Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dude on religion:

The first religious text that I memorized back to front was Deities and Demigods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deities_and_Demigods) This may explain a lot, but I digress. I always wondered why Christian, Muslim, and Jewish beliefs weren't covered in the Good Book. I set out to find out about the big three, and where they came from.

I knew that most religions were formed in order to help maintain a civil society and to answer the Big Questions, namely; where do we come from and where do we go after we die. The smarter tribal elders answered these questions with, what at the time must have been a stroke of genius: Two more questions that every hairless ape had asked themselves: what is that big glowing ball of fire in the sky, and what are the millions of shiny points in the sky at night.

A lot of early belief systems were solar based. Sun worship is perfectly logical when answering the Big Questions of past generations:

BQ1 : Where do we come from?
A1 : God, AKA the big ball of fire in the sky

BQ2 : What happens to us after we die?
A2 : You live on forever with God in heaven, as one of the points of light we see in the sky.

The first philosophy actually holds true, even after the application of science. The sun is required for the continued survival of most life on our planet, so "creator of all things" isn't too far off base. There I go digressing again ;-)

If the sun worship Q/A idea made sense, then all I needed to do was to tie Judaism into this, which would then wrap up the explanation of origin for the Muslim and Christian faiths as well. Add that to the fact that Hindu and other polytheist belief systems are easily traceable to their Deities being aspects of living on the planet and of human nature. On top of that, we further add the fact that Buddhism is based on a respect for nature and observation of the living world. Now you have the sum which forms a picture of where all religions came from and some of the reasons they were invented. Sound stupid to you? Well this is what happens when you aren't brainwashed as a small child and still wonder about religion.

Back to the Jews... Jews count the years by a lunar calendar, and obviously don't have an AD in it. In the Jewish calendar 2006 corresponds to the year 5766. That would mean the Jews started counting the years on or about the year 3760 BC or 660 years before the second known Egyptian pharaoh: Scorpion the 1st, was found in the Abydos cemetery.

This was good info, because it connected the beginning of the Jewish religion with the Egyptians, who were well known sun worshippers. It dawned on me that the Jews might have just borrowed the tool of religion from the Egyptians, while altering it to fit their needs and avoid the pitfalls of polytheism.

The Jews, who were slaves at this point in time, would have had plenty of time to study the application of a belief system on a populace by watching their Egyptian captors use it in their management of their own people. Maintaining solidarity within the Jewish population would have been next to impossible without a very strong tool used to connect one stranger with another. It must have taken hundreds of years of creating and spreading a belief that they would break free by standing united with a certainty that a higher power, stronger than even the Egyptians, had guaranteed them happiness and freedom.

The Jews would have also seen the high priests use the differing Gods to seize power from one pharaoh and then watch that same trick be used to unseat them. Maybe the Jews saw that if you have many Gods, then your society will also be divided. Knowing that in order to escape from Egyptian rule they would need to stand together, the Jews made sure that only the Sun was worshipped. The stars and planets would be relegated to the role of angels.

Actually as I re-read this, it sounds more and more like something that belongs in a cheesy role-playing game or sci-fi novel, but hey, its no dummer than believeing the earth is 6,000 years old or that we all decended from two people ;-)



Anonymous Anonymous said...


So how many people DO you think the human race was spawned from?

11:05 AM  

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