Why did all ancient cultures believed in a god?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Car
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Why did all ancient cultures believed in a god?

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Post by Car » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:13 am

Please don't say that this is a proof for God existence,but explain to me why develop this mindset?

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Re: Why did all ancient cultures believed in a god?

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Post by hughfarey » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:49 am

Is a wild guess OK?
Part of the emerging consciousness of mankind was an appreciation of some kind of order behind the capriciousness of the observed environment. The lights in the sky moved with calculable precision, the growth of plants and animals followed predictable paths, and to a certain extent even the weather showed a certain regularity. The better an understanding of these phenomena, the easier life became (no point looking for bananas in a wood full of fir trees, or hoping your goat would be a good source of eggs). Whereas all sorts of creatures make use of their innate knowledge of these things, humans began to wonder why they happened. Was it an inevitable feature of the rather random processes that seemed to be observed in their day-to-day life, or was there some kind of underlying unity behind it all? Probably the latter. Understood correctly, nature was admirably suited to human existence; misunderstood, and there was a good chance of accident, poisoning and other misfortunes. Powerful, all knowing, invisible overseers were probably an inevitable part of this thinking.
However, although that's fine as far as it goes, individual cultures interpreted the above in very different ways. Some saw all sorts of natural phenomena in individual conflict, and derived lots of Gods, whereas some saw a single unifying concept, and stuck to one. In some cultures God was basically out to get them, and had to be continuously placated to keep him sweet, whereas in others God was basically benign, and only occasionally got cross when his humans misbehaved. In others still He (or They) had no interest in humans at all, and simply keeping out of their way and making the most of what opportunities were offered was the best course of action. I dare say there were endless intermediate constructions as well.
I think an Atheist might chip in here and say that such an explanation demonstrates that God could be a purely human explanation for Natural phenomena, and that therefore God does not exist. A theist would say that Natural phenomena have to be explained somehow, and that the more we have explored and understood about the universe, the more we have appreciated the quality of the unity behind it, which can best be described as God. Thus the emergence of a belief in God in early cultures does not, by itself, show that God does or does not exist.

Car
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Re: Why did all ancient cultures believed in a god?

#3

Post by Car » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:10 am

From what I ve read is also because of the"God gene"?But if this "mindset" or belief is wrong for our survival as atheist say why does not the evolution didn't eliminate it?
I was expecting more answers in this topic guys

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Re: Why did all ancient cultures believed in a god?

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Post by Byblos » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:02 pm

There certainly may have been natural phenomena that influenced people towards the belief in a deity but I think the reason the belief was there from the dawn of mankind (and still is) is because it made sense. It was most forcefully articulated by Aristotle's time and the Scholastics thereafter.
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Re: Why did all ancient cultures believed in a god?

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Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:03 pm

There are many reasons that are postulated.
Some are "God of the gaps" reasons and others simply based on a perception that there is more to this than simply this.
How cultures express those views is what brings forth different expressions of belief, ie: religion.
Now, some have stated that there may be a "god gene" in us and if that is so, it may have been left their by our creator.
One thing that seems clear is that, as Augustine said, "Our hearts ache for you and we can only find peace when we find you" ( paraphrasing).
Now, some find their God in GOD while others find it elsewhere but ALL have a longing for "something else".
One of the things that makes Humans unique is this "longing", this "belief" to KNOW what is "out there".
Now, did someone put that "inkling" there?
That every single culture has it, that every single person has it, makes me think yes.

I would also add that the reason that every culture has "gods" is possibly because they had "evidence" to believe in such beings.

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