Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

I was thinking if we know groupthink can be a stronger motivator in beliefs and actions, how much blame should there be for engaging in it? Should we take into account the pressure of groupthink or say many pressures are always engaging us so all actions hold the same standard?

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Cohesiveness, or the desire for cohesiveness, in a group may produce a tendency among its members to agree at all costs. This causes the group to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluationGroupthink is a construct of social psychology, but has an extensive reach and influences literature in the fields of communication studies, political science, management, and organizational theory, as well as important aspects of deviant religious cult behavior.” ref

Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the “ingroup” produces an “illusion of invulnerability” (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the “ingroup” significantly overrates its own abilities in decision-making and significantly underrates the abilities of its opponents (the “outgroup“). Furthermore, groupthink can produce dehumanizing actions against the “outgroup”. Members of a group can often feel under peer pressure to “go along with the crowd” for fear of “rocking the boat” or of how their speaking out will be perceived by the rest of the group. Group interactions tend to favor clear and harmonious agreements and it can be a cause for concern when little to no new innovations or arguments for better policies, outcomes, and structures are called to question. (McLeod). Groupthink can often be referred to as a group of “yes men” because group activities and group projects, in general, make it extremely easy to pass on not offering constructive opinions.” ref

“Rigid beliefs can lead to violence…no matter what those beliefs are.”

My response: I agree, but religion is often related to deep identity issues connected to “interpersonal groups: family, ethnic identity, cultures, and social relations.” So religion is not merely beliefs.

I am a rationalist, not a skeptic. I appeal to reason, not doubt, like most atheists. No “skepticism attack” tactics used on others atheists works on me, as I don’t even value skepticism. When the Truth is afraid, Fascism of some kind, likely Reigns. While many skeptics may tend to strive to master doubt, I as a rationalist, strive to master reason.

I am a Methodological Rationalist, I rarely am pushed to doubt as a default, instead, I see reason as my default and at times it may be responsible to doubt, but I get to that conclusion because of reasoning. Methodological: relating to the system of methods used in a particular area of study or activity: such as “a wide variety of methodological approaches to ethical problem-solving in my approach to truth or the label of knowledge.”

I fully enjoy the value (axiology) of archaeology (empirical evidence from fact or artifacts at a site) is knowledge (epistemology) of the past, adding to our anthropology (evidence from cultures both the present and past) intellectual (rational) assumptions of the likely reality of actual events from time past.

Religion is Unwarranted Faith and Belief   The problem with religion is unwarranted faith and belief. The problem of faith is as an invalid justification and the belief problem is holding unjustified false belief believing it is justified true belief.

Rationalist meaning: “A person who bases their opinions and actions on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response.”

“In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that “regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge” or “any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification.” ref

Skeptic meaning: “A person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions, disposed to skepticism, especially regarding religion or religious principles.”

“In philosophy, skepticism is the epistemological view, is a questioning attitude or doubt toward knowledge claims that are seen as mere belief or dogma. Full philosophical skepticism tends to reject knowledge claims.” ref

Philosophy (from Greekφιλοσοφίαphilosophia, ‘love of wisdom’) is the processing of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existencereasonknowledgevaluesmind, and language.” ref

“I think that the layman’s definition of skepticism can sometimes paint the “skeptic” community in a certain way. When I see folks fighting against pseudoscience who call themselves skeptics, and the pseudoscientists themselves call themselves skeptics, small alarm bells go off.” – Archaeologist Dr. Bill Farley @ArchaeologyGame
Dr. Bill Farley brings up a great point. 
“Skepticism should be seen as different from denialism”
Denialist meaning: “a person who does not acknowledge the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence; a denier.”
“In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth. Denialism is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of a historical experience or event when a person refuses to accept an empirically verifiable reality. In the sciences, denialism is the rejection of basic facts and concepts that are undisputed, well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a subject, in favor of ideas that are radical, controversial, or fabricated.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism

I am a Methodological Rationalist, I rarely am pushed to doubt as a default, instead, I see reason as my default and at times it may be responsible to doubt, but I get to that conclusion because of reasoning. A common saying in pseudologic is “You can’t prove a negative.” This is, simply not true. This is clearly not true because any statement can be rewritten into the negation of its negation. Any provable statement can be written as a negative. For example, “X is true” can be rewritten as “X is not false”, a negative statement! If “X is true” can be proven true, then you have also proven a negative statement “X is not false”. Moreover, even if it is widely believed that you can’t prove a negative. Going so far as to have people thinking that it is a law of logic—you can’t prove that Santa Claus, unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, God, pink elephants, WMD in Iraq, and Bigfoot don’t exist. This widespread belief is flatly, 100% wrong. In this little essay, I show precisely how one can prove a negative, to the same extent that one can prove anything at all. Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist. Per the traditional aphorism, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, positive evidence of this kind is distinct from a lack of evidence or ignorance of that which should have been found already, had it existed. In this regard, Irving Copi writes: “In some circumstances, it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances, it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence.” — Copi, Introduction to Logic (1953), p. 95

Here is why “Reason is my only master”

The most Base Presupposition begins in reason. Reason is needed for logic (logic is realized by the aid of reason enriching its axioms). Logic is needed for axiology/value theory (axiology is realized by the aid of logic). Axiology is needed for epistemology (epistemology is realized by the aid of axiology value judge and enrich its value assumptions as valid or not). Epistemology is needed for a good ontology (ontology is realized with the aid of epistemology justified assumptions/realizations/conclusions). Then when one possesses a good ontology (fortified with valid and reliable reason and evidence) they can then say they know the ontology of that thing. Thinking is good and one claiming otherwise is indeed a person erroring in reason. Which may I remind you is terrible since the most Base Presupposition in our understanding of everything begins in reason.

So, I think, right thinking is reason. Right-reason (Sound reasoning) is logic. Right logic, can be used for mathematics, and from there we can get to science. And, by this methodological approach, we get one of the best ways of knowing the scientific method. Activating experience/event occurs, eliciting our feelings/scenes. Then naive thoughts occur, eliciting emotions as a response. Then it is our emotional intelligence over emotional hijacking, which entrance us but are unavoidable, and that it is the navigating this successfully in a methodological way we call critical thinking or as In just call right thinking. So, to me, could be termed “Right” thinking, that is referring to a kind of methodological thinking. Reason is at the base of everything and it builds up from pragmatic approaches. And, to me, there are three main approaches to truth (ontology of truth) from the very subjective (Pragmatic theory of truth), to subjective (Coherence theory of truth), then onto objective (Correspondence theory of truth) but remember that this process as limited as it can be, is the best we have and we build one truth ontop another like blocks to a wall of truth.

The Way of a Sound Thinker?

Sound thinking to me, in a general way, is thinking, reasoning, or belief that tends to make foresight a desire to be as accurate as one can with valid and reliable reason and evidence. Threatening, harming, or killing others of different religious beliefs or no beliefs in religions is wrong!

Getting Real with Logic

Logic is the result of rationalism, as what do you think gets you to logic if not starting at reason? I want to hear your justification for your claims, all the presuppositions you are evading to explain the links in your claims of truth. As it is invalid to just claim this without a justification for your professed claims and the presupposing you do to get there, that is not trying to use rationalism to refuse rationalist thinking. How are you making the statement and not appearing to what is the rationale behind it? If not, you must want to think “Logic is self-generating as valid” and this understood value is to you not reducible to reason? You are devoid of an offer of your burden of proof, first just try to keep up with the thinker’s responsibility to provide more than unjustified claims. Logic is derived by axioms and thus using rationalism to validate them, think otherwise provide your proof. My Rationalism: is two things externalistic “scientific rationalism” a belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response. And internalistic “philosophic rationalism” the theory that reason is the most base presupposition before all others, rather than simply trying to rely on experience is the foundation of certainty in knowledge. Activating experience occurs we then have thinking, right (methodological) thinking (critical thinking) is reason, right reason is logic, right logic can be used for math, right math in response to the natural world is physics, and from there all other Sciences, physics is the foundation for chemistry and chemistry is the foundation of biology. May Right-(SOUND)-Reason be your only master and may you also master reason.

I am a “Scientific Axiology” minded “Philosophic Axiologist.”

*Philosophic Axiology (Value Theory)

*Scientific Axiology (Formal Axiology)

“Axiology (from Greek ἀξίαaxia: “value, worth”; and -λογία-logia: “study of”) is the philosophical study of value. It includes questions about the nature and classification of values and about what kinds of things have value. It is intimately connected with various other philosophical fields that crucially depend on the notion of value, like ethicsaesthetics, or philosophy of religion. It is also closely related to value theory and meta-ethics.” ref

“In ethics and the social sciences, value theory involves various approaches that examine how, why, and to what degree humans value things and whether the object or subject of valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. Within philosophy, it is also known as ethics or axiology. Traditionally, philosophical investigations in value theory have sought to understand the concept of “the good“. Intuitively, theories of value must be important to ethics. A number of useful distinctions have been made by philosophers in the treatment of value. Today, some work in value theory has trended more towards empirical sciences, recording what people do value and attempting to understand why they value it in the context of psychology, sociology, and economics. In sociology, value theory is concerned with personal values which are popularly held by a community, and how those values might change under particular conditions. Different groups of people may hold or prioritize different kinds of values influencing social behavior.ref

“You shall not murder” is one of the Bible’s Ten Commandments but what does the Bible label as murder?

“But is holy war murder to the very indoctrinated fanatic religious mind?”

BIBLE: Kill Men, Women, and Children

“Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

Bible God Murders Children for Stupid Unethical Reasons:

“The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb, or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you.” (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

“Kill Sons of Sinners Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants.” (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)

“Some small boys of the city jeered at him. “Go up baldhead,” they shouted, “go up baldhead!” The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears killed forty-two of the children.” (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

Bible God kills for Stupid Unethical Reasons:

“Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.” – Numbers 11:1-25

“Killing the Good Samaritan” (2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB)

BIBLE: Kill Followers of Other Religions.

“If your brother, son daughter, wife, or friend, entices you to other gods, do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, but kill him.” (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

BIBLE: Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

“If you find encouraging worship of foreign gods has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

BIBLE: Death to Followers of Other Religions

“Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed.” (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

BIBLE: Kill Nonbelievers

“They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.” (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

BIBLE: Kill Fortunetellers

“A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death.” (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

BIBLE: Kill Witches

“You should not let a sorceress live.” (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

BIBLE: Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests”

“Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Wishful Thinking is grand, but Reality is something quite different—and colder.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter


What is the cost of a smile; can one see clear when others pay the price of their fear? If we don’t stop the suffering and harm, will the cost be more than we can take to our humanity? I experienced extreme child abuse (mostly from my father but some from my mom as well: so My mom’s passing ignited the theater of my mind, where my childhood abuse memories rushed back and got stuck on repeat. Experiencing child abuse is not a one-time event rather it has been a lifetime hardship. I have chosen to be more than my mental health issues. I am not the thing abuse made. 

I do realize there is always the individual (with their own experiences, past, support, supplies, or needs) and even the ideas of group, family, of brothers and sisters are cultural labels to connect but the individual is the only real thing the entire time. I dig good people who are kind and want to help others, like me; together we will aid in building a flourishing humanity, we rise by helping each other. I like that kind of people as contacts they are helping make the world better as I try to do.
May I Help be the Voice of Reason
May we all be valiant enough to be kind, even in a gleefully unkind world. I am honored to be of help to others, for we rise by helping each other. Never have a regretted being kind but often upon reflection, I have regretted my expression of anger. I have never wanted more hate in the world but how eagerly and proud I have worked to build a kinder world. For I know it starts with me, I am responsible. Long ago I only cared about “myself”, what a foolish time of my life. I once was afraid to champion kindness fearing I would look weak. Now I see the bravery of kindness and the weakness of hate. May we all aspire to the greatness of being strong reasoned thinkers with truly strong hearts of kindness.
What if truth, mattered? Would we be more open-minded, or did you think you were already good, no improvement needed as most do, or do you let “new knowledge” alluded to, get in? Do you care? If so, what have you done to help change the world? When was the last time you realized you were wrong, then changed? Don’t be brought down by the evilness of hate, instead rise to the goodness of kindness.

Again the Bible god kills for stupid reasons:

“Leviticus 10:1-2 – “Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu offered god unauthorized fire. Fire, therefore, came forth from god and consumed them, so that they died.”

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

And how about those Biblical defenses of slavery? (Bible defense of slavery: and origin, fortunes, and history of the negro race by Priest, Josiah, 1788-1851)

Archaeologies of Violence and Privilege (BOOK)

“From state-sanctioned violence and the brutality of war and genocide to interpersonal fighting and the ways in which social lives are structured and symbolized by and through violence.” link

Bogs reveal millennia-old stories about violence and religion

“Researchers analyzed over 1000 individuals from 266 sites. The study reveals that the three kinds of bog bodies are part of millennia-long traditions.” ref

Real Archaeology blog:

“written by Vassar College students enrolled in introductory archaeology” “Conflict: Leaving a Unique Footprint in the Archaeological Record” ref

Does Religion Cause Violence?

“Behind the common question lies a morass of unclear thinking. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT religion has a dangerous tendency to promote violence.” ref

Religion, violence, and “holy wars”

“Analyzes the impact of religion in current conflicts throughout the world. Focus lies on the monotheistic religions, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which have the potential to foster violence.” ref

Violence Based on Religion or Belief: Taking Action at the United Nations

“Rising levels of violence based on religion or belief worldwide reveal opportunities for UN action to better prevent and respond to such violence.” ref

The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence (BOOK)

“The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence surveys intersections between religion and violence throughout history and around the world.” ref

The Archaeology of Religious Hatred (BOOK)

“This excellent book demonstrates, Christianity’s success was not entirely due to peaceful means. Sauer argues that without violence it could not have become the sole religion of the west.” ref

Militant Christianity: An Anthropological History (BOOK)

“A powerful chronicle of the astounding persistence of Indo-European glorification of battle, morphed into today’s militant Christian Right.” ref

Ritual Violence and Headhunting in Iron Age Europe from Part IV – Religion, Ritual, and Violence (BOOK)

“The ritualisation of violence in Iron Age Europe has long been seen through the distorting lens of classical literary sources.” ref

Induced Delusional Disorder

“Induced delusional disorder (folie à deux, shared psychotic disorder) is characterized by the sharing of delusional ideas and/or abnormal behavior from one person to one or more others who are in close association with the patient who is primarily affected. It was initially described by Lasègue and Falret in France in 1877. Partners of induced delusional disorder were distinguished as “inducer–induced” or “principal–associate” or “primary–secondary.” It was previously assumed that the primary partner had a domineering personality and initiated the delusions. The secondary partner, a generally submissive individual, acquired the delusion from the primary as seen in our cases. Later, when it was learned that the dominance and submission do not always manifest, the concept of folie a deux as an “imposed” entity was deemphasized. Instead, the formation of a mutual delusional system was seen as an adaptive function that allows the partners to identify with each other, channel aggressive drives, and preserve intimacy. We present three such cases, two referred from dermatology and one directly reporting to the psychiatric outpatient department.” ref

Shared Psychotic Disorder

“Shared psychotic disorder (folie à deux) is a rare disorder characterized by sharing a specific delusion among two or more people in a close relationship. The inducer (primary) who has a psychotic disorder with delusions influences another individual or more (induced, secondary) based on a delusional belief. It is commonly seen among two individuals, but in rare cases, can include larger groups. This activity outlines the presentation and management of shared psychotic disorder and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in improving the care of patients with this condition.” ref

The exact cause of the shared psychotic disorder is still unknown. However, certain risk factors associated with it include the following:

  • Length of the relationship: Numerous studies highlight the role of long relationship duration as an essential factor for developing this condition. It is crucial to understand that the attachment with the inducer plays a key role in adopting the delusion.
  • Nature of the relationship: The majority of cases reported are among family members. The commonest relationship is between married or common-law couples, and the second most common is between sisters.
  • Social isolation: Most reported cases indicate poor interaction with society. A confused individual can undergo influence under frightening conditions in the absence of social comparison. The information received by the secondary individual is in harmony with what the primary individual felt. The conviction of certain ideas will eventually prevail as the only solution to maintain a mutual relationship.
  • Personality disorder: Individuals usually show features of a personality disorder. The usual description for them is neurotic, introverted, and emotionally immature. Some case reports noticed features of premorbid personality disorders especially dependent (passive), schizoid, and schizotypal.
  • Untreated mental disorder in the primary: An untreated individual with chronic mental conditions can be a social risk factor of influence to the other partner or family. The commonest diagnosis in the primary is a delusional disorder followed by schizophrenia and affective disorder.
  • Cognitive impairment: It has been noted that the secondaries lack good judgment and intelligence.
  • Comorbidity of the secondary: An individual diagnosed with a mental disorder, including schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, depression, dementia, or intellectual disability, carries a risk of being influenced by another mentally ill person.
  • Life events: Stressful life events that affect the relationship can influence behavior in the individual to accept certain delusions or lessen their ability to resist their feelings or emotions. For example, a wife who has been suffering from delusions for several years starts accusing her husband, who has erectile dysfunction, of being in a relationship with a mistress or that the mistress is “stimulating him with sildenafil and narcotics.” He will eventually accept this belief because of his unstable, passive personality condition, as well as the serious situation from which he suffers.
  • Communication difficulties: Having difficulty sharing ideas can be a reason for preferring isolation. It is suggested that improving communication among dyad relationships through multiple-conjoint psychotherapy may help both partners understand the different points of view that will collapse in the presence of rigid, mindless thinking.
  • Age: Previous studies reported age differences, the older of the two in the relationship being an inducer and the younger being the induced. However, recent studies do not support this finding.
  • Gender: The disorder is more common among females, both as a primary or secondary.ref
Folie à Deux

Folie à deux (‘folly of two’, or ‘madness [shared] by two’), referred to as Lasègue–Falret syndrome, additionally known as shared psychosis or shared delusional disorder (SDD), is a collection of rare psychiatric syndromes in which symptoms of a delusional belief, and sometimes hallucinations, are transmitted from one individual to another. The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be called folie à trois (‘three’) or quatre (‘four’); and further, folie en famille (‘family madness’) or even folie à plusieurs (‘madness of several’). The disorder, first conceptualized in 19th-century French psychiatry by Charles Lasègue and Jules Falret, and is also known as Lasègue–Falret syndrome.” ref 

Recent psychiatric classifications refer to the syndrome as shared psychotic disorder (DSM-4 – 297.3) and induced delusional disorder (ICD-10 – F24), although the research literature largely uses the original name. This disorder is not in the current, fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which considers the criteria to be insufficient or inadequate. DSM-5 does not consider Shared Psychotic Disorder (Folie à Deux) as a separate entity; rather, the physician should classify it as “Delusional Disorder” or in the “Other Specified Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorder.” ref

Signs and symptoms

“This syndrome is most commonly diagnosed when the two or more individuals of concern live in proximity, may be socially or physically isolated, and have little interaction with other people. Various sub-classifications of folie à deux have been proposed to describe how the delusional belief comes to be held by more than one person:

Folie imposée
Where a dominant person (known as the ‘primary’, ‘inducer’, or ‘principal’) initially forms a delusional belief during a psychotic episode and imposes it on another person or persons (the ‘secondary’, ‘acceptor’, or ‘associate’) with the assumption that the secondary person might not have become deluded if left to his or her own devices. If the parties are admitted to hospital separately, then the delusions in the person with the induced beliefs usually resolve without the need of medication.
Folie simultanée
Either the situation where two people considered to independently experience psychosis influence the content of each other’s delusions so they become identical or strikingly similar, or one in which two people “morbidly predisposed” to delusional psychosis mutually trigger symptoms in each other.” ref

“Folie à deux and its more populous derivatives are psychiatric curiosities. The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states that a person cannot be diagnosed as being delusional if the belief in question is one “ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture.” It is not clear at what point a belief considered to be delusional escapes from the folie à… diagnostic category and becomes legitimate because of the number of people holding it. When a large number of people may come to believe obviously false and potentially distressing things based purely on hearsay, these beliefs are not considered to be clinical delusions by the psychiatric profession, and are instead labeled as mass hysteria.” ref

“As with most psychological disorders, the extent and type of delusion varies, but the non-dominant person’s delusional symptoms usually resemble those of the inducer. Prior to therapeutic interventions, the inducer typically does not realize that they are causing harm, but instead believe they are helping the second person to become aware of vital or otherwise notable information.” ref

Type of delusions

Psychology Today magazine defines delusions as “fixed beliefs that do not change, even when a person is presented with conflicting evidence.” ref 

Types of delusion include:

Bizarre delusions
Those which are clearly implausible and not understood by peers within the same culture, even those with psychological disorders; for example, if one thought that all of their organs had been taken out and replaced by someone else’s while they were asleep without leaving any scar and without their waking up. It would be impossible to survive such a procedure, and even surgery involving transplantation of multiple organs would leave the person with severe pain, visible scars, etc.
Non-bizarre delusions
Common among those with personality disorders and are understood by people within the same culture. For example, unsubstantiated or unverifiable claims of being followed by the FBI in unmarked cars and watched via security cameras would be classified as a non-bizarre delusion; while it would be unlikely for the average person to experience such a predicament, it is possible, and therefore understood by those around them.
Mood-congruent delusions
These correspond to a person’s emotions within a given timeframe, especially during an episode of mania or depression. For example, someone with this type of delusion may believe with certainty that they will win $1 million at the casino on a specific night, despite lacking any way to see the future or influence the probability of such an event. Similarly, someone in a depressive state may feel certain that their mother will get hit by lightning the next day, again in spite of having no means of predicting or controlling future events.
Mood-neutral delusions
These are unaffected by mood, and can be bizarre or non-bizarre; the formal definition provided by Mental Health Daily is “a false belief that isn’t directly related to the person’s emotional state.” An example would be a person who is convinced that somebody has switched bodies with their neighbor, the belief persisting irrespective of changes in emotional status.” ref

“Groupthink is a powerful tool for control, no doubt. As social creatures, we feel the primal urge to “belong” or “fit in” somewhere. And those in control have weaponized that psychology against us, using mass media to shape & direct views to their ultimate benefit. Greater focus on education, training people from childhood to develop critical thinking skills & the ability to analyze logically, would be the greatest weapon against the problem of groupthink. But such would go directly against the interests of those needing a pliable public. But then there are days that fully expose just how susceptible to the pull of groupthink & propaganda I continue to be. It’s insidious in its psychological hold on us.” – DJ Claussen on the Twitter post: LINK

“Interpreting Scripture to mean whatever you want is typical of the very indoctrinated fanatic religious mind.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter post: LINK

“It’s also essential to recall the tragic case of Hypatia.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

Hypatia (born c. 350–370; died 415 CE) was a neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a prominent thinker in Alexandria where she taught philosophy and astronomy. Although preceded by Pandrosion, another Alexandrine female mathematician, she is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well recorded. Hypatia was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor. She wrote a commentary on Diophantus‘s thirteen-volume Arithmetica, which may survive in part, having been interpolated into Diophantus’s original text, and another commentary on Apollonius of Perga‘s treatise on conic sections, which has not survived. Many modern scholars also believe that Hypatia may have edited the surviving text of Ptolemy‘s Almagest, based on the title of her father Theon‘s commentary on Book III of the Almagest.” ref

“Hypatia constructed astrolabes and hydrometers, but did not invent either of these, which were both in use long before she was born. She was tolerant towards Christians and taught many Christian students, including Synesius, the future bishop of Ptolemais. Ancient sources record that Hypatia was widely beloved by pagans and Christians alike and that she established great influence with the political elite in Alexandria. Towards the end of her life, Hypatia advised Orestes, the Roman prefect of Alexandria, who was in the midst of a political feud with Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria. Rumors spread accusing her of preventing Orestes from reconciling with Cyril and, in March 415 AD, she was murdered by a mob of Christians led by a lector named Peter.” ref

“The case of Miguel Serveto was tragic, too.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

Michael Servetus (29 September 1509 or 1511 – 27 October 1553) was a Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer, and Renaissance humanist. He was the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation, as discussed in Christianismi Restitutio (1553). He was a polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine, and pharmacology, as well as jurisprudence, translation, poetry, and the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages. He is renowned in the history of several of these fields, particularly medicine. He participated in the Protestant Reformation, and later rejected the Trinity doctrine and mainstream Catholic Christology. After being condemned by Catholic authorities in France, he fled to Calvinist Geneva where he was denounced by John Calvin himself and burned at the stake for heresy by order of the city’s governing council.” ref

“And that stuff didn’t only happen in Europe. The history of lynchings in the U.S. needs to be more widely known.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

White Americans used lynching to terrorize and control Black people in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Learn more about the history of this barbaric practice and how NAACP worked to end lynching. Lynchings were violent public acts that white people used to terrorize and control Black people in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the South. Lynchings typically evoke images of Black men and women hanging from trees, but they involved other extreme brutality, such as torture, mutilation, decapitation, and desecration. Some victims were burned alive. A typical lynching involved a criminal accusation, an arrest, and the assembly of a mob, followed by seizure, physical torment, and murder of the victim. Lynchings were often public spectacles attended by the white community in celebration of white supremacy. Photos of lynchings were often sold as souvenir postcards. From 1882 to 1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the U.S., according to records maintained by NAACP. Other accounts, including the Equal Justice Initiative’s extensive report on lynching, count slightly different numbers, but it’s impossible to know for certain how many lynchings occurred because there was no formal tracking. Many historians believe the true number is underreported. Many victims of lynchings were murdered without being accused of any crime. They were killed for violating social customs or racial expectations, such as speaking to white people with less respect than what white people believed they were owed.ref

“Pretty much the definition of hate. It often began with a cross burning.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

The lynching of African Americans was terrorism, a widely supported campaign to enforce racial subordination and segregation. Lynching in America makes the case that lynching of African Americans was terrorism, a widely supported phenomenon used to enforce racial subordination and segregation. Lynchings were violent and public events that traumatized Black people throughout the country and were largely tolerated by state and federal officials. This was not “frontier justice” carried out by a few marginalized vigilantes or extremists. Instead, many African Americans who were never accused of any crime were tortured and murdered in front of picnicking spectators (including elected officials and prominent citizens) for bumping into a white person, or wearing their military uniforms after World War I, or not using the appropriate title when addressing a white person. People who participated in lynchings were celebrated and acted with impunity. The report explores the ways in which lynching profoundly impacted race relations in this country and shaped the contemporary geographic, political, social, and economic conditions of African Americans. Most importantly, lynching reinforced a narrative of racial difference and a legacy of racial inequality that is readily apparent in our criminal justice system today. Mass incarceration, racially biased capital punishment, excessive sentencing, disproportionate sentencing of racial minorities, and police abuse of people of color reveal problems in American society that were shaped by the terror era.” ref

“And those horrible witch trials and witch burnings.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

Witch trials in the early modern period saw that between 1400 to 1782, around 40,000 to 60,000 were killed due to suspicion that they were practicing witchcraft. These trials occurred primarily in Europe, and were particularly severe in some parts of the Holy Roman Empire. Some witch hunts would last for years, and some sources estimate 100,000 trials occurred. Groundwork on the concept of witchcraft (a person’s collaboration with the devil through the use of magic) was developed by Christian theologians as early as the 13th century. However, prosecutions for the practice of witchcraft would only reach a highpoint from 1560 to 1630 during the Counter-Reformation and the European wars of religion, with some regions burning those who were convicted at the stake, of whom roughly 80% were women, mostly over the age of 40.” ref

“The public autos-da-fé were about as violent as it gets.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

An auto-da-fé was the ritual of public penance carried out between the 15th and 19th centuries of condemned heretics and apostates imposed by the SpanishPortuguese, or Mexican Inquisition as punishment and enforced by civil authorities. Its most extreme form was death by burningFrom the 8th to the 15th centuries, much of Spain was controlled by Muslims, under whose laws Jews and Christians were given dhimmi status. This meant that they were required to pay a special tax, the jizya, for “protection”, intended, as Islamic legal texts indicated, to remind them of their submission. The tax was imposed on the “people of the Book“, as Jews and Christians were known, to humble them. Jews could sometimes rise to important positions in the political structure; anti-Jewish violence could also erupt. In the 1066 Granada massacre, much of the Jewish population of Granada was killed by a Muslim mob.” ref

“The treatment of religious minorities varied depending on the era. For example, during their time of ascendance, the Almohads assumed the title of caliph, introduced a series of severe religious measures, and sought to strengthen their states through religious unification, which meant compelling the Jews and Christians to either convert to Islam or be expelled. Around the 11th century, growing suspicions of Jews prompted Christians to unite against the Muslims and Jews. From that point, Spain became a political soup of different powers and territories, each with its own policies regarding the status of Jews and Muslims. By the 13th century almost all of modern Spain was under Christian rule. Ferdinand III of Castile boasted of being the king of three religions. This tolerance, however, did not last long.” ref

“In the 14th century, Dominican and Franciscan priests called on Christians to expel the Jews from Spain, blaming Jews for social problems and stirring the Christian majority to destroy synagogues, burn Jews alive, and impose forced conversion. Jews would be forced to attend sermons and have Christian preachers outline what the Christians viewed as the errors of their ways. New laws segregated the Jewish population and limited the occupations that were still open to them, with the ultimate goal of conversion. More than 100,000 Jews converted. Once converted, these New Christians joined the “conversos” class, who were afforded the legal and social privileges of a full Christian in society. Many New Christians took advantage of their elevation in status and embraced Christian privileges. After a few generations, the converted Jews identified as nothing more or less than “regular” Christians, and Spain was almost uniformly Christian.” ref

“This uniformity brought with it new sources of anxiety. “The mistrust of the Jew as an outsider gave way to an even more alarming fear of the converso as an insider”. The differences between religious classes had formerly been very clear. Laws and customs codified Christian dominance in Spain. Once the Jews converted, however, many Christian Spaniards believed that they no longer knew whom they could trust and who could possibly be a treacherous heretic at heart. In an attempt to assuage these fears, Limpieza de sangre (Purity of Blood) laws were put in place that traced the bloodline of Christians New and Old to see if they had Jewish ancestry. In doing so, Spain divided its Christian class along ethnic and religious lines, “othering” those with Jewish blood much as it had prior to conversion. Influential Christians believed that there was something different in the essence and soul of the person that could not be cured by religious conversion. With these laws came the resurgence of the blood libel.” ref

“On 1 November 1478, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile received permission from Pope Sixtus IV to name inquisitors throughout their domains in order to protect Catholicism as the one true Christian faith. The decree originally applied to the Crown of Castile—the domain of Isabella—but in 1483 Ferdinand extended it to his domain of the Crown of Aragon. Autos-da-fé became quite popular throughout the Spanish realm, competing with bullfights for the public’s attention and attended by royalty. Though Ferdinand’s action met with occasional resistance and resulted in the assassination of the inquisitor Pedro de Arbués by converted Jews in 1485, between 1487 and 1505 the processing and trying of more than 1,000 heretics was recorded by the Barcelona chapter, of whom only 25 were ultimately absolved.” ref

“Or the case of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, also known as the Conquest of Mexico or the Spanish-Aztec War (1519–21), was one of the primary events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. There are multiple 16th-century narratives of the events by Spanish conquistadors, their indigenous allies, and the defeated Aztecs. It was not solely a contest between a small contingent of Spaniards defeating the Aztec Empire but rather the creation of a coalition of Spanish invaders with tributaries to the Aztecs, and most especially the Aztecs’ indigenous enemies and rivals. They combined forces to defeat the Mexica of Tenochtitlan over a two-year period. For the Spanish, the expedition to Mexico was part of a project of Spanish colonization of the New World after twenty-five years of permanent Spanish settlement and further exploration in the Caribbean.” ref

“After Cortés’ request surrounding the questioning of raising the cross and the image of the Virgin Mary, the Mexica then killed seven Spanish soldiers Cortés had left on the coast, including Cortés’ Villa Rica Constable Juan de Escalante, and many Totonacs. Cortés along with five of his captains and Doña Marina and Aguilar, convinced Moctezuma to “come quietly with us to our quarters, and make no protest … if you cry out, or raise any commotion, you will immediately be killed.” When Cortés returned to Tenochtitlan in late May, he found that Alvarado and his men had attacked and killed many of the Aztec nobility in the Massacre in the Great Temple, that happened during a religious festival organized by the Aztecs. The Great Temple was central to the Aztecs’ cosmological views; the temple served as a burial ground for the offerings made to different gods, such as the gods of fertility, mountains, rain, and earth. Considering the centrality and the importance of the Great Temple as a religious and cultural monument could potentially have influenced the decision to attack a location such as this.” ref 

“It’s hard to ignore the violence of the Crusades.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

“The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best known of these Crusades are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were intended to recover Jerusalem and its surrounding area from Islamic rule. Beginning with the First Crusade, which resulted in the recovery of Jerusalem in 1099, dozens of Crusades were fought, providing a focal point of European history for centuries. In 1095, Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont. He encouraged military support for Byzantine emperor Alexios I against the Seljuk Turks and called for an armed pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Across all social strata in western Europe, there was an enthusiastic response. The first Crusaders had a variety of motivations, including religious salvation, satisfying feudal obligations, opportunities for renown, and economic or political advantage. Later crusades were conducted by generally more organized armies, sometimes led by a king. All were granted papal indulgences.” ref

“In the early church, especially from the third century on, ecclesiastic authorities allowed a confessor or a Christian awaiting martyrdom to intercede for another Christian in order to shorten the other’s canonical penance. Theologians looked to God’s mercy, the value of the church’s prayers, and the merits of the saints as the basis on which indulgences could be granted. Around 1230 the Dominican Hugh of St-Cher proposed the idea of a “treasury” at the church’s disposal, consisting of the infinite merits of Christ and the immeasurable abundance of the saints’ merits, a thesis that was demonstrated by great scholastics such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas and remains the basis for the theological explanation of indulgences. Indulgences were intended to offer remission of the temporal punishment due to sin equivalent to that someone might obtain by performing a canonical penance for a specific period of time. As Purgatory became more prominent in Christian thinking, the idea developed that the term of indulgences related to remission of time in Purgatory. Indeed, many Late Medieval indulgences were for terms well over a human lifetime, reflecting this belief. For several centuries it was debated by theologians whether penance or purgatory was the currency of the indulgences granted, and the church did not settle the matter definitively, for example avoiding doing so at the Council of Trent. The modern view of the church is that the term is penance.” ref

Or antisemitism?

“Antisemitism Uncovered, A GUIDE TO OLD MYTHS IN A NEW ERA is a comprehensive resource with historical context, fact-based descriptions of prevalent antisemitic myths, contemporary examples, and calls-to-action for addressing this hate. While antisemitism has sometimes escalated to violent or genocidal levels, it more often appears in subtler ways, such as insensitive remarks that are brushed off, or negative stereotypes that go unchallenged. We must never normalize even seemingly harmless forms of hate-based prejudice; this is what strengthens dangerous social attitudes, which can erode the values of even the most just society. Silence and complacency in the face of biased remarks or actions permit others to internalize harmful messages, making such messages commonplace. Antisemitism is unique in many ways, but, like other forms of hate, it grows in silence and blossoms in acquiescence.” ref

“There is also the issue of ongoing Islamophobia.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

“Islamophobia: Understanding Anti-Muslim Sentiment in the West: In a 2011 meeting, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, as well as the League of Arab States, a key partner, identified Islamophobia as an important area of concern. Gallup developed a specific set of analyses, based on measurement of public opinions of majority and minority groups in multiple countries, to guide policymakers in their efforts to address the global issue of Islamophobia.” ref

“And then there is all of that hate that has been directed for decades at anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ and simply wants to affirm their own gender.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. It has been defined as contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred, or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear, and may also be related to religious beliefs. Negative attitudes towards transgender and transsexual people are known as transphobia. Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientations that are non-heterosexual. Recognized types of homophobia include institutionalized homophobia, e.g. religious homophobia and state-sponsored homophobia, and internalized homophobia, experienced by people who have same-sex attractions, regardless of how they identify.” ref

“Negative attitudes toward identifiable LGBT groups have similar yet specific names: lesbophobia is the intersection of homophobia and sexism directed against lesbians, gayphobia is the dislike or hatred of gay men, biphobia targets bisexuality and bisexual people, and transphobia targets transgender and transsexual people and gender variance or gender role nonconformity. According to 2010 Hate Crimes Statistics released by the FBI National Press Office, 19.3 percent of hate crimes across the United States “were motivated by a sexual orientation bias.” Moreover, in a Southern Poverty Law Center 2010 Intelligence Report extrapolating data from fourteen years (1995–2008), which had complete data available at the time, of the FBI’s national hate crime statistics found that LGBT people were “far more likely than any other minority group in the United States to be victimized by violent hate crime.” ref

“There is also its role in keeping women oppressed, including persistent negation and removal of freedom in reproductive choice.” – John Hoopes @KUHoopes on the Twitter

“Sexual Prejudice, Sexism, and Religion: Chana Etengoff, PhD, assistant professor in Adelphi’s Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, co-authored a deeply insightful paper on the psychological and sociological underpinnings of this issue, titled “Sexual Prejudice, Sexism, and Religion,” published in the journal Current Opinion in Psychology. Her research did not take the stance that religion is the inevitable cause of sexism and sexual prejudice, but rather views religion as a cultural tool that individuals can use to either support or undermine gender and sexual equity. A parent rejects a child who comes out as LGBTQ. A woman is pressured to stay home with her children because her place is in the home, not the workplace. A same-sex couple is made to feel uncomfortable at a religious service. A woman in a position of power is doubted and criticized.” ref

“These scenarios, though hypothetical, are not uncommon. Even as our society works toward greater equality for women and sexual minorities, psychologists have long reported links between prejudices against these groups and religion. What lies at the root of sexism and religious beliefs? Chana Etengoff, PhD, assistant professor in Adelphi’s Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, seeks to understand the psychological and sociological underpinnings of this issue in “Sexual Prejudice, Sexism, and Religion,” recently published in the journal Current Opinion in Psychology. “My research does not take the stance that religion is the inevitable cause of sexism and sexual prejudice,” said Dr. Etengoff. “Instead, I view religion as a cultural tool that individuals can use to either support or undermine gender and sexual equity. This study took a close look at the individual and social factors that play a defining role in the convergence of religion, sexism and sexual prejudice.” ref

“Sexism can take several forms—among them beliefs in heteronormativity, male dominance, and that men and women are fundamentally different. Sometimes perceived as benevolent, those with sexist beliefs often idealize traditional gender roles or believe that women need male protection. It can also manifest in hostility, anger or resentment toward women who challenge male power or traditional gender roles, or in negative views about sexual orientation. Sexual prejudice, on the other hand, is the internalizing of negative attitudes toward and belief in the inferiority of sexual minorities and same-sex desires, behaviors and communities. Dr. Etengoff shares that, while some sexual prejudice can be linked to fears like homophobia, most is cultural rather than psychological. Her research shows that while religiousness can predict both sexism and sexual prejudice, the impact of individual differences and social attitudes plays a defining role. Social conservatism—a preference for stability, conformity and the status quo—which is often a key trait of the religious experience, is a greater predictor of these views.” ref

“Still, Dr. Etengoff finds that even when accounting for conservatism as a factor in sexism and sexual prejudice, the relationship between these views and religiousness remains. Reasons she identifies include the sanctioning of sexism and sexual prejudice by religious doctrine or culture (as in the prohibition of homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22), clergy’s views and practices (not performing same-sex marriages), and individual variables (frequency of worship attendance and congregations’ level of orthodoxy). She also notes that, since sexual and gender minorities affiliate half as often with religion as heterosexual and cisgender individuals, a low exposure to these sexual “out-groups” does not provide opportunities to challenge preexisting sexist or prejudicial beliefs.” ref

“All of my work is informed by the theoretical stance that human development is a transformative process embedded in relational, sociopolitical, and historical contexts,” Dr. Etengoff said. “Drawing on a social justice platform, I focus on how minority groups’ community and interpersonal relations can improve even amidst adverse circumstances.” Dr. Etengoff’s research on religion underscores the importance of analyzing the factors leading to sexism and sexual prejudice in order to avoid the wide-ranging negative impacts of these beliefs, from mental and physical health challenges to economic and educational inequities. As she concludes, the positive impact of inclusive and equitable religious frameworks can benefit not only those affected by sexism and sexual prejudice, but those who support these individuals.” ref

Kindness is often an act of radical humanity, in a world so proud of unkindness.

Religion and power?

“In general, anthropologists have shown that the relationship between religion and politics is complex, especially when viewed over the expanse of human history. While religious leaders and the state generally have different aims, both are concerned with power and order; both use reason and emotion to motivate behavior. Throughout history, leaders of religious and political institutions have cooperated, opposed one another, and or attempted to co-opt each other, for purposes which are both noble and base, and they have implemented programs with a wide range of driving values, from compassion which is aimed at alleviating current suffering to brutal change which is aimed at achieving long-term goals, for the benefit of groups ranging from small cliques to all of humanity. The relationship is far from simple. But religion has often been used coercively, and it has also used coercion.” ref

Forced conversion

Forced conversion is the adoption of a different religion or the adoption of irreligion under duress. Someone who has been forced to convert to a different religion or irreligion may continue, covertly, to adhere to the beliefs and practices which were originally held, while outwardly behaving as a convert. Crypto-Jewscrypto-Christianscrypto-Muslims, and crypto-Pagans are historical examples of the latter.” ref

Hindus in India

“In 2009, the Assam Times reported that a group of Hmar militants with about 15 members calling themselves the Manmasi National Christian Army, tried to force Hindu residents of Bhuvan Pahar, Assam to convert to Christianity. During the rule of Pushyamitra Shunga, Buddhist art was patronized. In the 13th century, Buddhists faced forced conversion from Hindu ruler Kalinga Magha, who destroyed many stupas. Indian Christians have alleged that Hindu groups in Odisha have forced Christian converts from Hinduism to revert to Hinduism. In the aftermath of the violence, American Christian evangelical groups have claimed that Hindu groups are forcibly reverting Christian converts from Hinduism back to Hinduism. It has also been alleged that these same Hindu groups have used allurements to convert poor Muslims and Christians to Hinduism against their will. Post 2014 in India, several radical Hindu groups have been accused of converting Christians and Muslims to Hinduism. In December 2014, 57 Muslim families were reportedly converted to Hinduism. In 2020, several Muslim families were forcibly converted to Hinduism. In other states like Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, Christians were converted to Hinduism by Hindu nationalist groups.” ref


“People may express their faith through the act of taking refuge, and conversions usually require a recital of accepting the Triple Gems of Buddhism. However, they may always practice Buddhism without fully abandoning their own religion. According to Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO), Christians from the Chin ethnic minority group in Myanmar are facing coercion to convert to Buddhism by state actors and programs.” ref


Christianity was a minority religion during much of the middle Roman Classical Period, and the early Christians were persecuted during that time. When Constantine I converted to Christianity, it had already grown to be the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Already under the reign of Constantine I, Christian heretics were being persecuted; beginning in the late 4th century, the ancient pagan religions were also actively suppressed. In the view of many historians, the Constantinian shift turned Christianity from a persecuted religion into a religion which was capable of persecuting and sometimes eager to persecute.” ref

Late Antiquity

“On 27 February 380, together with Gratian and Valentinian II, Theodosius I issued the decree Cunctos populos, the so-called Edict of Thessalonica, recorded in the Codex Theodosianus xvi.1.2. This declared Trinitarian Nicene Christianity to be the only legitimate imperial religion and the only one entitled to call itself Catholic. Forced conversions of Jews were carried out with the support of rulers during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages in Gaul, the Iberian peninsula, and in the Byzantine Empire. Other Christians he described as “foolish madmen”. He also ended official state support for the traditional polytheist religions and customs. The Codex Theodosianus (Eng. Theodosian Code) was a compilation of the laws of the Roman Empire under the Christian emperors since 312. A commission was established by Theodosius II and his co-emperor Valentinian III on 26 March 429 and the compilation was published by a constitution of 15 February 438.” ref

“It went into force in the eastern and western parts of the empire on 1 January 439.

It is Our will that all the peoples who are ruled by the administration of Our Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the Apostle transmitted to the Romans…. The rest, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative (Codex Theodosianus XVI 1.2.).” ref

Medieval western Europe

“During the Saxon Wars, Charlemagne, King of the Franks, forcibly converted the Saxons from their native Germanic paganism by way of warfare, and law upon conquest. Examples are the Massacre of Verden in 782, when Charlemagne reportedly had 4,500 captive Saxons massacred for rebelling, and the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, a law imposed on conquered Saxons in 785, after another rebellion and destruction of churches and killing of missionary priests and monks, that prescribed death to those who refused to convert to Christianity.” ref

“Forced conversion that occurred after the seventh century generally took place during riots and massacres carried out by mobs and clergy without support of the rulers. In contrast, royal persecutions of Jews from the late eleventh century onward generally took the form of expulsions, with some exceptions, such as conversions of Jews in southern Italy of the 13th century, which were carried out by Dominican Inquisitors but instigated by King Charles II of Naples. Jews were forced to convert to Christianity by the Crusaders in Lorraine, on the Lower Rhine, in Bavaria and Bohemia, in Mainz and in Worms (see Rhineland massacres, Worms massacre (1096)).” ref

Pope Innocent III pronounced in 1201 that if one agreed to be baptized to avoid torture and intimidation, one nevertheless could be compelled to outwardly observe Christianity:

[T]hose who are immersed even though reluctant, do belong to ecclesiastical jurisdiction at least by reason of the sacrament, and might therefore be reasonably compelled to observe the rules of the Christian Faith. It is, to be sure, contrary to the Christian Faith that anyone who is unwilling and wholly opposed to it should be compelled to adopt and observe Christianity. For this reason a valid distinction is made by some between kinds of unwilling ones and kinds of compelled ones. Thus one who is drawn to Christianity by violence, through fear and through torture, and receives the sacrament of Baptism in order to avoid loss, he (like one who comes to Baptism in dissimulation) does receive the impress of Christianity, and may be forced to observe the Christian Faith as one who expressed a conditional willingness though, absolutely speaking, he was unwilling …” ref

“During the Northern Crusades against the pagan Balts and Slavs of northern Europe, forced conversions were a widely used tactic, which received papal sanction. These tactics were first adopted during the Wendish Crusade, but became more widespread during the Livonian Crusade and Prussian Crusade, in which tactics included the killing of hostages, massacre, and the devastation of the lands of tribes that had not yet submitted. Most of the populations of these regions were converted only after the repeated rebellion of native populations that did not want to accept Christianity even after initial forced conversion; in Old Prussia, the tactics employed in the initial conquest and subsequent conversion of the territory resulted in the death of most of the native population, whose language consequently became extinct.” ref

Early modern Iberian peninsula

“After the end of Islamic control of Spain, Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. In Portugal, following an order for their expulsion in 1496, only a handful were allowed to leave and the rest were forced to convert. Muslims were expelled from Portugal in 1497, and they were gradually forced to convert in the constituent kingdoms of Spain. The forced conversion of Muslims was implemented in the Crown of Castile from 1500 to 1502 and in the Crown of Aragon in the 1520s. After the conversions, the so-called “New Christians” were those inhabitants (Sephardic Jews or Mudéjar Muslims) who were baptized under coercion and in the face of execution, becoming forced converts from Islam (Moriscos, Conversos and “secret Moors”) or from Judaism (Conversos, Crypto-Jews, and Marranos).” ref

“After the forced conversion, when all former Muslims and Jews had ostensibly become Catholic, the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition targeted primarily forced converts from Judaism and Islam, who came under suspicion of either continuing to adhere to their old religion or having fallen back into it. Jewish conversos still resided in Spain and often practised Judaism secretly and were suspected by the “Old Christians” of being Crypto-Jews. The Spanish Inquisition generated much wealth and income for the church and individual inquisitors by confiscating the property of the persecuted. The end of Al-Andalus and the expulsion of the Sephardic Jews from the Iberian Peninsula went hand in hand with the increase of Spanish and Portuguese influence in the world, as exemplified in the Christian conquest of the Americas and their aboriginal Indian population. The Ottoman Empire and Morocco absorbed most of the Jewish and Muslim refugees, although a large majority remained as Conversos.” ref

Colonial Americas

“During the European colonization of the Americas, forced conversion of the continents’ indigenous, non-Christian population was common, especially in South America and Mesoamerica, where the conquest of large indigenous polities like the Inca and Aztec Empires placed colonizers in control of large non-Christian populations. According to some South American leaders and indigenous groups, there were cases among native populations of conversion under the threat of violence, often because they were compelled to after being conquered, and that the Catholic Church cooperated with civil authority to achieve this end.” ref

Eastern Europe

“Upon converting to Christianity in the 10th century, Vladimir the Great, the ruler of Kievan Rus’, ordered Kiev’s citizens to undergo a mass baptism in the Dnieper river. In the 13th century, the pagan populations of the Baltics faced campaigns of forcible conversion by crusading knight corps such as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and the Teutonic Order, which often meant simply dispossessing these populations of their lands and property. After Ivan the Terrible‘s conquest of the Khanate of Kazan, the Muslim population faced slaughter, expulsion, forced resettlement, and conversion to Christianity. In the 18th century, Elizabeth of Russia launched a campaign of forced conversion of Russia’s non-Orthodox subjects, including Muslims and Jews.” ref

Goa inquisition

“The Portuguese carried out the Christianisation of Goa in India in the 16th and 17th centuries. The majority of the natives of Goa had converted to Christianity by the end of the 16th century. The Portuguese rulers had implemented state policies encouraging and even rewarding conversions among Hindu subjects. The rapid rise of converts in Goa was mostly the result of Portuguese economic and political control over the Hindus, who were vassals of the Portuguese crown. In 1567, the conversion of the majority of the native villagers to Christianity allowed the Portuguese to destroy temples in Bardez, with 300 Hindu temples destroyed. Prohibitions were then declared from December 4, 1567, on public performances of Hindu marriages, sacred thread wearing, and cremation.” ref

“All persons above 15 years of age were compelled to listen to Christian preaching, failing which they were punished. In 1583, Hindu temples at Assolna and Cuncolim were also destroyed by the Portuguese army after the majority of the native villagers there had also converted to Christianity. “The fathers of the Church forbade the Hindus under terrible penalties the use of their own sacred books, and prevented them from all exercise of their religion. They destroyed their temples, and so harassed and interfered with the people that they abandoned the city in large numbers, refusing to remain any longer in a place where they had no liberty, and were liable to imprisonment, torture and death if they worshiped after their own fashion the gods of their fathers”, wrote Filippo Sassetti, who was in India from 1578 to 1588.” ref

Papal States

“In 1858, Edgardo Mortara was taken from his Jewish parents and raised as a Catholic, because he had been baptized by a maid without his parents’ consent or knowledge. This incident was called the Mortara case.” ref

Serbs during World War II in Yugoslavia

“During World War II in Yugoslavia, Orthodox Serbs were forcibly converted to Catholicism by the Ustashe.” ref

“The Saxon Wars were from 772, when Charlemagne first entered Saxony with the intent to conquer, to 804 and involved their forcible conversion from Germanic paganism to Christianity, with 4,500 Saxton beheadings.”


Jizya and conversion

“According to Ye’or, upon payment of the jizya tax, the dhimmi (jizya paying resident of Islamic state or country) would receive a receipt of payment, either in the form of a piece of paper or parchment or as a seal humiliatingly placed upon their neck, and was thereafter compelled to carry this receipt wherever he went within the realms of Islam. Failure to produce an up-to-date jizya receipt on the request of a Muslim could result in death or forced conversion to Islam of the dhimmi in question. Jews and Christians were required to pay the jizyah while pagans depending on the four Madhhabs were either required to accept Islam, pay the jizya, be exiled, or be killed. Some historians believe that forced conversion was rare in Islamic history, and most conversions to Islam were voluntary. Muslim rulers were often more interested in conquest than conversion. Ira Lapidus points towards “interwoven terms of political and economic benefits and of a sophisticated culture and religion” as appealing to the masses.” ref

“He writes that:

The question of why people convert to Islam has always generated the intense feeling. Earlier generations of European scholars believed that conversions to Islam were made at the point of the sword, and that conquered peoples were given the choice of conversion or death. It is now apparent that conversion by force, while not unknown in Muslim countries, was, in fact, rare. Muslim conquerors ordinarily wished to dominate rather than convert, and most conversions to Islam were voluntary. (…) In most cases, worldly and spiritual motives for conversion blended together. Moreover, conversion to Islam did not necessarily imply a complete turning from an old to a totally new life. While it entailed the acceptance of new religious beliefs and membership in a new religious community, most converts retained a deep attachment to the cultures and communities from which they came.” ref

Muslim scholars like Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf stated that the jizya tax should be paid by Non-Muslims (Kuffar) regardless of their religion, some later and also earlier Muslim jurists did not permit Non-Muslims who are not People of the Book or Ahle-Kitab (Jews, Christians, Sabians) pay the jizya. Instead, they only allowed them (non-Ahle-Kitab) to avoid death by choosing to convert to Islam. Of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the Hanafi and Maliki schools allow polytheists to be granted dhimmi status, except Arab polytheists. However, the Shafi’i, Hanbali, and Zahiri schools only consider Christians, Jews, and Sabians to be eligible to belong to the dhimmi category. Wael Hallaq states that in theory, Islamic religious tolerance only applied to those religious groups that Islamic jurisprudence considered to be monotheistic “People of the Book”, i.e. Christians, Jews, and Sabians if they paid the jizya tax, while to those excluded from the “People of the Book” were only offered two choices: convert to Islam or fight to the death. In practice, the “People of the Book” designation and dhimmi status were even extended to the non-monotheistic religions of the conquered peoples, such as Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and other non-monotheists.” ref


“The Druze have frequently experienced persecution by different Muslim regimes such as the Shia Ismaili Fatimid State, Mamluk, Sunni Ottoman Empire, and Egypt Eyalet. The persecution of the Druze included massacres, demolishing Druze prayer houses and holy places, and forced conversion to Islam. Those were no ordinary killings and massacres in the Druze’s narrative, they were meant to eradicate the whole community according to the Druze narrative.” ref

Early period

“The wars of the Ridda (lit. apostasy) undertaken by Abu Bakr, the first caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, against Arab tribes who had accepted Islam but refused to pay Zakat and Jizya Tax, have been described by some historians as an instance of forced conversion or “reconversion”. The rebellion of these Arab tribes was less a relapse to the pre-Islamic Arabian religion than termination of a political contract they had made with Muhammad. Some of these tribal leaders claimed prophethood, bringing themselves in direct conflict with the Muslim Caliphate. Although, the exact reason according to other sources are not only that these tribes refused to pay Zakat, which is one of the five main pillars of Islam, but were also responsible for leading rebellious campaigns against the Muslim state.” ref

“A well-known classical scholar, Allama Badr al-Din al-Aini (1360–1453), writes in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari:

Hazrat Abu Bakr al-Siddiq fought those who refused to pay Zakat because they had taken up the sword and started a war against the Muslim community … Hazrat Abu Hanifa took the ground that he who refuses to pay Zakat must neither be killed nor even fought. However, he must be forced to pay it without the use of the sword, and must only be killed if he rose up to attack. This is exactly what Hazrat Abu Bakr did with those who refused to pay Zakat during his caliphate. He did not fight them until they rose up to attack him” ref

“Two out of the four schools of Islamic law, i.e. Hanafi and Maliki schools, accepted non-Arab polytheists to be eligible for the dhimmi status. Under this doctrine, Arab polytheists were forced to choose between conversion and death. However, according to perception of most Muslim jurists, all Arabs had embraced Islam during the lifetime of Muhammad. Their exclusion, therefore, had little practical significance after his death in 632. During the conquest of Gaza sixty Christian soldiers “fought day and night” and “continuously slew many of these Saracens” under the command of Amr bin al-As. They were eventually captured. Amr was impresses by their resiliency and was eager to recruit them, so repeatedly “tried to force those [sixty] brought before him to desert their confession of Christ” and cobvert to Islam.” ref

“Every time they refused, they were sent to harsher, fouler dungeons. Amr eventually sent them to a prison in Jerusalem. After ten months, Amr wrote to Abu Ubaida in Jerusalem and told him to “tell them to deny their faith; and that if they agreed to deny Christ, to remove the irons from them and to send them on with great honor; and that if they refused to submit, to behead their chief, together with nine others, in front of them, so that, seeing this, the rest would, perhaps, be led by fear and deny their faith.” Abu Ubaida did so yet the prisoners “did not submit to his commands, but all confessed together the faith of Our Lord Christ.” Enraged, Muhammad’s companion ordered their chief and nine others beheaded and the rest sent to a fouler dungeon. A month later, Amr ordered the fifty prisoners remaining sent back to him.” ref

“Unable to understand why they continued to refuse to say the shahada frustrated him so he displayed their wives and children and told them:(page 445 and 448 of source)

How stiff-necked you are in your refusal to submit to us concerning our rites! If you submit to us, behold, you will have your wives and sons, and will be like us, and will be honoured just like one of us; but if you do not, you too will suffer what your fellow soldiers have suffered.” Then the holy martyrs responded together to Ambrus [Amr], saying, “No one can separate us from the love of Christ, neither wives, nor sons, nor all the wealth of this world, but we are servants of Christ, the Son of the living God, and we are prepared to die for Him who died and rose for us.” When the most cruel Ambrus heard this, he was filled with anger, his face changed, and he ordered the holy martyrs of Christ to be surrounded by acrowd of Saracens, and in this way he wickedly killed them [“by means of various tortures”]on account of their faith in Christ.” ref

“In the 9th century, the Samaritan population of Palestine faced persecution and attempts at forced conversion at the hands of the rebel leader ibn Firāsa, against whom they were defended by Abbasid caliphal troops. Historians recognize that during the Early Middle Ages, the Christian populations living in the lands invaded by the Arab Muslim armies between the 7th and 10th centuries suffered religious discrimination, religious persecution, religious violence, and martyrdom multiple times at the hands of Arab Muslim officials and rulers. As People of the Book, Christians under Muslim rule were subjected to dhimmi status (along with Jews, Samaritans, Gnostics, Mandeans, and Zoroastrians), which was inferior to the status of Muslims. Christians and other religious minorities thus faced religious discrimination and religious persecution in that they were banned from proselytising (for Christians, it was forbidden to evangelize or spread Christianity) in the lands invaded by the Arab Muslims on pain of death, they were banned from bearing arms, undertaking certain professions, and were obligated to dress differently in order to distinguish themselves from Arabs.” ref 

“Under sharia, Non-Muslims were obligated to pay jizya and kharaj taxes, together with periodic heavy ransom levied upon Christian communities by Muslim rulers in order to fund military campaigns, all of which contributed a significant proportion of income to the Islamic states while conversely reducing many Christians to poverty, and these financial and social hardships forced many Christians to convert to Islam. Christians unable to pay these taxes were forced to surrender their children to the Muslim rulers as payment who would sell them as slaves to Muslim households where they were forced to convert to Islam. Many Christian martyrs were executed under the Islamic death penalty for defending their Christian faith through dramatic acts of resistance such as refusing to convert to Islam, repudiation of the Islamic religion and subsequent reconversion to Christianity, and blasphemy towards Muslim beliefs.” ref

Almohad Caliphate

“There were forced conversions in the 12th century under the Almohad dynasty of North Africa and al-Andalus, who suppressed the dhimmi status of Jews and Christians and gave them the choice between conversion, exile, and being executed. The treatment and persecution of Jews under Almohad rule was a drastic change. Prior to Almohad rule during the Caliphate of Córdoba, Jewish culture experienced a Golden Age. María Rosa Menocal, a specialist in Iberian literature at Yale University, has argued that “tolerance was an inherent aspect of Andalusian society”, and that the Jewish dhimmis living under the Caliphate, while allowed fewer rights than Muslims, were still better off than in Christian Europe.Many Jews migrated to al-Andalus, where they were not just tolerated but allowed to practice their faith openly. Christians had also practiced their religion openly in Córdoba, and both Jews and Christians lived openly in Morocco as well.” ref

“The first Almohad ruler, Abd al-Mumin, allowed an initial seven-month grace period. Then he forced most of the urban dhimmi population in Morocco, both Jewish and Christian, to convert to Islam. In 1198, the Almohad emir Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur decreed that Jews must wear a dark blue garb, with very large sleeves and a grotesquely oversized hat; his son altered the color to yellow, a change that may have influenced Catholic ordinances some time later. Those who converted had to wear clothing that identified them as Jews since they were not regarded as sincere Muslims. Cases of mass martyrdom of Jews who refused to convert to Islam are recorded.” ref

“Many of the conversions were superficial. Maimonides urged Jews to choose the superficial conversion over martyrdom and argued, “Muslims know very well that we do not mean what we say, and that what we say is only to escape the ruler’s punishment and to satisfy him with this simple confession.” Abraham Ibn Ezra (1089–1164), who himself fled the persecutions of the Almohads, composed an elegy mourning the destruction of many Jewish communities throughout Spain and the Maghreb under the Almohads. Many Jews fled from territories ruled by the Almohads to Christian lands, and others, like the family of Maimonides, fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands. However, a few Jewish traders still working in North Africa are recorded.” ref

“The treatment and persecution of Christians under Almohad rule was a drastic change as well. Many Christians were killed, forced to convert, or forced to flee. Some Christians fled to the Christian kingdoms in the north and west and helped fuel the Reconquista. Christian martyrs who refused to convert to Islam under Almohad rule included:

“Christians under the Almohad rule generally chose to relocate to the Christian principalities (most notably the Kingdom of Asturias) in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, whereas Jews decided to stay in order to keep their properties, and many of them feigned conversion to Islam, while continuing to believe and practice Judaism in secrecy. During the Almohad persecution, the medieval Jewish philosopher and rabbi Moses Maimonides (1135–1204), one of the leading exponents of the Golden Age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula, wrote his Epistle on Apostasy, in which he permitted Jews to feign apostasy under duress, though strongly recommending leaving the country instead. There is dispute amongst scholars as to whether Maimonides himself converted to Islam in order to freely escape from Almohad territory, and then reconverted back to Judaism in either the Levant or in Egypt. He was later denounced as an apostate and tried in an Islamic court.” ref


“In the late 1160s, the Yemenite ruler ‘Abd-al-Nabī ibn Mahdi left Jews with the choice between conversion to Islam or martyrdom. Ibn Mahdi also imposed his beliefs upon the Muslims besides the Jews. This led to a revival of Jewish messianism, but also led to mass-conversion. The persecution ended in 1173 with the defeat of Ibn Mahdi and conquest of Yemen by the brother of Saladin, and they were allowed to return to their Jewish faith. According to two Cairo Genizah documents, the Ayyubid ruler of Yemen, al-Malik al-Mu’izz al-Ismail (reigned from 1197 to 1202) had attempted to force the Jews of Aden to convert. The second document details the relief of Jewish community after his murder, and those who had been forced to convert reverted to Judaism. While he did not impose Islam upon the foreign merchants, they were forced to pay triple the normal rate of poll tax. A measure listed in the legal works by Al-Shawkānī is of forced conversion of Jewish orphans. No date is given for this decree by modern studies nor who issued it. The forced conversion of Jewish orphans was reintroduced under Imam Yahya in 1922. The Orphans’ Decree was implemented aggressively for the first ten years. It was re-promulgated in 1928.” ref

Ottoman Empire

“A form of forced conversion became institutionalized during the Ottoman Empire in the practice of devşirme, a human levy in which Christian boys were seized and collected from their families (usually in the Balkans), enslaved, forcefully converted to Islam, and then trained as elite military unit within the Ottoman army or for high-ranking service to the sultan. From the mid to late 14th, through early 18th centuries, the devşirmejanissary system enslaved an estimated 500,000 to one million non-Muslim adolescent males. These boys would attain a great education and high social standing after their training and conversion.” ref

“In the 17th century, Sabbatai Zevi, a Sephardic Jew whose ancestors were welcomed in the Ottoman Empire during the Spanish Inquisition, proclaimed himself as the Jewish Messiah and called for the abolition of major Jewish laws and customs. After he attracted a large following, he was arrested by the Ottoman authorities and given a choice between execution or conversion to Islam. Zevi opted for a feigned conversion solely to escape the death penalty, and continued to believe and practice Judaism along with his followers in secrecy. The Byzantine historian Doukas recounts two other cases of forced or attempted forced conversion: one of a Christian official who had offended Sultan Murad II, and the other of an archbishop.” ref

Speros Vryonis cites a pastoral letter from 1338 addressed to the residents of Nicaea indicating widespread, forcible conversion by the Turks after it was conquered: “And they [Turks] having captured and enslaved many of our own and violently forced them and dragging them along alas! So that they took up their evil and godlessness.” After the Siege of Nicaea (1328–1331) The Turks began to force the Christian inhabitants who had escaped the massacres to convert to Islam. The patriarch of Constantinople John XIX wrote a message to the people of Nicea shortly after the city was seized. His letter says that “The invaders endeavored to impose their impure religion on the populace, at all costs, intending to make the inhabitants followers of Muhammad”. Patriarch advised the Christians to “be steadfast in your religion” and not to forget that the “Turks are masters of your bodies only, but not of your souls.” ref

Apostolos Vakalopoulos comments on the first Ottoman invasions of Europe and Dimitar Angelov gives assessment on the Campaigns on Murad II and Mehmed II and their impact on the conquered native Christian Balkan Christians:

From the very beginning of the Turkish onslaught [in Thrace] under Suleiman [son of Sultan Orhan], the Turks tried to consolidate their position by the forcible imposition of Islam. If [the Ottoman historian] Şükrullah is to be believed, those who refused to accept the Moslem faith were slaughtered and their families enslaved. “Where there were bells,” writes the same author [Şükrullah], “Suleiman broke them up and cast them into fires. Where there were churches he destroyed them or converted them into mosques. Thus, in place of bells there were now muezzins. Wherever Christian infidels were still found, vassalage was imposed on their rulers. At least in public they could no longer say ‘kyrie eleison’ but rather ‘There is no God but Allah’; and where once their prayers had been addressed to Christ, they were now to “Muhammad, the prophet of Allah.” ref

“According to historian Demetrios Constantelos, “Mass forced conversions were recorded during the caliphates of Selim I (1512–1520),…Selim II (1566–1574), and Murat III (1574–1595). On the occasion of some anniversary, such as the capture of a city, or a national holiday, many rayahs were forced to apostacize. On the day of the circumcision of Mohammed III great numbers of Christians (Albanians, Greeks, Slavs) were forced to convert to Islam.” After reviewing the martyrology of Christians killed by the Ottomans from the fall of Constantinople all the way to the final phases of the Greek War of Independence, Constantelos reports:

The Ottoman Turks condemned to death eleven Ecumenical Patriarchs of Constantinople, nearly one hundred bishops, and several thousand priests, deacons, and monks. It is impossible to say with certainty how many men of the cloth were forced to apostasize.” ref

“For strategic reasons, the Ottomans forcibly converted Christians living in the frontier regions of Macedonia and northern Bulgaria, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries. Those who refused were either executed or burned alive. The community budgets of Jews was heavily burdened by the repurchasing of Jewish slaves abducted by Arab, Berber, or Turkish pirates, or by military raids. The mental trauma due to captivity and slavery caused unransomed prisoners who had lost family, money, and friends to convert to Islam. During his travels through the Salt lake region of central Anatolia, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier observed in the town of Mucur, “there are numbers of Greeks who are forced everyday to become Turks”. During the genocide and persecution of Greeks in the 20th century, there were cases of forced conversion to Islam (see also Armenian genocide, Assyrian genocide, and Hamidian massacres).” ref


“In Persia, instances of forced conversion of Jews took place in 1291 and 1318, and those of Baghdad in 1333 and 1344. In 1617 and 1622, a wave of forced conversions and persecution, provoked by the slander of Jewish apostates, swept over  the jews of Persia, sparing neither Nestorian Christians nor Armenians. From 1653 to 1666, during the rengn of Shah Abbas II, all the Jews in Persia were Islamized by force. However, religious freedom was eventually restored. A law im 1656 gave Jewish or Christian converts to Islam exclusive rights of inheritance. This law was alleviated for the Christians as a concession to Pope Alexander VII but remained in force for Jews until the end of the nineteenth century. David Cazés mentions the existence in Tunisia of similar inheritance laws favoring converts to Islam.” ref


“In an invasion of the Kashmir valley (1015), Mahmud of Ghazni plundered the valley, took many prisoners and carried out conversions to Islam. In his later campaigns, in Mathura, Baran and Kanauj, again, many conversions took place. Those soldiers who surrendered to him were converted to Islam. In Baran (Bulandshahr) alone 10,000 persons were converted to Islam including the king. Tarikh-i-Yamini, Rausat-us-Safa and Tarikh-i-Ferishtah speak of construction of mosques and schools and appointment of preachers and teachers by Mahmud and his successor Masud. Wherever Mahmud went, he insisted on the people to convert to Islam. The raids by Muhammad Ghori and his generals brought in thousands of slaves in the late 12th century, most of whom were compelled to convert as one of the preconditions of their freedom Sikandar Butshikan (1394–1417) demolished Hindu temples and forcefully converted Hindus.” ref

Aurangzeb employed a number of means to encourage conversions to Islam. The ninth guru of Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded in Delhi on orders of Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam. In a Mughal-Sikh war in 1715, 700 followers of Banda Singh Bahadur were beheaded. Sikhs were executed for not apostatizing from Sikhism. Banda Singh Bahadur was offered a pardon if he converted to Islam. Upon refusal, he was tortured, and was killed with his five-year-old son. Following the execution of Banda, the emperor ordered to apprehend Sikhs anywhere they were found. 18th-century ruler Tipu Sultan persecuted the Hindus, Christians, and Mappla Muslims. During Sultan’s Mysorean invasion of Kerala, hundreds of temples and churches were demolished and ten thousands of Christians and Hindus were killed or converted to Islam by force.” ref

Even though the valiant have fallen and the darkness is all but closing in,

may my desire for compassion, care, and love always win.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (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 (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (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). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

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ref, ref

Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

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While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFjxmY7jQA by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

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The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston: https://damienmarieathope.com/2021/04/cory-johnston-mind-of-a-skeptical-leftist/?v=32aec8db952d  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.” http://anchor.fm/skepticalleft

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist. 

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so. 

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

“Animism” is needed to begin supernatural thinking.
“Totemism” is needed for supernatural thinking connecting human actions & related to clan/tribe.
“Shamanism” is needed for supernatural thinking to be controllable/changeable by special persons.
Together = Gods/paganism

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: damien.marie.athope@gmail.com

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