Yazata, Any type of education that aid one in the pursuit of self-realisation. Self-realisation is to understand one's essential nature, the point of which is to ultimately join with it's source. The source is what we would call God, or the Supreme Being. I cut out the middle man prefering to use it as it was originally intended. Why you require a definition of scripture god only knows, but as far as defs go this one will suffice. The trouble with MR's speculation was that he used religion but decided to do away with it but steal the concept of ''afterlife''. This seems to be the way forward ''let's nick religious values, take the credit for it, and get rid of religion''. You cannot separate scripture from real religion because that is the information for the spiritual aspect of the human being. What you tend to get is major human catastrophe's (ultimately), when irreligion becomes dominent. MR's wonderings of an afterlife IS the point of religion. The portion of the human being that can be in an afterlife state, is the subtle body, or the personality (including mind and ego), which is precisely the portion that religion is concerned with. Of course it is also concerned with the physical body as the vehicle that the personality acts within, in the sense that it is to be purified of unecessary actions that can cause one to remain in ignorance. In short he was caught with his hands in the cash register. There is certainly alot of crap out there, and you'll find that, like MR, they pick and choose their own values, either bypassing scripture, changing scripture to suit themselves, or writing documents that are considered scriptural by their followers. This is ''irreligion'' the opposite of real religion. The meaning of ''religion'' taken from the latin ''re-ligare'' meaning to bind again, means to bind with God, and the only way one can learn how to do this is to somehow or other understand scripture, and unless you can show any other way to do this, we have to conclude there is no other way. The idea of wanting to become a god, is no different than wanting to buy the house on the hill, and live the lifestyle. It has nothing to do with religion. As far as I understand, the Jains source of religion stems from vedas, which basically informs us that we do evolve or transmigrate from one species to the next (including gods and celestial beings) (most likely where the Darwin machinary got it's license). Like most Indian religious traditions, the jain's objective is moksha liberation from samsara the wheel of birth and death (transgressing through the millions of species throughout the universes. The very idea of calling it ''syncretization'' is for me kind of disturbing, as it is painfully obvious from scriptural sources that the objective is the same, albeit on different levels (no different to any other kind of education system). There seems to be an awful lot of effort in concealing this fact, and running with the idea that every scripture, every religious tradition based on scripture, is just making it up as they go along. I suppose it coincides with the idiotic idea that early man invented the scriptures to explain stuff he didn't have a natural explanation for. ''Hinduism'' is kind of complex, because the term is manmade, describing a people from a particular part of India. What we regard as ''hinduism'', again , stems from the vedas and it known as sanatan-dharma loosely described as ''the eternal occupation of the soul''. Like all polytheistic cultures they still worship Vishnu as God (some worship Shiva as God, but that's a different topic). They understand that the devas (demi-gods) are part and parcel of God's cosmic universal form, acting as superintendant and caretaker of their specific regions. They are powerful beings who can offer many things, but they cannot offer liberation, only God can do that because only He is in full knowledge of everything. If the basic tenets contradict their objective, then traditions have already become lost, and we're dealing with irreligion. The salvational role of Christ was to inform some people that they are not there bodies, that after it's anihilation you still are. So let's concentrate on that essential thing. Kind of like, if you are drowning, and I fail to save your life, but emerge with your garments, would that be acceptable to your family and friends. Religion is purely about coming out of the system of birth and death, and returning to our natural, spiritual, position, sac, cit, ananda. I've tried but it tend's to get rail roaded by morons whose jobs seems to be perpetuating the idea that religion is an idea made by their descendants to explain stuff they didn't understand but had a burning desire to know. Firstly, it wasn't an attack. Secondly, 'scriptures' is absolutely relevant when discussing religion, and understanding what it actually is, which is most probably why they are at the forefront of being attacked, discredited, and as such NOT ALLOWED in any discussion regarding religion. Without scriptures (spoken/read) we would be no different to any other animal. As it stands there is a gulf of differenc between us with regard to ability. While other animals may out rank us in physical abilities, we have the power of the human mind and brain to excel anything they can achieve (speed, sight, strength, etc..). I believe there is a fear for some to study scripture because they will be forced to accept that there is something more than what they are prepared to believe, and they will have to eventually drop the lame excuse ''I don't believe in God because of lack of evidence''. I don't even see why you're jumping on this bandwagon. I'm a human being and I have got something to say on this subject matter. The current propagandic noise that's being generated here is not only stale, but long overdue (I've been here a good few years now). I would have thought that you would have noticed by now that I'm being attacked, ignored, and what have you because I tend to bypass this stale bullshit and talk about actual religion. It's time! Whether or not something is authoritative has no bearing on what the thing is. These forums are called ''Sciforums'', the ''Sci...'' meaning science (i suspect), and ''science'' meaning ''knowledge''. The only people who would dismiss scriptures as integral to religion are ignorant or devicive. The only people who would honestly regard scriptures as fiction painstakingly written by prehistoric man are idiots, ignorants, or devicive. jan.