Following what Paul said in Timothy 3:16:
“All Scripture is God-breathed ….”
Jehovah Witnesses (JW) says: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”
How could Paul and we know that all scriptures are All “God-breathed”? I have several reasons to doubt that.
On this page, I collect knowledge that I need to support the hypothesis about Genesis I share in www.kinberg.net.
This page focuses on evolutionary psychology, biases and the development of biases and a deity. It also cover topics like you can see in the index below.
I created this page to get and share background knowledge to my pages:
- Background knowledge
- Agent detection
- Jungian archetypes
- Inner voice
- paranormal vision
- Evolution of bias
- Other issues
- Innate behaviors
- Devil link to a separate page
- Lack of basic knowledge in biology and psychology
- natural sex
- getting in love
- Anthropology of religion
I think it is important to have a nuanced knowledge of a few scientific concepts to better understand my discussion about deities like God and Satan and Creationist scripts like Genesis. I share here my knowledge about the inner voice, paranormal vision, and different kinds of biases.
- the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or any such system of belief and worship:
- an activity that someone is extremely enthusiastic about and does regularly ( dictionary.cambridge.org)
- “the service and worship of God or the supernatural
- commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
- a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices” ( www.merriam-webster.com )
Some scientists believe that the belief in creator gods is an evolutionary by-product of agent detection.”
God is the ultimate moral agent.
So it is important to understand what “agent detection” is.
“The high cost of failing to detect agents and the low cost of wrongly detecting them has led researchers to suggest that people possess a Hyperactive Agent Detection Device, a cognitive module that readily ascribes events in the environment to the behavior of agents.”
“The psychological trait in question is “if you hear a twig snap in the forest, some sentient force is probably behind it”. This trait helps to prevent the primate from being murdered or eaten as food.
However this hypothetical trait could remain in modern humans: thus some evolutionary psychologists theorize that “even if the snapping was caused by the wind, modern humans are still inclined to attribute the sound to a sentient agent; they call this person a god”.
Honor killing, most often, the murder of a woman or girl by male family members. The killers justify their actions by claiming that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family name or prestige….Although such crimes are widely suspected to be underreported, the United Nations Population Fund estimates that as many as 5,000 women are killed annually for reasons of honor. These crimes take place throughout the world and are not limited to one specific religion or faith. However, they have rather significantly and consistently occurred in various parts of the Middle East and South Asia, with nearly half of all honor killings occurring in India and Pakistan” (read more in www.britannica.com )
Carl Gustav Jung
Carl Gustav Jung (In photo front row, Sigmund Freud, G. Stanley Hall, Carl Jung)
Carl Gustav Jung was born in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, 26 July 1875. His father was a noted Basel physician of German descent.
His mother was a child of a distinguished Basel churchman. Jung wrote: “she was a depressed woman; she spent considerable time in her bedroom where she said that spirits visited her at night. Although she was normal during the day, Jung recalled that at night his mother became strange and mysterious.” Jung had a better relationship with his father despite he did not agree with his father’s approach.
Jung was a solitary and introverted child. From childhood, he believed that, like his mother, he had two personalities:
- a modern Swiss citizen and a personality more suited to the 18th century.] “Personality Number 1”, as he termed it, was a typical schoolboy living in the era of the time.
- “Personality Number 2” was a dignified, authoritative and influential man from the past. Although Jung was close to both parents, he was disappointed by his father’s academic approach to faith.
Jung’s assessment of Western religion arose both from his own experiences as well as from the psychotherapeutic work with his European clients.
As a young man, he had visions and dreams that were powerful and rich with meaning, yet he clung to Christianity. While he believed that God could “do stupendous things to me, things of fire and unearthly light”, he was profoundly disappointed by his first communion—in his words, “nothing happened.
Initially, Jung had aspirations of becoming a preacher or minister in his early life. There was a strong moral sense in his household and several of his family members were clergymen as well.
His studying of psychiatry and medicine at the University of Basel combined the biological and the spiritual, exactly what he was searching for.
Jung worked later as a research scientist at the famous Burghölzli hospital, under Eugen Bleuler. During this time, he came to the attention of Sigmund Freud, with whom he conducted a lengthy correspondence.
Jung’s own observations about symbols, archetypes, and the collective unconscious were inspired, in part, by this early spiritual experiences and ceremonial he had as a young boy in the attic with a wooden mannequin and a painted stone
( read more in Wiki, article written by about 10 authors in May-July 2020 )
“Jung recognizes an archetypal drive in properly religious man, with its autonomy and legitimacy, its specific function and meaning, useful for the economy of the psyche.
Religion would be a psychic necessity precisely because it is the very nature of the psyche that is religious. For Jung, a religious function is a natural form of psychic expression in the same way as the sexual drive, the instinct for aggression or the will to power.” (Translation from Italian Rosa Rizzo, p 29 “La Forza dello spirito” Quanat editor )
“Most fundamentally an archetype is a behavioural pattern and the reflection of that behaviour in a story.” (Dr. Jordan Peterson)
It is important to understand the psychological concept archetypes to understand Ljungs archetypes concepts in evolutionary psychology. ” that attempts to explain … memory, perception, or language—as adaptations as the functional products of natural selection.”
“Jung noted that within the collective unconscious there exist a number of archetypes which we can all recognize. An archetype is the model image” They’re imprints that are buried in our unconscious. Read more in www.psychologistworld.com
They’re imprints that are buried in our unconscious. Read more in exploringyourmind.com.
sOne could say that archetypes are the collective subconscious counterpart of the physical instincts that are also innate in each person
The petrification later shared with the Medusa myth may have its origin from the time of Homo Erectus who may have adopted the stay still, look dead position in front of predators.
- the hero
- the caregiver archetype
put itself first
- The everyman archetype
Simple and quiet personality
The gesture archetype
The comedian, the actor, usually a mail.
- the lover archetype
encapsulate all kind of love.
- the mother figure,
The mother figure, for example, has caring qualities; she is dependable and compassionate. We all hold similar ideas of the mother figure and we see her across cultures and in our language – such as the term ‘mother nature’.
- The everyman archetype
- the father,
- The sage
“The sage is a free thinker. Their intellect and knowledge are their reason for living, their essence. They seek to understand the world and their being by using their intelligence and analytical skills.” ( exploringyourmind.com )
- the outlaw archetype
the revenge against atrocities, lives for revolution
- The Innocent archetype
“The innocent seems to have read and absorbed every self-help book in the world. They’re optimistic and always searching for happiness. The innocent sees the good in everything.”
( exploringyourmind.com )
- The Explorer
“The explorer is a bold traveler. They set out without a clear path and are always open to novelty and adventure. The explorer has a deep love of discovering new places and new things about themselves. The downside of the explorer archetype is that they’re always searching for perfection and they’re never satisfied.”
( exploringyourmind.com )
- The Ruler
Prevents chaos. “The ruler is a classic leader. They believe they should be the one to bring order to any situation. The ruler is stable, strives for excellence, and wants everyone to follow their lead. They tend to have plenty of reasons why everyone should listen to them. This is one of the 12 Jungian archetypes related to power. The ruler, in their desire to impose their will on others, can easily become a tyrant. “ ( exploringyourmind.com )
- The Creator
Creative personality. “The creator has a profound desire for freedom because they love novelty. They love to transform things in order to make something completely new. The creator is clever, non-conformist, and self-sufficient. They’re imaginative and good-humored. However, they can also be inconsistent and spend more time thinking than actually doing.” ( exploringyourmind.com )
Inner voice or speech
How many have not killed following an inner voice and therefore regarded as psychotic or maybe even psychopath?
We have an idea of good and evil, some kind of inner moral that helps us distinguish between bad and good advice. But sometimes it may be difficult to understand the consequences of certain actions. Especially when you are wounded, offended, and angry, the voice of revenge is frequently heard. But the inner moral somehow control our conscience and we may feel awful after an evil action.
The Quran warns for the devil’s whispering. I wrote about that in www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2018/04/24/iblis-whisperings/two years ago.
“My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the suggestion of the evil ones.” (Quran 23:97 )
What does psychology say
“Whether you call it inner speech, self-talk, internal dialogue, or thinking to yourself, it seems to be an important part of our daily life….inner speech is far more important than most people realize. From early childhood onward, inner speech plays a vital role in regulating how we think and behave… inner speech can shape how we see the world around us. ” ( www.psychologytoday.com )
I heard that inner voice is a form of active imagination.
If you look at the Suffering in the Creation story, you may wonder. What kind of deity or inner voice has created this?
Some are said to have had paranormal visions instead of inner voices.
- Mary seems to have seen an angel talking to her about her having a child. Luke 1:26-31
- Jesus disciples were sleeping when they wake up and saw Jesus with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-3 )
- Later Mary saw a angel in the empty tomb of Jesus ( John 2:11-12-13 ) but understood it was Jesus, not an angel.
- Many other visions have been documented in modern time, one as late as 1916 in Portugal: “three children Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who later witnessed the vision of The Blessed Virgin Mary, were visited by an Angel three times whilst out tending their sheep.” ( Readmore in my source: portugal.com/ )
These three examples could be called theophany( that is appearances of a human of a deity, a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. Only a small number of theophanies are found in the Hebrew Bible. (Wiki )
Both inner voice and visions are regarded as kind of hallucinations, visual and auditive.
courses.lumenlearning.com has a good introduction to the issue of vision, starting with a presentation of THE VISUAL SYSTEM biology. But this introduction won’t help you understand the issue better.
https://www.livescience.com/14904-paranormal-experiences-hint-ghosts.html is more into the topic.
“heuristic (Ancient Greek: εὑρίσκω, heurískō, ‘I find, discover’) is any approach to problem-solving or self-discovery that employs a practical method that is not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but is nevertheless sufficient for reaching an immediate, short-term goal.”
“heuristics are simple, efficient rules, learned or inculcated by evolutionary processes, that have been proposed to explain how people make decisions, come to judgments, and solve problems typically when facing complex problems or incomplete information. Researchers test if people use those rules with various methods. These rules work well under most circumstances, but in certain cases can lead to systematic errors or cognitive biases.
There are a different kinds of biases s you have seen in the index. Biases may be:
- cognitive bias
Some bias are
- Conscious bias (also known as explicit bias) and
- Unconscious bias (also known as implicit bias)
( diversity.ucsf.edu )
I start trying to understand and define these biases.
“A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them and affects the decisions and judgments that they make.”
“The human brain is powerful but subject to limitations. Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain’s attempt to simplify information processing. Biases often work as rules of thumb that help you make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed.“ Read more at www.verywellmind.com )
So the Genesis story in the Bible is a kind of easy answer to questions that can not be answered easily.
In wiki, I read this explanation that sounds correct:
“A cognitive bias is a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment. Individuals create their own “subjective reality” from their perception of the input. An individual’s construction of reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behavior in the world. Thus, cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.” (Wiki )
“Awareness bias in environmental health research is the tendency to report more illness because of concerns arising from proximity to a hazard in the absence of a measurable biological effect”
Read more in pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
This is a tendency to favor information that confirms their preconceptions. contribute to blind us to evidence with overconfidence in decision-making.
“In its simplest explanation, judgment bias describes optimistic and pessimistic decisions made under ambiguity. It is a bias in the judgment of ambiguous information, influenced by emotional state.” Read more in link.springer.com
“The premise behind the relationship bias is that we tend to be attracted toward (and like) people whom we know well and to whom we know share similar interests. The stronger our relationship with another person, the more likely we are to believe them when they tell us something. The weaker the relationship, the less likely we are to believe the other person….
Because the information being shared is conflicting, the decision-maker must choose between one or the other (Person A or Person B). Under rapidly changing conditions and time compression, there may not be time to sort it all out. The relationship bias asserts the decision-maker who will likely default and accept the information from the person who is well-known and well-liked over the one who is not. The problem is, the relationship may have little to do with the accuracy of the information.” (read more at www.samatters.com )
Unconsciousness bias or implicit bias
“Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.” Read more at diversity.ucsf.edu. It may be:
- racial unconscious bias
- gender unconscious bias
- age unconscious bias
“One of the first steps towards unbiasing is education. External research shows that awareness of unconscious bias can lead to reversals in biased outcomes, and understanding of the unconscious biases that underlie beliefs may be necessary for changing attitudes.” Read more in rework.withgoogle.com
read more in rework.withgoogle.com
the teleological notion is that everything may have intentions and purpose.
Language and teleological bias
“The perception component of the language faculty and the teleological notion that everything may have intentions and purpose could have developed from the primitive agency detection seen in most moving animals. Many new-born, totally naive animals show predator avoidance and behave as if everything around may be alive and dangerous and have malevolent intentions. Piaget demonstrated that young children believe that everything around is probably alive and has purpose and intentions. The perception component of the language faculty involves an intrinsic motivation to search for intentions and meanings of sound combinations (words and phrases), and a search for the meanings and intentions of systematic changes in words, that is a search for the grammar rules. Possible homologs to animal genes for predator avoidance or perception of calls could be compared in humans and chimpanzees. Evidence of positive selection or accelerated evolution of human homolog genes might indicate putative genes for language perception.”
Thunk explains well teleological bias:
Out of this video I these often here in Italy this teleological biases:
- if I am sweaty I get bronchitis
- if I am out in the cold I get a cold.
Deborah Keeleman writes in “Why Are Rocks Pointy?”
“Teleological explanations are based on the assumption that an object or behavior exists for a purpose.”
Telos (Greek: τέλος, télos, lit. “end, ‘purpose’, or ‘goal”) is a term used by philosopher Aristotle to refer to the full potential or inherent purpose or objective of a person or thing, similar to the notion of an ‘end goal’ or ‘raison d’être’. Moreover, it can be understood as the “supreme end of man’s endeavor.”
“Telos is the root of the modern term ‘teleology’, the study of ” (ed. “supreme end of man’s endeavor.”in other words…), the purposiveness or of objects with a view to their aims, purposes, or intentions. Teleology is central in Aristotle’s work on biology and in his theory of causes. Aristotle’s notion that everything has a telos also gave rise to epistemology.” ( Wiki )
“Teleology (from τέλος, telos, ‘end’, ‘aim’, or ‘goal,’ and logos, ‘explanation’ or ‘reason’ or finality is a reason or explanation for something as a function of its end, purpose, or goal
“common in classical philosophy, though controversial today, contends that natural entities also have intrinsic purposes, irrespective of human use or opinion. For instance, Aristotle claimed that an acorn’s intrinsic telos is to become a fully grown oak tree.” ( Wiki )
extrinsic and intrinsic finality.
We have to make a distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic finalities.
- Extrinsic finality is a principle of the philosophy of teleology that holds that a being has a final cause or purpose external to that being itself,A purpose that is imposed by human use, such as that of a fork, is called extrinsic.”(Read more in Wiki )
- Intrinsic finality is the idea that there is a natural good for all beings, and that all beings have a natural tendency to pursue their own good. It is an underlying principle of both teleology and moral objectivism. The concept of intrinsic finality was summarized by Thomas Aquinas as follows: By the form which gives it its specific perfection, everything in nature has an inclination to its own operations and to its own end, which it reaches through these operations. Just as everything is, such also are its operations and its tendency to what is suitable to itself.” Read more in Wiki )
- Creationism and conspiracism
- In the article “Creationism and conspiracism share a common teleological bias” in www.sciencedirect.com we read among others “that animism, creationism, and conspiracism.
(Source: www.sciencedirect.com )
“results identify teleological thinking as a new predictor of conspiracism, independent of:
- agency perception,
- science rejection,
- analytical thinking and
- randomness perception.
Animism, creationism, and conspiracism
are driven by a “finalist and purpose-driven view of the natural world” and a consequent science rejection. ” (read more at www.sciencedirect.com ) The article concludes:
“As a finalist and purpose-driven view of the natural world, teleological thinking has long been associated with creationism and identified as an obstacle to the acceptance of evolutionary theory. We suggest that this powerful cognitive bias extends to social and historical events, and nowadays to conspiracy narratives. As such, creationism could be seen as a conspiracist belief system (indeed, involving the ultimate conspiracy theory: the purposeful creation of all things ), and conspiracism as a type of creationist belief targeting socio-historic events (e.g. specific events have been purposefully created by an all-powerful agency). Because teleological and animist thinking are part of children’s earliest intuitions about the world and are resilient in adulthood 8, they thus could be causally involved in the acquisition of creationist and conspiracist beliefs. However, our results do not rule out the possibility that acceptance of such beliefs could, conversely, favor a teleological bias. Yet, in both cases, the ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘it was meant to be’ intuition at the heart of teleological thinking not only remains an obstacle to the acceptance of evolutionary theory, but could also be a more general gateway to the acceptance of anti-scientific views and conspiracy theories.”
“Political bias is a bias or perceived bias involving the slanting and altering of information to make a political position or political candidates seem more attractive. With a distinct association to media bias, it commonly refers to how a reporter, news organization, or TV show covers political candidates and policy issues.” (Wiki )
Media bias is the bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of many events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. The term “media bias” implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries are widely disputed. (Wiki )
Today we see studies on how to unbias. that could be translated into how to eliminate prejudices. Google has been doing this with its employees. “In 2013, Google began educating employees and leaders en masse – creating Unconscious Bias @ Work and other tools – to start a conversation about unbiasing. This helped ensure that employees had a common understanding and language to talk about unconscious bias, and the platform to do so.” ( rework.withgoogle.com )
Google shares this video in youtube where it introduce you to the issue. they say among others:
“If you are not conscious of the biases you have, you are not contributing at the level that you could and you are not innovating at the level that you could ” A
Thunk gives other examples of how biases may effect our behavior and how we can avoid these:
“Unbiasing your biases is a good video that puts focus on confirmation bias and how it appears in international dialogs. The bias blind spot is also well explained.
The lecturer has created the “foundation for cognitive biases awareness foundation” something I have not found in Internet.
Evolution of bias
“Cognitive bias appear to be design flaws instead of examples of good engineering.”
( MARTIE G. HASELTON, DANIEL NETTLE, and DAMIAN R. MURRAY in onlinelibrary.wiley.com )
Cognitive bias in animals
“The number of cognitive bias studies on farm, laboratory and companion animals has grown exponentially since the first examples, with the majority using judgement bias tasks to demonstrate that animals in poorer welfare conditions will judge ambiguous stimuli more pessimistically,” ( www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov )
Judgement bias has been studied in animals. In rats this happens: “A positive emotional state results in an optimistic interpretation of ambiguous stimuli, while a negative emotional state results in a pessimistic interpretation of ambiguous stimuli.” ( link.springer.com )
You may recognize biases in others but fail to see those yourself are conditioned by. This is called the bias blind spot.
“imprinting is any kind of phase-sensitive learning (learning occurring at a particular age or a particular life stage) that is rapid and apparently independent of the consequences of behavior. It was first used to describe situations in which an animal or person learns the characteristics of some stimulus, which is therefore said to be “imprinted” onto the subject. Imprinting is hypothesized to have a critical period.” (Wiki ) There are three kinds of imprinting:
- Filial imprinting
“It is most obvious in nidifugous birds, which imprint on their parents and then follow them around.” (Wiki )
- Sexual imprinting
“is the process by which a young animal learns the characteristics of a desirable mate” (Wiki )
- Limbic imprinting
“Some suggest that prenatal, perinatal and post-natal experiences leave imprints upon the limbic system, causing lifelong effects” (Wiki )
baby duck syndrome
A curious type of human imprinting is the “baby duck syndrome”.
- “In human–computer interaction, baby duck syndrome denotes the tendency for computer users to “imprint” on the first system they learn, then judge other systems by their similarity to that first system.” (Wiki )
Innate are “are closely controlled by genes with little or no environmental influence.” They are” behaviors that occur naturally in all members of a species whenever they are exposed to a certain stimulus. Innate behaviors do not have to be learned or practiced. They are also called instinctive behaviors…are less common in species with higher levels of intelligence. Humans are the most intelligent species, and they have very few innate behaviors. an infant will grasp an object, such as a finger, that is placed in its palm. The infant has no control over this reaction because it is innate.
Other than reflexes such as this, human behaviors are learned–or at least influenced by experience—rather than being innate.” ( Read more at www.ck12.org )
“Stereotyping is a type of heuristic that people use to form opinions or make judgments about things they have never seen or experienced…Stereotypes, as first described by journalist Walter Lippmann in his book “Public Opinion” (1922), are the pictures we have in our heads that are built around experiences as well as what we are told about the world.” ( Wiki )
“stereotypes are used for differentiating the ingroup as positively distinct from outgroups” ( Wiki )
Freud’s incest taboo
where do taboos come from. I have found an interesting example of the incest taboo.
“Sigmund Freud argued that as children, members of the same family naturally lust for one another, making it necessary for societies to create incest taboos, but Westermarck argued the reverse, that the taboos themselves arise naturally as products of innate attitudes. Steven Pinker has written that Freud’s conception of an urge to incest may have derived from Freud’s own erotic reaction to his mother as a boy (attested in Freud’s own writings), and speculates that Freud’s reaction may have been due to lack of intimacy with his mother in early childhood, as Freud was wet-nursed.” ( Read more in wiki )
We could maybe here talk about Freud having a subconscious bias.
Lack of basic biology and psychology knowledge
To understand the reason for biases we must know about the knowledge human beings have had these last millennia. We know that lack of knowledge and experience raises the risks for biases.
At the time of Jesus, no one knew that women had ovulations and that, to be able to host a new creature, had to prepare the uterus for pregnancy and that both an egg and semen were necessary. So the woman was just a receiver of the man’s semen. No eggs were needed.
Being the woman a friend of the devil according to Genesis, it was easy to associate a menstrual flow with dirt and Sinn.
Not knowing about the woman ovulation and about the genetic content of semen, it was not difficult to convince human beings about the story of a virgin getting a son. This myth was already known in Greek mythology with woman divinities have sons without being with a man. So Mary could not be less valued.
we know how important for the woman an orgasm is to get the semen up in the tube and become pregnant.
About natural sex
Paul talks in his letters a lot about natural sex.
Paul’s point in Romans 1:27 of “
the men, leaving the natural use of the woman” is quite clearly referring to homosexual acts that are contrary to God’s created order. To act “contrary to nature” is to act contrary to God’s male-female order established at creation, not to act in a way that is contrary to a fallen human’s perceived sexual orientation.
( Read more in https://answersingenesis.org/the-word-of-god/apostle-pauls-use-genesis-13-romans-1/ )
I wrote about this issue in http://www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/sexuality/#natural
“Paul was not a biologist and obviously never had animals around him to be able to write “ exchanged natural sexual relations” in his letter to the Romans. He did for sure not know what natural was.”
getting in love
A friend of mine who is psychologist said that “getting in love” is like a kind of psychosis. Many think that getting in love with someone is the same as love someone.
In “LOVE AND PSYCHOSIS. WHY DOES LOVE MAKE US CRAZY?” at /www.psychoterapiaptp.pl
we read: “It argues that romantic love is often the cause of psychotic decompensation” … “Anthropological studies show how the phase of falling in love through recreating the mother-child relationship can become threatening for those with a psychotic personality structure. “
As Benjamin in the Swedish story, you can not decide who you get in love with. Benjamin needed love and wanted to love back. When it was a man who got in love with him, Benjamin got in love with this man.
Paul and many priests have obviously no experiences of adult love.
Religions are based on the beliefs of deities. I will try to explain how these deities came up in our imaginary world.
Origins of deities
As wrote above “Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain’s attempt to simplify information processing.”.
Anthropological development hypothesis
As said above:
Deborah Keeleman writes in “Why Are Rocks Pointy?”
“Teleological explanations are based on the assumption that an object or behavior exists for a purpose.” This is a key assumption in my writing below.
To describe the origins of deities I look at the concepts of origins and purpose and its origins. I see these 17 anthropological steps:
- body and plant parts have an intrinsic purpose
Animals have since ever used different parts of the body (teeth, legs, arms, sexual organs, ears, eyes) for a purpose despite having no understanding of the concept purpose. So do plants attracting insects with flower colors and smell.
- our first judgment bias and agent detection
It was a question of survival to be able to make fast judgments of danger signals, even if not correct. We see today primates run-up in the trees with ambiguous notice signals, even if there are just small pigs that are making noise moving around in the bush nearby. We see cats that raise their ears for any sound and dogs bark for any human being, approaching. It may look as judgment bias but that bias had its survival function. These behaviors should rather be seen as instincts or innate behaviors. As said above studies have been made on rats with ambiguous signals.
- The acting for a purpose
Since our time as primates in the African jungle, we have been using tools, like grass straw and wood sticks. We used these for a purpose, like catching ants. <
- The creating of a purpose
We have since our time as Homo Habilis, made tools with stones and probably also of wood and bones. We made these for a purpose.
- Teleological conclusions
When our brain developed to the level of Homo Erectus (Neanderthal and Denisova) or later as Homo sapiens, we probably tried to make teleological conclusions about the origin and purpose of our surroundings,
Our ancestor’s males knew they could create things.
But they also knew that they could not create things like mountains, rivers, sea, clouds, sun, moon, or thunderstorms. Some may have thought that there must be a big man doing these.
We could maybe understand that the origins of our bodies came from the semen of the men after its insemination in the woman’s body.
We understood that we could not create all things around us.
As it was natural to find explanations in form och origin and purpose, some big man must have created everything around us for a purpose. Out of our basic understanding and experience, we created in our minds our first deities.
- Petrification – be a statue
As written above in Archetypes, The petrification archetype may have its origin from the time of Homo Erectus who may have adopted the stay still, look dead position to survive in front of predators.
- The value of death and pain
- Death is something special not only for humans. We can observe birds that stay with their dead for hours. Elephants display a range of ritualized behaviors in response to death, many of which suggest they mourn their dead. ( www.nationalgeographic.com )
- Between 335,000 and 236,000 years ago
Homo Naledi carried their deceased mates to a cave.
- Burial rituals have been practiced for up to at least 100.000 years. ( www.nationalgeographic.com/Homo-naledi )
“Bones from the Qafzeh (in the flank of Precipice Mountain) cave in Nazareth, Israel, may be evidence of a ritualized burial 90,000 to 100,000 years ago. The bones belong to a mother and child and are among the earliest known examples of Homo sapiens sapiens, anatomically modern humans.” ( www.britannica.com/place/Qafzeh )
Homo sapiens may have developed the agent detection and judgement bias to blame the suffering for illnesses or death to a agent (they later called God) that can not be human.
Bones in the Çatalhöyük settlement (Turkey) shows that the dead inhabitants 6000 BC were buried under the house floor and that they probably had female deities to pray to.
- Language evolution
- Neanderthal and maybe also Denisova had the language gene FoxP2 and the tongue hyoid bone maybe after mating with Homo sapiens in Israel 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.
- “ FOXP2 in Neanderthals is not by itself sufficient for us to resolve the big question of whether or not they were capable of speech, ” it is possible that Neanderthal had some kind of speech. ( www.nature.com ) Language/speech habilities are key for good collaboration and effective information sharing in bigger groups.
“Neanderthals may have been anatomically able to speak. Neanderthals had the hyoid bone. (found in the Kebara Cave in Israel). This bone is crucial for speaking as it supports the root of the tongue. “
- Large scale cooperation
With a developed language, Homo species became better and better in cooperating. The encounter in Israel of Neanderthal from Europe and Homo sapiens from Africa who gave birth to hybrid homo sapiens during a glacier time in northern Europe, may be a first sign of cooperation between foreigners something chimpanzees are not able to do.
Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge…as imagination drives creativity..our awareness is tied to imagination and creativity” ( medium.com ).
Early signs for imagination may be:
- Drawings. Homo Neanderthalensis living from 200 000 to 40 000 years ago left drawings with mineral pigments. “Neanderthals occupying caves in what is now Spain were drawing on the walls at least 65,000 years ” ( www.nature.com ) “We have no reason to think that Neanderthals did not have imagination and foresight.”
- World’s oldest drawing is Stone Age crayon doodle Hashtag’ pattern drawn on a rock in South African cave is 73,000 years old.
“the Neanderthals may not have been good at imagination but they were good at innovation. to improve things, products”
- The IShango bone
The Ishango bone, a bone from a Baboon was found in Africa near Rwanda. It is20.000 year old and has “series of notches carved in groupscontains the prime numbers between 10 and 20”. (Read more in www.math.buffalo.edu )
- Language development
Neanderthal and maybe also Denisova had the language gene FoxP2 and the tongue hyoid bone maybe after mating with Homo sapiens in Israel 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.
- Active imagination or inner speech
With a language that Neanderthal probably had, inner speech or active imagination may have become a reality in early homo sapiens hybrids. The 20.000-year-old Ishango bone is a sign of more advanced imagination.
- Body and spirit.
- A kind of distinction between soul and spirit and a form of spiritualism may have developed with the experience of death much earlier than the Abrahamic religions We know as mentioned above, about very early burial rituals. ( www.ancient-origins.net )
- The awareness of these two concepts may have been important in our teleological explanations of life and the afterlife.
- Life after death?
We saw our relatives die but could not understand the purpose of this strange phenomenon. We thought that there must be a purpose of death. Maybe our dead human’s spirits were to continue a life in an underworld? The Egyptian pharaohs were buried with weapons, food, medicine, and other tools our ancestors thought needed in the afterlife.
- The Sun – the creator archetype
“I make tools but no man can create mountains and rivers! Some big ancestor must have done these things”.
The unexplained origins of the surrounding habitat, as said above, could not be explained by early humans. They saw how seeds became food in the light of the Sun. Our ancestors did think therefore that, in an animistic tradition, the Sun was the creator of everything. A solar eclipse was traumatic as we knew what the absence of the Sun meant. Our Mayan ancestor, slaughtered volunteer humans to offer to the Sun. As the Sun had the power to make life and death, it was not strange that the Sun became a God in Egypt and an important deity on the American continent.
With imagination, consciousness, awareness, judgment, and teleological bias, deities like Gods may become objective realities in homo sapiens minds.
With active imagination as Jung described it some form of Shamanism may have evolved to get in touch with the dead companions.
“Shamanism is a system of religious practice. Historically, it is often associated with Indigenous and tribal societies and involves the belief that shamans, with a connection to the otherworld, have the power to heal the sick, communicate with spirits, and escort souls of the dead to the afterlife. ” ( Wiki )
- Fictional entities
With imagination and large scale cooperation, fictional entities are created like temples, churches and much later, banks, nations and money. ( Yuval Harari )
God and Satan
A good and evil deity was growing in our ancestor’s mind. In the beginning, both could be evil.
“Some scientists believe that the belief in creator gods is an evolutionary by-product of agent detection”
humans could not be agents for some illnesses or pains.
“some evolutionary psychologists theorize that “even if the snapping was caused by the wind, modern humans are still inclined to attribute the sound to a sentient agent; they call this person a god”. ( Wiki )
“Suffering seems to evoke even more attributions to the divine.” (read more in “Blaming God for Our Pain: Human Suffering and the Divine Mind” )
God became with time, the ultimate moral agent.
Moral typecasting theory
Typecasting is to always give an actor the same type of character to play, usually because he or she is physically suited to that type of part. ( dictionary.cambridge.org )
“Moral typecasting theory argues that in response to a moral event, individuals make character attributions about the actors, perceiving them as having high moral agency (having control, responsibility, or blame in a moral situation) or high moral patiency (having the ability to experience pleasure or pain. (read more in “Moral Typecasting May Play A Large Role in How People Perceive Offenders” )
I wrote about these two deities in two separate pages:
I wrote above about the origins of deities. I will try her to make a short comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures.
“Today the anthropology of religion reflects the influence of, or engagement with, such theorists as Karl Marx (1818-1883), Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Émile Durkheim (1858-1917), and Max Weber (1864-1920). Anthropologists of religion are especially concerned with how religious beliefs and practices may reflect political or economic forces; or the social functions of religious beliefs and practices… A prominent precursor in the formulation of this projection principle was Giambattista Vico (1668-1744), and an early formulation of it appears in the ancient Greek writer Xenophanes (570 – 475 BCE), who observed that “the gods of Ethiopians were inevitably black with flat noses while those of the Thracians were blond with blue eyes.” (Read more in Wiki )
- Animism. In Australia there is a sacred mountain: Uluru
This is only one example of animism.
That mountain became sacred probably as many ancestors lived there. the belief that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork, and perhaps even words—as animated and alive. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples” ( Wiki )
Animism may be a first teleologic approach to things whose origin and purpose, we could not understand. The adoring of statues and reliquia is a “modern” form of animism that survives despite the law “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” ( Exodus 20:4 ).
- shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. ( Wiki )
Creating this page I got very important knowledge about human beings, their cognition, and the origins of our biases.
This helped me to interpret religious phenomena and scripts with a different perspective.