What do you understand religion to mean?

ojo_sigo

It seems to me that people understand different things when they use the word 'religion', the result is that any discussion is clouded by these different meanings. Would it help o explain what you mean when you use it?

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d_gw

To me it is the recognition or understanding of the systems and rituals of a particular faith.

That being said, I don't think it is a requirement to participate in a particular religion to be considered a decent person.

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Pidge

Good luck with that, ojo. The word just gets flung around with no specificity and I'd be that will continue.


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ojo_sigo

But here is a chance so give it a try Pidge.


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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

People need to make sense of the world around them, I rely on my 5 senses. Everyone needs to believe in something, religion is the easiest way to leave the hard questions and answers in a God's hands. I recently posted that Santa is Jesus for kids, conversely Jesus is Santa for adults. Other religions are more or less pretty much the same without Santa or Jesus being involved. Like I said, everyone needs to believe in something, even if it's not to believe in a God. It helps maintain some sense of sanity.

Now I gotta head outside to garden stuff........

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palisades_

Well, how about looking ’Beyond Religion’ [Dalai Lama] in the discussions to avoid confusions and possible mis-interpreting the religious principles.

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sunflower_petal(5a)

I'm up for that palisades, how do we get started?

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marquest(PA zone 6)

My Religion is my Faith, and it is personal, I stopped going back and forth on HT about religion, and faith and a higher power because.........

1. I believe it is a choice as my faith teaches and everyone's choice to make.

2. I pepper my Faith with Karma. Remember my faith teaching is "Your Choice"

3. I have lost internet buddies discussing God. So I don't do it. It is their choice not in my pay grade. It would be like telling others what they should believe because I think I know best, It is not my place if some one wants to eat candy for dinner and I think they should have a steak. I am not God.

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elvis

Religion is faith. That's it.

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ojo_sigo

Using one word to explain another word doesn't quite make it


Here is a more academic stab at it courtesy of Academia.com

  • Belief in something sacred (for example, gods or other supernatural beings).
  • A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
  • Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
  • A moral code believed to have a sacred or supernatural basis.
  • Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual.
  • Prayer and other forms of communication with the supernatural.
  • A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it.
  • A more or less total organization of one’s life based on the world view.
  • A social group bound together by the above.
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Pidge

.Using one word to explain another word doesn't quite make it.

Especially when both words are abstractions.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

The definition from Academia seems to cover it very adequately. I like the fact that the word "belief" is used early on, because that is the basis of everything else, which is why I also have trouble with the whole concept of religion: It is based on something that can never be shown to be genuine and real in any empirical, scientific sense.

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blfenton

For me it's just having faith of something bigger than myself and acknowledging and accepting that. It does not mean for me however, that it needs to be organized, written in some book or requiring me to go to some designated building on Sunday mornings.

There have been too many wars fought in the name of religion for me to become that formal.

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maddiemo

To me it’s a taught organised belief system that attempts to instil a concept of a creator whose wisdom is all knowing, that we should try to follow in deed and prayer.

My thoughts have always resisted being organised, and worshipping the figurehead of a fictional concept is way outside anything I could ever believe in.

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lakeaffect

To me, religion is control. And I abhor being controlled.

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texasranger2

"To me religion is control. And I abhor being controlled."

Civil Laws--control. Government--control. Schools --control. Parents- control.

We should all at least attempt to practice self control, if we don't our peers might avoid us like the plague which is control of a sort. There is no need to lock a man up if you can lock him out. A society with no controls is chaos and no one wants that.

Religion in America, on the other hand, is practiced by choice. Any adult is free to practice or choose not to. Children are under parental control. They often don't like going to school either.

Its amazing how often people say "most of the wars were fought over religion" or as bifenton said "there have been too many wars fought in the name of religion". I've read that over and over on HT.

Bifenton---Can you name those wars? Can anyone else name them?

The real reasons most wars have been fought have nothing to do with religion, they have to do with political control --either allowing certain political leaders to gain or remain in power. Or, they have to do with resources--land, money, food supplies, transportation and trade routes or they have to do with a particular leader's ambitions. Leaders may try to convince people a war has to do with national pride or religion but that is not the reason wars are fought.

Modern Wars

  1. The American Revolution
  2. World War I
  3. World War II
  4. Vietnam
  5. Korea

None of these wars was fought for religious reasons. WWI was fought over nationalism. WWII---anti-religious fascism. Korea, Vietnam and the atrocities of Stalin and Mao---atheistic communism. America likes to tout we are "saving the world for democracy" but I've never heard we are saving the world for Christianity or any other religion.

The wars of the ancient world were rarely if ever based on religion. They were territorial wars of conquest to control borders, secure trade routes or responses to an internal challenge to political authority.

The ancient conquerors (Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek or Roman openly welcomed the religious beliefs of those conquered and often added them to their pantheon of gods.

Medieval and Renaissance wars were typically about control and wealth as city states vied for power and rarely at the instigation of the Church. The Mogol Asian rampage thought to have killed nearly 30 million people had no religious component at all.

Genocide is almost always ethnically motivated and has little to do with religion.

The Church has never sanctioned genocide unlike anti-religious fascist and atheistic communist regimes.



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blfenton

Well there were a sh!tload of religious wars in Europe during the 16th and 17th C (and probably prior), the Croatian War, the Bosnian War, India/Pakistan - Muslim/Hindu.

WWII was partially cleansing the "master" race of the Jews and now there is the resultant Israel/Palestine conflict.

There is a rise in antisemitism in the US. Is that a war? Too soon to tell..

ETA - Meant to mention the current conflict in Myanmar between the Buddhist and Muslims

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Linda(8)

Religious wars, crusades, conflicts, take-overs, it's all about domination when weapons are being used. Sometimes religion is just the method to get people emotional to overcome their natural resistance to doing things they would otherwise not want to do. What is real religion and what is manipulation? I can't stand anyone trying to manipulate me, either emotionally or physically. Maybe that's why I avoid religion in all its forms. I just want to live my life and be myself. So far, that's not compatible with organized religion. that has been proven to me over and over by various religious people in my life..



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live_wire_oak


Religion manipulates emotions.

Experiences over experiments.

Feelings aren't facts.

Opinions aren't science.


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purrmich _6

Religion and faith are very separate things that don't need to intersect to be viable.

Faith is personal and I don't believe in prosthelytizing so I'll keep it to myself.

Religion may mean: a building, a place for ordained persons to preach, a collection of people who feel they 'belong' together, a community that can accomplish much good, a set of promises to believe in, guidelines for behavior, a place for the power hungry, and more.

It's foremost an organization. Considering diverse people and their beliefs - many religions are a way for most people to congregate with other like minded people. And that's one good reason that one religion isn't necessarily better than another.

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maifleur01

Religion is an organization. A faith is what people believe. Two differing things.

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nopartyghost

For far too many people " religion is the opioid of the masses".

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I do think that the trappings of religion, the cathedrals, music, choirs, the community of people united in one belief, preaching, praying together - these are all things that make people feel good, which is probably why religion has been called the opium of the masses. That has not been said about faith, which is a more singular, personal feeling. People also get that feeling from attending rallies, car races, football games - everyone is united in a common cause.

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Iowacommute

Money.

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elvis

nopartyghost

For far too many people " religion is the opioid of the masses".

ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

...religion has been called the opium of the masses.

Here you go:

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people

Karl Marx, 1843

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purrmich _6

Well, I'm not "one" of the masses. And I prefer to keep my senses about me so no opium, thanks anyway.

People pick their poisons if that's what they need. If it isn't religion, then it's gambling, or other addictions.

OTOH religion can be a very good thing.

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maddiemo

Thinking of addictive qualities, I spent a couple of weeks in Turkey and the first morning I was woken by the call to prayer. I wondered what on earth was going on, and was a bit miffed at the stupid o’clock time of day I was being disturbed on my precious holiday.

Second day, I found myself not being miffed and thought it sounded rather lovely.

Third day, I was looking forward to hearing it.

In fact I loved it so much by the time I came home I had to google it to get over my cold turkey pangs.

Now hymns never done it for me, but a twice daily mystical chant and a lot of indoctrination might have reaped a very different result.

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Rina

To return to the OP, "religion" is a word with several meanings, as has been pointed out, so yes I think it might help if we remembered that when discussing it, and just provided a very brief definition that applies to what we are saying. It's good practice always when using words that can easily be misunderstood, but quite hard to keep up. So if you're not sure what someone meant, ask.

I don't cling to any particular meaning, either in the dictionary sense nor in my life.

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foodonastump

I would differentiate between faith and religion, the former being belief and the latter ritual associated with it, even if internal.

Did any particular thread inspire this one? Offhand I’ve not noticed misuse, but then again I tend to skim over such discussions.

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lakeaffect

Let me clarify for you, texasranger, religion is mind control. The rest of what you cited; laws, regulations, etc., is a form of control, but for the benefit of society. It benefits no one to permit driving at 100 mph down a residential street or not hook up to a septic system, and just let their waste flow all over their property. So, yes, I accept those forms of control, but the mind control promulgated by any religion? No thank you, not for me, I don't need an imaginary entity and a text written by men to tell me how to think, feel or act.

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arcy_gw

I think it is human response to that which created us. Free Will was part of that most precious gift given. It is very sad reading what some people do with that.

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Current Resident(z4 WI)

I think its the organization and the set of practices..... which may or may not include prosletyzing and ramming beliefs down other peoples throats.

Not the same as spiritual belief. A lot of us have spiritual belief, and feel deep connection to .... well, whatever word you want to use ... but dont wish to be a part of any religion.

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dragonflywings42

These discussions are always dangerous, but the OP only asked how each of us think. This is how I see "religion" and then I will also add how I see "faith" since that is also a theme in these comments.

I believe that faith is the belief in something that cannot be proven through any of our senses. I can have faith in both the secular and spiritual realms.

To me, religion is an institution which can be used by humans in either positive or negative ways. As with any institution, it can foster community and understanding or promote divisiveness and create suffering.

I do believe that to live a happy and productive life, one needs to have faith in something, but not necessarily in anything spiritual. (Perhaps with in the power of love, for example) I do not believe that one must participate in an institution in order to live a good life, but I harbor no negative thoughts towards those who do.

It is how we live that matters.

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hericles

marq wrote:

1. I believe it is a choice as my faith teaches and everyone's choice to make.

IMO, it is not a matter of choice where religion was indoctrinated before one acquired the experience, maturity, education and perspective to make that kind of choice.

The big religions of the world make a point out of indoctrinating the young. It's big business in the United States.

If you don't agree and are a believer, do some soul searching and ask yourself when you made that choice and what information and considerations you had when you made it.

Noah's Ark, the joys of the Christmas season, the Easter Bunny, Incense and peppermints all the time.

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Rina

Peppermints? Nobody gave me peppermints. I been cheated.

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ojo_sigo

If I take just one of the attributes suggested in my previous post. Can it stand alone or must the others follow? In other words, if I have reverence or awe in the presence of trees, for example, is this experience religious?

  • A moral code believed to have a sacred or supernatural basis
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blfenton

First Nations people throughout North America believe so, despite what the white man believed that they should believe.

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Rina

Ojo, I absolutely believe it is. The clue is in the words "reverence" and "awe". These are typical religious/spiritual emotions, reverence in particular. I can imagine materialistic awe, but I can't imagine materialistic reverence. Respect, yes. But reverence? That seems to require the concept of the holy.

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don_socal

Religion is a man made form of rules and guidelines to live by. When humans progressed to the point of having extra time to think and do as the brain functions developed these rules were formed into many different religions. Most have much in common as per "Do unto others". This is an extension of fight or flight where flight and survive is the more logical choice. There are so many different religions but none are from any higher source than self preservation within a group be it small or large. Better to have cake socials than constant brawls. I have found a site that explains most religions and their origins and rules. I do not follow any of them and rely on what is in my heart and thought for guidance. If you have it you have it, if you don't you don't no religion required.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/

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texasranger2

The opinions posted here reflect the average credulous Protestant mindset and there is nothing profound or original about any of them. Protestantism has continually led to anarchy and denial of faith in Christ beginning with heretical founders such as Wycliff, Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. The world witnessed the major schism and the resulting continual splits with over 50,000 schismatic sects and churches throughout the world. It was inevitable that these splits in the West and America would finally result in each person becoming his own self sufficient authority or god. As a result Holy Scriptures, Christ and God are subject to ridicule and unmitigated criticism even in the educational system and media while other religions, particularly Islam, are being defended. This can be traced to the Protestant Reformation and the rejection of the Church with the advocating "Bible only" (private interpretation) as well as the distorted version of grace (the heresy of once saved, always saved) courtesy of Martin Luther who famously said "Be a sinner and sin boldly".

Concerning one of the worlds three major religions, most of what poses as the religion of Christianity in predominantly Protestant America bears little resemblance to true historical Christianity. In their denial of dogma as a living tradition, in short, denial of the Church, Protestantism is based on negating and as a result it will die. Protestantism breaks down into a multitude of private opinions with no common bonds. Having rejected legitimate tradition, it has deprived itself of every right to condemn anyone in error. What it offers are little pieces of truth here and there cobbled together in various versions of shattered and distorted Christianity.

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lakeaffect

Well, there's some born again, mind-controlled, yeehaw for my kind of jesus (and only my kind) babble if I ever heard any.

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ojo_sigo

Buy TR you have changed the question from what is religion to what is Christianity. You give a comprehensive and personal answer to what Christianity means to you, but you do not address my question unless you think the answers are the same.

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texasranger2

lakeaffect, The question the OP asked was "What religion means to me". Why not keep your comments about what religion means to you (mind control and imaginary entities, something about subjective personal 'feelings' and yeehaw I think it was) about you instead of mocking other people when they express what it means to them, otherwise we might assume you just have an anti-religion ax to grind and nothing intelligent to contribute outside of mindless ridicule and gossip.

You also said something like "Did this thread inspire anyone? I noticed misuse."

Really?

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purrmich _6

if I have reverence or awe in the presence of trees, for example, is this experience religious?

A reverence for trees could be a part of a "religion". Your response to it is not your religion, but your 'faith'.

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texasranger2

ojo, I don't agree with you. I could have just given the dictionary meaning which is how I understand and use the word.

Instead, I addressed why I believe different people understand or mean different things when they use the word 'religion' in this country. They tend to think of religion in a subjective way rather than as a word which has a specific meaning. It conjures up thoughts of personal experiences (good or bad) and sets off anti-religious bias. "The cause of most wars" etc etc

I blame the subjectivism and chaos of Protestant ideas which have filtered down into the minds of most people. Its just another version of "Well thats fine for you but this is what I believe". That is why just using the word tends to start arguments.

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ojo_sigo

My reason for the OP was because 'religion' does not have a precise meaning as you suggest. Furthermore, by giving it the meaning you do you are being subjective, something deserving of blame, you say.

There is another assumption in what you write that gives no room for how someone not you would see it, wherever that person might be.

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texasranger2

The word religion has a specific meaning. I suppose we could make up our own definitions for all words to suit our purposes but doing so would render language useless and result in making communication impossible.

Maybe the problem is that people, including yourself it appears, think the word 'religion' does not have a precise meaning.


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d_gw

So, TR, what do you consider to be the precise definition of the word "religion". Emphasis on precise.

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ubro(2a)

I don't believe that religion has a precise meaning, and I don't think anyone holds the key to which religion is more "real" than another.

The dictionary states it as a belief so IMO it is subjective to a person's choice.

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lakeaffect

No, texasranger, I did not say anything resembling the comment below.

You also said something like "Did this thread inspire anyone? I noticed misuse."

And while I certainly highlighted your nonsensical post, I have not gossiped about anyone, and I have no idea where you got that from. Finally, I'll contribute in this forum as I damn well please, and care not what anyone, but especially hardcore religious fundies, think of my opinions, my posts or my motivation for posting.

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texasranger2

Are you asking for my personal opinion or the definition?

You can look up the precise definition of the word 'religion' in any dictionary or I suppose people like ojo can choose to think it has no specific meaning or it means whatever they or someone else thinks it means.

I already said it means what the dictionary says it means. Its not a matter of my opinion.

A few of people posting indicated they are aware of what the word actually means distinguishing it from personal faith or belief (which is subjective) so I have to wonder why I am being singled out for a precise definition (emphasis on precise).


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d_gw

TR, you said, "Maybe the problem is that people, including yourself it appears, think the word 'religion' does not have a precise meaning."

------------------------------------

I searched your posts to find out what you consider a precise definition or meaning for the word "religion". I did not see one. That is why I asked.

I don't think asking a question about a post should be construed as "singling someone out".

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texasranger2

My apology lakeaffect, you were the one who denigrated religion as "mind control".

I now realize it wasn't you that said that, my mistake. It was foodonastump


Food seems to have a good grasp of the meaning of the word in question and can distinguish the difference in the definition of the general word religion from the experience of personal faith or belief. I agree ---this thread does not inspire but then threads about religion never do on HT although it does give many the opportunity to mock religion.

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texasranger2

d_gw

Search the post before the one you quoted me in. I disagreed with ojo and plainly said in my first sentence that it has a specific meaning and I could have just given the dictionary definition which is how I understand the word.

But who am I to talk? I got one person's comment mixed up with someone else's.

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d_gw

There are slight variations for dictionary definitions for the word. That is why I asked you to share a precise dictionary definition.

It's not a singling out or a gotcha. You have strong views about the subject. I was curious about which definition you would choose to use.




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marquest(PA zone 6)

hericles

marq wrote:

1. I believe it is a choice as my faith teaches and everyone's choice to make.

IMO, it is not a matter of choice where religion was indoctrinated before one acquired the experience, maturity, education and perspective to make that kind of choice.

-------------------

hericles, Let me start with........I love you and respect your comments but this is why I usually do not step in these discussions.

1. IMO Choice of accepting Christ is very different from exposure or being present in a church because your parents took you to church as a child or a family that believe in any faith. What you hear and see does not take away your ability to choose. Especially as an adult. It dose give you info like every thing be it Govt, where you chose to live, what you chose to eat all choices we make as adults from information. It is a choice it does not change just because the name is ........God Forbid....... "RELIGION". That is what I do not understand. Your entire life is indoctrinated but everyone can manage not to eat the broccoli your parents and medical have told you was good for you.

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blfenton

When I google the definition of religion, three different ones come up. And then there is this from Wikipedia

The definition of religion is a controversial subject in religious studies with scholars failing to agree on any one definition
.

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purrmich _6

So, ojo, has your question been answered?

I think it's straightforward because religion does not equal faith and faith is what each person believes at their core. You'd get a different answer from each poster and there is no right or wrong.

Defining religion can be as easy as defining what a corporation is.


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ojo_sigo

Oddly, it is the Koran that says there is no compulsion in religion and most here agrees with that, considering we have many definitions available. The view offered by Texas Ranger is the only one that claims ownership and herein lay the problem of the religious extremism that sets us against one another.

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texasranger2

ojo----Are you accusing me of religious extremism?

along with a 2nd accusation: "Texasranger lays claim to ownership of" what exactly?

I can't help but get the distinct impression you either don't like it when someone has the audacity to disagree with you outright or if you perceive they break some arbitrary rule of correct response on your personal thread.

So in the final analysis according to your judgment that I, "unlike most here who agree" represent the problem?

The Koran may say that but reality is a much different matter. Try being a Christian in some Muslim countries or better yet, try being a Muslim who converts to Christianity.



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artemis_ma

If I get motivated tomorrow, I'll try to answer what it means for me. But after five hours on the road, and some serious work, a good night's sleep is paramount here.

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ojo_sigo

TR, it is you who has turned my question into a fight, not me because how is it possible to agree or disagree with a question about the meaning of a word?

You have personalized the meaning, making any other interpretation an attack on you/

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marquest(PA zone 6)

I do hate (I hate to say I hate something) but unsolicited religious preaching to people is something I hate. It always comes off as I am superior know more to aggrandize themselves.


" this thread does not inspire but then threads about religion never do on HT although it does give many the opportunity to mock religion."


If we are going to help with the problem we cannot be part of the problem.

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texasranger2

Ojo, that is absurd; if someone disagreeing with you is your idea of a fight, you must get into a lot of "fights". I said the meaning in the dictionary is how I understand the word religion. I disagreed with your statement that the word 'religion' does not have a precise meaning "as I suggested".

We disagree. That is all.

If you believe someone saying "the dictionary meaning is accurate and that is how I understand the word religion is "personalizing a meaning" ..... good luck with that.

marquest---claiming a thread about religion gives many people the opportunity to mock religion on HT (which by the way is true) hardly constitutes religious "preaching".

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d_gw

TR, do you plan on sharing your preferred precise definition of religion?

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

There has often been the statement that some people mock religion on Hot Topics and it's repeated above. I wish someone would tell me what that means. Saying religion is stupid, ridiculous, laughable and similar words could mean mocking. Does it mean one mocks religion by the statement (which I believe is true) that religion is a matter of belief, and there is no empirical, factual evidence for the existence of God? Having been raised Catholic I suppose I should also take issue with "the average credulous Protestant mindset" mentioned up-topic, which incidentally does skirt mockery. It's a pity that we can't discuss anything and everything here without the insertion of unhelpful emotions.

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blfenton

Well, so far there haven't been any memes. I figure that's a positive,

Oh, and no one has quoted The Onion as a source.


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hericles

marquest said: Let me start with........I love you

I love you too. And several others here as well.. (( : ))

My point was only that there might be some value to introspection as called for in a sense in the OP. So for example, it is normal and perhaps helpful to question how and when one got their religion and how, psychologically, those beliefs are walled off like a nuclear core within our brains.

Having said that, if one is comfortable in their own skin, including with their religious beliefs there is no reason to to seek change. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I am not the best judge of character, but I get the sense that people like yourself are pretty great individuals regardless of what religion they believe in or how they choose to practice it.

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texasranger2

d_gw

I'm not sure why you keep insisting I answer this "what is my preferred definition" question after I have said "the definition of the word in the dictionary". I am posting 3 dictionary definitions hoping you will quit asking me over and over again for my definition as if I have come up with a private or obscure definition (or whatever).

As far as preferred definitions of words are concerned, Webster's is the dictionary I prefer when I look words up when I am in doubt or need to find the proper spelling. I can't say why (so PLEASE don't start asking me). Maybe its because Webster is the name I typically think of when I think of a dictionary or just because its the dictionary I personally own and the one we always had in school. There are online dictionaries from which I am attaching 3 definitions I made screen shots of to save time having to type out the definition from my own dictionary.

By the way, my own Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary capitalizes the 'G' in God so I would say for that reason, I prefer the definition in my dictionary and the online Webster definition which is the 3rd one down.


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palisades_

I'm up for that palisades, how do we get started?

Sunflower, throughout my reading of gw since Spike days I have long concluded it‘s best to leave out religions in hot topics discussions, but my reasoning, learning and personal beliefs. Others may not agree. Religions, or rather their philosophies are useful vehicles for me to explore my faith and spirituality, and to complement my knowledges in the sciences. Religions, as noted in previous posts, can be used to control, to amass wealth, to wage wars, to commit horrible sins that cause more lasting suffering far from their noble teaching and practicing. Such bad actions from religious leaders have made organized religions and their followers fair targets for mockery and ridicule.

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Rina

Texas, I think a problem arose when you claimed that the word has "a specific meaning" and that is what it means to you. But then, you have just posted a set of dictionary definitions that, taken together, indicate that the meaning really isn't that specific.


My primary definition from that list would be: "a personalized set or institutional system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices" -- it's in the area of 'attitudes and beliefs' that the meaning of 'religion' shares some territory with the meaning of 'faith'.


I have no problem using the word to denote organised religions, as words are often multi-use tools. That's why I suggested above that it might be useful to add some kind of identifier or mini-definition when using it if what you're saying could be ambiguous and confusing.


I have to say I find this and the other recent religious-topic thread a great deal more courteous than the average political thread, and more thoughtful.

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Rina

Texas, I got a notification that you'd replied to my comment, but I don't see your post here. Perhaps it will arrive soon -- didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.

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texasranger2

Rina, I deleted the comment right after posting it, it was late.

In answer to your remark "the meaning is not that specific". There are countless words with various meanings which are numbered in the dictionary, the meaning depends on how you use the word in a sentence to convey an idea.

The definition of the word religion is not a personal, private matter. As with any other word, how one uses it in a sentence indicates the definition they intend to convey.

On the other hand, choosing to follow a religion or deciding to denounce any idea of religion altogether as something unnecessary is very personal. That is a different matter entirely.

Comparing one religion to another is a very different matter as well. The politically correct trend we witness today prompts many to claim all religions are equally true or that one is as true and valid as another or one is as false as another or all are superstitious myths and fairy tails. In other words, they tend to toss them all into a single category as equal and think that is just fine to do.

Its interesting that so much todo was made about me not being precise enough or specific enough about a mere word while so many on HT lump all religions together in one happy "we are the world" ecumenism based on shared belief in God (no matter how we define that) in precisely the way I just described despite how drastically different one religion is from another. They tend to think the same way about denominations, as if one denomination is as valid and acceptable as the next.

I don't think that way.

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Rina

Thanks for the reply. Yes, the multiple-meaning thing, with all the blurry edges that involves, was what I was talking about. So to me the meaning isn't "specific". I think your statement that it was caused confusion as that is, after all, the topic of the OP. So that, rather than your religious views, drew the attention. Perhaps. Doesn't matter a lot.


I do rather think that way, although not to the extreme. I think the search for God or the holy has been carried out in many ways, and one would have to stand outside them all as a creature of great wisdom to be able say A is right, B is wrong, C is so-so and D is obviously bound for a hell he/she doesn't believe in. I do think there are common values which we can use to examine religions, and in some cases reject them as pretty well useless. That would be a supersize discussion on its own.

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artemis_ma

I'm not going to get into details with whys and wherefores, because this may well be different for everyone. But when I left a specific religion, the one of my birth, I became what I thought I could call a "Deist". Later I learned the word may have a different connotation than what called to me.

Basically and to just simplify it to the extreme, I do believe as one bumper sticker I bought (but have yet had the nerve to stick on my car) said: "God is Too Big To Fit Into Any One Religion". For me, I think to understand the complexity of anything fully divine is like a squirrel understanding the complexity of human thought. We approximate, and that is fine.

For some, religion is form.

For others, spiritual rather than religion calls... and that would be me, although some who reject the form of some religions become rather more sanctimonious than anything else.

And, there's the overlapping regions on this.

Complicated topic! Maybe I shoulda opted out? Oh well. If it leads to more discussion in what is mostly a good thread for learning and reading, good.

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texasranger2

Complicated subject indeed.

Rina--- I disagree that what went down here was a simple matter of blurry edges or confusion in my comment that the word 'religion' had a clear meaning.

While discussing the meaning of the term 'religion' an accusation of "religious extremism" was made against me for my comments.

That is not an insignificant accusation.

Maybe the person who is now busy defining anti-semitism could elaborate on the meaning intended or maybe others would like to define "religious extremism" as they understand the term.

It's certainly not an accusation I would casually throw out.

Religious extremism, fundamentalism, violence and terrorism can be found around the world.

"Religious extremism" are faith based actions that are deliberate attempts to cause harm to other people. It includes violent religious movements, routine asceticism that is extreme enough to cause medical concerns and beliefs that cause harm through denial of medicine and mental harm through abusive family behaviors.

The religion of those who practice "religious extremism" follows rules and laws which override any secular laws or concepts of human rights.

Artemis----Maybe I'm the one who should have opted out.

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ojo_sigo

This is what I wrote

"The view offered by Texas Ranger is the only one that claims ownership and herein lay the problem of the religious extremism that sets us against one another."

Can you argue with this?

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texasranger2

This was your comment.




Let me make it clear. I object to your careless insinuations and accusation especially in the current climate we live in concerning the seriousness of such a charge.

I spoke in general in my comments and not about anyone specifically. No one is being forced by compulsion to agree.

Its your accusation against me, you are the one with the burden of proof. Show where I "claim ownership" to anything and define what you mean by "religious extremism' and how it applies to what I said.

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marquest(PA zone 6)

texasranger2

marquest---claiming a thread about religion gives many people the opportunity to mock religion on HT (which by the way is true) hardly constitutes religious "preaching".

-----------------------------------------------------------


Texas I will say something and I want you to see if you agree.


"Threads about religion give you an opportunity to mock others that you perceive are wrong (which by the way is true)."


Do you think that is an inviting approach coming from the position of faith when it is directed at you? You do not bring any one into the flock with the negative positive...... is like honey.


Preaching is not always delivered as faith base helpful input. It is nothing more than preaching small "p" Just another personal aggrandize event that will push away those you could bring to the fold.



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texasranger2

marquest. I have no desire to argue with you or feelings of animosity against you. I do wonder what your point is. Are you attempting to say I deserve being accused of religious extremism or justify that accusation?

I would have had to scroll back up to see who wrote the comment about preaching because I didn't pay attention at the time who said it because it wasn't a big deal.

"Texas I will say something and I want you to see if you agree."

No I don't agree with that. The obvious difference in my comment and your rewritten version of it is mine was directed at "many people" which made it a general observation while yours is directed at me specifically and personally and you singed me out as a person who mocks those I perceive are wrong about religion.

I definitely think some religions are false and wrong. There is a big difference between criticizing a religion and criticizing a person for following it.

I assume "mocking" refers to my comments about Protestantism in general being in large part the cause for a lot of the rampant relativism we see in this country to the point that even words are being rendered as having relativized meanings. "What does this word mean to you" for example.

Its not an original idea of mine, many people have written and spoken about it. I have listened to several lectures on the subject and the idea can be read about extensively on online by people who are more educated than me.

It appears you also hinted I am guilty of personal aggrandizing.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I re-read this thread in an attempt to find out why it became rather problematic, and I gather it was because texasranger2 did not attempt to define religion but rather launched into a rather wholesale condemnation of Protestantism. It's rather ironic since that religion arose out of a need to do away with the abuses rife in the Catholic Church (popes with sons, politely called "nephews", bishops and other clergy with mistresses, at one time the presence of two popes, one in Rome and another in France, clergy amassing wealth and living in luxury and on and on. At any rate, although I'm not a Protestant, the trivialization and wholesale criticism of that religion and of the people who practice it, did not seem to answer the question asked, and rightly seemed to have caused some consternation. Even though I'm not religious it seems to me that to condemn a large part of the population for their beliefs in such a harsh way showed a real lack of kindness and tolerance. I felt the need to say that here for the people who did not put it into those words but might have felt attacked. I don't think that was what the question of the OP was meant to do.

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purrmich _6

I'm Protestant (Lutheran) and I skimmed thru enough of her posts here to know how the rest of the thread would go.

As to her condemnations - I consider the source.

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texasranger2

Let me get this straight.

Its OK to say religion is BS or a myth and fairy tails or reject it outright.

Its not OK to critique a theological idea and call into question its long term effect on society nor is it OK to reject an ideology outright because that is "unkind" to individual people who happen to be Protestant?

It not OK to critique, question or denounce the ideology of Luther because purrmich_6 is a Lutheran so to do so amounts to being unkind and a personal insult against her?

Its OK to be critical of or point out that the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is corrupt but thats not the same as being unkind to or condemning or attacking Roman Catholics?

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Rina

Relativism doesn't bother me much, except that to take it as an absolute truth about the right way to think about things is in itself a contradiction. I like that it does make one consider context, it warns one against taking absolute positions (if there are absolute truths, it is unlikely that many of us are up to the task of comprehending any but the simplest of them), and it generally encourages both critical thought and tolerance.

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maddiemo

I’m not into absolute truths either, and it seems neither is the English Cambridge dictionary

The belief in and worship of a god or gods, or any such system of belief and worship.

Or

Informal: An activity that someone is extremely enthusiastic about and does regularly:

Football is a religion for these people.


I’m extremely enthusiastic about quite a few things and try to do them regularly.

Things like listening to music, being with friends, marvelling at nature, connecting to animals, admiring kindness and embracing the joy of laughter.

I’m all for the informal about most things though.


The great thing about words is their evolvement and inclusion of different meanings. It could be seen as progress, or confusing and diminishing of an original or purer definition.

As with many things, it depends on the individual how you feel about this.


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hericles

From the OP:

It seems to me that people understand different things when they use the
word 'religion', the result is that any discussion is clouded by these
different meanings. Would it help o explain what you mean when you use
it?

I look at religion from a psychological perspective. I am always curious how and when people acquire it, how and why they develop a dependency on it, and how and why core beliefs get reinforced over time and become almost impenetrable.




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Stan Areted

"Protestantism breaks down into a multitude of private opinions with no common bonds."

I don't see a problem with that.

What is wrong with an individual having their own opinions and ideas about religion and/or God (a Creator)? If everyone must believe the same thing, come to the same conclusion, that is in fact mind control, because we are individuals, interpret information and experiences differently, and by our very nature do not necessarily think alike, nor do we spiritually and emotionally respond the same to information and stimuli.

That is illustrated everyday on this forum.

Since we do not, in order for us all to believe the same thing, some are going to have to defer to their true opinions and buy into someone else's--that is capitulation of one's conclusions and yielding control to others anyway you look at it.

I don't substitute anyone's opinion for mine; I come to my own conclusions and have come to God not by way of someone telling me what I should believe, but by personal experience and interaction. I don't need "man" to tell me what to think or feel about God or give me direction. Of course, I'm open to listening and learning what others think which helps me to acquire answers to my own questions and delve deeper into my relationship with God.

It's all good--it will be sorted out.

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

Religion is the ritual of gathering around the sacred object/idea so that we can chant and bond with people we don't necessarily know. This allows us to build some measure of trust with others.

The trust part is important because humans are the only animal that can build trust to work with unrelated "others" on big projects - whether it's building a dam or forming an army.

Most other creatures work in small bands of related members.

The religious parts of our brain don't just show up in church. For example, what is a protest march? You gather around the sacred idea, designate a sacred gathering place, use various bits of iconography, chant, call-and-response - all of that is the result of our religious bits which, in turn, makes it possible to garner enough trust to temporarily work together on some project.

Sometimes people even dress alike and don a uniform of sorts. A show of conformity. Is there a more obvious way to demonstrate group binding than by destroying the trappings of individualism and blending into each other?

Religious behavior exists and is baked into our brains and behaviors. You can't tell me you don't see the religious-like fervor in our political beliefs. It's strong enough to make the fiery Baptists look like they're on a valium regimen.

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maddiemo

Is that religious behaviour or an evolutionary discovery that cooperation is beneficial to the individual as it adds strength to them by virtue of having more people on their side?

Or in animal terms it would be called a herding instinct.

I‘m not disagreeing with you, just thinking it could well have other origins.

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Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

Did a comment by aristocleos go missing here or I am losing my mind? IT was a great comment about moral relativism and its present day consequences. I liked the comment and wanted to reply, but now its missing. Did I maybe see the comment on another thread?

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aristocleos

I deleted it because I had second thoughts it wouldn't set well with most.

Since someone liked it, I'll repost it and hope I won't be mass attacked.

I understand religion to be an established and recognized system of religious beliefs and practices in the service and worship of God unified as ONE and bound together with hierarchies, creeds, sacraments, dogma, worship, sacred texts, clergy and tradition. Groups who choose to separate and establish their own practices as new sects and denominations are distinctly different, they are no longer one with that religion because they have created a different system of beliefs.

I would like to contribute some thoughts about relativism which proposes all truth is relative and there is no such thing as absolute truth or external truths and maddiemo's comment about cooperation and the herding instinct.

It has been generally assumed that moral relativism would encourage critical thought and tolerance but that has not proved to be the case.

Todays young people are the product of generations of postmodern relativism at every level. They are not the hedonists conservatives feared but neither are they the peaceful coexisors that progressives hoped for. Young people are now comfortable asserting norms and calling out rule-breakers creating a taboo-laden culture that could not have been imagined a short time back. They have developed a moral positivism that increasingly restricts the freedoms of disfavored groups. The are adopting roles of authoritarianism.

When external truths, such as those provided by religion, are knocked down the only thing left is the self.

We are discovering that knocking down external truths doesn't create peace. It turns society into a battlefield of personalized truths which compete against each other with less and less restraint. Peace depends on agreement between us about what is true and what is false.

A society can achieve nothing, including liberty and social justice, without collective trust. Trust depends on fellow citizens feeling bound together by shared truths, values and myths. Without these society degenerates into a war of all against all, an agglomeration of "selves" seeking to project power. In order for a society to survive we must agree to be bound by truths, values and myths that lie outside ourselves.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

texasranger2, I did not say the Catholic Church is corrupt but rather pointed to historically verified corrupt practices which led people like Martin Luther to attempt reform. That is a whole other ball of wax.

Your wholesale critique of Protestantism and its members is a far more personal thing, and furthermore had nothing to do with the question the OP asked.

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purrmich _6

I just read that post and now its gone again??

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marquest(PA zone 6)

hericles

I look at religion from a psychological perspective. I am always curious how and when people acquire it, how and why they develop a dependency on it, and how and why core beliefs get reinforced over time and become almost impenetrable.

--------------

I can help you with maybe some part of your curious thoughts....

When acquired.....I grew into it as I aged it started probably around my 20s

-How and why it happened......The how is I have no idea it just happened, Crap would happen and I would say dear Lord help me. LOL

-Dependency......I cannot answer that because I think of dependency maybe on a different level. To enjoy and love something like a husband (a good one) my mother, father family is not a dependency in my mind. My faith is something I love and do not think of it as a dependency.

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frances_in_nj(z6 NJ)

This is an interesting question. I think its a highly individual matter, how you define religion. For me personally, so long as it doesn't hurt anybody else (which sadly, religions so often do) and you don't try to force it on anybody else (which is, again sadly, so often the case) I'm fine with whatever anybody wants to think of as religion, though I am very troubled by the fact that so many of the big organized ones are so deeply homophobic and misogynistic. Here's a definition of religion that I love, and that really resonates for me, from Karen Armstrong:

"Religion isn't about believing things. It's ethical alchemy. It's about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness".

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Religion made sense for thousands of years when it appeared that we were the center of the universe. The "heavens" appeared to revolve around us so believing that some all powerful deity was paying attention and focused solely upon us seemed to make sense. Once we realized that we were not the center of everything (not even close) that's when the mystical charm started to wear thin.

It was a slow educational process from the earth not being flat, to stars being other suns, to the Milky Way just being a speck among billions of other galaxies, where the universe is about 14 billion years old, and here we are. Perhaps knowing that we are virtually nothing existing within infinity makes religion even more attractive, even essential to many to make sense of everything, again?

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palisades_

Religion made sense for thousands of years when it appeared that we were the center of the universe. The "heavens" appeared to revolve around us so believing that some all powerful deity was paying attention and focused solely upon us seemed to make sense. Once we realized that we were not the center of everything (not even close) that's when the mystical charm started to wear thin.


For a different school of thought and perspective when I started reading a budhist text that over 2500 years ago Siddhartha Buddha mentioned to his disciples that we were only part of the vast universe, and this world (earth) was not the center of of it. Likewise in Hinduism.

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maddiemo

A common thread in most religions is an after life and/or rebirth.

One train of thought on our need for religion is that it protects us from death, which is our biggest fear.


The formidable influence of the religious drive is based on far more than the validation of morals. A great subterranean river of the mind, it gathers strength from a broad spread of tributary emotions. Foremost among them is the survival instinct. Our conscious minds hunger for a permanent existence as it gives the individual meaning. E. O. Wilson


“It is not rational arguments, but emotions, that cause belief in a future life. The most important of these emotions is fear of death.” Bertrand Russell


It is not just a personal rejection of death that compels people towards religious ideas of an afterlife - scholar of religion William Sims Bainbridge calls these primary compensators. The secondary type of reaction against death is social. People like having something comforting to tell others to lessen the gravity of death of a loved one, making the social dynamics less morbid and more positive in outlook. Hence, there are a range of subtle internal psychological factors that give us a need and a want for an afterlife and/or for a purpose of death that transcends life and mitigates the disaster of losing a human being forever.


An Oxford University study in 2017 found that atheists are the least afraid of death, and also those who are very religious.

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aristocleos

"Religion made sense for thousands of years when it appeared we were the center of the universe."

Observations like this usually come from non-theists or people with no real religious experience and are based on postmodern ideas which rationalize why there is no logical reason for religion. Such comments seem to question why anyone in this day and age of advanced scientific knowledge and discovery would stubbornly hold onto what should be considered outdated or superstitious beliefs.

The non-theist's idea of reality portrays a flat world. People once mistakenly believed the world was physically flat along with other ideas since disproved by scientific study but most premodern people believed in both the physical world which could be experienced by the senses and a metaphysical world which could not be observed but which also existed and could be experienced. That is the basis of religion and there have been studies which indicate we are hardwired for it.

The assumption by many today is we have advanced in human knowledge through scientific study to the point of discovering the edge of reality all the way to its flat edges and must discount the possibility of a metaphysical world because it cannot be scientifically studied or observed with the senses and therefore it does not exist. It seems to me they traded one version of a flat world for another. All they are left with is a world of brute facts with nothing beyond and believe that's enough to get by on.

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Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

aristocleos, thank you for reposting your comment. I just saw it now. I so appreciate your thoughtful responses.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

All they are left with is a world of brute facts with nothing beyond and believe that's enough to get by on.

Works for me, beats imaginary friends.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

.....but I might add that being indoctrinated at a very young age in Catholicism I still suffer from a bit of guilt (the Doubting Thomas story was really pushed back then). When ever I avoid a close call/disaster by the skin of my teeth I'll still turn around and say thank you to my guardian angel. I tell him or her that I'm grateful that they keep an eye on me but that I hope they understand that it's not possible for me to believe in them ;-)

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Pidge

vgkg, I was also indoctrinated in Catholicism as a child, but I shed those angels along with the whole mess decades ago. When I avoid a disaster by the skin of my teeth, I just wonder how I managed to do it.

But I love your response above. You are always so droll.

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purrmich _6

Im appreciating your posts aristocleos. Im on board with there's more here than we can fully perceive and certainly not thru scientific means.

How does the knowledge of love meet a scientific test?

Im on my tablet or Id write more. Later.

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Pidge

purrmich, "love" is an abstraction and it can't be described by another abstraction. A concrete example of the knowledge of love is like -- as corny as this sounds -- getting up in the middle of the night to comfort a crying child or cleaning up your kid's puke or helping your mum climb the stairs.


My life is not about abstractions, but about the concrete.

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marquest(PA zone 6)

vgkg Z-7 Va

All they are left with is a world of brute facts with nothing beyond and believe that's enough to get by on.

Works for me, beats imaginary friends.

-------------------

That is exactly what they said when they thought the earth was flat. Then when they discovered it was not flat it no longer worked for them. They wanted to go see what the rest of the world looked like past their flat earth position.

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purrmich _6

I dont think science can identify the feelings that get you out of bed to help a loved one.

How is it different from faith which will also cause one to do something out of one's comfort zone.

Love is not a concrete.

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Pidge

purrmich, I do think that love is concrete. It's not a concept but an action. That has nothing to do with either science or religion.


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purrmich _6

Lots of people love without action. You can love a symphony and all you need to do is listen.

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purrmich _6

con·crete

/ˈkänˌkrēt,ˌkänˈkrēt/

adjective

  1. 1.

    existing in a material or physical form; real or solid; not abstract.

    "concrete objects like stones"

    synonyms:solid, material, real, physical, tangible, palpable, substantial, visible, existing

    "concrete objects"

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purrmich _6

Not trying to shut you down, pidge. I think its a very interesting topic.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I don't think many people realize how spiritual many atheists are. The connection with nature, animals, plants, mountains, the ocean, the feeling of oneness with everything - that is huge. Having paranormal experiences that make you realize there are layers of the universe that we can glimpse at those times are truly life-changing. There is nothing flat about that richness of being. Deeply feeling the interconnectedness of all life may be something akin to religion, but it is not something that requires prayer or worship, it just is.

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maddiemo

Aristocleos, in the same way as you feel atheists have traded one flat earth for another (which I thought was a very good phrase by the way) we could say that sadly those who are religious have had a delusional veil of third party instruction placed between them and reality and robbed them of truly independent thought.

Speaking from a position of growing up in a very secular environment (the U.K.) I can honestly say I have no idea what difference religion could have made to my life.

However, the assumption that we’re hard wired for religion is not my personal experience. If anything, my instincts railed very much against it.

I have a clear memory of going to one Sunday school class at the age of five, and having found it very dreary and odd, requested I never go again. I didn’t, and I can’t recall ever wondering if I’d missed out on anything.


As far as the benefits of religion in societies are concerned, the juries out on that too as the articles I looked at suggest the most secular countries are the most peaceful and have better rates of life satisfaction.


One article entitled Christianity Is Dying in the United Kingdom explained its demise as follows:-

Since World War II, British women started earning an income through work outside the home, their interest in—or time and energy for religious involvement—waned. And as these women grew less religious, their husbands and children followed suit. Also, when societies become more existentially secure, religion tends to wither. That is, when more and more people have access to education, health care, housing, work, etc., and become more stable in terms of a democratic government, and when a vibrant capitalism is mixed with a solid welfare state—so that society becomes not only wealthier and healthier, but more egalitarian—fewer people need religion to get through their lives.


The pros and cons remain open to individual interpretation but its hard for me to see any essential elements to religion when I’ve had no experience of it and neither has anyone I personally know. They all seem fine.

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elvis

Ingrid wrote: Deeply feeling the interconnectedness of all life may be something akin to religion, but it is not something that requires prayer or worship, it just is.

Brilliant! Ingrid, that is religion to some, like me.

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Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

What does spiritual mean to people?

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elvis

New thread?

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aristocleos

maddiemo

Maybe you would disagree but I am not delusional due to a third party standing between myself and reality. Religion has made a great difference in my life in spite of living in a predominantly secular culture.

I could say much about instincts which I would call struggles against my own selfish will which often rebels against anything which stands between me and my own self serving desires and temptations but this is not the place for such a personal discussion. That is the very nature of religious struggle as has been understood since the beginning.

I have an experience similar to your's as a child going to a Sunday school class. I do not follow football or sports because I don't like sports and find it a boring waste of time. As a child, I went to a game a couple times and didn't enjoy myself because I have no idea of what is going on (and still don't) so I can't see the point. That applies to any pursuit. People who take the time to understand the game appreciate it and the positive effect sports has on children who participate in sports and who often grow up to be sports fans. Its the same with reading. I like to read as an occupation because it is a habit I developed as a child but I know many who did not and who do not read at all because they never developed the discipline of reading. Personally I think they miss out on a lot.

I ran across this article three days ago.

Even honey bees respect icons.

Source: The Saint's Love for Animals and Animals love for the Saints.


In the region of Kapandriti near Athens, a wonderful thing happens. Ten years ago, a devout beekeeper named Isidoros Timinis thought to place in one of his hives an icon of the Crucifixion of the Lord. Soon thereafter, when he opened the hive, he was amazed that the bees showed respect and devotion to the icon having "embroidered" it in wax, yet leaving uncovered the face and body of the Lord. Since then, every spring he puts into the hives icons of the Savior, the Virgin Mary and the Saints and the result is always the same.



The author writes:

Last time I went, we put an icon of St. Stephen the Protomartyr and Archdeacon, whose name our humble publishing company bears. As you can see from the picture that we publish here, the entire icon is clothed in beeswax, leaving uncovered the face and the body.


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ubro(2a)

I'm more inclined to believe the bees are avoiding the figure based on some other scientific reason, the ink, the colour, the instinct that something is wrong with that particular space on the paper, or something else, than actually thinking the bees are showing reverence to an icon of man's making.

Before I attribute a holiness to the bees actions I think I would require a little more in depth research.

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maddiemo

On the surface that seems amazing aristocleos:)

My mind being what it is though, I wondered about all sorts of things. Are they sensitive to certain colours that would deter them from that area, was the surface of the icon the same etc. I don’t know enough about bee behaviour to know if it’s a clear sign of their recognition of a divine image.

What I’d need is for scientists to do a similar test before I believed it was something mystical.

I question most things that seem bizarre and at best might concede it’s possible only if it couldn’t be proved otherwise.


My point about my instincts was to demonstrate that religion isn’t hard wired into our brains, if it was, surely anything to do with it would be instinctively attractive.

To struggle against an instinctive rejection of religion you seem to be saying is self serving. It could however just be a rejection of something you don’t like the sound of, or self preservation and not wanting to be indoctrinated.


You didn’t like football but appreciate it’s value now to some in the physical sense.

I didn’t like religion but appreciate it’s value to some now in the spiritual/metaphysical sense.

Neither of us have changed our interest in them despite its benefits to some.


I don’t really understand the suffering philosophy to achieve whatever it is that religion brings to the table. It sounds a bit masochistic.

Your development included that through a taught religion. Mine didn’t.

Whether our morals, or how we treat people is really that much different is unknown.

You think religion has helped you, so that’s your truth. I think it’s just the people I’ve met along the way, so of course that’s mine.

We’re all largely the sum of our experiences and I think most of us do pretty OK, with or without religion.

Moving on to new religions without a god or gods, I noticed on a form I had to fill in recently at work where it asked your religion, there was a Humanist option. I went on to have a look at what one was and liked the sound of their beliefs, albeit I’m not about to become one because I’m not a join a group person.

They were granted legal rights to perform weddings in Scotland in 2005 and they’re now more popular than the Church of Scotland or Catholic ones.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/17/humanist-weddings-scotland-england-wales?CMP=share_btn_link


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ubro(2a)

well said madiemo

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Pidge

Purrmikch, you write, Lots of people love without action. You can love a symphony and all you need to do is listen. Listening is an action.

And then again, my whole stance may make no difference and and be just as right or wrong as ay other.


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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Before & after bee pics would be helpful on the pigmentation avoidance question. Is the rest of the hive covered pic blank or are their other figures or pigments present under the wax hive? There's always the possibility of fraud or hoax from deliberate spot contamination within the frame. Could this "experiment" be repeated? with the proper controls of course, now that would make my head turn.

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aristocleos

Part of the story I left out-----Another handmade icon was placed in a hive that represented Golgotha with three crosses. Bee's "embroidered" with wax the entire surface of the composition leaving clearly the Cross of Christ and the Thief at his right hand while the thief on the left was covered with a thick layer of wax. Anyone familiar with the Biblical story will realize the significance.

Icons are painted from edge to edge with the same paint on the same prepared surface in various colors. The colors in the icons left unwaxed by the bees are varied and would appear elsewhere. The only variance on the surface would be the gold if it is gilded but then entire icon is varnished and some of the icons are prints.

I didn't share the story to prove anything or to start an argument. I ran across it this week, liked it and thought some other people would like it too. A good story is welcome when most of the news we hear is so negative and I like stories like this.

I suppose it could be written off as ten years of coincidence or maybe a lot of scientists should come in to study it so it can be explained away with a scientific logic and reason so doubters from the outside can be vindicated.

Events like this have always been quite common in monasteries but there are always agnostic skeptics who visit, are not impressed and who make negative comments similar to yours.

My point about football was that attending one or two games as an uninvolved observer when I was a child, then living the rest of my life never taking the time or effort to learn anything about the game or the teams and having never experienced actual involvement in watching the games like people who are devoted fans do hardly qualifies me to have an intelligent opinion about any aspect of football. In other words, its a subject I wouldn't presume to comment on because my ignorance would quickly become obvious. If, as an outsider, I only expressed my dislike or distaste for the sport and that was my only contribution to the conversation among people who do like football (which it seems is most people) they would justifiably ignore me.

I have no idea what you are referring to as "a suffering philosophy".

The idea that religion is hardwired into our brains is a new area of scientific study, not a religious teaching. Its just something I read about.

"so that is your truth". I already made some comments about relativism so I won't repeat myself.

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roxanna7

up-post by ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

"I don't think many people realize how spiritual many atheists are. The connection with nature, animals, plants, mountains, the ocean, the feeling of oneness with everything - that is huge. Having paranormal experiences that make you realize there are layers of the universe that we can glimpse at those times are truly life-changing. There is nothing flat about that richness of being. Deeply feeling the interconnectedness of all life may be something akin to religion, but it is not something that requires prayer or worship, it just is."

Beautifully expressed, resonates with me. Thank you.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I'm not at all saying this is the case, but the area of the picture in the middle could have had the wax cut out or removed, and from the look of the edges that is a possibility. At the same time the world of bees itself is so astonishing, and there are mysteries everywhere (like how a swarm of birds can turn as one when they are in flight), and since I've witnessed events that are not explainable by the normal laws of physics, I don't discount anything that is observable. The world is full of wonder and mysteries, in spite of all that man has done to destroy so much of it. It would make me happy to think this is another such example.

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hericles

aeiriocleos said:

A society can achieve nothing, including liberty and social justice,
without collective trust. Trust depends on fellow citizens feeling bound
together by shared truths, values and myths. Without these society
degenerates into a war of all against all, an agglomeration of "selves"
seeking to project power. In order for a society to survive we must
agree to be bound by truths, values and myths that lie outside
ourselves.

You are trying to justify religion as a necessity for society but I for one, am not buying it.

As far as the Greek Orthodox bee icon, that is not the first attempt at smoke at mirrors from Eastern Orthodox churches. They circulated a "crying "con around Chicago at leat as far back as i can remember. I think they stored it in dry ice, then bring it out before worshipers who are convinced that the condensation on the glass is really the tears of the Virgin Mary. Now they have one that supposedly emits a few drops of fragrant oil. Now the bee thing. I have also read numerous stories about people seeing images of the Virgin Mary in tree trunks, moon craters, and coffee grinds.

I encourage introspection for the religious. I think you will be disappointed if your search for religion takes place in the real world.

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maddiemo

Aristocleos. The suffering philosophy was your reference to the “struggles against your own selfish will which often rebels against anything which stands between you and your own self serving desires and temptations. That is the very nature of religious struggle as has been understood since the beginning”.

——

Your views on how to live have had religion woven into your thoughts. That’s the third party input.

I don’t expect anything I say will resonate with your beliefs, any more than yours could do mine. It doesn’t mean I don’t find them interesting.

Our viewpoints are true polar opposites because you embraced religion and it helped inform the way you think. I rejected it and formed my thoughts without it.

What that translates into as far as the end product human being is concerned is as contentious as this topic. Pretty sure the debate would end up in the same circle of non conclusive proof.

I humbly recognise my ignorance and bias, and acknowledge yours of my mindset.

You could say that’s the very nature of all opinion.

Lastly, the skeptical tone you implied over the thought of a scientific investigation of the bees, you seem to have no problem with in proving religious instincts......

I’m open to either.

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ubro(2a)

I didn't share the story to prove anything or to start an argument.

I suppose it could be written off as ten years of coincidence or maybe a lot of scientists should come in to study it so it can be explained away with a scientific logic and reason so doubters from the outside can be vindicated.

Events like this have always been quite common in monasteries but there are always agnostic skeptics who visit, are not impressed and who make negative comments similar to yours.

I appreciate the story and I don't think discussing the science behind these types of things should be considered an argument. Those of us who do not believe, and can give solid reasons for that, should not be dismissed out of hand. True science does not look to vindicate it seeks for answers, if those answers does not validate religious ideals that is not the fault of science. If a supposed miracle can be scientifically explained with logic and reason then does it not follow that it is then not a miracle?

I still contend that the beeswax is encroaching on the paper icon and the bees get to a point where building a cell that can function properly is impossible with a paper barrier in the back. The icon is somewhat centred on the paper and so the bees abandon their futile work before it is covered over. This does not deflate the impressiveness of bees and how they work. The wonder and beauty is not, for me, in the idea that they have a reverence for the icon, but in what drives them to know where a honeycomb cell will work and where it will not.

The world is just as wondrous with or without the belief in a God.

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marquest(PA zone 6)

This is interesting. Not a argument for or against religion just info and interesting. Doctors are more likely to believe in God.


-----------------------------

Around the world, people who live in countries with higher overall educational levels and a greater economic standard of living tend to have fewer citizens who believe in a higher power. And within the United States, an advanced educational level, particularly in the natural sciences, has been consistently associated with a decreased likelihood of faith in a deity, while individuals who enjoy financial security are also less likely to believe in a divinity.

But interestingly, physicians completely flip that relationship between education, financial status and religious faith. Medical doctors are widely considered the most highly educated and financially stable professionals in almost every country around the world. Yet, unlike other educated scientists and financially secure citizens, doctors are more likely to believe in God.


https://www.mdmag.com/physicians-money-digest/contributor/heidi-moawad-md/2016/10/surprising-results-about-physicians-belief-in-god

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aristocleos

maddiemo.

Suffering philosophy is your label not mine. That philosophy addresses the problem of evil in the world.

I was referring to free will without which there can be no morality, no right or wrong.

People should take care in defining their words if we are to understand correctly. This would apply especially when attempting to redefine other people's words or intent. You seem particularly focused on defining what I think, what I mean and describing what my experiences have been based on.

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maddiemo

I agree about that taking care Airtoscleos. Maybe you should have been clearer and written that in the first place.

No room for misinterpretation then.

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aristocleos

Are you being ironical?

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maddiemo

No

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