Sunday, 23 May 2010

On religion or not...

If you were to Google the origin of religion, you will find text that states the belief in the afterlife occurred around the time that mankind began having self realization, or conscious thought. What this means is, that once man realized that he lives and dies, he separated himself from the animal world. Animals do not know that death is looming. Religion was born from the collective anxiety created by self realization? Once man realized his days are numbered and death was inevitable, the anxiety about what happens when you die became so profound, that religion was born. The story of a creator who created the heaven and the earth and all life and that after we die we are granted eternal life with our creator, is a whole lot more comforting than we rot in the cold earth. This is just a theory of the development of religion.
People want to believe and so they believe. They have faith that the creator is real. 90% of religious people follow the religion taught to them by their parents. 10% of the US population is atheist.
The rise in non believers has to do with the availability of information. From the dawn of time through to the dawn of the internet information was not readily available. For those of us who grew up before the PC, your only sources of information were your library and the world book encyclopedia.
Religious people get bent out of shape when anything contradicts or challenges the power and glory of GOD. Noetics does not refute religion. It is a study of the potential of collective conscious thought to affect matter. What does that mean, well it means that if enough people concentrate on a thought collectively, they may be able to affect a result in matter. Like in the book, [The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown], the formation of ice crystals in a nice pattern based on positive thought.
I have never witnessed evidence that prayer works to cure the sick. If all someone does for a cancer patient is pray, ignoring medical intervention, chances are the cancer patient will die. I seriously doubt that noetic science would have a different result.
As for the person who talked about being careful about venturing into a vein of science that may not be safe, referring to stem cell research. I have one question for you. Do you avoid medical intervention when you are sick or dying? If we do not allow science to progress, the vast number of medical break throughs we now take for granted would never have come about. Doctors can operate on a fetus in vitro to correct issues with the unborn. They can do surgery on a person’s brain to cure epilepsy. They can give you a pill and cure a bacterial infection, it is called an antibiotic. Many say we should not do any of these things in the name of religion. I say science is a good thing.
If you need proof to believe in GOD, you won’t, belief is a choice. Every religion believes they are right. I believe if there is a GOD, it won’t care what religion you have, or don’t have, so long as you were a moral person. Matt doesn’t believe, he feels free because of it. Let him be. Judge yourself against your beliefs not another against your beliefs. If I could prove to you that heaven does not exist, would you live any differently? If I could prove to you that heaven is a definite place and that to get in you had to change your life drastically, getting rid of any excess, could you do that? Life without religion is not pointless. There are close to 15.2% of the world’s population who do not have a religion
Some religions forbid drinking alcohol, but Jesus did not. Some religions forbid the priests to marry, but this was not always the case, in the same religion. Study religion, not just yours, but Muslim, Jewish, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. Knowledge is power. Or resist knowledge and go through life believing what you have been taught, accepting it and only it. Shunning anything new or different and die hoping you are right.
(Interesting comment on noetic science and religion by Gman to be found here)


Jacob Woods said...

How can we as humans necessarily say that animals don't know death is coming or don't understand or dont believe in some sort of god. There are certain things spiders do that are completely absurd like eating each other. Who is to say that it isnt just a custom that a spider rationalizes. A spider can't really look to a person and understand why we do the things we do no more than we can understand what an animal does or why it is doing it.

Anengiyefa said...

Hi Jacob

I've read that elephants and more recently chimpanzees have been found to "mourn" the death of a close member of their herd or community. That said, I'm not sure whether recognising that death has occurred is the same thing as knowing that death is the inevitable end of all life.

But again, when one considers that most animals have the instinct to survive and will flee from danger, one cannot but wonder whether the desire to continue living is itself borne out of an innate fear of death.

On why we humans seem to think that animals cannot know of God, this, in my view, is just another instance of mankind's arrogance. Its as if we humans claim that we alone must be capable of divinity awareness, because we are human and smart, whereas other animals are not. Its akin to when followers of one particular religion are convinced that theirs is the only true religion, without having any basis for such a claim other than the belief itself. I believe, therefore it must be true..

Jacob Woods said...

I would hate to get off topic but I really want to see that documentary about elephants. I think we all can learn something from watching animals.

Anengiyefa said...

Hi Jacob

I've seen a National Geographic short video on the subject and this news article from 2005.

Below is the link to the "Elephants Mourning" Nat Geo video. Copy and paste the link in your browser.

Anengiyefa said...

Jake, alternatively you can just Google "Elephants Mourning".

laBiscuitnapper said...

Thanks for this post - it's nice to be reminded that not all of us have completely lost our brains once we decide to become religious (well, we probably do lose a little but it's for a good cause, right? lol).

BTW It's not just elephants and apes but also dolphins, though from what I remember, that's mostly because they seem to share so much in common perception with us, thus it's a reasonable extrapolation.

THERishouldbeAPY said...

I believe in God and though there have been times when I have prayed for the healing of a loved one (my dear Grannie and more recently, my friend) and it did not happen. All I could do was take comfort in the saying that "God knows best" and try and move on...

As far as animals, my sister was telling me how some cows when being led to slaughter begin to shed actual tears and collapse in fearful anticipation of what is to come. For this and other reasons, she is now a vegetarian... LOL.

Lastly, I never understood people who used prayer as the sole means of "treatment" for disease and illness. Such groups have high death rates, particularly among their children. My parents are both very religious but they are also both physicians who believe in science. I think God not only blesses us with free will, but also the intelligence to create cures and manufacture medicine. Yes, I pray before heading out on a road trip, but for I also always wear my seat belt. [I believe] God wants us to be smart about our decisions and use our best judgment in all things.

Anengiyefa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anengiyefa said...

@TisbA, I concur with your last point there. I think of it as an insult to God when religious extremists of all faiths act sheepishly, ignoring their God-given intelligence. We were given this intelligence for a purpose - to use is wisely, not to ignore it.

Using Christianity as an example because its the religion that I know the most about, it would surprise you how many educated adult Christians are willing to shun all the scientific evidence of the history of the Earth, a history that includes various now-extinct life forms, because these are not mentioned in the Bible.

People are arrogant. They think they know and understand God, yet know enough only to parcel God into the form of a book. God is greater than all things. His ambit or purview includes the entire history of the Universe. It includes the dinosaurs, our solar system, our Galaxy and the entire Universe comprising billions of galaxies. God is not just about the Bible. In fact, the evidence is that there is more to God than the Bible suggests. And this applies to all religions. I think God is greater than any man-made religion.