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Essay on Religion: An Evolutionary Coping Mechanism?

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Imagine that you’ve been suffering through a time of immense hardship and you are economically disadvantaged. You haven’t eaten in days, you’re home is about to be foreclosed, and you are hopeless about finding employment. You take what little food you have left, scrounge together whatever possessions of yours that have value, and for good measure throw in your first-born son. Taking all of these items, you then light them on fire and utterly destroy them. If this happened today, no doubt would a person be arrested and deemed a risk to himself and others. But for centuries, people carried out these sacrificial rituals, wasting precious resources and time & energy, in hopes that things would get better. Religion is immensely costly both in…show more content…
Furthermore, we can explore how different societies influence religion and utilize it to propagate their agendas while justifying their actions to still fit the core tenants of their religion. With the exception of a handful of very isolated, very rare societies, the world is patriarchic. Meaning that on every level of hegemony, the male figurehead is the ultimate leader. From head of state, to CEO, to General, to even the household, a man has historically been in charge. Multiple studies have shown that human beings naturally form groups and elect leaders to dictate what the group does; this serves two functions 1) it makes the group more effective by having one person dictating everyone’s actions instead of wasting time pursuing different methods and 2) Gives everyone assigned roles so that, for the most part, people do not further their own interests and act in relation to their position to the leader. While we claim that our society is democratic and all people are equal (in the Western World primarily) the majority of history has been a form of monarchy, tribal elder, or warrior-chief. That is to say, humans formed groups with one ultimate voice that ruled unchallenged, “it is not surprising, then to find religious leaders in every
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