Religion is an Evolved Product
100,000 years ago religion was loosely formalize, then 13,000 years ago organized religion was developed, around 12,000 to 10,000 years ago there was the formalization of goddesses but their true history could go back at least 45,000 but they may have been more animistic then lastly 6,000 5,000 years ago men created the male god. Yes a long history of bullshit.
The animistic even mother goddess beliefs of prehistoric peoples are beyond ordinary religious meanings of things we think of today like animal’s serpents, bulls, cats, birds; earth realm water, mountains, trees; and celestial realm sun, moon, stars and plants being spirits, having intentionally or and attribution of mother goddess beliefs.
Specifically the serpent, or snake, is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols and often directly connects to animistic mother goddess beliefs. Snakes have been associated with some of the oldest rituals known to humankind and represent dual expression of good and evil. In some cultures snakes were fertility symbols, for example the Hopi people of North America performed an annual snake dance to celebrate the union of Snake Youth (a Sky spirit) and Snake Girl (an Underworld spirit) and to renew fertility of Nature.
The snake dance is a prayer to the spirits of the clouds, the thunder and the lightning, that the rain may fall on the growing crops. In other cultures snakes symbolized the umbilical cord, joining all humans to animistic mother goddess beliefs or mother earth.
The great goddess deity or originally a kind of mother goddess cult later male gods as well could be said to often assume the form of an animal but also at times as a human (possibly a shaman) or an animal becoming or turning into a humanoid figure.
One main reference of the goddess deity as an animal is the snake. The snake works as the deity’s familiar (assisting or doing her bidding) and sometimes twining around her revered staff as seen in the medical symbol (the caduceus or staff of asclepius) used today. This sacred snake can be seen as staff itself or a pole as in Numbers 21:8-9 the lord (yahweh) said to Moses, make a snake pole that all bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, lived (it was called “Nehustan” or ‘fiery serpent’ possibly referencing lava of the yahweh god intertwining with an Asherah pole? Then (over 600 years later) in 2 Kings 18:4 it states up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to the bronze snake Moses had made).
This sound similar to the snake prototypes Ningishzida a Mesopotamian deity, originally a tree deity which then became associated with fertility, the underworld, and the healing force of nature. Sacred magic snakes can also a snake rock pillar 70,000 years ago snake-shaped rock (Africa) or megalithic hybrid human dual snake stone totem pole 12,000 years ago (Turkey) can all be seen as a snake as well as horns of animals or crescents of the moon. The snakes were worshiped as guardians of animistic mysteries of birth (as the umbilical cord), death (as a spear or a noose), and rebirth/afterlife (as a round grave snake biting its tale, a cave or tunnel burial symbolizing a winding into the earth, branches of trees held sacred embodying a snake winding to the heavens, leaves floating or burial boats often embodying snakes moving down a river or water burial, or the water itself is seen to be a snake).
In relation to the snake is how a woman’s long hair could embody snakes as in Greek mythologies medusa (“guardian, protectress”). Moreover, even volcano lava could be seen as a snake coiling and hissing as it moved down a mountain.
Hidden Religious Expressions: “animist, totemist, shamanist & paganist”
*Believe in spirit filled life and/or afterlife (you are a hidden animist)
*Believe in spirit filled life and/or afterlife can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects (you are a hidden totemist)
*Believe in spirit filled life and/or afterlife can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects and these objects can be used by special persons or in special rituals can connect to spirit filled life and/or afterlife (you are a hidden shamanist)
*Believe in spirit filled life and/or afterlife can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects and these objects can be used by special persons or in special rituals can connect to spirit filled life and/or afterlife who are guided/supported by a goddess/god or goddesses/gods (you are a hidden paganist)
Interconnectedness of religious thinking Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, and Paganism
So, it all starts in a general way with Animism (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employing of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (often a lot more nature based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development).
Promoting Religion as Real is Mentally Harmful to a Flourishing Humanity
To me, promoting religion as real is too often promote a toxic mental substance that can divide a person from who they are shaming them for being human. In addition, religion is a toxic mental substance that can divide a person from real history, real science or real morality to pseudohistory, pseudoscience and pseudomorality. Moreover, religion is a toxic mental substance that can divide a person from rational thought, critical thinking, or logic. Likewise, religion is a toxic mental substance that can divide a person from justice, universal ethics, equality, and liberty. Yes, religion is a toxic mental substance that can divide a person from loved ones, and religion is a toxic mental substance that can divide a person from humanity. Therefore, to me, promoting religion as real is too often promote a toxic mental substance that should be rejected as not only false but harmful as well even if you believe it has some redeeming quality. To me, promoting religion as real is mentally harmful to a flourishing humanity. Religion may have once seemed great when all you had or needed was to believe. Science now seems great when we have facts and need to actually know.
“Damien, what I find interesting is how an atheist like you spends so much time and energy on God and religion.” – Challenger
My responce, well let’s see, maybe because we atheists and antireligionists care to inform our fellow humans who have been lied to and are lying to others and often forcing religion on children indoctrinating them with lies over truth and it’s harming us all. You know all the religious hate groups and religious violence stuff and the life. What I find interesting is how could a responsible caring ethical person stay silent against religions, that my friend is a much better question.
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Religion and Poverty?
Anti-religion not Anti-people
How could a religion be a lie is it because it’s not true?
Religion, Violent extremists & Mental Health Therapy
Religion is not about truth, it’s about indoctrinated faith. Do you really believe that even if clear documents demonstrate that Jesus had said he was not god, that they would stop all Belief, not hardly as it’s not about truth. Just like if clear documents proved Mohammed had said he was not really a prophet of Allah but just made it up, that they would stop all Belief, not hardly. So again I say it’s all about indoctrinated faith not truth.