While religion is often credited with holding back current civilisation, did it create civilisation?
Up to 12,000 years ago people lived in relatively small hunter-gatherer tribes, but 11,500 year old religious monuments have been uncovered that would require the co-operation of hundreds of people. It is thought that what brought these societies together is a commong belief or goal, in this case, religion. When you look over historical civilisations you almost always find a common set of beliefs, this allows people to unite through a common goal without major conflict within society. People who share religions generally share prejudices, like the disdain for Atheists. A recent study has shown that Atheists have one of the lowest approval ratings among religious groups, this can be attributed to the idea of God being connected to trustworthiness; and those who do not believe in God are viewed as untrustworthy. So, in short, it is quite probable that religion was one of the main contributing of society.
In this multi-part article I will explore whether people are born to believe in God or have it instilled into their psyche.
When we are born we see that there are objects and things that can change aforementioned objects, like a ball is an object but it cannot move without interaction of some kind. Using this analogue it is clear that things like animals (including humans), however when the cause of something is not clear it is quite natural to assume that there is a higher force causing these things to happen; “God “. Studies have shown that babies do not need the action to be from something like an animal, they can attribute cause and effect to other things and they don’t need to be tangible. This behaviour doesn’t end with childhood, however, as adults often apply this cause and effect reasoning. This behaviour, coupled with a search for purpose, form the rudimentary beginnings of religion.
As you may know there has been some controversy in the U.K concerning same-sex marriage, the government is planning on making it legal; but the decision has attracted some criticism, mainly from the Catholic church (surprise!). Quite frankly these condemnations are bloody ludicrous, founded on outdated research; and when I say outdated I mean by around two thousand years. While not all Catholics hold these opinions the minority who do are extremely vocal.