Another Reason People Invented "God" -- Absolution

by AlmostAtheist 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • El blanko
    El blanko


    Well, I have a book on Shamanism, but have only really dipped in and out of it. Just out of curiousity really. At one low point (and high point as far as drugs were concerned) the idea of Shamanism seemed rather attractive and I could relate to the concepts of spirits being attached to pretty much everything from a tree to a wolf and these spirits acting as our guide, protector and possibly even our nemesis.

    I do find it rather interesting that an isolated group of humans has a tendency to look beyond the imediate. Our traditional forms of objective reasoning do not seem to apply within these tribes, intuition being paramount.

    They connect to ' the invisible ' instinctively.

    In a way, the early Christian congregations moved closer to this form of worship by applying faith to objective reality. When the Greeks & Romans observed the Christians they were baffled by their ability to accept God as being invisible yet capable of producing something out of nothing.

    Greek & Roman philosophy is built up rationalizing what is visible (for the most part - from what I have read) and I think we in the West are part of that mindset. We have to be able to touch and measure to believe. There is little room for faith.

    A Christian observes life as being underpinned by an invisible yet tangible spirit - a Shaman could relate to that concept, no doubt.

    My thoughts are that faith impacts the psychology of a person and opens another dimension to ones personality and it takes faith to see beyond the imediate representation of matter and energy.

    Anyway, I'm not sure where I am going with these thoughts now, so I'll clear off ! My mind gets chaotic at times and I sit in the middle trying to make sense of it all.

  • logansrun

    As can be seen from many of my posts, I am for all intents, an atheist. Nevertheless, whenever I hear psychological explanations why people "invented" the idea of God(s) I can't help but smirk at the notion that this somehow disproves the existence of the divine. (This is seen in AlmostAtheist's comment "There is no such being").

    An explanation is not a refutation. One can explain why humans have aesthetic values by the fact that they aid in survival (or, are spandrels -- nice by-products of evolution that were never intended), but this does fact does not refute those values, or diminish their importance.

    If I were a theist I could simply claim that, although there are strong psychological reasons for believeing in God, this situation is something which is part of the divine construction of reality; part of the make-up of human beings which God foresaw and approved.

    Even if God does not exist, I am wary of simple explanations as to why people "invented" God. Surely there were/are psychological and emotional reasons, but there are also intellectual ones -- God is a great explanation as to why the flowers grow, why humans can think, why the stars move in such precision, indeed, the whole of the universe is accounted for in all it's seeming design through the work of the great Designer.

    Oh, Lord, now I'm sounding like the Watchtower.


  • Satanus


    I suppose people in the tribe that went to see the shaman could have some faith. But for the shaman, it's a direct experience, no faith necesary. Shamans didn't become shamans because they wanted to. Often, they got sick and survived. Sickness usually preceded it. Also, as a spontaneous thing, shamanism was the whole world over, every nook and cranny.

    Do you think that the gnostics were shamanistic? Their theology does not conflict that much w it, or w pantheism. These three forms are fairly compatable.


  • AlmostAtheist
    Oh, Lord, now I'm sounding like the Watchtower

    9 Even ones whose worldly wisdom causes them to question the existence of a creator admit that a world without a creator is seemingly impossible. A prominent atheist once remarked, "the whole of the universe is accounted for ... through the work of the great Designer."

    In paragraph 9, how did a prominent atheist feel about the universe having been designed?

    Don't think it isn't coming, Bradley!


  • Satanus

    I don't think that this is a hyjack, as it has to do w inventing god.


    Maybe this book.

    Shamanism and the Drug Propaganda: The Birth of Patriarchy and the Drug War

    By dan russell -

    Other than the drug thing, 4 chapters deal w the shamanic origins of greek religion, and it's transformation to the rational, thence to christianity, through the hellenist, 'apostle' paul. Specifically, in the greek, the change came at the plato aristotle nexus. I just stumbled accross this book now, in making another attempt. May get it.


  • seattleniceguy

    LOL @ AA's Watchtower paragraph formulation skills.

    I hear what Bradley is saying. Obviously, a plausible explanation for the benefits of inventing God does not prove that it actually happened. But for those of us who accept the very real possibility that there is no God, it is interesting to consider what benefits there are/were to inventing the concept.

    Interesting post, Dave.


  • bebu

    Hmmm. Guilt is a greater reality to men than God? I think this is often true.


  • El blanko
    El blanko

    Thanks 4 the book heads-up Satanus ... I'll go take a peek.

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