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Do You Agree With the Definition of Religion in the First Post??
Absolutely YES! 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Mostly Yes. 38%  38%  [ 6 ]
Maybe / Maybe Not. 19%  19%  [ 3 ]
Mostly No. 31%  31%  [ 5 ]
Absolutely NO! 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 16

Fnord
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14 Aug 2018, 8:04 pm

I encountered the following text in an old manuscript:

Religion, like science, explains why things happen. Specifically, it explains why people suffer, although it might explain other things, too. Unlike science, however, religions go beyond pure description; they also tell people how they ought to behave to alleviate suffering. While certain sciences also try to explain and treat human problems – for example, medicine might identify both the cause of a disease and a possible cure – religions promise justification and treatment for just about any tragedy. Unlike mainstream medicine or psychiatry, there are few meaningful questions which religions don't think they can answer.

Note that belief in a god or gods is not necessarily part of a religion. Certain sects, such as the Jains of India, are either atheistic or refuse to speculate on the existence of deities. Nor is a belief in the afterlife essential to religion; modernday Judaism, for instance, either denies life after death or has no firm opinion on it. Religions are defined not by gods, souls, and spirits, but by their universalistic worldview, a "Guide to Everything" one needs to know or do.

Some "religions," therefore, can look modern and pseudoscientific. Their treatments may be based on "regulation of personal-Q force" or release of "trapped organic energy"; they may have "examiners" or "therapists" rather than priests; and they may blame difficulties on one's "high concentration of omega particles" ot "blocked chakrae" rather than the ire of the evil god Oogalla-Boogalla. They might even develop technology based on their wild, pseudo-scientific principles.


Do you agree with it?



AspE
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14 Aug 2018, 8:20 pm

While most of that is true, it leaves out the most important thing. The main aspect of a religion is faith. I would define faith as a belief that is unsupported by evidence. This is part of religion even if they don't accept a deity.



kraftiekortie
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14 Aug 2018, 8:48 pm

I am in accord with most of what was written in the first post.



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14 Aug 2018, 9:03 pm

AspE wrote:
While most of that is true, it leaves out the most important thing. The main aspect of a religion is faith. I would define faith as a belief that is unsupported by evidence. This is part of religion even if they don't accept a deity.


Faith is the most important thing, I’d agree, but why do people need faith? It serves a purpose.

I think this need stems from a desire to get past the finality of death and to explain bad things that happen and bad people. A greater understanding of psychology and sociopaths is removing the need to understand “evilness.”



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15 Aug 2018, 2:01 am

I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I don’t believe in organized religion or that one religion is better than the others, they’re all the same. Call that as you will.



Fnord
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15 Aug 2018, 8:19 am

Faith is irrelevant, in my opinion. In another thread, people talk about "Atheist Christians" -- people who follow the religious doctrines without any belief in God. I even know a few people who still go to church / mass / temple even though they claim to have lost all faith in God.

People in the New Age movement have faith in all manner of esoteric concepts, and often shift from one set of beliefs to another; so it would seem that even faith has fluidity.


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kraftiekortie
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15 Aug 2018, 8:25 am

"Faith" is the basis for most belief in religion. Faith in a Supreme Being, despite no empirical evidence for such Supreme Being. As opposed to asking for "evidence, please."

It is "faith," usually, without inquiring too much further. The notion that one shouldn't inquire beyond a certain point when it comes to religious matters is quite prevalent.



Fnord
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15 Aug 2018, 8:28 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
"Faith" is the basis for most belief in religion...
Then explain the people who still follow their religion after having lost their faith.


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kraftiekortie
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15 Aug 2018, 8:30 am

I believe it's the ritual aspect. The consistency of some religions. Being in one's "comfort zone."

They believe in the trappings of religion---but not its substance.



Fnord
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15 Aug 2018, 8:32 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I believe it's the ritual aspect. The consistency of some religions. Being in one's "comfort zone." They believe in the trappings of religion---but not its substance.
Then you admit that religion without faith is possible.

Thank you.


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kraftiekortie
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15 Aug 2018, 8:42 am

The trappings of religion, minus the substance.

Of course, nothing is absolute.

But a sense of "faith" is usually intrinsic in religious belief. Very rarely is there a fully-logical or empirical basis for this belief. Perhaps, even an adherence to ritual, without "faith" in God, could be said to be evidence of some sort of "faith" in something good arising from adhering to the ritual.



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15 Aug 2018, 3:32 pm

Largely, religion depends on the transcendant or the inexplicable. There's no religion I can name that does not believe in these aspects in some way, besides maybe Confucianism which could be classified more as a philosophy (and may have taken on more intangible principles later on, I'm not sure). The post seems to try to correlate and merge in some way the aspects of both science and religion, which is not only largely erroneous but also quite dangerous.

I agree with some of it (as parts are actually just inarguably true, such as atheist religions and the like) but it commits the ever elusive crime of omission, of which I have to say is a pretty significant oversight.



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15 Aug 2018, 8:29 pm

The word religion comes from two latin words. re & ligare. Re means to return. Ligare means to bind. So religion means a return to bondage.

Of course, words meanings change with time and cultures, but I just find the etymology of the word both ironic and hilarious.



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15 Aug 2018, 9:29 pm

I think the main thing that separates religion from practical mysticism is it's cultural breadth, organizing force, and whether intense or even somewhat lax some strongly agreed upon precepts about mind in cosmology.

The things that seem important to make a religion actually stick, be viable, and enjoy good rapport seem to include the following:

1) The main tenets need to be stated clearly enough that it doesn't require a genius or a saint, that it fits common people having a common experience well enough (this is where a lot of the gnosticism, Hermeticism, and Neoplatonism fell down - ie. great spiritual humanistic content but didn't transfer well to the broader public).

2) It needs to deliver a real alchemical process of some type. That word, 'alchemical', was really awkward to use around here even a few years ago but it's another thing that I can thank Jordan Peterson for - ie. bringing people like Carl Jung, Mercia Eliade, etc. to the general public to what extent their ideas can be outlined. In layman's terms an alchemical process is one where the individual, participating in a particular mystery, is participating in a recipe for their deeper psyche which does more than just help them be a better person when times are good - rather it's an enriching process that brings their whole baseline upward and leads them to greater integrity and internal harmony.

3) Somewhat leading off of 2) the symbols and ideas need to be credible. By this point most of what's out there came at us in a few dispensations, one between 500 BC and 400 AD, then somewhat interestingly there was another burst of activity around the late middle ages and through the renaissance that saw a lot of growth and development on the earlier content - not just in Europe but it seems like India and China also had great yogis and the like coming about much like Islam had it's great mystics around the very beginning of this time period. A lot of these symbols relate to concepts at the bedrock of our genetic, biological, and psychological operating systems. Most things that will work generally have to rhyme, in some manner, with the great classic and renaissance traditions.

The sticking point I think we're discovering with dogma these days is getting noticed probably for very similar reasons to what they were in Greece and Rome - ie. cosmopolitan life, meeting other people and their gods or lack thereof on a regular basis, and needing to be able to either see under what people were saying or the need to be able to hear each person talk about their gods and know exactly which god they were describing in your own pantheon. The only danger with things being that fluid is people can get the sense that there's no coat-rack to hang their lives from within it. Dogmatism can bind people but it comes at the cost of constant hermeneutics, legalistic parsing, and it makes structures of that sort very stubborn, even obstinate to changes in the environment that their survival as a viable faith would technically depend on.

Past that, in terms of revelation running the gamut from frivolous to strange to symbolically profound, I think the best model for understanding that might be to consider that we're in a much more conscious universe than we've previously thought and that weather patterns, almost like bolts of lightening, can hit people. Catching such a discharge or stepping on a live wire won't always yield information that makes sense in a straight forward sense, it's usually very symbolic (seems like there's a lot more to apocalyptic literature like Ezekiel, Zechariah, or Daniel than guys trying to sound cool or edgy), and like dreams sure - they can be shared but they're best digested by the individual who received them in a manner similar to analyzing a dream.


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17 Aug 2018, 10:25 am

When you type "religion" in Bing, this is its first response: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

By that definition alone, Jainism is not a religion since we don't recognize or believe in any superhuman controlling power.

But in its second response, a particular system of faith and worship, Jainism can be ascribed to that. We do have rituals, beliefs and tenets we recognize, however, Jainism is so "scientifically" grounded around karmas that it may as well be a philosophy based on guidelines that requires faith.