[LMB] Religion question

tidsel egern at protonmail.com
Sat Jul 10 11:28:30 BST 2021

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On Thursday, July 8th, 2021 at 23:11, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:

> The single biggest function of religion is to serve as a way to identify
> tribal in-groups.

Not sure about that. If we go back in time, it would be more like trying to understand the world and what happens, and stay on the good
side on the powers you believe is there (in the absence of other explanations) and the way to survive in practical terms. All of this helps define the group, though.

Superficial customs can be imitated, but lore that can't
> be derived from general experience must be learned. Then, afterwards, it
> has effects on behavior patterns, but largely due to providing patterns for
> people to conform to.

Yes. I think later on rituals and ways to a means tend to stagnate, and you forget why you did things the way you do.
It becomes, or can become, dogmatic.

> Actual morality is a secondary, if important,
> feature,

What is morality? I have often wondered. At all times there seems to be some idea of righ and wrong, where does it come from?
Simply and only from habits already there? Empathy, born out of being a group animal? But other animals have that too..

> and it tends to involve reinterpreting content to match the
> morality of the moment more than making actual belief conform to texts.
> And isn't that at least partially a good thing?

Indeed. For example: My impression of Mohammed's gathering in of the tribes into a nation was by help of a common belief system and rituals, and it certainly
worked. Meaning no disrespect for Islam. It is my impression that at that time, his ideas were rather progressive. For instance you must stone adulterous women, but
you had to have 4 witnesses to the act!

Moral, whatever it is, must be a sense of what people think is right, rather than an idea being imposed on them. Then again, is
morals kind of the opposite of might makes right? In which case you try to impose it on the might.

And just to muddle the thread hopelessly: we all are getting impulses of all kinds from our surroundings, and are a result of all that went before.
I have often wondered what exactly happens in the head of a person, who gets a truly original, never ever heard of before idea?? Many claim that there are no
new ideas, everything is based on previous ideas.

> The moral codes of
> pre-Iron Age nomads and farmers are universally vile by today's standards.

You are thinking of the bible? I do not know much about morals and laws in pre iron age, but it is said that iron age is very varied and sometimes quite ok.

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