What's your best definition of Religion?

julio
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What's your best definition of Religion?

Mine is:

"The Almighty God told me to tell you!"

Or:

"The Almighty God called me to give me a message for you, and I need your cash to deliver it!"

No gods with indirect messages to me.


Ktulu
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Any life philosophy grounded

Any life philosophy grounded on irrational beliefs.

 


Atheistextremist
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Recently

 

I came to the conclusion that 'religion' was a label for a conceptual receptacle containing collections of ideas about matters concerning life, death and universal origin, the nature of which can never be verified.

Further, I think much of religion is self serving. It exists to provide body to empty claims. Hymns are sung group prayers. The Passover. Communion. The spooky incense burners. 

Ceremonies are necessary when there isn't anything else.  

I generally think cathedrals are monumental ceremonies. St Peter's Basilica, for instance, is designed to engender awe in the absence of an actual divinity. 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


julio
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Atheistextremist wrote: I

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

I came to the conclusion that 'religion' was a label for a conceptual receptacle containing collections of ideas about matters concerning life, death and universal origin, the nature of which can never be verified.

Further, I think much of religion is self serving. It exists to provide body to empty claims. Hymns are sung group prayers. The Passover. Communion. The spooky incense burners. 

Ceremonies are necessary when there isn't anything else.  

I generally think cathedrals are monumental ceremonies. St Peter's Basilica, for instance, is designed to engender awe in the absence of an actual divinity. 

 

WOW, very good definitions of Religion!
Like the one "Religion exists to provide body to empty claims"! 

Very nicely defined.

No gods with indirect messages to me.


Vastet
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Any organised philosophy

Any organised philosophy grounded on beliefs.

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x
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More of this sort of thing

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33863

In posts 28 to 34 this was discussed and iwbiek gives his definition of religion which I've found useful. Soteriology is big.


iwbiek
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x

x wrote:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33863

In posts 28 to 34 this was discussed and iwbiek gives his definition of religion which I've found useful. Soteriology is big.

beat me to it, thanks.  this is not my definition, though i do give myself a little pat on the back for synthesis and clarification.  i'll be happy to clarify further within this thread if anybody cares.

i have a problem with definitions like "a collection of irrational beliefs" because a., obviously only a tiny minority of people subscribe to that definition, and b., it makes the term redundant.  why use the word "religion" at all then?  let's just stick to "irrational beliefs."

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Ktulu
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iwbiek wrote:x

iwbiek wrote:

x wrote:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33863

In posts 28 to 34 this was discussed and iwbiek gives his definition of religion which I've found useful. Soteriology is big.

beat me to it, thanks.  this is not my definition, though i do give myself a little pat on the back for synthesis and clarification.  i'll be happy to clarify further within this thread if anybody cares.

i have a problem with definitions like "a collection of irrational beliefs" because a., obviously only a tiny minority of people subscribe to that definition, and b., it makes the term redundant.  why use the word "religion" at all then?  let's just stick to "irrational beliefs."

I make the distinction of following a personal philosophy based on those irrational beliefs.  We all have irrational beliefs, but I choose not to act on mine in a consistent manner that would make said beliefs central to how I lead my life.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


iwbiek
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Ktulu wrote:iwbiek wrote:x

Ktulu wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

x wrote:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33863

In posts 28 to 34 this was discussed and iwbiek gives his definition of religion which I've found useful. Soteriology is big.

beat me to it, thanks.  this is not my definition, though i do give myself a little pat on the back for synthesis and clarification.  i'll be happy to clarify further within this thread if anybody cares.

i have a problem with definitions like "a collection of irrational beliefs" because a., obviously only a tiny minority of people subscribe to that definition, and b., it makes the term redundant.  why use the word "religion" at all then?  let's just stick to "irrational beliefs."

I make the distinction of following a personal philosophy based on those irrational beliefs.  We all have irrational beliefs, but I choose not to act on mine in a consistent manner that would make said beliefs central to how I lead my life.

sounds to me like you're giving a decent tentative definition of "religious," not "religion."  practically no one believes in odin-worship anymore, but we can still speak of it as a religion.  a religion does not require any believers at all to make it a religion.

as for it being a question of "irrational beliefs," phrenology, for example, was long ago exposed as quackery, yet before that it was reasonably believed to be based on solid science, and a lot of people made it a central part of their decision-making.  is it now to be retroactively designated a "religion" and those who strongly believed in its efficacy as "religious"?  or can we let it slide because it had no catastrophic consequences?  unlike, say, marxism-leninism, which was also at one time reasonably believed to be based on solid science (in fact, it was called "scientific socialism" ), yet whose implementation proved disastrous--so disastrous, in fact, that the secular liberal-minded now desperately try to push it into the hands of "religion" like some ideological game of hot potato.

it seems to me that many in the atheist community are just making political war against the concept of "religion," and so are anxious to assign to the term any negative characteristic or historical phenomenon possible.  phrenology was not a religion.  communism was not as religion.  nazism was not a religion.  religion gets us out of the human condition.  it does not, fundamentally, try to alter the human condition nor teach us how to better cope with the human condition--those aspects are at best fringe benefits.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Ktulu
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iwbiek wrote:sounds to me

iwbiek wrote:

sounds to me like you're giving a decent tentative definition of "religious," not "religion."  practically no one believes in odin-worship anymore, but we can still speak of it as a religion.  a religion does not require any believers at all to make it a religion.

as for it being a question of "irrational beliefs," phrenology, for example, was long ago exposed as quackery, yet before that it was reasonably believed to be based on solid science, and a lot of people made it a central part of their decision-making.  is it now to be retroactively designated a "religion" and those who strongly believed in its efficacy as "religious"?  or can we let it slide because it had no catastrophic consequences?  unlike, say, marxism-leninism, which was also at one time reasonably believed to be based on solid science (in fact, it was called "scientific socialism" ), yet whose implementation proved disastrous--so disastrous, in fact, that the secular liberal-minded now desperately try to push it into the hands of "religion" like some ideological game of hot potato.

it seems to me that many in the atheist community are just making political war against the concept of "religion," and so are anxious to assign to the term any negative characteristic or historical phenomenon possible.  phrenology was not a religion.  communism was not as religion.  nazism was not a religion.  religion gets us out of the human condition.  it does not, fundamentally, try to alter the human condition nor teach us how to better cope with the human condition--those aspects are at best fringe benefits.

You touch on a number of very good points.  I did define a religious person.  I think that once an irrational personal philosophy influences enough people as to become noted, it will be noted as a religion.  Hence the numerous branches of numerous primary religions.  I think that concludes my all encompassing vague definition of religion.  I tried to generalize it and ended up overgeneralizing it.  It's a bad habit I picked up from coding.  Generalize a function enough and it become generally useful Smiling.  Alas, the real world doesn't work that way.

I think phrenology raises a very good example of a potential religion.  Should I had formed a personal philosophy using phrenology as its fundamental currency, and had convinced enough people to follow said philosophy, it would be a religion at that point.  By that I mean not simply consider it a science, or scientific truth, but base their lives around the philosophy risen from it.  Simply believing truths that describe observations as accurate is how science works.  You need to rationalize the degree of confidence you have in said theory.  It would be extremely difficult for a scientific theory to inspire a true scientists enough to form a personal philosophy based on it.  

Your second point, regarding communism (or the implementation of it rather) doesn't apply because I don't consider the idea of communism to be irrational.  Speaking as someone that grewn up in a communist country (Romania), I know first hand how communism's implementation (forced?) on an imperfect society is indeed irrational.  There is a distinction, however, between the ideology and the application.  

Lastly, I do agree with you that there is a tendency to attribute all the perceived "baddies" the tag of religion in atheist circles.  However, simply because a religion has benefits, it doesn't make it any more rational.   

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Atheistextremist wrote: I

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

I came to the conclusion that 'religion' was a label for a conceptual receptacle containing collections of ideas about matters concerning life, death and universal origin, the nature of which can never be verified.

Further, I think much of religion is self serving. It exists to provide body to empty claims. Hymns are sung group prayers. The Passover. Communion. The spooky incense burners. 

Ceremonies are necessary when there isn't anything else.  

I generally think cathedrals are monumental ceremonies. St Peter's Basilica, for instance, is designed to engender awe in the absence of an actual divinity. 

 

What an in depth explanation and definition. Can't top that one.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Brian37
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What is my best definition

What is my best definition of religion? Bullshit. What, too blunt?

You don't need a Hitchen's lexicon to state the obvious.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
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Brian37 wrote:What is my

Brian37 wrote:

What is my best definition of religion? Bullshit. What, too blunt?

You don't need a Hitchen's lexicon to state the obvious.

well, that fuckin' settles the age-old question.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Brian37
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iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

What is my best definition of religion? Bullshit. What, too blunt?

You don't need a Hitchen's lexicon to state the obvious.

well, that fuckin' settles the age-old question.

"Less filling vs tastes great" has never changed the fact that Miller Lite is piss water, so I call call em like I see em.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote: "Less

Brian37 wrote:

 

"Less filling vs tastes great" has never changed the fact that Miller Lite is piss water, so I call call em like I see em.

indeed.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Vastet
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I don't see a need for

I don't see a need for beliefs to be irrational or rational in order to qualify as religious. As long as the grounding is belief, and there is an organised structure, then it qualifies as religious in my book.

Granted, I can't think of any organisation based on rational beliefs, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can't or don't exist.

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Brian37
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Vastet wrote:I don't see a

Vastet wrote:
I don't see a need for beliefs to be irrational or rational in order to qualify as religious. As long as the grounding is belief, and there is an organised structure, then it qualifies as religious in my book. Granted, I can't think of any organisation based on rational beliefs, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can't or don't exist.

 

Not sure anyone is claiming religion doesn't exist in this thread. And of course any human venture that is worshiped blindly without question can be a religion, political, state,  religious AND (here comes Beyond) business.

 

When I say religion is bullshit, I am addressing clubs centered around and based on myths/gods and superstition. Such as Hindu/Christian/Jewish/ Buddhist/ Muslim, Shinto.........ect ect ect.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote: When I say

Brian37 wrote:

 

When I say religion is bullshit, I am addressing clubs centered around and based on myths/gods and superstition. Such as Hindu/Christian/Jewish/ Buddhist/ Muslim, Shinto.........ect ect ect.

 

 

what i object to, brian, is the fact that i know, based on many remarks you've made in the past, that you're largely ignorant when it comes to at least two of these religions, so why should I think your judgment on the others is any less cursory or ill-informed?  i have no better option than to think that your view is mostly prejudiced.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Vastet
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When you don't understand

Brian37 wrote:

Not sure anyone is claiming religion doesn't exist in this thread. And of course any human venture that is worshiped blindly without question can be a religion, political, state,  religious AND (here comes Beyond) business.

 

When I say religion is bullshit, I am addressing clubs centered around and based on myths/gods and superstition. Such as Hindu/Christian/Jewish/ Buddhist/ Muslim, Shinto.........ect ect ect.

 

 

When you don't understand what someone is saying, either ask for clarification or shut the fuck up. Making wildly inaccurate assumptions makes you look stupid and pisses people off.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.