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Which is the oldest religion in the world?

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Forum Name: Intellectual discussions
Forum Description: Discuss political and philosophical theories, religious beliefs and other academic subjects Moderators: Akolouthos, es_bih
URL: http://www.worldhistoria.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=129734
Printed Date: 19 Dec 2018 at 06:07
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Topic: Which is the oldest religion in the world?
Posted By: ghazanfar.arif
Subject: Which is the oldest religion in the world?
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 16:49

I think Hinduism is often considered the oldest existing religion still practiced today. While this may be true, it’s important to note that http://www.hinduorg.com/how-old-is-hinduism/" rel="nofollow - Hinduism does not have any particular founder or a single text , but instead combines several ancient traditions and beliefs. The oldest scripture of Hinduism is the Rig Veda, which is believed to be about 3,500 years old. However, archaeologists have found bull and cow motifs, which are sacred animals in Hinduism, dating back to around 7,000 BCE during a time when an ancient civilization inhabited the area near the Indus River. Today, Hinduism is practiced by millions of people around the world, but primarily in India and the surrounding countries.


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"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend".



Replies:
Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2018 at 22:30
Strands of Hinduism are very old, as are strands of Zoroastrianism, and Judaism.  But, of course, modern Hinduism is not the same as Vedic Hinduism, nor is the ancient Hebrew religion, modern rabbinical Judaism.  Undoubtably, these modern traditions appropriate ancient traditions, Noah appears as Utnapishtim in Babylon, and probably earlier in Sumerian tradition.

I think that humans have _always_ had some kind of religious belief or ritual.  So probably it goes back to early homo sapiens, or they say that Neanderthals took care in burying their dead, and painted with red ochre, so religion in some form may have gone back that far.  But, if so we know next to nothing about it.

Egyptian religion is an extinct one, but one that has much textual and artistic evidence, so we can figure out much about it.  I doubt that it is any earlier than Hindu, but Hinduism has also been rewriting itself for thousands of years.  There are advantages to each one.

There is a Great Courses DVD/CD/download course called Sacred Texts.  It starts out with oldest, and goes from there through the major religions, also treating minor ones like Zoroaster, Sikh, Ba'hai, Shinto, Mayan, Egyptian (and Muslim, Christianity, Buddhism, etc).


Posted By: ghazanfar.arif
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2018 at 08:20
Yes it is true about Neanderthals that believe in some kind of religious practices .

How fascinating it is to take seriously the idea that the deep roots of human meaning-making ritual, and even of religiosity, may go as far back as the time of the Neanderthals.


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"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend".


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2018 at 02:12
I agree. Scientists have unearthed signs of ancient religious practices dated back to the Stone Age.

There is a difference between "the oldest"  and "the oldest remaining" religions.


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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2018 at 22:46
"Give me that old time religion! 
If it was good enough for Kali,
although embracing her's a folly,
then by golly,
it is good enough for me.

Give me that old time religion,
If it was good enough for Odin,
although the croaking was forebodden,
until the giants rode in,
Why it is good enough for me!


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 04 Sep 2018 at 03:45
Hinduism.

'no matter how one justifies, postulates or deflects its background or history..,no other religion comes close.., i.e.  if its organize religion...''

Smile


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 04 Sep 2018 at 09:22
Originally posted by zorro15 zorro15 wrote:

Hinduism.

'no matter how one justifies, postulates or deflects its background or history..,no other religion comes close.., i.e.  if its organize religion...'

Smile

What's your basis for this line of thought?


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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 04 Sep 2018 at 15:42
are there any other religion, even abrahamic, that is older than hinduism.?

Traditional mainstream history records its date bet 6-8 thousand years BC.

Smile






Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 05 Sep 2018 at 03:47
What's the source of your claims that Hinduism is between 6000 and 8000 years old?

I'd be interested in the age of Taoism, Shintoism and some of the other non Christian religions.


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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2018 at 02:50
Encyclopaedias, historical sites and links, history books, world religion sites, etc..

What is your take ?

IF you have other thoughts, its your turn to show us what is/are those.

Smile

btw - shintoism, taoism, confucianism, zoroastrianism ..., they/it prospered in the/between 7-8th centuries BC..Wink


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2018 at 21:46
The Great Courses has a DVD, CD series of lectures called "Sacred Texts...." which gives you a first hand idea of the literary sources for religions, starting with Hinduism, and going from there.  Not just major religions but lesser known ones too like Zoroastrianism, or Jainism, Manichaeanism, etc.  
Thing is, though, their sacred texts in general do not resemble histories, except for Judaism, and to a lesser extent those coming after Judaism, (in response to Judaism).  So listening or watching such a series is, (to me), interesting, but not necessarily that interesting in a historical context.  The course starts with the oldest and goes to the more recent, Bahai, I seem to remember Latter day saints, but it might be mentioned that they were cut off.  Maybe Falun gong, Moonies are out. Also some extinct sacred texts, the Mayan Popul Vuh,  Egyptian Book of the Dead.  Major religions get several lectures, minor ones, one lecture but it still neat to see them represented at all.

Some people conclude that if (since) monotheistic religions don't play nice with others, then why would anybody want to be a member of those monotheistic religions.  But the converse can be true, if monotheistic religions don't play nice, then it makes sense to be monotheistic, because you don't really have to worry about polytheists or pagans or whatnot.  But of course, that is not true, the Romans considered Christians to be atheists because they didn't worship the gods, including the Emperor.

As far as I understand, Japanese Shintoism is a fairly modern manifestation of a kind of Japanese animism, which was associated with the Emperor, after the Meiji Restoration (1868), when the Emperor was promoted as a personification of the Japanese nation, above all the other Daimyos (Baronies), in imitation of European monarchies.  The above lecture series says that shintoism is kind of an exception to the rule, being a religion that doesn't really have much of sacred texts.





Posted By: Akolouthos
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 02:14
As a Christian? Christianity, following the arguments of Eusebius and Justin Martyr.

As a historian? I'm largely with franciscosan on this. The oldest religion in the world dates to the time the first sufficiently sentient primate picked up a rock and wondered where it came from.

-Akolouthos


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 12:18
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

As a Christian? Christianity, following the arguments of Eusebius and Justin Martyr.

As a historian? I'm largely with franciscosan on this. The oldest religion in the world dates to the time the first sufficiently sentient primate picked up a rock and wondered where it came from.

-Akolouthos

Or looked at the sky and proclaimed the sun, moon and stars as unexplicable gods with power over all beneath them.
I agree. It's my view that we will never know the earliest religions as many communities left no written records, or stories passed down to modernity.

I would not take issue with the notion that the oldest of the religions still in existence is in fact Hinduism


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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 12:27
The oldest religion or the oldest surviving religion? We have evidence of the Neolithic/early bronze age ritual landscape in Britain and western coastal Europe, and an even earlier animist belief system that might date as far back as forty thousand years in Asia Minor and North Africa. I don't know how old native Australasian beliefs are but they have to have very ancient origins.

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http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 12:42
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

The oldest religion or the oldest surviving religion? We have evidence of the Neolithic/early bronze age ritual landscape in Britain and western coastal Europe, and an even earlier animist belief system that might date as far back as forty thousand years in Asia Minor and North Africa. I don't know how old native Australasian beliefs are but they have to have very ancient origins.

Quote The Dreamtime is a commonly used term for describing important features of Aboriginal spiritual beliefs and existence. It is not generally well understood by non-indigenous people.

Aboriginals believe that the Dreamtime was way back, at the very beginning. The land and the people were created by the Spirits. They made the rivers, streams, water holes the land, hills, rocks, plants and animals. It is believed that the Spirits gave them their hunting tools and each tribe its land, their totems and their Dreaming.

The Aboriginals believed that the entire world was made by their Ancestors way back in the very beginning of time, the Dreamtime. The Ancestors made everything – The Aboriginal people, the rocks, mountains, rivers, creeks, waterholes, plants and animals.


aboriginal dreamtime art
aboriginal dreamtime art
aboriginal dreamtime art

The Ancestors made particular sites to show the Aboriginal people which places were to be sacred. The Aboriginals performed ritual ceremonies and customary songs near the sacred sites to please the Ancestral spirits and to keep them alive.

Distinct tribes had different philosophies and beliefs about the Ancestors who made the world. Some believed that the Ancestors were animal-spirits.

Others in parts of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory believed the Ancestors were huge snakes. In other places the spirit who created the world was believed to be the Wanadjina.

Dreamtime is the foundation of Aboriginal religion and culture. It dates back some 65,000 years. It is the story of events that have happened, how the universe came to be, how human beings were created and how their Creator intended for humans to function within the world as they knew it.

Aboriginal people understood the Dreamtime as a beginning that never ended. They held the belief that the Dreamtime is a period on a continuum of past, present and future.


[quote]

The Dreamtime is a commonly used term for describing important features of

Aboriginal spiritual beliefs and existence. It is not generally well understood by

 non-indigenous people.

Aboriginals believe that the Dreamtime was way back, at the very beginning.

The land and the people were created by the Spirits. They made the rivers,

 streams, water holes the land, hills, rocks, plants and animals. It is believed

that the Spirits gave them their hunting tools and each tribe its land, their totems

and their Dreaming.

The Aboriginals believed that the entire world was made by their Ancestors

 way back in the very beginning of time, the Dreamtime. The Ancestors made

everything –  The Aboriginal people, the rocks, mountains, rivers, creeks, waterholes,

 plants and animals.

 

The Ancestors made particular sites to show the Aboriginal people which places

were to be sacred. The Aboriginals performed ritual ceremonies and customary

songs near the sacred sites to please the Ancestral spirits and to keep them alive.

Distinct tribes had different philosophies and beliefs about the Ancestors who made

the world. Some believed that the Ancestors were animal-spirits.

Others in parts of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory believed the Ancestors

were huge snakes. In other places the spirit who created the world was believed to be

the Wanadjina.

Dreamtime is the foundation of Aboriginal religion and culture. It dates back some

65,000 years. It is the story of events that have happened, how the universe came

 to be, how human beings were created and how their Creator intended for humans

to function within the world as they knew it.

Aboriginal people understood the Dreamtime as a beginning that never ended.

They held the belief that the Dreamtime is a period on a continuum of past, present and future.

Extract from: https://www.aboriginal-art-australia.com/aboriginal-art-library/aboriginal-dreamtime/%5b/quote" rel="nofollow - https://www.aboriginal-art-australia.com/aboriginal-art-library/aboriginal-dreamtime/[/quote ]

 

Many Aboriginals follow their ancients beliefs, as their “history” is still passed down as word of mouth.



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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 26 Sep 2018 at 03:23
The question and responses do not add up as to the direct answer to an organized religion being the most earliest or oldest.

' ..citing moons, stars, cave paintings, caricatures, scratchings, neanderthal rock carvings ..,,etceteraaaa,,,to cite an'earlier' pre historic evidence that there's an early 'organized religion' 
is rubbish..''

That would mean and show, that Minions also had an 'early religion' of their own.

Wink






Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 26 Sep 2018 at 05:10
Originally posted by zorro15 zorro15 wrote:

The question and responses do not add up as to the direct answer to an organized religion being the most earliest or oldest.

' ..citing moons, stars, cave paintings, caricatures, scratchings, neanderthal rock carvings ..,,etceteraaaa,,,to cite an'earlier' pre historic evidence that there's an early 'organized religion' 
is rubbish..''

That would mean and show, that Minions also had an 'early religion' of their own.

Wink


No, I think that you're wrong. When a family or a village or settlement all came to revere the same entity, whether it be celestial or otherwise, one could say that it was organised.

Please supply references which tell us that Hinduism is the oldest religion.


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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 26 Sep 2018 at 23:17
As Roy Rogers said, "I don't belong to an organized political party, I am a democrat."
Or as Mark Flory said, imitating Roy, "I don't belong to an organized religion, I am an Orthodox Christian."  I don't know what zorro15 means by organized, but I would think that something around as
long as Australian Aboriginal dreamtime, would have evolved over thousands of years.  Is a cricket "organized?" (in how it is put together) well not necessarily in the sense of intentional design, but in the sense of having evolved to suit (and shape) its environment, I would think so.

We might say there are first order religions, folk religions that nobody particular founded, animism, shamanism, dreamtime, stuff like that.  Ancient Egyptian religion was probably first that way.  We wouldn't know that much about these, for they were probably oral, and neither entirely conscious, nor ever totally forgotten.  Then there would be second order religions, which had discrete foundations, Noah on Mt. Sinai, as Dr. God said, "Moses, take two tablets and call me in the morning."  These foundational religions had the advantage of being able to "push off" the old religion and create a new one, sometimes pushing off an old foundational religion, and founding a new one, like Christianity.


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 27 Sep 2018 at 03:21
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by zorro15 zorro15 wrote:

The question and responses do not add up as to the direct answer to an organized religion being the most earliest or oldest.

' ..citing moons, stars, cave paintings, caricatures, scratchings, neanderthal rock carvings ..,,etceteraaaa,,,to cite an'earlier' pre historic evidence that there's an early 'organized religion' 
is rubbish..''

That would mean and show, that Minions also had an 'early religion' of their own.

Wink


No, I think that you're wrong. When a family or a village or settlement all came to revere the same entity, whether it be celestial or otherwise, one could say that it was organised.

Please supply references which tell us that Hinduism is the oldest religion.
NOPE, I think not.

you are deluding yourself by stating, implying that a village wd certain beliefs or rituals constitute a 'religion'. LOL

we are discussing organized legit religion as being the oldest. I have cited links/references-encyclopediabritannica, religionfacts, world religion encyclopedia, wikipedia, ancient history.com,, etc...

WHAT MORE do you want ?

Can you NAME that religion ,, an organized existing religion as OLDER than HINDUISM..?

I will WAIT for your honest, truthful response and your links to support it

ps - your last statement is Rubbish.

Cool




Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 27 Sep 2018 at 04:37
Quote I have cited links/references-encyclopediabritannica, religionfacts, world religion encyclopedia, wikipedia, ancient history.com,, etc...

I seem to have missed all of the references you claim that you've provided. Would you be so kind as to post them again?

You may like to read at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion" rel="nofollow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion .

You claim that my posts are rubbish, but you have yet to convince me that your claims hold water.

The fact that some call it the oldest religion don't necessarily make it so.

It could well be that Hinduism is in fact the oldest religion, but you haven't made a case for it.



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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 02:35
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Quote I have cited links/references-encyclopediabritannica, religionfacts, world religion encyclopedia, wikipedia, ancient history.com,, etc...

I seem to have missed all of the references you claim that you've provided. Would you be so kind as to post them again?

You may like to read at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion" rel="nofollow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion .

You claim that my posts are rubbish, but you have yet to convince me that your claims hold water.

The fact that some call it the oldest religion don't necessarily make it so.

It could well be that Hinduism is in fact the oldest religion, but you haven't made a case for it.

I have presented my case but sadly..., unfortunately for you,, you seem to be indifferent to sound and rational discussions.I have presented references, sources to support it, for you and others to go over and view it, but in your case you keep asking for it when it is already there. 

'' you prefer spoonfeeding eh.., mate..?''
 
In your response, you cited wikipedia article. Let me point it out for you.
 
The timeline of religion is a  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology" rel="nofollow - chronological   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compendium" rel="nofollow - catalogue  of important and noteworthy  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion" rel="nofollow - religious  events in  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_religion" rel="nofollow - pre-historic  and  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_religion" rel="nofollow - modern  times. This article reaches into pre-historic times, as the bulk of the human religious experience pre-dates  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_history" rel="nofollow - written history . Written history (the  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_writing" rel="nofollow - age  of  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing_systems" rel="nofollow - formal writing ) is only c.5000 years old. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion#cite_note-1" rel="nofollow - [1]  A lack of written records results in most of the knowledge of pre-historic religion being derived from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archeology" rel="nofollow - archaeological records  and other indirect sources, and from suppositions. 
Much pre-historic religion is subject to continued debate. Clap


It clearly says that.., ' human relations, inter-actions and rituals in pre-historic times may relate to religious practices or the worship of anything prehistoric humans had in their conditions, such as cave people may 'worship' thunder or rain, or sas or anything out of the ordinary or strange to them.

That is NOT what 'organized religion' .., and/or what this topic is all about.

You, sir, is 'guilty' of hijacking this thread to pursue your own 'rubbish ideas'..., perhaps, as this topic is in the 'intellectual pursuit' sub category ?

I rest my case..., and lastly , other posters take Hinduism as the oldest organized religion as seen in early posts.

Wink

ps - If the ebcid:com.britannica.oec2.identifier.ArticleIdentifier?articleId=42359&library=EB&query=null&title=Indus%20valley%20civilization#9042359.toc" rel="nofollow - Indus valley civilization (3rd–2nd millennium BCE) was the earliest source of these traditions, as some scholars hold, then Hinduism is the oldest living religion on Earth.= "Hinduism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2012.

-The oldest evidence of religious practices in  https://www.ancient.eu/india/" rel="nofollow - India date back approximately to 5500 BCE. It is a mistake to reduce all early Hinduism to Vedic religion: there were many other non-Vedic religious traditions in early Hinduism which have left no early texts and that can be known to some extent by archaeological evidence. = https://www.ancient.eu/hinduism/

- Although today's Hinduism differs significantly from earlier forms of Indian religion, its roots date back as far as 2000 BC, making it one of the oldest surviving religions. Because of its age, the early history of Hinduism is unclear. The most ancient writings have yet to be deciphered, so for the earliest periods scholars must rely on educated guesses based on archaeology and contemporary texts.= http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/history




Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2018 at 00:34
The initial question for this post is "what is the oldest religion?"  Not, "what is the oldest organized religion?"  Hinduism _might_ be the oldest continuous religion, but since "Hinduism" is not one thing, but a name imposed by (outside, generally Western) scholars to a whole family of religions, I am not sure one can really call Hinduism an "organized" religion.  In calling it "organized," one is playing fast and loose with the term.  
I would say that Australian aboriginals have a continuous tradition for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years, as far as we can tell.  That they don't have a corresponding written tradition should not be grounds for dismissal of what they have.  Plato says that writing adversely effects memory (Phaedrus), and so in certain ways the aboriginal tradition might be more faithful to the original, than if it had been written down in the times of the Vedas.  We have sanskrit writings for India, but our understanding of sanskrit is flawed, as is our understanding of ancient Hebrew or ancient Homeric Greek.
There are of course, ancient religions that predate Hinduism, but are extinct.  For that matter, I think that most surviving religions, swallow earlier versions, and forget that they were originally something different.  The "Hinduism" of a thousand years ago, is not the "Hinduism" of today.  In fact, the "Hinduism" of today is an artificial construct made by scholars, and so therefore, _itself_ is not really the Hinduism of "today."  Please don't confuse the map with the reality.

Let me give another comparison, "what is the oldest animal?"  There may be single cell animals that go back to the Precambrian, but most likely not.  Extinction would argue against it.  And those that have not gone extinct, have evolved.  Likewise, religions have gone extinct, Mayan, Egyptian, Sumerian, countless others.  Others have evolved (and branched) the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, Buddhism.  In religion, as in biology, there are some 'living fossils' but they are the exceptions, not the rule.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2018 at 04:45
zorro 15

Please read the OP, the word "organised" does not appear there.

So, despite all of your insults and blustering, we're really talking about the oldest religion, organised or otherwise.

I see no good purpose in continuing this discussion with you.

franciscosan:
I agree with your comments.


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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2018 at 21:42
Yes, but wikipedia talks about sacred structure for religion.  So there is an idea of organization.  Fact is, no matter what definition of religion one puts forth, there is at least one exception to the rule.  Religion is a tremendously slippery idea.  Belief in God?  What about beliefs in Gods (Hinduism, Greco-Roman), what about belief in no God (certain kinds of Buddhism), what about dualism like Zoroastrianism?  Sacred Writings?  What about Shamanic/Australian religions?  What about Shinto religion, it doesn't really have sacred writings.  Origin story, Chinese mythos doesn't really have an origin story, hence neither does Taoism, or Confucianism, at least that is what I understand.  Japanese mythology has a goddess as the central character.  How about priesthood, or ministry?  Well, shamans and prophets are not really priests, but they are definitely religious figures.  Do christians have prophets?  Does appropriating the Israelite prophets count?

So I think neither you, toyomotor, nor zorro 15 are completely wrong, in order to decide which is the oldest, you would first have to define your terms, and yet that would be ever elusive.  I think that both Australian aborigine religion and Hindu religion are good candidates.  But one could also call Islam 'the first religion' (if you were Islamic), because the Koran predates the world.  Romans respected the Israelite religion, because they respected things that were old, even though they didn't agree with other aspects of Israelite religion (and eventually the Romans did, what the Romans did best, destroyed the temple).  Of course, is Judaism old in the way that Hinduism is old, no not really.  But, Hinduism does not really have the historical tradition that Judaism has, does it?  I mean the creation, the successive generations, the rise of Abraham and his tribe, the rise of Moses and the covenant, the Davidic kingdom, the prophets, the loss of the kingdom, the return from Babylon..... etc.  It is a continuous "chronological" scale.  I don't think Hinduism has the same kind of historical flow.  (I use 'historical' in a nascent, loose sense of the term.)


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 30 Sep 2018 at 03:13
' oh c'mon guys...., you're both stretching it way too much.. stop spinnin' '

Isn't Religion an organized discipline, an organization today wd a set of rules, guidelines, teachings , doctrines, dogma, etc...?

''if  pre historic people does the same sans the same set of guidelines/rules, dogma, doctrines, etc...,is it then real religion,, or can we term it as a religion ? or just simply ignorant 'faith' of everything they have NO idea at all..'Wink

IF you both believe AND acccept that ANY act of faith - not necessarily as a true religion..., that incorporates worshipping, believing, doing rituals or sacrifices to earth/nature/animals,,, etc..., are ALL part of a real Religion in the same category of the abrahamic and other standard religions, then you too must accept that - Neanderthals, cro magnons, homo sapiens and other cave pre-historic people ALSO had their OWN  'Religion'.

'''...but as you BOTH say..., not just organized..., but  a religion still...right eh..?''Clap

Now, theres a 'new' category of the oldest religion. One that is organized and the other , not organized, just religion. which one is older.? '''oh..,,really...?

The Minions. ''they have the oldest religion - organized or not..bec its faith-based''

LOL


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 30 Sep 2018 at 09:59
References that may well explain the origins of religion.

a. Hunter-Gatherers and the Origins of Religion -
excerpts -
Here we reconstruct the evolution of religious beliefs and behaviors in early modern humans using a global sample of hunter-gatherers and seven traits describing hunter-gatherer religiosity: animism, belief in an afterlife, shamanism, ancestor worship, high gods, and worship of ancestors or high gods who are active in human affairs. 

 Results indicate that the oldest trait of religion, present in the most recent common ancestor of present-day hunter-gatherers, was animism, in agreement with long-standing beliefs about the fundamental role of this trait. Belief in an afterlife emerged, followed by shamanism and ancestor worship. Ancestor spirits or high gods who are active in human affairs were absent in early humans, suggesting a deep history for the egalitarian nature of hunter-gatherer societies. 

Religion has generally been assumed to have emerged among anatomically modern humans in Africa during the Upper Paleolithic, and to have played a vital role in the subsequent out-of-Africa expansion (Balme et al.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR4" rel="nofollow - 2009 ; Rossano  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR94" rel="nofollow - 2009a ).

Whether early hominins held religious beliefs prior to the emergence of language is unknown. We should not dismiss the possible presence of non-linguistic religious thought and sentiment among early members of the genus Homo

Finds at Pinnacle Point in southern Africa (Marean et al.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR63" rel="nofollow - 2007 ) demonstrate the use and processing of pigment among anatomically modern humans as early as 165,000 years ago (McDougall et al.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR70" rel="nofollow - 2005 ). Ochre nodules bearing engraved abstract patterns and perforated shell beads found at Blombos Cave in South Africa, dating to 75,000–100,000 years ago (d’Errico et al.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR30" rel="nofollow - 2005 ; Henshilwood et al.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR47" rel="nofollow - 2009 ), suggest symbolically mediated behavior. These and other similar finds lend substantial support to the theory of progressive development of symbolic behavior and complex imagery along with the evolution of modern human anatomy (Barnard  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR6" rel="nofollow - 2012 ; Conard  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR21" rel="nofollow - 2010 ; Deino and McBrearty  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR28" rel="nofollow - 2002 ; d’Errico and Stringer  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR29" rel="nofollow - 2011 ; McBrearty and Brooks  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR69" rel="nofollow - 2000 ; Zilh£o  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR122" rel="nofollow - 2007 ).

The uniqueness of “natural” religions of hunter-gatherers, and likely those of our Paleolithic ancestors, cannot be overemphasized when compared with the “world” religions that have emerged along with the advent of agriculture. Many hunter-gatherer societies have little or no concept of religion per se, though a religious dimension often permeates normal activities and is continuous with daily life (Lee  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR54" rel="nofollow - 1989 ). Hunter-gatherer religions are seldom religions of protest or evangelism (Woodburn  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0#CR119" rel="nofollow - 1997 )  
more - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-016-9260-0

b. Prehistoric religion -
 -In the oldest known examples of graphic  https://www.britannica.com/art/prehistoric-art" rel="nofollow - art , the representations of animals play a large part; humans appear rarely and then frequently with animal attributes or as mixed human–animal figures. In the  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/context" rel="nofollow - context  of the whole situation, the view that these representations were merely ornamentations or served a purely artistic need may be dismissed; they are found without boundaries and background on rock walls and are not part of an interrelated scene. It is evident that animals played a predominant role in the mental world of the Upper Paleolithic Period insofar as this role is reflected in the art of the period. What is represented is, first of all, that which is essential to the  https://www.britannica.com/topic/nature-worship" rel="nofollow - animal , partly in its relation to the hunt, but also in relation to  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anthropomorphic" rel="nofollow - anthropomorphic  figures showing the intermixing of human and animal forms. This indicates a special and  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intimate" rel="nofollow - intimate  relationship between humans and animals that  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transcends" rel="nofollow - transcends  and overcomes the boundaries between different realms of being that modern concepts and understanding require.

 -The oldest burials that attest to a belief in life after death can be placed in the period between about 50,000 and 30,000 BCE. The earliest evidence of human activity in any form, on the other hand, goes back more than 1,000,000 years.

more - https://www.britannica.com/topic/prehistoric-religion

Wink

 



Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 30 Sep 2018 at 21:46
It sounds good.  But I cannot testify to how well what you write/quote corresponds to history.  Or rather, it corresponds to known history in one fashion, according to one set of theories, but history, particularly pre-history is an open book.
It is very hard to draw conclusions regarding belief from only material remains, it seems likely that ochre painting of the body was from some kind of belief in what we glibly call the "afterlife."  But, the devil is in the details and we are sorely lacking in those.
But, it is not surprising that aborigines have "no concept of religion," religio, is a Roman word, so it probably does not fit stuff before Rome that well.  Even stuff like Israelite/Hebrew religion, or Hindu and Sikh that originated before then.  Judaism is a religion of practice, orthopraxy, not so much orthodoxy, at least not in the form Christianity is.
Some people (atheists, humanists) believed that religion in the face of the triumph of science would shrivel up and die away, as if the only thing in the world that counted was rationalism (no pun intended), personally I wonder what they do with irrational/transrational numbers such as pi, I, E?  And of course, to me zero is just as confusing as anything else. 


Posted By: zorro15
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 01:50
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

It sounds good.  But I cannot testify to how well what you write/quote corresponds to history.  Or rather, it corresponds to known history in one fashion, according to one set of theories, but history, particularly pre-history is an open book.
It is very hard to draw conclusions regarding belief from only material remains, it seems likely that ochre painting of the body was from some kind of belief in what we glibly call the "afterlife."  But, the devil is in the details and we are sorely lacking in those.
But, it is not surprising that aborigines have "no concept of religion," religio, is a Roman word, so it probably does not fit stuff before Rome that well.  Even stuff like Israelite/Hebrew religion, or Hindu and Sikh that originated before then.  Judaism is a religion of practice, orthopraxy, not so much orthodoxy, at least not in the form Christianity is.
Some people (atheists, humanists) believed that religion in the face of the triumph of science would shrivel up and die away, as if the only thing in the world that counted was rationalism (no pun intended), personally I wonder what they do with irrational/transrational numbers such as pi, I, E?  And of course, to me zero is just as confusing as anything else. 
  Stern Smile


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 22:55
You should understand that my academic training is as a philosopher, so I play devil's advocate, then I play devil's advocate to my devil's advocate<grin>.  That does not mean that some interpretations are not better than others, just that for something as complex as religion, there is probably no final interpretation.  (Of course, many may say there way is certain and there is no interpretation at all.  

The Great Courses CD 'On Sacred Texts' starts with Hinduism, because it is the oldest written that we still have material from.  But if you talked to a Hindu Brahman (or equivalent) c. 2500 BC, would he know what you were talking about when you talked about religion?  My guess is no, he would 'merely' know about the customs and ways of men and the gods.  Just as an aborigine would know about the ways of men and of the spirits prevalent in his land.  It is like the two fish, one saying to the other, "what is this 'wet,' I keep hearing about?".  One's own path is the true way, someone else's is, if one is kind, "religion," if one is not kind, "superstition."


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 13:08
Religion is not necessarily organised, but a set of beliefs and associated rituals. Religion can be personal (such as my own) or international in scope. I have always had deep misgivings over organised religion but that's my personal experience of Christianity colouring my opinion, others might disagree.

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http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2018 at 23:18
When you say "organized," do you mean "intentionally" organized, consisting of a structure that believers buy into?  Or do you also include structure that is unconscious or sub conscious?  I tend to think that religions have a great deal of inertia, because most of them, like an iceberg, is below the surface.  

I think personal religion is something people in the West understand quite well.  I tend to think it is a response to division of Church and State.  Kind of a, 'I have these beliefs, but I don't expect anyone else to have them.'  While I subscribe to such a view, I don't know how it will suit Christianity in the long run, and I don't think it suits Islam at all.  For atheists and humanists who have a problem with Christianity, I think it might be choice of evils.  The nearer evil (for them) is the one they go after with vehemence, little do they realize the are undermining the lesser evil that is in the way of the greater evil.  Christianity has some understanding of separation of church and state (religion and government), is open to a great deal of the scientific endeavor and to wealth producing capitalism.  Islam, not so much.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2018 at 12:16
'Organised' means exactly that - a social or political structure controlling religion to any lesser or greater degree, even if merely one charismatic leader calling the shots.
 
Personal religion is far from well understood in the west. Adherence to group worship has the comfort of safety in numbers and a sense of 'doing one's duty' in society. Many adherents are inactive as worshippers, not because of personal beliefs or convictions, but the lack of them, a sense of 'I display the label but can't be bothered to turn up'. Alternative personal religions exist outside of this factional or tribal aspect of human society and anyone who truly walks that sort of path will discover that society doesn't have a lot of patience for those who go it alone, something that has plagued my life since a child but personally I cannot accept that anyone has the right to dictate my beliefs or religious conduct - That's something I maintain despite all the pressure and action society uses to make me conform. That is after all the point. Society likes conformity with ideals or stereotypes. If you truly want to by non-conformal, there is a price to pay for that, and most of us would rather live under the umbrella of a faction they don't quite believe in than risk society's ire.


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http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2018 at 20:51
GK Chesterton says something like if Christianity were from China we would be entranced and enamored about how exotic and profound it would seem.  But since it is familiar, we think little of it.  Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  But I do understand about how particulars can discourage one from engaging in the bigger structure.  Methodism as a mainstream denomination is in a decline, and yet it seems that the clergy wants to play a game of supporting radicals that will piss off the rest of the church.  And then they want the shrinking number of people donating, to donate more.  It is a great scheme if you can pull it off.  btw, when I hear on the BBC them referring to scheme, I always think 'scam,' although I am sure it doesn't have that connotation in British English.

I think that there is something best about religion when it has a public aspect, belief does not rightfully refer to a cognition, but to action that comes from a cognition, emotion, inclination. an action that is acted out at least partially in the public realm.  Not populist though, for populism bows to catering to the masses, and smacks of a kind of idolatry.  Again, I say "something [that is] best about religion, at times we cannot meet that best, for it does presuppose a fitting community.  Sometimes we have to be a belief and a believer of one, but even then there is a public aspect, just not an aspect that is overt, explained.

There was something late night on NPR or BBC that said that as many people today self-identify as religious, as it used to be, but these days, many of their views are heretical, and they don't even know, or care that their views are heretical.  I don't think this is necessarily a problem for the average church goer (depending on what), but it is there even amongst the clergy, who should know better, and more importantly, teach better.  For example, the Methodist, (lesbian) bishop preached that Jesus was prejudiced against the Syro-Phoenician woman until she snapped him out of his bias.  Even the messiah discriminates unfairly.  So, we have a messiah whose feet are of clay, who isn't worth worshipping.  If it is that interpretation one wishes to put forward for identity politics.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2018 at 01:44
We're starting to wander away from the OP now.

I'd like to suggest that the oldest religion is that practised by Stone Age man when he linked the natural world around him to the celestial bodies he could see, and which he worshipped so as to improve aspects of his life, hopefully.

I have no argument with the fact that Hinduism may well be the oldest remaining organised religion.


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It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 22 Oct 2018 at 02:20
There is a temple complex (name escapes me) in Southern Turkey (monolithic art) that dates from the hunter gatherer period.  It used to be believed that monumental art and religion was a result of agriculture, but now the thinking is that (the organization of) agriculture was the result of monumental art and religion.  Dr. Oz in interview with Jordan Peterson mentioned that.



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