Mon 17 Mar, 2008 08:18 pm
just random thinking. ill give a hypothetical example.
ishtar goddess of war and fertility:
female warrior, extremely hot, was alive before written history.
populations were way smaller back then, fame was easier, her combat prowess left a verbal legacy pretty much.
people do what they do, they exaggerate etc..
Presto! the goddess of war and fertility, rinse repeat.
How well does this theory hold up under scrutiny?
other random thoughts: moses jesus and i forget the name of the guy who brought islam...
yeah i know i shouldnt have forgot it but yeah.
they are some of the best warlords ever. serious shiz.
I want to eventually have solid proof that "jesus" was just some Nobody in the older times who got a good reputation that got out of hand.....And then imma Go To every goddam Church I can Find and Just randomly pop in during their services And Point at everyone and laugh....And say "YOUR WRONG! YOU ALL WASTED YOUR TIME!!!! BWA HA AH!!!!!!!"
That'll be the day......
There was an ancient philosopher who wrote that the gods and goddesses began their existence as mortal human beings. If you wish to know more, do a Websearch under "Euhemerus" or related words.
A good case has been made to that effect by different people, and from different fields of study. Julian Jaynes carried it to the extent that he claimed that in the "bi-cameral" mind, one was not self-aware, and therefore the memory of the important person (chief, male or female, priest, priestess) would not be seen as a mental image, but as a sort of a "sending," an aspect of one's environment, separate and distinct. Jaynes' surmises from this that the vivid memories of such a leader could act as religious visions, seemingly the presence of someone known to be corporeally dead.
I am not saying that Jaynes is right, and his bi-cameral mind thesis is built upon a pretty shaky foundation. A philosophy professor once told me that his philosophical and psychological foundation was poor, but that he was impressed with his historical and literary bases. I told him not to be terribly impressed on those accounts.
But even if one does not accept Jaynes' rather extravagent explanation, it is not at all absurd to consider that a strong leader could live on in the minds of the people as a god. Add to this the evidence from right around the world that tribes would take the name of the chief, or the chief the name of the tribe--for example, the Seljuk Turks, or the Powhatan Indians --and you have a prescription for such an occurrence. If, for generations on end, the chief takes the tribal name, and the name of the tribe and the chief become indistinguishable, then even long after the tribe is forgotten, the notion of a powerful personality with that name could easily be taken for a god or goddess. If successive holders of the chieftanship were males and females, but all adopted the same name, then one can easily see why some ancient gods had both male and female characteristics.
This is all speculation, of course. But it is a very plausible way to account for a shift from animism to anthropomorphic deities.
I agree. It is plausible.