What If …

To start the new year, I have a rather provocative question that I’d love for my readers and followers to think about (really think about)  and give me an answer. I feel quite certain some of you (i.e., Christians) will have an immediate knee-jerk response. However,  I’m requesting that you restrain yourself and provide a thoughtful and reasoned reply. That means no scripture .. no preaching … no “faith-based” answers.

Here’s the question:

What would the world be like if there were no religion?

I would like each person to imagine being born into a world in which the conduct of humans was regulated entirely by other humans. NOT by any supernatural power or powers. NOT by any spiritual guru. NOT by any superstitious beliefs of any kind.

In other words … what if our only code of conduct was based entirely on being an inhabitant of this planet?

Advertisements

290 thoughts on “What If …

  1. I’m not sure there could ever be such a world. Religion doesn’t necessarily mean theism. We are pattern seeking, agency assigning people with a need for community, purpose and meaning. Religion and even Faith provide that for a lot of people. Even people who don’t believe in God or gods and know that, for them at least, the experience and benefit of such religion or faith outweighs whether its actually based in verifiable truth.
    I hope I didn’t just shoot myself in the head with my response. What do you think nan?

    Liked by 5 people

      • I started going to a UU church. Religious Humanism is the overall theme with a nod to several different traditions, trying to skim truth and meaning where they can. The important thing to them seems to be the journey and becoming a more whole person and having an impact on others here and now.
        Is that what you’re talking about?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Even weirder. People seem to have a penchant for dreaming up hypothetical schemes involving supernatural things. Religion is just the organization of these “beliefs” to oppress the believers. SO, ordinary folks will probably go off on a woo-woo walkabout and the elites, well the elites will have to turn up the other cranks they use to hold us in their thrall.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The countries with the highest number of atheists might be a good start to formulate a theory: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/atheists-countries-list-six-world-most-convinced-a6946291.html

    My guess is it would unfortunately not make much difference because a lack of religion still doesn’t mean people have the skills to think rationally and the education necessary to do it well. That means manipulation would still possible by other means (i.e. identity)

    Liked by 5 people

            • Okay, great to see you really thought your original comment through, Branyan.

              Memes are ideas (empowered by imagination, symbolic language, predictive and abstract thought, and introspection which all emerged with our proportionately huge frontal cortex), and they can spread in human populations like viruses, selected simply for their infectiousness. Memes, not genes, affect societal and cultural evolution.

              So, the question: Do simpler animals have memes, and therefore exhibit memetic evolution?

              Liked by 3 people

            • My original comment was that animals don’t practice religion. I’m standing by that comment. The “memes and genes” comment is entirely yours.

              BTW: “Memes, not genes, affect societal and cultural evolution.” is a beautiful example of a religious statement.

              Like

            • No, your original comment said nothing of religion:

              “Observe the way animals behave.
              That’s how humans would behave.”

              So, in relation to that original comment, please answer the question without your typical 100-comment-evasion-song-and-dance-routine:

              Do simpler animals have memes, and therefore exhibit memetic evolution?

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sorry. I keep forgetting that you don’t necessarily dialogue based on the topic of the post. Here’s what Nan, the blog author, asked (in giant red letters):
              “What would the world be like if there were no religion?”

              I was merely suggesting that animals, which have no religious persuasions, might be observed to help answer the question.

              Are you arguing with me about that?

              Like

            • Again, your original comment said nothing of religion:

              “Observe the way animals behave.
              That’s how humans would behave.”

              Hence the question:

              Do simpler animals have memes, and therefore exhibit memetic evolution?

              Yes, or No?

              Like

            • Again. Restating a question when I have already agreed to accept whatever answer you provide is tedious. I will agree to WHATEVER answer you say, JZ. I don’t understand what this has to do with Nan’s question. I have no clue what you’re trying to say. I’m deferring to your vastly superior intellect. Answer the question for me. I am unqualified to offer an opinion.

              For the love of God make your point, please!

              Like

            • I don’t understand what this has to do with Nan’s question

              Your comment alluded to a claim that religion was the only thing separating us from simpler animals. I’m asking you to support that claim, hence the question:

              Do simpler animals have memes, and therefore exhibit memetic evolution?

              Just tell me now if you’re going to evade answering it again.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Whichever answer is the correct answer, JZ.
              How many times do I have to say it?
              I’m too stupid to answer your question.
              My brain is addled by my bronze age superstitions.
              I’m unable to reason on even the simplest levels.
              Your question has confounded me.
              I am stumped.
              Therefore…I am trusting you to answer it for me.
              This is not an evasion.
              It is abject deference to your uncanny wisdom and insight.
              So, do simpler animals have memes, and therefore exhibit memetic evolution?
              Please….please….please….please…tell me!

              Like

          • What I’m trying to suggest is that humanity’s code of conduct differs from the other animals because “religion” is results from our higher evolutionary status. Humans would treat other humans exactly the same way animals treat each other. This is what cultures look like without religion. It’s almost impossible to imagine this kind of culture in humanity because religion is ubiquitous throughout mankind.

            Like

            • Humans would treat other humans exactly the same way animals treat each other.

              That seems unlikely.

              Humans evolved as a highly social species. Most other animals are not that social.

              On the other hand, given that we are highly social, it is possible that forming religions comes naturally to us.

              Liked by 4 people

            • This could be seen as BS John. For a start we are many more times intelligent than most animals and far more complicated than any of them.

              Our natural evolved requirement for sexual contact and communication with our own kind is what bonding and communities are all about. Animals in the wild do follow the same principles, however ours are certainly more refined even if they are not perfect.

              I do not believe we would change for the worse because politics can not favour religious groups and maybe we would have a world with less armed conflict. Socially we may become more active and fitter with sport and hobbies being the main focuses considering less time in churches and in religious meetings. Marriage would just be a bonding exercise, Christmas would just be another date for pre-new year drinks.

              As a note, for religion to have not existed we would have had to understand the science of the weather, volcanos, earthquakes and aspects our solar system, because we know the gods were originally created to answer all the questions early humans had.

              As gods became attached to the human species socially, mentally, politically and economically humans have evolved into god seeking communities, and unfortunately this affliction is still with us today. Gods are still used as an excuse to explain the weather, why life, the planets and the universe exist without science. It will probably take many years to eliminate god worship, but fortunately we do not all have numb minds in this respect.

              Liked by 4 people

        • Animals absolutely do have de facto superstitions because they don’t understand causation. You can easily train a dog to believe his sitting or jumping will result in a treat, which will not be true except for your personal intervention.

          Liked by 5 people

            • Religion, in practice, is the misunderstanding/misattribution of causality. Someone scratches their nose and then it rains, the mind creates a link. Religion and its accompanying myths were rationalisations of those processes.

              Liked by 5 people

            • That is a pretty simple definition of religion…
              Sometimes causal links are correct. The clouds gather and then it rains. I don’t think we can dismiss every religious belief on the grounds that some religious beliefs are incorrect.
              The point I was making is animals aren’t religious. This doesn’t seem controversial. If you want to take a crack a responding to Nan’s question, go for it!

              Like

            • No, not *to* religion. An example within religion where there’s a verifiable causal process. Muslims, for example, believe praying 5 times per day facing in a certain direction leads to X. That’s a false statement of causality. Scientologists believe they have a machine (e-meter) that serves a medical purpose. That’s another false statement of causality. Can you point to one in your own or another religion which is valid?

              Liked by 4 people

            • Interesting isn’t it, that sarcasm aside, you can´t propose a verifiable causal statement which applies to your religion. That was precisely my initial point. Rationalisations of false statements of causality, what gods allegedly want and so forth.

              Liked by 3 people

            • LOL! It would make things easier for you if I was a Scientologist or a Muslim.

              To your “initial point”, I’ve not rationalized any false statements of causality. I just said animals don’t practice religion. I admit this is pure speculation on my part. I’m willing to consider any verifiable evidence you have that contradicts this thesis.

              Like

            • Goodness – not very quick then…
              You said animals are not superstitious. I explained they actually are because they don’t understand causality. So to a dog the sound of thunder may mean the danger of a large predator, although it’s only a noise. A clapping sound may mean food is about to arrive etc.
              Christianity, just like Scientology or any of the others, is based on the same false statements of causality. God will be happy if you do X or angry if you do Y.

              Liked by 4 people

            • I sent this response but somehow it didn’t show up in the thread…sorry. I am reposting:

              “Christianity, just like Scientology or any of the others, is based on the same false statements of causality. God will be happy if you do X or angry if you do Y.”

              Yes. And you are asking me to provide you with a specific example of these false causalities from my own religion. I get it.
              The trouble is I’m not a proponent of the religion you are describing.

              “[dogs] don’t understand causality. So to a dog the sound of thunder may mean the danger of a large predator…A clapping sound may mean food is about to arrive etc.”
              Sure! I’ll go along with all of this!
              Do we agree that we’re speculating about the causal link between dog behavior and thunderclaps?

              Like

            • Pink, FYI… you are asking outstanding questions and giving great examples of possible answers without putting words in a person’s mouth, or at least trying to. 😉 LOL

              Great thread here… on your part.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Do we agree that we’re speculating about the causal link between dog behavior and thunderclaps?

              This is important. We’re establishing that everybody has some religious convictions even if those convictions are “there is no god”.

              Like

            • Yes. You are speculating.
              You can’t possibly know what dogs think.
              Hume doesn’t know either.

              If you don’t like the word “religion” then pick another one. I’m fine with whatever word you want to use to describe stuff you believe that you can’t empirically prove to be true.

              Like

            • Aaaah, but the thing is, I don’t claim to know what dogs think. Neither does Hume’s standard. Identifying causality does however make it possible to isolate the cause of something and then decide what further actions should be. I can know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that certain types of noises cause a dog distress. And I can do that without speculation, guesswork or fantasy.
              So there’s a problem in trying to equate a process which works to find the most probable options with one that is entirely based on baseless associations.

              Liked by 3 people

            • Well, you were talking about dogs being worried about predators and thinking about food, etc. And I agreed with you about all that as I recall.

              And I agree that it is problematic to equate a process which works to find the most probably options with one that is entirely based on baseless associations.

              We’re still left with your statement, “Religion, in practice, is the misunderstanding/misattribution of causality”. This still seems too broad a generalization to be useful. You’ll need to explain what you mean by “religion” before I can agree or disagree with your statement.

              Like

            • That takes my comments on animals and superstition out of context. I was explaining how animals are superstitious, so the precise thought they’re having is an irrelevant point. The central concept is misattributed causality. They believe the thunder is much more of a threat than it actually is. This same form of misattribution occurs in religion where whole belief systems are designed based on pleasing gods and/or avoiding upsetting gods. Saying a prayer in hopes something happens is as much of a process of misattribution of cause as clicking one’s heels three times in hopes that will *cause* something to occur.

              Liked by 3 people

            • “[Dogs] believe the thunder is much more of a threat than it actually is. This same form of misattribution occurs in religion…”
              Forgive me, but you’re still claiming to know what dogs think. You can’t have it both ways. Either the a dogs thoughts are irrelevant or they are evidence of the futility of religious thinking. You need to decide which argument you want to advance.

              “Saying a prayer in hopes something happens is as much of a process of misattribution of cause as clicking one’s heels three times in hopes that will *cause* something to occur.”

              Really?
              Can you confirm this is empirically true or am I to just accept it by faith?

              Like

            • You’re not understanding the math of the proposition. My statement is:
              Dogs are superstitious because they associate x (noise) to y (a threat). I gave “predator” as an example to what the threat could be, but that part of the equation isn’t relevant to the math. The important part is the association of x to y. That’s what defines it being a superstition because thunder isn’t an actual threat.

              And yes, we can empirically demonstrate that neither prayer nor heel clicking lead to the realisation of wishes or desires. Unless your desire was to be able to pray or hear the noise of clicking heels.

              Liked by 3 people

            • So the dog is superstitious because it incorrectly interprets thunder as a threat. And prayer is like thunder in that it too is inconsequential.

              I would certainly be interested in your empirical proof that prayer is totally ineffective! That would move this conversation into the realm of science!

              Like

            • Superstition is the wrong association of causation. That’s a reasonably simple concept e.g. walking under a ladder will bring bad luck, finding a 4 leaf clover will bring good luck. It’s a P then Q where the P doesn’t actually lead to the Q.

              As for prayer there’s a wealth of studies which I can cite, but here’s a large well known one with the participation of the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/no-prayer-prescription/

              Liked by 2 people

            • LOL! I was kidding about the empirical proof. We could trade links to research that supports our point of view but neither one of us will be able to claim we’ve empirically proven the effectiveness of prayer.

              I’m not sure why you keep repeating the idea that superstition is the wrong association of causation. I’m not the one claiming to know what dogs think.

              Superstition comes in many forms. A popular article of faith on this blog is “science can explain everything”. That’s the reason we don’t need religion anymore, isn’t it?

              Like

            • Debate technique aside as that´s purely manipulation, mathematics is fairly straightforward. There´s no reason people acting in (you´ll like this term) *good faith*, shouldn´t be able to see how to get to the conclusion.

              Liked by 1 person

            • …at the risk of being scolded for repeating myself…

              You can’t apply mathematics to this situation.
              Suggesting that I’m not acting in “good faith” because I don’t arrive at your conclusions is also purely manipulative.

              Over 100 years ago, I simply asserted that animals don’t have religious convictions. You took exception to that and insisted that dogs reacting to thunder is proof that animals are “superstitious”. Then, you asserted that religion is exactly the same mechanism.

              Dog reacting to thunder = irrational superstition

              Humans practicing religion = irrational superstition

              Have I got it?

              Like

            • All argumentation is mathematics. So for the most part, all people have to do to come to a verifiable conclusion (which can be reproduced) is agree on the definitions.

              That may be the problem in this discussion. When you say irrational superstition, for example, I find that problematic as there’s no “rational” form of superstition. What we’re talking about are incorrect associations. To eat or not eat certain foods because that pleases or displeases a god. To only have sex in a certain way because that pleases or displeases a god. To go to mass because that… to not use certain words because… etc. etc. etc.

              Liked by 1 person

            • JB, I’m not sure why you keep repeating yourself … ???

              Seems to me, Pink has addressed your question in several different ways, but either you don’t “get it” or you’re just being difficult. (I vote for the latter.)

              Liked by 1 person

            • John why do you do stuff like this? It makes no one want to have a conversation with you. It is self pitying and shows a lack of maturity I think. I may not agree with you, and I can see where you have ignored the replies to your comments, and even once in my opinion suddenly tried to switched the track of the conversation, but no one was insulting or demeaning you. You did that yourself. I hope you see how this makes some of us not take you seriously when you pull this stunt. A kid does that, not an adult. Hug

              Liked by 3 people

            • What on Earth are you talking about?
              Isn’t Pink 100% correct?
              Am I not a superstitious, brainwashed, dipshit?

              When I argue a different point of view, I’m a troll.
              When I give up the argument, I’m a child.

              Like

            • When you address fair points in a conversation , even if you disagree with the premise you are acting in good faith and carrying on a conversation like an adult. When you write things like above you are acting more like a frustrated teen who’s hormones got the better of them and can’t deal with the situation in any way but an emotional appeal to how unfair life is to them. Earlier I enjoyed talking to you here, but now you have left a huge taint over everything you write. I will think twice before entering in to a conversation with you if this is your view of honest communication. Hugs

              Like

            • JB … Stop it! Just stop it! Act like an adult and quit whining. You are welcome on my blog, but when you persist on twisting people’s words and meanings … and then when they call you on it, you react like you just did in your last couple of comments … yes, you are acting like a child.

              Like

            • Am I not a brainwashed, superstitious dipshit? <– THIS … is exactly what I'm talking about!

              Poor, poor JB. So beat up on. Nobody understands him.
              GIVE ME A BREAK!

              Like I said … participate like an adult and you're more than welcome. Act like a whining child and you'll most likely be moderated.

              Like

            • Now who is being childish?

              As I understand it, you deconverted from Christianity because you overcame the brainwashing of religion. Using reason and logic, you are now enlightened. You no longer hold superstitious (or religious) concepts. All of your beliefs are grounded in hard, empirical evidence.

              Is this correct? (I do NOT want to twist your words or misrepresent you!)

              Like

            • What does my history have to do with anything?

              Give it a rest, John. Go practice your comedy routine. This is my final comment to you today.

              Like

            • I didn’t know you had more to add to your last comment. It showed up in my reader as the single question, “Am I not a brainwashed dipshit?” — I thought you were asking me the question. And, like an adult, I answered it!

              You, on the other hand, STILL haven’t answered my question. Are you afraid you’re going to hurt my feelings? Do you think I don’t know? Do you think I haven’t seen my name in the exchanges between Ark, JZ, Taboo, Carmen and the rest of you chimps?

              Of course you think I’m a dipshit, Nan. Or a dickhead. Or an asshole. Pick one. It doesn’t matter. I can take it!

              Please just stop threatening to moderate me! That doesn’t scare me. Just do it! Better yet, ban me from your blog! Then I’ll be able to add your name along side Gary, Sirius, Nate and all the others on the list of “Intellectual Lightweights I Have Vanquished”.

              I can handle anything you guys dish out. I’m not sure you can say the same.

              Like

            • I don’t think any of those things about you, John. The only thing I see is you have a problem acting like a grown-up. This “dipshit” thing is a good example. I didn’t call you that … and I wouldn’t call you that. It’s not my style. The fact that you gave the name to yourself goes back to what I said about growing up.

              I’m not Ark, JZ, Taboo, or any of the others. My blog is my blog and I have total discretion on what takes place on it. Actually, I would prefer not to moderate you (it’s more work for me).

              All I ask is you stay on-topic and stop berating yourself. It is not becoming.

              Deal?

              Like

            • I always stay on topic.
              And berating myself is how I make a living.

              You guys all have nothing but disdain for my comments until I articulate your contempt. Then you clutch your pearls and cluck your tongues and insist that I’m being childish. I’m puzzled by the sudden squeamishness.

              Like

            • You are 100% correct about everything you said.
              I am 100% full of shit.

              I was tempted to click “Like” on that comment.

              However, I agree with you that we should be cautious about explaining a dog’s reaction to thunder as superstition.

              Liked by 2 people

            • @ Neil , interesting. The fact is some dogs will fear thunder. The idea is if that fear is warranted or not. As thunder has never harmed a dog other than maybe being loud in the ears I think it could be called a superstition as Pink suggests. I have one cat who is huge and strong and has all his claws and teeth, yet is really scared of fireworks. The booms cause him to growl loudly with his ears back. He will either come to me to hold him where I think he feels safe or go hide. His fear is not rational as fireworks have never harmed him. So is his fear equal to a superstition? It is not a reasonable response to me, but is it to him? Is it reasonable for him to act in that manner or is it a superstition? Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            • Well our other cat show no fear about storms , loud noises, or even large dogs. He thinks he is the ruler of the empire. He is smaller and lighter than the scared cat. So I know my one cat reacts with fear, one doesn’t. The larger cat will go slink to my bedroom if someone even knocks at the door. What I am trying to get my head around is the other part. The x not equallying y part. Is unwarranted fear equal to a superstition. My family says no that fear , warranted or not , is an ingrained instinct , maybe genetic, to save us when an unknown happens. The flight or fight response thing. I think that I read a study on birds, pigeons I think, who were given food at a random time. The birds equated what they did right before the food arrived to be what gave them the food, so they kept doing that same thing over and over. That is both superstition and in my mind a religious response. My son says it is not religion because there is no known image of self in the bird but I think that disregards the birds actions. So I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts on this. I find it very interesting. Got to go for a while, dentist appointment, but I will check back later. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’m always hesitant to attribute human-like behaviors (such as superstition) to other animals.

              As for those pigeons — they were obviously running a stimulus-response experiment on their human handlers, to see how those handlers would react.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Some animals seem to live almost more enlightened lives when in their natural habitat and not forced to actions by encroachment on their space. Wolves for instance live by codes many humans could be improved by. same with a few other species I have learned of. But as always each act in ways that help their species survive. Some are more along lines we think are more acceptable to us and some we think are less so. Hugs

      Liked by 4 people

          • You are correct.
            When animals act “in accordance to the good of the whole community”, they are driven by instinct and not “religion”. And humans could indeed learn from that.

            Maybe religion is simply a more highly evolved version of the instinct we see in wolves. If that’s the case, why would we want to eliminate it from humanity?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well John in my opinion first is because it simply is not needed. Second it is based on lies. Third it presumes things that are not shown to be true and denies what we have shown to be true. I feel organized religion is about power and control of the masses by a select few at the top level. It is designed to control behavior of the population and to funnel funds from the bottom larger population to the upper tiers with little to no real gain by the bottom masses. Basically it is the leaders selling a non-existing product way in the future that people can not check on for the money the people have today. So yes in my opinion it would be a far better and more enlightened world without religion. Hugs

              Liked by 2 people

            • Maybe religion is simply a more highly evolved version of the instinct we see in wolves.

              Interesting hypothesis. How might you test that?

              You’ll need to clarify what you mean by “more highly evolved”, though.

              Like

  4. I have listened to some prominent atheist speakers claim science and medicine would be greatly advanced. However I agree with some of what is said above. In the absence of evidence we would imagine what we wished for. Such as a universal consciousness of the universe or that the energy of the universe could be tapped into and used by beings. Even with in the natural laws as we know many grand and great stories are told, and some think they see kernels of truth in them. I myself fight constantly to be skeptical until I see something that points in the direction of a phenomena, but I know I am more willing to accept it if there is not direct evidence against the idea. I wish enjoyment and happiness for you and yours at this start of a new year. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Interesting question Nan.

    In many ways I think we are and always have been a planet with no religion… for the mere fact that over all of human written history they all claim to be right, the one, while also claiming all the others bogus/wrong. Granted, a handful of religions do not claim such arrogant status, but too many do. This state/condition reminds me of angry kids/bullies on a playground or on a sports field screaming at each other that they’re better, they’re going to win and their enemy/opponents will lose or are inferior. All very subjective self-absorbed perceptions by all sides, and yet we now know, humanity knows those human perceptions are terribly limited, shortsighted — How can anyone ever know if they are “the best,” or more superior if they haven’t fully experienced all other human lifestyles, lifesystems, cultures on the entire planet? True quality cannot be fully measured without enormous amounts of quantity; that is, quantities of all types and substance, good, bad, and everything in between. So how very foolish for any one person, or one institution to claim or delude themselves in spouting “We are the best, the most superior… back then, right now, and for all time.” HAH!

    That is one lens I use to answer your question Nan.

    Another lens I enjoy utilizing is species comparisons and contrasts, especially with ours and Entomology. If we Homo sapiens could at least learn and apply forms of Eusociality and Superorganism behavior, then what some 10-18 other species have been doing for millions of years — to not only survive a daunting Earthly existence, but to progressively evolve into better and better refined species — could greatly improve our own abilities to earnestly collaborate with each other to not only AVOID extinction or wiping out ourselves and our (currently) one and only planet, but greatly increase our odds for happy thriving future generations! Constant dividing, discrimination, prejudice, fear, paranoia of our own kind, etc, etc, ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT accomplish this better human life, better planet, and preparation for a new eventually needed planet somewhere else. Period!

    Currently, most all of the Abrahamic religions (95%?) are diametrically opposed to saving our species and planet. THIS cannot be denied due to all their “Holy Apocalyptic Scriptures.” Therefore…

    “What would the world be like if there were no religion?”

    We’d all be way ahead of the game of happier survival and extintion-avoidance if we weren’t already 2,000 – 3,000 years BEHIND!!! Grrrrrrrrr. 😡

    Liked by 5 people

    • I can always count on you, PT, for a thoroughly researched … and mind-boggling … answer. 🙂

      Seriously, as I was reading your response, I thought of ants. Yes, ants. As someone said (as a way of comparison), Consider the positive power that a group of like-minded people experience, both individually and collectively, when they come together unselfishly to help each other succeed. This person also pointed out “the wisdom of the crowd,” i.e., So long as everyone cooperates toward specific goals, and so long as everyone has the best interests of the group at heart, there’s no stopping — or predicting — the amazing things that can be accomplished.

      And finally, … how they work together gives rises to interesting ideas about how we can work together in community.

      Perhaps it should be a requirement of all humans to raise ant farms. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Nan, thinking about your reply to the Professor. Care would have to be taken to make sure a small group or even one couldn’t highjack the entire group. I am binge watching all of the Star Trek Voyager TV show, and they just got to the Borg parts. Scary to end up as a mindless non-individual collective. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

        • I’ve never had an ant farm, but I’ve never heard or read where an ant has been known to “highjack the entire group.”

          And yes, it would be scary to become a “mindless non-individual collective.” Although I tend to think there are a few of them around in our current society. (Whoops!)

          Liked by 2 people

        • Great point Scottie. Which is why forms of collaborative diversity are needed (required?) within large groups. From a clinical psych point-of-view there is another necessary or required condition: Impulse or Anger-control of individuals. There are certainly degrading destructive forms of impulsivity and rage. Hugs for you Scottie! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Very true, both have harmed us a a society and as people individually. I have a trouble with anger / rage I have worked hard to suppress and change for most of my adult life. It gets triggered and flairs and I have such trouble reining it in or pulling it back. Hard to calm down after it blows. I know I can not be the only one. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

            • A lot of that too Scottie goes back to our familial historonics, environment, parenting (or lack of), and region. Some of those factors/variables you can’t necessarily control, at first, but CAN INDEED learn how to manage! Which is what you are doing! Keep up the work. 🙂 ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            • I was an abused adoptive child in a violent home where the parents despised each other. You can imagine and yes it has affected me. Ron has helped me over the years and for awhile I took meds to help also. Some times are worse than others. Love you. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you Professor, you were very kind. I long ago looked into the faces of the monsters and accepted reality. I can not change the past, I can not change them, but I dang sure can be the person I want to be rather than the one they would have made me to be. As I often say, a better Scottie today than I was yesterday. You are correct, it can be controlled, and it must be. Thanks again for your discretion, you are grand. Hugs

              Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you Nan. ❤ There is an enormous amount of quality, highly evolved, species we Homo sapiens could and SHOULD learn from just for an improved life on this planet! And yes, ANTS are absolutely one of them! And guess what… there is no indications or evidence whatsoever that ants — or for that matter the other 10-18 species who have been practicing Eusociality and Superorganism behavior for millions of years — have any type of a God/Deity to tell them how to best survive. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Since roughly About 30% or more of the population craves someone else to make decisions and rules for them to live by, I think we would have a beautiful world with an about 30% wandering and looking for someone to attach some belief to. Even if it were just a MLM or other rah rah group they need their flotation device.

    Liked by 5 people

    • We not only have each other Jim — as a collective whole — but we also have millions of OTHER species here — just on this one planet! — to learn from, understand, and probably mimick! We already use many medicines from both the animal kingdom and the planet! 😉

      Liked by 3 people

  7. It is a provocative, hypothetical question which probably cannot be definitively answered; but, I’ll try to do so by addressing a related chicken-or-egg (which came first?) question of my own:

    Did religion cause our social divisiveness, or did our divisive human nature create religion?

    I think it’s plainly evident that our problematic nature came first. Therefore, the absence of religion and the social divisiveness it fosters would not be a panacea for the world. However, the absence of religion would remove one major mechanism for our combativeness; and, that can only be a good thing. The bottom-line here is that we should strive to reduce the number of reasons used by some to divide us, and getting rid of institutional religion would be a great place to start.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bob, from my perspective, religion is what has caused our social divisiveness. Yes, humans certainly have their issues with one another, but to throw it the divisiveness of religion, at least to me, only amplifies things.

      The only advantage I can see to religion is that it helps form communities. But anyone outside the community is often blacklisted and that most definitely does not foster cohesiveness within the human race.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Nan, I agree with your assessment of religion; but, there’s a big difference between religion being the cause of our social divisiveness and it merely being an amplifying mechanism. Anthropological and archaeological research bears this out. We have waged war on each other since long before the establishment of institutionalized religions.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I think people are often divided culturally, socially, and politically, and societies look for scapegoats. Religion can be embedded in that. But, I don’t think it is the primary cause of the divisiveness.

        It seems to me that love, and the conviction that all humans have intrinsic worth and great value apart from anything else can go along way toward bridging these divides.

        What kind of world would it be if we all took seriously the command of Jesus to “love our neighbors as ourselves?” He didn’t say love only those who look like or think like you. That’s for sure. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d think we’d have more in common, more ways to get along, without the great divider. Religion.

    No matter how much they do try and sugar coat the entire affair with love and acceptance, and WWJD, it always comes down to people hating on other people because of their religious diferences. Give us less to be divisive about, I’d think we could see a better future for mankind. Just maybe if we could all get along we could tackle many of the worlds problems. It’s a dream, but it is doable if people would just leave their superstitious nonsense to the dust bin of history and begin seeing all of our neighbors as people just like us, just trying to survive on an unforgiving rock.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I actually agree that we do need to see our neighbors as people just like us. To me, it is a symptom of our alienation from God, and from each other that humanity tends to turn on those who are different, or who seem to pose a threat to their way of life or way of thinking.

      You can see this playing out even on the internet across these blogs. Often, people will not simply feel that the other person is mistaken, and may at least have some good things to share.

      Instead the conversation can easily degenerate into insults, and personal attacks. We can often assume that because someone disagrees with us they must be regarded as an enemy or have malevolent motives. Of course, most of the time this is not true at all….And, almost always we can find common ground.

      I don’t think we will ever see whole cultures across the world free of religion or any kind of spirituality. I think all this is embedded in our DNA, so to speak. In general, it is part of who we are as a species.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha nan, without ‘religion,’ it would be open season on beastiality (at least people try to hide it today), pornography would be rampant on the streets, and atheism would still be griping about ‘no God,’ people would murder for a sandwich, cheat on their tax returns, steal their neighbors cows, and a thousand more examples of proof of the depraved nature of man run unchecked.

    And oh yeah, the laughing hyenas with their perverse snickering would feast on the carcase of godlessness while licking their fingers in pride.

    Heck, all you need to do is to read the blogs of atheists who are unashamed of their perversity in broad daylight. Would you like me to name names and furnish examples of this perversion?

    What you are asking you are equally clueless as to the results. It is a dream but a nightmare.Sorry, tis a fact.

    Like

    • Um…CS…we have all of that rampant evil right now and religion is everywhere.
      If cheating on income taxes and stealing cows is happening right now with a church on every corner, removing religion from culture won’t change anything.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Did the sarcasm escape even you?

        But the beastiality is one notch further. As I said, open season on depravity. And proud of it.

        To borrow the word of One who knew perfectly: ‘If they do these things in a green tree, imagine the things done in the dry.’

        Not a pretty picture, as evil men and seducers SHALL wax worse and worse……..

        Like

    • CS, you are totally speaking from the “Christian” viewpoint in your condemnation of humanity, which I had specifically requested be avoided. Further, you mention “atheists” which is a religious term. Please re-read my request for neutrality in your response and try again.

      Liked by 2 people

        • No, you didn’t. I specifically asked for “no preaching” (in so many words) and that’s exactly what you did (in so many words). I should have known you would be unable to participate as requested.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Nan, if you want cookie cutter answers, go for it.

            Life apart from the influence of ‘ true and pure religion’ is not a pretty picture. Hitler comes to mind, that masquerading bastard trading on the good graces of ‘religion.’ Not pure by the way.

            Then there was that other murdering miscreant Cain, who killed his brother for no good reason. As I said, you don’t know what you are asking for.

            Like

          • Nan,

            Though I can appreciate the value of an open-forum format, and you DID INDEED spell out clearly what sort of feedback would be most productive on this subject, and such a format is best with mature civil adults. Unfortunately you also open up the forum to truly deluded Oz/Messiah characters such as ColoringSprinkles and several others of his identical psychological dysfunctioning type — they attract and swarm together, follow each other. LOL 😉

            Even though we TRY to keep our blogs and blog-subjects engaging, civil and provocative, AND we spell-out to readers exactly what sort of conduct and etiquette is expected (demanded?), there will always be those bullying, imbicile agitators/demagogues who suffer from egocentricity and their self-perceived, self-labelled Wizard of Oz powers. LOL But I do try and remember as well as mimick the words of Noam Chompsky:

            If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

            In my pro soccer career I handled common heckling just fine; in 1 ear, out the other. But I sometimes have a hard time silently doing that when the words are ludicrous and blatantly disrepectful! Yet, from what I’ve witnessed on here and other blogs over the last 1-2 years, I must commend you Nan for your unbelievable levels of tolerance and patience with these gnat-types. You’re remarkable Nan and I want you to know it isn’t unnoticed. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

            • Wow! Thank you, Prof! You warm the cockles of my heart with your flattery. ❤

              As with the rest of life, we have to take the bad with the good (some worse than others). I do try to retain my civility albeit there are times …

              Hope your 2018 is filled with merriment and joy and good health.

              Liked by 2 people

            • I will not embarrass the pseudo prof by accepting the baited comment only to say I will not repost your vile commentary HERE, in which I found it so detestable, I devoted a most recent post to it. Of course you know this already, as you have no sound answer as you ran for the hills. I don’t blame you as you have been thoroughly and completely exposed as fraudulent. Congrats, now go crying to nan, but it is YOU who are off target.

              Your wicked ways will not be tolerated, at least by me. Now go try to convince someone else that you are the cats meow of academia.

              Hint: no SANE professor…………… lol

              (here’s a gift to the host here, even if it appears off track, yet it is spot on)

              Like

            • nan-

              (don’t know where this nests, but it is a reply to you about moderation)

              Seriously? Your pompous friend the pseudo professor names me in an irrelevant manner, with all my ‘dsfncshanning allies,’ etc…… (yeah misspelled) and you are talking to me about what is appropo?

              I’m not your butchering block nan, and I don’t appreciate what the tabster says about my friends. Do you read what he says? Can you honestly agree with him? I pity you then.

              But go ahead and moderate. Make my day.

              Like

  10. My answer to the Question is that I cannot imagine the world without religion. Children start their lives needing help for evrything they do, and it’s so easy to make them believe that they are protected by a supernatural being.

    Like Jim (at 1:30 pm), I learned a lot from religion.
    I think it makes perfect sense that our primitive forefathers attributed lightning, thunder, and earthquakes to several gods and that, one bright day, they supposedly advanced to the belief in one god – although Christians replaced gods by saints. And they didn’t know better, until the Enlightment made them aware of other perspectives. Those discoveries gave birth to the fascinating LEARNING process called scepticism. Apparently, this is not a natural development. Having been born in a Christian environment, I found it quite an effort to be sceptic, and I’m glad to have made it.
    .-

    Liked by 2 people

        • My apologies. I guess I misunderstood. But the way you wrote your “history” of belief to skeptism, although true, I thought it was a clever way of expressing your journey.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You know, Nan? You may have read an – I repeat unintended – irony in my straight reply – that there will always be religious people, in my opinion.

            I think one of the reasons of that “pessimism” is that mysterious explanations (there are twenty mysteries on a rosary) are attractive and easy to accept, and that scepticism doesn’t come naturally.
            .-

            Like

  11. If I might plagiarize from John Lennon, what if there were no countries and no religion too, nothing to kill or die for…. You might be interested in the work of Francesca Stavrakopoulou. She has studied the Bible as a historical document and concludes none of it happened in an informed way. She doesn’t try to talk down to believers but certainly stands her ground, very refreshing. She is a PhD and Theology Department head in the UK. Otherwise stop at the first sentence here and I’ll go with John.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nan,

    Just finished watching the Rose Bowl game and in the on-field post-game interview the winning team’s Quarterback said “God is good! I just can’t thank God enough for this!Hahahahahaha!!! Really?

    I had no idea that “God” was a NCAA collegiate football fan, let alone a Georgia Bulldog supporter. How absurd a statement, right? Apparently we can’t seem to have no religion in sports either. 🤣

    P.S. I am in no way an American football fan — the sport bores me to death — because it has way too many stoppages and commercial interruptions, and one player (QB) controls way too much of the game. It is NOT even close to the world’s Most Beautiful Game… and the most popular! 😉 😛

    Like

      • I don’t accept that religion offers moral guidance from a supernatural source. We get our morality from society. Religious people get their morality from the same despite what they claim.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Thank you for sharing your perspective. I tend to agree. Plus, to me, your last sentence pretty much nails it.

          I do hope you’ll stop by again … and maybe even become a “regular.” 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  13. I guess we’ll never really know, as I don’t believe there’s ever been a society without religion, spirituality or some form of supernatural belief. However I’m quite certain that religion or perhaps the misuse of religion is not the only cause of harm, and without it, I’m not convinced the world would be any better.

    It seems to me that it is inflexible adherence to an ideology that causes harm, especially where alternative ideas are dismissed out of hand as being wrong. Human nature appears to want to classify anyone who holds different ideas and/or values as being in some way “other”, “less” or “evil” and it doesn’t just apply to religion.

    When I look at my own country it’s not difficult to see that over recent decades the fracturing of society to a large degree has been caused by adherence to a particular economic theory rather than religion. The three political parties that form the current government argued before and since the September elections that capitalism has not served some sections of society well, and for some has been very harmful. Humanist and religious groups of all faiths have been united in arguing this for several decades.

    Many of the social reforms in Aotearoa New Zealand over the last 150 years that have been classed as socialist, communist or worse by those on the right were the direct result of what was called “Christianity in action”. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they would not have occurred without religion, but there is no doubt that the reforms resulted in no small degree by the churches calling for a more compassionate society.

    One only needs to look how some people dismiss the hardships faced by poor families today as being due to “choice” of lifestyle rather than circumstances beyond their control. Not only that but it’s okay that punishment for the “sins” of parents to be passed on to the children. For example families that can’t afford adequate clothing for their children should have benefits/subsidies cut.

    I could ask how much of the poverty and conflict today can be attributed directly to economic and trade practices? While much of the conflict is along religious or ethnic lines, if the underlying causes, often economic, were rectified, would those conflicts still exist?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Great point, Barry. Indeed, economic issues play a major role in social conflicts especially in today’s complex civilization; and, there are a host of other factors too. While specific economic practices are highly specialized to any given era (e.g. globalization in modern times), other non-religious drivers of social conflict can be generally attributed to the human emotions of greed, envy, jealousy, lust, fear, frustration, rage, pride, obsession, and hatred. The latter is a particular problem in my country – America – where it manifests as racial and ethnic animus. All this would exist without religion; however, religion is a perfect mechanism to channel such negative emotions into divisive tribalism (i.e. “us” versus “them” mentality). So, religion acts as a social institution fostering the “inflexible adherence to an ideology that causes harm” problem which you correctly cited.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I wasn’t going to comment but Barry brings out some good points here that I can agree with (and it saves me having to say the same thing!). In reality, I’m not sure we could never really know.

      More likely, without religion we would just mistreat each other through other means. The 20th Century has proven this to be true. The only true common denominator is human beings. Fear and greed and hate doesn’t need religion to manifest in society.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I think that a world without religion would be different than the one we have, of course, but it would mean that we evolved differently as well. Religion is inextricably bound to our social evolution. Humans have been making stuff up for at least as long as we have writing to confirm it, and there’s at least enough evidence to suggest it might be around further back than that.

    But even without religion, we’d still have the underlying need for explanations that fueled the collective mess of making stuff up and passing it around. People do this all the time without referring to deities. And people will believe nonsense no matter how it might sound. So long as there is an urge to fabricate information and use it to abuse trust, there will be room for religion and quasi-religion.

    Liked by 4 people

    • SB, you wrote: Religion is inextricably bound to our social evolution. I’m curious as to why you think so. The part about “making things up” is probably correct, but must it involve a god or gods or goddesses?

      Definitely agree that people will believe “nonsense”! But I’m still not convinced that “gods” need to enter the picture. Perhaps when it comes to the more “civilized” version of humans it’s somewhat “given,” but must it be a supernatural being that answers the questions of primitives?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Well, I said that religion is inextricably bound to our social evolution, not deities. Buddhism and some shamanistic faiths don’t have deities. Regardless of whether the religion has them or not, these faiths get formed out of making up answers to difficult questions.

        I don’t think people automatically resort to deities to explain things. I’ve yet to see or hear about any archaeological evidence that cave dwellers worshiped them. They just evolved over time in the social consciousness of certain groups, until they arrive in their present forms. We can see that in how principles of Christian teachings have changed from now back to as recently as 60 or 70 years ago.

        Liked by 4 people

  15. Probably the easiest way to assess this is look at a predominantly non-religious society, and while making adjustments for culture, simply extrapolate.

    Iceland might be a good place to start.They are on the verge ( couple of generations I think?) of becoming an almost completely non religious nation.

    We are an evolving species and we will evolve to the point where we no longer believe we need religion.
    It will eventually reach the point where it is considered a quaint oddity.

    Because it is a gradual process most people won’t even realise it is happening.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You may be right, but considering some of the personalities that cling to religion (i.e., Christianity), I can’t help but have my doubts. In any case, I won’t be around long enough to experience the change. Dang!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Oh, it won’t be in our lifetimes, Nan, that’s for sure.
        However, if you consider the length of time humans have been around with one form of religious nonsense or another, what’s a few more hundred years?
        And it’s moving in this direction as we ‘speak’.
        This is undeniable fact, no matter the degree of whining from the Cheap Seats that claim otherwise.

        Liked by 3 people

        • It’s hard to imagine, though, when one considers the power religion/Christianity is exhibiting in the U.S. right now. But overall … you’re probably correct. And for the sake of future generations, I hope you are!

          Liked by 4 people

  16. What would the world be like if there were no religion?

    I imagine it would be very much as it is now. Humankind seems to have always found something more, to look beyond, to connect beyond. Maybe Artificial Intelligence would become the spiritual “beyond” until that was not enough. We seem to have a capacity for building up in order to find something we yearn for – before tearing it down when “we” perceive it becomes too “remote” from its “authentic” roots (a bit like religion).

    Which makes imagining life with (and without) something so embedded a fickle kind of exercise – more attuned to one’s personal outlook on life perhaps – as reflected in many of the comments.

    Like

    • It would be fair to say that when this topic is raised among us ”regulars” – including you , Paul, it is reasonably safe to say the primary focus would be on the Abrahamic religions.( but no,t of course, excluding the others)

      It is probably only a fickle exercise to those who still require some form of religion/god belief to give their life meaning or some sort of spiritual fulfillment.

      The most socially advanced nations are all moving away from religion and god belief, albeit fairly slowly, but it will move quicker as we move towards the so-called Global Village.

      It truly is a fallacy to suggest humans need any form of superstitious nonsense. In fact we thrive so much bettter without it.
      Those who promote such ideas are fear mongering and usually have ulterior motives.

      Eventually conversations such as these will likely be preceded with something along the lines of … ”Remember when?”.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Ark, good to see you cannot imagine life without religion! It’s all you seem to bang on about. The criteria was not to preach – isn’t preaching against something (like you do against religion) still preaching?

        Like

        • You consider it preaching, I merely responded to your dismissive ”fickle” statement.
          My comment got four ”Likes”which suggests that it met with a degree of agreement, and my ego is thus stoked … purrrr.
          Your comment got Sweet Fanny Adams, which likely means … yawn … most people here have been there, done that and got the Thorny Crown.

          And of course, us god-hating, baby-eating definitely going-to-Hell heathen atheists are just so narrow-minded and not open to invisible friends and other supernatural ideas.
          *Sigh* ‘Tis a cross we have to bear.
          ‘Scuse me , Paul. Soccer is about to start.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, I went along with you at the beginning of your comment, but I disagree that it’s a “fickle” kind of exercise. It’s a given that the current society feels a need to lean on some supernatural force, but my question was “what if”. IOW, using one’s imagination, what would it be like if we simply lived our lives based on a humanist code of conduct … without turning to some superior power to help us through the rough spots … or to “take us in” at the end of life.

      Liked by 3 people

      • “What would it be like if we simply lived our lives based on a humanist code of conduct…?”

        How is “humanist code of conduct” different from religious morality? Other than saying ‘no gods’ there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the two concepts. Humanism is, at the very least, a collection of philosophical concepts. If that’s not a formal ‘religion’ it’s dangerously close to it.

        Like

        • C’mon, John. Don’t be so stuck in your “religious” thinking mode. I’m not using “humanism” as a philosophical concept. I’m using it as I did in my post … what would the conduct of humans be like if we were regulated entirely by other humans … not by some “spiritual” source.

          Try … really try … to remove religion from your thinking and imagine life without some “god” to regulate your thoughts and actions (and your imagination related to some future state).

          Liked by 3 people

          • I’m not the one stuck on the word “religious”. If you can’t articulate the distinction between “religion” and your “humanist code of conduct” just agree that we’re talking about the same thing. Why would that be a problem?

            Like

            • Religious: Concerned with sacred matters, religion or the church; Having or showing belief in and reverence for a deity; spiritual; church-going; god-fearing; sacred.

              Humanism: The doctrine that people’s duty is to promote human welfare; The doctrine emphasizing a person’s capacity for self-realization through reason; rejects religion and the supernatural; cultural movement.

              So … NO. We are not talking about the same thing.

              Liked by 4 people

            • I get it.
              No gods. Nothing supernatural.
              Just humans living by a non-sacred, irreverent, universally agreed upon “code” that can’t be exploited by greedy, self-seeking groups to exert power over weaker groups.

              Like

            • Your bias is showing, JB … irreverent … greedy … self-seeking. Do you truly believe that religious (having or showing belief in and reverence for a deity) people don’t possess and demonstrate these same traits? SMH

              Liked by 2 people

            • “Do you truly believe that religious (having or showing belief in and reverence for a deity) people don’t possess and demonstrate these same traits?”

              No. That’s exactly the point I’m making. This is why your “human code” and “religion” are the same thing. Your bias is showing, Nan.

              It would be ridiculous for me to suggest that “religion” fixes all of society’s ills. I would be insane to say something like, “If everybody went to church, we’d be living in a perfect world.”

              My point is that it is equally insane to say, “If everyone quit going to church, we’d all be better off.”

              Like

            • Nan, me again. Interesting where this thread has headed. I think “code” is the weak link. Religion is one code, humanism another. It assumes all treat each other as sacred. And people seem not to. So abuse creeps in and sacred becomes “scared”. If embedding the “right code” is the perceived answer – then I am skeptical. Just watch the “that is religious” “not it’s not” “yes it is” “no its not” above. 🙂

              Liked by 3 people

            • No, JB. They are NOT the same. Besides, I never claimed humanity would be better off with or without religion. I merely asked the question — What if …?

              Naturally, as a non-believer, I personally believe we would be better off. For innumerable reasons. But that’s my opinion (not my “bias”) … just as you have yours that religion makes us all better people.

              P.S. “Going to church” has absolutely nothing to do with the question.

              Liked by 5 people

  17. I am not sure how this might add to the conversation about animals and religion but I just watched a YouTube clip that showed couple elephants noding and swaying in time to a man playing a piano like instrument with one elephant using its trunk to help play the keyboard also. I do not want to sell animals short on feelings and understandings as I have seen them react in pretty empathic ways. But I still doubt they have religion, I think some do have self awareness. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

  18. “Christianity, just like Scientology or any of the others, is based on the same false statements of causality. God will be happy if you do X or angry if you do Y.”

    Yes. And you are asking me to provide you with a specific example of these false causalities from my own religion. I get it.
    The trouble is I’m not a proponent of the religion you are describing.

    “[dogs] don’t understand causality. So to a dog the sound of thunder may mean the danger of a large predator…A clapping sound may mean food is about to arrive etc.”
    Sure! I’ll go along with all of this!
    Do we agree that we’re speculating about the causal link between dog behavior and thunderclaps?

    Like

    • I am curious at how you come to this conclusion? How was the discovering of farming, which allowed us to become sedentary and grow large populations and separate into class structures related to religion? Religion helps one cope with uncertainty, and uncertainty exists regardless of whether one is hunter-gatherer or sedentary and “civlized”? Also since religion attempt to answer questions through faith over a systematic investigation of causality, what specific about religious tenets encourages one to continue to understand how the world works in order to learn and make improvements?

      Liked by 4 people

      • Archaeological work being done at Gobekli Tepe in eastern Turkey, widely recognized as the earliest religious temple, provides evidence that the birth of organized religion predates the rise of agriculture.

        Like

        • This doesn’t really answer my question though. It is not in dispute which came first. A great many things were developed before agriculture. Through your conception of correlation any one of those could this lead to modern society. My question was for you to explain how any religious tenets lead to the development of agriculture. How is the need for making food supplies more assured and plentiful related to religious practices? Wouldn’t this be in our best interest regardless of religion? Your statement remains unsubstantiated until you can demonstrate this.

          Like

    • Assigning agency to things we do not understand is a very human thing to do. But for such beliefs to be maintained in the face of evidence that refutes such superstitious nonsense they have to be (continuously) reinforced through indoctrination.

      Skip one or two generations without any sort of religious indoctrination and the cord will more than likely be cut.

      Liked by 5 people

  19. We are always going to form some sort of belief system. So I am not sure such a question is really answerable. I would say that if all religions disappeared today and we started anew, we would certain develop religions again, but they would likely be much improved from religions that began centuries to millennia ago. Of course such religions have had to go through some changes themselves, they just tend to play catch up. Sometimes a lot of catch up.

    I agree with Ark’s comments that when we look at societies with less religiosity we find greater justice and equality, but certainly zealotry can take many forms. I think that humans do need something to believe in. But we can sort of hijack our brains a bit if we go about it carefully. For instance we could simply believe that “uncertainty and change are a part of life”. We could believe that the scientific method is the best tool we have for trying to understand how things work. Believing in a systematic investigative technique has vast improvements over systems which simply leave the mysteries of the world to have divine answers. In short we must simply believe that whatever we believe is open to reasons and have the willingness to change what we believe should new evidence reveal our previously held beliefs to be false or inaccurate. I think we also need to accept that all humanity is part of the same tribe to hijack our tribal nature which keeps us separated into small groups. Even if humans have to have their beliefs we have certainly demonstrated we can change them, hold them loosely, and still be productive.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. @ Branyan

    I get it.
    No gods. Nothing supernatural.
    Just humans living by a non-sacred, irreverent, universally agreed upon “code” that can’t be exploited by greedy, self-seeking groups to exert power over weaker groups.

    Odd then, that ”with” your god some of the most vile acts in our history have been perpetrated in your god’s name. And a great many vile things continue to be perpetrated in the name of one god or religion or another.

    The Native American genocide. Or something more modern, perhaps? Syria, anyone?

    While the human capacity for doing unspeakably awful things sometimes seems to know no bounds, at least without religion or your god …. or any other … one excuse for such actions will have been removed.

    Thank the gods for that, right?

    Liked by 3 people

  21. @Branyanb

    My point is that it is equally insane to say, “If everyone quit going to church, we’d all be better off.”

    If you include Shul, Mosque and Temple in this and probably the Non Denominational Meeting Room above the Pig and Whistle, then yes, we damn well would be a LOT better off.

    And just think, JB, you could have Jesus and the church and Yahweh all to yourself. I can imagine you are hugging yourself at the thought already.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. After studying many many religions for many years, eventually earning a degree (not that it makes a difference one way or the other in the vast scheme of things) I think we would end up making a whole new religion, and start fighting all over again. If there were a way to tap into a human’s spirituality instead of dealing with a religion, the world would be a kinder and safer place.

    Liked by 4 people

        • what do do mean when you say spirituality?

          I do not say/use the word spirituality. Ever.

          … a connection to a higher power, however it manifests itself..

          What do you mean/understand by this statement?
          Are you referring to some sort of intelligent designer or deity?

          Liked by 1 person

            • No you did not actually answer the question, but rather produced the inevitable, and somewhat petulant hand-wave when pressed for a genuine answer.

              Sigh ….

              God-bothers are all the same in the end, no matter how (ever) ( it) they manifest (itself) . themselves.

              OMmmmmmm

              Have a day.

              Like

            • Dude: no, I don’t pray to a God or even a god. I don’t believe there is some universal daddy hanging out above the sky that will grant me wishes. Totally absurd idea it seems to me. Spirituality ..let me repeat that…SPIRITUALITY is not religious in any way shape or form. heck, a “higher power” could be a cardboard box that you slip affirmations into to read at a later date. It could be a group of loving humans that offer assistance emotionally. Every single human, every single creature has a point of light within them that we call a soul…..it is what we connect to and gain comfort from. we are, each of us, connected. Call it the universal presence, call it God, call it whatever the heck you want but don’t bother praying to it. Did THAT help you? By the way, I have no clue what is meant by “God-Bothers”.

              Like

            • ”Dude”? Really?

              Ark is fine.

              Every single human, every single creature has a point of light within them that we call a soul

              I don’t call anything a ”soul”
              So, will you demonstrate this assertion please?

              A ”god-botherer” is one who bothers a god, usually by entreating them to find their car keys, cure them of dandruff, or similar, or to ensure they convert that last minute penalty or some equally banal and asinine request.

              Like

            • Ark, I think you might be misreading what Suze is trying to say. Think of it like Buddhism, they’re atheists but spiritual. It’s the complete opposite of tradition dictatorial theism, with a movement towards higher consciounesses, not a falling in lockstep beneath a godhead, which is one interpretation of panpsychism, as expressed by people like Max Tegmark.

              Liked by 1 person

            • When someone uses the terms soul and higher power they are presuming something for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever and display a degree of arrogance that leaves me shaking my head.
              Tildeb calls it Woo …. I agree.
              If it walks like a duck …. etc etc …

              Liked by 2 people

            • Think of this way, as MIT cosmologist and all-round pretty awesome guy, Max Tegmark, puts it, if it helps.

              “I conjecture that consciousness can be understood as yet another state of matter. Just as there are many types of liquids, there are many types of consciousness”

              Like

            • And where do we arrive at a ”higher power” and ”soul” from consciousness?

              There is an allusion to something ( see my reply to Nan) that is wholly unsubstantiated and unwarranted.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Ask Suze. I’m sure there’s a million different interpretations. Jane Robert’s in her Seth books expresses it as our own, but more massive (future) selfs.

              Like

            • nope. you just frustrated me. I am six months post stroke so words tend to fail me at times. You might though wish to speak with a bit less condescension. It wasn’t deserved or appreciated.

              Like

            • I call it as i see it.
              When people use terms as you have and then talk down to me for questioning the terminology they use I consider this rude and un-called for.
              You wish to start again? Fine by me. I apologise for upsetting you.
              If you now want to explain what you mean by the term Higher Power then go ahead.
              If not, then I stand by all I have said.

              Liked by 1 person

            • hey I am a drug counselor. I feel comfortable using the term “higher power” it is whatever it is to whomever has one. For people in recovery a higher power is a group, a person with significant sobriety, a box they can put affirmations into, a doorknob. SOME people say it is “god” whatever that may be.

              Like

            • I am not on drugs nor in need of a counselor.
              If you introduce a term in a forum such as this then it is only reasonable that you should be able to fully explain it. Otherwise it is simply meaningless nonsense.
              Your opening comment :

              … a connection to a higher power, however it manifests itself. does not, to any reasonable person, suggest a cardboard box or a doorknob.

              I am sure you can appreciate this?

              Like

            • never said you were. and just FYI…a lot of your remarks came across to me as senseless. shall we just agree we don’t communicate well with each other and leave it at that?

              Liked by 1 person

            • I always try to communicate exactly what I mean. Ambiguity and unspecific terms such as ”higher power” do nothing but frustrate conversation if they are not fully explained.

              If you want to have a final go at fully explaining it then feel free. If not … well …

              Like

            • Because it IS ambiguous you will never have a definition that will satisfy you. It is personal. it is to me spiritual. and none of that is a definition. YOU have to decide for yourself what your definition is. it is internal to the person. you need to examine your own feelings and beliefs to find your own definition instead of trying to incorporate mine. I am done. please leave me alone now.

              Liked by 1 person

            • YOU have to decide for yourself what your definition is

              I already did …. it is a meanlingless term that is simply woo. You use it like a lucky rabbit’s foot, or a similar silly talisman, only you give the impression it has some sort of genuine merit: ”Higher Power”. You even stated that to some it is ‘God’.

              Leave you alone?

              Good grief! You are not obliged to respond and nobody held a gun to your head to engage.

              It is not as if I am standing at your door yelling through the letterbox, now is it?

              Liked by 1 person

            • hey I am a drug counselor. I feel comfortable using the term “higher power” it is whatever it is to whomever has one. Didn’t mean to stir an obvious hornet’s nest, but it seems I did. For people in recovery a higher power is a group, a person with significant sobriety, a box they can put affirmations into, a doorknob. SOME people say it is “god” whatever that may be. I prefer allowing the light in me, my “soul” or “spirit” or “balloon” if that is acceptable to whomever,to connect with humans…not floating daddy’s/momma’s up in the air. That was what i tried to get across. If the language wasn’t specific enough for another blogger, forgive me but I am pretty danged sure I am doing the best I can post stroke to get any idea across..much less an amorphous one. and I didn’t mean to answer you personally, just stick this in somewhere.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Ark … it’s true that the terms “soul” or “higher power” tend to be associated with Christianity, but not always. In fact, “soul” is defined in some places as human being. And Suze made it clear her “higher power” is not a god in any shape, size, or form.

              Perhaps this is one of those times when you need to “think outside the box.” 🙂

              Like

            • Nope. I fully realize she did not state it was a god, yet when pushed for a definition I was unceremoniously told I was over analyzing the phrase to absurdity.
              If one cannot explain what one means then don’t use terms that must therefore have no meaning.
              To do so is verging on being disingenuous.
              To reiterate what Tildeb says: It is Woo.

              I use lateral thought on a regular basis.,
              But I will not pander to terms like these.
              It is simply nonsense.

              Like

            • Ark, just a note to help you understand … many people separate the word (and meaning) “spirituality” from “religion.” When Suze speaks of a higher power, I’m quite sure she is NOT describing a supernatural being. And most definitely not one that she would “worship.” (Correct me if I’m wrong, Suze.)

              As you know from my book, I believe in a “Universal Presence.” It is not a being. I do not pray to it. As I wrote, It is the manifestation of a power that cannot be defined … it encompasses all time and space and is everywhere and in every now … it is the mystery of our beingness.

              I suppose one could put the label of “spiritual” on my belief, but for me it’s much more than that. Nevertheless, my point is that one can be spiritual and not believe in or worship a god/higher power.

              Liked by 3 people

    • @Nan

      This is what Suze wrote.

      ….a connection to a higher power, however it manifests itself..

      Note: ”however it manifests itself.”

      What are we talking about here; a Galactic Bunny Rabbit with awesome Superpowers?

      How about a benign hermaphrodite Fairy with gossamer wings and and a secret vice for Cadbury’s Chocolate?

      Or maybe a Universal Empathetic Electrical Substation powered by human consciousness that exhibits occasional bouts of violent schizophrenic surges?

      Any allusions to a higher power are simply fertilizer for my roses.
      Or as Tildeb is wont to write ”Woo”.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I think he world would be a better place without religion. Religion has directly or indirectly caused more death, violence, and hatred than any other human endeavor.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Bishop David. Thank you for stopping by my blog and especially for leaving a comment.

      I am puzzled a bit, however. It appears from your name that you’re involved with religion. If so, it seems rather odd that you think the world would be better off minus religion. Would you be willing to elaborate?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am a theologian who works at reconciling history, archaeology and my belief in God. I am a true monotheist. I have great respect for Jesus and his authentic ethical teaching. I believe he was a Jew and never would have claimed to be God, nor would ever accept worship of himself. I think that Christianity is the greatest heresy and blasphemy against Jesus because of their belief that he is God and their worship of him. I believe both God and Jesus are insulted by Christianity. And yes, I was ordained a deacon, priest and consecrated a bishop in a conservative offshoot of the Old Catholic Church. Now, I am an independent bishop and founder of the James The Just Institution, Inc. (501c3) Prior to being a member of the clergy, I completed a career as a NYPD officer followed by a career as a doctoral level mental health professional. As a member of the clergy of a church, I was a missionary in a war-torn country in Eastern Africa. Now, I devote myself to studying the historical Jesus, the Tanach and practicing the faith of Noah and Abraham before Judaism. I am also a supporter of the United Israel World Union. As for being a “bishop,” I take it to be the original meaning of the Koine Greek “Episkopos” – a spiritual adviser, overseer, or the like. I supervise the James The Just Institution. I advise anyone who wants to know what I believe and why I believe it. I speak for myself. I don’t proselytize. It’s up to everyone to decide for themselves. If we disagree, we can agree to disagree peacefully with no hard feelings.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I hit the post button too soon. 🙂 I think we don’t need organized religion. Everyone can believe and worship for themselves without the need for clergy. Anyone can do what clergy does if they want to. Just read and learn. If you truly believe, it should be important enough for you to devote some time to learning. If you don’t believe, you certainly don’t need religion. It is when religion becomes organized that trouble ensues.

          Liked by 4 people

            • I don’t think Noah existed. I think the flood story was borrowed from a different culture and adapted to Judaism. Unless archaeology discovers something to the contrary, I think Abraham may not have existed.

              I want to quote Professor James D. Tabor of UNC Charlotte, my favorite Biblical historian who is also active in Biblical archaeology:

              “I am interested in religious and philosophical truth, but my training is that of an historian, so perhaps that is why I am drawn to the more ancient forms of these two faiths, i.e., the Hebrew faith as formulated by the Prophets and final redactors of the Hebrew Bible, and earliest Christianity as reflected in the New Testament. In considering these two “religions” or ways of thinking about God, the world and human purpose, I find that I am much more drawn to the former than the latter.” This is true for me too, though I am not a professional historian, nor an archaeologist.

              Both Professor Tabor and I are not fundamentalists; we do not think everything in the Bible is literally true. However, we do think the Bible contains figurative language, philosophical truth, and ethical wisdom. It also provides a way of thinking about and talking about God for those who believe.

              I do not know if God exists, but I hope so. I hope in God because I hope there is a caring and merciful supreme being to whom I can turn for help in life and for continued life after death.

              However, contemporarily, we do not hear God’s words directly. Some people might say they do, but that proves nothing. Everything we know about God comes from people long dead, who claimed that God spoke to them directly, Some today believe that God speaks to them through the church, but I do not believe that.

              Whether from the writers of the books of the Bible or from Muhammad, who, it is said, recorded Allah’s words in the Qur’an, all we know of God has been passed to us from human beings, some of whom say they heard God speaking directly, while others would admit that they themselves heard no direct words from God, but it is claimed that they were inspired by God to write what they wrote.

              I do not now based my belief in God on what others say. I hope that God exists because I want and need God to be real. I think about God and I pray to God. Deep down, I guess you could say, in my heart I believe in God. It is almost like it is in my genes or an instinct to believe that God is real. I can’t prove it to be true, but no one can prove that it is not true.

              If others don’t believe, I do not feel obligated to try to make them believe. I will talk about my beliefs and I will listen to your beliefs without arguing with you. Some atheists seem to be perturbed by someone who believes and they try to belittle the believer or make the believer out to be a fool. I may or may not respond; if I do respond it is with good humor or with a friendly agreement to disagree. I won’t respond in an ugly or unkind way. It wouldn’t change anything and it would only create a needless fight.

              So, there you have it. By the way, my other favorite Biblical historian is Bart Ehrman and he is an atheist.

              Liked by 3 people

            • @ Bishop David, If I understand your reply correctly you have found an internal peace by piecing together different parts of holy books and religions in to basically a faith / religion of one. A sort of self made faith that helps you and gives you comfort. Any I in anyway close to getting your reply correct?

              And I see you prefer others to come to their faith and have their needs met by their own study and internal searching, if I understand correctly? I think it would be great if most religious people did do some research on their own feelings and understand how their perception of faith is colored by them. I think it would reduce the ability to blame gods for all the bigotry and hate that is sometimes spewed in god’s name.

              My only question and I hope this doesn’t come across as childish, but it is the claim of the name christianity by so many groups. It seems no matter how far a group / cult / person diverges from the other groups claiming the name christianity or from the written down words in the book claimed to be holy by christians, they all get accepted as if one homogenous group called Christians, followers of christ. Yet they will attack each other as not true christians or followers of the Christ. I am wondering if perhaps it is time to retire that brand name or even acknowledge that it means something different even between people in different pews of the same church? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject if you have time, and maybe what you think would be the proper way to resolve this potential conflict of naming rights. Thanks. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            • As I said, though I do not know if God exists, I hope so. I hope in God because I hope there is a supreme being to whom I can turn for help in life and for continued life after death. I entertain the possibility that God does not exist from time to time, but I cannot sustain it. I think that my belief is similar to being inherent, in my genes or an instinct of some sort. My DNA indicates that I am 6% Neanderthal, with the rest being mostly English, Irish and Welsh with a bit of Scandinavian thrown in. It is said that my ancestors we Vikings who came down from Scandinavia and then settled in Normandy before migrating to the British Isles. So, if my belief in God is inherent, it may stem from something very primitive in me.

              Liked by 1 person

            • @ Bishopdavid.
              I think I realise where the problem lies.
              I also am English, but have no Welsh in me.
              This could be why you are still a believer of sorts and I am an atheist. It’s that perishing Welsh heritage in your DNA!
              Have you considered an exorcism?

              😉

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, I had an exorcism, but there was a full moon. When the moon is full, my hair grows long and I do sing the werewolf song. So, i slashed the exorcist to death and ate him. 😉

              Liked by 3 people

            • @ Bishop David. I was just at your blog reading your posts on the Mary mother of Jesus character. I enjoyed the posts. It was interesting to read the history with the mythical supernatural parts removed. I learned something. Thanks. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            • For nan-

              You must be licking your chops to hear of a ‘theologian’ who is not even sure Noah and Abraham lived, and who does not even give God the courtesy of existing.

              Hilarious.

              To the bishop. I have nothing to say.

              Liked by 1 person

            • @ Nan, I think in a battle of wits between ColorStorm and Bishop David about god and deities, Colorstorm enters the fight unarmed. Just a personal opinion that probably shouldn’t be expressed out loud. 😋😄😃😉 Hugs

              Liked by 3 people

            • @ scottie-

              But you may recall that it was the giant Goliath who was well armed, and it was the man who trusted God…………..not the ‘possibility’ of God……………which fell the dummy with one smooth stone.

              Tkx for the accolade though.

              Liked by 2 people

            • I do NOT liking going off-topic, but I simply must point something out to you, CS.

              1 Samuel 17:50 – So David prevailed over the Philistine [Goliath] with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him …
              2 Samuel 21:19 – …Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, …

              Now I will admit that the old, worn-out, often incorrect but still highly revered KJV says it was the brother of Goliath. But all more modern, up-to-date, and better researched versions say it was Goliath himself.

              *sigh* It must be so difficult at times being a believer. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • Had you paid attention to detail, you would know that David slayed the giant from Gath;
              He slayed the Gathite. Many giants were called goliath.

              Do you think there was only one giant? Geez.

              All petty gripes are chewed up by detail, comparing scripture, truth nan.

              Like

            • @ Scottie You have me pretty much right, Scottie. I reject Christianity and I lean more toward the Abrahamic faith-based Scripture, but my faith doesn’t fit exactly with any organized religion. It is my personal belief based as much on historical and archaeological scholarship as is possible.

              When it comes to Christianity, there are a set of core beliefs to which most mainline Christian denominations adhere. These would be beliefs codified in the Nicene Creed. It is the variations that cause the problems. Some of these would be whether the communion bread really becomes the body of Jesus or only symbolically becomes it. Also, for those who believe in the real presence, just how the bread becomes the body of Jesus.

              I have always found it to be ironic that Muslims, Christians and Jews are at odds with one another, all considering themselves to be monotheists, but they do not fight Hindus who are polytheistic. Of course, Christians are not really monotheists. Their god is three impossibly made into one, and they have made the so-called Virgin Mary into a goddess.

              Scottie, I really don’t think that “naming” would put an end to the disputes within Christianity as a whole. All religions have their various denominations and all of them fight with one another.

              Liked by 2 people

            • @ ColorStorm You mean there were other giants after Jack killed the one on top of the beanstalk? I’m shocked! 😉 Just kidding. There is a time for everything under the sun, including humor.

              Liked by 4 people

        • Thank you, Bishop David, for your detailed response. While I have a hunch others who visit my blog will question your position on religion, I can see where you’re coming from.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears you do not see Jesus (Yeshua) as “divine” and interpret the bible more from a Jewish perspective. If this is so, does this also mean you discount the resurrection?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I do not think Jesus was resurrected. I think his body was placed in a temporary tomb until after the Passover Sabbath and then moved to a permanent tomb, perhaps by Joseph of Arimathea and his aides. The tomb was located in what is now the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem. It was discovered in the 1980s during the construction of a housing project. It contained the ossuaries of Jesus; Mary his mother; Mary Magdalene, who was likely his wife; some of his siblings, and Judah, Jesus’ son by Mary Magdalene. This is disputed by some, but the argument for the validity for it made by Professor Tabor is convincing to me. Furthermore, there are political reasons that people don’t want to verify the tomb as that of Jesus. Israel doesn’t want to start a fuss with the church with whom they have a peaceful relationship at present, and the church does not want it confirmed because it would create a possibly insurmountable problem for them. The same holds true for an ossuary with Simon Peter’s name on it that was discovered by Franciscans in Jerusalem. The Pope told the Franciscans to keep it quiet since the Vatican claims they found Peter’s bones buried under a Vatican Church.

            Liked by 3 people

            • I heard the ossuary stories many years ago when I was still a Christian. Of course, within conventional Christiandom, such stories are debunked for the “insurmountable problems” you mentioned. While I’ve done considerable research related to Christianity since leaving the church, none of it included this particular aspect. Speaking frankly, I think I would be inclined to discount the stories simply because of my former spiritual leanings In any event, I do appreciate you outlining your thoughts on the subject.

              I’ve heard/read of others who look at “God” from a similar perspective as yours. Of course, being a non-believer, I can’t help but wonder why “God” is so many different things to so many different people. If this supernatural entity truly existed, it seems only logical that each person would see him/her/it in the same way.

              Liked by 2 people

            • @ Nan, maybe that is because each person creates the god / gods / supernatural things that most fulfills their needs. We create that thing we need, nurture it, and it grows with our imagination to what we need most to believe. In my own life at times I needed desperately to believe in somethings, that they became almost real to me. It was never a deity, but supernatural things that I could take comfort in during the darkest worst times of my life. As I grew older and my needs for such things diminished I learned to look at them critically. I soon let reason assert itself and to this day learn more and more of reality as it is. I enjoy the real world so much more than the made up one I needed way back then. Hugs

              Like

            • Thank you, Nan. As for God, no one has seen God. However, every religion has it’s sacred writings that people wrote and which became the standard idea about God for members of that religion.

              I deny the existence of the supernatural. I think everything is natural, including God. It is just that we don’t know enough about God to understand it. Things we don’t understand and don’t yet know how to understand, we call supernatural. I think all the laws that govern the universe were put in place by God and that they were natural to him. If God exists, I think, in time, science will start to think that maybe he does. Then,sooner or later a theoretical physicist will theorize that God does exist, but say that they can’t prove it, just as they do with string theory.

              There is a famous physicist who is an atheist and says that the universe came into existence from nothing. He says that in the vacuum of empty space there is nothing. He says that the vacuum is a quantum state out of which particles arise from nothing and then go out of existence again. He says this proves that the universe could have come into existence from nothing. It seems to me that a quantum state is not nothing. It is something, which gives rise to the question, “Where did the quantum state come from? What caused it?” If he says that it had no cause; it was always there, I would say that if the particles that arise from it go out of existence, how was it that something came out of it that didn’t go out of existence? I would also ask if that quantum state is as he says, which quantum mechanics demands, did the Big Bang come from that? And what caused that Big Bang to come when everything else that came out didn’t stay around for long? Well, in reply to this he actually said that science doesn’t bother with what came before the Big Bang since we can never know the answer to that because we could never test it through experiment. So, he just dismisses questions such as I would ask without an answer. Maybe somewhere in what he dismisses, God is to be found.

              Liked by 2 people

  24. —–… it is the mystery of our beingness.—–

    Nan, this comes very near my idea of a superior power; superior, yes,,but undefinable and not demanding to be worshipped. Some thoughts of that kind have been wandering in my mind since a dear aunt of mine wrote something about it in a letter, many years ago. She belonged to a group, I think it may have been the Theosophical Society (googled). I vaguely liked it but paid no further attention.
    .-

    Liked by 1 person

  25. however it manifests itself to the individual….why must every word be over-analyzed to the point of absurdity? If you personally want a galactic bunny, go for it. fertilize away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Suze

      Why must absurd words be inserted into the mix in the first place? If you cannot define the term ”higher power” then why use it? It is not clever, and has no intellectual merit. In fact, it is just plain silly.

      If, however, you have a proper definition that you can cogently express then I am fully prepared to stand corrected and apologize …

      Away you go!

      Like

  26. I am not sure but what Nan and Suze seem to be describing is something similar to the “force” from star wars, without the power to actually use it to move things. Collective consciousness was also one way it was described to me. Sort of a kind of Taoism. I do not begrudge anyone the idea that all of the universe has energy or that all things have a “frequency” but for me I have come to the point where if it can not be shown to exist then I do not credit it with any attributes. Such as the human soul. There is no evidence for it, and many experiments to show it have failed, leading me personally to not believe in a soul. There is an unknown energy force in the universe that scientist have labeled dark energy, but to claim it has more attributes than known is a sort of “energy force of the gaps” thing. However these personal beliefs are indivistic and so mean a different thing to each person who subscribes to them. One person told me the human mind can create the sensations a person needs to believe in to help them in their environment. Be well, be warm and be happy. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Each of us looks at religion in different ways. Some don’t look at it at all, i.e., atheists. But the world is made up of thousands and thousands of different beliefs. In fact, I don’t think it would be too absurd to say that each individual has a different core belief … even in Christianity. This is because while we may look alike (head, body, two arms, two legs, etc.), our minds all work differently … and our thoughts (opinions) are a result of our personal and individual life experiences.

    I said all that to say this — I think when we discuss religious matters, each of us needs to try and be tolerant of how others look at life. While you may be totally convinced your perspective is the “right one” and are (more than) prepared defend it, it’s important to do so in a way that is not offensive or disrespectful.

    ‘Nuf said.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Wow! Lots of interesting comments!

    Obviously, we have no idea; it’s a complete hypothetical question with no right answer.

    What I WISH that world would be like is that as soon as humans evolved enough intelligence to discuss matters, and the first person asked “Where did we all come from?” or “Why are there thunderstorms?” the answer would have been “we should investigate and learn all we can”. That would have begun a centuries-long process of developing what we now know as modern science — except it would have begun 100,000 years ago. Without the “it must be God” response to those basic questions, we could have skipped millennia of dogma and fighting over heresies, etc. I imagine a utopia of sorts, with science having figured out ideal population numbers, proper farming techniques, etc.

    What it probably would be like is somewhere between my wished-for utopia and what someone said above: “like the animals”. (Of course, we ARE animals, but I know what the person meant.) We are smarter than most animals, at least most of us are, and we could have long ago worked out some things if religion hadn’t been holding us back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That would have begun a centuries-long process of developing what we now know as modern science — except it would have begun 100,000 years ago.

      Ah, but we did get on that boat, but it appears the religious meme was more pervasive. 12,000 yars ago, a very persitent ancestor of ours in France recorded the phases of the moon for three and half years, etching their observations into what’s known as the Thaïs bone. So, science did start… But then got misplaced for a dozen thousand years.

      Liked by 2 people

Take Some Time To Share Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.