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EVOLUTION OF BELIEFS

 

Culture  encompasses the social behaviorinstitutions, and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledgebeliefsartslawscustoms, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.[1] Culture is often originated from or attributed to a specific region or location.

Civilizations tend to develop intricate cultures, including a state-based decision making apparatus, a literature, professional artarchitecture, organized religion and complex customs of educationcoercion and control associated with maintaining the elite. 

The Renaissance allowed science and the arts to evolve  separate from religion. In spite of this,  today, religion is still the principle way in which people self- identify, particularly as globalization has made countries "multicultural". 

Life as a hunter gatherer was filled with uncertainty from weather, migration of prey, disease, the dangers of child birth. The hunter gatherers in prehistory would have had stories to make sense of their world, which have been kept alive by their modern day descendants 

Todays indigenous  hunter gatherer communities in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Alaska, and the Americas all have their own unique languages, astrology, creation and after life stories.  These stories seem to provide comfort to the hunter gatherers, and still have resonance for people in modern civilization.

As the last ice age ended, the development of efficient settled agriculture in the fertile crescent allowed the hunter gatherers to settle down and form stable year round communities.  Once each farmer could grow more food than they needed, the excess enabled the formation of a ruling class with the  resources to establish civilization.  The formation of cities and a ruling class changed the trajectory of religion from tribal stories to a common set of beliefs across many tribes and communities.     

The Sumerians were the first to leave relics of their complex gods. 

Pyramids seem to have universal appeal around the world. Pyramids provide a simple construction to get closer to the source of life - the sun. Burying your dead underground in tombs also seems to have universal symbology.

The first civilization   to leave a lasting footprint on earth where the Pharos of ancient Egypt. The uniquely fertile Nile river creates great wealth for the Pharoe "god-kings". Their polytheist religion centers on their immortality through mummification and very fancy burials. The god-kings self funded temples and burials in their own honor, projecting their power to the general population. The Egyptian pantheon was populated by gods who had supernatural powers and were called on for help or protection. After death, the spiritual aspects were released from the body and could move at will, but they required the physical remains (or a substitute, such as a statue) as a permanent home. Wealthy Egyptians were buried with larger quantities of luxury items, but all burials, regardless of social status, included goods for the deceased.   Abu Simbel was a temple to honor Ramases II,  built by Ramases II. The tomb of Tutankamun was one of the only tombs that was not sacked by the priests of Arun who came to power in 300 BC, and knew the locations of the tombs in Valley of the Kings. The Greeks and then the Romans had  had their own polytheist religion with different gods for different duties. 

The Ptolemy family were the local Pharoes  305BC- 30BC. under the rule of Alexander the Great in Greece  They were responsible for most of the most recent and best preserved temples in Philae, Edfu and Karnak. No relation to the astronomer Claudius Ptolemy. 

From 4000 years ago (2000BC), monotheist religions gained traction. In the Fertile Crescent, Babylon was the largest city in the world c. 1770 – c. 1670 BC, and again c. 612 – c. 320 BC with Zoroastrianism as their religion.  In the Middle East traditions around the original Hebrew patriarch Abraham led to Judaeism. More recently, in the last 2000 years, Jesus and Mohammed arose as  the latest Abrahamic prophets.  In the East, Buddism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Taoism were established.

The Abrahamic religions are a group of religions, most notably JudaismChristianity and Islam, centered around the worship of the God of AbrahamAbraham, a Hebrew patriarch, is extensively mentioned in the religious scriptures of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, and the Quran. Jewish tradition claims that the Twelve Tribes of Israel are descended from Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob, whose sons formed the nation of the Israelites in Canaan; Islamic tradition claims that twelve Arab tribes known as the Ishmaelites are descended from Abraham through his son Ishmael in the Arabian Peninsula.

In its early stages, the Israelite religion was derived from the Canaanite religions of the Bronze Age; by the Iron Age, it had become distinct from other Canaanite religions as it shed polytheism for monolatry.[citation needed] The monolatrist nature of Yahwism was further developed in the period following the Babylonian captivity, eventually emerging as a firm religious movement of monotheism.  In the 1st century AD, Christianity emerged out of Judaism in the Land of Israel, developed under the Apostles of Jesus of Nazareth; it spread widely after it was adopted by the Roman Empire as a state religion in the 4th century AD. In the 7th century AD, Islam was founded by Muhammad in the Arabian Peninsula; it spread widely through the early Muslim conquests, shortly after his death.

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures, some, all, or a variant of which, are held to be sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, Islam, Baha'i'ism and many other religions. The Bible is an anthology, a compilation of texts of a variety of forms, originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. 

The Dead Sea Scrolls (300-100 BC) documents the earliest version of the Hebrew Bible recognizing Abraham as a founding prophet.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Dead-Sea-Scrolls

The Hebrew Bible  is the canonical collection of Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. The authoritative form of the modern Hebrew Bible used in Rabbinic Judaism is the Masoretic Text (7th to 10th century CE), which consists of 24 books, divided into pesuqim (verses). The contents of the Medieval Masoretic text are similar, but not identical, to those of the Protestant Old Testament. The Torah  "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

The Quran recounts stories of many of the people and events recounted in Jewish and Christian sacred books (Tanakh, Bible) and devotional literature (Apocrypha, Midrash), although it differs in many details. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Eber, Shelah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jethro, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Aaron, Moses, Zechariah, John the Baptist and Jesus are mentioned in the Quran as prophets of God (see Prophets of Islam). In fact, Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual.  Jesus is mentioned more often in the Quran than Muhammad (by name—Muhammad is often alluded to as "The Prophet" or "The Apostle"), while Mary is mentioned in the Quran more than in the New Testament.

 

From 25AD to 1400 AD, the Middle Ages were marked by  a series of conflicts between rulers from different religions. It started with Roman emperors taking over most of Europe and the Middle East at  the  zenith of the Roman empire. Starting around 20AD, Christianity developed based on Abraham and Jesus. In 400AD, Islam developed based on the prophets Abraham and his latest follower Mohammed. Waves of Christian and Islamic invasions followed. The rulers demonstrated their power and religiosity through progressively more spectacular cathedrals such as Hagia Sophia. Culminating with the Gothic masterpieces in Isle de Paris, Winchester, Rouen etc. The church of Sainte Chappelle in the Isle de France Paris, was designed to upstage  Aachen Cathedral, in turn to upstage the  Basilica San Vitale. The first signs of protections for  individual rights appeared In England with the Magna Carta. 

 

Meanwhile, the sun worshipping civilizations in the Americas (Aztecs, Incas, Mayans) were building substantial temples. Also Hindu temples were being built in India and Cambodia (Ankor Wat).  Polynesians were taking over in the Pacific, and the Buddist Golden Temple in Kyoto was built.  In China, there were  numerous struggles between local warlords.  From 618-907 AD, the Tang dynasty was a golden age of Chinese civilization, a prosperous, stable, and creative period with significant developments in most notably printing. Buddhism became the predominant religion. Chang'an (modern Xi'an), the national capital, was the largest city in the world during its time.

By 1400AD, the worlds beliefs centered around a few mass religions. Abrahamic Christianity and Islam dominated life from Europe and North Africa to Pakistan. Samarkand, in Uzbekistan north of Iran, became the center of Islamic scholarship.  Islamic academics maintained an interest in the Greek Enlightenment Philosophers with several  translations into Arabic. When Cordoba returned to Christian control, it started a renewed interest by Christian academics.

The Renaissance Papacy lasted from 1473 to the 1530's. In the early 1400's, the Black Death ravaged Europe,  and the control of Christianity  consolidated around the popes in Rome, where the papacy became something of a family business. The families sponsored a flourishing arts, architecture and humanities scene.  In addition, there was a liberal attitude to religious dogma. Several of the Renaissance popes took mistresses, fathered children, engaged in intrigue, and even murder.[10]  At least 2 popes appear to have never celebrated mass. In this environment, it is fair to say that there were no religious barriers to considering scientific explanations for the world around us.  Their liberal attitude to religion precipitated the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Inquisition. 

The Spanish Inquisition was particularly powerful and cruel. It blocked the Renaissance influence in Spain, and was used to justify the excesses of the Spanish empire in the Americas. 

THE RENAISSANCE POPES By Gerard Noel

The Reformation in  the 1530's was the Lutheran doctrinaire reaction that resulted in the fracturing of Christianity into multiple  Protestant sects and Catholicism. During the 16th-century English Reformation, which began under Henry VIII (r. 1509–1547),  Eager to marry Anne, papal authority was abolished in England. Henry appointed Cranmer as the Archbishop of Canterbury, after which Cranmer quickly granted Henry’s divorce from Catherine. In June 1533, the heavily pregnant Anne Boleyn was crowned queen of England in a lavish ceremony. Parliament’s passage of the Act of Supremacy in 1534 solidified the break from the Catholic Church and made the king the Supreme Head of the Church of England. England began adopting some of the lessons of the continental Reformation,  including a translation of the Bible into English. When Anne's daughter became Queen Elizabeth I, the Protestant Church of England became the national religion. 

The Puritans were purist form of Protestantism that sought to purge Catholic-like practices. Subsequent to Clement, the Inquisition was set up to re-establish the church's authority. 

Galileo wrote " Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems" as fictional discussion to try and avoid the Inquisition. It was published and was successful as popular science. The Dialogue was published in Florence under a formal license from the Inquisition. In 1633, Galileo was found to be "vehemently suspect of heresy " based on the book, which was then placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, from which it was not removed until 1835. The persecution of Galileo was brief attempt to re-establish religious orthodoxy that failed probably because the printing press and fragmentation of the church had broken the church's hold on information. 

The American Revolution in 1776 launched a first state that did not have a national religion. Since the industrial revolution there has been a trend toward more secular societies world -wide, although a majority still claim a religious belief but a minority regularly go church.  The 1925 Scopes Monkey trial in the US was another failing effort to re-establish religious dogma. Today it is generally accepted that there is no inherent conflict between religion and science. The religious community are attempting to influence the  ongoing culture wars, especially in Islamic States.  

Most traditional Christian countries are trending secular. In the UK, the number of people who go to Church at least once a week or once a month is only 9.1% and 15.1% respectively. This is down 50% since 1990. Village church's in England are being abandoned or converted into local resources. 

 

In contrast, most people in the US still identify as  religious, however regular attendance has dropped to 25% of the US population. Religion plays an outsize role in political life, particularly in the Christian Right as a cultural identifier. Extreme groups embrace male domination, discrimination against women and  homosexuals,  rejection of evolution and astrophysics, and an obligation to convert non-believers. They use passages from the Old Testament especially Leviticus as justification. 

The Muslims are the second largest religious community centered on the Middle East. The colonial activity of the European Christian powers have led the Muslims to view Christians as oppressors. Radical Islam has been empowered, with actions routed in fundamentalist views on male domination, discrimination against women and  homosexuals, and  violent actions against non-believers. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22640614 

The need for religion 

The philosophical question is why  are humans so attracted to fact-free belief systems; such as conspiracy theories, cults and religions ?  One idea is that uncertainty makes us uncomfortable, any belief provides us with an explanation and guidance makes us more  comfortable.

 

There is evidence that our autonomic nervous system take care of instantaneous response such as hitting a baseball. Our brains rationalize our response's more slowly  after the fact. This rationalization helps to explain our susceptibility to magic tricks that are designed to mislead us. We are wired to search for explanations to observations. 

There is an evolutionary argument that suggests that we were a prey animal and we would respond to a rustle in the bushes by assuming a predator and running away. If we assume its just wind and are wrong we are dead. We are conditioned to assume that there is a cause to any observation. 

 

The idea of a "higher power" that is in control also has appeal. Anything that provides a set of rules that guide decisions, reducing worry and stress, is another possibility. 

We are wired and conditioned to find explanations, and many look for ways to simplify their lives.

The psychology of Religion 

All groups, religious and non,  with common beliefs can be a positive influence by encouraging good deeds from their larger community.  They are a negative influence when the community becomes unhinged from reality or tries to damage non-believers. 

Belief systems come in many versions from belief in a ; a higher power, in a leader, a community, or simply clinical delusions. There are numerous belief systems tied to ; main stream religions, splinter religions, cults,  AA, Sports teams, Quanon, families, coercive groups such as mafias, pimps and traffickers. 

Religion is a range of social-cultural systems, including designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relate humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements[1]—although there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.[2][3] Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine,[4] sacredness,[5] faith,[6] and a supernatural being or beings.  

It does not matter which Abrahamic religion you follow, religiosity matters a lot:  respondents who pray daily are only about half as likely as those who rarely or never pray to think abortion should be allowed.

https://open.lib.umn.edu/sociology/chapter/4-3-agents-of-socialization/

It terms of influencing behavior, “When it comes to deterring transgressions in anonymous situations,” Shariff said, “the divine stick appears to hold considerably more power that the divine carrot.”

https://around.uoregon.edu/content/researcher-religion-influences-behavior-%E2%80%94-both-good-and-bad

This may explain the focus on sins and sinning. It appears to me that religions call for "goodwill to all", while many also identify groups of sinners that should be singled out. Famously Leviticus calls for stoning of adulterers, homosexuals, blasphemers.   There are also many commands including; Leviticus 19:19 says, “Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”
And Deuteronomy 22:9–11 commands, “Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled. Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together. Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.”

Out of this, homosexuals have been singled out as the group to be condemned by many Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Islamic leaders. This seems to say more about who is choosing which directions can be ignored. 

More broadly, "Religion is the “final frontier” of personal prejudice, with attitudes to faith driving negative perceptions more than ethnicity or nationality, a report to be published tomorrow will say."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/15/religious-intolerance-is-bigger-cause-of-prejudice-than-race-says-report
 

Cults

​Religious beliefs can be ambiguous, "When it comes to extreme beliefs, there is a fine line between madness and religious fervor.” Yet, there is no one way to distinguish between a strongly held conspiracy theory, or even a strongly held belief for that matter, and clinical delusions.” Psychology Today.

Perhaps the most dangerous variant are cults. According to a Psychology Today article on the subject, "Cults start seducing people with love-bombing, paying a great deal of attention to and being very affectionate with potential recruits—a very effective way of connecting with someone who is feeling lonely and isolated."Read More: https://www.grunge.com/47584/cults-trick-believing/

Some scholars have advanced a more narrow definition of the term cult as a religious group with some or all of the following characteristics: a charismatic leader who exercises total control; an apocalyptic vision (doomsday cult); isolation from society; an emphasis on a transcendent spiritual experience; rigid rules governing group members’ behavior; and the exploitation of members, including sexually and financially. In popular use, the term cult has accumulated a strong negative connotation. 

https://www.britannica.com/topic/cult

It seems to me that a religion becomes a cult when the leader becomes the primary beneficiary either financially or through sexual favors, at the expense of the followers. The modern televangelist comes really close to a cult for the lavish lifestyle of the leaders. 
 

Belief in communities

Sports supporters are the best example of a belief in a community rather than a leader. Other examples include AA, communities linked by a common belief in conspiracy theories such as Quanon, and family. Becoming part of a community of like minded people meets people needs for social contacts.

 

These beliefs can be constructive for feeling like you belong, but also destructive if it leads to racism or violence against non-believers. Conspiracy theories are particularly dangerous as the group gets more and more disconnected from reality. 
 

Religious Freedom

If your religion is telling you to make a particular groups lives miserable- change your religion !

 

In 2023, the culture wars seem to have become focused on religious freedom. The is no question that everyone has personal freedom to believe what they want. The only way that works is that no one can force another to follow their  believes. 

 

If you do not believe in same sex marriage don't marry your boy/girl friend.

If you don't approve of abortions don't get one.

 

If you want to run a company you must hire without prejudice, and sell without prejudice - unless you are a church. If you do not want to sell a cake for a gay marriage, don't sell cakes for marriages.  The owner of company does not get to restrict health care based on their beliefs, they have employees not disciples. 

Unfortunately, the Christian right feels their religious freedom allows them to require others to believe the same as them, and impose their values on others.  The gay and transgender are the latest targets. The claim is that they have that authority as they  are following the word of god provided in the Bible. The problem is that the section that they refer to also proscribes adultery and the wearing of mixed fibers, and  its their choice to ignore these.  The gays are a convenient  minority to demonize. 

Their goal seems to be a Christian country ignoring the specific language of the constitution and the reality of a secular  society of immigrants from all over the globe. 

AbCreation1.jpg
FCAg.jfif
Seven-Planetary-Deities.jpg
538.png
ABuSimbel.jpg
ReligionHistory1.jpg
dead-sea-scrolls-2.jpg
HagiaSophia.jpg
Sainte Chappelle.jpg
Medieval-World-Religions.png
Pope.jpg
protestant-reformation-diet-of-worms.jpg
World_Religions_Chart.jpg

 

TIME SCALES

Universe                        1year

Earth                              3mo

Life                                 2.5mo

Dino's lasted                4 days

Oil created                    5 days 

To evolve from apes   7 hrs 

Homo Sapiens so far 10mins

Human history            30secs

1000 years                      3secs

I year                                3msec

EVOLUTION OF CULTURE - BELIEFS

 

Culture  encompasses the social behaviorinstitutions, and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledgebeliefsartslawscustoms, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.[1] Culture is often originated from or attributed to a specific region or location.

Civilizations tend to develop intricate cultures, including a state-based decision making apparatus, a literature, professional artarchitecture, organized religion and complex customs of educationcoercion and control associated with maintaining the elite. 

The Renaissance allowed science and the arts to evolve  separate from religion. In spite of this,  today, religion is still the principle way in which people self- identify, particularly as globalization has made countries "multicultural". 

Life as a hunter gatherer was filled with uncertainty from weather, migration of prey, disease, the dangers of child birth. The hunter gatherers in prehistory would have had stories to make sense of their world, which have been kept alive by their modern day descendants 

Todays indigenous  hunter gatherer communities in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Alaska, and the Americas all have their own unique languages, astrology, creation and after life stories.  These stories seem to provide comfort to the hunter gatherers, and still have resonance for people in modern civilization.

As the last ice age ended, the development of efficient settled agriculture in the fertile crescent allowed the hunter gatherers to settle down and form stable year round communities.  Once each farmer could grow more food than they needed, the excess enabled the formation of a ruling class with the  resources to establish civilization.  The formation of cities and a ruling class changed the trajectory of religion from tribal stories to a common set of beliefs across many tribes and communities.     

The Sumerians were the first to leave relics of their complex gods. 

The first civilization   to leave a lasting footprint on earth where the Pharos of ancient Egypt. The uniquely fertile Nile river creates great wealth for the Pharoe "god-kings". Their polytheist religion centers on their immortality through mummification and very fancy burials. The god-kings self funded temples and burials in their own honor, projecting their power to the general population. The Egyptian pantheon was populated by gods who had supernatural powers and were called on for help or protection. After death, the spiritual aspects were released from the body and could move at will, but they required the physical remains (or a substitute, such as a statue) as a permanent home. Wealthy Egyptians were buried with larger quantities of luxury items, but all burials, regardless of social status, included goods for the deceased.   Abu Simbel was a temple to honor Ramases II,  built by Ramases II. The tomb of Tutankamun was one of the only tombs that was not sacked by the priests of Arun who came to power in 300 BC, and knew the locations of the tombs in Valley of the Kings. The Greeks and then the Romans had  had their own polytheist religion with different gods for different duties. 

The Ptolemy family were the local Pharoes  305BC- 30BC. under the rule of Alexander the Great in Greece  They were responsible for most of the most recent and best preserved temples in Philae, Edfu and Karnak. No relation to the astronomer Claudius Ptolemy. 

From 4000 years ago (2000BC), monotheist religions gained traction. In the Fertile Crescent, Babylon was the largest city in the world c. 1770 – c. 1670 BC, and again c. 612 – c. 320 BC with Zoroastrianism as their religion.  In the Middle East traditions around the original Hebrew patriarch Abraham led to Judaeism. More recently, in the last 2000 years, Jesus and Mohammed arose as  the latest Abrahamic prophets.  In the East, Buddism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Taoism were established.

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls (300-100 BC) documents the earliest version of the Hebrew Bible recognizing Abraham as a founding prophet.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Dead-Sea-Scrolls

The Hebrew Bible  is the canonical collection of Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. The authoritative form of the modern Hebrew Bible used in Rabbinic Judaism is the Masoretic Text (7th to 10th century CE), which consists of 24 books, divided into pesuqim (verses). The contents of the Medieval Masoretic text are similar, but not identical, to those of the Protestant Old Testament. The Torah  "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbers and Deuteronomy.

From 25AD to 1400 AD, the Middle Ages were marked by  a series of conflicts between rulers from different religions. It started with Roman emperors taking over most of Europe and the Middle East at  the  zenith of the Roman empire. Starting around 20AD, Christianity developed based on Abraham and Jesus. In 400AD, Islam developed based on the prophets Abraham and his latest follower Mohammed. Waves of Christian and Islamic invasions followed. The rulers demonstrated their power and religiosity through progressively more spectacular cathedrals such as Hagia Sophia. Culminating with the Gothic masterpieces in Isle de Paris, Winchester, Rouen etc. The church of Sainte Chappelle in the Isle de France Paris, was designed to upstage  Aachen Cathedral, in turn to upstage the  Basilica San Vitale. The first signs of protections for  individual rights appeared In England with the Magna Carta. 

 

Meanwhile, the sun worshipping civilizations in the Americas (Aztecs, Incas, Mayans) were building substantial temples. Also Hindu temples were being built in India and Cambodia (Ankor Wat).  Polynesians were taking over in the Pacific, and the Buddist Golden Temple in Kyoto was built.  In China, there were  numerous struggles between local warlords.  From 618-907 AD, the Tang dynasty was a golden age of Chinese civilization, a prosperous, stable, and creative period with significant developments in most notably printing. Buddhism became the predominant religion. Chang'an (modern Xi'an), the national capital, was the largest city in the world during its time.

By 1400AD, the worlds beliefs centered around a few mass religions. Abrahamic Christianity and Islam dominated life from Europe and North Africa to Pakistan. Samarkand, in Uzbekistan north of Iran, became the center of Islamic scholarship.  Islamic academics maintained an interest in the Greek Enlightenment Philosophers with several  translations into Arabic. When Cordoba returned to Christian control, it started a renewed interest by Christian academics.

The Renaissance Papacy lasted from 1473 to the 1530's. In the early 1400's, the Black Death ravaged Europe,  and the control of Christianity  consolidated around the popes in Rome, where the papacy became something of a family business. The families sponsored a flourishing arts, architecture and humanities scene.  In addition, there was a liberal attitude to religious dogma. Several of the Renaissance popes took mistresses, fathered children, engaged in intrigue, and even murder.[10]  At least 2 popes appear to have never celebrated mass. In this environment, it is fair to say that there were no religious barriers to considering scientific explanations for the world around us.  Their liberal attitude to religion precipitated the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Inquisition. 

THE RENAISSANCE POPES By Gerard Noel

The Reformation in  the 1530's was the doctrinaire reaction that resulted in the fracturing of Christianity into multiple  Protestant sects and Catholicism. The Puritans were purist form of Protestantism that sought to purge Catholic-like practices. Subsequent to Clement, the Inquisition was set up to re-establish the church's authority. 

 

Galileo wrote " Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems" as fictional discussion to try and avoid the Inquisition. It was published and was successful as popular science. The Dialogue was published in Florence under a formal license from the Inquisition. In 1633, Galileo was found to be "vehemently suspect of heresy " based on the book, which was then placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, from which it was not removed until 1835. The persecution of Galileo was brief attempt to re-establish religious orthodoxy that failed probably because the printing press had broken the church's hold on information. 

The American Revolution in 1776 launched a first state that did not have a national religion. Since the industrial revolution there has been a trend toward more secular societies world -wide, although a majority still claim a religious belief but a minority regularly go church.  The 1925 Scopes Monkey trial in the US was another failing effort to re-establish religious dogma. Today it is generally accepted that there is no inherent conflict between religion and science. The religious community are attempting to influence the  ongoing culture wars, especially in Islamic States.  

Most traditional Christian countries are trending secular. In the UK, the number of people who go to Church at least once a week or once a month is only 9.1% and 15.1% respectively. This is down 50% since 1990. Village church's in England are being abandoned or converted into local resources. 

 

In contrast, most people in the US still identify as  religious, however regular attendance has dropped to 25% of the US population. Religion plays an outsize role in political life, particularly in the Christian Right as a cultural identifier.

The need for religion 

The philosophical question is why  are humans so attracted to fact-free belief systems; such as conspiracy theories, cults and religions ?  One idea is that uncertainty makes us uncomfortable, any belief provides us with an explanation and guidance makes us more  comfortable.

 

There is evidence that our autonomic nervous system take care of instantaneous response such as hitting a baseball. Our brains rationalize our response's more slowly  after the fact. This rationalization helps to explain our susceptibility to magic tricks that are designed to mislead us. We are wired to search for explanations to observations. 

There is an evolutionary argument that suggests that we were a prey animal and we would respond to a rustle in the bushes by assuming a predator and running away. If we assume its just wind and are wrong we are dead. We are conditioned to assume that there is a cause to any observation. 

 

The idea of a "higher power" that is in control also has appeal. Anything that provides a set of rules that guide decisions, reducing worry and stress, is another possibility. 

We are wired and conditioned to find explanations, and many look for ways to simplify their lives.

"All religious wars are about people arguing over who has the biggest invisible friend." Yassar Arafat !

AbCreation1.jpg
FCAg.jfif
Seven-Planetary-Deities.jpg
538.png
ABuSimbel.jpg
ReligionHistory1.jpg
dead-sea-scrolls-2.jpg
HagiaSophia.jpg
Sainte Chappelle.jpg
Medieval-World-Religions.png
Pope.jpg
protestant-reformation-diet-of-worms.jpg
World_Religions_Chart.jpg

 

TIME SCALES

Universe                        1year

Earth                              3mo

Life                                 2.5mo

Dino's lasted                4 days

Oil created                    5 days 

To evolve from apes   7 hrs 

Homo Sapiens so far 10mins

Human history            30secs

1000 years                      3secs

I year                                3msec

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