RELIGION: Origins of Ritual?

Ian Goddard (
Wed, 24 Jun 1998 18:29:14 -0400

At 12:55 PM 6/24/98 -0400, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

>Can it be that the roots of religious and ritual come from a scientific
>but that those receivers of the knowledge couldn't understand it, so they
>reduced it down to religious rituals and trappings? Maybe religions and
>rituals are poor copies of some original method that was lost throughout the
>ages. As with most religions, the followers deified and extrapolated the
>original teachings, based on their limited knowledge. Eventually, such
>teachings were simply "magic" and obedience was simply "commanded by the
>Any comments on this theory on the origins of religion? I would also
>a similar origin for agriculture rituals looking to the stars to dictate when
>to plant, when to harvest, etc.

IAN: How many religious rituals involve
what would amount to hunting training?
That seems to be the short rout to the
answer to your question. Obviously many
of the early cave painting are associated
with ritual and with hunting. I believe that
encounters with psychedelic agents in plants
and fungi had a MAJOR role in the formation
of almost all religions and very often was
the central aspect of religious ritual.

As to such ritual as that which you posit
being "scientific" because it served a useful
purpose, it then follows that all religion is
scientific because it fulfills some purpose,
in fact many purposes: social order, stability,
fraternity, support systems, a way to rally
the troops and control the people you want to
control... religion is scientific mind control!
That's very useful to those running the religion.


"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

Max Plank - Nobel physicist

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
Those who deny individual rights cannot claim
to be defenders of minorities." Ayn Rand