"In the search for a unifying theory to explain this trait of human evolution, many anthropologists settled on the “moralizing god hypothesis,” which argues that belief in a judgmental, all-seeing figurehead precedes the arrival of complex society. Popular religions hinge on the idea that humans may be punished if they do not follow a moral code (the kind that keeps you from killing your neighbor, or stealing their bread). That rule even applies to creeds without a deity — think karma in Buddhism.
Dozens of studies since the early 2000s have offered support for that hypothesis. But a new international project suggests the opposite — that our desires to appease a moral god tended to develop long after a society formed. Their new study, published March 20 in Nature, evaluated records from 414 societies from 30 regions around the world that span the past 10,000 years of human history."
"Aside from detailing when humans go from thinking “the gods are angry!” to the “gods are angry and it’s my fault,” the study provides a blueprint for exploring how other aspects of society evolved. Is inequality an early feature in the development of society, or is it born once a society has already coalesced? What about warfare, or music?"
It really depends on how you're defining society. Even our primitive hominid ancestors typically lived in groups/packs, it was a good survival mechanism. Conversely I'm sure they had no idea what the sun was and probably believed it to be some sort of god or other supernatural force.
if your definition of divine rights comes anywhere near the real estate we all hold ever so dear then by all means exponentially ratchet up the fears to match the equal number of queers you saw last weekend at that gay bar you would never be caught dead going to because i've blown through more devout jews than that moses dude had following him to the seaside property that magically is now home sweet home.
sjw 03/21/19 inspired at this very moment in time by benny and our jets.
Interesting. I always assumed that religion and religious thinking predated society, that it was a result of our desire to find explanations for things even if we have to make bad explanations up. Fascinating to think that it was more a result of the creation of wider societies.
Religion is like pro wrestling. We all know it's fake, but it still has a shedload of fans and a ton of money.
Society just needs at it's beginnings a basic form of dualism to explain why crops succeed/fail. Make the Sun the time of good and the dark the time of bad, allocate strange powers to them and call them Gods. Have a "bad" figure to explain why things go wrong. It's not difficult with a basic society. What is bizarre is why it survives much beyond primitive society and that must be explained by people who want to use it to exert power or to gain privilege. Hence the huge wealth and power of organised religions and their insistence on getting rid of any "gnostic" insular type faith systems that preclude them more.