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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: 7/4/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 458 times Debate No: 116258
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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.


Since your species is a bit inept at understanding the importance of "Too Long; Didn't Read", I shall do one for you.

TL;DR = An incomplete and impotent argument that attempts to group all human creatures into an early shaman based religion from which "God/s" arise from "The First Conman" lying about dreams.

"Why do you think God was invented?"

Argumentative Answer: You assume God was invented, you flawed biological beings tend to make mistakes such as this.

True Answer: To take part in the lives of the creatures.

"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."

Obvious Insult: This person LIKES the idea that is based on basic human weakness. They have revealed themselves as an enemy.

Do not waste your brain cells reading the Instigator's article, here is why in a short quote:

"At some point in human history, some human decided to lie and claim that they could understand those nocturnal communications."

Response with Pity: Yes, this probably happened in more than a few cases when you include the entirety of the human creatures, but the fault lies with the jump to the next step. The article is slanted negatively towards any spiritual religion by trying to inject that a conman took advantage of the shamanistic role, which was not even a universal practice of all human creatures during that time.

I will spend no more time on that pathetic article, re-read it if you don't realize how slanted it is, and take off your veil this time, if you can.

I will leave you with a true quote that won't reduce your I.Q., and the real reason God was invented:

"Philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote:

"'Religion is based...mainly upon fear...fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.... My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.'"

Debate Round No. 1


Since the original article is completely fine and understandable and has been posted more than any other article, by far I might add and that I have used as people like to shut it down because they have 0% of the answers just like you, and just because you, a teeny bopper most likely, but one thing is for sure you like they do not understand it, and another thing for sure is that I am not going to bite into your tragic neanderthal mind numbing Partridge Family yodeling grunge country opera juvenile hall illustration of first grade stick figure attempts to sway the topic (bad idea) from any proper course of direction, the article and especially the final question will remain intact for you to answer, or leave. In other words, everything you tried to panhandle for your gold in your cavity's in RD1 will be discarded and urinated upon as you made the very same plastic hard hat yamika attempt to do as such but failed.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by AKMath 3 years ago

Are you going to engage in the debate request I sent you?
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 3 years ago
If you bothered to read he cannot BE ETERNAL if He HAD A BEGINNING!
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
Hmmmm I truly have no idea. But I do know that I have unblocked you. Its awfully odd because you should be able to accept any amount of debates with me I would guess?
Posted by AKMath 3 years ago
I can't accept any debates with you as I have two debates with you in it. It says you cannot accept this debate because you are currently engaged in a debate with Backwardseden. In one I forfeited, and in one you did. What should I do?
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
Debating pals? Only if you use intelligence and an education and you under no circumstance make things up from the top of your head and thus invent excuses, use phenomenally bad judgement that is completely immoral as you have previously done, in which I ab-so-lu-te-ly will not tolerate. Because I do know better. I've been doing this for far to long (43+ years), have talked with roughly 22,000 people on the subject of religion and christianity, I do have a moral compass and I do know better. god is completely immoral. You can in no possible way refer to him as being able to do whatever he wants with me and get away with it. That's a deal breaker. Also if you see that I am referring to something such as an article, then refer to that subject matter, do not refer to me. K? Now no offence, but I do know your religion A LOT better than you do. So don't get cocky and pretend that you know it better than I as most do which is in most cases their downfall. And for god's sakes, please don't take every single one of my debates up! OK thanx. And always try your best to out-wit me, puns included if you want! Always try to be a lot smarter, more educated and more intelligent than myself. The best way to do that is to bring in some evidence and back up what you say. Nearly 100% of those that I have debated don't. They have very shoddy evidence at best, if that. They cannot back up what they say. It is thee very reason why they have no friends or loved ones. Its something I learned in college and its very easy to spot. So DON'T DO IT. Come prepared! I do. I've learned from this college professor that if I cannot back up what I have to say with solid evidence, then I have no business in being in that conversation. He's right. Teachers will spot it with an instant F. Friends and loved ones will leave you. And who would want to hang around with someone who gives utter B.S.? So enough of my lecture. I hope you get where I am coming from. Please tc and have fun -Michael
Posted by AKMath 3 years ago
Thank you so much. I really appreciate this. I hope we become "debating pals" soon. I"m really avid about religion however I do admit that does blind me on some things like the Hod killing babies. I have no idea how that"s justifiable. I"d like for you to know I appreciate you helping me realize the faulty ways in my religion.

Thanks (your friend),

P.S. What do you mean you didn"t create the article?
I totally understand your feelings as it"s a beutiful piece of persuasive literature. This one will be a challenge.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
@AKMath - I have unblocked you. Don't make me regret it. Now pay attention to the article. And make your comments on the article. Do not address me on it because I did not create the article and you have no idea as to my feelings towards it.
Posted by AKMath 3 years ago
If you will so kindly let me accept this debate it would be an honor Backwardseden. I realize how horrible and immoral my previous arguments were. I fully take back things I have said such as, it's okay if God kills women and children, and not fully disproving your arguments. I also apologize for not watching all and only one of your videos given in the argument. With all that said, I've finally gotten my sh*t straight, and my deepest apologies. I can totally understand if you don't want to debate me.

AKmath :(
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