The first ‘God of the Gaps’

All religions are based upon the logical fallacy “God of the Gaps.” This is a form of ad ignorantiam or the argument from ignorance. Where there is a gap in knowledge the religious invoke a miracle. Instead of looking for an answer based on evidence, data, or scientific proof they just say “God did it.”

Religion in all cases sprang up out of ignorance. Ignorance of the natural world, the afterlife, and what constitutes the Soul and consciousness. What lies beyond the horizon? What makes the sky pour water, throw lightning, and shout thunder? Of all of these questions the most important of all was “Why do we die and where do we go?”

But what started all of this? What was the first “Gap” that made primitive man say “ugh, Thag must make something up.”

We have evidence that this may have been more than 100,000 years ago. Ancient Neanderthal, as evidence shows, engaged in ritualistic behavior when performing burials. They were known to place there dead in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. The presence of these grave goods may indicate an emotional connection with the deceased and possibly a belief in the afterlife. Neanderthal burial sites include Shanidar in Iraq, Krapina in Croatia, and Kebara cave in Israel. In a cave located in Israel at Qafzeh, human remains found have been dated to 100,000 years ago. These human skeletons were found stained with red ochre and a variety of grave goods were found at the site. The mandible of a wild boar was found placed in the arms of one of the skeletons.

So, about 100,000 years ago Neanderthal man was practicing religious, ritualistic behavior in answer to that age-old question, “Why do we die and where do we go?” This question presumes the existence of the inner spirit or Soul. For without this concept there would be no question. The understood finality would then be that Thag’s body stopped working and so we stuck Thag’s body in the ground before he started to stink.

Based on this earliest ritualistic behavior one may conclude, that most likely, the first ignorance which drove mankind to seek religion was ignorance of consciousness.

Amazingly we still don’t know definitively what the soul is and until science can show that the soul is simply an emergent property of the brain’s neurology in concert with various biological systems such as the endocrine and muscular system, we as a species will go on our blissfully ignorant way believing in supernatural reasons for the things that we cannot yet explain, thus invoking “The God of the Gaps.”

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© 2015 Freethought Nation, Acharya S, D.M. Murdock & Stellar House Publishing
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