Building megasocieties didn’t require divine intervention, study says

Studying a societal chicken and egg situation?

Studying a societal chicken and egg situation?

A new study in Nature claims that big, complex societies arose
before people started believing in major gods or powers that
enforced social rules. That’s a new twist in the debate over
whether such “moralizing” religions were a prerequisite for social
expansion.

A common theme in most of the world’s major religions today is
that some supernatural power will enforce a set of rules that do
two things: proscribe how people worship and dictate how they
relate to each other. This can be enforced via an omnipotent god or
a mechanism like karma.

People have believed in, and worshipped, supernatural powers for
a very long time, but the gods they worshipped haven’t always done
both these things. Many early ones didn’t always care whether
humans played nicely with each other as long as the gods got their
prescribed due. If any supernatural entity enforced human social
norms, it was often a minor god or spirit, not one of the big
cosmological players.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Building megasocieties didn’t require divine intervention, study says