My conclusion/theory on the origins of "God" and "the Devil". Thoughts?

Hello, first post here… I figured this would be a good place to put out some really interesting things i’ve found, any criticism or pointing out of mistakes is greatly appreciated :wink:

So theres a lot to this theory, I’ll do my very best to make it cohesive and to-the-point… Though it probably won’t be.
I grew up in a very traditional Christian family, going to church regularly. Although I appreciate seeing “that side of the coin” I always felt that something wasn’t right, I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent studying other peoples reaction to the music, preacher, etc…

I have a great interest in human psychology and origins, among other things. An uncontrollable desire to “figure it out” although the more I learn, the more questions I end up with.

                                       The origin of god... 

The innate human drive to reach for the divine, what is it? I believe people have a huge tendency to externalize… Why is it so easy to figure out the people around you, but not yourself? (hint hint, the human mind is a master at deceiving itself)

We are animals, all life on earth shares similar qualities, cities are as natural as beehives and anthills. Now, Humans have the unique ability to collect information about the world around them and make conscious decisions based on that, we are the part of “creation” that can look at itself… Life exists for no other reason than to experience itself.

God isn’t the bearded man in the sky, God is the spark of life, the nature of existence… Not good or bad, but all encompassing.

Good and evil is very human, and is the price of knowing, you can’t experience one without knowing the other, this is the law of duality. Now this is where things get interesting…

                                          The origin of the Devil...

What I want to focus on here is the unconscious mind, the reptilian mind if you will.
This is like the pre-set “program” of the mind, Its pre verbal, and it handles the things you don’t think about… Reactions, impulses, instincts, and so on. It’s fundamental for survival, and needed for consciousness to be possible.

It’s called the reptilian mind because its functions are essentially the same as reptiles (who aren’t evolved past that point) I’ve been playing with this recently using methods of trance, self hypnosis, reaction based games, and a few others.

Now music is also unconscious, you don’t think about every note you hit on a guitar, you don’t premeditate the bursts of creativity when you improvise something that sounds amazing, it just comes to you.

In christianity Lucifer was an angel of worship, of music, before his fall. He convinced Eve to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, he is the source of temptation and deception. Lots of famous musicians claim to have received knowledge from the devil. See what I’m getting at? The devil made me do it :wink:

So this primal part of our mind which can do things that our conscious mind regrets later… Seems pretty close to me. the devil is not an entity, but biology. Its just hard for lots of people to grasp the concept that you can’t put everything in a box and label it…

Lastly… the idea of eternal life seems pretty egocentric, and comes from people either being disappointed with this life and hoping its better on the “other side”, or people wanting to preserve their ego, as everyone is the center of their own universe…
I don’t think I missed too much, what do you guys think?

In my opinion, your ideas are too ornate, too embroidered, too complex.

Spiritualism, the precursor to religion, comes about because of people’s natural tendency to look for patterns in things. I see a crow, and, a little later, hurt my foot. Wow! Crows are evil spirits! Proof positive. Dreams also come into it: dreams are a complex and scary “other world,” so there must be “another world.”

Belief in gods comes out of belief in spirits. As time goes by, people make up more and more guff accruing to their religions. Gods with cat’s heads, or gods of fire. You can propitiate them with offerings. God wants you to cut off the end of your weenie…

It’s just humans doing what humans do. We have religion the same way we have football: it’s a big game we all play together.

It should be noted that belief in god, at least a singular god, is far from universal, and belief in a devil is much less common still.

I’d say belief in God comes from belief in spirits and belief in spirits comes from our tendency to anthropomorphize.
Humans rely on each other to survive but our biggest threats have historically been other humans too. It makes sense that our instincts have evolved such that when we see new phenomena we first assume a human was responsible. It was the safer option; when it’s right it’s useful, when it’s wrong it doesn’t matter.
But instincts are very simple. So we see rain and imagine a human-like entity being responsible, with human-like thoughts and emotions, and if a volcano erupted, then a human-like entity was “angry” etc.

As for the devil, it’s putting a label on our fears and once again anthropomorphizing it. The meme has survived well because religions that emphasize a devil, or at least evil spirits, have a nice “stick” to persuade you to join that religion and stay in that religion.

Music is evil? And there is no such thing as “not evolving past some point”.

But good for you in getting past all the super-religious part of your life when you were younger. Just don’t think that you need to fill it with something equally complex. Consider the idea that there is no God and no Devil. Those simply add a layer of complexity that doesn’t explain anything that can’t be explained without them.

Throw in a bit of “bad stuff happening to me can’t just be random chance or the result of my own ignorance - it must be due to a conscious effort by a malignant entity and those who obey him/it”. Being able to blame others for one’s problems is tempting and soothing.
Personally, I’d be okay with God and the Devil fading like numerous other discarded myths because they aren’t needed any more.

In the same way that Benjamin Franklin “tamed the lightning” – his lightning rods took away much of our fear of lightning strikes – so modern statistics go a long way to “taming religion.”

People who pray get sick at the same rate as people who don’t. Prayer doesn’t cure or prevent diseases, or accidents, or victimhood of crime, or other ills and sorrows. Religious communities get struck by hurricanes and tornadoes no less frequently than “sinful” ones. Knocking on wood doesn’t prevent bad luck; horoscopes are worthless; events over which we have no control are, in fact, outside of our control. (Well, duh!)

Religion has only the remaining benefit of “feeling good” to many people. I’m fine with that, once they get realistic enough to stop making concrete claims about physical reality. (Music and art make me feel better: I won’t take away anyone else’s aesthetic form of comfort.)

Very true. We’re very uncomfortable admitting we don’t know or understand something, and that discomfort increases with the importance of the issue. “Mean spirits” feels like an answer, and implies things we can do.

It’s ironic that this discomfort of not knowing is what has held us back from trying to investigate and build a genuine understanding.

Logina, I have very close friends who sound like you.

Here’s the Big Secret of the Universe:

You already have the answers. They are within you. You will spend your whole life “trying to figure things out” and at the end, you will realize it was for naught.

The only thing that exists is the present, everything else is an illusion based on symbols, beliefs, and limited senses.

People want order in their lives. Inventing gods and devils and accruing credit or blame to them for the unexplainable is all religion is. It is as simple as that.

I don’t think there is any such thing as a “reach for the divine.” I’d say there is a reach for understanding, for answers to questions even if the questions are inexplicable. I’d say religions are offshoots of this. Gods and devils are created to explain what defies other explanations. Particularly questions of “why” – beneficial and evil powers beyond those of humans make for great answers to questions that probably ARE inexplicable.

You talk of “Life” as an external entity with an awareness of itself; What exactly do you believe sustains it? Where does it exists exactly? If a big rock from space were to destroy all life as we know it on this planet, would “Life” still exists?

This is similar conjecture to “Life”. If humans create gods (and devils), do they stop existing if the human race is eradicated?