Sunday, July 12, 2009

God and nature

Mostly, the emergence of religion is explained by the need of people to have the mysteries of the world explained to them and to understand how the human being interacts with nature. Perhaps that is true, I don't know and I don't think that there is any way to verify that assumption. But looking at the monoteist religions of today it is hard to see that link.

I think that the role of religion has a lot more to do with society and our relations among ourself, than about our relationship with nature. The early animist and polytheist religions were a lot more "democratric" and some of them included some kind of worship of nature. Gods were like people, they quarreled and fought with each other (like the Greek gods or the Nordic ones). Things changed with the introduction of the monoteist, omnipotent and judging God. Both in regard to the relationship to nature and the relationship between God and (wo)man.

In these religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there is very little about nature and the place of the human being in the world, and there is very little about all these scaring natural phenomena that religion is supposed to explain. Of course one can find passages in the Bible which are about nature - such as the creation- but they are really few compared to what is about the human being, society and God himself (or herself if you prefer).

Of the ten commandments in the Bible seven are about how we relate to each other and the other three about how we relate to God and to religion itself. I think that shows quite clearly the societal nature of religion.

1 comment:

  1. Our mother earth needs a person like you. Why does God creates heaven and earth? I'm sure he loves the nature including the mankind and we are all parts of the family. Our responsibility is to safeguard the nature especially the forest and make good use of it. Have we ever thought of a relationship between Man-Tree-God? I feel peaceful when I talk to or even touch my rain tree. Thanks. Sarawak, Malaysia.