Definition of religion

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by S.A.M., Nov 30, 2008.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You, singular, are wrong.

    Unless the frog in your pocket is similarly obsessed.
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Yes atheism is not a religion except when it is. Theism is a religion except when its not.

    Religion is theism except when its athiesm. And has nothing to do with belief in the supernatural especially ghosts and karma, but devas are permitted.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Atheism itself is not a religion. Theism itself is not a religion. Religions are theistic except when they are atheistic, and atheistic except when they are theistic. The supernatural covers a lot of different things. So does the natural.

    I doubt the frog in your pocket has this much difficulty with the basics.
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. What do they refer to, in your opinion?
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Portuguese, like Spanish, Italian, French and all the other Romance languages, is just Latin with 1500 years of changes, especially phonetic changes. Lição is just Latin lection, "a reading," from lectus, the past participle of legere. "Intelligence," in all its variations throughout the European languages, is Latin inter, "between/among," + ligent, the present participle of legere, (which I've discovered means both "read" and "choose," because the Romans saw some similarity between those two actions that eludes me). "Intelligent" means, literally, "able to choose between" alternatives.

    Portuguese ler is just Latin legere, with the G elided. The same thing happened in Spanish leer and French lire. However, Italian leggere and Catalan llegir retained the G. The various inflected forms of ler are, similarly, just the original inflections of an irregular Latin verb, with added phonetic changes. Latin legenda is the verb legere with the imperative suffix -enda, conveying the literal meaning, "something which must be read."
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Who, or what, is "they" ?
     
  10. darini Registered Senior Member

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    That's the point... in my university field of study, we'll call the Portuguese {lic} radical and the latin {lec} root (lection > lição). We name "root" the most ancient form of the morpheme. I made the analysis based on their dictionary of radicals:

    LEG (lat) = reunir, escolher, ler / reunião para, escolhido por, leitura de (legal , sacrilégio, florilégio, legível, legião, legenda, legume, elegante, legítimo, legislar, legar, alegar, legista, legislativo, colégio, leguleio, legulismo, eleger, letivo, coletor, coletivo, coletar, dialética, intelecto, intelecção, coleção, preleção, seleção, selecionar, lecionar, eleição, leitor, leitura, eleitor, eleito, elejamos, elejais, coligir, diligente, inteligente, negligente, religião, lição, leal, ledor, lei, ler, li, líamos, lenda, lente, lenda, lendário, lídimo)

    Above, we have the general meaning of the root first and, in parenthesis, the words derived from it). On that dictionary, we'll find "bind" for the root {lig} (ligar, obrigar etc.)


    I love that kind of study... have you written any book or work about it? If so, could I have it autographed?

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    That reminded me about this: why did the English "forgot" that root? Most Germanic languages seem to have complied with a standard: German: lesen; Dutch: lezen; Norse: lese; Swedish: läsa... and English read?

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    Am I wrong, or it is some celtic influence?

    Er... and we're totally off-topic here... the topic seems to be more about philosophy than linguistic. Should we start another thread on this subject? :shrug:

    cheers
     
  11. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Religion is not a verb.

    No, it is not agreed upon by it's followers. Big difference.
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No, I'm no authority on this stuff. I've just read a lot about it, and I seek out people who have done research into their own languages. In many cases, in order to answer people's questions, I have to look it up myself. A good teacher is always learning.
    No, "read" is a perfectly respectable Anglo-Saxon word. It still exists in Modern German as raten, "to counsel." The ability to "read" is the ability to seek counsel from those who came before you. In the days before printing, when reading was a very rare skill, it automatically made those who had it wise.

    Remember that three German tribes (the Angles, Saxons and Jutes) sailed to Britannia after the collapse of the Roman Empire and conquered the now-unprotected Celtic Britons with their outpost of Roman civilization and its surplus-producing economy. We're speaking their language, Anglisc. Perhaps these tribes were more remote, more unsettled, more nomadic than the tribes who remained on the continent. Maybe they'd had fewer contacts with the Romans and none of their people were familiar with written language. It could be that they were not parties to the consensus of choosing lesen to mean "to read," because reading was not an activity they needed words for. So they had to pick their own word and came up with something different.
    Don't worry about it. We don't get a lot of traffic in Linguistics like they do in World Events or Human Science, so our threads aren't in danger of spinning out of control.

    The value of linguistics to a layman is that the study of his language and his words opens him up to new ways of thinking about his culture. So I don't intervene if a discussion goes a little bit off topic, so long as it still has merit.
     
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Religions of course.

    You mean its not dogmatic? And this is bad because...?
     
  14. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    I think S.A.M. lives the "religion of definition."

    haha sorry off topic
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    In the Anguttara Nikāya the Buddha speaks of three divergent views that prevailed in His time. One of these was: "Whatever happiness or pain or neutral feeling this person experiences all that is due to the creation of a Supreme Deity (Issaranimmānahetu) [1]"

    According to this view we are what we were willed to be by a Creator. Our destinies rest entirely in his hands. Our fate is pre-ordained by him. The supposed freewill granted to his creation is obviously false.

    Criticising this fatalistic view, the Buddha says: "So, then, owing to the creation of a Supreme Deity men will become murderers, thieves, unchaste, liars, slanderers, abusive, babblers, covetous, malicious and perverse in view. Thus for those who fall back on the creation of a God as the essential reason, there is neither desire nor effort nor necessity to do this deed or abstain from that deed. [2]"


    http://buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/budtch/budteach23.htm
     
  16. darini Registered Senior Member

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    47

    Quite interesting the concepts taken for grant when the words were morphologically constructed. The (we) humans just inserted their thoughts, fears, other concepts... the best human creation.

    Nice to lesen... ops... read that.

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    Sometimes I wonder why I've chosen this field to study and if it's worth... I mean, you cannot save a life (stupid comparison, I know) knowing Linguistics, but you'll do that if you know medicine. Languages seem to be just a bunch of rules, none really cares about them. That's why I think it's important to link Linguistics to Philology: you'll know about any people's language, culture, history... a whole universe to be found.

    cheers
     
  17. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think there is any definitive definition of religion. It's just accepted by common agreement.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That's true of any word in English, since it's a democratic language without an Academy like France or a government bureau like Germany to make the rules. Still, as you say, meanings must emerge by consensus or they will be "meaningless." Dictionaries merely tally the consensus. The purpose of language is communication, and if we want to be understood we need to heed the consensus presented in the dictionaries.
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I don't mean that the meaning is accepted by common agreement, I meant that individual cases (such as Buddhism) are called religion just because most people decided to call it that. I think the definition is unclear. It's something that isn't a science, or a hobby, or a sport, or art, it's often philosophical in nature...

    It's like art. No one can define it but they know it when they see it.
     
  20. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Belief in or worship of supernatural forces, beings, or realities.

    I think that does a reasonably good job of covering all the things that people normally mean when they talk about "religion," without being so broad that it includes any sort of secular belief/philosophy/set of ethics/whatever (which would make the word substantially less useful).
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I too know Buddhists whose philosophy is devoid of any clearly recognizable supernatural component, such as the Vipassana movement that is strong in America. Nonetheless enough of the Buddhist communities do believe in those sorts of things, perhaps the most visible factions or even the majority, that to call the the whole set of belief systems that accept the name "Buddhism" a religion is accurate enough for general parlance.
     
  22. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    My two cents.....

    A shared compilation of thoughts, images, concepts and ideas originating in the brain which act in conjunction with specific fears of the unknowable that eventually becomes sufficient enough for individuals who without proof of, to convince themselves that for the right price, other accessible and attainable realities exist which are far superior to the one they're in.
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sounds great to me and it might even attract a following on this website, with its atypical proportion of atheists. But it's profoundly hostile. So the ninety-something percent of the human population who are religious will not accept it and will in fact be offended by it. It's not a definition that will achieve a consensus in the anglophone community so it doesn't serve our purpose here.
     

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