It's very logical to assume that the first humans weren't programmed (by whatever that might have created them) with any of the established religions of the world. They must have been as innocent as children- and just like the children of the present day - they had a universal mind devoid of religiosity. But - like children - they must have been spiritual.
So someone, more specifically speaking, some people, invented the religions that we face today. It's quite apparent that they were not extensively scientific in their approach when they - so to speak - built those religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism etc). But - what is of critical value - is this that they were - when they were building their religions - kind of possessed by a very distinct type of consciousness. It's a vital aspect that those - who criticize religion - and want to improve or repair ( and even get rid of) it - usually don't notice.
Can we - if we use all our political and monetary power - destroy religion? If all the regimes of the world unite and declare every religion that exist today - to be illegal - would they be able to get rid of them? Is that so easy?
It's difficult to annihilate religion - because religion - on its foundational level - is a specific type of consciousness. And we can not destroy consciousness. Even if we make religion illegal, and destroy their organizational setups and structures (their buildings, their 'holy books', their ceremonies and rituals) - we can not annihilate religion. Because people would still remember the Bible (in the case of other religions: their specific pivotal religious literature). And the consciousness of religion would continue to exist.
Religion exists in people's minds. The religious organizations that we see today - are merely an outward manifestation of the consciousness that we call 'religion'. If we want to destroy religion - then this is where we must attack - that is - in the human mind - in the human consciousness.
The human consciousness doesn't reject an idea once it has found that idea to be reasonable. I find it reasonable (perhaps most of us will find it reasonable) to stay away from fast food.
If you own a fast food outlet - and offer me (read pressurize me) to buy fast food from that outlet - I would rather gently reject that offer. So - my reasonable mind is - kind of - a barrier to the growth and prosperity of your business. If I stay persistent in my attitude towards fast food - and if many others do - then you might have to end up in the street.
You spend a month trying to solve the problem. You know you can't beg people to buy your product which they have no wish to consume. What can you do? You can do one thing - that is - attack the root of the problem - the rational faculty of the human soul - to alter the perception of what it normally finds 'reasonable' and beneficial for itself - and implant there a 'default' appreciation for your product - and an insatiable urge to consume them.
You spend almost all of your money to design and produce advertisements for almost every type of media that runs office worldwide. You apply - in those ads - every tool for psychological manipulation that you and your advisers have knowledge about. You know that iron cuts itself. Thus - you try to overpower one reasonability with another.
You know that certain things (example: sex) numb people. You also know that in human societies, people have faith in certain persons of certain professions and occupations (example: people seem to have a 'default' respect and faith in human beings who are engaged in scientific endeavors. people seem to respect creative artists as well).
You bribe one scientist to appear on one of your television advertisements to convince people that consuming your fast food is beneficial for their health. You bribe a creative writer to write a positive review on the national newspaper. You are now seriously playing with people's faith to turn it against their rational sensibilities.
Let's imagine (well, it happens in our world perhaps everyday) that in the end - you win. Your product sells like a hotcake, and you make the money that you desired.
This example that I have just mentioned - applies to every major (and minor) religion that exist in the world today. No human being is inherently religious ( though they are inherently spiritual). Children (and we all were once) do not understand religion. It's almost a foreign element to them. They may love their parents, they may be enchanted with the beauty of the world, and the magnificence of the cosmos - but they don't really understand Jesus or Mohammed - neither they have anything to do with Vishnu, Zeus or Yahweh. These concepts seem to have come from another planet. No healthy child would find it reasonable to invest time and effort to gain favors from these ghostly subjects of religions.
But in time - they do indulge in these things. Something does infiltrate their barrier of rational consciousness and - so to speak - subjugate them to take religion in the center of their lives.
What really makes this magical transformation happen?
The first thing that should be mentioned - is this: religion attaches itself with very sensitive aspects of the human experience. People who authored (and still author) religions - center their half-truths around subjects that are universal, and subjects which can not, so to speak, ever be scientifically explored and established. This is where they win the half the game.
They cover the next half by committing their ideas under absurd and hypnotic poetic literature that eludes rational comprehension and critical analysis. They choose poetry to describe their theories - because anyone can extract almost any meaning out of poetry.
Next - they make their literature and their institutions sacred and untouchable. A scientific theory is open to correction. No religion and no religious theory is. They consider such scrutiny as attacks on their faith (that is - their commercial business).
Religions weren't created by angels with milk white wings. It's a primitive human business. I'm not saying that all religions, and every aspect of religion, is evil and malicious. Religion, in a way, checks the world in balance. And it provides some practical services: like conducting marriages, funerals, promoting charities and culture etc.
But fundamentally - it's a serpent-like creature which would go at any length to ensure its survival. And we can do almost nothing against it. Because it lives in peoples' minds - in their consciousness. They consider religion to be ultimate and sacred.
However twisted a religion might be, however malicious and irrational - we can not make people turn away from it. A very strange and parasitical respectability seems to shield every religion from any conscious attack.
Religion will continue to exist until people find, so to speak, their individual enlightenment. That would be, possibly, a great liberation of the human consciousness. Perhaps it is not unreasonable to have the faith that it will happen. Because human spirituality, undeniably, exists independently of any religion.
Sorry, but nothing spiritual has ever been shown to exist. Children are atheists because they lack belief in the organized religions gods.
Actually, they were just possessed by ignorance which led them to create the myths and superstitions of which religions are based.
It's much better to be done with education so that people freely and willfully give up religions to the realms of myths and superstitions rather than being forced. We already know the damage and destruction caused by forcing people into ideologies.
No, it's just difficult to annihilate ignorance, hence the propagation of religions.
Religions don't exist because of consciousness, they exist because of indoctrination.
Pretty much true.
That makes no sense. Will there be a rational explanation?
Millions of people share that reason but still go to fast food restaurants.
Agreed. Yet, they flourish.
Or, you do your homework to understand people aren't going to buy your product, so ditch the product and move on to something else.
Not really, you're actually digging yourself a deeper hole considering other scientists will peer review the scientist you bribed and expose the deceit.
And, unicorns will fly.
You provide an excellent argument showing religion to be a bad product sold with deceit and lies, easily exposed as such.
Sorry, see my earlier comment on the existent of anything spiritual. You offer a false premise.
Yes, that's called indoctrination.
There's nothing magical about brainwashing children, it's actually now being viewed as a form of child abuse.
All of which can be conducted without religion... and in fact, IS conducted without religion.
Yes, ignorance and indoctrination.
Most likely, in the future, religions will go the way of the dodo as reason, logic and rationale take the reigns of the human condition.
You might have created an intelligent post.
I'm not going to read all this, but snakes have always been a symbol of healing and medicine (for...some reason) and were revered by priests of ancient times because of...their many...medicinal...qualities...?
Couple thousand years later, early Jews were putting Genesis together, didn't like the serpent worship going on in other temples, and made the serpent the ultimate bad guy just to say "Take that!" to the other temples.
(And no, Moses did not write the first few books of the Bible, unless he somehow magically gained the ability to write about his own death after it happened.)
EDIT: Apparently it's because snakes shed their skin and people thought that meant rebirth. Can't even make this crap up.
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