Mikel Hansen

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Is there a correlation between the evolution of government and the evolution of religion?

As I look at the evolution of government compared to the evolution of religion. I seem to have identified an inverse relationship. Government seem to begin with totalitarian rule. A single governing authority who is not subject to question or debate. (Emperor, King, etc) However with religion, the beginnings seem to root from animism or an “equal stance” with nature. (Native Americans, African religion, etc). This early form of religion was more liberal towards ethics and the supernatural. As time went on the two switched. Religion became a totalitarian rule that had one supreme authority and unshakable dogma in its practices. While governments all over the world inched closer to a direct democracy, where different points of view are encouraged. My questions associated with this topic are as follows:
Is there a correlation between the evolution of government and the evolution of religion?

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    Apr 10 2014: I actually see a direct correlation.

    society, governments, laws, religions on the whole seen to have progressed.

    the bible and Koran endorse and regulate slavery and contain many barbaric rules, yet we as western societies have generally moved to be more democratic and support human rights.

    Christians are not burning witches in western.counties, just Africa and png.

    Priests are no long er immune from the law for raping children.

    civilised countries no longer execute convicts, or stone adulterers.

    heck, even blacks can become Mormons now.

    I guess that's progress. Religious beliefs can either enhance or hold back progress to better the human condition.

    But the general trend send to be positive, with exceptions like the return or strengthening of fundamentalism in some places.

    I'd rather be born now than before civil rights were more universal.

    suggest governments and religions over time reflect this general progress. Ww.
  • Apr 3 2014: Mikel

    Excellent observation. As a government grows in size and in power to care for the perceived needs of people, the people have less and less control over their own lives. As the government grows larger, more powerful, more intrusive to care for the increased demands by its subjects, government assumes an omnipotent roll. To maintain this level of control or to achieve a greater level of control, threats of pending war and disaster always loom in the distance and government becomes the great protector. Guilt and fear of everything is promoted by government, much as sin and guilt by theistic belief. The church provides comfort and acts as an intermediary between a god and his people, guiding and controlling. Government becomes a god and now acts as it own priest--Gestapo

    Nothing changes as history shows. America was the only bright spot in this endless charade and that too has passed.
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      Apr 9 2014: nonsense, there have been many, many bright lights over the ages and the U.S. is not America - neither North nor South - nor will it ever be deemed one of the bright lights either other than for the lights of its entertainment industry that spoonfed the population the idea that they were something special.
      • Apr 9 2014: William

        Perhaps,you are right. The entertainment industry developed here in the USA could have happened in any country. So many other nations had the talent, the innovation, the inventiveness and the freedom to do so. They just did not want to show off. How thoughtful of them, how inclusive.
        I would agree however, in that, there were many bright spots over the ages. I would agree that the United States of America, you don't mind if I call her that do you,. I don't want to appear insensitive, is not representative of all the Americas, but we are getting there. We are trying. We are reducing our standard of living, more and more of us are on welfare, our government is corrupted and we are beginning to sings the praises of Marxist and Socialist leaders. Soon we will be back in the fold.
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      Apr 10 2014: Got to love that American exceptionalism vibe. The native Americans and black Americans whose ancestors were slaves might have a different view.

      funny how the USA is often called America. Are Brazil and Canada not part if the Americas.

      curious to better understand when this golden age was. Was it when the witches were burned, when killing each other over keeping slaves. Any time before the civil rights of blacks were addressed?
      • Apr 10 2014: Obey

        It is difficult to reply to one who uses such a childish name. Hard to take serious.
        A little tongue and cheek here Obey. The native Americans were not native. They walked here from, what is now, Russia. The Europeans built ships. As for slavery, as wrong as it is, was practiced around the world. It was a way of life. For the most part all cultures were enslaved by another at one point in time. Most African slaves were purchased from other black African tribes, who had captured and enslaved them. If your going to quote history get the whole story and not a biased account.
        I have no problem if the people of Brazil wish to call themselves Americans. many sneak across the border to do just that. Why do you think that is? Perhaps, it is because America has more to offer, because of what?
        You would do well to do some research before you start making statements. No"witch" was ever burnt alive or dead in America. By the way the USA did not exist yet.
        America did not claim perfection. It was heralded as an experiment and it was also acknowledged that when people realized that they could vote themselves money (welfare) the Republic would end.
        Why don't you go back and read some unbiased history of the world and the USA. It would not hurt to brush up on some writing skills.
        We can do this again if you like, bring help.

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    Apr 14 2014: You've got an interesting point, however, through the separation of Church and State, in the US, I'm hypothesizing that each has evolved separately. However, from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance Era, when the pope was the sole principle authority in the world, you could definitely see, religion influencing government. Through the new teachings of philosophers and advances of science, government has taken more to those ideas.
  • Apr 12 2014: They are directly correlated. Religions usually set the morality of the government. But even with good intentions starting off, people start to skew the government for their own gain. Control the religion control the people. Romans formed the bible to teach the stories that they wanted told and morals they wanted taught. Jews have been persecuted off and on many times, this has led to the population of Jews to be severely dampened and left many questioning their own faith.

    Morality of religion has led to many civil rights being formed.
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    Apr 9 2014: I would suggest that early governance involved relatively small hunting and gathering bands and tribes where consensus building was the heart of their governance and all voices could be heard. Such a process has been well documented as being practiced by Native peoples all over the world before there were large settlements and greedy empires. .These also would have been the people who embraced the Natural world as their spiritual experience and saw unity in everything. .

    But once settlements were established and populations increased exponentially institutional structures were created and more or less imposed upon the citizenry. And the early monarchies and military juntas were no less oppressive than any of the earliest organized religions, both of which were always far more concerned about dominating and controlling their populations than in providing any forms of responsible governance or spirituality.

    Nor has that mandate of power and control changed over the ages either but certain liberties have been allowed here and there by both institutional structures, some more than others..

    In other words, except for earliest times, t'was ever thus.
  • Apr 7 2014: People get bored. With wealth comes opportunities to do different things so the role of government to redistribute wealth becomes more important. With impoverishment people turn to faith to keep themselves occupied so the role of religion to organise faith becomes more important.
  • Apr 7 2014: In the Abrahamic traditions, church and state merged under the tutelage of Emperor Theodosius II of the 4th century. He is the emperor who invented feudalism, that has held since his reign. He is why we still live as serfs in a feudalist system, and why the all-powerful state will fail when the Abrahamic religions do, and vice versa.
  • Apr 6 2014: Try "devolution" it is closer to the truth. Evolution implies improvement, that is not the way I see it.
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      Apr 12 2014: I use evolution as it is defined in biology and physics. "Change over time."
      • Apr 12 2014: OK Mike that is another way to look at it. I was referring to the direction of change. As to the correlation I think they both changed together as man became progressively irresponsible. I believe human responsibility is inversely proportional to their wealth and power. That also explains why their is such an abnormally small amount of wealthy people and an abnormally large amount of poor people. Religion, business and government all follow the same no responsibility and no liability laws and rules that they make up as they go to benefit themselves only. We are all slaves already but that is not enough for the wealthy, they have all our money, land and resources, now like the Romans, they sit in their penthouses and watch us kill each other for their entertainment.
        I know it sounds harsh but look around at all the "Roman Coliseums" they have built to watch us fight to the death, and yes they make money on that also. Humans are bought and sold in their markets just like cattle.
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    • Apr 3 2014: Everything is connected, Obama is president of USA and I'm not going to criticise or show more interest in your cyclic symbolism or symbolic cyclism.
  • Apr 3 2014: Seems as if one is a natural and the other a spiritual government.

    Both seem to evolve as humanity evolves. Luckily we can, if we really want to, leave or change both.
  • Apr 2 2014: Governments don't evolve. They redistribute wealth. Religions don't evolve. They organise faith.