We need all religions:
There are a lot of religions in the world.  By religion right now I am referring to organized religions with names, symbols, traditions, ceremonies and professional officials.  There are many people in the world for whom religion is important but are active in no organized church.  I do not mean them.  I mean the organizations.

A great deal of unhappiness can be laid at the door of organized religions.  There are places where people kill each other on the basis of them.  There have been times in the past when things were worse.  We have invested a lot.  What have we gained?

The cities of the goddess vanished.  I think the usual words are, “They were overrun by warlike horse riding tribes from the steppes of Asia.”  Perhaps so.  At all events they vanished.  It did not take long.  In an archeological instant the great big cities of the Balkans vanished, to be replaced by little hilltop communities surrounded by wooden palisades.  War had come.  The gods had come.  Neither ever went away.  Among the very earliest identified tribes some can be traced right down to the present.  War has visited the place within living memory.  Religion is still a sore point.

One question we can propose an answer to is how big an army a little warlike tribe could field.  If the community was 1,000 adults, they would be marrying ninth cousins and that is probably not closely related enough for long term survival.  Let’s say a tribe might consist of 500 adults.  Half would be men.  Some would be old or infirm.  Some would have needed administrative work to do.  200 seems like a fair guess at the biggest horse army they could produce without forming alliances, and alliances is definitely not what they were all about.  Remember those palisades.

This army of 200 now attacks a city of 100,000 adults.  Since they are on the defensive, women would fight as well as men.  There would be no need to travel, so every adult would be involved and a fair number of the very old and very young.  It just does not take that much to bung something out of a second story window.  The invaders would be armed.  The defenders would almost all have done some sort of work that required tools for using human energy to change things in the environment.  Almost any such tool could be used as a weapon.  Of course they would have had sharp sticks.  Their weapons would have only been marginally less effective than those of the invaders.  Remember the bayonet was not finally put to rest until the advent of the breech loading rifle, and even then it was a near thing.

So how in the world could the attackers overcome a five hundred to one disadvantage?  That is before you consider supply lines, communication and motivation, in all of which they would have been at a disadvantage.  Complete surprise might account for the first city, but word of something of that magnitude could never be contained.  The next city was warned. 

I think the answer is that the people in the cities were all very old.  I suspect that accounts for a lot of dramatic military events in ancient times from Thermopylae to Agincourt.  The goddess vanished because she did not do the one thing expected of her.  She didn’t come through with the babies.

On the other hand, the warlike tribes should have had little problem.  They were motivated to quarrel.  It didn’t matter what the quarrel was about.  All that was needed was that different communities be hostile.  Then the gods could do what the goddess had failed to do.  There would be lots of babies.

The gods come down to us today.  Somebody once decided that the worship of idols is so obviously a waste of time that by the ancient Roman Empire they were no longer worshiped with the intensity of old.  I was not in ancient Rome, but I assure you that I have been in the presence of gods in India, and the intensity of the experience can be very great.  The Indo-European pantheon is seen from the Norse gods of Scandinavia to some of the Hindu gods of India, from the Celtic gods to the Kaaba, where, one of the famous acts of Mohammed was to end the worship of idols although worship continues.  It appears that the appeal of Islam and Christianity in part has been not innovation but a throwback to the time before gods. 

War and gods came at the same time.  They were quickly followed by rising technology.  Religion may be blamed for many wars.  It may be blamed for a lot of things.  But the one thing it has given us is the ability to isolate ourselves. 

I, for one, would be loathe to give up any religion.  We should keep them all.  They have served us in the past however lamentable the way it was done.  They are the repository for much of what humans value.  However little I might like what someone has done for a religion I would never propose harming the sacred sites and objects of that religion.  I would never propose harming anything that had ever been sacred.  You just don’t know what it might mean to somebody.  And what things mean to us is very important, even before one considers how such things have been used to give us a viable mating strategy in the past and how they might be used, it is to be hoped without the violent down side, to reestablish a viable mating strategy in the future.  We certainly do not have one now.

There have been 963 visitors so far.  This is research not advice.  Linton Herbert

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