I recently finished reading "The Winternight Trilogy" by Katherine Arden, and it got me thinking about a few things. One of the things was how in the book, fear is used to get people to follow a new religion. It got me thinking, what if fear is the reason we have religion today? It is a far-fetched idea, but hypothetically speaking, it could be a reason.
We've learned about religion in history class for years: how it started, when it started and how it spread throughout the world, creating thousands of religions that we know today. We might even know why they started, but I have a different reason for that. This topic is like saying aliens exist. Religion was created because of fear. There's no concrete proof of this, just a lot of thoughts that I believe are actually plausible.
There are two parts to this whole idea: religion and fear. Here's my thought process.
First, I started thinking about religion. Like stated before, all the when and how. It started off with a few people, but then those beliefs spread. Religion became something for people, whether it be to help seek comfort or to cope with problems. It's actually proven that it's healthy to follow a religion. Today, there are thousands of religions across the world. But, for anything to begin, there has to be a reason.
The second part is fear. Everyone is scared of something, regardless of age. Even though fears change all the time, we all have at least one. They can stem from any experience throughout your life or from your beliefs. People do crazy things when they're scared. Now, connecting this to religion, people follow one to help cope with the fears they have.
So, putting the two parts together, what if the reason religion started was that the people had a fear of something. Nowadays, when people see something inexplicable, they have the technology and science to study it. Back then, when there was no technology to help prove a point, people had no way to explain what is happening or what was seen. Their brains weren't able to rationalize what they saw because to them, it would literally be unbelievable.
To help rationalize what they see, people would create stories to tell to give a reason. These stories then spread to others and people adopt them into their daily lives, giving them new beliefs. As more and more stories are created and spreading, more and more people start to believe in them, thus, creating a whole pool of new beliefs, turning them into a religion that people can follow.
As I thought more about this, I couldn't bring myself to believe that what people could've seen was some alien or a UFO, so what if it was just a simple question that many people had different thoughts about? What if people were just scared of death? Or even God? I have an idea for both.
Let's talk about death first. Not something I thought I would be writing about, but we'll go with it. Back when all of this was new, people didn't know what happened after death. Now, we know that the body decomposes, but for the religious part, I believe that people didn't know what happens. People didn't know how to comprehend what happens after death, or they refuse to believe that the body just rots away because they didn't want to believe loved ones were actually dead.
So, what I believe happened was that in order to deal with these thoughts, the people created a place for the dead to go after death to comfort themselves. It seems likely when I think about it, but it is just a theory.
For those people who couldn't believe that things just happened, they started saying that there must be a higher power. It makes sense, too. There are people, like me, who believe that things can happen on their own. There doesn't have to be a reason. If this is now, imagine the amount for when there was no technology or science to help prove ideas. But overall, the beliefs that we believe in are passed down, and they may have just started from stories.
I know these ideas are a bit weird, but it can be plausible.
Fear could be a reason we have many religions around the world. Those stories that might have created religion can spread and change to give new beliefs, therefore creating a new religion. It's a crazy thought that involves science and lots of history, but also a bit of imagination. There's no time machine, so the only thing I can do is hypothesize about what the reasons could have been for fear of the unknown being the cause of religion.