Thursday, March 26, 2015

Even Atheists Often Fall For Nostalgic Nonsense And Myths

For example, some extreme malarkey along the lines of "Humans were all united until race, religion, politics and wealth divided us." is actually very widespread in atheist communities. The amount of stuff you have to not know in order to go for this kind of tripe is huge.

In reality, long before there were homo sapiens, millions of years ago -- millions -- our ancestors began to develop weapons from stone and other materials, and as a result of this and other evolutions, they began to be eaten by large carnivores less often, and to kill each other with those weapons. We don't know that they weren't killing each other with their hands and feet and teeth before that, but the but the traces of the wounds left by the hominid-made weapons are clearly distinguishable from those made by teeth and claws.

We don't know when this time before religion may have been: artifacts made by homo sapiens over 30,000 years appear to have been made for religious purposes.

Did politics make people more unequal than they had been? I don't know -- and neither do you -- but I do know that organization closely related to religion first moved humans from living in trees and caves to living in towns. Cities as old as 6000 BC are built around religious buildings, and and as new as AD 1700, and all of them in between. The earliest known people who could write, from before 3000 BC, were temple scribes as well as administrators, and educational institutions truly free of religious influence are still a very recent thing.

No human civilization has a known pre-religious stage, as anyone with the slightest acquaintance with prehistoric humans knows. You think things used to be better before religion, by all means, be my guest and go live in a tree and leave those of us alone who can handle the truth.

I'd like for us to evolve beyond religion, but we're not going to to do that by replacing traditional mythical pasts with new myths.

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