Category Archives: Atheism

A Historical Narrative

Once a long time ago, about 200,000 years in the past, there was a small group of early humans. Consisting of a dozen or two dozen individuals, they were hunter-gatherers. They had the use of fire, stone weapons, early forms of burials and rudimentary jewelry.

This community was hierarchical: there was an alpha-male who was the CPU (central processing unit) of the group, and he was seen as a God who was able to engage with the Gods of nature. Others in the group listened to him not just out of fear, but because they related to him as their own best self. They listened to him the way we listen now to our inspiration.

The community was also sectarian: there was a sharp sense of who belonged to the group and who didn’t. There was a strong sense of us versus them. You belonged to the group if you were a part of the energy of the internal hierarchy. If you were outside the group and seemed innocuous, you were tolerated. Otherwise, you were torn down and killed.

The community was also symbolic: the hierarchy and sectarianness were sustained through tattoos, masks, rudimentary art and song, initiation and burial rituals. The symbols guided the people’s activity, the way a hose guides water or a ladder guides movement. Without the need for explicit thought or blame, but as just the things to be done. If you resisted or failed to catch on (which were the same), you were killed. The group didn’t have enough resources to handle dissent.

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