What is "religion"?

Definition of terms and explanation of concepts

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otseng
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What is "religion"?

Post #1

Post by otseng »

My definition of religion:
"A set of beliefs and practices that are subscribed to by one or more people that involves the worship of an entity (or entities)."

Dictionary.com
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
Wiktionary:
1. A system of beliefs that involves the existence or nonexistence of at least one of: a human soul or spirit, a diety or higher being, or self after the death of one's body.
* He couldn't abide by any religion that didn't allow for wrongdoers to be punished after death.
2. Any system of beliefs.

Note: this usage is uncommon, see Usage note, below.

* Science is a religion, because it relies on certain fundamentally unprovable ideas, such as the existence of logic.
3. A system of belief predicated on the existence of one or more dieties.

Note: this usage is uncommon, see Usage note, below.

* It's not really a religion if there's no god to pray to.
4. A way of living that corresponds to such beliefs.
* You can practice any religion you like, as long as it doesn't require you to violate our laws.
5. A number of customs and rituals associated with such beliefs.
* When it comes to religion, she doesn't believe, but she loves to attend the ceremonies.
6. Anything that involves the association of people in a manner resembling a cult.
* At this point, Star Trek has really become a religion.
7. Any system or institution which one engages with in order to foster a sense of meaning or relevence in relation to something greater than oneself.
M-W:
1 a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
New Advent:
Religion, broadly speaking, means the voluntary subjection of oneself to God.
CARM
Generally a belief in a deity and practice of worship, action, and/or thought related to that deity. Loosely, any specific system of code of ethics, values, and belief.

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BeHereNow
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Post #2

Post by BeHereNow »

Here is my attempt:
Definition (suitable for this discussion board) of the term “religion”: A belief system which one or more persons hold in high regard, which has a belief in the supernatural, and some sort of belief in a persistence of personhood (whether the same or different/changed) after death.

I do not think the very broad definitions which include Atheism, Environmentalism, many forms of Buddhism, and Beatlism (thanks otseng) , should be included, because we would have to include all belief systems and there would be no differentia between “religion” and “belief system”.

From your list, the one I like best is: "The service and worship of God or the supernatural".

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Post #3

Post by Hugh »

The word religion - derived from the Greek root word; relig – meaning to tie. Religion is a traditional belief that evolved from multiple generations of cults and was handed down to our generation in a civilize approach. It was established by the general consensus to move primitive people, a moral whose driving force is social feeling, a dogma fitted with anathema without considering logical intelligence. In a general layman’s point of view; is a cockerel that thinks he has to crow at dawn so that the sun will shine again. Religion is versed in the game of mystic and fantasy, to cater the fears of human. It established the common belief of life after death, however there has never been a shred of evidence that such exist. The only reason why it continue to flourish because it keep humanity aware and happy in dying.

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Post #4

Post by led by the spirit »

:-k Hmmmm! a definition of religion.....Ahh !
got it! A substitute for God's way.So be it!

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RECOVERY OF INCONVENIENT TRUTH

Post #5

Post by Hugh »

To my fellow HUMAN ... to understand the relationship of Humanity to God & Religion ... Visit our Website being under construction.
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http://genesis.twilight.zone.googlepage ... ilightzone
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http://genesis.twilight.zone.googlepage ... lightzone2
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http://genesis.twilight.zone.googlepage ... lightzone3

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Post #6

Post by Hugh »

All religious faiths are just speculative rather than substantive. It is a game of mystic and fantasy to cater the fears of human in the establishment of common belief of life after death, however there has never been a shred of evidence that such exist. The only reason why it continue to flourish because it keep humanity aware and happy in the dying process.
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The best thing Human should undertake is to clip religion into its proper sphere and enhance intelligence to develop an inner strength to possess wisdom that is more appropriate on our present time for Humanity now possessed adequate scientific know-how and technical skills to prove things against the classical doctrines, however only few liberated themselves from the religious anathema thus were programmed to their consciousness by the traditional upbringing and environs.

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Post #7

Post by OnceConvinced »

Going by the OP it seems that Christianity falls nicely into the category of religion.

Society and its morals evolve and will continue to evolve. The bible however remains the same and just requires more and more apologetics and claims of "metaphors" and "symbolism" to justify it.

Prayer is like rubbing an old bottle and hoping that a genie will pop out and grant you three wishes.

There is much about this world that is mind boggling and impressive, but I see no need whatsoever to put it down to magical super powered beings.


Check out my website: Recker's World of Fantasy

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Post #8

Post by Hugh »

To the Agnostics, Free Thinkers and the likes . . .
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Humanity now possessed adequate scientific know-how and technical skills to prove things against the classical doctrines, however only few liberated themselves from the religious anathema which were programmed to their consciousness by the traditional upbringing and environs.

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Indeed … one must have guts to understand the rational that humanity must be free from thus ambiguities and start this generation the basic understanding that reality is different from what had been preached by religion that man was created by God … instead the other way around.

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Even Jesus of Nazareth had not substantiated the true description of God (where, what, how & when was the true origin) - in the sense that future generation shall no longer argue its ambiguous description. He left us open and circular phrases as the battle cry of religion. And unfortunately, was the free for all interpretations by later generations. Some entities had more influenced and authority (anathema) over the others and had the sole accessed in literature and later the formation of the most ambiguous faith back-up by literary heresy integrated in some lines of the bible. Truly ... it was the later generation intervention that strengthened the ambiguous belief. If Jesus of Nazareth was truly God as Christian had conceived ... World had no chaos today.

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The point is, God has the qualities that Man doesn't have . . . qualities that Man himself knows he cannot have . . . omnipotence, omniscience etc.
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Man dies. But he fears death and wants to live longer, he then created God in order for him to look up to something after death. God now is immortal.
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Man cannot do everything. He feels inadequate he cannot fulfill bigger tasks, he then created God so that he can let God do the 'impossible' things for him. God now is omnipotent.
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Man (so far) cannot understand everything. He thinks he cannot explain everything around him, he then created God so that he can get short-cut answers to his inquiries. God now is omniscient.
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Man is alone. He distrusts his fellow for they've done awful things to him, he then made God his companion and he won't be needing anyone anymore. He also wants God to watch over him wherever he is. God now is selfless and omnipresent.
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God is Man's model. It has become so powerful that he fears his creation already. So in order for him to get everybody else to appreciate his creation, God had 'perfect human qualities' -- sincere, loving, faithful etc. No one should want to praise a frightening God right? Now it has become Man's perfect model to emulate.
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God is the manifestation of Man's need for perfection. He created God to compensate his flaws.

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religion = a set of beliefs about a deity

Post #9

Post by Logomachist »

I would say religion is made up of a set of beliefs about a deity or deities along with its accessory institutions and practices.

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Post #10

Post by Wordsmith »

I suggest the following definition of "religion" is a generally acceptable expression sufficient to cover most all other suggested definitions thus far expressed.

RELIGION: (Default context) Includes any physically unverifiable explanation one accepts as answering (any of) the three classic unanswered philosophical questions of all time.
(1) Where did life (I) come from?
(2) What is life’s (my) purpose? Or
(3) What is life’s (my) ultimate destiny?
These are the (root) criteria common to and addressed by ALL established religions – be they Christian, Judaism. Hindu, Muslim, Secular Humanism, Atheism, Scientism, etc., etc.

Wordsmith

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