In the News (Wired): “Co-operation is a key component in human interaction and also, according to new research from the University of British Columbia, the spread of civilisation. Not because for any altruistic reason, though; instead it might be directly down to a fear of a vengeful god.
“In a study published by Nature, a team from the university found that it wasn’t a belief in divine reward that promoted co-operation, but a fear of punishment. “Co-operation among throngs of strangers in expanding societies required a common faith in moralistic gods,” said Benjamin Purzycki, who conducted the research. Worshippers believed that these gods were able to read thoughts, observe good and bad behaviour and punish and reward them accordingly, the study suggests. Shared beliefs about these gods apparently paved the way for trade networks, economies and institutions such as governments and courts. …
“‘The threat of punishment from a god if that individual did not reach out to help strangers may have been one reason for the close bonds that developed between different communities around the world.’ …
“The team suggest that belief in punishment promoted good behaviour — that is, behaviour that promoted trust, co-operation and fairness. Because religions such as Christianity, Islam and Hinduism spread globally, worshippers in far and disparate lands had similar beliefs about how to act towards others of the same religion. ‘These results build on previous findings and tell us more about how wide-ranging co-operation has evolved in large-scale societies today,’ said Purzycki. ‘In addition to some forms of religious rituals and non-religious norms and institutions such as courts, markets and policy, our findings suggest the threat of punishment from a god if that individual did not reach out to help strangers may have been one reason for the close bonds that developed between different communities around the world.’”
My Comment: That is, religion or beliefs in an omniscient God as punishing and rewarding, obliges a person to behave more honestly due to fear of punishment and desire for reward. If not for our egoism, we would not respond to these demands. In general, if God did not exist, He would have had to be invented.
Kabbalah comes from the desire to understand the meaning of life, as stated in part 2 of The Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot. And that is why Kabbalah is intended only for those who really want to reveal this secret.
Discovering the meaning of life leads a person to reveal the only force of nature—the Creator. But belief in a fictitious God, and knowing Him as Elokim – Nature, as it is written: “And all will know Me.”