re: thoughts on origin of religions

From: Miriam English (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 19:30:19 MST

At 06:19 PM 22/02/2002, Amara Graps wrote:
>From: Miriam English <>, Fri, 22 Feb 2002 13:08:38 +1100
> > I have been wondering why so many of the world's most powerful religions
> > seem to have been born around the same time. It seems to me that many of
> > the big religions got much of their power from the birth of writing.
>I don't see that.
>We have a large body of written works from the ancient Greeks.
> From them, we learned our earliest ideas of free market, democracy,
>technology, free speech, individualism, just to name a few. Perhaps
>other cultures at that time such as the Etruscans were also forming
>those concepts, but we don't have a written record of their
>daily life to know.
>The religion for those Greeks were Apollo, Delphi's Oracle, and
>a collection of gods and goddesses. Those didn't survive through
>time as 'powerful' religions.

I didn't say that every time people started to use writing they produced a
powerful, long-lasting religion -- I was just wondering about those that did.

If I suggest that the birds in my garden use feathers to help them fly,
then pointing out that jet planes don't have feathers doesn't invalidate my
musings on the birds in my garden. :-)

I do wonder what might have been different about the Greek writings that
didn't lead them to overstate the superstitious qualities of their books.
Perhaps it is to do with diversity. (I am on shaky ground here as my
knowledge of ancient history is pretty thin.) Maybe writing spread so
quickly among the Greeks and they developed a sufficient level of popular
literacy that books didn't get the same mystical treatment.


         - Miriam

To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
Virtual Reality Association

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