A god to die for
I commented on the Freethought Blog.
The general question by their reader was this:
“Hey Martin, I have a dilemma and was hoping for some quick advice on how to handle a situation. I am a part of a theology group here on FB and during one of these exchanges a Christian (fairly fundy) said he would die for his god and asked what I would die for.
My response was that it sounded like jihad. Was this a good approach I guess is my question? I’m pretty sure (with the fundy part) he’s just not going to get where the similarities are between jihad and fundamental christianity but I can try right? lol
Any advice is appreciated.”
[To set this up: I first default to understanding. Maybe it’s not as straight forward as just dealing with the issue, but understanding can be a lot and I’ve often found myself left with nothing here in the Bible Belt and it took years to gain the only thing possible: understanding.]
I think Richard Dawkins disputes the thesis that religion was an evolutionary adaptation, but it was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I’ve been scratching my head for many years as to how religion could have such a universal grip on humanity when it seems so counter-intuitive given religion as we know it.
Whenever I hear a question about an aspect of religion, I’m taken back about a hundred thousand years to consider the underlying source.
Dying for their religion? Sounds like a strange concept to us.
Take that back 100,000 years in human evolution, though, and it was a pact, a pledge, to the tribe. It was a brotherhood, with serious initiation rites, blood rites, and it was solemn and binding. A binding stronger than kin and marriage.
This is one reason why the “God & country” linkages seems to continually resurface. It was reflective of an underlying super-reality, a reality that hunter-gather clans could (or tried desperately to) relate to. It was the realm of the supernatural. The natural world was beyond their understanding.
The projected a power or great father behind the world and worked hard on their identity as his subjects.
Would they die for God & clan and the culture they created around this identity? Oh, yeah. And the clans that did have members who’d make that sacrifice produced more offspring–and here we are.
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