|There's been a couple of posts in CP recently about religion.
I've never been religious.
I can't understand intelligent people who are 'believers' - whatever their specific beliefs.
Doesn't it occur to them what a massive coincidence it would be if their specific beliefs (out of the many hundreds of variations) are the 'right' ones?
So, let's take a trip back in time to a more primitive time. The familly is sitting around the fire when Grandad (a particular favourite amongst the kids, as with only one remaining tooth, he can pull some COOL faces!) pops his clogs (this may be prior to the invention of the clog - but certainly predates the bucket which he would otherwise have kicked).
"What's happened to Grandad" pipes one of the kids.
"He's dead" you reply.
"Like the antelope we're eating?"
"Well, yes, sort of."
Cue wailing children.
"Oh golly!" you think (You would have thought "Oh God!" but that concept is yet to be invented. "what can I do to shut them up - i've got a terrible headache from drinking that saliva-based berry-beer." The inspiration hits you.
"You see" you say, calmly, "When a person dies his spirit goes on to another place, where there's plenty of antelope to eat, it's warm all year around and everyone is happy!"
"So that's where Grandad is?"
"Absolutely" you reply. Quite pleased with yourself.
The kids calm down. You fend off the odd "When is he coming back?" question, and all get a good nights sleep.
As usual the kids are up and making a noise, and your hangover is MUCH WORSE!
"Hey!" you moan "Keep the noise down or, or..." Hmm - what can you threaten them with that won't involve physical exersize on your behalf? "Or you won't get to go to the good place that Granddad went!".
That keeps 'em quiet. For a minute.
"Why not?" they eventually ask.
"Because the Great Spirit tm only allows people who have been good to go there!"
"Hah - this great spirit thing can't see us being naughty in here - didn't you say he';s up in the sky?"
"Ahh - no -well, yes - up in the sky, but the spirit can see all!"
"OMG!" (or the equivalent) "We better be good then!".
"Dad, where do rocks come from?"
Well, obviously you have no idea (you weren't a curious child yourself) but you don't want to appear ignorant in front of the tribe...
"Ah, the Great Spirit made them."
Satisified for the moment, the kids
torment play with the dogs.
"So did this great spirit make everything?"
"Yeah - sure." It's easy this waym, isn't it?
"Like, the river, and the sky and stars and stuff?"
"You sure seem to know a lot about this Great Spirit!"
"Yep - well, I talk to her - in my head - and she tells me things!"
It's been less than a fortnight since Grandad dropped off the perch, and you've invented religion, and become a priest. If you keep it going, your kids might believe enough to tell their kids (or, more reasonably, they don't actually believe it, but hey, it's a great 'keep the kids quiet' tool, and some of the dumber tribe members don't realise you just made it up!
Why not make up some story about sacrificing food to the Great Spirit (They can leave it in your cave!)
Hey - that tribe over the hill doesn't believe in the great spirit - why not persuade your clan to go over there and knock their heads together - so they can sacrifice to the Great Spirit too?
You're onto a winner.
(That's an 'M')