When man became god

Nov 2012
162
USA
#41
Some did literally claim to be related to gods, but it applies to more than just the literal belief that we were divine.
It's about seeing gods in our own image, defining gods with our own attributes, and then asserting that the laws of man are divine law, i.e. organized religion.


Yes, a few individuals did, but that was an outgrowth of the religio-political system in place (Rome, Japan, and we can also argue about the Mandate of Heaven in China for that matter, among others), but in general, men might have considered themselves part of some divine plan but rarely made the mistake of declaring themselves divine. Ok, there is the matter of Niyazov more recently. But he was not too sane by all accounts, or maybe he was just too enamored of himself to do a reality check now and again.

How else can those who actually believe in gods view them, if not as images of themselves. If we could conceive of something outside our realm of experience in regard to gods, the religions we have to deal with might not be what they are.

Culture and religion are so closely intertwined that they reflect and reinforce each other’s norms and values. This in turn is then reflected in nationalist ideologies of countries with clear majorities and causes problems when the majority – minority paradigm shifts and “new” religions are introduced. Just look at the anxiety Islam is causing in the western hemisphere.

To me this is the problem, the identification construct that equates nation—religion—ethnocentrism—xenophobia—and the general close-mindedness that plagues too many. So seeing god in your own image is a problem, because it leaves no room for the OTHER—the gods and the people who represent a different image.
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#43


Yes, a few individuals did, but that was an outgrowth of the religio-political system in place (Rome, Japan, and we can also argue about the Mandate of Heaven in China for that matter, among others), but in general, men might have considered themselves part of some divine plan but rarely made the mistake of declaring themselves divine. Ok, there is the matter of Niyazov more recently. But he was not too sane by all accounts, or maybe he was just too enamored of himself to do a reality check now and again.

How else can those who actually believe in gods view them, if not as images of themselves. If we could conceive of something outside our realm of experience in regard to gods, the religions we have to deal with might not be what they are.

Culture and religion are so closely intertwined that they reflect and reinforce each other’s norms and values. This in turn is then reflected in nationalist ideologies of countries with clear majorities and causes problems when the majority – minority paradigm shifts and “new” religions are introduced. Just look at the anxiety Islam is causing in the western hemisphere.

To me this is the problem, the identification construct that equates nation—religion—ethnocentrism—xenophobia—and the general close-mindedness that plagues too many. So seeing god in your own image is a problem, because it leaves no room for the OTHER—the gods and the people who represent a different image.
Clearly people do believe themselves to be divine. Or at least believe their minds are an authority on the divine. How else would we know a single thing about gods?

Obviously when the Babylonians made depictions of god it was modeled after a Babylonian. When the Babylonian god speaks, the words it utters were the Babylonian language and about things culturally specific to Babylon.

Same with every civilization around the globe.
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#44
silkroad said:
To me this is the problem, the identification construct that equates nation—religion—ethnocentrism—xenophobia—and the general close-mindedness that plagues too many. So seeing god in your own image is a problem, because it leaves no room for the OTHER—the gods and the people who represent a different image.
I'm not so much looking at problems, but more of the evolution of religious belief. How our modern ideas are rooted in ancient ones. How various beliefs are connected, but we are for the most part completely ignorant to the history of our beliefs.
 
Nov 2012
162
USA
#45
Concerning the Babylonians and others who personified gods, they did not see themselves being divine and therefore the model for gods, rather they saw the gods modeling humans (who were there to serve them] after themselves.
I'm not so much looking at problems, but more of the evolution of religious belief. How our modern ideas are rooted in ancient ones. How various beliefs are connected, but we are for the most part completely ignorant to the history of our beliefs.
I doubt that all of us are ignorant of our various belief systems. After all, there has been enough theoretical and historical work done in regards to the study of religious development and historical antecedents. There are thousands of academic books, essays, articles, and studies available that anyone can peruse if one is so inclined.

The body of work available starting with Animism and ending with Zoroastrianism is daunting, that is why most religious studies scholars usually limit themselves to just one religious tradition, or even just one particular field within one. If people are ignorant, then it is because they want to be, not because there is no information available.
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#47
Silkroad said:
Concerning the Babylonians and others who personified gods, they did not see themselves being divine and therefore the model for gods, rather they saw the gods modeling humans (who were there to serve them] after themselves.
I am speaking more figuratively than literally, though there are people who literally saw themselves as divine and literally believed they descended from gods. What I mean is that man gave god form by drawing himself, he gave god a voice by speaking for god. Man became an authority on gods by projecting himself onto nature, thus in an abstract sense man became god.

I doubt that all of us are ignorant of our various belief systems. After all, there has been enough theoretical and historical work done in regards to the study of religious development and historical antecedents. There are thousands of academic books, essays, articles, and studies available that anyone can peruse if one is so inclined.

The body of work available starting with Animism and ending with Zoroastrianism is daunting, that is why most religious studies scholars usually limit themselves to just one religious tradition, or even just one particular field within one. If people are ignorant, then it is because they want to be, not because there is no information available.
Do you doubt that? Good. I hope you can contribute more to this topic in that case. :)
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#48
Silkroad said:
Concerning the Babylonians and others who personified gods, they did not see themselves being divine
Even today, it is pretty common place for people to believe that their own minds are an authority on the reality of the supernatural.
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#49
I understand, the problem is that when religion created a God in our own image then it created a being that can't be all powerful or present everywhere at the same time. There may be a God, but the God that religion created, can not exist.
I don't want to discourage any discussions that are responding to this from a religious point of view, but I am much more interested in the social, cultural, economic, and historic pressures that lead man to develop institutionalized religion.

Naturally, I would assume that people don't believe that the ancient Babylonian religion is true, as it is not practiced anymore.
 
Jun 2011
1,439
#50
Jared Diamond is very, very far from being an archeologist which is what you originally drew your post from. "According to archeologists" is what you said.

Even if you were capable of scrounging up one archeologist to agree with you, you still would be way outside of the mainstream archeological opinion and theories. Furthermore, if you could do it, you wouldn't find a theory supported by facts. As I stated in my previous post it's impossible to know the mindset of an individual from the time period you are talking about. There's no way of knowing if they died from war or murder. It's just conjecture.

Archeologists don't agree with your basis or conclusion.