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Featured Chimpanzee Religion

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Wild Fox, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Chimpanzee Religion

    Do Chimpanzees have religion?

    Do we have any evidence that Chimpanzees have religious behavior or is there clear evidence that chimpanzees cannot have religion.

    James B. Harrod proposed the following Trans species dimensions to try and define what may be observed as evidence for religion.

    “· Reverence (showing devotion, intense love, deep respect)

    · Careful observance, which may involve a calling-out announcement or remark

    · Experiencing or expressing emotion of dread (awe in its terror or astonishment aspect) before that which overwhelms the subject by its magnitude, grandeur, beneficence, or lethality; mysterium tremendum

    · Experiencing or expressing emotion of wonder (awe in its fascina-tion, curiosity, or desire-to-know-more aspect) with respect to a phenomenon (especially a movement) which is surprising, non-ordinary, extraordinary, special, or ‘miraculous’; mysterium fascinans

    · Binding individuals together or back together in empathic intimacy or communion with respect to experiences of aliveness and animacy, including other living beings or things that appearto be alive, which may secondarily involve the witnessing of this by a collective social group. “



    The article and its evidence can be read at this sight.

    www.researchgate.net/publication/276915021_The_Case_for_Chimpanzee_Religion_2014



    The evolution of humans behavior patterns has created religion in humans. Certainly our closely related family on this planet – the other apes – have significant behavioral traits in common with us.

    Is there a case for chimpanzee religion?
     
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    The things you list seem ordinary traits unrelated to religion.
     
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  3. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    It was not my list but a proposed list by James Harrod.
    Reverence? This seems to be a characteristic of some religions.
    Binding individuals together or back together in empathic intimacy? This also is central to many religions behaviors.
    Experiencing or expressing emotion of wonder? This also seems central to religions and is the driving force for those participating.
    What behaviors are identifiable as religion?
     
  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Well, I didn't say it was your list.
    Only that you listed it.
    Those are things which would apply to atheists too.
    Icon reverence?
    Holding church services?
     
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  5. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    A differentiation of religion and what may be called spiritual awareness is needed here.

    I think there is a common interpretation of ‘spiritual’ which doesn’t imply religion or theism.
    For example Buddhists use the term to denote a sensitivity to one’s inner life, to the lives of others, and an intrinsic compassionate motivation.

    I have observed and interacted with many spiritually developed non-humans, particularly dogs, cats and horses.
     
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  6. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    Exactly
     
  7. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Burning heretics? ;)
     
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  8. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    So where are the religious examples?

    Is there a Jesus ape walking around somewhere feeding multitudes and healing the sick?
     
  9. Galateasdream

    Galateasdream Active Member

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    It wouldn't suprise me if there was some sort of proto-spirituality or religiosity to be detected in the behaviours of chimps.
     
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  10. The Hammer

    The Hammer Virtue, Piety, Study
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    Bonobos are closer to us socially than Chimpanzees, maybe the study author should look there first.
     
  11. night912

    night912 Well-Known Member

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    There's no clear definition for religion. A lot of people around the world see religion differently. So that's the hard part.
     
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  12. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Given their sexual proclivities, do they have a tantric religion?
     
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  13. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I wouldn't look for religious behavior or at least wouldn't call so. I'd look for signs of spirituality or cultic behavior like elephants seem to mourn and remember their dead. I'd expect signs of veneration for an object with no apparent purpose or a place. I'd expect taboos.
    We have these signs in the archaology of early humans. We have hints from anthropology that animism may be the first form of religion or a step on the way to religion (depending how you define it).
     
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  14. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Veteran Member
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    I am dubious about religious behavior in chimps, but whales sing. Maybe their is a hymn or two somewhere in their set list.
     
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  15. night912

    night912 Well-Known Member

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    And some who "practiced" animism didn't refer to it as their religion. It was simply part of their culture.
     
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  16. Darkforbid

    Darkforbid Well-Known Member

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    'Bonobos and Chimpanzees are BOTH our closest relatives Bonobos and Chimpanzees both share close to 98%'

    And socially we don't use sex for group bonding like bonobos
     
  17. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    And walking on water, don't forget the walking on water
     
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  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    They're also characteristics of many things that aren't religions, so they seem pretty useless for determining whether something is practicing "religion."


    Behaviours that are specific to religion.
     
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  19. Darkforbid

    Darkforbid Well-Known Member

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    Wait for me Jesus!

    giphy (1).gif
     
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  20. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    There have been a few cases where chimps were observed to behave in what might be seen as ritualistic ways. Piling rocks into certain hollow trees was one such example.

    However, assuming that this must mean they're engaging in a crude form of religion is very premature. We don't know precisely what this behaviour indicates. For example, it might just be a means of storing tools.* It could also be a means of marking out territory. Some animals will gather objects as part of a mating ritual so that's another possibility.

    It's interesting for sure but we shouldn't jump the gun.


    *Chimps sometimes use rocks to crack open nuts or sticks to fish for insects.
     
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