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Where did God come from? A dream, a lie, and an explanation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 605 times Debate No: 113426
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Taken from "The Atheist Republic"
Where did god come from? To Atheist Republic contributor Dean Van Drasek, the answer is simple: a dream, a lie, and an explanation.

You may have come across this topic in books and articles about religion, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, comparative mythology/religion, archeology, and even popular science books. Sadly, there is no answer, as it's buried in the depths of time before humans developed writing, and probably even before there was cave painting. I am not an expert in any of these fields, but I do have some ideas that I find more persuasive than others. Nothing here is original, and it's been picked from a wide variety of sources.

Intelligence in apes seems to be linked to brain size, at least when cross-referenced with technological accomplishments. Hominid's brains in the genus homo developed slowly until about 200,000 years ago. This marked the arrival of our species of hominid, homo sapiens. I suspect that the belief in the supernatural may have been as early as this.

Every human society ever discovered has had some belief in the supernatural. So where does this come from? The answer I find most persuasive is because we, like other animals, dream, but we had the intelligence to question what was the source for this experience.

The origin of gods lies in the belief in spirits, which is the belief that the experience of the mind in dreams was an externally originated experience. Many early cultures (which we know about through their written records) did not know that human thoughts were derived internally from the brain. By the time writing evolved, it was a well-established concept that dreams were frequently thought of as messages from the gods or another outside sources.

All other human sensory perceptions, such as sight, sound, taste and touch, come from external stimulants. When we are awake and thinking, we do not experience purely mental sensory events. Waking memory and dreams use different parts of the brain, which is why dreams can seem so real compared to mere memory. Dreams often use the same parts of the brain which are responsible for the processing of normal sensory signals, such as sight. This, the neurological experience is nearly the same.

In our dreams, which can be fearsomely realistic, we often see our dead family and friends. This presented our ancestors with a logical conundrum, as they "knew" their loved ones are dead, but they could see and hear and may even touch them in their dreams. So without other references, if we see what is real, and in our sleep we "see" those who are dead, then there must be something present that we can't see during the daytime. So an assumption that nocturnal senses would also be stimulated by external forces would be logical.

What happened next was pure human ingenuity. People were seeing these images in dreams, and could not always understand them. At some point in human history, some human decided to lie and claim that they could understand those nocturnal communications. They could interpret the cryptic messages from the dead friends or relatives, or they might even be able to communicate with them or channel them. The first conman was born, who no longer had to hunt or be productive for a living, but who could use their imagination and get the tribe (who more honestly did not claim to be able to understand or speak to these dream-people) to accord them a high status. Thus, the first shamans evolved within the tribes. It is an intrinsic part of almost every human culture, even our modern popular one (just look at all the movies and TV shows where people talk to ghosts and spirits). When we see someone today supposedly channeling the spirit of the dead, we are seeing a relic of humanity going back perhaps as far as 150,000 years or more.

But how to get from spirits of the dead to gods? I like the idea that is based on a basic human weakness that exists still today. People in authority don't like to admit ignorance, because they are afraid this will weaken the regard that others have for them. It would be natural for the tribe to ask the shaman questions such as: Where does the lightning come from? Why does the wind blow? How can I save my sick child? The shaman had no way to answer these questions, but they didn't want to admit this, so they made up an answer based on what people already believed and they knew worked for them within the community: namely, that these other occurrences were also the result of the actions or omissions of spirits, same as in the dreams, but stronger ones. As the lies multiplied and were retold over time, these spirits often became gods. Early recorded religions had thousands of such spirit gods, in the tress, rocks, waters, clouds, animals, etc.

As the explanations got more complex, and writing allowed the stories of the shamans and their ritualistic prescriptions to be recorded, the gods became more complex, rituals more refined, and the priesthood more powerful and organized. Out of this probably arose the institution of monarchy, where a secular ruler was in part entitled to the obedience of the people due to the favor of the imaginary gods. At some point, leadership became hereditary, which is not something we see in most other ape species, where any male can contend for the top spot. But at some point in human history, we decided that a person was entitled to rule over others not because of their own capabilities and merit, but because of their lineage - probably one of the worst ideas in all of human history. At that point, the shaman and the ruling class recognized that they had the same interest in promoting the religion of the gods which kept both in power and affluence.

So why do we have gods? Because we dream, and some people are very imaginative liars, and as we all know, any lie told often enough and loud enough tends to be accepted by many people as the truth.

Why do you think god was invented?

dsjpk5 will not be allowed to vote in the voting process.


"Y o u s m e l l" - Garfielf

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Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 3 years ago
Isaiah 6
9 He said, "Go and tell this people:

""Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving."
Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.[a]
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed."
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
backwardseden, forget you. You piss me off. . . always running down everyone while never attempting to answer my thoughts. I'm blocking you for good.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
* - Atheist Debates 1 3:00 (which is EXACTLY what you are doing), 4:15 (which is why god would never choose text as a form of communication), 10:45 (predictions NEED to be time restrictive. They cannot be open ended), 11:00 (They need to be public knowledge. Here you fail miserably. Back then. Nope. Now. Nope.) 12:30 (prophecies cannot be something that we can publically manipulate and achieve), 13:00 (they need to be obscured in some way), 17:00 (worst case scenario no prophecy has ever been fulfilled), 18:15 (If you are going to propose that god is the answer or some other supernatural power" that"s something YOU NEED TO DEMONSTRATE), 18:30 (how did these people know? What make you think these people knew?), 19:00 (before anything can be done it must first be demonstrated tha god or a god exists), (best case scenario there"s still no how or why anybody would have the NEED to make predictions), 21:15 (science), 23:15 (James Randi $1 million prize), 24:45 (prophecies cannot be used as a reasonable argument for the sources they are designed to support for), 28:30 (far far worse because if there is a god, he knows that this video is being produced meaning god IS a con artist) 30:10 (we have yet to confirm anything supernatural)
* - Kris 12:15
* - Stephanie Thomason vs Matt Dillahunty, or how not to debate an Atheist! (skip the first 7 minutes. Regardless once it gets going its hilarious!)

See, I unlike you can back up what I say with rock solid evidence. You have back upped NADA, 0, NOTHING. But that's the -so-called christian way.
Prophecy? No prophecy has ---ever--- come true from ---any--- religion especially christianity. That BOP lies upon you to prove that it has. No exceptions. None. Gosh golly, James Randi is offering a $1 million prize for the very first person to prove the supernatural. Duh. Its NEVER happened!!
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
"the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form. The super bacteria are not evolving, they are adapting. If they would have been evolving, then they would have become super bacteria hundreds of years ago," Oh really? That only shows how utterly stupid and totally ignorant you truly are considering the absolute fact that antibiotics were not used to treat infections until the 1900's on anything that is considered to be anywhere close to a mass scale, DO YOU EVEN F--KING KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?
And this is an easy google...
When was the first use of antibiotics?
Penicillin was the first antibiotic, discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1929, but it was not until the early 1940s that its true potential was acknowledged and large scale fermentation processes were developed for the production of antibiotics.Oct 8, 1999
Evolution is proven fact as you were just proven wrong and its too bad if you don 't like it. Deal with it teeny bopper rather than flat out inventing excuses.
"Can you disprove that the Bible"s prophecy... yadda yadda yadda" What bible prophecies? Oh you must mean the one(s) you made up from the top of your lil' ole beanie that fits inside of your you know where area even though the burden of proof is always upon you. No exceptions, none. And you don't get to say something happened, just YOU say it happened. But let's make you eat your scrotum soda with a few super easy to understand first grade huggable vidies.
* - Atheist Experience Russell Glasser and Phil Ferguson (this is bran spankin" new and took place on Sunday. You are essentially the caller, just as dimwitted and as purely gullible as he is.)
* - Bible prophesies - No!
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
@Dinis - You are as intelligent as monkey drool. First off, did yah even pay ANY ATTENTION whatsoever to the definition of "superbug"? No. Of course not. You automatically come up with what YOU think should be quantified as to what evolution is without, naturally, having the faintest clue as to what it is. And also by that very thought in your teeny bopper smug little brain, since you didn't look at the videos as well, what you have to say is worthless. You are truly the typical christian (in which there is no such a thing because in no possible way have you given up ALL of your possessions, loved your enemies and you never will, and gotten rid of your family as your totally insane christ demands in which you never will also only to follow him. Well where and how would you do this exactly?) when handed true evidence that will not look at it, because dare you be proven 100% wrong and false as always and slapped in the face with it? Of course not. Also to even degrade you even further, National Geographic is now showing a truly great masterpiece series (10 parts) called "One Strange Rock" which shows irrefutable evolution (that life here on earth comes from exploding stars as one small example), Gaia which is also irrefutable (as another small example) and is told from a very unique point of view - from astronauts as they weigh in their thoughts and ideas as they have all gotten to see earth from a unique perspective. Its also produced by Darren Aronofsky who has directed such masterpieces as Pi, The Fountain and Black Swan. It is hosted by Will Smith. The beautifully shot series, shot all over the world, in which there's been perhaps 2 of your creationist films that have --ever-- done that, because creationism is false and creationists are more interested in money than the truth as they will never put god on trial again, thus that proves them to be false right there, shows earth as one big functioning organism = Gaia in combination with evolution.
Posted by judaism 3 years ago

I have to disagree with you, I love Con's response! It's gold. This fool, who goes around attacking others and calling them retarded, utterly deserves it.

I've had enough of him, he won't debate me because he knows I'll crush him everytime. Period.
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
Nice response Con, he deserves it!
Posted by Dinis 3 years ago
Can you disprove that the Bible"s prophecy regarding Babylon"s fall to be untrue, did it not occur in history and fall by a man named Cyrus?
If you can"t disprove its prophecies, then calling it false is untrue.

Easter bunny, Christmas, and other holidays belong to the false religion of Catholicism, not the Bible.
Posted by Dinis 3 years ago
"a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment."

Due to the increase in use of antibiotics and sanitizers in modern times, bacteria have had to adapt to these new environmental changes.
Evolution would only be true if bacteria would change its traits by itself with no external influences.

"the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth."

"the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form."

The super bacteria are not evolving, they are adapting. If they would have been evolving, then they would have become super bacteria hundreds of years ago, since they would have kept on changing over time.

Evolution overall is still a theory.
Simply, some parts of "Evolution" are fact, but there are many parts that remain empty, controversial, and inconclusive. As well, they fail to provide a reasonable foundation to evolution, and therefore anything being stated afterwards is questionable.
Recent studies have failed to find such a drive toward greater complexity. Dr. Dan McShea, a paleobiologist, examined the fossilized backbones of various mammals; another study focused on mollusk fossils. Neither study found any evidence of an evolutionary drive toward greater complexity. Nor did they find that greater complexity brought any survival advantage. According to The New York Times, experts say that these findings "will come as a surprise to many biologists used to thinking in terms of such trends." Notes the Times: "According to Dr. McShea, the perception of drives toward complexity may be more a reflection of scientists" desires to see some sort of progress in evolution rather than a reflection of any biological reality."

Science does not need to accept it as a scientific fact. But it contains scientific facts that can"t be disproven.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
@Sean.McHale _ I just love garbage scow toxicicas like you WHO CAN'T READ. But that is part of the christian dumpster winy hairpin yodeling grunge country opera that are completely and totally unedumacated and unintelligent like you. Awe gee, what does this debate, which is far far far above your cabbage batbrain state at the very top state? Why it states "Taken from "The Atheist Republic". If you had the brains of your average sewage pipe, they spew into your you know where areas creating a dumpster for nuclear warheads. And when that nuclear war were to ever hit, you'd sleep right through it.
The arguments are 100% truly great, because you in being completely illiterate, why with that big brain you've got, you'd be able to boaster your precious superior ego complex, in which is what your god is all about through his screaming bible and yet you cannot even prove your god even exists, and you'd thus be able to wee wee your way through with your doggie paddle grande and thus become king of the swirls and put the argument from the website to obliteration. So why haven't you done exactly that? Duh. Just because your mind is so shockingly tipsy turvy with nothing holding your meat in, that's not my problem, that's yours.
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