A neanderthal hunting for survival: Would he have prayed to a God for food?
The existence of a god is by far the most widely accepted belief in the human race for almost forever. Not speaking about religion, why do humans believe in supernatural powers and beings?
This is because the world we live in is absolutely perfect and even a 1% error would have meant nothing the way it is today. Referred to as Goldilocks’s conditions, the conditions that lead to the “big bang”, creation and sustenance of the earth, birth and evolution of the human species were ABSOLUTELY perfect. We can’t explain why they were or continue to be perfect. We can’t explain the world we live in, we can’t explain our own selves. Our brain is capable of deciphering the rules that govern the universe but not capable of knowing why these rules exist at all. To eliminate this lack of understanding and to prevent the possibility of going insane , we believe in a force that drove all this and will always do. This belief is satisfactory enough to not make us think what drove this “force” in the first place.
One thing is certain: we have evolved to believe in God and this belief results in decrease of chaos. It brings about order. When the first humans started to believe in a force ( not considering the possibility that God himself appeared in front of mankind) they would have been tempted to spread this belief. It unites people. The fear of something unknown, as illogical as it seems, serves to civilise a society. A non fearing, non paranoid society is not what humans would have wanted to continue. For the survival of a race, a common belief and fear is important. And we have to consider here, it was that time when people were not introduced to science; believing the generation of fire by rubbing stones to be a miracle was all they could think of. Even today, when we might think we are very scientifically advanced, we can’t deny the fact that humans are emotional beings. We are driven by emotions more than by logic.
Fire is a miracle. God made it so. Believing this made people think they found the reason and that made them happy. The earth is round. God made it so. Happy. If believing in God makes people happy, why not?
Tribe leader: We are making certain laws to be followed by the entire tribe so that we all ca live in peace. It would be mutually beneficial if everyone follows the law.
Tribe: (kills tribe leader)
Tribe leader: If you people do not follow these rules, the creator and sustainer of the universe we call God will punish you.
Tribe: (Each member happily follows the rules till he dies)
If a common belief serves to civilise a society, why not?
Because everyone couldn’t understand in the abstract idea of God, the must have wanted to find its meaning by physical things such as certain stones, places, chants etc. All of this subsequently led to the birth of different religions. Today, religion causes war but at the time of its initialisation, it prevented war and thus, it was such a successful idea.
So why do people believe in God? It is instilled in us from childhood and we continue this belief because there is no harm in doing so.
I see people going to temples and praying and they don’t meditate, they are so distracted and don’t even pray with their whole heart. As a child, I thought it was stupid. People donating money in temples but not actually doing anything for the poor, believing that a cat crossing the way harbingers bad luck and all the superstitions that I grew up listening to seemed illogical. People are not God loving, they are God fearing and that is why today I believe that this belief is not illogical. At least, it help to keep people in order. ( And I again very clearly state that I am ignoring the results of differences in religion currently)
The striving for heaven and the fear of hell makes people what they do. The idea of someone watching and noting down everything we do gives us peace, it gives us a reason for everything that happens that we don’t understand otherwise.
So will this belief stay forever?
As science is evolving, we are answering questions that were unknown earlier. But we have to accept the fact that we can’t know everything. Not even the last human species will be able to know everything. So, although logic MAY be able to drive out the idea of religion, the acceptance of a supernatural force will never be extinct.
Atheists may live by logic and believers may live by belief. As long as it does not create chaos, everyone’s beliefs should be accepted in a society otherwise the result would be the defiance of the purpose of the belief.
My opinion says that, in an emotionally driven race that is primitive enough to not understand what it wants to but advanced enough to want to understand, if logic isn’t unanimous, survival necessitates the belief of an unknown.
Thus, God can never become extinct.
Fun fact: Atheism is not the same as scientism.
Thanks. And this is written with due respect for everyone’s beliefs.
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