Minimum requirements of a religion.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Light Travelling, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    What do they do then?
    What is the expression, the outward sign of a religion where no worship takes place?
     
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  3. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Believing in something.
     
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  5. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Since when is believing an externally observable phenomenon?
     
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  7. Perfect Masturbation without hands Registered Senior Member

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    It needs to be one?

    Though, actions deriving from belief are damn well concrete phenomenons.


    Which in it itself kind of proves, depicts belief. Making it plain for I - the external - to see.
     
  8. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

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    Searching........ to discover ... the nature of self, the divine, life ..... for meaning.?

    religious practice that isn't worship;

    yoga - self control
    meditation - self preperation
    baptism - protection
    marriage - protection
    alms giving - on secong thought i think this is a form of worship.
    prayer - often contains worship, but does it have to, to be called prayer, is prayer not communication or supplication?
     
  9. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Perfect,


    The issue is whether something that is not externally observable can be called religion.


    Beliefs per se are not externally observable. Actions performed based on beliefs are externally observable. However, it may be hard to identify an exclusive relationship between a particular belief and an action (back at the cause-effect quagmire).


    * * *

    Light Travelling,


    What is the point of doing any of these things if they have nothing to do with the object of worship?

    If the object of worship is essential to constituting a religion, then a certain relationship to this object (ie., this relationship being that of worshipping) is necessary.

    Otherwise, this object of worship exists there only as a formality.
    Which is rather useless then.
     
  10. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

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    Is the point self realisation rather than external worship. Is the worship part only necessary in that it brings the consciousness of the adherent to realisation of greater things than the small ego self that basic man identifies with. Worship is helpful in subduing ego - in subduing the 'I am the only thing that is important' attitude. But this makes worship a tool that can be used by religion rather than a fundamental requiremnt for it to occurr.


    In that case is the 'relationship' to a greater force or being more important than the 'worship' part?

    I agree, but if it becomes useless on its own. Can it really be called a fundamental requirement of religion?
     
  11. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Light Travelling,



    Self realisation -- to what end?
    Subduing ego -- to what end?
    Are you suggesting to do these things just for the sake of doing them?
    Unless those things are connected with the object of worship, the object of worship will be meaningless, and those activities as well.


    That relationship exists in the worship, ideally.
    But there must be some connection between the object of worship and the person, otherwise what is the point to such a religion?


    Relativize the object of worship and the worshipping of it, and you get philosophy, not religion.
     
  12. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

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    But could the realtionship between man and god be loved and lover, or teacher and student, rather than worshipped and worshipper?


    Is worship implicit in love?


    And if the object of worship is not god. What then, do we still have religion?

    What makes a religion different from a philosophy or from a political movement? They all have followers, all have doctrine, they have ideals, sometimes objects of worship.

    And what would make a persons idea and worship of god not a religion? lack of written doctrine? lack of followers?

    Question: If a man were to believe in the existence of god, write down his theory and recruit followers, but did not worship his version of god. Would he have a religion or not?

    Is 'new ageism' religion. What make one thing religion and another not?


    More questins than answers here I know, but thats where I'm at on this subject???
     
  13. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Light Travelling,



    We are tentatively approaching a definition, slowly removing veils ...


    As far as I know Christianity, it is a teacher-student-like relationship, also that between lovers. But it is also much, much more than that.


    I think so, yes.


    Yes, a religion of false gods.

    It seems essential to religions that the "object of worship" has the quality of being extremely powerful; and in monotheistic religions, all-powerful -- an all-over-arching, all-organizing principle, penetrating all existence, something above which there is nothing.

    In some other belief systems, some other object may be worhsipped and ascribed to have the quality of being an all-over-arching, all-organizing principle, penetrating all existence, something above which there is nothing, but not a god as such.

    For example, humanism postulates certain humanistic values to be an all-over-arching, all-organizing principle, penetrating all existence, something above which there is nothing -- in effect, humanism has the quality of religion then.


    It seems the fundamental difference is in the characteristics of the object of worship, or a central idea.

    If that, which is central to a belief system, is self-sufficient and has full power over people (and preferrably also over the universe), then I think such a belief system qualifies for a religion.


    Lack of written doctrine means giving up the contents of such a belief system to anyone who joins in; thus, their contents are essentially arbitrary. This is how you get cliques or the mafia.
    And if there is no community (in whatever form), if a belief system is restricted to one single person, then we can't speak of a religion either.


    Technically, if we do away the Biblical references, the classical philosophical systems qualify for that sort belief systems. There exists a doctrine, but no worship is foreseen.

    There may also be followers, but how organized are they?

    For example, the official doctrine of the RCC is Neotomism, based on the theology of Aquinas. Question is -- whom do RCC believers follow? The Bible, or Neotomism?
    Tough one.


    And then there is the popular use of the word "religion". It can be said that a person's religion is Elvis, or going shopping. The religion of money. The religion of fame.

    This use suggests though that "religion" is a more general concept, pertaining to 'treating something to be the highest'.

    However, as the etymology of the word "religion" reveals, the Latin word "religio" means 'fear of God; doubt; devotion to God' -- it must be that it started out strictly in the sphere of a particular belief system.

    It would be neat if we could simply go back to the original meaning of a word, and then define the phenomena we now denote with it in accordance with that original meaning. But this carries is the flaw of not accounting for the present. The original meaning of a word may have gotten lost or changed with time, and the phenomenon we nowadays call by that name may not be the same as an earlier phenomenon that was called the same. What we nowadays think "religion" may not be the same people 2000 years back called "religion".

    You've read Eastern philosophers as well. What term do they use the equivalent of which is "religion"?
     
  14. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    The eastern equivalent of the term religion might be Dharma, but in the East, they also had their share of more conventional Religions revolving around gods. While there are some forms of Buddhism that might be said to worship the Buddha, an object of worship is not shared among all sects. I think Buddhism might be a bad example, because many don't consider it a religion at all. If there is no object of worship, what is it, a self-help technique? What if the object of worship is yourself, or nature, or as was already said, humanity?

    In relation to Buddhism, water asked:
    Self-realization is the end. The doctrine is Ego is the source of most of mankind's mental suffering, and after enlightenment, the only suffering might come from immediate physical conditions, which are relatively straightforward to deal with.

    Since one person could form "a set of beliefs about mankind and their relationship to the universe", maybe more than one person is necessary for a religion.
     
  15. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

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    Ingnorance and gullible people!.

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    Godless
     
  16. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    The problem of worhsip is in what the object of worship is. If it is something perishable, then worshipping it may be very tedious, and also meaningless.


    Self-realization is the end?
    This makes sense only inasmuch that
    1. Ego is the source of most of mankind's suffering.
    2. Mankind does not want to suffer.

    While 1 can be accepted, I have noticed that 2 is discussable. You can hear people keep saying that suffering is inevitable, so not suffering is merely an ideal, something unrealistic -- so why strive for it?


    Religion has one thing in common with language: they both have to be communicable in order to be recognized for what they are.
     
  17. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Ask yourself first why are people ignorant and gullible.
     
  18. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

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    Ignorance is the natural state of mankind. You are born knowing nothing. A single break in the passing down of knowledge leaves a gaping hole in the minds of men spanning generations.

    People try to fill this hole with anything, its truth being irrelavent. Delusion, superstition, and wishful thinking work as well as facts as far as they are concerned. When they ask why, a convenient explanation is that god did it.

    Why do rainbows shine in the sky? Magic.
     
  19. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    You refuse to accept proven scientific facts about nature, evolution, and general life, preferring your narrowminded, senseless, cult, despite being presented with evidence to the contrary every freakin' time you post.
     
  20. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    The passing down of what knowledge? Where did they get it? Was knowledge at first perfect, but then, poorly passed on, holes gaped open?


    This is not true. Such holes are filled in with what seems to fit most, those are rational inferences.


    Convenient for whom? Those angry with God?


    Note that you are asking WHY, not HOW.
    There is a crucial difference between answering why-questions and how-questions.

    Science is very good at answering (or attmepting to answer) how-questions. But science cannot answer why-questions.

    Science can answer how comes it rains, or how come there are rainbows. But to answer a why-question, you have to name the *purpose* of a phenomenon.


    * * *

    What is your point?

    All that evidence -- why should I accept it? Justify why evidence must be accepted.
     
  21. Yorda Registered Senior Member

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    Science can explain effects, but not the causes [of the effects], since they observe, and deny the observer. How and why does not exist outside.
     
  22. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Science is very good at answering (or attmepting to answer) how-questions. But science cannot answer why-questions.

    Science can answer how comes it rains, or how come there are rainbows. But to answer a why-question, you have to name the *purpose* of a phenomenon.


    Agreed. But if we continue to understand how things work, perhaps the answer as to why they work will reveal itself. Even so, the reason why things work may be simple and uninteresting and we may not learn much from it. Why bother with it when there is so much more to learn?

    But if we allow religion to rule our method of querie, whether we ask how or why, the answer will always come up the same; gods.

    What then have we learned?
     
  23. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    Why learn?
    To what end?
     

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