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Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

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Old 03-15-2017, 05:20 AM   #26
tame_deuces
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by SuperMario7 View Post
LOL. So simply not believing in a religion is now classed as a religion?
Atheism is not irreligion. An atheist can certainly be irreligious, however. So can a theist.

Interestingly non-religion is by SCOTUS-verdict in the US counted as religion, but that's more a question of granting the rights afforded the religious also to the irreligious.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:52 PM   #27
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
Atheism is not irreligion. An atheist can certainly be irreligious, however. So can a theist.

Interestingly non-religion is by SCOTUS-verdict in the US counted as religion, but that's more a question of granting the rights afforded the religious also to the irreligious.
If you look up "religion" what answer do you get? You get this answer: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Now tell me which atheist believe this and how can atheists have a religion?
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:42 PM   #28
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by SuperMario7 View Post
If you look up "religion" what answer do you get? You get this answer: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Now tell me which atheist believe this and how can atheists have a religion?
There are lots of people who believe in spirits without believing that they are a "controlling power" in the sense that is similar to that of a god. Animists think the same way.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:40 PM   #29
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by SuperMario7 View Post
If you look up "religion" what answer do you get? You get this answer: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Now tell me which atheist believe this and how can atheists have a religion?
Here's one: Stephen Cahn. In his article "Religion Reconsidered" (PDF) he argues for a naturalistic approach to religion that doesn't require a commitment to traditional theism, i.e. that you can be religious while rejecting supernaturalism.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:57 PM   #30
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Here's one: Stephen Cahn. In his article "Religion Reconsidered" (PDF) he argues for a naturalistic approach to religion that doesn't require a commitment to traditional theism, i.e. that you can be religious while rejecting supernaturalism.
I could argue a lot of things, such as banana's are not fruit if you are high on lsd. Does that now suddenly make it something other than a banana?
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:02 PM   #31
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by SuperMario7 View Post
If you look up "religion" what answer do you get? You get this answer: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Now tell me which atheist believe this and how can atheists have a religion?
I think you answered your own question, "especially" doesn't imply always.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:21 PM   #32
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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I could argue a lot of things, such as banana's are not fruit if you are high on lsd. Does that now suddenly make it something other than a banana?
You are confusing the dictionary definition of "religion," which is a fact about linguistic usage, with the actual social phenomenon of religion. We can't prove that atheists aren't religious by definition until we know how well our definitions map onto reality. The argument of someone like Stephen Cahn is that the dictionary definition of religion shouldn't include a requirement of belief in the supernatural because that is not logically necessary or empirically supported by actual religious practice. Thus, you can't refute him by appealing to a dictionary. The correctness of that definition is the subject of the argument.

FWIW, I think it is obviously true that you can be religious and an atheist. I personally know many religious Jews who are atheists. I've talked with a couple Shinto priests (and lay people as well) who are atheistic naturalists.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:12 PM   #33
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by batair View Post
Atheist religions seem like a lot of work...

How much work has gone into the major Abrahamic religions?



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Originally Posted by spewmachine View Post
Buddhism mentions god sometimes, but god is not really important in Buddhism.

I dont like Buddhism, because i cant get myself to meditate. I tried meditating regularly, but i think its just painful and i dont have the discipline to carry on with it.

Try sitting down in a regular meditation position and try to make it threw 15 minutes. Than you see what i mean.

Perhaps this is part of the test of Buddhism, and you have to overcome some issue you're having, or some deficiency within yourself to overcome this obstacle.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:17 PM   #34
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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You are confusing the dictionary definition of "religion," which is a fact about linguistic usage, with the actual social phenomenon of religion. We can't prove that atheists aren't religious by definition until we know how well our definitions map onto reality. The argument of someone like Stephen Cahn is that the dictionary definition of religion shouldn't include a requirement of belief in the supernatural because that is not logically necessary or empirically supported by actual religious practice. Thus, you can't refute him by appealing to a dictionary. The correctness of that definition is the subject of the argument.

FWIW, I think it is obviously true that you can be religious and an atheist. I personally know many religious Jews who are atheists. I've talked with a couple Shinto priests (and lay people as well) who are atheistic naturalists.
The dictionary definition of religion is basically what the anthropological definition was in the 19th century, i.e in E.B. Tylor ("belief in spiritual beings"). But the definition has always been pretty contested. On the far end of the spectrum, you have Geertz' definition:

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Religion is
(1) a system of symbols
(2) which acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men
(3) by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and
(4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that
(5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
Which has been criticized as not leaving enough of a conceptual distinction between religion and the notion of culture more generally. Although Geertz might argue that the distinction westerners make isn't universal to begin with. I think Geertz is closer to a universally useful definition than Tylor though.

This wiki article seems like a pretty good introduction to different theories. I have this book which I think is very good for anyone interested.

My opinion is the most obvious failure of popular definitions of religion is that they reduce religion to ideology (and hence to something like belief in spirits), which is obviously an important aspect of religion as a social phenomenon but not the only one. Evans-Pritchard makes this point when he discusses the impossibility of understanding Azande religion outside of the context of the structure of their society in general. I think it's also fairly central to Geertz' ideas about the relationship between "world view" (the ideological part) and "ethos".
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:31 AM   #35
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Religion is
(1) a system of symbols
(2) which acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men
(3) by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and
(4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that
(5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
It is hardly a stretch to have the above as a definition of Mathematics.

I think one thing that is key to the definition of a religion is the all important concept of The sacred or sacredness. Having something sacred, anything from a material to an animal to a plant to some imagined, or existing entity, or being or beings or spirits, etc. So sacred and special that they are worthy of worship or that they have some controlling power or influence over human affairs; or are intertwine with human activities in some positive or negative way. And that humans have a means of some form of intercession or communication with these beings or materials or whatever. This is so all important to humans that writings, sacred writings, or oral stories are almost ubiquitous to all religions.

I recall years ago reading a scholarly definition of religion and it included that some form of text or book (written or oral) was an important defining criterion.

Last edited by Zeno; 03-17-2017 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:50 AM   #36
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
Quote:
Religion is
(1) a system of symbols
(2) which acts to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting moods and motivations in men
(3) by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and
(4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that
(5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
It is hardly a stretch to have the above as a definition of Mathematics.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:10 PM   #37
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Re: Atheistic Religions

heh.

zeno: I agree that the idea of sacredness should have a place. In Geertz' elaboration of the above I think it is incorporated in his (2).
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:09 PM   #38
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
You are confusing the dictionary definition of "religion," which is a fact about linguistic usage, with the actual social phenomenon of religion.
No I'm not, you are confused by it.
Quote:
We can't prove that atheists aren't religious by definition until we know how well our definitions map onto reality.
Yes we can!
Show me 1 atheist that is religious?
Now show me one religious person that is atheist?

Quote:
The argument of someone like Stephen Cahn is that the dictionary definition of religion shouldn't include a requirement of belief in the supernatural because that is not logically necessary or empirically supported by actual religious practice.Thus, you can't refute him by appealing to a dictionary. The correctness of that definition is the subject of the argument.
His argument is flawed and the "added meaning" of religion is flawed.

Quote:
FWIW, I think it is obviously true that you can be religious and an atheist. I personally know many religious Jews who are atheists. I've talked with a couple Shinto priests (and lay people as well) who are atheistic naturalists.
So they believe in nothing(no God), just like atheists do? That just makes them atheists nothing more.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:19 PM   #39
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Re: Atheistic Religions

You're asking for evidence ("show me a religious atheist") but dismissing the evidence provided (some atheist-but-practicing Jews, Shintos, and I might add some Buddhists and followers of some schools of Vedanta)

OrP is right that the disagreement is about definitions. If you define religion as theism (i.e as purely a question of belief in deities) than obviously you can't be a theistic atheist, but it's still a poor definition of religion because practices which we recognize as being "religious" in a great many cultures encompass more than just the having of a particular kind of belief. If I place flowers and light incense before a murti of Saraswati I'm engaged in a religious ritual even if my conception of Saraswati is purely symbolic.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:23 PM   #40
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Re: Atheistic Religions

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So they believe in nothing(no God), just like atheists do?
There's an error here of equating "believe in nothing" and "believe in no God." I think that's probably contributing to the problem.
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