Primitive religions are unlike the great religons of civilized people of the world except in one feature that is common to all religions--The emotional concern present when men find themselves dependent on powers that are mysterious and unpredictable. The hidden powers by which primitive people feel themselves surrounded and with which they deal, by magic rite or prayful appeal. rain, sea, or some species of animal or plant. Such powers are the strange potencies in these natural objects in virtue of which they sometimes act in ways that satisfy man's needs and further his well being. And sometimes in ways that bring him frustration or even disaster. There is obviously, to primitive man's experience, such a potency in the sun; at times fructifying warmth pours genially upon the crops through a long growing season so that they yeild a rich Harvest., at times he burns them up with his fierce heat or hides behind the chilly clouds that they grow poorly and slowly. The aim of primitive rites and petitions is to induce these uncertain powers to behave in ways that support man's struggle for life and prosperity instead of in ways that are unco-operstive or hostile. Typical of primitive addresses are such expressions as these.
"Sun! I do this so you will be burning hot and eat up all the clouds in the sky."
"O millet, thou hast grown well for us; we thank thee."
" O Lord you gave me this stroke because I was evil, but you have forgiven me and now thanks to you
Lord Im can talk, or move one arm, or drive again.
"Help us Mother Earth! we depend on your goodness. Let ther be rain to water the prairies, that grass may grow long and the berries be abundant."
There is only the most megager sense in primitive man's mindof any divine poiwers in the universe that are greater than these potencies, or more awesome from a moral or spiritual point of view.
Why is it so? The answer is fairly simple when one puts himself in the position of a primitive society such a group lacks established scientific knowledge of the laws according to which natural processes go on; Its members are desperately seeking to maintain existance, health, and security in the absence of such knowledge; their dominant emotions are determined by the threatening or kindly forces on which this struggle depends for its success and which primitive man can only locate in or behind these natural processes. Such potencies constitute the divinities of primitive cultures; there is no awareness of any others, execpt in the dimmest and vaguest fashion.
Now lets take this difference between primitive groups and civilized societies. Primitive groups were struggling to gain a greater measure of security against the threatening forces of subhuman nature; on that struggle their phyical survival and well-being depended. Civilized societies by becoming civilized, have solved that problem, suficiently at least so that the emotions of their leaders are no longer preoccupied and controlled by it. The challenging concern that more and more dominates their minds is how man can find a way to live in peace and harmony with his fellows. Life and the universe of the civilized faiths diverges sharply from that of a typical primitive religion.
The first and foremost concerns the basic moral attitudeof men. With rarest of exceptions, feel no sense of moral obligation towads anyone outside their small cultural group, and this feeling is freely expressed in their religion. Just as a primitive religonist prays to a devine power: "Let this family prosper, let us be kept in health, let our food grow": so he can also pray, without any sense of inconsistency: "O Supreme Being! Let me live, find the enemy, not be afraid of him, find him asleep, and kill him many of him." Civilized religions, on the contray, accept the principle of universal responsibility, to be expressed toward all men simply because they are men and regauardless of religious belief deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. This alteration of attitudeis most clearly revealed in their acceptance, without any qualification, of the Golden Rule as a norm of right conduct in one's relations with his human fellows.
The above is a from a book by E. A. Burtt
Tolerance and acceptance of others beliefs is what will foster world peace and harmony in our world. I am a Buddhist, I belive in Karma, and that thoes that live with Tolerance, Acceptance of others and Love for all living beings will have these things returned one hundred fold. Peace and Joy be with you
From the unreal lead me to the real;
From darkness lead me to light;
From death lead me to deathlessness.
Foxnix a Suvivor