What Makes Up a Religon? People, rules and stories – usually in the form of holy scriptures, leaders, and fear which requires magical promises.
Unitarian Universalism is one of only two well-known religions which are nonstandard. The other religion is Buddhism which has about 700 million followers. UU and Buddhism are different from the others in that these two do not use fear of punishment to gain, keep and control followers.
Where did religion come from? It came from the ancient past and it is thought medicine men and witchdoctors were the high priests of early religious practices and used the seasons, the return of game, the return of rain, and sage advice, and so forth to maintain their importance to the tribe. Did they take advantage of the religious spark or impulse or the wonder which comes with being human?
I recently viewed a video debate between famous atheistic and Christian scholars and the following statistics were used and no objections to the statistics were raised by either side: “There have existed on earth about 36,000 different religious belief systems and there has been belief in about 1,000 different gods.”
Do the huge amounts of different and conflicting information brought forth by this huge number of religions and gods point to human beings as their creators? Yes? Can it be safely said that these hundreds of gods and thousands of religions appear to have been produced by human beings…and not a single all-powerful and all-knowing god who has many different rules for many different groups and has hundreds and hundreds of different personalities?
What are the odds the only true, all-powerful god would reveal itself only to a single group of tribes wandering around in a desert? (At least one in 36,000?) All of the evidence points to religion being a human creation.
What made religion become so powerful? First we had tribes then villages then towns then cities and then governments came into being which created laws to maintain order and apply punishment for breaking the laws, and then religion added its two cents worth – and it went like this: If you think you’ve gotten away with ignoring god and/or gotten away with breaking the laws of society, you won’t get away with it! God will punish you forever in the afterlife for your evil thoughts and deeds… So religion and the state supported each other and both became stronger than they would have been alone. And they are still at it.
This was a double whammy! A one—two punch to civilizations here on earth. To sum up, a huge amount of humans have been mostly laying on the canvass in the center of a boxing ring, knocked out for about the last 25 hundred years. It seems many religions have bloody trails behind them and the Abrahamic religions are possible leaders in the blood bath.
The big-time question is Can human kind be free of hell fire and brimstone religions and still be a decent group of folks?