Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Humanity and Religion (part 5)

-But why people began farming? One of the great mysteries concerning human evolution is the impetus for farming; hunting and gathering food is a much simpler (albeit riskier, considering the fact that humans compete with other strong animals for food, and may run the risk of being preyed upon themselves) task than farming; Farming requires an understanding of how plants grow, an understanding of how time flows, the ability to control water flow etc...why is then the massive-scale change to farming?
-Perhaps it was the climate change; if one read the Bible and the Quran in an allegorical way, the Garden of Eden might be interpreted as a time when people finds it easier to hunt and gather food. Adam and Eve were forced out of Heaven because they ate the forbidden fruit; was it because the humans ate way too much that species went extinct, burnt too much that the Sahara became a desert? No one knows for sure; except for the fact that there was a climate change occurring thousands of years ago that forced the ancestors of the humans into the savannah out of the tropical rainforests; or rather, the rainforest became dry due to lack of rain, and became savannahs. Ancestors of humans, deprived of trees, had to stand upright, and due to the warm climate had to shed their furs. (At least that's how the theory went) But that occurred way far back before farming began.
-Perhaps it would be useful to trace the farming back to where it began. Farming developed in different parts of the world; it had not one source of beginning; one began in China, one in India, one in the Nile Delta, one in the Mesoamerica. But all these had one thing in common; they have a seasonal water flow; one season is dry and one wet. Another thing to ponder is the fact that these places are relatively dry; dry climates mean less varied ecosystem, and that means it is harder to find food. So farming should hypothetically began as a way humans tried to survive a harsher and less bountiful ecosystem. In that sense, Bible can be true; Adam (Hebrew for 'man') was condemned to hard labor of farming, instead of the leisure of picking food from any tree in the Garden of Eden. But that doesn't mean Bible is truly the Inspired Word of God; just because something is true doesn't mean it came from God.
-But why then would farming start the cult of worshiping God? Farmers are meant to be observant of nature; they need to know when to begin farming. Hence farmers would have to organize the world around them in a way that simple hunter-gatherers simply don't have to do; (I would include husbandry within the context of farming) farmers need to know when is the rainy season, farmers need to know how many times they have before the dry season begin, farmers need to plan for the summer and the winter, farmers need to accomplish their tasks within a set period of time. Thus the concept of 'time' becomes more important than ever; instead of just organizing time based on the time the sun rises and sets, humans plan their lives much further; days become weeks, weeks become months, months become years. A week is defined as a period of 7 days; Aztecs organize it into 20-day units; see the difference? Both Bible and Quran didn't think about the Aztecs; they insist that weeks have to be organized into 7 days--a total rejection of a whole civilization. No wonder the Catholics persecuted the Aztecs as if they were worse than animals. Heathens--they are lesser humans!
-But then, it remains a challenge to truly predict the temperament of nature. Droughts happen; floods happen; back then humans are totally at the mercy of the temperament of nature. Hence the God as ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim; what can one do? If it's going to be a drought, nothing (yet) can be done about it. We just have to die along with it. But no! We have been spending all our time organizing, planning, farming; is it all going to waste? Who is the first one to have come up with the idea that 'it is all going to waste?' That might be the first philosopher, the first prophet, the first sage ever; some one who can see that his or her efforts are going to waste; instead of just going along with the nature, he cursed it! He cursed the nature for going against his will! Cursing the nature; that is a religious act!

No comments:

Post a Comment