Why we invented God?

DISCLAIMER: I believe in God. This article is an exploration of the concept of God. If offended, feel free not to read.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Let us go back a million years and observe our ancestors in the bushes of northeastern Africa. Firstly, you will not notice much difference between them and the other animals — fighting for food, killing each other in fights may be, public mating, or in other words, a chaotic cohort of animals [1]. Nothing outstanding for you to predict that this same species will one day rule the whole planet.

Fast forward to 70,000 BCE (72,000 years back). A small sea-faring community of our ancestors is living near today’s Djibouti. They stay there for a couple of years. A couple of thousand years later, a small group among them decided to cross the Red Sea, which we now called ‘The Great Leap’[2]. They reached modern-day Yemen, and populate places like Iran and later on modern-day Pakistan. Another group ventured west towards modern-day Europe. But this was nothing new. Many species in the animal kingdom migrate. The difference came from the observed unity. Large groups of people stayed together, shared their resources, and started inventing methodologies which later was clubbed together to call agriculture [3].

Photo by Krys Amon on Unsplash

As time passed by, this group of primates from Africa soon reached the farthest corners of the world. During this period, these primates with a highly developed pre-frontal cortex started developing the ability to believe in abstract concepts, something previously unseen in the animal kingdom. One such abstract “entity” was that of an “unknown power”, helping them explore the unknown and explain the various vagaries of nature. A quick explanation of novel problems.

In another instance, as communities started getting bigger and bigger, they needed an all-seeing, omnipotent, omnipresent power to keep order in society. The regulators were unadept to monitor everything. The “all-seeing, omnipotent, omnipresent power” made people question their motives and thus bringing order to society. For example, a thief will at least think once before stealing or a person will at least think once before killing another person. Also, to justify the killing of another person and not feel guilty of killing another person this “all-seeing, omnipotent, omnipresent power” was used for justification.

Thus, this “unknown power” or “an all-seeing, omnipotent, omnipresent power” took the form of what we now believe as “God”. It started as a power that helped us explore the unknown but later on transformed into an entity that needs to be “satisfied” to complete our goals and ambitions. Various groups of the same species gave different names, but the central idea was the same and has remained the same for centuries.

SOURCES:

[1] The Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens, Yuval Harari.
[2] Scientists used genetic data such as mutation rate and present-genome data to conclude that we migrated from Africa to Asia at around 68,000 BCE or 70,000 years ago. It is elegantly explained in Tony Joseph’s book: Early Indians. Page 26–35.
[3] Yuval Harari’s Sapiens.

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Bimalendu Deka

Bimalendu Deka

Just expressing my thoughts. Connecting the dots in my mind.