The RRS as a Religion

Christos
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The RRS as a Religion

I didn't know where to put this, so I put it here (TWSS)

I'm a religion major. So for this thread I'm going to use my definition of religion (although I'm borrowing ideas from Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the chief scholar on comparative religions).

Here is my definition of religion:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

 

For #1, I demand a discernment of ultimate reality (God, gods, the divine, the other, whatever you want to call it). Thus, I don't qualify nationalism or fascism as religions. In terms of Atheism, I count a rejection of God and theism as a discernment of ultimate reality. That's certainly a debatable aspect of this proof.

For #2, a discernment of ultimate reality needs to have some kind of communal practices to qualify itself as a religion. Practices may include but are not limited to: liturgy, yearly rituals, elevated literature, weekly gathering (for worship or just a community event). Thus, Deism is not a religion by my definition. Furthermore, Atheism as a whole is not a religion based on this definition. There are no significant common practices for an average Atheist that you may find in a Christian.

However, I think that the RRS does have certain practices that I've observed on this website that qualify it as a religion. For example: Users posting thousands of times on these forums (that's more devotion than many Christians!), tuning in for the radio show (weekly gathering), the War on Easter (yearly practice), The War on Christmas, recommended reading lists (elevated literature) that include Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Ehrman (my favorite Biblical scholar by the way). 

I think the practices that I have observed here are easily enough to qualify RRS Atheism as a religion. I can also mention a loyalty to the doctrine of Jesus Mysticism (which I like to call "Atheist Creationism&quotEye-wink. Jesus Mysticism on this website involves an element of evangelism. The forum is subtitled with this statement:

"The Official forum of the Campaign to bring the Mythicist standpoint to the front door of every human on the planet." So there it is HW. I know that no one is going to like this, and that's fine. There are reasonably debatable parts of this proof. From my perspective as someone who studies religion, I think that the RRS is a religion based on my definition and observations of this website.  

 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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This is the kind of shit

This is the kind of shit Matt was especially good for.

Christos wrote:

I didn't know where to put this, so I put it here (TWSS)

I'm a religion major. So for this thread I'm going to use my definition of religion (although I'm borrowing ideas from Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the chief scholar on comparative religions).

Here is my definition of religion:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

Yay, we don't qualify.

Christos wrote:

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

Yay, we don't qualify twice over. 

Christos wrote:

For #1, I demand a discernment of ultimate reality (God, gods, the divine, the other, whatever you want to call it). Thus, I don't qualify nationalism or fascism as religions. In terms of Atheism, I count a rejection of God and theism as a discernment of ultimate reality. That's certainly a debatable aspect of this proof.

Maybe if everyone here literally believed that there isn't any god of any kind, you'd have a chance at making this stick. But such isn't the case, so you have no chance.

Christos wrote:

For #2, a discernment of ultimate reality needs to have some kind of communal practices to qualify itself as a religion. Practices may include but are not limited to: liturgy, yearly rituals, elevated literature, weekly gathering (for worship or just a community event). Thus, Deism is not a religion by my definition. Furthermore, Atheism as a whole is not a religion based on this definition. There are no significant common practices for an average Atheist that you may find in a Christian.

And yet, the RRS doesn't do any of that either. Where the hell are you trying to go? Emphasis on the "trying".

Christos wrote:

However, I think that the RRS does have certain practices that I've observed on this website that qualify it as a religion. For example: Users posting thousands of times on these forums (that's more devotion than many Christians!),

Apparently you haven't spent much time on the net. My post count here is nothing. Literally. I had 20,000 posts as my last tally on the last site I went to frequently, and that was after at least 3 seperate times of the host server being completely wiped, resetting my count to 0 each time. Maybe you should go to a gaming forum like Gamespot for a few days. See how many posts those people accrue.

Christos wrote:
 tuning in for the radio show (weekly gathering), the War on Easter (yearly practice), The War on Christmas, recommended reading lists (elevated literature) that include Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Ehrman (my favorite Biblical scholar by the way). 

Not everyone listens to or participates in the radio show. I certainly haven't. Same goes with the wars on easter and christmas. I'm usually taking advantage of the religious ideas at the time and filling my place with games and candy.

No, that's not true. I'm usually at work. This might be the second year of the century that I get christmas off.

I've also not read a single book that the RRS recommends, as I view it as material for people fresh out of a religion. I've never been part of one, and reading those books would be more akin to a self congratulation. I can do that well enough by making fun of idiots on the net, so again I don't bother.

Christos wrote:

I think the practices that I have observed here are easily enough to qualify RRS Atheism as a religion.

I disagree completely. Now take a look at what a group of friends will do. You find that a group of friends likes to hang out together at pre-arrranged intervals. A group of friends tends to recommend reading material to each other. A group of friends likes to participate in activities together that all will enjoy.

Seems like the RRS is simply a group of friends that has a goal.

Christos wrote:
 

 I can also mention a loyalty to the doctrine of Jesus Mysticism (which I like to call "Atheist Creationism&quotEye-wink. Jesus Mysticism on this website involves an element of evangelism. The forum is subtitled with this statement:

"The Official forum of the Campaign to bring the Mythicist standpoint to the front door of every human on the planet." So there it is HW. I know that no one is going to like this, and that's fine. There are reasonably debatable parts of this proof. From my perspective as someone who studies religion, I think that the RRS is a religion based on my definition and observations of this website. 

 

I'm not sure how much the RRS still has invested in the mythicist campaign, but it hardly matters. Not everyone has taken part in it. I dabbled a little bit, but it became clear to me that I would need to research the bible thouroughly to do so. I have no interest in such, so I leave that discussion to those who are qualified, as it really doesn't matter if some guy was named jesus christ 2000 years ago. He didn't do anything the rest of us couldn't do if he did exist, that's all that really matters.

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 Sure if you redefine the

 Sure if you redefine the word religion the RSS probably is one, but you can't just go around redifining words. Even with your defiation i'm not so sure.  By your defination an atheist group that attend unversity take a course in cosmology and every week to learn about the big bang, by your defination that is a religion. learning about big bang being the common practise and it probably coincides with there discernment of ultimate reality. 

 

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
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No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
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Quote:For #1, I demand a

Quote:
For #1, I demand a discernment of ultimate reality (God, gods, the divine, the other, whatever you want to call it). Thus, I don't qualify nationalism or fascism as religions. In terms of Atheism, I count a rejection of God and theism as a discernment of ultimate reality. That's certainly a debatable aspect of this proof.

I'd say so.  RRS is not united in a single belief regarding the existence of God(s).  Some of us are simply unconvinced that there is evidence for any god, and are withholding judgment.  Others of us believe firmly that some gods are certainly not real, but are holding out the possibility that there is a coherent definition of God which could be tested and potentially verified.  Some hold that the concept of god is necessarily incoherent, and contend that where nothing has been proposed, nothing may  be believed.  Some hold that there is virtual certainty that no gods exist.  In short, it's very difficult to defend the statement that RRS is organized around a particular view of reality.  The italicized words indicate the singular, and RRS certainly does not advocate one worldview and one worldview only.

Quote:
For #2, a discernment of ultimate reality needs to have some kind of communal practices to qualify itself as a religion. Practices may include but are not limited to: liturgy, yearly rituals, elevated literature, weekly gathering (for worship or just a community event). Thus, Deism is not a religion by my definition. Furthermore, Atheism as a whole is not a religion based on this definition. There are no significant common practices for an average Atheist that you may find in a Christian.

I agree.

Quote:
However, I think that the RRS does have certain practices that I've observed on this website that qualify it as a religion. For example: Users posting thousands of times on these forums (that's more devotion than many Christians!), tuning in for the radio show (weekly gathering), the War on Easter (yearly practice), The War on Christmas, recommended reading lists (elevated literature) that include Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Ehrman (my favorite Biblical scholar by the way).

Wow.  Really?  You think any of this is really analogous to church?  I guess if it lets you sleep at night, fine, but what's the point?  I mean... sheesh.  Call RRS a religion.  So what?  You've stretched the boundary of religion so that you can include us.  Why?

Quote:
 I think the practices that I have observed here are easily enough to qualify RRS Atheism as a religion. I can also mention a loyalty to the doctrine of Jesus Mysticism (which I like to call "Atheist Creationism&quotEye-wink. Jesus Mysticism on this website involves an element of evangelism. The forum is subtitled with this statement:"The Official forum of the Campaign to bring the Mythicist standpoint to the front door of every human on the planet." So there it is HW. I know that no one is going to like this, and that's fine. There are reasonably debatable parts of this proof. From my perspective as someone who studies religion, I think that the RRS is a religion based on my definition and observations of this website.  

We don't have an official position on mythicism.  I'm not a mythicist.  As far as I know, we don't have any organized effort whatsoever to "bring mythicism to every human on the planet."  I think you can chalk that up to a younger, slightly overzealous Rook Hawkins, who is busy with other projects these days.

Anyway, whatever floats your boat, dude.  I'm betting that if you showed the RRS to a thousand professors of religion, you'd get two or three who would say, "Yep.  Definitely a religion."  The rest would probably say it's got a couple of similarities with a couple of elements of a couple of religions.

So, really, answer the question, please.  Why does it matter to you if RRS is a religion?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Christos
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Hambydammit wrote:So,

Hambydammit wrote:

So, really, answer the question, please.  Why does it matter to you if RRS is a religion?

It doesn't. I'm fine with you guys completely disagreeing with me. HisWillingness wanted me to make a thread on the topic.

The definition of religion is mine, but I think I am qualified to offer my own definition. It's also influenced by Wilfred Smith, who is the best comparative religion scholar out there to read. I'm not crafting the definition to count the RRS as a religion. I actually made it to disqualify nationalism, fascism, Deism or Atheism as religions.

I think the RRS still qualifies under #1. Although it doesn't have complete uniformity among posters concerning their beliefs about God, there is some common ground. The most significant common denominator from my perspective is: There is insufficient evidence to believe in God. I think you'll find that opinion among all of RRS's leadership.

Look at it this way: Christianity has a common denominator when it comes to God. You can find it in the Apostles Creed (essentially the Trinity). Outside of that, there is significant disagreement about aspects of God (process theology, God related to theodicy, the omnipotence of God, God's role as the creator (some Christians hold to evolution others to creationism)). Just because Christians have disagreements about the exact nature of God doesn't disqualify Christianity as a religion.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Christos wrote:I'm a

Christos wrote:
I'm a religion major. So for this thread I'm going to use my definition of religion (although I'm borrowing ideas from Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the chief scholar on comparative religions).

Here is my definition of religion:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

 

For #1, I demand a discernment of ultimate reality (God, gods, the divine, the other, whatever you want to call it). Thus, I don't qualify nationalism or fascism as religions. In terms of Atheism, I count a rejection of God and theism as a discernment of ultimate reality. That's certainly a debatable aspect of this proof.

The vast majority of RSS atheists are agnostic. That is to say: Having no belief in a god or gods is a result of having insufficient evidence to support the idea of a god or gods, which is a discernment only of "what we objectively know of reality".

One problem with your argument is this qualification of reality - "ultimate reality" - that is undefined.

Christos wrote:
For #2, a discernment of ultimate reality needs to have some kind of communal practices to qualify itself as a religion. Practices may include but are not limited to: liturgy, yearly rituals, elevated literature, weekly gathering (for worship or just a community event). Thus, Deism is not a religion by my definition. Furthermore, Atheism as a whole is not a religion based on this definition. There are no significant common practices for an average Atheist that you may find in a Christian.

However, I think that the RRS does have certain practices that I've observed on this website that qualify it as a religion. For example: Users posting thousands of times on these forums (that's more devotion than many Christians!), tuning in for the radio show (weekly gathering), the War on Easter (yearly practice), The War on Christmas, recommended reading lists (elevated literature) that include Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Ehrman (my favorite Biblical scholar by the way).

As you mention, those practices must be tied to that "discernment of ultimate reality" to be part of the two criteria for a religion.

Posting to the forums is obviously tied to common interests other than atheism itself: Intellectual freedom, discussions of science, civil rights, and primarily anti-religious and anti-irrationality debates. This stems mostly from shared interests over any ideology. The rest of the postings are debates with people holding different ideas. (and please, these forums are very low-traffic. I see vastly more activity on forums discussing cars or anime. Is that devotion, or personal interest?)

Reading material recommendations alone do not suggest "elevated literature" alone. Again, this stems more from common ground on personal interests than ideology.

As for a weekly gathering: The same can be said of the weekly radio show. It's no more a devotional than tuning in to favorite programs on NPR, and is clearly a matter of pursuing personal interests.

Same for yearly activities.

Christos wrote:
I think the practices that I have observed here are easily enough to qualify RRS Atheism as a religion. I can also mention a loyalty to the doctrine of Jesus Mysticism (which I like to call "Atheist Creationism&quotEye-wink. Jesus Mysticism on this website involves an element of evangelism. The forum is subtitled with this statement:

"The Official forum of the Campaign to bring the Mythicist standpoint to the front door of every human on the planet."   So there it is HW. I know that no one is going to like this, and that's fine. There are reasonably debatable parts of this proof. From my perspective as someone who studies religion, I think that the RRS is a religion based on my definition and observations of this website.
I hope you realize not everyone here buys in to the whole mythicist thing. (I, for one, don't much care about the historicity of Jesus and have no opinion either way.) That's Rook's project, and that's his forum. To make it all about the RRS is a bit of a stretch.

I think your observations are flawed. As a review of methodology, your observations are more suggestive of a presuppositional approach than one of objective observation. The lack of definition of a central term in your criteria is what suggests that to me.

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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 Quote:I think the RRS

 

Quote:
I think the RRS still qualifies under #1. Although it doesn't have complete uniformity among posters concerning their beliefs about God, there is some common ground. The most significant common denominator from my perspective is: There is insufficient evidence to believe in God. I think you'll find that opinion among all of RRS's leadership.

Do you really, honestly believe that the observation, "There is almost certainly no god," leads to any worldview whatsoever?  Haven't you seen this before?

1. There is probably no god.

2. ????

3. Therefore, ????

 

So... um, what worldview are we espousing?  Saying which worldview we don't espouse isn't particularly helpful.  It's sort of like saying, "There's a group of people over there that are united in support of something that's not "Saving Starving Children in Africa."

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Christos wrote:1) A religion

Christos wrote:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

Alright.

Quote:
However, I think that the RRS does have certain practices that I've observed on this website that qualify it as a religion. For example: Users posting thousands of times on these forums (that's more devotion than many Christians!), tuning in for the radio show (weekly gathering), the War on Easter (yearly practice), The War on Christmas, recommended reading lists (elevated literature) that include Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Ehrman (my favorite Biblical scholar by the way). 

I think the practices that I have observed here are easily enough to qualify RRS Atheism as a religion.

Possibly. I'm not completely sure what you mean by "ultimate reality" though. If you mean that we come to this forum because we agree on something, then sure.

Quote:
I can also mention a loyalty to the doctrine of Jesus Mysticism (which I like to call "Atheist Creationism&quotEye-wink. Jesus Mysticism on this website involves an element of evangelism. The forum is subtitled with this statement:

"The Official forum of the Campaign to bring the Mythicist standpoint to the front door of every human on the planet."

I am not a Jesus Mythicicst. I haven't studied the Bible and/or historical texts enough to have an informed opinion for either side. 
Quote:
So there it is HW. I know that no one is going to like this, and that's fine. There are reasonably debatable parts of this proof. From my perspective as someone who studies religion, I think that the RRS is a religion based on my definition and observations of this website.

I think, based on your definition, the RRS could be considered a religion, but so would a lot of other groups that aren't normally considered religions.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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'People who accuse the RRS of being a Religion' as a Religion

Quote:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

If the RRS qualifies as a religion, then 'people who accuse the RRS of being a religion' also qualify as a religion.

1) Clearly, people who accuse the RRS of being a religion do not share the RRS' discernment of reality. Therefore, together they share their own discernment of ultimate reality. (This is exactly parallel to Christos' claim that "In terms of Atheism, I count a rejection of God and theism as a discernment of ultimate reality." If this is true, then rejection of the RRS' discernment of ultimate reality is itself a discernment of ultimate reality.)

2) Clearly, they have a practice that they all follow, which is namely accusing the RRS of being a religion.

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Thanks for posting this,

Thanks for posting this, Christos. It was my curiosity that started this, guys -- Christos wasn't out to make this point (at least I don't think so).

Christos wrote:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

I can't disagree, then that the RRS would be a religious institution, given these odd terms.

Christos wrote:
So there it is HW. I know that no one is going to like this, and that's fine. There are reasonably debatable parts of this proof. From my perspective as someone who studies religion, I think that the RRS is a religion based on my definition and observations of this website.

Again, I think given those requirements, you'd be right. The real issue would be regarding the requirements. For instance, as you say, "a particular discernment of ultimate reality" ... I don't know if it's too much of a stretch to say that Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion, either.

But then, so would a school of philosophy. For instance, Stoicism and Phenomenalism would be religions by that definition. In fact, a philosophy department would be a religious institution. So I think it's fair to say that the RRS would be a religion under that definition.

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I only have one

I only have one question:

 

What the fuck is 'ultimate reality'? A lot of Christians are really hung-up on it, whatever it is.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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I think it's where 'real'

I think it's where 'real' knowlege and 'real' morality is supposed to come from. Oh, and it's also where god is. And souls. And probably heaven and hell. I think. I dunno- it's late and I've got "Hamlet" on my mind. Damn grad school.

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Damn. I thought it might be

Damn. I thought it might be where the Power Ranger zoids came from.

Sad


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If only. We'd at least know

If only.

We'd at least know what god was like- a fuzzy face in a video monitor that can zap things with his brain.

Hey- that almost sounds like Yahweh. Damn. ALL PRAISE TO THE FUZZY FACE!!! (Seriously- everyone bow... NOW.)

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If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


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I wonder what percentage of

I wonder what percentage of income the donors give to the RRS 

They grant "superfan" status to their most devout fans 

Lack of humour towards critizisim of the RRS 

 

 

 

 


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Quote:Lack of humour towards

Quote:

Lack of humour towards critizisim of the RRS 

I don't see it as a lack of humor- just that Christos' OP didn't seem to be a joke of any kind.

Not that I care really... as you can probably tell by my last two posts. As D.L. Hugley once said in a standup routine of his, "It's not what you call me, it's what I answer to."

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If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


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JillSwift wrote:As for a

JillSwift wrote:

As for a weekly gathering: The same can be said of the weekly radio show. It's no more a devotional than tuning in to favorite programs on NPR, and is clearly a matter of pursuing personal interests.

 Except the NPR doesn't have a discernment of ultimate reality. Same thing goes for car or anime forums as you mentioned. There is devotion for sure. But that devotion has nothing to do with ultimate reality.  
JillSwift wrote:
I hope you realize not everyone here buys in to the whole mythicist thing. (I, for one, don't much care about the historicity of Jesus and have no opinion either way.) That's Rook's project, and that's his forum. To make it all about the RRS is a bit of a stretch.

I think your observations are flawed. As a review of methodology, your observations are more suggestive of a presuppositional approach than one of objective observation. The lack of definition of a central term in your criteria is what suggests that to me.

I know that not everyone here buys into mythicism. But I think to a certain extent that Rook does represent the RRS. He is a co-founder after all.

And honestly, I'm not drafting my definition to qualify the RRS as a religion. I promise I actually designed it to limit the definition of religion. Thus, I can exclude Atheism, Deism, nationalism or fascism as religions.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


Christos
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Hambydammit wrote:Do you

Hambydammit wrote:

Do you really, honestly believe that the observation, "There is almost certainly no god," leads to any worldview whatsoever?  Haven't you seen this before?

1. There is probably no god.

2. ????

3. Therefore, ????

 

So... um, what worldview are we espousing?  Saying which worldview we don't espouse isn't particularly helpful.  It's sort of like saying, "There's a group of people over there that are united in support of something that's not "Saving Starving Children in Africa."

I never used the word, "worldview." A group united over a worldview is not a religion. So a group like MADD, or the ACLU are not religions. However, I think that a group united with common practices around a discernment of ultimate reality is a religion. The RRS does have a discernment of ultimate reality.

I should also specify what I mean by "ultimate reality." I define ultimate reality essentially as, "more to life than meets the eye." Specifically, this means that there is more to life that our present reality. There is something beyond this life (God, or gods, or a super-genius creator). There is something beyond human existence that we do not or cannot fully comprehend.

The RRS simply holds that there is probably nothing beyond our reality. There is probably no creator, or God beyond human existence.

 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

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Christos wrote:Except the

Christos wrote:
Except the NPR doesn't have a discernment of ultimate reality. Same thing goes for car or anime forums as you mentioned. There is devotion for sure. But that devotion has nothing to do with ultimate reality.
Come now, let's not be obtuse. I'm saying that the RRS is similar to those examples in that they are activities surrounding a common interest, and in no way connected to any description of reality.

 

Christos wrote:
I know that not everyone here buys into mythicism. But I think to a certain extent that Rook does represent the RRS. He is a co-founder after all.
Rook's position as a founder doesn't make him representative of the membership. Unless you presuppose that first criteria is true.

Christos wrote:
And honestly, I'm not drafting my definition to qualify the RRS as a religion. I promise I actually designed it to limit the definition of religion. Thus, I can exclude Atheism, Deism, nationalism or fascism as religions.
Fine, but I still find that the RRS fails to fit even your loose criteria.

 


 

Christos wrote:
I should also specify what I mean by "ultimate reality." I define ultimate reality essentially as, "more to life than meets the eye." Specifically, this means that there is more to life that our present reality. There is something beyond this life (God, or gods, or a super-genius creator). There is something beyond human existence that we do not or cannot fully comprehend.
Metaphysical. Supernatural. "Ultimate Reality".

How does one "comprehend" such an exo-reality in the first place? Can it be measured or otherwise detected in any way? Does it require introspection to see, and if so how does one differentiate it from imagination?

Christos wrote:
The RRS simply holds that there is probably nothing beyond our reality. There is probably no creator, or God beyond human existence.
I feel safe saying: Not quite. The idea of a reality outside our own is actually a null argument. It is utterly impossible to evidence such a thing one way or another. One can not figure a probibility for the existence of something that has no dicernible properties - no ontology at all - rendering the question "Is there a an ultimate reality?" utterly meaningless.

I know that many are of the habit of saying "it's unlikely", but that stems from having no time or interest in re-explaining these finer points to folks who have no grounding to understand. It's a gross simplification.

So, does the RRS have a discernment of "ultimate reality"? Nope, because the phrase has no ontology to discern.

Now, the irony of it all.

Should a real ontology for "ultimate reality" be presented, then by that onology a method of actually detecting this "ultiamte reality" would become evident. Once detected, then it can no longer be "metaphysical" or "supernatural", but is instead simply part of reality.

Discernment of an "ultimare reality" would be replaced by knowlege of reality.

Essentially, the only way to have a discernment of ultimate reality is to have an active imagination and a suspention of disbelief that allows you to overlook that thiws ultimate reality is whatever you want it to be.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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I think most people here

I think most people here support the political worldview of 'secularism' but really is about all people here have in common politically

You could argue any form of political activity is a 'religion' if you really want but that really is a misuse of the word. There really has to some central dogma that is the literal truth to be a religion and I just don't know that any of the creators on this site have any literal dogmatic views on anything.

 

Heard an interesting radio host in the UK (Kerrang Radio Nick Margerisson) saying that not only was he an atheist and didnt believe god existed that he also didnt believe religion existed.

As basically while in theory most religions have literal 'truths' almost no one who belonged to those groups actually followed them. Therefore anyone who didnt obey every single command in the bible or at least try to was not a christian, jew, muslim etc. I disagreed with this on air as I thought his views were too European centric and outside Europe there were enough people who approached this level of fundamentalism and that he had just not met them.

 

So if you are saying any form of political activism is a religion then the RRS is a religion but really is changing definitions


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I wonder

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I wonder what percentage of income the donors give to the RRS 

They grant "superfan" status to their most devout fans 

Lack of humour towards critizisim of the RRS 

 

 

 

 

And you've been here more than long enough to be considered a part of our world dominating cult. Bwah ha ha ha ha.

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Christos wrote:Hambydammit

Christos wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Do you really, honestly believe that the observation, "There is almost certainly no god," leads to any worldview whatsoever?  Haven't you seen this before?

1. There is probably no god.

2. ????

3. Therefore, ????

 

So... um, what worldview are we espousing?  Saying which worldview we don't espouse isn't particularly helpful.  It's sort of like saying, "There's a group of people over there that are united in support of something that's not "Saving Starving Children in Africa."

I never used the word, "worldview." A group united over a worldview is not a religion. So a group like MADD, or the ACLU are not religions. However, I think that a group united with common practices around a discernment of ultimate reality is a religion. The RRS does have a discernment of ultimate reality.

I should also specify what I mean by "ultimate reality." I define ultimate reality essentially as, "more to life than meets the eye." Specifically, this means that there is more to life that our present reality. There is something beyond this life (God, or gods, or a super-genius creator). There is something beyond human existence that we do not or cannot fully comprehend.

The RRS simply holds that there is probably nothing beyond our reality. There is probably no creator, or God beyond human existence.

 

So by your own definition, the RRS doesn't fit your view of a religion. Thank you.

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Christos wrote:I didn't know

Christos wrote:

I didn't know where to put this, so I put it here (TWSS)

I'm a religion major. So for this thread I'm going to use my definition of religion (although I'm borrowing ideas from Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the chief scholar on comparative religions).

Here is my definition of religion:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

The nature of reality can be discerned by systematic application of observation and logic. Check.

Quote:

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

The practice of experimentation based on observation and logic as a means to verify the validity of conclusions: check. The formal writing and publication of data, methods, and conclusions in journals dedicated to the discernment of reality: check. Daily get-togethers used to indoctrinate acolytes into the mysteries of the discernment of reality: check.

That tears it. Science is a religion.

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nigelTheBold wrote:The

nigelTheBold wrote:

The nature of reality can be discerned by systematic application of observation and logic. Check.

Except I'm talking abotu ultimate reality. Ultimate reality is non-rational, non-observable and non-logical. Thus, by my definition, Science is not a religion.

 

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HisWillness wrote:But then,

HisWillness wrote:

But then, so would a school of philosophy. For instance, Stoicism and Phenomenalism would be religions by that definition. In fact, a philosophy department would be a religious institution. So I think it's fair to say that the RRS would be a religion under that definition.

Maybe, but I'd probably define philospohy as more of a worldview than a discernment of ultimate reality.

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nigelTheBold wrote:Christos

nigelTheBold wrote:

Christos wrote:

I didn't know where to put this, so I put it here (TWSS)

I'm a religion major. So for this thread I'm going to use my definition of religion (although I'm borrowing ideas from Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the chief scholar on comparative religions).

Here is my definition of religion:

1) A religion is a group organized around a particular discernment of ultimate reality.

The nature of reality can be discerned by systematic application of observation and logic. Check.

Quote:

2) A religion associates various practices that coincide with their discernment of ultimate reality.

Both qualifications are necessary for a group to be designated as a religion.

The practice of experimentation based on observation and logic as a means to verify the validity of conclusions: check. The formal writing and publication of data, methods, and conclusions in journals dedicated to the discernment of reality: check. Daily get-togethers used to indoctrinate acolytes into the mysteries of the discernment of reality: check.

That tears it. Science is a religion.

Damn. Does religion get to be science now?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Christos wrote:nigelTheBold

Christos wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

The nature of reality can be discerned by systematic application of observation and logic. Check.

Except I'm talking abotu ultimate reality. Ultimate reality is non-rational, non-observable and non-logical. Thus, by my definition, Science is not a religion.

 

The RRS does not discern anything non-rational, non-observable, and non-logical. Thus, RRS is not a religion.

We do not have a discernment of ultimate reality, we have a lack of such discernment. This should have been obvious to you from the beginning.

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natural wrote:The RRS does

natural wrote:

The RRS does not discern anything non-rational, non-observable, and non-logical. Thus, RRS is not a religion.

We do not have a discernment of ultimate reality, we have a lack of such discernment. This should have been obvious to you from the beginning.

Oh, yeah you do. Your discernment of ultimate reality is simply, "God doesn't exist." If this was a website dedicated to apatheism, then maybe I'd agree with you.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

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Christos wrote:natural

Christos wrote:

natural wrote:

The RRS does not discern anything non-rational, non-observable, and non-logical. Thus, RRS is not a religion.

We do not have a discernment of ultimate reality, we have a lack of such discernment. This should have been obvious to you from the beginning.

Oh, yeah you do. Your discernment of ultimate reality is simply, "God doesn't exist." If this was a website dedicated to apatheism, then maybe I'd agree with you.

But that is only because you come in believing that "ultimate reality"="God".

"Ultimate reality" only equates to "ultimate reality". What that reality entails is up for debate.

I don't necssarily have to think that all gods are bat squeeze to express that opinion of your God. What is your God, by the way?

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Christos wrote:natural

Christos wrote:

natural wrote:

The RRS does not discern anything non-rational, non-observable, and non-logical. Thus, RRS is not a religion.

We do not have a discernment of ultimate reality, we have a lack of such discernment. This should have been obvious to you from the beginning.

Oh, yeah you do. Your discernment of ultimate reality is simply, "God doesn't exist." If this was a website dedicated to apatheism, then maybe I'd agree with you.

No, it isn't. Our discernment of ultimate reality is simply that it exists. Our position on lack of gods doesn't exist without your position on god(s) to give it meaning. Without people running around talking about their invisible gods, we'd not be here in the first place.

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Christos wrote:nigelTheBold

Christos wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

The nature of reality can be discerned by systematic application of observation and logic. Check.

Except I'm talking abotu ultimate reality. Ultimate reality is non-rational, non-observable and non-logical. Thus, by my definition, Science is not a religion.

Really? Why is "ultimate reality" non-rational, non-observable, and non-logical? It seems to me that "ultimate reality" would be, essentially, the reality we live in. Which is exactly what I was describing.

What exactly is ultimate reality, again?

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Christos wrote:HisWillness

Christos wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

But then, so would a school of philosophy. For instance, Stoicism and Phenomenalism would be religions by that definition. In fact, a philosophy department would be a religious institution. So I think it's fair to say that the RRS would be a religion under that definition.

Maybe, but I'd probably define philospohy as more of a worldview than a discernment of ultimate reality.

Wait wait wait: where did you read this?

I'm having difficulty tracking down the playbook that everyone who does any apologetics is using, because you're all using the same lines. I'm not joking: Paisley, Nonsense, caposkia, and you have now all used these definitions in exactly the same way. Where are you all reading this?

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It's probably

It's probably neo-Aristotelian. Hence why you're not familiar with it. And/or, maybe it's much more recent. Which makes sense, if it's apologetics.

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nigelTheBold wrote:Christos

nigelTheBold wrote:

Christos wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

The nature of reality can be discerned by systematic application of observation and logic. Check.

Except I'm talking abotu ultimate reality. Ultimate reality is non-rational, non-observable and non-logical. Thus, by my definition, Science is not a religion.

Really? Why is "ultimate reality" non-rational, non-observable, and non-logical? It seems to me that "ultimate reality" would be, essentially, the reality we live in. Which is exactly what I was describing.

What exactly is ultimate reality, again?

You forgot my earlier lesson in Plotinus. To the Platonic apologist, "ultimate reality" is like empirical reality in reverse: Intellect (which later became the Mind of God) produces Soul (interpreted later as the Holy Spirit, or God's presence) which produces matter. So ultimate reality is that perfection of ideals that we can only grasp through contemplation of "The One" (later "God" ).

Ultimate reality is the clean, perfect reality beyond the icky physical world.

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crazymonkie wrote:It's

crazymonkie wrote:

It's probably neo-Aristotelian. Hence why you're not familiar with it. And/or, maybe it's much more recent. Which makes sense, if it's apologetics.

Do you think that's Peripatetics? I'm going to have to re-read my Aristotle.

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I have no idea. I've read

I have no idea. I've read very little Aristotle, since he's about as enjoyable as an operating manual for a microwave. The idea was really more hedging my bets, since the Plato-Aristotle tug-of-war has basically defined Western philosophy/theology/etc. for the past 1700 years or so.

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HisWillness wrote:You forgot

HisWillness wrote:

You forgot my earlier lesson in Plotinus. To the Platonic apologist, "ultimate reality" is like empirical reality in reverse: Intellect (which later became the Mind of God) produces Soul (interpreted later as the Holy Spirit, or God's presence) which produces matter. So ultimate reality is that perfection of ideals that we can only grasp through contemplation of "The One" (later "God" ).

Ultimate reality is the clean, perfect reality beyond the icky physical world.

I didn't just forget it; I never studied it in the first place. I find ignorance the best defence.

So, if Neo is The One, and Keanu Reeves is Neo, then I have to contemplate Keanu Reeves to understand ultimate reality? Dude, that is so not worth it.

I still don't get it, though. Science claims it is discovering ultimate reality by observation of our regular-old government-issue reality. So science makes claims about ultimate reality, and so really should be considered a religion, if we are to go with Christos' definition.

I guess what I'm saying is, the platonic ideal of Christos' definition appears to suck.

Woah.

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nigelTheBold wrote:So, if

nigelTheBold wrote:

So, if Neo is The One, and Keanu Reeves is Neo, then I have to contemplate Keanu Reeves to understand ultimate reality? Dude, that is so not worth it.

I still don't get it, though. Science claims it is discovering ultimate reality by observation of our regular-old government-issue reality. So science makes claims about ultimate reality, and so really should be considered a religion, if we are to go with Christos' definition.

I guess what I'm saying is, the platonic ideal of Christos' definition appears to suck.

Woah.

I'm feeling very unworthy right now and bowing. Such was the masterfulness of your response.

To be fair, I'm not exactly sure where Christos is getting his material (that's why I asked him above). But ultimately (hehe), it's going to be a milestone for me getting my hands on this apparent source of common apologetic thought.

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crazymonkie wrote:I have no

crazymonkie wrote:

I have no idea. I've read very little Aristotle, since he's about as enjoyable as an operating manual for a microwave. The idea was really more hedging my bets, since the Plato-Aristotle tug-of-war has basically defined Western philosophy/theology/etc. for the past 1700 years or so.

Good call. This summer, I'll hit the Aristotle in Greek and tell you what I come up with. At least if I'm reading it in Greek, I'll be staying in mental shape, and not just reading something painfully boring.

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Is my argument that bad?

Is my argument that bad?


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That's very brave of you.

That's very brave of you. Like reading Hegel or Kant in the original German. *head explodes*  AAAAHHHHHHH!!

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Christos wrote:Maybe, but

Christos wrote:

Maybe, but I'd probably define philospohy as more of a worldview than a discernment of ultimate reality.

I admit it: I missed this before.

A philosopher came up with this notion of "ultimate reality" ... there's some oddly circular thinking going on here.

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Awesome Quote

"If atheism is a religion, then health is a disease." - Clark Adams


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Why are we fighting this?If

Why are we fighting this?

If we get defined as a religion we can get tax-exempt status!!!