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|Gods 1.0 -- A Brief History of Gods|
Primitive man found many natural phenomena perplexing. He reacted by assuming spirits for all the whims of nature, and gods (pantheism) inhabiting just about everything including other humans. Yet, he endowed his spirits and gods with human qualities and attributes (anthropomorphism). Out of anxiety and fear, he tried to negotiate with his gods by begging or bribing them. Successful negotiations reinforced his belief in his gods. Unsuccessful efforts, if he survived, were conveniently forgotten. Something akin to the idea of shooting an arrow into a tree and drawing circles around the point of impact.
Birds and animals died, had accidents, or were devoured by other creatures, including humans. So, as man evolved, so did his gods. From the near and accessible, toward ever distant and less accessible. Trees and rocks, though more durable, were also found wanting. One could see a tree hit by lightning, and one could crack a rock. Rivers would change course and waterfalls stop. Mountains could be climbed. Even fire could be started and controlled, and rain and wind problems diminished by climbing into caves and covering entrances with skins. Volcanoes are worshipped even today in some obscure places. Statues of existing or imagined animals could be built and worshipped, but only until their impotence was clearly revealed when smashed by enemies or competing statues worshippers.
Clearly, totally inaccessible things were needed for worship. Things which would not die or be broken or destroyed. The sun, moon, and stars served very well for a long time. At least until the first upstart philosopher/skeptic came along and said: "Hey, you morons, I'll bet you that the sun will rise tomorrow in the East, regardless of whether you pray for it to do so or not!" More sophisticated philosophers followed to demolish less obvious fallacies of [blind] belief. Lastly, early astronomers killed off the personal natures of heavenly bodies altogether.
(Jesus actually believed that stars were mere glowing embers which could fall down to his feet, and people would trip over them. When he did finally return to Earth, he flunked Astronomy 101 at the Oral Roberts University. He was so disappointed that he returned home, and hasn't shown his face since.)
Still anxious to have a father figure to lean on, religionists opted for a totally abstract concept. An all-powerful being, inaccessible to any of the senses. This brings us, more or less, up to date.
The need for believer types to create gods seems boundless. Some enterprising soul has catalogued at least 30,000 different names of gods. This probably means that the actual figure is much larger, possibly by a factor of ten.
Verily we say unto thee: ALL GODS ARE CREATED BY MEN.
What about our very own Super-Deistic-God (SDG), aka Ollif [All Life]? Sure, SDG is also a figment of our imagination. But we needed it as a scaffolding concept for Superreligion. Please read out entry SUPERRELIGION for exciting details.
The reason we are still talking about the idea of god(s) is NOT due to the brilliant minds of religionists. The religionists simply lucked out. It has to do with an aspect of logic:
IT IS LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE THE NON-EXISTENCE OF ANYTHING!
But, what you sow, you reap.
Neither you not any religionist can ever prove the non-existence of SDG, aka Ollif!
But then, why should you want to? Superreligion is the only religion which doesn't have Mooching Mystics running around insulting your intelligence.