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Do religions evolve?

Have religious belief systems evolved over time?

While many religious believers do not accept the theory of evolution in regards to the development of life, from a historical perspective it seems religious and spiritual belief systems themselves have evolved and developed over time.
From the earliest Venus figurines, cave paintings, early burial sites, naturel and ancestor spirits, polytheistic beliefs to the monotheistic, to deist and others.

Do the strongest survive? Do they adapt? Do they interbreed and influence each other? Do they go extinct? Is there some natural selection process that passes on religious ideas memes, and sees others become extinct?

What properties help a religion survive and thrive? Invisible gods perhaps. Evangelical rather than hereditary. Religions linked to economically and militarily strong cultures perhaps. Do religions have a symbiotic relationship with their host cultures - making them stronger and more united supporting development and progress and hence protecting the religion itself.

What are the greatest challenges to the survival of different religions today, and what will help them survive and thrive?

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    Mar 25 2012: idk if religion evolves but spirituality does :D Religions are good. created for human to be human, but they are not always interpreted the way it was meant to be and created hatred between people.
    if we could perceive beyond religions(boundaries) we could evolve as a better human being/children of GOD who loves everyone as oneself :D
    "Exploration Within is the way to THRIVE, to understand the truth" :D
    All is ONE,ONE is All :D
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      Mar 26 2012: Hi Pradee. I think we agree in many ways, but not completely.

      I agree some religions have some positive teachings. Most contain some negative teachings.
      They provide consolation. But may focus too much on an imaginary afterlife.
      They reinforce group cohesion - which can be good and bad. Human tribalism is a constant factor in conflict.

      So I don't agree that religions are on the whole good. They are a mixed bag.
      Some are worse than others. Most contain good and bad individually.
      Some religions require animal or human sacrifices (Aztecs).
      Some religions promote violence, murder, intolerance, and inequality.
      - Kill homosexuals. Kill adulterers. Treating women as cattle or inferior. Chosen people. Us and them.

      I agree sometimes this is due to religious scriptures being twisted. But sometimes it is just a straight forward phrase. There are plenty nasty things in the Bible and Koran for example. The bible has dozens of reasons people should be killed. The danger is humans believe they have the ultimate truth whether correctly or incorrectly interpreting the sources.

      How can I argue that women should have equal rights when someone believes their religion says otherwise?

      I suggest if we dumped religion then we would be on a better foundation towards peace and understanding - we are all human. Religion divides us into Christians, Muslims, Hindus etc.

      Agree life would be better if more people treated each other how they would like to be treated.

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