When man became god

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#11
Good saying and very true.

It sure would be an ego trip!

Imagine a modern day office worker, really nice guy, he gets promoted each year then eventually becomes manager. Instead of using his authority in a productive way for the company, it starts to inflate his ego like it is all about him - rather than his skills. He turns into a complete bastard on an ego trip. This is 2012 - an average Joe can have any sort of power go to their heads!

Now imagine, no human society has ever existed to such a degree. No monarchy, no ruling class. Just random tribal bickering and in a manner of speaking complete anarchy. Now imagine running a huge settlement of people where you are like their king, their god? It may be that the 'settlers' started to worship these leading warriors (I think we can agree they will have been great warriors;)) and unintentionally/ or maybe intentionally? turned these leaders into divine people? Remember, even now, people like to worship and admire. If not god then a celebrity, a monarch, a movies star or a scientist, there are always people who admire others to such a degree that it is like worshipping. We seem to be programmed this way. Think of crushes teens have with posters all over their walls, all they do is dream to meet these pop stars and cry when they go to a concert. I must admit, I never was one of those types, but you get the picture? Look how people worship the Pope, how people gather in huge crowds to wave at monarchs as they pass them by. People love to admire, maybe it is this admiration of ancient leaders which helped drive their divinity beliefs to surface?

Just speculating here Rasta.:) ;)
I think you're right on the money, and bring up some excellent points. :)

Being successful in battle would probably prove to many people (including the victors) that the gods were on the victor's side. Who can argue with success?

That person may even come to believe that they have a direct connection to the gods, so I can see how this could develop without any intentional deception. This is a pattern that we can see was developed all over the globe, so it was an apparently successful model.

Divine dictatorships are certainly an effective method to get things done.
 
Sep 2011
24,135
------------
#12
I think you're right on the money, and bring up some excellent points. :)

Being successful in battle would probably prove to many people (including the victors) that the gods were on the victor's side. Who can argue with success?

That person may even come to believe that they have a direct connection to the gods, so I can see how this could develop without any intentional deception. This is a pattern that we can see was developed all over the globe, so it was an apparently successful model.

Divine dictatorships are certainly an effective method to get things done.
Thanks Rasta, glad my speculation here is not just gibberish for once. lol ;)

I totally agree with you about the divine feelings not being intentional. I think it is something that developed in a natural way. As you say, it happened all over the world, so it could be nothing more than a natural development of the human mind and the social consciousness growing.
 
Aug 2012
585
Indiana
#13
Man started to see himself as divine, something distinct from nature. Thus man became god and religion became a tool to impose order onto society.
Do you at least believe that there is some form of existence beyond this? Because if this is it, I am seriously disappointed. Besides, man really is pitiful if he thinks he is a god. I can't imagine a god wiping his butt.
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#14
USMC said:
Do you at least believe that there is some form of existence beyond this?
I do not. I believe what we know.

Because if this is it, I am seriously disappointed. Besides, man really is pitiful if he thinks he is a god. I can't imagine a god wiping his butt.
Our modern concept of god ultimately is based on previous belief systems. God being though of as a loving father with a metaphysical home who has emotions such as love and anger ultimately stems from humans projecting our own characteristics onto the divine, IMO.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
23,747
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#15
I would say that in early ancient Egypt there is an intermediate step from the tribal chief and the Pharaoh with divine characteristics.

Until the dynasty zero [or pre dynastic period] the Pharaoh was also identified with the animals "carrying" the "powers". About this it's interesting to note that the conception of religion in Egypt was more similar to magics. The object was the relation between reality and the divine sphere, not exactly the worship of the divine itself.

Anyway, Horo Crocodile or Horo Scorpion were Kings who used the images of such symbolic and magic animals [so religious since between magic and religious in the mind of an ancient Egyptian there was substantially no difference, to say all the usage of the modern term "religion" is a bit out of context for that environment, anyway it's acceptable in the discussion].

So I see a kind of path passing from the individuation of the natural "powers" [of any level of existence] with living beings [animals]. Then there has been the transmission of "deity" [about ancient Egypt it would be more suitable to say "magic status"] to the Pharaoh with no more need for identification with a symbol, at list in the dynastic name. Actually Pharaohs kept on being "Horo", that is to say "hawk". So that in reality the animal symbolism remained there, in the background.

Since the Egyptian culture received an influence from central Africa in the Neolithic [see sites like Nabta Playa] is not out of context to make the hypothesis that there was a connection with shamanism. In fact drugs inducted "dreams" in which humans appeared with animal characteristics. Theriomorphs figures were common in those experience. About this note the drawing on the walls of the caves from the neolithic age [in Africa as in Europe].
 
Jan 2011
1,030
FRANCE
#16
As man started settling into agricultural communities, for the first time in human history, man became sedentary. As agriculture allowed a surplus of food, populations boomed and unrelated family groups started living in much closer proximity to one another and in a much higher concentration.
...
It is at this time that we see the emergence of a ruling class in society, most likely a warrior class, and the emergence of organized religion. The ruling class legitimized their authority by divine providence and established laws to keep peace in this new culture. The law of man became divine law.

Interestingly it is also at this time that gods start taking the form of man. Contrast the totemic images of animals in Gobekli with images of the divine in Mesopotamia and Egypt. A hierarchy of gods were developed which interestingly mirror the hierarchy of men in society. The ruling class would often claim to be direct descendants of the ruling god.

Man started to see himself as divine, something distinct from nature. Thus man became god and religion became a tool to impose order onto society.
It's a fact that anthropomorphic Gods arrived quite lately, consistently with more civilized people. But I don't think that man started to see himself as divine.

The essence of a God is to have something more than a man. He has to be or immortal or/and omnipotent, or something else that man doesn’t have: He must have some kind of supernatural ability.
If not, he is not a God, he is a natural plant, or a natural animal, or he is a man.

Before the civilization was sufficiently developed, man was frightened by natural events, and because he couldn’t explain them, he imagined that sun, thunder, water could be Gods. But man began to get accustomed to it and to use these natural powers to his profit. And what was believed as supernatural became natural.

When man acquired the ability to grow plants and to domesticate animals, these plants and animals lost their capacity to impress man, and lost their possibility to be taken as Gods.

So the only possibility for man to imagine a God was to imagine a man with supernatural abilities. That was the birth of anthropomorphic gods.
 

Gudenrath

Ad Honorem
May 2012
2,626
Denmark
#17
According to archeologists, murder was the leading cause of death during the Neolithic period.
Sources for that? I would question the basis that such a claim would be made upon, as every archaeologist knows that they can never be sure the finds they make are so representative for the culture they investigate that they can make such generalised postulates.
 
Jun 2011
1,439
#18
As man started settling into agricultural communities, for the first time in human history, man became sedentary. As agriculture allowed a surplus of food, populations boomed and unrelated family groups started living in much closer proximity to one another and in a much higher concentration.

Naturally, this would lead to increased conflict. According to archeologists, murder was the leading cause of death during the Neolithic period. People had been living in tribes for hundreds of thousands of years and now several tribes were crammed into settlements. A new society was being born and a new social order was needed.

It is at this time that we see the emergence of a ruling class in society, most likely a warrior class, and the emergence of organized religion. The ruling class legitimized their authority by divine providence and established laws to keep peace in this new culture. The law of man became divine law.

Interestingly it is also at this time that gods start taking the form of man. Contrast the totemic images of animals in Gobekli with images of the divine in Mesopotamia and Egypt. A hierarchy of gods were developed which interestingly mirror the hierarchy of men in society. The ruling class would often claim to be direct descendants of the ruling god.

Man started to see himself as divine, something distinct from nature. Thus man became god and religion became a tool to impose order onto society.
I question much of what you are saying. Your hypothesis is unsound.

First off, when referring to the human race you do not say man. Man implies male. You are overusing the word man.

Religion was present before agriculture.

The idea that Neolithic people were "murders" is unfounded. There's no way of telling by material culture why a person was killed. We cannot enter into the psyche and know the answer. Murder implies intent and intent cannot be proven. Furthermore, we don't know why a person was killed. Was it due to an intentional murder one on one (again, we can't answer that) or was it due to tribal warfare? Was it accidental? Etc.

War and killing was common prior to the Neolithic period, when humans were in smaller groups.
 

Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
#19
Perhaps it wasn't so much turning a blind eye to nature and gazing to the God in the mirror, which led to personified deities and organized religion, but rather man always looking around him, trying to explain and comprehend what is there and where he belongs and why and such and so further.

In earlier times people just were wandering about in a (comparatively)semi-conscious dream-state, completely unstructuralized at that, mind you and what they mostly saw was animals and plants and a few other primates tagging along. Who knows what they were thinking?

Well, they probally weren't all too different from us so it's quite obvious what they were thinking of mostly. Satisfying their needs in every way. To make a long story short in the "good spots" the people grew abundant and in great numbers. Much more than before their world was made up of other people, going about their bloody bussiness.
 
Nov 2012
162
USA
#20
The gods of ancient civilizations were conceived of and treated like immortal, capricious, uber-humans who used humans as slaves and servants. The gods needed to be appeased and bargains were struck with them to ensure favorable outcomes to lives daily foibles. When the household gods did not deliver, then the contract that individual or family had with the particular deity was broken—literally as the clay tablet shard caches found in and around housing and temples attest to. The state gods, those whose representatives were kings and queens and who were served by priestly classes who were hierarchically ordered, were in charge of the fate of city states.

Humans did not see themselves as divine; they merely understood themselves to be at the mercy and the whims of their gods. And so they used incantations/prayers, written contracts that could be broken, and sacrifices to entice the gods to favor them.

Later, with the advent of Zoroastrianism, and its idea of humans possessing the divine spark and the free will to do with it as they saw fit, did people start to move away from the model that looked at gods as if they were patrons and humans who were their clients and religions became less anthropomorphic. This is then the time during which Judaism evolved from a small tribal religion to an universal religious tradition with a formal framework.