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Old 07-24-2016, 06:01 PM   #26
Black Peter
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by spanktehbadwookie View Post
A newer movement in Buddhism I have heard referred to as Engaged Buddhism is centered around engaging with warmth and compassion explicitly.
When you take a religion and alter it to fit your needs, is it still a religion? Or has it become a philosophical way of life? Or something else?
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:23 PM   #27
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Re: Pick a religion

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When you take a religion and alter it to fit your needs, is it still a religion? Or has it become a philosophical way of life? Or something else?


Kindness fulfills human need. So as far as I understand your question, the answer is kindness.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:35 PM   #28
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Re: Pick a religion

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What I know about Buddhism would suggest the opposite. The whole point of Buddhism is to ground people by teaching them how to overcome states of mind that prevent peace and positivity.
I would argue that many of these "states of mind" which Buddhism seeks to annihilate are both healthy and part of the rich tapestry of life.
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I don't see why the philosophy would be any harder for a child to grasp than many used by religions like Islam and Christianity which are often so complex that educated adults can't agree on them. Buddhism seems far more simple in comparison.
The complexity and contradiction in Christianity is a feature imo, not a bug. Something so complex and contradictory you can't understand it all, but with veins of love and belonging, is much better than a religion teaching a singular spiritual ideal.

I don't think "peace and compassion" by itself, and as a highest goal of human attainment, is a healthy ideal. I don't think societies based on them are healthy either. Don't get me wrong, it's noble and has a lot to be said for it, but it misses the big picture.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:37 PM   #29
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by spanktehbadwookie View Post
A newer movement in Buddhism I have heard referred to as Engaged Buddhism is centered around engaging with warmth and compassion explicitly.
Sounds interesting.

There's such a smorgasbord of religions available there must be some obscure one that most of could agree is desirable.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:31 PM   #30
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Re: Pick a religion

Religion, at face value, is not an intellectual falderal . In the west, and as example Christianity is about "feelings" and so in the Christian tradition the acolyte works upon "feelings" in order to be transformed into the spiritual sphere . This does not obviate the huge intellectual/thought borne exegesis of Christianity but points to the fact that the most and least enlightened intellectually can find the Christ within his heart and in progress transform the self.

The Oriental heritage such as the Vedas/Vedanta philosophy is very much immersed within thinking and thoughts in order for the novice to enter into the spiritual world.

From the two examples we see the methodologies of entrance into the spiritual world, that to which religion points. This is difficult during our times as there is very little comprehension of the world of the spirit even among the religious .

Many might say that "feelings" can send a person astray and therefore one should be careful with basing one's conclusions upon a "feeling". The actuality is that "feelings" are never wrong and contain a thought born activity to which is not so evident. the difficulty with "feelings" is that the intellect becomes involved and in this can lead to aberrant comprehension. "Feelings" are real and true but obviously call for a proper intellectual comprehension.

It appears that not all religions are "feeling" religions and so I'll speak to Buddhism which is the apotheosis or culmination of the Oriental exegesis from ancient India. the Buddha states that "all is suffering", " all is pain",.. and therefore the advice is to leave the "wheel of Life" or "wheel of incarnations". Gautama Buddha, who lived 600 years before our present era gives wonderful presentations of love and compassion and denies the earthly, in keeping with the ancient Indian. This is the effacement of the ego or at least the non recognition of the ego of Man, his "I".

The Christian exegesis is that not only does the power of Love come to the fore but that the earth is worked for only in this way can the "Ego " or "I" proceed with his proper development. The Christian ethos is inclusive of "all men" as apposed to the individual instruction given by the Buddha. In this we are all responsible for one another, difficult as this may seem at present with our contentious separations into nation, race, gender, etc...

The ancient Hebrew brought forth the love for one another within the nation and through Christianity this recognition of each other is carried on into all of mankind.

The recognition (even if not understood) of reincarnation and karma completes the refurbishment of the human soul through recurrent lives and there will be a future that displays that the Being that died on Golgotha, the Logos, entered into the earthly sphere, became the "Spirit of the Earth" as guide for all mankind in their work from life to life. This is the future of Man.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:51 PM   #31
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Black Peter View Post
When you take a religion and alter it to fit your needs, is it still a religion? Or has it become a philosophical way of life? Or something else?


Quote:
Originally Posted by spanktehbadwookie View Post
Kindness fulfills human need. So as far as I understand your question, the answer is kindness.

To give more of an answer I have considered that this question is made up from at least several questions.

1. How does religion or a religion change?

2. Why do some members of religions share their viewpoints and practices freely?

3. What happens when a religion shares it's knowledges and practices freely.

Very large questions IMO.

Still, beginning with kindness, it's a simple and plausible impetus for sharing anything which fulfills a human
need and changes cruelty.

For question 3, more kindness can happen from kindness. So when a religion shares the value of kindness, what happens is kindness.

So I think kindness is a good short answer within the answers of all three questions.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:06 AM   #32
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Re: Pick a religion

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I would argue that many of these "states of mind" which Buddhism seeks to annihilate are both healthy and part of the rich tapestry of life.
Not sure what "rich tapestry of life" means, sounds like a bit of woowoo to be frank. I don't consider Jealousy, Greed or hatred to be healthy, for example. Greed is the primary reason that we live mostly in a decadent capitilism, that there is such massive inequality in the world. It's responsible for poverty and great suffering. Christianity commands that we not be greedy, but then seeks to own great buildings and to impress through valuable trinkets and costumes, and the largest Christian church on the planet is extremely wealthy, while having poverty stricken converts. This hypocrisy largely goes unnoticed, but it's there.

Buddhism helps us to overcome our tendency to be greedy.

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The complexity and contradiction in Christianity is a feature imo, not a bug. Something so complex and contradictory you can't understand it all, but with veins of love and belonging, is much better than a religion teaching a singular spiritual ideal.
Complexity confuses and cows people, one might even wonder if that were the purpose of it given how easy it would be for a god to give us whatever we need to understand them.

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post
I don't think "peace and compassion" by itself, and as a highest goal of human attainment, is a healthy ideal. I don't think societies based on them are healthy either. Don't get me wrong, it's noble and has a lot to be said for it, but it misses the big picture.
Why?
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:25 AM   #33
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
Not sure what "rich tapestry of life" means, sounds like a bit of woowoo to be frank. I don't consider Jealousy, Greed or hatred to be healthy, for example. Greed is the primary reason that we live mostly in a decadent capitilism, that there is such massive inequality in the world.
I disagree completely. Greed is the primary reason we live in a wonderful enlightened world compared to our ancestors.

Selfish desires are a good thing and one of the most powerful motivators, when they're appropriately channeled.
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It's responsible for poverty and great suffering. Christianity commands that we not be greedy, but then seeks to own great buildings and to impress through valuable trinkets and costumes, and the largest Christian church on the planet is extremely wealthy, while having poverty stricken converts. This hypocrisy largely goes unnoticed, but it's there.
Would the world be better if we all had exactly the same income, regardless of effort or talent? Answer: it wouldn't. Life has beauty and richness in diversity of income. And those trinkets and buildings you decry? Europe is amazing and inspiring because of that very disparity of wealth. How many people visit the Vatican each year and are inspired by it? Elsewhere, the buildings of the rich provide museums and beautiful gardens and an escape from the mundane that millions enjoy. The patronage of the fine arts and the purely inquisitive sciences by the rich created many advances and timeless works of beauty that would be impossible if wealth wasn't concentrated. You claim this cost isn't worth it, I disagree.
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Complexity confuses and cows people, one might even wonder if that were the purpose of it given how easy it would be for a god to give us whatever we need to understand them.
Reality is complex, far beyond what we can grasp. As is spirituality. The idea that we can grasp precisely what we should do can be a very harmful thing to our spiritual and personal development. One of the great evils of Buddhism is that it claims something specific and false - that the goal of life is to attain enlightenment and free ourselves from worldly problems. People who follow Buddhism get infected with this belief, which is almost dissociative in nature. Look at how Buddhist monks withdraw from the world.

That's not to say Buddhism is bad. I like it and I'm glad it's one of the world's religions. But it's not ideal for a kid, imo, due to its flaws.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:52 AM   #34
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Re: Pick a religion

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I disagree completely. Greed is the primary reason we live in a wonderful enlightened world compared to our ancestors.

Selfish desires are a good thing and one of the most powerful motivators, when they're appropriately channeled.
I wouldn't disagree that greed played a part in our 'success' but I put that word in speech marks because it's questionable as to whether or not what we've achieved is actually a success. I think a lot of our behaviours are now working against us, behaviours such as greed, so a religion that encourages less greed is a very positive thing now where it might not have been in more primitive times.

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Would the world be better if we all had exactly the same income, regardless of effort or talent? Answer: it wouldn't.
Why do we have to have income? I can easily imagine ways of living where money, trade, income, even 'ownership' have becomes words with no meaning. That would be a better place. We don't have to be the 'same', but we could easily have 'enough'. But this is a different subject really.

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post
Life has beauty and richness in diversity of income. And those trinkets and buildings you decry? Europe is amazing and inspiring because of that very disparity of wealth. How many people visit the Vatican each year and are inspired by it? Elsewhere, the buildings of the rich provide museums and beautiful gardens and an escape from the mundane that millions enjoy. The patronage of the fine arts and the purely inquisitive sciences by the rich created many advances and timeless works of beauty that would be impossible if wealth wasn't concentrated. You claim this cost isn't worth it, I disagree.
I have a more cynical view of the trinkets, that they are 'trappings' designed to reinforce authority and dazzle and awe the less critical. You've introduced the arts but I wasn't including them. I'm speaking only of the grand buildings and ridiculously fine clothes and outfits, and the gold crosses etc.

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post
Reality is complex, far beyond what we can grasp. As is spirituality. The idea that we can grasp precisely what we should do can be a very harmful thing to our spiritual and personal development. One of the great evils of Buddhism is that it claims something specific and false - that the goal of life is to attain enlightenment and free ourselves from worldly problems. People who follow Buddhism get infected with this belief, which is almost dissociative in nature. Look at how Buddhist monks withdraw from the world.

That's not to say Buddhism is bad. I like it and I'm glad it's one of the world's religions. But it's not ideal for a kid, imo, due to its flaws.
At least it doesn't have a belief that moral values come from some god but without any proof of that nor agreement on exactly what those values are. How does that help a child?
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:30 AM   #35
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Re: Pick a religion

Since the major religions have big negatives and an obvious esoteric minor religion doesn't immediately spring to mind, I'm going to cop out with this answer: compatibility with the dominant religion of hour region is probably more important than differences between the religions. A lot of religious education, for instance, comes not from parents but from local communities and culture. Not necessarily so, of course, but commonly so. So I guess I would pick a nice Christianty branch.

Also somewhat a fan of UU as it gets close to humanism at times, but it also has its lack of structure which can sometimes suck for the putative goals of the thread
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:52 PM   #36
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Re: Pick a religion

How to teach a child that dispelling an illusion doesn't destroyed anything real to begin with is probably different than how one may teach an adult.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:14 AM   #37
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
I wouldn't disagree that greed played a part in our 'success' but I put that word in speech marks because it's questionable as to whether or not what we've achieved is actually a success. I think a lot of our behaviours are now working against us, behaviours such as greed, so a religion that encourages less greed is a very positive thing now where it might not have been in more primitive times.
Christianity encourages less greed(yes you can claim hypocrisy but that doesn't negate the fact) so I guess you will now view Christianity as a very positive thing.

Buddhism doesn't encourage less greed, or does it on the understanding that all emotions and desires are equally transient and baseless, it doesn't label emotions as good or bad.


Quote:
Why do we have to have income? I can easily imagine ways of living where money, trade, income, even 'ownership' have becomes words with no meaning. That would be a better place. We don't have to be the 'same', but we could easily have 'enough'

Why would it be a better place?how do you know?
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:08 AM   #38
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Re: Pick a religion

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A friend comes to you and says, "I've just had my first child, I've never been very religious or interested in religion, but I think religion can be a useful way to install good values in children. What religion or religious denomination should I join and why?"

What do you say?
Something like Buddhism would be great, if we have no other choice. Does it count as a religion?

EDIT: I was grunching and didn't see Buddhism was already suggested. Actually, I wouldn't mind a religion like Mormonism.
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Old 08-01-2016, 01:03 PM   #39
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Re: Pick a religion

The following link presents a factor that should be considered in your pick a religion calculation:

which_major_religion_has_the_most_holidays

The following link presents a factor that should not be considered in your pick a religion calculation:

religious-projections-2010-2050

I would suggest adhering to a variety of religions, mix and match as needed. Or, randomly pick twelve religions and adhere to one each month, giving you a full year to test out which one is the best fit. If none of the twelve satisfy then repeat the process the next year. Eventually you may find one that works. If you weary of this approach after a few years then just make up your own religion, sort of what I alluded to in the first sentence of this paragraph, and get to nirvana on your own stilts.

Or, you could practice Zenoism. It works for me.

Last edited by Zeno; 08-02-2016 at 02:57 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:31 PM   #40
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Re: Pick a religion

Universal Unitarianism.

Mostly because I haven't gotten around to inventing a new religion. Partly because it fosters one of the most important personality traits for happiness (openness to experience).
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:36 PM   #41
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Re: Pick a religion

Judaism because you get access to the secret Jewish gold caves
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:15 AM   #42
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Re: Pick a religion

Religion!
I dont believe in it.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:19 PM   #43
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Re: Pick a religion

Taoism because Tao and I hear it's going to be a bull market
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:51 PM   #44
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Black Peter View Post
When you take a religion and alter it to fit your needs, is it still a religion? Or has it become a philosophical way of life? Or something else?
Religion is an ideal- nothing more.

If you take some religion and adjust it, it certainly remains an ideal. And, if you so term this adjusted version a religion then a religion it is.

The obvious example is mormonism. Most regard this as a religion.

If I should adapt ideas from Christianity and adjust them in some wacky stylethen this new idea must be a religion. The fact that it would have a lack of followers and be only a day old mean nothing- Mormonism was in this spot once.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:09 PM   #45
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Re: Pick a religion

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Religion is an ideal- nothing more.



If you take some religion and adjust it, it certainly remains an ideal. And, if you so term this adjusted version a religion then a religion it is.



The obvious example is mormonism. Most regard this as a religion.



If I should adapt ideas from Christianity and adjust them in some wacky stylethen this new idea must be a religion. The fact that it would have a lack of followers and be only a day old mean nothing- Mormonism was in this spot once.


Interesting view. I'd say religion is more than just an ideal. But that's a whole other can of worms.

It also occurs to me that another answer to peter's question is spirituality.

Which seems closer to a pure ideal for, in part, lacking strictly defined organizational and institutional structures.
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:44 PM   #46
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
A friend comes to you and says, "I've just had my first child, I've never been very religious or interested in religion, but I think religion can be a useful way to install good values in children. What religion or religious denomination should I join and why?"

What do you say?
The question asks what religion is suitable for the parent, not the child. If this person is not interested in religion but is looking for a set of values, I'd suggest Humanism.

If the question is extended to the child, I've heard atheist / skeptic parenting ideas that recommend introducing your children to multiple religions and examining them together with a skeptical approach. This sounds like a good idea, if children see that there are many different religions with similar goals but different approaches, I'd suppose they're less likely to be indoctrinated into any single dogma.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:58 AM   #47
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Re: Pick a religion

I've always thought reincarnation would be a useful belief for the majority to have, for obvious reasons.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:05 AM   #48
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Re: Pick a religion

I'll discount religious buddhism, even though I respect its philosophy. I suspect I'd go for a "mild" non-conservative form of Judaism.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:17 PM   #49
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by spanktehbadwookie View Post
Interesting view. I'd say religion is more than just an ideal. But that's a whole other can of worms.

It also occurs to me that another answer to peter's question is spirituality.

Which seems closer to a pure ideal for, in part, lacking strictly defined organizational and institutional structures.
I want to understand what you've said (having thought on it at some length). But in order to do so i think i need your definition of spirituality- if you'd be so kind?

And how would you, for instance, distinguish between a religion and a cult, if indeed a distinction should be made at all? Is it (without meaning to put words in your mouth) that the former carries spirituality (definition needed) while the latter does not?

It would seem to me that there's no distinction as both simply exhibit some ideal. Why am i wrong?

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I've always thought reincarnation would be a useful belief for the majority to have, for obvious reasons.
Bertrand Russell once said that "there can't be any practical reason for believing in what isn't true." Source: Skip to 15 seconds on the following video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP4FDLegX9s

Why is he wrong? What are the so-called obvious reasons?

Last edited by Inzaghi; 08-12-2016 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:48 PM   #50
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Re: Pick a religion

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I want to understand what you've said (having thought on it at some length). But in order to do so i think i need your definition of spirituality- if you'd be so kind?

And how would you, for instance, distinguish between a religion and a cult, if indeed a distinction should be made at all? Is it (without meaning to put words in your mouth) that the former carries spirituality (definition needed) while the latter does not?

It would seem to me that there's no distinction as both simply exhibit some ideal. Why am i wrong?



Bertrand Russell once said that "there can't be any practical reason for believing in what isn't true." Source: Skip to 15 seconds on the following video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP4FDLegX9s

Why is he wrong? What are the so-called obvious reasons?


Hey, I have no special definition of spirituality. My favorite general definition is "concerning Being". It's like religion and the rest as simple and not so simple.

If the question were "what is spirituality like?" With regard to religion , one likeness is mystery. Mystery also connects with science and philosophy. Sharable value. Spiritually has no requirement to reject any shared values.

Cults are at the extreme away from shared values. Very Special definitions, manipulation and coercion, isolation. All that cult-type stuff.
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