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Since the dawn of man, people have had their own forms of religion. Be
it simple ceremonial burial or complex blessing rituals, each person had their
own way to explain the wonders of nature like, how did we come here and what our
purpose here was. Another thing that each individual person had was their own
morals. Morals are what define a civilization. Labels like peaceful or barbaric
are put on different civilizations because of their morals. The morality of
each civilization defined their religious beliefs.
The lives of people who lived in the early ancient history time period
were tough. They had to roam the land always looking for new game to hunt and
plants and berries to gather. The people weren't united because of all this
traveling, and therefore contact with other people was minimal. Morals are hard
to develop without much contact with other people and so the religion of these
early people was minimal. Then came the development of farming into this time
period. Farming brought the people together. Small cities began to develop
because the people didn't have to move around as much. With all this closeness,
the people developed moral views on what to think about thieves or murderers.
If certain civilizations didn't mind violence and killing, then they developed
into a Brutal civilization. Consequently, the religions of these civilizations
were evolved around sacrificial rituals and allegiance to brutal gods. The
Assyrian civilization worked around this principle. They used scare tactics to
overcome their enemies and treated their captives badly. They also believed in
powerful gods who they feared. If certain civilizations became peaceful, then
their religion reflected their peaceful nature and didn't have things like
sacrifices. The people in peaceful civilizations believed in their religion
because they wanted to not because they were afraid to. A good example of this
is the Hebrews. The Hebrews were a peaceful people who disliked violence.
Because of this peaceful nature, their religion taught values like brotherhood,
charity, human dignity, and universal peace. Violent cultures cause violent
religions and peaceful cultures create peaceful religion
The Greeks were a peaceful civilization. They believed in the idea of
democracy and they strongly believed in philosophy. This gave them plenty of
time to contemplate about things like morality and religion. Their morals were
always related to individual freedom, because they stressed a person's right to
criticize, be curious, and be different. Thus, their religion of many gods
supported their way of life. Each god would represent a different aspect of
life. Kind of like each person is different and represents good and bad in
different degrees. The Greeks believed in people being different and their
religion involves many different gods.
The Romans were very much like the Greeks. They were ruled by a senate
for most of their reign, but towards the end were ruled by dictatorship. They
were composed of many different cultures and were very tolerant of the different
customs and beliefs. This acceptance of many different cultures explains their
religious beliefs. First the Romans had a religion with a few main gods like
Janus and Jupiter and thousands of little gods like the god of fever and the god
of gold coins. Then, as the Roman power expanded, Greek influence grew. So the
Romans stole many of the Greek myths and legends and applied them to the Roman
gods. This pleased the people for a little while, but they began to become
dissatisfied by the old religion. Finally, Christianity began to get converts.
Because of the accepted diversity of the Roman empire, the religious beliefs
changed with the changing morality of its people.
The Middle Ages provide the best support for the thesis. It shows how
the church adapted to changing morals. During the Middle Ages, there was a
decline in intelligence as a chief moral. This era is even sometimes referred
to as the 'Dark Ages'. People became more superstitious. The control of land
and money became a big part of everybody's life. This was reflected in the
changes that occurred in the Catholic church. The church evolved to become the
learning center for the people. The church also started collecting taxes and
serving as a hospital for the sick. These changes in the church were brought
about by a change in morals.
The word Renaissance means rebirth. The Renaissance period in Europe
was a rebirth of ideas. Europe mainly had customs and institutions before the
Renaissance, but after the Renaissance period got started, it sparked a
revolution. This revolution also created a change in religious beliefs. The
morals of many people had started to change. Many people started to feel that
the church wasn't for them. These people broke off from the church and formed
their own religions. One
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Culture, Religion, Morality and religion, Civilization, Greeks, Good and evil, Morality, Belief, Culture of ancient Rome, Greek mythology, Ancient Greek religion, assyrian civilization, sacrificial rituals, dawn of man, different religions, ceremonial burial, peaceful nature, moral views, wonders of nature, civilizations, captives, hebrews, morals, closeness, new game, religious beliefs, murderers, ancient history, allegiance, sacrifices, thieves
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