The Evolution of Religion

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
Nick_A
Posts: 5205
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

The development from a religion of fear to a moral religion is a great step in peoples lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based purely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on guard. the truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he want to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

-- Albert Einstein, Science and Religion, NY Times, November 9, 1930.


The origin of religion begins in the world. The gods control the world and the ancients feared them. Then secularism created morality which are man made interpretations of objective conscience which has atrophied in us

We are evolving into the ability for objective conscience to replace the personal God telling us what is moral in favor of universal truths. Objective conscience must be remembered rather than indoctrinated as with morality

Einstein is part of a minority who understand the function of conscience. I know how and why the world must hate them but I do respect and value them. How and what they know must be communicated to the world which denies conscience in favor of egoistic imagination. They will be ignored and persecuted

Can religion evolve? I know Einstein, Simone Weil, Jacob Needleman, and others know its value if Man is to become human. Will art and science retain its belief in truth and awaken cosmic religious feelings or will it sink along with the rest of society into self serving interpretations? Only time will tell
Nick_A
Posts: 5205
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

Nick_A wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 9:08 pm
The development from a religion of fear to a moral religion is a great step in peoples lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based purely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on guard. the truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he want to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

-- Albert Einstein, Science and Religion, NY Times, November 9, 1930.


The origin of religion begins in the world. The gods control the world and the ancients feared them. Then secularism created morality which are man made interpretations of objective conscience which has atrophied in us

We are evolving into the ability for objective conscience to replace the personal God telling us what is moral in favor of universal truths. Objective conscience must be remembered rather than indoctrinated as with morality

Einstein is part of a minority who understand the function of conscience. I know how and why the world must hate them but I do respect and value them. How and what they know must be communicated to the world which denies conscience in favor of egoistic imagination. They will be ignored and persecuted

Can religion evolve? I know Einstein, Simone Weil, Jacob Needleman, and others know its value if Man is to become human. Will art and science retain its belief in truth and awaken cosmic religious feelings or will it sink along with the rest of society into self serving interpretations? Only time will tell
User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 8833
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by henry quirk »

:thumbsup:
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4618
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Nick_A wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 9:08 pm
The development from a religion of fear to a moral religion is a great step in peoples lives.
.............

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

-- Albert Einstein, Science and Religion, NY Times, November 9, 1930.



Can religion evolve? I know Einstein, Simone Weil, Jacob Needleman, and others know its value if Man is to become human. Will art and science retain its belief in truth and awaken cosmic religious feelings or will it sink along with the rest of society into self serving interpretations? Only time will tell
Religions [theistic and non-theistic] are grounded on inherent and unavoidable subliminal primal fears. Note, it is subliminal and not so much on conscious fears.

What is evolving with religions [theistic and non-theistic] from the primitive to the modern is the progress in the development of neural inhibitors to manage and modulate those inherent primal subliminal fears.

The measure of efficiency of the above approaches is how efficient in their ability to manage and modulate those primal subliminal fears.
I believe the most efficient religion at present is Buddhism-proper which has no definite notion of a God and no theology as asserted by Einstein above, and [plus] has the ability to inhibit and modulate the primal subliminal fears maximally.

From what I read of Einstein, Simone Weil, Jacob Needleman, Schopenhauer, Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza, they are still entrapped by the inherent primal subliminal fears to some small degrees where they cling to some mysterious metaphysical forces [not a personal God].

Buddhism-proper on the other hand let go of everything [concept of nothingness] and embrace the whole of reality.

For the future, humanity must evolve to the ability to manage and module the inherent unavoidable primal subliminal fears without attaching to any religion [institutional or otherwise] but merely adopting a generic 'open-source' spiritual method.
Nick_A
Posts: 5205
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

V A
For the future, humanity must evolve to the ability to manage and module the inherent unavoidable primal subliminal fears without attaching to any religion [institutional or otherwise] but merely adopting a generic 'open-source' spiritual method.
Our essential difference. You believe that the brains ability to become more complex leads to inventing morality which suits a society. In contrast I believe that conscience is the ability to remember objective values which have been forgotten. Morality is the result of indoctrination and is learned. Conscience is the experience of universal truths which have always been which a person can "remember"
"Create a community which develops the highest of man's qualities based on conscience. You must warn people not to make their in­tellect their god. The intellect knows methods but it seldom knows values, and they come from feeling. If one doesn't play a part in the creative whole, he is not worth being called human. He has betrayed his true purpose." Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 135.)
Morals are intdocrinated results of the emotions of honor and shame. Conscience is a human potential for us and affirms objective values which can be remembered. You write of subjective favorable indoctrinations and I write of objective conscience, feelings, which can be remembered by fallen Man
User avatar
Sculptor
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:32 pm

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Sculptor »

The only valid and sustainable evolution of religion is extinction
Nick_A
Posts: 5205
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

Sculptor wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 10:15 pm The only valid and sustainable evolution of religion is extinction
You are content to imagine being an atom of the great beast which defines morality. Some open to conscience to experience what it means to be human.
"The image of the Beast conveys a great deal of what Plato wanted to say about democracy. Fundamental is the thought that in a political system of direct popular rule, where key decisions are taken not by an individual or a body with restricted membership, but by the assembled populace itself, the people become the source of all values in the society. As we might put it, democracy is in this regard a totalitarian system. More specifically, the power of public opinion generates a radically corrupt system of values. This is because it is the passions and appetites of the populace which in the end dictate the contents of what passes for wisdom. If they like something, that counts as good (i.e. as what we should truly want), in the teaching of the sophists as for everyone else; if they dislike it, the opposite. Necessity--that is (presumably), political expediency--is what gets dignified by the language of moral approbation: 'just', 'fine'. What has happened to reason as the basis on which judgments are made? An animal has no reason, but simply passions and appetites. You might think that the sophist--a practitioner of wisdom, someone dedicated to education--would as animal-keeper bring independent reason to bear on the business of ethics. But not so. The message is that the Beast controls him, not the other way around." - Schofield, Plato: Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press: 2006"
When the great beast doesn't like something it attacks it with lighted torches as it did last night in Minneapolis. The domain of the great beast lives by passions and appetites. Religion supplies the influence necessary to awaken conscience and the human values it invites. You favor the extinction of religion. The great beast applauds
gaffo
Posts: 3476
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:15 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by gaffo »

Nick_A wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 9:08 pm
The development from a religion of fear to a moral religion is a great step in peoples lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based purely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on guard. the truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he want to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

-- Albert Einstein, Science and Religion, NY Times, November 9, 1930.


The origin of religion begins in the world. The gods control the world and the ancients feared them. Then secularism created morality which are man made interpretations of objective conscience which has atrophied in us

We are evolving into the ability for objective conscience to replace the personal God telling us what is moral in favor of universal truths. Objective conscience must be remembered rather than indoctrinated as with morality

Einstein is part of a minority who understand the function of conscience. I know how and why the world must hate them but I do respect and value them. How and what they know must be communicated to the world which denies conscience in favor of egoistic imagination. They will be ignored and persecuted

Can religion evolve? I know Einstein, Simone Weil, Jacob Needleman, and others know its value if Man is to become human. Will art and science retain its belief in truth and awaken cosmic religious feelings or will it sink along with the rest of society into self serving interpretations? Only time will tell
Religion never evolved nor should it.

Religion dates to the date of man. i,e, knowing of his own death.

this self knowledge dates to a million years ago and what separates us from the rest of the animals.

yes relion is a million years old, like man.

as for Secularism, I'm a secularist (which is the opposite of Nazi tribalists) - i affirm all men and women - of all races/nationalities - as the same as me and so my sister/brother in humanity.

stop disparaging secularism!
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4618
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Nick_A wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 4:00 pm V A
For the future, humanity must evolve to the ability to manage and module the inherent unavoidable primal subliminal fears without attaching to any religion [institutional or otherwise] but merely adopting a generic 'open-source' spiritual method.
Our essential difference. You believe that the brains ability to become more complex leads to inventing morality which suits a society. In contrast I believe that conscience is the ability to remember objective values which have been forgotten. Morality is the result of indoctrination and is learned. Conscience is the experience of universal truths which have always been which a person can "remember"
I did not mention morality in my post -that is a straw-man.

I stated individuals need to develop their mental competence with the higher ability to manage and modulate the resulting subliminal forces from the primal brain.
This mental development of efficient management of one's impulse will steer people from clinging on to a God or some thing-in-itself like those from Spinoza, Einstein, Simone Weil, Jacob Needleman, and the likes.

Re 'objective values' - did we ever experience them to have them forgotten to be recalled later.
Nah.. we extract the objective value via justification from empirical evidence of human nature and its environment with support from philosophical reasoning.
"Create a community which develops the highest of man's qualities based on conscience. You must warn people not to make their in­tellect their god. The intellect knows methods but it seldom knows values, and they come from feeling. If one doesn't play a part in the creative whole, he is not worth being called human. He has betrayed his true purpose." Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 135.)
Morals are intdocrinated results of the emotions of honor and shame. Conscience is a human potential for us and affirms objective values which can be remembered. You write of subjective favorable indoctrinations and I write of objective conscience, feelings, which can be remembered by fallen Man
Conscience - that is a mental faculty that need to be developed over time in an individual or at present, where a very minority who inherited it from good genes.
Conscience is related to a mental faculty where one is one's own persecutor, defense, jury, judge and correctional officer which is happening within one brain.
Where one's conscience is highly effective, one actions will be spontaneously moral without second thought and decision making.

Note I write of objective moral facts justified from empirical evidence and philosophical reasoning which is fundamentally subjective, i.e. with intersubjective elements.

Your sense of objectivity is absolute-objectivity which is not realistic and not tenable.
User avatar
Sculptor
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:32 pm

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Sculptor »

Nick_A wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 10:54 pm
Sculptor wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 10:15 pm The only valid and sustainable evolution of religion is extinction
You are content to imagine being an atom of the great beast which defines morality. Some open to conscience to experience what it means to be human.
"The image of the Beast conveys a great deal of what Plato wanted to say about democracy. Fundamental is the thought that in a political system of direct popular rule, where key decisions are taken not by an individual or a body with restricted membership, but by the assembled populace itself, the people become the source of all values in the society. As we might put it, democracy is in this regard a totalitarian system. More specifically, the power of public opinion generates a radically corrupt system of values. This is because it is the passions and appetites of the populace which in the end dictate the contents of what passes for wisdom. If they like something, that counts as good (i.e. as what we should truly want), in the teaching of the sophists as for everyone else; if they dislike it, the opposite. Necessity--that is (presumably), political expediency--is what gets dignified by the language of moral approbation: 'just', 'fine'. What has happened to reason as the basis on which judgments are made? An animal has no reason, but simply passions and appetites. You might think that the sophist--a practitioner of wisdom, someone dedicated to education--would as animal-keeper bring independent reason to bear on the business of ethics. But not so. The message is that the Beast controls him, not the other way around." - Schofield, Plato: Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press: 2006"
When the great beast doesn't like something it attacks it with lighted torches as it did last night in Minneapolis. The domain of the great beast lives by passions and appetites. Religion supplies the influence necessary to awaken conscience and the human values it invites. You favor the extinction of religion. The great beast applauds
When religion achieves extinction, so too does the idiotic concept of the beast.
Dubious
Posts: 2502
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Dubious »

Religion never had a conscience being an inconvenience to its true agenda. Instead it was subsumed by its own version of a will to power. Religion never ceased to be the greatest mental toxin humans could inflict on themselves specializing more in venality than spirituality. Religion as presented in history was more in tune with political, power and wealth objectives and more secular than secularism itself. The Great Beast has indeed flourished too long and does so even now under the name of religion.
Nick_A
Posts: 5205
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

Dubious wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 11:04 am Religion never had a conscience being an inconvenience to its true agenda. Instead it was subsumed by its own version of a will to power. Religion never ceased to be the greatest mental toxin humans could inflict on themselves specializing more in venality than spirituality. Religion as presented in history was more in tune with political, power and wealth objectives and more secular than secularism itself. The Great Beast has indeed flourished too long and does so even now under the name of religion.
You are referring to personal God concepts. Einstein is suggesting the evolution of secularized religion based on obedience to a personal god into becoming capable of experiencing universal values through conscience. Is humanity as a whole capable of opening to the inner truths of conscience to all the manipulations natural for indoctrination. I don't know.
Nick_A
Posts: 5205
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 4:35 am
Nick_A wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 4:00 pm V A
For the future, humanity must evolve to the ability to manage and module the inherent unavoidable primal subliminal fears without attaching to any religion [institutional or otherwise] but merely adopting a generic 'open-source' spiritual method.
Our essential difference. You believe that the brains ability to become more complex leads to inventing morality which suits a society. In contrast I believe that conscience is the ability to remember objective values which have been forgotten. Morality is the result of indoctrination and is learned. Conscience is the experience of universal truths which have always been which a person can "remember"
I did not mention morality in my post -that is a straw-man.

I stated individuals need to develop their mental competence with the higher ability to manage and modulate the resulting subliminal forces from the primal brain.
This mental development of efficient management of one's impulse will steer people from clinging on to a God or some thing-in-itself like those from Spinoza, Einstein, Simone Weil, Jacob Needleman, and the likes.

Re 'objective values' - did we ever experience them to have them forgotten to be recalled later.
Nah.. we extract the objective value via justification from empirical evidence of human nature and its environment with support from philosophical reasoning.
"Create a community which develops the highest of man's qualities based on conscience. You must warn people not to make their in­tellect their god. The intellect knows methods but it seldom knows values, and they come from feeling. If one doesn't play a part in the creative whole, he is not worth being called human. He has betrayed his true purpose." Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 135.)
Morals are intdocrinated results of the emotions of honor and shame. Conscience is a human potential for us and affirms objective values which can be remembered. You write of subjective favorable indoctrinations and I write of objective conscience, feelings, which can be remembered by fallen Man
Conscience - that is a mental faculty that need to be developed over time in an individual or at present, where a very minority who inherited it from good genes.
Conscience is related to a mental faculty where one is one's own persecutor, defense, jury, judge and correctional officer which is happening within one brain.
Where one's conscience is highly effective, one actions will be spontaneously moral without second thought and decision making.

Note I write of objective moral facts justified from empirical evidence and philosophical reasoning which is fundamentally subjective, i.e. with intersubjective elements.

Your sense of objectivity is absolute-objectivity which is not realistic and not tenable.
Another essential difference
"My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists." —Nikola Tesla
You believe the brain is a creator and I believe it is receiver. The essence of religion is to become an impartial reciever rather than an egoistic creator
Nick_A
Posts: 5205
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Nick_A »

Gaffo
i affirm all men and women - of all races/nationalities - as the same as me and so my sister/brother in humanity.
If people are all the same it is because the great majority are unawakened. What does it mean to wake up and wouldn't opening to conscience further this aim?

“It is said that soon after his enlightenment, the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the extraordinary radiance and peacefulness of his presence. The man stopped and asked, “My friend, what are you? Are you a celestial being or a God?”
“No,” said the Buddha.
“Well, then, are you some sort of magician or wizard?”
Again the Buddha answered, “No.”
“Are you a man?”
“No.”
“Well my friend, what are you then?”
“I am awake.”


The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?
Thoreau, Walden
User avatar
Sculptor
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:32 pm

Re: The Evolution of Religion

Post by Sculptor »

Nick_A wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 4:51 pm
Dubious wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 11:04 am Religion never had a conscience being an inconvenience to its true agenda. Instead it was subsumed by its own version of a will to power. Religion never ceased to be the greatest mental toxin humans could inflict on themselves specializing more in venality than spirituality. Religion as presented in history was more in tune with political, power and wealth objectives and more secular than secularism itself. The Great Beast has indeed flourished too long and does so even now under the name of religion.
You are referring to personal God concepts. Einstein is suggesting the evolution of secularized religion based on obedience to a personal god into becoming capable of experiencing universal values through conscience. Is humanity as a whole capable of opening to the inner truths of conscience to all the manipulations natural for indoctrination. I don't know.
Einstein rejected the notion of a personal god. What are you trying to say here?
Post Reply