Historically, why religions prosper?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

Historically, Why a particular religions prosper?

1) The ethics
0
No votes
2) By force conversion using power
2
10%
3) Economic benefits
0
No votes
4) Clinging to views and not prepare to investigate with an open mind.
2
10%
5) Family heritage.
7
35%
6) Social bond
2
10%
7) Just keep peace
1
5%
8) Superior teaching
3
15%
9) Ignorance
2
10%
10) Attachment and aversion
1
5%
 
Total votes: 20

SarathW
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Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by SarathW » Thu May 30, 2019 8:14 pm

Historically, Why religions prosper?
This is a very difficult question to answer as all the factors are contributing to the question.
My aim is to isolate the strongest reason for religion's growth.
I consider ashiest and no religion also as a religion.
So only one vote is allowed.
I was struggling to find one reason but voted for number four " Clinging to views and not prepared to investigate".
Please give your reasons if you wish and discuss.
If you think there is anything else, please free to discuss.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu May 30, 2019 8:59 pm

It's a very complicated question, because there are difficulties involved in saying what it means for a religion to prosper. Does it mean for it to gain many converts and the allegiance of populations? Does this also need the ability to influence people's lives in great depth, as opposed to them merely paying lip-service to it? And is it prosperous and successful if it changes and adapts out of all recognition from its founders intentions, and merely retains the name?

For example, Buddhism has been very successful in terms of its spread around the world, especially the spread to some areas of the West in the last 50 years. But much of what passes for Buddhist practice in the West would be unrecognisable to monks and lay supporters of the Buddha's time. Nichiren Shoshu? People who call themselves "Buddhists" but who mix it with other beliefs and maintain a lax Western consumerist lifestyle? Similarly, Christianity has mutated into so many forms that it is really only the name which unites them.

Yuval Noah Harari (in Sapiens) makes the point that the vast majority of world religions have been local, non-absolutist, and non-missionary. I guess the successful ones in terms of historical longevity have had a structure that lends itself to missionary activity; beliefs which can be simplified such that transmission is easily accomplished for the masses; and of course it helps if the religion is associated with other factors such as empire-building, revolutionary politics, and a transformative movement such as mercantilism or industrial technology.

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DNS
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by DNS » Thu May 30, 2019 9:19 pm

All of the above, but if I had to choose one, I'd say family heritage. Not that it should be that way, but just the reality. Most people do not convert out of the religion they were born into.

For example:
A Catholic couple has 10 children. There is a high probability all 10 will still be Catholic on their deathbeds.
A Muslim couple has 10 children. There is a high probability all 10 will still be Muslim on their deathbeds.

etc.

SarathW
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by SarathW » Thu May 30, 2019 10:11 pm

There is a very interesting Sutta in SN 14.11-30 about 20 suttas.
Buddha said people converge and come together due to an element.
Buddha talked about many elements in this 20 Suttas.
Even the Arhants have groups!!!
Within religions, there are many sects.
What we really have to look here is what is the most common element in each religion or the sect.
===========
Sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have a bad attitude come together and converge with those who have a bad attitude. Those who have a good attitude come together and converge with those who have a good attitude. In the past ............
https://suttacentral.net/sn14.15/en/sujato
===============

After reading this Sutta I completely changed my attitude towards so-called religions. Even nations flock together with a common element. We have to see the commonality to understand each group.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DNS
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by DNS » Thu May 30, 2019 10:20 pm

SarathW wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:11 pm
Even the Arhants have groups!!!
That's right. Makha Bucha was one such group and might be the first "flash mob" in history.

https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/Makha_Bucha

budo
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by budo » Thu May 30, 2019 10:20 pm

Existentialism.

2600htz
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by 2600htz » Thu May 30, 2019 10:37 pm

Hello:

A religion is a "set of ideas", and ideas prosper easily, especially if this ideas are mostly dogmas -things that are hard or impossible to question or disprove-. Plus religions have almost the monopoly of the human existence/moral issue, which is a big field in people lifes.

Regards.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by Kim OHara » Thu May 30, 2019 11:11 pm

A religion prospers if the society prospers, so a religion which strengthens its society should be more likely to prosper than one which doesn't.

:thinking:
Kim

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DooDoot
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by DooDoot » Thu May 30, 2019 11:26 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 11:11 pm
A religion prospers if the society prospers, so a religion which strengthens its society should be more likely to prosper than one which doesn't.
You seem to be ignoring opposing Satanic or Mara forces (aka "social engineering"), such as Left Wing Cultural Marxism that operates in partnership with Right Wing Corporatism, that operate to promote addiction to hedonism & to weaken the social bonds & religions that operate in partnership. Once the puthujjana are beguiled by the Left Wing, the Right Wing harvests them for profit. $$$ Two hands or wings of the same Mara entity opposing virtue & religion, which even subversively infiltrate the religions; promoting things such as Feminism, Military Interventionism & Consensual Sex as "dhamma". For example, I recently noticed a socially orientated so-called "Buddhist" chatsite stagnant & not growing/prospering due to the ideological censorship on the chatsite. This chatsite seemed infiltrated by hardliner ideologues.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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chownah
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by chownah » Fri May 31, 2019 2:56 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:14 pm

So only one vote is allowed.
Only one vote is allowed but religions prosper because people indulge in them and different people have different reasons for indulging in their religion....even people of the same religion have different reasons for indulging....I've seen this first hand in a christian church where I attended in my youth....some people were afraid to die, some were wanting social connections, some gained monetary benefits, some did it from family history, etc....and for some it was two or three of these things....so it is sort of ridiculous to only get to vote for one since there is not one reason only.
chownah

SarathW
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by SarathW » Fri May 31, 2019 3:37 am

I agree. But will see what is the most powerful factor out of all.
At the moment it seems the family.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

sentinel
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by sentinel » Fri May 31, 2019 4:04 am

For a religion counting from beginning until present day , prosper / expanding / spreading at very fast pace and without any stopping sign (Islam) is by force or any means .
:buddha1:

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Kim OHara
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by Kim OHara » Fri May 31, 2019 4:11 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 11:26 pm
Kim OHara wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 11:11 pm
A religion prospers if the society prospers, so a religion which strengthens its society should be more likely to prosper than one which doesn't.
You seem to be ignoring opposing Satanic or Mara forces (aka "social engineering"), such as Left Wing Cultural Marxism that operates in partnership with Right Wing Corporatism, that operate to promote addiction to hedonism & to weaken the social bonds & religions that operate in partnership. Once the puthujjana are beguiled by the Left Wing, the Right Wing harvests them for profit. $$$ Two hands or wings of the same Mara entity opposing virtue & religion, which even subversively infiltrate the religions; promoting things such as Feminism, Military Interventionism & Consensual Sex as "dhamma". For example, I recently noticed a socially orientated so-called "Buddhist" chatsite stagnant & not growing/prospering due to the ideological censorship on the chatsite. This chatsite seemed infiltrated by hardliner ideologues.
Not ignoring, just keeping things simple. I did consider making a list of "growth factors" and a list of "dwindle factors" (I think I just made up that term, but it will do) but some of them, like most of yours, were too specific to a particular period or culture.

:coffee:
Kim

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DooDoot
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by DooDoot » Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:11 am
I did consider making a list of "growth factors" and a list of "dwindle factors"
The old Thai monk Bhikkhu Buddhadasa hypothesised when giving his opinion on the Brahman covert Buddhaghosa:
In summary, it is hard to say whether or not the basis of the dhamma was still pure before the third council in B.E. 300. After that it became sullied through the acceptance of a self. An incorrect Dhamma began from that time. As you can see, Buddhism disappeared from India. But why didn't the Jain religion, the religion of the naked ascetics, more properly called the Saina, disappear from India? Because it hasn't yet changed any of its principles from the original teachings.

Buddhism's basic principles changed from positing no self to positing self and it disappeared. It automatically disappeared at that very time; as soon as the self concept entered Buddhism, it disappeared from India. This is the phenomenon of Paticcasamuppada being incorrectly explained. The written evidence begins with the Visuddhimagga.
I was just listening to this agent of chaos below & thought how easily Buddhism is infiltrated by aliens or outsiders who are accepted as Buddhists.



It seems the old Thai monk Bhikkhu Buddhadasa suggested if the religion remains "pure", it will continue or prosper, even if it remains small, such as the Jains. Small but pure & beautiful. As Jimi Hendrix said: "Not necessarily stoned but beautiful". :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

chownah
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Re: Historically, why religions prosper?

Post by chownah » Fri May 31, 2019 4:31 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:37 am
I agree. But will see what is the most powerful factor out of all.
At the moment it seems the family.
Do you really think that this pole will reveal what is the most powerful factor of all?......
chownah

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