From 5700-year old Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, a prophecy has often emerged, based on "liver omens" (soothsaying done by analyzing the shape of a sheep's liver), that expressed a yearning for unity at a time when Babylonia had once again disintegrated into a dozen or more small city-states: "There will come a king of the four corners of the earth."
The Jews have spent 3000 years anticipating a "Messiah," while Christians have passed 2000 years waiting for the return of theirs.
Is there something innate and universal within Humans - a lack of faith in our own abilities, perhaps - that subliminally urges us to seek out a savior?
Mine's a robot.
I think that saviors are simply reinforcements for people's faith (either past, present, of future saviors). People use them as clear, "undeniable", personal verifications of their own religion. Due to the lack of actual evidence (which is probably known on a subconscious level), physical manifestations of their religion (embodiments) act sort-of as an anchor from the "spiritual" realm of their beliefs to the physical world. A sort-of metaphor for this would be: "if there is an anchor, then that anchor must come from a boat. That boat must be god or the spiritual realm" and they fail to think of their saviors as false encores. I hope that made sense.
Zach - sounds like you're saying "personal validation." I'm sure that's part of it.
Don't you think part of the appeal lies in just turning everything over to someone/thing else and saying, "Here, you deal with it, life's just too much for me --" Granted, that's a poor way to run your life, much like sitting in a moving car and refusing to steer, but if things turn out badly (through basically, lack of management), there's the fall-back, "It's god's will --"
Don't you think part of the appeal lies in just turning everything over to someone/thing else...
On the way home from work yesterday, the minivan in front of me had a bumper sticker that read "God is in Control". I see this message promulgated often by religious folks, especially during stressful times and times of personal change. They exalt in the ability to shrug off their worries and problems and let "god" handle it. I am sure it is a very liberating feeling. However, I couldn't help but notice the mini van that this bumper sticker adorned also had body damage in several places. Perhaps they took this advice a bit too far?
Or maybe, Reggie, god was just busy that day, delivering a plague of locusts on some folks in another part of the world.
If a minivan with a bumper sticker saying "God is in control" has an accident does the insurance company pay out or do they call it an act of god?
I've always wondered that about the "God is my Co-Pilot" ones, too. Then I think, good luck with that.
Remind me not to fly that airline --
"If a minivan with a bumper sticker saying "God is in control" has an accident does the insurance company pay out or do they call it an act of god?" ~ Mark Thurman
Now that was funny. I'll be chuckling for a while on that one.
Ah, but maybe they'd been bad Christians and you'd been a good atheist!
I feel that validation is the biggest part of what makes saviors appealing. But a big part of religion, in general, is the ability of religion (or the deities "governing" it) to “control” what happens. It is the perk of not having to worry about stressful things, or the inability to do so (because god is doing it for you), which is just what you were typing about. This is what allows people to rely so strongly on saviors because they believe that the person posing as an embodiment of god has full control. I think your point has more to do the “sociology” of the situation, while mine deals more with the initial “psychology” of the situation (social Vs. personal). But both bleeds into the other, so it doesn't really matter. Splitting hairs it is, or so I feel.