Why does religion exist?

It seems like a very simple question, but why does religion exist in the first place? Do we even know when or where it originated? Did Neanderthals believe in an afterlife, or the Sumerians?
We know that the ancient Egyptians believed in eternal life for the Pharaohs, and they believed in many gods at some points in their history. The Viking people believed in a Valhalla if you were deemed worthy enough, and believed in many other gods as well.
We all know the story of christianity and islam, and what they believe in, but why do people choose to believe in the first place? Is it too belong to a group? For emotional wellbeing?(geez)
For power, like the Catholic Church, and wealth? A lot of people have gotten fucking rich while they were telling other people how they’re supposed to live their lives.

In my opinion, it started as a way to cope with the fact that everyone is going to die. The fear of death can be more than overwhelming for a lot of people, in the past and now in the present. But we human beings are so fucking special that there’s another life waiting for us, death can’t be the end. There has to be something more, right?

The whole idea of living your life being preached at by someone who is as fucked up as we all are and living our lives in the hope of being one of the lucky ones, god’s chosen people, is a joke. That’s really fucked up.

We get to spend eternity with the prick who dictated to us from a collection of fairy tales in a book that was written during the Bronze Age. Take your pick, is it the Bible and christianity that’s the “right” religion, or is it islam and the Quran?
They’re both following a book that includes murder, incest, rape, child sacrifice(just kidding), genocide, slavery, and mass murder. Great examples, right?

I’ve chosen to live my one and only life the best way I’m able with the time that I have left. Those 64+ years went by really fast, and we’re all getting older, especially our grandkids. They’re 15, 11, 7, and 4 now. Our oldest is driving already and has gone through half of her high school requirements in her first year, fucking unbelievable.

I’m not afraid of death, I’ll welcome it when it comes, it means no more fucking pain and numbness. Just plant my ass 6 feet under. No god/gods to disturb my eternal rest.

Why are you connecting an ‘afterlife’ to religion. Religion exists in crows, whales, elephants and has nothing at all to do with afterlife or gods. It is defined as ritualistic behavior associated with the events or outcomes.

These proto-religious behaviors evolve from simple spiritual animism in humans to the idea of monotheism. Monotheism is on the way out, and now we have a region that is more like the Jedi faith. May the force be with you. Energy is God. Bla bla bla. The universe is God.

It seems to me that religion, and indeed, complexity, evolved with the complexity of human understanding. The cosmological arguments are a 13th century invention. The ontological arguments are from the 11th century, threats and damnation did not occur until the invention of Christian Hell, and even then it took time to organize and push onto the general population. ( The Christian doctrine of hell derives from passages in the New Testament. The word hell does not appear in the Greek New Testament; instead one of three words is used: the Greek words Tartarus or Hades , or the Hebrew word Gehinnom .)

It’s all a part of human evolution; from the simple to the more abstract.


The pigeons …

And skinners techniques are most commonly used on 1. Animals 2. Psychiatric Hospitals (Token Economy) *Individuals with low functioning. 3. Prison system. The techniques tend to work with compulsive behaviors (successive approximation) LOL… The cognitive behavioral approach pairs cognition with behaviorism. A great technique for compulsions or phobias is measuring SUDS levels while pairing stressful stimuli with relaxation. Ahh… so many memories. LOL

I wrote a thesis on successive approximation at university. How to get a 7-year-old to steal ice cream off the ice cream truck. My professor loved it. A+


I don’t get this kind of thinking that Theists come up with, especially Christians and their whole “Through Jesus Christ you can have eternal life in heaven” but the excuse is, you have to die first to get it. Definitely a huge load of bullshit to me. What the hell kind of nonsense is that?

well ! i believe that religions are totally built for and built by powerful persons like Kings or political leaders of ancient time. they create a great fear among people about supreme presence of some god like personality .
Throughout the history every monarch had only excuse of their wrong doing that its was god will.
even they used to called that the King is chosen by god.


Carrier and Eherman both poo pooed the idea of the monarchy creating Christianity. It does seem to have been a grassroots movement among the poor and slave classes. I don’t recall the … Oh yeah ‘Ceasar’s Messiah’ by Joseph Atwill proposed this.

Carrier: “Joseph Atwill is one of those crank mythers I often get conflated with. Mythicists like him make the job of serious scholars like me so much harder, because people see, hear, or read them and think their nonsense is what mythicism is. …”

Robert Price: According to Atwill, the reader needs to comprehend perhaps the most complex literary satire ever written. But Atwill’s envisioned satire seems so complex as to be incoherent.

P.Z. Myers: If you’re one of the many atheists who gleefully forwarded this to me or credulously mentioned it on twitter… I see you’ve already met the good friend of so many half-baked wackos in the world, Confirmation Bias.

Bart D. Ehrman - Wikipedia) take on Atwill’s thesis: More Conspiracy Nonsense


You may want to reconsider your position.

Now, with that said, when Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of Rome, he was most certainly playing politics. While he remained head of the Church of Mithras throughout his life, the fact that he recognized the Christian faith, his wife was apparently Christian, most certainly boded well with the society and culture of the time. (There was certainly what seems to be, manipulation.)


The poor love their “royalty”

…Moses (house of pharaoh)
…King David
…Jesus (lineage to King David)
…Buddha a Prince
…Muhammad a King

you get the idea


Just my two cents worth here, but I’d like to add a bit to what Cog said. Have you considered how so many people treat their favorite sport as a religion? Many have “rituals” they perform before and/or during each event/game. They proudly display all manner of symbols and such related to the team(s) they “worship” the most. Their level of happiness and sadness revolves entirely around how good or bad their team performs. I’ve personally known people with a room/space in their house set up as a friggin’ “shrine” dedicated to their chosen team/players. If that isn’t a religion, I don’t know what is. And there are no gods or afterlife involved at all. (Although, most of them DO pray heavily to their chosen god to help their chosen team win.)

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Moses never existed
King David, head of a tribe of goat herders. (Perhaps)
Jesus (Lineage x2 myth and fantasy)
Buddah - Is as evidenced as King Arthur, Romulus, Homer, Zarathustra, Moses or Abraham - Like Jesus we might accept a kernel of something at the root, around which a mythology grew.
Muhammad - we really have the same problem with Muhammad and his actual existence as well as the myth that he wrote the quran. Two theories based on facts are 1. The Quran was written before the life of Muhammad. Could this Quran fragment really be older than Muhammad? - CSMonitor.com 2. Was the Quran written during Muhammad’s time? Muhammad’s companions served as scribes, recording the revelations. Shortly after the prophet’s death, the Quran was compiled by the companions, who had written down or memorized parts of it .

History of the Quran - Wikipedia

In Pre-Islamic Arabia, the society during the time of Muhammad was predominantly oral, and for this reason he would recite the Quranic verses to his Companions for them to memorize. Therefore, it is unknown whether the Quran was ever written and collected during the time of Muhammad.

Then there is the whole problem of Caliph Uthman who burned or otherwise destroyed all versions of the Quran but for the official version he approved of. So, we know for a fact that he supported and promoted the one true and the only true version. The actual word of God.

The history of the Quran is bullsht, from beginning to end, with as many lies and myths as any other region on the planet. Frankly, if someone wants to know who wrote the Quran the proper response is Uthman. \

Oh… and let’s not even get into how it was originally put together. From scraps of parchment, memory, and etchings on tree bark. Not from Muhammad talking to an Angel in a cave.

Oh! And if someone tells you there is only one version… Ha ha ha ha ha…There are more than 30 different Arabic Korans in circulation today.

The 4 main different types of reading of the Koran.

  1. Hafs (Kufa) 95% 2) Warsh (Medina)3% 3) Al-Dori 4) Qaloon The Hafs Koran was canonized in 1924 in Cairo* (How is this not a problem? It’s been the same since 1924?) and is now the standard used by 95% of Muslims. It was based on “oral traditions”, and not on any manuscript. There are at present at least 30 different texts of the Koran in circulation today with not just accentual, but consonant differences as well.

IN SHORT - As fucked up as any other religion on the planet and just as mythical and man made.


And wear their lucky shoes, T-shirt, or ball cap. Go through ritualistic behaviors to improve their luck, carry charms or tokens. And are willing to fight and injure people who carry tokens or use rituals, songs, chants, different from theirs. (This goes even deeper if we move to the edges of the bell curve and enter into fan devotion that is extreme.)


The mythology has them as royalty. That’s my point. It offers up “authority” figures that can relate or reject it for the “grassroots”, and imo, these figures and their stories are a great tool for the political agendas and control of populations.


There is some evidence that homo naledi (a much, much older species of hominid than Neanderthal) buried their dead ~240,000 years ago. The went so far as to bury one child with a tool in its hand. This hints that they may have considered an afterlife which is, of course, the rudiment of religion.

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Yeah, I was exactly like that in the 80’s and 90’s when it came to the NFL. During the NFL season, I’d be in front of the TV every Sunday from 7 am until the night game was over around 9pm. I was watching GAMEDAY on ESPN for 3 hours before the first game even started.
In those years, I was working 6 days a week, so my only day off was Sunday, and during the season, we rarely if ever did any “family” stuff because of my obsession with football.
Depending on how my preferred teams did would definitely affect me and my mood for several days afterword.
If my teams had a good day, I was happier than normal, but if things didn’t go the way I thought they should, then I would take it out on everyone around me.

This went on until the mid 90’s, when I realized how fucking stupid I was being and how poorly I was treating my wife and kids during that time. I’ve NEVER been physically abusive to any of them, but I was behaving like an ass, and they didn’t deserve a single second of it.
I’d finally realized that the outcome of a football game has zero affect on my life or my families lives, unless I’d let it.

Now, I don’t fucking care about anything that happens in the NFL and pay zero attention to it. When the whole Colin Kapernick shit happened, that was the final nail in their coffin, I won’t watch a second of the NFL now, and haven’t watched anything on ESPN for years.
I’m still a fan of college football and occasionally watch part of a game, but I can’t/won’t sit for 3+ hours to watch an entire game, I can’t do it anymore.

I laugh now whenever I see some clown driving around with their vehicle covered in their favorite team’s shit. My personal favorites are the morons who have RAIDER NATION decals on their car or are wearing a hat and or a shirt/jacket with the same crap on it.
Now I just shake my head and laugh and remember what an idiot I was during those times.

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I have the same opinions from my life as a bartender. But my criticisms are of behaviors and life that are so socially acceptable that I am the one looking like an ass for being critical. I will remain silent for the most part. As a bartender, I spent over 25 years watching dads vicariously live their lives through sports while ignoring their wives and children. I think your insight is spot on.


I think that evidence of homo naledi’s burials is quite convincing. But maybe more importantly there is a form of art, some artistic scratches on the walls as well.
This is whole story about discovery of homo naledi

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And there is a very simple answer:

Gods were invented to explain the unknown.

Religion was invented to make money.


And not just an ordinary burial deep in the tunnels of a cave. It was a burial with grave goods. In the case of Naledi, it was a stone tool that was probably used by the person when they lived. The purpose of grave goods was to provide the dead with items they would need…

…in an afterlife.

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You cannot possibly know this about homo naledi.


We only infer this from later burials that came with writings in Sumeria and Egypt. Grave goods became increasingly complex due to the emergence of social stratification that developed when the first cities were built. In the prehistoric era, goods consisted of simple farming tools, baskets or beaded items. In the metals era, elaborate vessels like a boat or divine weaponry to hunt spiritual animals for food appeared. In Egypt, money in the form of gold was also included in case a pharaoh or a noble might need to bribe someone in the afterworld with.