What happened to Anderson Hemmat and Levine

Why do people believe and why are regions not dying out


  • Religions come and go. Compared to human history, the current world religions are a recent fad.
  • The key to "belief" lies in the evolution of human consciousness.
  • At the core of all religions is the desire for structure. Today the basic legal and political order is ensured by the Basic Law.

At least since the Enlightenment, religion has lost its importance in Europe. But almost everyone believes in something. In search of themselves or a purpose in life, many people question this belief. Be it in an existential life crisis, when a loved one dies or when you meet other people who live their faith.

What is the origin of belief? If you look at human history, you see that religions come and go. Today's world religions emerged around two to three thousand years ago. They may seem ancient to us at times. In terms of the development of Homo Sapiens, however, they are quite a young phenomenon.

What is the origin of religious thought?

Many theories assume that the key to "belief" lies in the evolution of human consciousness. Over time, humans developed the ability to perceive themselves.

In contrast to animals, humans can become aware of their needs and think through various possible solutions in order to meet them. With this awareness came the realization that at the end of our existence there is inevitably death.

"Only when people become aware of their mortality do they want to (at least temporarily) overcome this frightening condition", is how the physicist and science journalist Ulrich Schnabel describes the need for religion in his book "The Measurement of Faith".

The psychiatrist J. Anderson Thomson relies on Charles Darwin in his reflection on "Why We Believe (In God)": The development of a religious belief and its continuation ensured our survival. "We could only survive through cooperation. Our ancestors developed a 'group feeling' [through shared belief]."

It is not known exactly when man first showed religious activities. Funeral rituals can help give a rough estimate. According to Schnabel, the oldest known grave in Qafzeh, Israel, is estimated to be almost 100,000 years old.

With the awareness of death, an idea of ​​the afterlife arose. And with this idea the staging of dying began. The dead were buried and adorned with things they might need in the afterlife, such as weapons and other utensils.

From the religious value system to the Basic Law

At the core of all religious systems is the desire for structure. All religions and belief systems that relate to the cause, essence and purpose of our existence describe one god or several holy gods or teachers who could relate to people and intervene in our lives. In essence, they offer recommendations for action and moral concepts.

Many people only use set pieces of these teachings to build up their personal value system. They can identify with values ​​such as compassion and charity, but reject religious sexual morality.

Today the basic legal and political order is guaranteed by the Basic Law. The relationship between church and state is under scrutiny. This is evidenced by debates about religious instruction, the Good Friday rest and Sunday shopping. Religion is no longer needed for our social structures because we have partially transferred its moral commandments into our laws.

Status: 13.06.2017, 2.44 p.m.

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