If God is real, how would you know?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I think modern folk only see astrology as reading your horoscope it I suspect for the ancients it was more like a calender,...I know with my astronomy I think more about what the constellations are doing...and I am very in tune with the moon...the less Moon the better for astronomy.
    And it seems astrology almost certainly goes back to the earliest of times.
    Alex
     
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  3. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I simply can't see how you get that to work. You say humans used to dance around in animal skins and paint animal images on cave walls, because they wanted to recall their childhood and its stories?

    Prometheus was a story children made up? I was pretty sure it was the grownups.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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  5. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I did not say that... however if that is the way you think I imagine things then I can understand your difficulty in accepting something that I have not said.
    I could imagine say a story about how man got fire starting as something that a parent told a child but when that child grew up I expect he retold it around the camp fire and so passed that myth on to adults ...so what started as a childrens story I could imagine becoming part of the stories about reality for the group...the cave paintings are another matter... from early times humans would have related events to what stars were rising at that time because their observations translated into perhaps when animals migrated, when storms came when it was going to be dry etc...it seems very early they started naming groups of stars as they could imagine the stars represented something or someone.
    Anyways I think what ever we come up with is mere speculation as to myths starting as childrens stories but for me I have no difficulty in seeing how any of those stories re fire could have started as a childrens story and eventually could become accepted as the explanation... and perhaps although the story was told those telling it always regarded it as a story//take Santa Clause...
    alex
     
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  7. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I doubt very much that Roman citizens believed their temples were built to appease children and some stories they made up. Likewise the Egyptians, or pretty much any civilization (along with its pantheon of deities).

    No, I say temple building and worship had very little to do with the imaginations of children. There is no historical record that implies we had religions because of children's imaginations. Instead, I argue that cities were built because the adults believed gods wanted it.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  8. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Sure my response was related primarily to the fire storys.
    alex
     
  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Well, I've seen the argument that early adult humans were very much like children are today. So in that sense you can also argue that early myths are children's stories. And arguably fire-myths are probably one of the first we adapted.

    But these childlike adult humans also, later, went to a whole lot of trouble and effort to crawl through caves and paint animals on the walls of inner chambers, using only crude oil lamps to see with. It was dangerous and difficult getting into these caves, and probably not something a child would want to do, unless accompanied by an adult.
     
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    8,502
    I doubt if many folk think what must have been involved, as you mention their lighting ... we think little about the problem they faced with lighting.

    Children going into caves would not surprise me when I recall the crazy things I did as a kid ..plus knowing your way deep into a cave may have been a useful survival tool for various reasons...but the paintings suggest a mature artist.

    And when you look at cave paintings in detail they are really, mostly, extrodinary well done, and you see an expression that you won't always find in later sophisticated civilizations...

    Martin Sweatmans hypothesis that cave art was astrology based I find fascinating...I enjoy astronomy and if you even utter the word astrology in the presence of another astronomer they near bust with exasperation however I am interested in early astrology, not your "oh I am a Capricorn" stuff but at a higher level of the zodiac being used as a calender and also how astrology lead to the various human gods around the Mediterranean where the invented gods were Sun like with 12 followers, the death and resurrection after three days etc...I am fascinated that today's predominate religions and their followers don't seem to have any idea where their religions came from.

    It seems from studying my planetarium that the first human Sun god story must have been written pretty much from a position on the globe at or very near the great pyramid as this is the only place it seems the Sun can be on the cross...the Sun would appear on the Southern Cross at the great pyramid...mind you my investigation here is casual and I need to revisit the matter...

    Alex
     
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Whatever we might hypothesize today about what the art really represents, it nonetheless is an important historical "document". Also you have to ask, what motivated the effort?
    What made the cave-painters think it was worth the trouble?

    What about the art that predates the first animal figures, the hand outlines? What was that really about, apart from "I was here"?
    And did they have any conception of how permanent their art would be, did they think that much about the future or the future of their art? Or that the animals would be extinct in the future (not very likely) . . .
     
  12. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    7,832
    My conjecture is that the cave-painters took the trouble because they believed it was important. They might have been told to do it by the shaman, who had seen the need to appease the animal spirits. It's kind of an apology: "Look, sorry about killing some of you the other day, but here's a nice picture of one of you looking big and strong, this one won't die, and we'll be back to draw some more".

    In a lot of the animal art, if human figures appear they don't look big or strong, like their figures are meant to depict a kind of homage to the more resplendent ones.
    And maybe the caves were early kinds of cathedral, the art was an early form of religious iconography--animal sainthood.
     
  13. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    The anthropology of human worshipfulness, as I pointed out, began with the painting and decoration of our bodies. So we literally created something in our own image; painting a painted man on some rock, is like painting a religious icon (modulo some centuries of worship).

    So what does theism want us to believe about a real God? It's the same stuff, but repainted so to speak.
    Atheism or anti-theism is just saying that's all God is, an anthropological by-product of civilisation; they don't concern themselves with the reasons civilisation got started.
    The cave-painters were hunters of the animals they painted, hunting was a dangerous business apparently for the average group of Paleolithic humans in the Eurasian steppes, at the time. So why worship animal spirits? How did that help?

    If these people were trying to keep the faith, what was it?
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,089
    Let's check history (Greek mythology),

    https://greatgreekmyths.weebly.com/greek-gods-and-goddesses.html
     
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    During the Paleolithic, societies were largely monocultural. It wasn't until the onset of agriculture and metallurgy that new different cultures emerged. One supposes that these adopted old Paleolithic belief systems.

    When were the stellar constellations given names? Why is there a hunter in the sky (Orion) and an array of prey animals (a ram, a bull, a goat etc)? Again, how did this help the hunters on the Eurasian steppes? What about those cultures that have different names for the constellations, like the Polynesians? Why do this?

    If you asked a stone age human if they know God is real, they might give an answer about hunting animals--God is real because we can hunt and successfully kill an animal, and all of us survive the hunt and eat, and of course, celebrate with some kind of ceremony in which we thank the animal's spirit.
     
  16. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    To make remembering them easier?
    Alex
     
  17. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    7,832
    The thing about modern interpretations of early cultures, how they evolved and how mythologies became organised religions, discussion is somewhat hampered by most people's stunning ignorance of what early humans were like, or even how they lived.

    What motivated them to see a hunter (i.e. one of themselves) in a group of stars? Did the naming of constellations happen before, during, or after the stone age? Why was it important?
     
  18. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    7,832
    My thesis is along the lines:

    We started to reason that we, as animals, were different to other animals. This probably started when we 'invented' fire-making, and the associated kit the average human requires--the toolkit.

    Other animals can't do what we did like, at least a million years BP. We also can paint ourselves and rock walls, for which we need a different kit, and where fire is a source of illumination. The art developed into quite sophisticated, "magnificent" works; some of the paintings imply a skill that must have involved a lot of practice, which implies the best artists were chosen. Possibly.

    So, we see a need to apologise, to other animals at first, for being more, intelligent. Religions extend this idea of having to apologise for being human, by expecting us to have faith in a benevolent God, who after all created the world and the animals, so us too.
     
  19. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    8,502
    Absolutely.

    One thing that gets me is they find a body buried with flowers and conclude it is ceremonial when it is more probable they buried the body and put in flowers to stop bears etc coming around...think of how you act if out in the bush...you bury any meat or bones etc to stop wild dogs coming into camp.

    As to naming groups of stars..I often give a little group a name because it reminds me of something...like the Jewel Box I would call it "the traffic lights" and it is placed near a dark dust cloud so it's on stop from them...memory tricks...and now when I look up what I see tells me it is going to get cold...

    Alex
     
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,089
    I agree. The moment we started to purposefully control our natural environment, we set ourselves apart from other animals. IMO the story of Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge, is the allegory of that event.

    We do not know exactly when homo sapiens appeared, but we do know what caused it. It is the fusion of two chromosomes (2p and 2q) in our ancestor to form chromosome 2 in homo sapiens. This is why the only non-trivial difference between human and other great apes is the number of chromosomes.

    Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes

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    Conclusion,
    http://www.evolutionpages.com/chromosome_2.htm
     
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    7,832
    When the first H sapiens appeared, there were other species of early humans around. The people who left Africa about 200 kya migrated into Eurasia through Anatolia (so the paleontologists say). When they arrived in mammoth country, they met other early humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans.

    All the early humans were hunters, but H sapiens was better at it, and used better weapons. Eventually we replaced the other species; there may have been climate change involved in their disappearance, as well as H sapiens being better at hunting. How did we deal with their disappearance---was there any 'racial' guilt? Or weren't we sophisticated enough to need to explain their demise? Did we even notice?

    Anyways, this idea that humans perceived they were smarter, or at least different, than other animals. Did that lead to the idea that we had been set apart from them, somehow. Did we believe we stole fire, because that belief supports the other idea of being different? Why was it stolen and not just bestowed? Why is it about being guilty of a crime--theft?

    . . . And my answer is, we believed fire was stolen because then we assume guilt, which gives us motivation to apologise. We've been apologising for a really long time.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    8,502
    They were probably just another thing that we hunted.... probably for food.
    Alex
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,089
    Sorry, I should have just said "Humans". Of the known fossils that might have been Homo Erectus.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo

    One thing is abundantly clear, all humans have one less pair of chromosomes than all the other great apes and common ancestors. It is the mutation of chromosome 2 that altered the hominid DNA growth pattern and produced the first human hybrid species. There is irrefutable proof. See post# 357.
     

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