Poll: Can nontheistic faiths be a religion?
Yes, there are nontheistic religions.
No, only supernaturalfaiths are religions.
Uncertain. Need more information.
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What is a religion?
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21-07-2015, 04:39 AM (This post was last modified: 21-07-2015 04:50 AM by thinkerman.)
What is a religion?
I would like to challenge the frequent assertion that religion must have supernatural diety(s) and conform to typical organized religions with their sacred books, rituals, and houses of worship. Also, I seem to recall that sociology recognises that there is a national religion (not a theocracy necessarily) which can be identified as of part of nation's cultural heritage and common practices which ususally have been institutionalized. The US Supreme Court made a ruling in the latter part of the 19th century that the US is a "Christian nation" (with about 10,000 documents supporting it), meaning not that everyone was a Christian, of course, but the dominant cultural influence and social behaviors and government historical and legal documents reflect Christianity.

I believe that there are many levels of religion: one's personal religious beliefs, on to increasingly larger group's religiously held beliefs, and even to a national level as previously mentioned.

I have often read or heard the argument that the US Constitution prohibits the government from supporting or opposing any one sincerely-held religion/denomination over another. It is an easy exercise to see that the Founding Fathers who wrote and voted on the Bill of Rights and US Constitution did not intend for the blatant suppression and hositilty to theistic religions in the public arena. Thomas Jefferson, for example, was the first Superintendant of schools in America, and he allowed the Bible to be a part of every students instruction, as was general nondenominational prayer part of the public school program. Obviously, it was not athiests who instituted the practice of swearing on the Bible in courts and inaugurations. However, despite the hostility shown towards orthodox Jews and Christians, opponents seem to forget that many who founded the United States government did so to protect not only their religious freedoms but also nonbelievers.

The ACLU and Freedom from Religion, have twisted what the Founding Fathers originally intended. In fact, I think they really don't give a damn what was originally intended when they claim an act or law is unconstitutional. They believe in a Constituition that is a "living document", or it allegedly evolves according to their will. I will call it gratuitious Constitutional Darwinism - -as in "might makes right", or there are no absolute truths or freedoms or self evident, God given rights. Man makes his own rights and takes away the rights of others with whom they disagree or want to oppress.

I an a conservative, Bible believing Full Gospel (like pentecostal) Christian. I am conservative on social issues and political issues. I am not politically correct. And, thanks to totalitarians like President Obama, I am considered a potential domestic terrorist. Also, some evolutionists, like Ted Turner, have said that Christians are less evolved.

Seth Andrews, went from a Christian background and supposedly from freed from what he now considers ignornace and superstitious bondage. Some others, which I could name, especially scientists and mathematicians, have made the opposite journey to enlightenment and freedom from athiesm or some form of evolutionism, to Christianity or at least belief in an Intelligent Creator.

Maybe Seth would have been happier if he had been raised in a communist country, Albania or the USSR,Consider where Atheism is the compulsory religion - an a-theocracy, if you will.
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21-07-2015, 05:06 AM
RE: What is a religion?
There are (or were) religion without supernatural element, marxism-leninism springs to mind. Rafał Imos in his Faith of the Soviet Man writes that calling marxism-leninism pseudo-religion or some such is result of emotional colouring of word religion - communism was unworthy so it could not aspire to worthy name of religion.

Author claimed that marxism-leninism was gnostic, dualistic and universalistic state religion with prophet and saints.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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21-07-2015, 05:34 AM
RE: What is a religion?
Religion -- an organized delusion.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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21-07-2015, 05:51 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(21-07-2015 04:39 AM)thinkerman Wrote:  I would like to challenge the frequent assertion that religion must have supernatural [sic] diety(s) and conform to typical organized religions with their sacred books, rituals, and houses of worship. Also, I seem to recall that sociology recognises that there is a national religion (not a theocracy necessarily) which can be identified as of part of nation's cultural heritage and common practices which [sic] ususally have been institutionalized. The US Supreme Court made a ruling in the latter part of the 19th century that the US is a "Christian nation" (with about 10,000 documents supporting it), meaning not that everyone was a Christian, of course, but the dominant cultural influence and social behaviors and government historical and legal documents reflect Christianity.

I believe that there are many levels of religion: one's personal religious beliefs, on to increasingly larger group's religiously held beliefs, and even to a national level as previously mentioned.

I have often read or heard the argument that the US Constitution prohibits the government from supporting or opposing any one sincerely-held religion/denomination over another. It is an easy exercise to see that the Founding Fathers who wrote and voted on the Bill of Rights and US Constitution did not intend for the blatant suppression and [sic] hositilty to theistic religions in the public arena. Thomas Jefferson, for example, was the first [sic] Superintendant of schools in America, and he allowed the Bible to be a part of every students instruction, as was general nondenominational prayer part of the public school program. Obviously, it was not [sic] athiests who instituted the practice of swearing on the Bible in courts and inaugurations. However, despite the hostility shown towards orthodox Jews and Christians, opponents seem to forget that many who founded the United States government did so to protect not only their religious freedoms but also nonbelievers.

The ACLU and Freedom from Religion, have twisted what the Founding Fathers originally intended. In fact, I think they really don't give a damn what was originally intended when they claim an act or law is unconstitutional. They believe in a [sic] Constituition that is a "living document", or it allegedly evolves according to their will. I will call it [sic] gratuitious Constitutional Darwinism - -as in "might makes right", or there are no absolute truths or freedoms or self evident, God given rights. Man makes his own rights and takes away the rights of others with whom they disagree or want to oppress.

I an a conservative, Bible believing Full Gospel (like pentecostal) Christian. I am conservative on social issues and political issues. I am not politically correct. And, thanks to totalitarians like President Obama, I am considered a potential domestic terrorist. Also, some evolutionists, like Ted Turner, have said that Christians are less evolved.

Seth Andrews, went from a Christian background and supposedly from freed from what he now considers [sic] ignornace and superstitious bondage. Some others, which I could name, especially scientists and mathematicians, have made the opposite journey to enlightenment and freedom from [sic] athiesm or some form of evolutionism, to Christianity or at least belief in an Intelligent Creator.

Maybe Seth would have been happier if he had been raised in a communist country, Albania or the USSR,Consider where Atheism is the compulsory religion - an a-theocracy, if you will.

You are absolutely right. Religion does not require belief in a god or even a supernatural one.
Buddhism does not require it. It is actually irrelevant to them.

However, your assertion that atheism is a religion is so wrong.
Theism is belief that at least one supernatural god exists.
Atheism is not believing every one of those claims.

Quote:Many Christians seem to believe that atheism is a religion, but no one with an accurate understanding of both concepts would make such a mistake. Atheism lacks every one of the characteristics of religion. At most, atheism doesn’t explicitly exclude most of them, but the same can be said for almost anything. Thus, it’s not possible to call atheism a religion. It can be part of a religion, but it can’t be a religion by itself. They are completely different categories: atheism is the absence of one particular belief while religion is a complex web of traditions and beliefs.
(my emphasis)

Religion is?:

And you are also wrong about a compulsory religion in communist countries.
Communists replaced religion with party membership. Nice try at the red herring.
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21-07-2015, 06:09 AM
RE: What is a religion?
I'm not sure where this frequent assertion is coming from.

Words don't have one meaning. Depending on a context used it can represent multiple things and that is a positive attribute to some terms.

A religion can be simply, a collection of shared beliefs & rituals organized together; that doesn't necessarily propose a deity. It still can in other times mean any theistic believing group.

The communist parties as they've taken control of nations have often replaced the religious devotion to authority of religion to their government. So they create the same type of mentality that embodies that.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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21-07-2015, 06:36 AM
RE: What is a religion?
Actually re-reading the poll options, there are not related
  • Yes, there are nontheistic religions.*
  • No, only supernaturalfaiths are religions.
  • Uncertain. Need more information.

The yes and no options are not opposites of each other. The first talks about non-theism and the second supernaturality (new word?!)
This clearly demonstrates that these concepts are not well understood by the OP.

Religions do not require theism and theism does not require religion.
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21-07-2015, 09:09 AM
RE: What is a religion?
A few non-theistic religions:

Buddhism
Taoism
Secular Humanism (yes, the US Supreme Court recognized this as a 1st amendment-protected religion in 1952).
Leninist/Maoist Marxism

(Related NON-religious ideas for the last two are atheism and communism, respectively.)

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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21-07-2015, 09:18 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(21-07-2015 04:39 AM)thinkerman Wrote:  I would like to challenge the frequent assertion that religion must have supernatural diety(s) and conform to typical organized religions with their sacred books, rituals, and houses of worship. Also, I seem to recall that sociology recognises that there is a national religion (not a theocracy necessarily) which can be identified as of part of nation's cultural heritage and common practices which ususally have been institutionalized. The US Supreme Court made a ruling in the latter part of the 19th century that the US is a "Christian nation" (with about 10,000 documents supporting it), meaning not that everyone was a Christian, of course, but the dominant cultural influence and social behaviors and government historical and legal documents reflect Christianity.

[Image: 1390269212824.png]

Quote:I believe that there are many levels of religion: one's personal religious beliefs, on to increasingly larger group's religiously held beliefs, and even to a national level as previously mentioned.

I have often read or heard the argument that the US Constitution prohibits the government from supporting or opposing any one sincerely-held religion/denomination over another. It is an easy exercise to see that the Founding Fathers who wrote and voted on the Bill of Rights and US Constitution did not intend for the blatant suppression and hositilty to theistic religions in the public arena.

No one is saying they did. Who is blatantly suppressing religion in the U.S.?

Quote:Thomas Jefferson, for example, was the first Superintendant of schools in America, and he allowed the Bible to be a part of every students instruction, as was general nondenominational prayer part of the public school program.
[Image: 1390269212824.png]
Quote:Obviously, it was not athiests who instituted the practice of swearing on the Bible in courts and inaugurations. However, despite the hostility shown towards orthodox Jews and Christians, opponents seem to forget that many who founded the United States government did so to protect not only their religious freedoms but also nonbelievers.

The ACLU and Freedom from Religion, have twisted what the Founding Fathers originally intended. In fact, I think they really don't give a damn what was originally intended when they claim an act or law is unconstitutional. They believe in a Constituition that is a "living document", or it allegedly evolves according to their will. I will call it gratuitious Constitutional Darwinism - -as in "might makes right", or there are no absolute truths or freedoms or self evident, God given rights. Man makes his own rights and takes away the rights of others with whom they disagree or want to oppress.
[Image: 1390269212824.png]
Quote:I an a conservative, Bible believing Full Gospel (like pentecostal) Christian. I am conservative on social issues and political issues. I am not politically correct. And, thanks to totalitarians like President Obama, I am considered a potential domestic terrorist. Also, some evolutionists, like Ted Turner, have said that Christians are less evolved.

Seth Andrews, went from a Christian background and supposedly from freed from what he now considers ignornace and superstitious bondage. Some others, which I could name, especially scientists and mathematicians, have made the opposite journey to enlightenment and freedom from athiesm or some form of evolutionism, to Christianity or at least belief in an Intelligent Creator.
[Image: 1390269212824.png]
Quote:Maybe Seth would have been happier if he had been raised in a communist country, Albania or the USSR,Consider where Atheism is the compulsory religion - an a-theocracy, if you will.

Maybe you'd be happier in Nigeria or Romania or Zambia or Congo. Somewhere with a lot of fundamentalists. Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-07-2015, 09:36 AM (This post was last modified: 21-07-2015 10:10 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: What is a religion?
What always amuses me is the apparent inability of xtians to comprehend the pandora's box theory. The more you and your like minded political peers work to illegally, and against the constitution, endeavor to slither creationism/delusion/intelligent design into public schools, and local/state/federal government the faster you open the door for everyone else by setting legal precedent.

lets look at a few facts:

The fastest declining religion in the US is xtianity, it is literally "aging out" as the older generation passes away, they failed to successfully brain wash the younger generation who, thanks to higher education, the internet, and free flow of information these days, do not wish to partake in the delusion.

The fastest growing religiousity group in the US is Islam....I hope that gives you a pause to think, and reflect on your efforts to establish "god given rights" into public schools and government...in 30 years when Islam is the majority, are you prepared for the "norm" is to include the Qu'ran being taught in public school? Muslim prayers screeching across loudspeakers across the city 5 times a day? Your granddaughters being required to wear a burkha so as not to offend, and wait until all of the boys speak before she is allowed to because the majority religion is Islam? becareful what you fight for....you just might get it.

There is some good news though, the second fastest growing religiousity group is non-religious, perhaps some day you will be grateful for that.

So while you wring your hands and profess against the assault on religious belief in this country by the godless heathens, realize we are fighting for your right and freedom to practice your belief, as per the constitution, and protect you from any religious majority enforcing their unique belief system on us all through the assimilation of their BS dogma through public schools, and the never ending battle to keep it out of government......unless you want to drop and bow in prayer 5 times a day.

I am often asked, "why do you fight/hate religion so much? if you don't believe then why bother those that do?"

Atheists aren’t trying to sell anyone anything, we have a close personal relationship with reality, not jesus, or any other mythical BS religious figure. Religion is the ultimate scam and while some of it is benign in nature, it is the radical "my view of my god is right and all of you heathens who believe otherwise better get on board" mentality that bothers me. It is the sneaky little financing of a politician who they support to get him/her in office so that their crazy agendas can be quietly slid into laws that guide this country. The aggressive attempts to get pseudo-science creationism into public schools under the guise of "intelligent design", the obsession with who people love, who they marry, and how they have sex, the blocking of vital stem cell research that can save lives, the belief they know what is best for an impregnated rape victim based on biblical interpretation...these are the things that go on daily under the guise of religious freedom...Those are the people I fight.

If someone wants to whip a rubber chicken around their head while dancing in a counter clock wise circle quacking like a duck makes them feel closer to their mythical god, then by all means, knock yourself out...in the privacy of your own home or in a private venue with like-minded individuals. Don’t shove the rubber chicken down my throat; don’t manipulate politicians to modify laws that affect us all, based on their religious beliefs.

As an educated intelligent human being it is my moral responsibility to fight the corrosive creep of religion where ever I find it... To look the other way is to imply by inaction that it is ok, and religion is anything but ok.

But feel free to go back to your fox news inspired hand wringing about the war against Christians in this country while I roll my eyes and sip my coffee Drinking Beverage Rolleyes

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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21-07-2015, 09:43 AM
RE: What is a religion?
This post made my brain hurt No

"I would like to challenge the frequent assertion that religion must have supernatural diety(s) and conform to typical organized religions with their sacred books, rituals, and houses of worship. Also, I seem to recall that sociology recognises that there is a national religion (not a theocracy necessarily) which can be identified as of part of nation's cultural heritage and common practices which ususally have been institutionalized. The US Supreme Court made a ruling in the latter part of the 19th century that the US is a "Christian nation" (with about 10,000 documents supporting it), meaning not that everyone was a Christian, of course, but the dominant cultural influence and social behaviors and government historical and legal documents reflect Christianity."

The Supreme Court in the 19th and 20th centuries also made rulings supporting slavery and segregation. The Supreme Court isn't infallible and laws can be written AFTER rulings to bypass said rulings (slavery is considered constitutional...until you amend the constitution).

Thomas Jefferson and many other founding fathers also promoted equality for all men...while maintaining slaves. They weren't perfect and expecting them to be is asinine and naive.

Jefferson also wrote the documents that formed the foundation of the Bill of Rights, including the Separation of Church and State.

The Constitution was actually intended to be rewritten every 20 years (also Jefferson's idea).

"I have often read or heard the argument that the US Constitution prohibits the government from supporting or opposing any one sincerely-held religion/denomination over another. It is an easy exercise to see that the Founding Fathers who wrote and voted on the Bill of Rights and US Constitution did not intend for the blatant suppression and hositilty to theistic religions in the public arena. Thomas Jefferson, for example, was the first Superintendant of schools in America, and he allowed the Bible to be a part of every students instruction, as was general nondenominational prayer part of the public school program. Obviously, it was not athiests who instituted the practice of swearing on the Bible in courts and inaugurations. However, despite the hostility shown towards orthodox Jews and Christians, opponents seem to forget that many who founded the United States government did so to protect not only their religious freedoms but also nonbelievers."

The only way to protect a religious plurality is to ensure that no religion is given preference over another, including non-religious. In the very same way that freedom of speech must also necessarily protect the freedom to not speak, otherwise a person is not free as they would be coerced into speaking when they do not want.

Also, freedom of speech means that anyone anywhere can call religions a laughable fraud that has inhibited our progress and is a fucking waste of time, energy, and resources. It is at best, benign and at worst it is an excuse for evil. Fuck religion and fuck the idea that any idea or belief system deserves respect. People can earn respect and life (in my opinion) deserves respect, ideas and beliefs don't.

"The ACLU and Freedom from Religion, have twisted what the Founding Fathers originally intended. In fact, I think they really don't give a damn what was originally intended when they claim an act or law is unconstitutional. They believe in a Constituition that is a "living document", or it allegedly evolves according to their will. I will call it gratuitious Constitutional Darwinism - -as in "might makes right", or there are no absolute truths or freedoms or self evident, God given rights. Man makes his own rights and takes away the rights of others with whom they disagree or want to oppress."

It appears that your interpretation is based on both a failed understanding of how the ACLU and FFRF work as well as a misunderstanding of the Constitution. But don't worry, I am sure you're smarter than everyone working for the ACLU and FFRF [/sarcasmfont]

"Maybe Seth would have been happier if he had been raised in a communist country, Albania or the USSR,Consider where Atheism is the compulsory religion - an a-theocracy, if you will."

The only people advocating for a theocratic America, are conservatives.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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