://www.literatureproject.com/

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Offline William

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 05:16:19 PM »
The Hebrew had a GOD in their corner. A god who happily destroyed entire cities for them and who wiped out the most powerful army on the planet just so that they could blunder about the Sinaï for 40 years.

Yes God was amazing back then, although He was a bit bipolar and prone to being capriciously nasty at times.  Imagine giving hungry meat eating people on a diet "all you can eat" quails and then killing the people because they eat:

Quote
Numbers 11:31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
 
32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
 
33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.

A good reason to go looking for the shelter of some other "Loving God" :-\
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Offline WayneHarropson

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 08:25:41 PM »
It's a cultural and regional thing.  Remember, it was not easy getting around back then or communicating.  Religion filled some kind of need for early man.  Helped explain things they did not understand and try to understand death.  I think there have been 3800+ gods out there over time.  Most were ancestor based gods/spirits.

Good answer. 

If you saw, in another thread, that Christian Missionary I was talking about went to a jungle where the natives called a banana pod their God pod (or whatever it was, like God is in the banana pod) and from that new exactly what the missionary was talking about when he tried to persuade them that the Gospel comes from the pages of a book.  One of them brought a pod to him and cracked it open and it flayed out like the pages of the book. 
God not only inspired the missionary to go to this tribe, but had prepared the way for him to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a big eureka moment for the tribe and further confirmation for the Missionary that he wasn't wasting his time. 
Christianity is the only true religion, and it's a shame it has to share the name  with all the other impostors.  If it weren't for Christianity, I'd be an atheist.
If you happened to read my stuff in the other thread, among my detractors, it's deteriorating into low obscenity over there, you know, bathroom humor.
Sad. 
Oh well, that's Atheism, where single motherhood is celebrated. 
Truly sad.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 08:31:14 PM »
Where is this tribe....and where are they now?

 As an Aboriginal I have never heard of any tribe calling a banana pod a god,give me details or links on this tribe please.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 08:35:20 PM »
And while we are at it what is the "true" version of Christianity?.....you know out of the 38,000 versions
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 08:48:23 PM »
Well, that banana story is apropos. Like religion, the world will be without bananas by 2025 because of the spread of a fungal disease that, once introduced to a banana growing area, cannot be destroyed. Bananas can never again be grown where that fungus has infected an area. And the planet is running out of banana growing environs.

Unless of course, global warming opens up new opportunities to cultivate bananas in areas that are currently inhospitable. Which would be great for the survivors.

Ironically, the reason bananas cannot develop resistance to the fungus is that bananas are sterile, and can be grown only from cuttings. Which means that it is impossible to breed resistant bananas. The truths of evolution cannot be applied to something that does not use natural reproduction.

So yep, bananas and the bible are the same thing. Endangered.

added: Oops, I almost pulled a Wayne. Heres the link: http://www.factorfictionnutritionblog.com/2010/03/oldie-but-goodie-endangered-bananas.html
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Offline kcrady

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 08:52:07 PM »
Oh well, that's Atheism, where single motherhood is celebrated. 
Truly sad.

Says the guy who did a victory dance when some bloodthirsty wacko shot up a bunch of little kids.  Your beliefs and "values" are far more appalling than a few cuss words.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 08:58:22 PM »
kcrady, you seem to have forgotten. Once a kid is born, christians stop caring. The child is on his or her own then. Living in a ghetto? Being beaten daily by dad? Starving? Shot in the classroom? That is all part of a loving gods' plan.

I know, it is so hard for we atheists to remember all of their double standards. I don't hold this against you, but I hope this serves to remind you of their number one rule. "It isn't supposed to make sense."
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2013, 09:29:25 PM »
Oh well, that's Atheism, where single motherhood is celebrated. 
Truly sad.

I'm curious, Wayne. Leaving aside that no definition of atheism I know "celebrates" single motherhood, what's sad about it? Being a single parent is tough, no argument. Financially, emotionally, all of it. But you seem to imply (I could be mistaken) that there's something particularly sad with being a single mom, as opposed to a single dad. Why do you think that?
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2013, 09:54:25 PM »
Throughout history, people sought answers to the BIG QUESTIONS.  How did we come to be? How did the world (universe) start? Why do bad things happen?  What happens after death? 

And different people, in very different circumstances, came up with very different answers.  We came to be because we hatched from a cosmic egg.  Or from ice. Or the hopeful deities created us from corn.  Or from a fertile goddess.  Or from a fatherly god.  The universe started when the ice melted.  Or the god said "let there be light."  Or when the eras of wood and clay ended, and the era of corn began. 

Bad things happen (to me) because I did bad things in another life.  Bad things happen because the gods are mad that we didn't make enough sacrifices to them.  Bad things happen because the two men next door have sex together.  Bad things happen because he have dishonored our ancestors. 

After death, we are reborn as another being.  After death, we sit on a cloud listening to harp music.  After death, we are reunited with our loved ones.  After death, we obtain enlightenment.  When bad people die, bad things happen to them.  When good people die, they are rewarded by no more work.  No more pain.

People sought to answer these questions. And in the absence of any understanding of the fact that they lived on a globe that is orbiting a star, and in the absence of an understanding of weather patterns or dna or bacteria or even an understanding of cause and effect relationships, they guessed.  They came up with ideas, and future generations built on those ideas.  And religions were born. 

They couldn't get on the internet and consult "world creation forums" and find out what folks were thinking about the origins of life on the other side of the planet.  Most of humanity was not even literate as religions were being created.  Our ancestors were limited to their small communities, their own ecosystems, and the lessons learned from their own successes and failures. 

Offline Quesi

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2013, 09:55:33 PM »
Sad. 
Oh well, that's Atheism, where single motherhood is celebrated. 
Truly sad.

WTF does that mean? 

Offline Brakeman

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2013, 10:57:50 PM »
.. that Christian Missionary I was talking about went to a jungle where the natives called a banana pod their God pod (or whatever it was, like God is in the banana pod) and from that new exactly what the missionary was talking about when he tried to persuade them that the Gospel comes from the pages of a book.  One of them brought a pod to him and cracked it open and it flayed out like the pages of the book. 
God not only inspired the missionary to go to this tribe, but had prepared the way for him to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ..

What an ass thing to do.  If the Missionary kept his mouth shut the jungle tribe wouldn't have known about god to reject him, and thus, in their innocence would have gone to heaven. By the missionary witnessing to them, he condemned many of them to hell. Why would he do such a mean thing? 
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Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2013, 12:26:41 AM »
If you saw, in another thread, that Christian Missionary I was talking about...

If you happened to read my stuff in the other thread...

Wayne, you don't have enough weapons in your meager arsenal to be branching into other threads yet. You have way too many questions left unanswered in the other thread.

Quote
Oh well, that's Atheism, where single motherhood is celebrated. 
Truly sad.

What an idiotic, flame-worthy statement, but I won't take your troll bait. Just try to remember while you make such blanket insults that the only common denominator amongst atheists is the lack of belief in any gods. That's it.

Now get your ignorant ass back to the other thread and give us some answers already.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2013, 02:11:19 AM »
Christianity is the only true religion, and it's a shame it has to share the name with all the other impostors.

Emphasis mine.

Where have I heard that claim before....? Oh, yeah. From each and every person on this planet that happens to belongs to the (insert religion here) faith.

Funny how the rest of the world had to wait for the news of this "only true religion" until Christian missionaries finally arrived on their doorsteps to convert them... oftentimes at the point of a sword for those a tad, too slow to acknowledge they were really a filthy heathen in need of "saving".

Out of curiosity... have you tried that line on an Islamic or Judaic forum? Do let us know how that goes....
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Offline Fiji

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2013, 03:49:12 AM »
If you saw, in another thread, that Christian Missionary I was talking about went to a jungle where the natives called a banana pod their God pod (or whatever it was, like God is in the banana pod) and from that new exactly what the missionary was talking about when he tried to persuade them that the Gospel comes from the pages of a book.  One of them brought a pod to him and cracked it open and it flayed out like the pages of the book. 
God not only inspired the missionary to go to this tribe, but had prepared the way for him to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a big eureka moment for the tribe and further confirmation for the Missionary that he wasn't wasting his time.

And then there's the story of how a village in Mauretania got converted. Missionary arrives at the village and starts talking about god, waving his holy book about. Village elders go "Nonono, we've got gods, look, here, the tree in the middle of the village, our gods live in there"
Ok, goes the missionary, now suppose I do this ... and he goes to fetch an ax and chops down the tree. Village elders, go, ooooh you'll be sorry for that! Our gods will kill you tonight. Missionary goes off into the desert  and the next day, he comes back. Villagers go WTF?! He's not dead?!
And they convert en masse ... to Islam.

Point being, EVERY religion has amazing stories like this. And in all likeliness, they're all at least partially made up. In the above story, you really think the village elders would just stand there while the Muslim cuts down their sacret tree? Or in your story ... you really think that bible was the first book they ever came across?
I guess that's ok though, make up stories to promote made up stories.

Christianity is the only true religion, and it's a shame it has to share the name  with all the other impostors.  If it weren't for Christianity, I'd be an atheist.
If you happened to read my stuff in the other thread, among my detractors, it's deteriorating into low obscenity over there, you know, bathroom humor.
Sad. 

Quran says Bible and Torah are deliberate hoaxes perpetrated by god himself. So ... seems Islam is the only true religion. Sorry, you got it wrong. You're gonna burn in hell for ever, but hey, don't feel bad. You'll burn less than the Jews.[1]

Oh well, that's Atheism, where single motherhood is celebrated. 
Truly sad.

If a woman can pull off motherhood on her own, damn right I celebrate her!
Did she choose to be a single mom? Maybe.
Did she want to become a single mom from the outset? I doubt it.
SHOULD she be a single mom? I don't know, she's not my former partner. She's not my mom. Why would I have a say in the matter? I'm not involved. My opinion doesn't matter. And yours doesn't either ... Yes, I know you found a book that says that it does matter. So what? Hey, I've got a book that says you shouldn't fly cars into willow trees. Does that give me the right to regulate air traffic?
 1. How exactly one burns less than someone else it beyond me but then again, it's religion, it's not supposed to make sense.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 03:55:19 AM by Fiji »
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Why were there so many different religions in the world?
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2013, 07:54:37 AM »
This, from wiki gives an idea of how and why religions spring up - each person or group have an idea of what they should do to gain something: A cargo cultWiki is a religious practice that has appeared in many traditional pre-industrial tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults focus on obtaining the material wealth (the "cargo") of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices. Cult members believe that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors. Cargo cults developed primarily in remote parts of New Guinea and other Melanesian and Micronesian societies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, beginning with the first significant arrivals of Westerners in the 19th century. Similar behaviours have, however, also appeared elsewhere in the world.

And what is any religion but the hopes of having supernatural powers (or an invisible friend with supernatural powers who will help you)? And are not these the trappings of an “advanced society”?

Whoever takes up religion wants to have no illness, death, suffering, poverty, hatred, etc., but does not want the bother of having to do anything about it.

So, there you are in an wilderness and you want it to rain. You have no data, so you invent a god to make it rain. This god wants something from you, so you do what is required.

Just over the hill, there is another person who also wants it to rain, so he too invents a god to make it rain. This god wants something from him... not the same something but the man on the other side of the hill does what the god apparently asked.

Let's say that it rains. Now let's say that you and the man over the hill meet - Yes, that's right, you are going to argue and fight over which god is the better... but you are doing it only for the good of the other person... this is how religions start; that is why there are so many.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce