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Featured Of the various takes on the role and scope of religion, which do you favor, and why?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by LuisDantas, May 23, 2018.

  1. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    There are those who think of religion as being a direct consequence of the existence of a God. Sometimes those put a lot of emphasis on matters of belief and certainty regarding that God and its existence.

    Other takes tend to focus more on more practical effects on the adherents, their motivations, values and goals.

    Of the understandings of what a religion makes that you are aware of, which ones do you see as most natural, most meaningful, or most valuable, and why?

    Do you think it is proper and/or desirable that there are several competing views?

    Are there any that you actively disapprove of? If so, why?
     
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  2. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    dealing with the concept.....there is Something Greater than me

    religion is what people do about it
    I find recited prayer....
    ritual
    ceremony
    and gestures of hand

    less than a proper consideration
     
  3. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Religion:
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    So you see religion as unnecessary, perhaps undesirable, and do not necessarily bother about correctly defining it, @Thief ?

    Would that be an accurate interpretation of your words?
     
  4. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    yeah....

    I have belief
    I have no religion
     
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  5. Daemon Sophic

    Daemon Sophic Avatar in flux

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    I believe that early religions stemmed from mankind‘s inability to answer questions about events and things that they saw in nature. Death, and what happened to their love ones, is a primary mover amongst these.

    For many it gives them hope and purpose, although it often takes away from understanding and even a desire to try to understand.

    Competing views at least might cause some questions to the fallibility of their own dogma, and is therefore useful. Unfortunately time and again it causes hatred and bigotry again due to a drive to NOT understand those different from themselves.

    I actually don’t disapprove of almost all religions that I know of. However I strongly disapprove of the leadership and dogma of the human ‘churches’, which claim to represent those religions.
     
  6. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Keeping in mind that I don't follow any religion, I believe everyone should form their own beliefs on a basis informed by empathy toward others, facts of life (such as law, science) and synthesize those on the scripture they find meaningful. Of course this is just an ideal that I believe that would save religions from decline or becoming roadblocks.

    I think it's looking at the people that make up the religion and their actions that are most meaningful. Looking at scriptures and their ideals can be helpful at understanding them.

    Oh yes.

    Gut-feeling literalism seems destructive in any religion.
     
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  7. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Religion:
    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    Just as a clarification, the OP does not really want to discuss individual religions as such, but rather individual views of what constitutes a religion.
     
  8. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Respect, compassion, and understanding.
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    Richard Feynman (an American theoretical physicist, now deceased), apparently said - I have approximate answers and possible beliefs in different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything - to which I would add - and I have varying degrees of scepticism too, at the far end of which resides religion in all its forms. If most religions just concentrated on the more moral aspects and less on any suppositions as to what is human nature or what might happen when we die then I wouldn't be so antagonistic towards them. But for me, psychology, sociology, and philosophy tend to be more practical aids for our existence and in dealing with the problems we invariably have in life. There may or may not be a God, but religions are just one step too far. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I see it more as the advancement of human society. The Abrahamic religions (representative of the first type of religion you mentioned) worked more at a time where education and exposure was very limited for the common person. They were best served by a stronger and more clear understanding.

    I think now, as education and exposure has grown exponentially for the common person, we are best served by more sophisticated understandings of the spiritual life (probably more like what you were getting at in the second type of religion).

    We are seeing especially in the first world western countries a strong decline in the influence of traditional Abrahamic religions but a rise in the 'spiritual but not religious' and eastern (Hindu/Buddhist) more sophisticated religions.
     
  10. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Investigating this in more depth is something that's been on my to-do list for a while, as defining religion is difficult and a source of disagreement. I did run across the notion that "religion" is something of a Western construct. The extent to which it is a construct is something I need to investigate, but even a cursory examination lends credence to this idea. When people talk about religion in my country, in most cases Protestant Christian models are the benchmark of measure. It is expected that a religion have the things that Protestant Christianity has: a sacred text, a supernatural deity, institutional organizations (specifically, churches and clergy), a focus on belief or faith, and so forth.

    I definitely disapprove of defining religion in a way that fixates on Christianity or Abrahamic religions as the standard of measure. I suppose most folks who are not Christian or Abrahamic would have that objection as it excludes them from consideration. In many cases this exclusion isn't a problem, but there are inevitably laws and legal protections bound up with defining what religion is. If what you do isn't called a religion, you loose out on freedom of expression. Ironically, you might also get
    more freedom of expression if what you do isn't understood as religion. Secularism doesn't separate "church and state," it establishes some norm of what "religion" looks like. Those norms result in some religions getting more freedom of expression than others. I could get permission to display religious iconography on public property without anyone doing a double take on it. Nobody would go "oh, planting this oak tree on public property violates the separation of church and state." The moment a Christian tries to get similar displays of religious iconography? Many folks would go "nope, planting this cross on public property violates the separation of church and state." It's stupidly inconsistent.

    Pardon, got off on a bit of a rant there. :sweat:

    Whether or not it's desirable that we have many different understandings of what religion is seems besides the point to me. It's a thing, and we have to deal with it. Often, as the above illustrates, somewhat awkwardly.


     
  11. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    Music nature spending two weeks right now.camping out and working during.the day.

    Religion that evolves.into a closed reductive dogma or doctrine but we naturally.do that in everything including science..There would be no need for artists if we didn't do that..
     
  12. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    Religion was an early attempt to codify, and thereby control, nature. Physical science is a more recent attempt. The most recent attempt seems to be quantum physics. Each scheme has made some useful discoveries. The overlap is very interesting.
     
  13. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I suspect belief in god(s) and thereby theistic religion as a result of the dual nature of the brain. The conscious and subconscious aspects of the brain.

    We are consciously subjected to urges, desires, feeling, even virtual visions, dreams etc by the subconscious mind. Like having a demon, angel, deity existing in your brain that is a major part of the causality people experience. It seems it would be easy to assume, since we've no conscious awareness of the subconscious mind's machinations that this causality was from a source external to ourselves.

    Competing views? Based on a lack of knowledge and understanding, I don't see that as being desirable. Everyone can have an opinion. No reason to think all opinions are equally valid.

    Religions provide unity for folks lacking any other unifying drive. Probably better to consciously. rationally decide amongst ourselves what should unify us. Better than being driven to unity by emotions, feelings, virtual visions caused by our subconscious mind which is not big on rationality or logic.

    I don't really disapprove of religious idealism because it is so pervasive in humanity that if may be the only thing for many people that provides any kind of unity. It'd be a disaster IMO to go about arbitrarily attacking something that brings many folks unity. You have to offer something that they see as better. However I suspect we are a long way from folks letting go of their subconscious driven reality.
     
  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    It isn't inconsistent: putting up a cross can't not be religious; planting an oak tree usually isn't religious expression at all. But if you put a little plaque up with the tree explaining its religious significance and making it clear that it was intended as religious expression and you'll hear the same objections (along with objections from non-secularist Christians because it's non-Christian religious expression).

    To your first point, though: I look forward to the day when we don't try to define "religion" in our laws at all. Instead, I think we should protect the broader rights that get bundled together as "freedom of religion" now: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly, etc.

    I don't really care if someone's deeply-held pacifism or vegetarianism is based in religion or not; either way, forcing a person to violate their conscience would cause that person harm, so the person should be protected against this on the basis of the fact that his beliefs are deeply held, period, not that they're "religious."
     
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  15. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    Writing about what I favor, it's religion as broad paths toward God applicable to those who are attracted to a specific path. I favor that view because it allows everyone to choose or not choose a religion which seems to them to be most helpful to the people making the choice. It also embodies the idea that "all streams lead to the sea" including the stream of non-religion and spiritual but not religious.
     
  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I generally see religions as hobbies. I've yet to find a case where this approach doesn't work.
     
  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Even when ideologies that claim to be religions see fit to decree other ways as objectively wrong or false?
     
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Some people get pretty passionate about their hobbies.

    There have been people thrown out of their homes or even killed over disagreements in which sports team to root for. Religion can get more extreme, but the difference is just a matter of degree, IMO.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I’m curious: how are you defining “hobbies?”
     
  20. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    There is something to that, but I don't think that is the whole story. People may find it in poor taste to root for a certain sports team or to be a Trekkie instead of a Star Wars fan. But they won't think of Star Trek as "false fiction", and they certainly won't dare trekkies to risk literal eternal damnation for failure to "choose the correct path".


    Also, see for instance the Lebanese National Pact of 1943.

    https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/National_Pact.html

    I don't think there is much of an expectation anywhere that everyone must be either a Trekkie or a Star Wars fan in order to qualify for civil rights or specific seats of government.
     
    #20 LuisDantas, May 23, 2018
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
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