Do you really know what „religion“ is and/or means?

Do you really know what „religion“ is and/or means?

  • Yes.
  • No.
0 voters

Do you really know what „religion“ is and/or means?

I was about to click ‘yes’, but the upside-down quotation marks made me uncertain.

“Religion” is a very loose, complex and wide term.
Like any such type of term, we need to support and justify its use with a conceptual framework and taxonomy.

IMO, amongst the many, one of the most effective presentation of ‘what is religion’ is from Ninian Smart, i.e.

From Amazon

To qualify as a religion, ALL the above dimensions must be present.
Note ‘God’ is not mentioned because ‘Religions’ has to include Buddhism, Jainism as religions which are without God.

  1. In addition, one has to take into account the size of the followers or members to differentiate the type of religion or cults.

  2. However, what Smart missed out is the ‘essence of religion’ i.e. the substance that is related to the emotional and experience dimension.

  3. The other aspects of religion that need to be considered is its main neural correlates.

  4. The various relevant philosophies related to ‘religion’.

  5. Personal experiences directly or indirectly related to religious experiences

The point is once we get a good grasp of the various dimensions and the other 1-5 points we should be able to understand what is a religion within a conceptual framework and its taxonomy.
It is also critical for one to read everything (or at least almost everything) there is no know about the mainstream religions.

I am not religious in the sense that I do not subscribe to any religious organization (VI) and any other dimensions listed above of any specific religious organization.

According to Peter Sloterdijk religion is exercise, training.

I voted “yes” for myself and “no” for most other people. :sunglasses:

I voted yes… though what religion initially was has changed over time.

Well done, James. :wink:

I voted yes in the sense that there are mine, yours and theirs.

Anthropologically said: the exercise has changed over time.

A religion is the effort to Retain the legion or simply maintain a reasonably cohesive and coordinated society. People must have a reason/purpose for what they do else not be inspired to do it, resulting in impotence, conflict, and eventual extinction. Realize that long before people could read or write any language, the methods for trying to get people to be inspired and/or cooperate were already well known and formulated. Through time, more complex varieties came about. In different parts of the world with different gene pools, different methods took hold easier and provided stronger societies. The religions and cultures of today are merely remnants of thousands of years of refining formulas for societal bonding and defense.

Some of the strategies are literally over 10,000 years old, each having to compete with others in real life over many generations. Evolution has had its hand in the formation of worshiped “wholly spirits” as well as “demons” and “devils”. The practices that are maintained are designed from thousands of years of trials and experience.

But the hue of the society, the people of that region, alter which religious practice brings the better result for that race and environment. Those doing the designing of these things don’t seem to recognize that simple fact (especially not the exceedingly presumptuous atheists).

Religions are misunderstood spiritual exercise systems.

What do you think about that?

Pretty obviously true. :sunglasses:

Would you mind telling me why you think so? :slight_smile:


Why I think that they are misunderstood? Or why I think they are “spiritual exercise”?
They both seem pretty obvious to me.

To exercise means to expel the weakness/dissonance/division/demon, or to strengthen and purify to be more whole and solid. Religious practices concerning both rituals and attitudes/ethics condition one’s spirit into a more instinctive response. The intent is that the particular conditioned responses makes for a stronger society. Different conditioning is required by different races and genders.

Does this mean that if a believer thinks a religion or his or her religion is actually a set of beliefs and some moral precepts they are wrong?

Anyway, in the West there has been a strong move away, in the Abrahamic religions from religion as a set of practices to develop the self to something more based on morals and beliefs. Beliefs as ends.

That said I don’t think one can separate beliefs and practices from each other, even if some religions seem to suggest one can or should or will after some stage is reached.

…that is, I know what I mean by it. I was once in an anti-religious religious group. As a religious person, it was a bit disconcerting. Now I’m spiritual. That cleared everything up.

Religion is like a college degree as compared to a doctorate in spirituality.

Agree totally.
The point is some religions at their best are limited to the highest grade school level.

The concern is that the people are also. And that is why those religions work so well with those people. You can send people to “higher education” schools in order to attempt to learn a different religion (such as physics). But you cannot cause them to be more than they are. And they are not physicists, educated or not.

I agree with the above.

However, the relevant point is those limited religions [which are VERY efficient at present] are rigid and fixed based on immutable doctrines. Note infallible humans cannot edit or change the words of God, that would be blasphemous.
In addition, the thousands of evil laden verses fixed and immutable will be a net-liability to humanity in the future.
The above refer to the Abrahamic religions [AR], i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The other point, fact is humans are dynamic, evolving and progressing with time.

Therefore when the ARs become a net-liability to humanity, they should be replaced with generic foolproof spiritual methods to deal with the inherent and unavoidable existential dilemma.