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2.9.5. Origin, maintenance and essence of religion

V. I. Melnikov

As it has already been mentioned above, according to the archeologists, paleontologists and students of religion, religion is at least 150-200 thousand years of age. Religion came into existence during the primitive people’s times; times when primitive people were at a very low development stage in terms of means of production and world outlook. They practiced primitive cults and magic rites, totemism, animism, fetishism. Therefore religion could not result from serious intellectual process of a primitive man [111].

Until nowadays theologians, scientists and philosophers are not unanimous regarding the causes and essence of religions’ origination as a universal phenomenon. None of various currently known theories has gained general acceptance. Scientific and religious public has not been convinced by either religious or secular philosophy. Such philosophies are not unison in opinions as well. The theories elaborated are contradicting and do not possess a convincing theoretical and sufficient scientific rationale. Moreover, such theories bear a great resemblance to their originators, as every author studied the problem basing on his/or her own world outlook and professional position. As a result the theories turned out to be one-sided and did not embrace the whole scope of factors that can influence any religion and create conditions for its development in a due course.

As a result of a nature severe forces factors and class stratification prevailed in materialists’ and Marxists’ philosophy. As introduced by Z.Freud, religion’s origination was in close relationship to the Edip complex and was proclaimed to be a mass psychosis, as a reflection of unfulfilled wishes. According to sociologists, religion contains means of social medium’s comprehension by believers forming part of this social medium. Correspondingly, origin of religion is directly connected with the origin of the collective mode of life, hunting, salvation and, finally, understanding of the realities of life. Ethnographers attributed to religion some prime natural element of culture and a method of its normal functioning. Theologians ascribed an issue of religion’s origin to the proof of God’s existence [36]. Despite evident limitation of these theories they should not be considered false. Any one of them contains a grain of truth, in a similar way smalt contains a definite part of the whole mosaic.

According to the aforementioned, currently more and more researchers come to a conclusion about a complex character of religion’s origin.

This issue being studied in the environment-object coordinates automatically arrives at the same conclusion. The problem relates to a huge amount of acting factors, as we have seen above. And all these factors, on the one hand, are interrelated, and, on the other hand, depend on many other factors. Therefore it is theoretically not possible to account for all the factors in one theory. While elaborating such a theory one should be ready to get an approximated result know in advance that only consequential and multistage approximations can lead to a theory that adequately depictures real life. All participating factors should be examined and appraised in this approximation process, gradually forming the most optimal set of factors with indication of their functions and degree of influence.

In accordance with the above-mentioned the way nature and specifics of the cognition process influence religious thought, and, (at a later stage) – development of nature and specifics of cognition process itself, resulting in any knowledge, any faith as a source, is apparently underestimated, as it is only possibly to believe in what one can imagine and to some extent knows. In particular, the process of storage and processing of information, dependency on its sources is practically not considered.

In our opinion situation regarding religion’s origin can be clarified and supplemented to some extent by the study of this factor in combination with the other available for research factors.

The necessity for the complex approach in this case is driven from the known fact that narrow-minded subspecialty approach of the renowned in their areas of expertise committed Christians and scientists has proved to be of no use as it does not allow them to expand the limits of the native science and to take a broad view on the essence of religion. Though creative imagination based on intuitive, emotional and sensual world perception is grounded on the work of subconscious and, as a rule, is well developed among artistic persons, such as prominent scientists. It means that it does not suffice to account for influence of several factors.

Therefore, in order to get an objectivity, the matter should be reviewed on the ground on maximally general positions that reflect versatility and scope of the problem. CST provides for one of such options.

According to CST an object can not contain anything that is/was not contained in its present or past environment. In case of religion it means that it can only contain a substance that is contained in its complex factors’ environment, both present and past. In full compliance with the above-mentioned all information contained in scriptures corresponds to the time of their origin and contains either all their knowledge or no knowledge at all. In one of the versions there is 7-days creation of the world, but no reference to the modern information means and technologies, space discoveries or types of weapons. It is mentioned who gave birth to whom, but it is not indicated that The Earth revolves around the sun, and the sun it its turn is an ordinary planet, one of the multitude of the universe’s galaxies. It is indicated that the God created the first man Adam from clay, but there is not a world about the successes of the modern genetics, in genetic engineering in particular.

Our civilization’s development resulted in the change of factors; this change, in its turn, resulted in the corresponding religions’ change. Different religions ranging from primitive heathen to the World religions, from magic, fetishism, polytheism to monotheism were created due to the impact of different factors. This process is going on nowadays. Global life unification processes slowly, but inevitably lead to the unification of conscience and world outlook, including religious. Strictly speaking, mankind as one whole at present occupies one of the polytheism’s stages, as the gods of all World and regional religions – are different gods, there are many of them, they are different, all of them have been brought to life by not sufficiently unified consciousness of mankind that lacks unity and integrity. The real universal monotheism is further ahead. That is we pursue a moving object, moved by the environment.

The first traces of religious rites trace back 150-200 thousands years, when senses, emotions, conception, feelings, instincts etc., but not intellect, were used by a human being. The amount of knowledge about the environment, ways and types of processing of the arriving information did not differ significantly from those used by our closest biological relatives.

A human being as one of the elements, links in the world’s chain, is inseparably linked with it both historically and biologically. Modern science, having studied human and animals’ genome, has revealed a lot in common even with distant biological relatives (chimpanzee-98%). Living organism created according to such genetic programs, were evidently also alike in both anatomic structure and functions. Prior to genetics’ emergence this connection was revealed by comparable embryology of a human being. A human being’s sense organs, behavioral responses and manners etc. are similar to those of animals. Our generalities with plants have also been preserved. It is known, for example, that during prolonged starvation (~>40 days) fixation of carbon dioxide dissolved in blood as well as increase of nitrogen’s consumption from the air takes place in human organism, i.e. nutrition of organism is provided directly from the air. On the other hand, development of plants depends on the emotional influence exercised by the human beings.

Despite insufficient level of this matter’s research, there is a significant amount of data on the unity of environmental information’s receiving, storage and initial processing processes common both to us and to animals. This serves as a base for a corresponding behavior of an organism. In the process of brain and a corresponding conscious evolution all the above-mentioned processes were steadily improved, the amount and quantity, level, types, scope and speed of information’s processing improved. During the last evolution stage cortex of cerebral hemispheres, as well as fast-response and fast-responding rational thinking, intellect, appeared. Cerebrum’s structure distinctly reveals historical stages of its development that is “imprinted” floor above floor, beginning from the prime medulla oblongata that is an immediate continuation of the spinal marrow, bridge, cerebellum, midbrain and between brain, until an ultimate brain with its cerebral hemispheres’ cortex. The latter with its gray substance containing billions of neurons provides for, namely- carries out higher mental and intellectual activity. Cerebral [brain] cortex determines rational and logical perception of the world and corresponding world outlook. Instincts, intuition, senses, imagination etc. are produced by and stored in the subconscious, as it is known.

After the appearance of rational thinking other types of depicting of the world around as well as corresponding parts of the brain did not vanish and until now continue to get information from sense organs, continue to process and store it as well as to give their own commands not coinciding with the commands of cerebral hemispheres’s cortex that are acting according to the other technology. Difference in the commands of other brain’s structures is stipulated by different mechanisms of their functioning, in their turn they were elaborated according to their environment. Consciousness originated earlier, but in its own environment, referring to the old programs of the old environment. Consciousness has been enriched with new programs generating quite different solutions based on the same information received by the sense organs in the same conditions.

Therefore in the best-case scenario there is at least a diarchy in our minds nowadays (consciousness and sub consciousness), and in the worst-case scenario – polyarchy (so to say, quite legal and natural schizophrenia). In addition to this every power brings into force laws that are often conflicting and sometimes mutually exclusive. Something is wanted, the other is needed. This situation is well illustrated by the popular wisdom: “Honey is sweet, but the bee stings”, “Work one enjoys never feels too hard”, “The devil is not so black as it's painted”, If wishes were horses beggers might ride. etc. The above-mentioned illustrates contradictory orders of the subconscious (desire) and consciousness (mind).

Every power has its own customs and peculiarities. Subconscious is more accelerative and conservative. It accepts and processes new information much slower while keeps it more firmly than consciousness. The connection between the two powers is probably more symbolic and is not legitimized by any significant organic way. The conclusions of subconscious can not originate from logic.

The faith originated as a means of filling in the gap between the knowledge that is approximated, estimated, and absolute, – i.e. laws of science, laws of the real world. The faith always knows something, but not always knows what exactly it knows and with what purpose. This is a common situation, and concrete essence of faith depends on a closer, similar, intuitive knowledge transferred to it. Within many centuries this mechanism has been deeply rooted into the subconscious and has become an integral part of a human being’s control system, transferring into his/or her religion in which he/ or she believes due to the fact that he/she has no other explanations.

With the lapse of time the faith in more convenient and simple reason of all unknown – the faith in one God, but at this stage God of many faces, became dominant as totemism, fetishism, pantheism and polytheism created a rather heterogeneous, unconvincing and difficult for comprehension and society’s relationships system of faith that was in conflict with the main public and political tendencies of human civilization. Monotheism considerably corresponded to a new set of factors of a new environment. Though the subconscious’s ground for all religious stays the same, consciousness’ ground gave rise to a new perception of the world – scientific world outlook.

Nevertheless the ground giving rise to the irrational conceptions has not vanished until nowadays. It is currently successfully functioning in the way of artistic imagination, insight, intuition, hypotheses etc. This form of human mind is assigned to a special group of heuristic research methods, in contrast to analytical and physical methods. As it is known heuristics is a science that studies creative activity, while real art is illogical, intuitive, unobvious, i.e. it also originates from the subconscious.

Religion, being a function of its environment, i.e. resulting from the action of its scheduling variables, is subject to a corresponding continuous transformation and change of its features, substance and significance as they are perceived by particular people and society in general. Religion is contradictory and resists more perfect modern scientific world outlook. The question arises: why should not we refuse its services? The answer is simple enough: we do not know how to do it, similar to our inability to eliminate more than 100 atavisms of a modern human organism. Religion is really one of the atavisms of the mankind, atavism of a very sensitive nature: pertaining to a very delicate sphere: subtle control system, therefore it is very dangerous to touch it by any instruments (particularly chirurgical). Besides, the subconscious contain all our senses, and, more importantly, our instincts.

At the same time religion is generally required by the world society due to a range of quite important and evident reasons.

1. A whole range of unexplained events and miracles of nature like unique abilities of some people (memory, counting, foreign languages, clairvoyance, telepathy, hypnotism, telekinesis, teleportation, manual therapy), series of religious “miracles” that are beyond the power of natural science and science in general. Matters of morality, moral principles, emotions, spirituality are not subject to accurate description. Until now there is no general theory of cognition. In such spheres there is no alternative to religion.

2. It has turned out that religion, as a result of one of the most ancient means of theory of knowledge, can simultaneously posses a whole range of useful additional peculiarities and functions (compensational, regulative, legitimizing, communicational, integrating, social and political, health-improving etc.).

3. In contrast to the modern science it is simple and understood by public at large.

The other acting factors of religions’ environment (as regards origination factors) trace back to the above-mentioned reasons of demand for religion.

Religion has turned out to be useful for both authorities and people. Anyone can get everything that is wanted. Late Romans strengthened their empire by the adoption of Christianity. Kiev prince Vladimir united separate Slavic tribes around the Kiev princedom with the help of Christianity. All of a sudden Stalin started to support church in 1943 after its persecution in order to withstand Nazis. Modern Israeli, basing on Torah, substantiate occupation of Palestine in defiance of all international norms, while Palestinians, vice versa, grounding on Koran, prove that Jerusalem is their holy city. Bloody crusades, the Inquisition’s fires, holy jihad – all this have been substantiated by the holy scripts. Moreover, Shiah kill their coreligionists Sunnites, and vice versa, for the sake the church purity as well.

Religion has turned out to be so multidimensional that any ideas and any actions could be substantiated by it. The road to any terrestrial hell can easily be paved by citations from the holy scripts.

According to a widely-spread opinion, the Bible contains advice and answers to all modern life’s questions. It is difficult to argue with the above-mentioned issue, taking into account that the answers are contained not in the Bible itself, but in the Bible unified with modern knowledge and our artistic and analytical interpretation of the Bible. Is not this the grounds for the preservation of religion and adoration of the Bible? Religion in all its hypostases has appeared to be the most powerful ideological Weapons of Mass Destruction and salvation. Religion is the ideology that simultaneously can unite and separate, set free and oppress, appease and embitter, teach love and instigate. It is precisely these qualities of religion that stipulate need for religion in different situations, without even changing its substance, just changing viewpoint and corresponding interpretation of its doctrines elaborated previously not by qualified jurists.

In such a way, at the same time religion can be useful and detrimental both to particular people and groups of people and entire state, and in the blind and aggressive Middle Ages – to the whole human civilization.

The whole existence of religion is a cause of its balancing between good and evil produced by it. Just that very balance provides its viability and at the same time possibility and need for its transformation.

The goal of the modern science is to turn this balance into benefit of society. The question is how to do it. It is quite possible that religion can be influenced only by the known factors of its environment as well as using above-mentioned features of both particular confessions and religion in general.

In such a way, the essence of any religion can be determined in the following way.

1. Religion is a variety and an integral part of the human system of knowledge about environment.

2. Religion is the product of common impact of different interconnected interdependent exterior factors on a human being.

3. Religion is the result of intuitional, emotional, sensual and preconscious experience of interaction of a human being and environment.

4. Religion solves universal problems that have not been solved or that are not solved in other ways.

5. On the basis of irrational experience religion “explains” everything required and “comprehends” incognizable.

6. Religion is based on the principle of blind faith in justice and verity of particular unconscious empirically received eternal system of doctrines depicting a peculiar picture of the world, in particular, a set of the main life rules.

7. Religious world is parallel to and poorly compatible with the world of science and mind.

8. Religion exists while its is useful and while the subconsciousn of a human being exists and functions; its changes are caused by the development of a set of exterior factors.

On the basis of the aforementioned it is possible to formulate a corresponding definition of religion that differs from the original (initial) one.

Religion is an essence of one of the varieties of a human being’s world outlook, based on subconscious perception and appraisal of the environment, satisfying his/her personal and public needs and substituting world of the unknown for the attribute of the blind faith in verity and value of a particular system of empirical and intuitively validated unshakeable basic doctrines of this world outlook.