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mazingerz88's avatar

Could there be a chance religion is merely man made-?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18976points) March 23rd, 2011

Sometimes I think about a scenario that happened when men and women still dwell in caves and naturally a human being will die and someone who is emotionally attached to this human will start bugging the heck out of the oldest human in their caveburbia, yes caveburbia…as to what happens now and where will his or her mate, or his or her little human end up going-?
Finally the oldest caveburbian blurts out, UP THERE IN THE SKY, THERE LIVES THE ONE WHO CREATED ALL, BUG THE HECK OUT OF HIM-!

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73 Answers

klutzaroo's avatar

Absolutely. Religion is a purely man-made phenomenon. Humans have the need to feel like there’s someone else in charge, someone greater than themselves, someone to control the uncontrollable. They created religion to fill that need.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I’ve always believed that religion is man’s creation. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I believe it was just created to give humans a sense of purpose and a reason to be morally sound.

JLeslie's avatar

Of course.

JmacOroni's avatar

Without a doubt in my mind.

anartist's avatar

could there be a chance it is not?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Why wouldn’t there be a change that religion is man-made?

mazingerz88's avatar

@klutzaroo hi, so is this the reason why there are more God believers than not-?

@KatetheGreat hello, I do apologize but you do have a great smile…

klutzaroo's avatar

Oh, and sociopaths for as long as there have been sociopaths have abused religion to put themselves above other people to lead and be followed, setting themselves up as the mouthpieces of God so that their own desires are followed. People who felt that they were special and their opinion is valuable enough that everyone should hear it, their ideas about behavior for others (and generally not themselves, not leading by example) should be followed have abused religion to do things like write the rules for behavior and declare them the word of God.

Religious leaders, for all time, have had both men of conviction and men of questionable sanity and motivations. I prefer to consider all of them the latter unless they can prove themselves to be the former.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@mazingerz88 Apologize for what? Thanks for the compliment :)

Summum's avatar

absolutely religion is man made where else did it come from?

mazingerz88's avatar

@anartist don’t you think there is at least a chance of a god existing-? How could we really know for sure without any speck of a doubt-?

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Religion is a construct of man. Evolved in to a tool to keep the ignorant subservient. The more educated people become, the less inclined to believe in the big skydaddy. Now before I get jumped on about the ignorant comment, I was more referring to the dark ages. Although sometimes I wonder.

everephebe's avatar

I’m afraid that there is no chance that religion wasn’t man made.
It just isn’t possible for it to have been anything else. All religion was man-ufactured. It’s plain and undeniable historical fact.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs About the 5 through the 15th century. Europe.

Summum's avatar

Now to further my comment about religion being man made. There is an inherent need inside of man to have a religion and that is NOT man made. Religion was and is a way to satisfy that inherent need in mankind. That does not mean that there was not someone that brought mankind on this planet and gave them the life and experiences that we have. It only means that we are trying to find reason for us, reason for life, reason for being, reason for the Universe. We are a very inquisitive species and because we HAVE conscientious there is more to use than mere Mortals we are Universal, dynamic, exceptional, existence, life and connected to all life that exists and all life is just that everything that exists is life. We are eternal and will ever be.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet hey thanks for posting…and yes what about the way men brushed aside women when it comes to religion. Mary Magdalene a prostitute then turns out she isn’t-?

JmacOroni's avatar

Just for the record, I do not have a “need” inside of me for religion. Just pointing that out.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@mazingerz88 Well, it was a male dominated society in the time of Christ. From what I have read of Mary Magdalene, the other apostles were jealous of her because Jesus seemed to favor her. Besides Mary M. Think about the gospels omitted when the new testament was created. What was omitted didn’t fit the plan I guess.

Summum's avatar

Just for the record what I mean to say is that we all have a need to find out about us and where, who and what we are and that has been religion for the most part and man created it for that need.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Summum ok…but that inherent need that is not man made, could that originated by a creator entity-?

Summum's avatar

Absolutely but I would not call him the creator as much as an organizer that brought us to this existance because we have always existed as he has. We are like beings but have not progressed to his level.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet “Many modern scholars who study the era tend to avoid the term [Dark Ages] altogether for its negative connotations, finding it misleading and inaccurate for any part of the Middle Ages.”

JmacOroni's avatar

@Summum maybe what we have is an inherent need for knowledge. Religion has always been good for filling in the spaces when we haven’t yet found the answers. For many people, religion becomes even less necessary as we see that historically science can explain what religion has been used to explain for such a long time. So the need isn’t for religion at all, it is just for information.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Many maybe. Not all. I’m more or less referring to times when the church could have you put to death for being a non believer. Or The church saying science was heresy. Pretty dark ages I would say. Science was stagnant in Europe for a time because of the religious view of the subject.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet That’s usually more Early Modern than Middle Ages.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Actually early middle ages are considered 5th to 9th century. With the high middle age being considered 11th to 13th century. The age of enlightenment being the 17th and 18th century. The power of religious is evident through all of these times.

mrmijunte's avatar

I think that religion is man made, and the reason I believe this is because life expectancy, quality of life, fear of death and of other men, and because so many things where unknown at the time, like why does it rain? why do we get sick?
So to explain these things and to have some comfort, people with great imagination made up stories that evolved to many different religions by people that added to what they liked and erase what they disliked of a fable.
Now that things have gotten so much better ( for some ), people now have a vast access to information, better education ( for some ) now they start thinking that Santa Claus is not real. Take as an example Australia, Austria, Czech Rep, Canada and others, those countries have great quality of life and religion is decreasing very rapidly to give space to more rationality and a fact driven life. Excuse my english I’m intoxicated.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet With the age of enlightenment not being part of the Middle Ages.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Correct it’s not, but my point is religion as a tool for controlling people carried on through the period of enlightenment till today.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet My point is that the Middle Ages weren’t Dark in most of the commonly perceived ways save for a lack of source material, and we should refrain from using the highly inaccurate term Dark Ages.

anartist's avatar

@mazingerz88 why a speck of doubt?

Even if there were a god what would people know about it?
They’d have to make something up, god or no.
Religion is a very handy social mechanism—provides rules of ethics and law,
structuring a civilization
inspiration for art, architecture and literature, enhancing a civilization.
giving solace and thereby greater contentment with their lot to those whose lot in life is lousy, thus reducing risk of peasant uprisings —stabilizing a civilization
[ye olde opiate of the masses—pie in the sky bye and bye]
providing something less mundane than presidents and kings to look up to—-

so useful even an atheist would invent it.

mrmijunte's avatar

@mazingerz88 Great answer! But that is only one half of religion, the other is the cruel one.

Summum's avatar

@JmacOroni You know you just might have something there but still there is a spiritual side to us that is not man and it was there for eternity because we are beings that exist for eternity. We are beings that have always been and will always be. But thanks that made me consider things.

mrmijunte's avatar

@Summum What do you mean we are eternal? Where did you get this idea from? Please don’t get me wrong, I like to listen or read different theories.

mazingerz88's avatar

@summum But all these thoughts about us existing along but not at the level of the spiritual plane where the “organizer” exists…could all these sensations and thoughts all come from our unpredictable inventive imaginative human brain-? At the very core atomic level it’s just never-ending more and more and more atoms inside atoms and so on and on…

Summum's avatar

I know that we are eternal and have always existed. I have been told by those higher beings that have helped the Earth throughtout it’s history and further it makes total sense. I would be okay if we held an IM converstion. Thanks

Kardamom's avatar

All religion is man made. I don’t quite get your question. If you are trying to suggest something else or ask a different question, please do.

Summum's avatar

@Kardamom This is a person willing to seek, search and ask. It shall be given them….

mazingerz88's avatar

@Summum I did direct a question for you about 5 posts above…hope you read it…

Summum's avatar

@mazingerz88

@summum But all these thoughts about us existing along but not at the level of the spiritual plane where the “organizer” exists…could all these sensations and thoughts all come from our unpredictable inventive imaginative human brain-? At the very core atomic level it’s just never-ending more and more and more atoms inside atoms and so on and on…

This is what you posted. I want to suggest you view the movie Contact and think about it.
There is an organizer and we as a planet could not be anything but that result.

We have people and science tell us that there is no evidence of anything that they cannot test an come to a conclusion and I totally say there is. The core has really not been changing much but surface of the planet is now dealing with.

The odd things is that it completely fits the Mayan calendar and many others that have seen the same thing (Of which I am one). We are headed for a HUGE change and that is the purpose that I was FORCED to come back for passing away.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Summum Contact is one of my favorite movies. I like Carl Sagan and controversial writers like Zechariah Sitchin. You can look him up if you like. I guess humans have to one day actually travel the stars, for real. Who knows what actual forms of matter we would find and who knows what thoughts we would create and emotions we would feel-? We are so limited right now that if not for our (we believe to be ) intelligent, curious and imaginative brain, we wont have any knowledge of the cosmos. But damn it, I wish I’ll live to see the day when a human being could send us videos of him as he approaches a solar system billions of light years away-!

downtide's avatar

I don’t see how it can be anything but manmade.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Religions are man made, and so are the gods that are the object of those religions.

AdamF's avatar

Manmade it is. There’s even a recipe:

Take the unknown, stir in 3 cups wishful thinking, 2 cups solipsism, throw in a root of cultural bias and a lashing of regional bigotry, season with vested interest (misogyny generally does the trick), allow plenty of time for the anecdotes to sweeten into authority and for the vice to taste of virtue, garnish with carrots and sticks, cook with power, serve with silver and gold, and voila!

Some recommend a wine and cracker appetizer.

Spreader's avatar

Something that the churches don’t teach you, As you know, the Bible is a book that at one time was widely respected. In these days, unfortunately, fewer and fewer people read it. Yet when we are discussing religion, we cannot do so in a satisfying way if I fail to refer to the Bible, Are you being helped, or are you being hurt? Are your problems being solved, or are they being made worse? By what? By teachings. Yes, teachings can greatly affect your life, for better or for worse. First, though, consider this question: What motive or prompts a religion, our form of worship? Is it love for God, for what he is and what he has done for us? Is it done because we want to praise and honor him? Or is it based on what we hope to get out of it, because of some material benefits we hope to receive, such as being thought well of by others? Are we worshiping God with spirit and truth, or are we having only “a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power”?—2 Tim. 3:5, Since the apostle Paul stated that “having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power” was one of the signs marking the last days, and since Bible prophecy shows we are living in the last days, it should not surprise us that today we see this condition more widespread than ever before.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Spreader Christianity isn’t the only religion we’re discussing here.

Seelix's avatar

Religion is definitely man-made. If there is a god or gods, I’m sure they’d be happy with people just living life according to the “do unto others” rule.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I’m sorry if I believe the term “Dark Ages” is very applicable to the period. Lets see they had the stagnation of science because of views held by the church.. Several outbreaks of the black death that killed damn near half of Europe.. Oh and lets add in the crusades…..Seems like a dark era to me. If you will recall, I said I was referring to Europe when the exchange between us began.

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mazingerz88's avatar

Buddhism could be the closest religion that is man made. It’s about looking within. Christianity however will never claim it is man’s invention. I was raised Catholic but while kneeling and singing during First Communion as a child, I stared at the huge cross hanging in the church altar and wondered who really is this man crucified and why are we doing this-?
In my late 20s, during a sermon, a priest asked everybody if they truly believe Christ has risen. He added because if we have doubts then our faith is empty.
Later, I told him there is no way Christ could not have risen since how and why else would his apostles and believers, some dying horribly continue on his work-?
In my 30’s I realized humans who supposed to have seen him when he came back are capable of dying and lying about seeing him in order to protect and preserve his great teachings, which is the whole point of his existence. I keep imagining Jesus making a pact with his apostles that in order for his teachings to live forever, they must create a story that will. Hence, the sacrifice and the declaration He is the son of God.

klutzaroo's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Yet as @Spreader seems to think, there is only one religion that matters. Which is a part of the reason why religion is such a destructive thing. We can have a perfectly fine discussion of religion as a whole without referring to the Bible, the Qur’an, or any other text.

Religious propaganda sucks ass.

mazingerz88's avatar

As the one who posted this question I find it interesting no one has answered there is no chance religion is man made. If someone did, i guess it will be out of pure faith. It’s hard for me to be easily dismissive of either belief or non belief since I don’t have a way of knowing. I just don’t know. Guess sooner or later we are all bound to find out. Or not.

Summum's avatar

You don’t need a religion to know God. Take the scriptures for what they say. Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it will be opened. Seek and ye shall find.

klutzaroo's avatar

@mazingerz88 Did you miss where we all agreed that it absolutely is man made? That “chance” doesn’t have anything to do with it, its a certainty?

mazingerz88's avatar

@klutzaroo oh yes as far as this board goes it is absolutely man made. I’m wondering no one offered an opposite view.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet Ok, well, I would argue that science was held back much further by the decentralization of government, causing people to spend most of their energy meeting their more basic needs instead of having thriving economies and large cities that would enable people to have both the time and the money to do research. Plus, the Middle Ages created the university, Anglo-Saxon women were more liberated than any other time in history before the modern era, and they allowed more theological discussion and exploration than the Early Modern period. Not to mention that we don’t say now is a Dark Age just because an earthquake/tsunami just wiped out tons of Japan – that’s not actually anyone’s fault, including religion.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

*more theological discussion within the Church. Why doesn’t my typing always equal my thoughts!!??

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@mazingerz88 Fluther is largely atheistic/agnostic. Unfortunately religious threads here tend to be very one-sided, so religious people don’t last that long unless they avoid the particularly controversial threads.

downtide's avatar

@mazingerz88 I think if you went to a site like Sodahead and asked the same question you’d get an entirely different set of answers.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I bet the people in Japan look at this disaster as a dark age or time.

bkcunningham's avatar

Religion is man made. God isn’t.

mazingerz88's avatar

@bkcunningham and @FireMadeFlesh I posted the question interested in how people would qualify their answer whether the answer is a yes or a no. Thanks.

@Russell_D_SpacePoet @MyNewtBoobs I’m not a scholar. But I’ll be adamant in my opinion that those times in Europe with the plague, wars, religious persecution are nothing but Dark. Now i also believe since I wasn’t there there could have been people who did not feel they were in Dark Times. Who were they-? Human beings who are just no matter what disaster comes are naturally hopeful and yes some of those humans were religious.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@mazingerz88 I agree. I bet all of them that survived were religious. Seeing half the people you know die would make you want something to grab on to. I would imagine most of them thought religion was god made.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet Actually, quite a few became really disgusted and disillusioned with the doctors and Church, because all the doctors and priests fled. Some became more religious, but about a third had an attitude that today was the last day, so you might as well eat, drink, and be merry.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@mazingerz88 Ah, I must apologise then, as I did not provide any qualification.

I believe religions are man made because they closely mirror the culture of the time in which they are written. Each time a non-religious advancement is made, within a few decades it is absorbed into the ideology of that religion. For example, over the last 40–50 years, homosexuality has gradually found acceptance in the wider community. Over the last 10 years or so, some Christian sects have been allowing homosexuals more responsibility in their churches. In 1859 when “On the Origin of the Species” was published, Christians were predominantly what we now call young-Earth creationists. As evolution grew in popularity, more Christians began to develop hypotheses such as theistic evolution and old-Earth creationism.

This isn’t limited to Christianity. When the Jews entered Caanan, according to the Bible, they began to take on aspects of idol worship. They saw the nations around them had pantheons rather than a single god, so they invented Asherah. In the past century or so, as religious respect and tolerance have grown, some hybrid religions have emerged such as the Ba’hai.

To my knowledge the only religion that has resisted adapting to social climate is Islam. That does not lend it any more credence though, because it was in itself formed from the pre-existing concepts of religion held by Jews and Christians. If a religion was not man-made, then it must contain features that no humans are capable of inventing. This is the proof some Islamic apologists use, since they do not think a human is capable of composing the literary beauty of the Qu’ran. While I cannot read Arabic, I would dispute that point considering the substantial portions that I have read in English. I would also contend that Allah is not a god worthy of the slightest respect, but that is for another day. I am not aware of any religion that bears a supernatural mark.

mazingerz88's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Thank you I enjoyed that. It’s always been in the back of my head, this belief that since it was written in ancient times and seemingly so beautiful and advanced, then it must be of divine creation. God worked through the minds and hands of those vessels of the spirit who put down the words in scribe. How explain that modern men have that in faith?
I sometimes declare to a friend when in discussion, the only one always not present and participating here is God.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@mazingerz88 “The only one always not present and participating here is God.”

Funny how the most powerful being in the universe, supposedly with a direct interest in the affairs of our race and planet, is conspicuously absent in the organisations that are supposed to introduce us to him.

mazingerz88's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I can’t help but to remember those who were tortured and slaughtered by the Inquisition. Man’s invention was ultimately his device to wield his own evil using it as both shield and weapon. Those painful screams and blood spurting from so long ago are something the church ( yes there are other religions as well that had blood in their hands ) is certainly glad not to be echoing, and loudly to present ears. Or is it?
The “funniest” thing ever is when someone says it all happened since it’s God’s will. He did not show up for the tortures done in His name so He must have sanctioned them. Indeed.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@mazingerz88 Humanity certainly has a blood-stained past, and religion has for the most part been closely associated with bloodshed. I find it sickening when religious people say that God wanted the Israelites to massacre the Caananites, simply because they believed in different gods, or as you say that the Inquisition was God’s will. I’m glad you put “funniest” in inverted commas.

However I do not believe in good or evil as such; but that is a different discussion for a different thread.

mazingerz88's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Maybe you could pose the question on the good and evil discussion?

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