How do you think religion originated? Has it always existed? Will it always exist?It can be any type of religion, but preferably Catholic.

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wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

(Please realize that this is an extremely simplified version.)Believing in powers beyond our own has always been a human trait—even cavemen could see that the sun, the moon, the seasons, etc. were larger than they were.  As civilizations became more and more complex, a sort of “story” was constructed to explain all these phenomena and give them order; usual the forces were personified, so, as in Greek religion, there are fathers, mothers, guardians, masters, etc.—the lightning, the rising of the sun, etc., was all ordered and explained in earthly terms.  In later civilizations, there began to be a human character who connected the gods’ world to ours – a son of God, part man but also godly.  These elaborations became more and more complicated, and, as civilizations took on taxonomies of their own (kings, emperors, Caesars, etc.), the persons in charge started to use the “myths” as leverages to power, so that everyone had a fear of displeasing the gods if they displeased the leader.  This is really what we mean by “religion” rather than simply “belief in a higher power.”  As for Christianity, the origin was in the Talmud and the prophecies it held (the interpretation of the New Testament by reference to the Old Testament is called exegesis).  The Roman culture embraced Christianity and, when earthly rulers wanted to rule the people, they constructed a hierarchy of the church—Popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, etc.  The trouble was that the rulers did not follow the religion’s moral precepts—they stole, killed, etc. in their own interests.  The Italian families twisted the Catholic Church into their own puppets, so that a pope could be “bought.”  There is much more to be said, but basically the flaw in (organized) religions  is the all too human actions underneath them.  Religions today claim their authority from “sacred” books—the Koran, the Bible, etc.—but retain the authority to interpret those books to their liking.  Will religions always exist?  Heaven knows, but history says "yes."

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Religion is an extremely individualistic and personal thing.  So, depending upon who you talk to, you will get as many ideas about the origins of religion as the number of people you talk to.  Some believe that religion began when this earth's history began and some believe it has always existed and will always exist.  It seems nearly everybody has to believe in someone or something to help them in this life so I don't think religion will ever go away. 

As far as Catholicism is concerned, it's a very powerful religious force and has existed as a separate church for centuries.  It probably stemmed and grew from other religions into its present state and could evolve into yet another church or set of beliefs in the future.   

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think post 4 hits the nail on the head. If we consider religion as a sociological construct, a thing created to serve human needs, then it will probably exist as long as those needs exist. My suspicion is that religion has been around as long as humans possessed the mental ability to ponder abstractions and seek explanations for the phenomena they encountered. If they could explain phenomena they could hope to control it. I think some form of religious belief will always be around.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Religion as a whole will never go away.  There is no reason to think that it would.  Science can reduce belief in God, but it can never disprove God's existence and therefore will not eradicate religion completely.  As for Catholicism in particular, I doubt the "brand name" will ever go away, though it is being battered with scandal.  However, the substance of the religion may change enough to make it fairly unrecognizable.

elfgirl | Student

Do you have any idea what 'Catholic' means? It means 'universal'. So, you're asking about the universal church... now what church is that?

Do you have any idea what 'Catholic' means? It means 'universal'. So, you're asking about the universal church... now what church is that? - luigi

Oooh, quiz questions... ummm... I'm not sure, but I think the answer is... 'the universal church' is the one staffed by virginal celibates who insist on the right to force their strict, prudish moral authority over normal peoples' sex lives, while simultaneously covering up and assisting in the wide-spread serial rape of children by its employees. Is that right?


luiji | Student

Do you have any idea what 'Catholic' means? It means 'universal'. So, you're asking about the universal church... now what church is that?

najm1947 | Student

I tend to agree with post 7:

religion has been around as long as humans possessed the mental ability to ponder abstractions and seek explanations for the phenomena they encountered. - rrteacher

This is in line with what is the belief of Muslims since God created mankind as a knowledgeable being:

Recite thou with the name of thy Lord who has made; He has made man from a clot of blood. Recite! For thy Lord is most Honourable. He who has taught the use of the pen; Has Taught man what he did not know.

Quran 1:5

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?"He said: "I know what ye know not."

And He taught Adam the nature of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: "Tell me the nature of these if ye are right."

They said: "Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom."

Quran 2:30-32

So man as a being created with knowledge and a vicegerent of God is going to stay with religion as long as this world exists. And with religion because:

And I have not made jinn or the men but they should serve me.

Quran 51:56


najm1947 | Student

According to belief of Muslims, religion exists since the creation of Adam.

O ye mankind! Reverence your Lord who made you from a single being, and from that being He made its mate, and from the twain He caused to spread many men and many women; And reverence God by Whom you question one another and (pay respect to) the ties of the relationship. Surely God watches over you.

Quran 4:1

And the God makes the mankind witness to their creation as under:

And remember when thy Lord brings out their offspring from the reins of the children of man and calls them to witness themselves: "Am I not your Lord?" They say: "Yes, we bear witness" Lest you should say on the day of the Awakening, "Surely we were uninformed of this,"

Or lest you say: "The fact is out forefathers were pagans before us and we were their offspring, wilt thou then destroy us for what the wrongdoers did?"

And this is the way do We make plain Our signs and in order that they may return.

Quran 7:172-174

The above verses clearly indicate that the religion existed with belief in one single God, The Creator, since the creation of mankind. When all these events happen was the prehistoric period.

wattersr | Student

If you ask an Archaeologist, he might tell you that religion oriented some 12,000 years ago in the Middle East at the site known as Gobekli Tepe.  Recently a pillar was discovered which depicts "priestly dancers" and for that reason, the science community is proclaiming that this was the origin of religion.  I, however believe that Earthly religion goes back many thousands of years earlier.

From the moment of our Creation, our species has learned to pay homage to our Gods, and this devotion was the start of religion.  No one knows for sure when we were put on this Earth, but it was surely long before Gobekli Tepe.  I would place the Creation of man, and therefore religion around 500,000 years ago (and im not just guessing).

As for the perpetuation of Religion, a Cultural Anthropologist might reference the famous Anthropologist, Sir Edward Tylor, who believed in the Evolution of Religious belief in society.  He noted that culture began with the belief in Animism (believing in animal spirits or ancestors as being the cause for the unexplained), then shifted towards the belief in many Gods, Polytheism, and then came to believe in one God in a state of Monotheism throughout the new world.  Tylor believed that eventually, our society would evolve from the worship of deities to the state of Science.  If correct, then that would mean one day we will shift from the belief in God, spirits, or Gods, to a belief in the Science of the Universe; hence the end of Religion.  While I ultimately believe in Science, I do strongly believe in Gods.  I believe that Religion was founded by Gods but as we know it today has grown around the absence of Deities from Earth.  Therefore, when the Gods return, our Religion will fundamentally change (but our devotion to serving the Divine will never cease).