In the beginning, when cave people began realizing the there was something going on in their minds that they didn't understand, the elders began trying to explain what it was. They were the ones that had the most knowledge, and they were the ones most affected. They were looked to for answers. Their ideas and stories were believed by the younger ones.
For thousands of years, the elders established themselves as being closer to this power that appeared to come from somewhere beyond themselves. They imagined power being in things and animals and places. They created and accepted the concept of gods. There were gods everywhere, especially in the mysterious sky and underground.
The sun and the wind were recognized as forces that had the power to do whatever they wanted. They were gods. They had the power to comfort or kill. They were to be feared and revered and worshipped and appeased.
Gifts were offered to these gods, especially where they were the most active. Volcanoes were thought to be very powerful gods that needed appeasement. They offered increasingly valuable things to these gods. The offering of a virgin was seen as one of their most precious gifts.
The mysterious force of gravity was another indicator of gods. Offerings were given from cliffs, especially into raging rivers where some of these gods lived.
It was realizing that people could be controlled by making up stories about gods that led religion down the wrong path. The elders realized that people had to fear the gods in order to give up control.
They told people to worship the gods and give alms. People believed the elders because they knew that if they, themselves, were a god, they'd force people to worship them and give them things.
Some realized that not all gods were bad, but without the fear of ultimate punishments, the elders couldn't control the people with the good gods. They couldn't allow the thought that a good god wouldn't want sacrifices and worshippers and threaten punishments. They had to utilize the power of fear. They had to claim that all disasters were the work of an angry god, and only they knew how to appease these gods.
We have come to learn that there is a good force and a bad force in this world. Unfortunately, we are still worshipping the bad force and ignoring the good force. Is it any wonder that religious people don't live any longer, aren't any healthier, and are not any happier?
All we have to do is look at the most religious societies to see that the people live in poverty, squalor, conflict, and disease, while the societies that don't get on their knees to worship an evil force live a much more advanced, prosperous, healthier life.
Good people realize that killing is directed by an evil force, and that love is nurished by a good force.
You can always tell a person that is using the evil force.
1. They want you to give them money.
2. They want you to do as they say.
3. They want you to worship their god (their source of power over you).
4. They threaten you with punishment if you don't obey.
When you find a religious person that spreads the word and expects you to give them money so that they can live better than you, you have found a modern day elder.
They feed off of the gullible.
They will pray for you, especially if you send them money.
They live in an expensive house and drive a fancy car.
They dole out words to keep you subservient. They are either crooks, or have been taught by unscrupulous elders.