Existentialist Neanderthals, An Ethical Perspective

Perhaps the notion of a “god of fire”, as opposed to the notion that “fire is a god”, might have originated with politicians.

The parallels between religion and politics are so patently obvious as hardly to be worth enumerating. Both seek to control people, one by fraud, the other by force. Both have their hierarchical bureaucracies and authoritative potentates, whether central and totalitarian, or local and democratic. And both make a call for altruism and sacfice from people, ostensibly for some “greater good”, yet somehow vast sums of the money, and almost all the clout ends up benefitting the poobahs first and foremost, while crumbs and coins that spill over are sent out to charity and welfare.

Seeking that kind of political power, a natural thing for an aggresive, meat-eating, hunter-gatherer species to do, might easily account for the first god of fire.

It goes something like this. My hold on the tribe is pretty good, but things are a little shaky, and I have to keep fighting off Mog and the other contenders every friggin’ day, and I’m tired of it. So…

“I have spoken with God of Fire. He has annointed me as Head Knocker. Give me, er, I mean, give him one trinket from each of you, or he will have me burn everything in your cave.”

And so I legitimize myself, create for myself a special ethics set, justify pillaging and looting other men, all because these people respond to fear.

I, politician, have invented the god of fire.

I agree in principle, but I feel the need to note that secular and spiritual power have often been separate, even antagonistic.

I think it is quite likely that Mog invented the god of fire first and thus became a politician==church leader.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

Wow, Spiritus. That’s even better.

As to the antagonisms between religion and politics, I look at them as intra, rather than inter, conflicts. They fight wars, just like other political entities, when they reach a point where they can’t co-exist, as when the interests of one intersects the interests of the other.

There are likely fewer Neanderthal anarchists that there are N. Ex’s. Generally speaking, tribal custom/law is enforced to a degree that makes Nazis have wet dreams! There is no horror to match being expelled from the tribe. (Whose quote “No such thing as one chimpanzee”?)

As unto hyenas and wolves, group-think is our primary survival adaptation. Hence, cooperation was our earliest political reality. Liberal lefties ruled the world, and it was good.

And then somebody screwed it all up. We should put up a statue to that guy, in a pigeon sanctuary. Give little boys the day off from school to go pee on it. And the inscription would read “What we need right now is leadership!”

Gee, Libertarian, where were the critical thinkers during this time. I mean, what about the Neanderthals that responded, “Man, this guys a flake. I don’t care what his god says, he’s not gonna burn anything in my cave.”

I mean, how do you account for the skeptics?

There’s always another beer.

Who do you think the first sacrifices to the fire god were? :slight_smile:

Upon re-reading your post, it seems your point is that it was easy to create gods.

It is my contention that it had a lot to do with fortunate coincidences, strong personalities, and perhaps just brute force, that led to the belief in gods.

There’s always another beer.

Umm… much as it is today.

Sorry for the split posts.

There’s always another beer.

elucidator wrote:

I don’t get that idea. If I learned to hunt and gather like the best of them, I could start my own tribe.

There’s always another beer.