The attributes of God / Die Attribute Gottes / Os atributos de Deus / Los atributos de Dios

Religion has been a constant element of Human existence over time and space. While religions may offer considerable social, philosophical and ethical wisdom, their explicit beliefs are quite clearly a bunch of fairy tales.

This is true for the primitive tribal religions and for the so-called higher religions

The believers of the higher religions can recognize this with respect to the primitive religions and with respect to each other but not with respect to their own beliefs.

Perfectly rational people accept the most childish notions of virgin births and other such divine miracles. Probably the dearest-to-heart fairy tale of religions is life-after-death.

Many people appalled at the irrationality, even absurdity, of conventional religions have declared themselves atheists.

But there is an entity that has most, if not all, the attributes of God. That entity is Human culture. There are of course many cultures and it is each one of these cultures that stands as God-like over its members.

Yet there are some common elements of all these separate cultures, the most important of which is language. Human beings so proud of their differences from other animals are not that genetically different from chimpanzees.

The figure that is often given is that 98% of the genes of Humans are the same as those of chimpanzees.

There have been some attempts to measure the I.Q. of chimpanzees and the figure that was publicized was 95, as compared to an average of 100 for Humans. This indicates there is not very of difference in basic intelligence.

What separates us enormously from chimpanzees is the ability of Humans to use language to communicate.

Humans did not always have language. Some linguists have estimated that Humans only acquired this ability about 50,000 years ago.

If that is the case there was about 30,000 years when the language ability of Humans was not all that extensive. But it made all the difference in the World.

It is probable that Neanderthals did not have language. In order to have an idea of what our species would be without speech and culture consider that Neanderthals occupied Europe and the Middle East from about 230,000 to 30,000 BCE.

During that entire period the Neanderthals technology was the same. It consisted of a broken rock that could be held in the hand, hand ax.

It is quite possible that chimpanzees and even lower animals have the mental ability to learn to understand speech even though they can not speak.

Nevertheless, without speech it is nearly impossible to preserve the discoveries of individuals.

Language gave Humans the power to communicate and coordinate their efforts. It also gave them the power to communicate knowledge and pass knowledge from one generation to the next.

Thus was created Human culture. But from another perspective one could say that this language / culture complex created us.

We became the carriers of culture and culture evolved and ramified using us as its medium. Culture became omniscient and omnipotent and all the other omni-attributes of God. The one attribute that is in doubt is whether it is self-conscious.

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