As a species, when we were younger we anthropomorphised everything. In other words, we translated externalities through our own experience. Hence God in our image etc.
Anthropomorhising is the only way we can relate to something that is outside of our understanding: by dressing it up in a framework we do understand.
The tenets of science rejects anthropomorphising. Objective observations only. Not easy but we are trying.
My point is this: I think having a deity is important, a higher source to inspire, comfort and offset ego.
But why do we not use the one thing that LITERALLY makes us, houses us, feeds us, protects us and offers us so much wonder and inspiration? Earth.
Why is Earth not our principal god? There would be no atheists if it were. There would also be no elitism and I think that has to be the point. Obfuscation is the truth behind power.
Principal god: Earth (not even going to anthropomorphise it into her into Gaia)
Not quite true, Unseen. It's been shown that there can be actual psychological security stemming from a secure society. People living in places with solid, reliable social structures and safety nets not only feel more secure, they actually are more secure. Sure, something unforeseen may happen, but that is true of anywhere and having systems in place to deal with the things that CAN be foreseen does increase security, both sense of and actual.
Cancer. Coworker going postal. Distracted driver. What society protects us from these?
As I said, something unforeseen may happen, but that is true of anywhere
Care to ignore the parts of my statements you don't want to address some more? You said that there was "no such thing as "actual" (meaning factual) security because one can't be sure what the future holds". I pointed out that there was actual (factual) security in a psychological sense and also pointed out that while it was not absolute, it did exist.
Your response was to shift the goalposts from 'there is no such thing as actual security' to 'there are some things that society cannot protect us from'. Minus five points for logically fallacious tactics.
I see you, and raise you... plagues and floods. (While staying on topic, I think.)
Not quite true, Unseen. It's been shown that there can be actual psychological security stemming from a secure society.
Where does it say that?
Check scientific journals for studies on psychological stability and well-being as correlated to social safety structures. It's nothing new. In fact, it's been brought up as examples of why religiosity is less common in societies with a strong social safety net, as the fear and uncertainty that religion preys upon is less common in such societies.
For example, this article from The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology which reports on the effects of psychological stress on magical thinking. Or this one from Science that demonstrates that the less control people have the more likely they are to engage in magical thinking.
Conversely, living in a society with a strong social safety net results in less psychological stress and less resultant magical thinking. I found several articles on psychological stress as relating to economic and social insecurity, such as this one.
No, I'm not running off on a psychological snark hunt. If you are so sure it's findable then you should know where to look for it. Find it and bring it.
You mean like the ones I linked to? Do you ever even read people's replies? I've noticed that you have a very bad habit of ignoring any elements of a post that might counter your preferred position.
I apologize, Dave.. I didn't see those links. I think when I first saw your reply, I only saw the first paragraph. Perhaps the rest was below the bottom of my window. As Mr. T used to say, "I pity the foo." I guess I'm the foo right now.
How do you so casually discount the idea that religion provides some comfort and sense of security for people terrified of death?
This is such an interesting question. When I was a child of seven, I became aware that I would die, as would everyone I loved. It was a terrifying thought. My (atheist) mother calmed me and told me it wouldn't be for a long time, and other such stuff. And so, in time, I lost the fear and came to accept the fact I would die.
Now, if instead she had told me that it was a scary thing but God would save me provided I had faith, etc., etc., then I would most likely have dealt with the fear by using the religion patch. The fear would have remained, if I had believed this, and I would have clung to the religion for security and safety.
I think religions encourage the fear of death. Fear is a great controlling tool. All childhood fears are real to the child, but children grow up and learn to accept the facts, provided they are not lied to, and the sparks of their fear are not fanned into a fiery blaze.
Religion nurtures and develops this fear, then purports to resolve it through ... religion.
And resolve it it does for many people, even if the resolution is delusional. Clearly, religion comforted my father, who believed not only that he would survive death but that he'd be reunited with my deceased mother, other relatives, and other friends who had passed away.
Of course it resolves it. It nurtures it in the first place, and shapes it to its own purpose. However, without religion, the fear would not have been present and in need of resolution.