Poll: Can nontheistic faiths be a religion?
Yes, there are nontheistic religions.
No, only supernaturalfaiths are religions.
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What is a religion?
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21-07-2015, 09:51 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(21-07-2015 04:39 AM)thinkerman Wrote:  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.

Citation please.

And while you dig for that, contemplate this:

Heard of the treaty of tripoli? Article 11 perhaps?

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

According to Frank Lambert, Professor of History at Purdue University,

"By their actions, the Founding Fathers made clear that their primary concern was religious freedom, not the advancement of a state religion. Individuals, not the government, would define religious faith and practice in the United States. Thus the Founders ensured that in no official sense would America be a Christian Republic. Ten years after the Constitutional Convention ended its work, the country assured the world that the United States was a secular state, and that its negotiations would adhere to the rule of law, not the dictates of the Christian faith. The assurances were contained in the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 and were intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.

"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, 09:53 AM
RE: What is a religion?
Here is a good video by the comedian Robert Wuhl that was produced by HBO called "Assume the Position" that highlights some of the issues with how Americans view our history.

http://www.veoh.com/watch/v16706342cB97DkDJ

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21-07-2015, 09:07 PM
RE: What is a religion?
Wow, that post went all over the place. Anyways, I always like clear definitions and religion is one of those words which has had many colloquial additions.
From an etymological standpoint, religion in English originally meant to join a convent or monestary. Hence why in Catholicism we still often refer to monks and nuns as the religious.
To build upon that, the Catholic church recognizes itself as a religion by four aspects. Code, cult, creed, and community. We could say that any group of people who share these four elements could be considered to belong to a religion.
Creed: any shared and aknowledged beliefs of a group. This need not be a belief in God, however these beliefs should relate to the nature of existence.
Code: any set of rules and regulations that members of a group are bound to. Such as attending mass and confession.
Cult: this would be the method of worship and would include mass, prayer, or meditaion. However, this could be expanded to include things such as initiation rituals or group chants, for non theistic religions.
Community: I figure this one is obvious.

Anyways to finalise. As one can see, atheism by itself only really has one of these, this being creed, as they all share the belief in a lack of the existence of God. However, there is no formal community, cult, or creed associated with atheism by itself, only in conjunction with some other organization.

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21-07-2015, 10:50 PM
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.

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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22-07-2015, 01:02 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(21-07-2015 09:07 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Wow, that post went all over the place. Anyways, I always like clear definitions and religion is one of those words which has had many colloquial additions.
From an etymological standpoint, religion in English originally meant to join a convent or monestary. Hence why in Catholicism we still often refer to monks and nuns as the religious.
To build upon that, the Catholic church recognizes itself as a religion by four aspects. Code, cult, creed, and community. We could say that any group of people who share these four elements could be considered to belong to a religion.
Creed: any shared and aknowledged beliefs of a group. This need not be a belief in God, however these beliefs should relate to the nature of existence.
Code: any set of rules and regulations that members of a group are bound to. Such as attending mass and confession.
Cult: this would be the method of worship and would include mass, prayer, or meditaion. However, this could be expanded to include things such as initiation rituals or group chants, for non theistic religions.
Community: I figure this one is obvious.

Anyways to finalise. As one can see, atheism by itself only really has one of these, this being creed, as they all share the belief in a lack of the existence of God. However, there is no formal community, cult, or creed associated with atheism by itself, only in conjunction with some other organization.

Thanks for that. I nearly 'liked' it but as you're 'likes given' count is 3, I didn't bother as it's obvious that likes aren't your thing.

Can a creed be really called a creed when said group only has one (non-)belief in common?

I'm not being sarcastic (for a change), I'm genuinely wondering what qualifies as a creed.

Cheers

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22-07-2015, 01:16 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(22-07-2015 01:02 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 09:07 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Wow, that post went all over the place. Anyways, I always like clear definitions and religion is one of those words which has had many colloquial additions.
From an etymological standpoint, religion in English originally meant to join a convent or monestary. Hence why in Catholicism we still often refer to monks and nuns as the religious.
To build upon that, the Catholic church recognizes itself as a religion by four aspects. Code, cult, creed, and community. We could say that any group of people who share these four elements could be considered to belong to a religion.
Creed: any shared and aknowledged beliefs of a group. This need not be a belief in God, however these beliefs should relate to the nature of existence.
Code: any set of rules and regulations that members of a group are bound to. Such as attending mass and confession.
Cult: this would be the method of worship and would include mass, prayer, or meditaion. However, this could be expanded to include things such as initiation rituals or group chants, for non theistic religions.
Community: I figure this one is obvious.

Anyways to finalise. As one can see, atheism by itself only really has one of these, this being creed, as they all share the belief in a lack of the existence of God. However, there is no formal community, cult, or creed associated with atheism by itself, only in conjunction with some other organization.

Thanks for that. I nearly 'liked' it but as you're 'likes given' count is 3, I didn't bother as it's obvious that likes aren't your thing.

Can a creed be really called a creed when said group only has one (non-)belief in common?

I'm not being sarcastic (for a change), I'm genuinely wondering what qualifies as a creed.

Cheers

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22-07-2015, 01:18 AM
RE: What is a religion?
Thinkerman needs to return to his thinking spot and rethink his assertions.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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22-07-2015, 01:39 AM
RE: What is a religion?
Hey, everyone who responded: I really liked the diversity of your replies, any constructive criticism, and sometimes raw emotion expressed. Some of you actually agree with me on some points. Amazing!

My main point was that the Judaeo-Christian influence in the US has dimnished dramatically by opponents by use of political power, deception and/or coercion to reduce the scope and freedom of expression of theists in the public arena.

Several examples: one is that the legal assault squads like the ACLU and Freedom From Religion crowd have defined religion in a way to legitimize their usually-non-theistic religions as being Constitutional in public schools, courts, public monuments but not theistic ones with the bogus Separation of Church and State argument now enschrined into law by like-minded jurists. Any US history scholar could plainly see that the intent by our Founding Fathers was to prevent instituting one denomination over another, as had England done and for which many colonialists had left Europe to seek religious freedom from just such religious oppression. Now theists have to fight another type of oppressor, often referred to as anti-religionists but who are really variants of religious Humanists (theistic or atheistic versions)./ That is why I support the American Center for Law and Justice, et al, who fights for our religious freedoms of public expression.

Another example, which I referred to earlier in my introduction thread, the case of Dr Jerry Bergman who was a grad student at Bowling Green University. He was on his way to getting tenure when he was discriminated against for religious reasons and denied tenure. His case was taken to court and lost despite the obvious bias and discrimination against him(so much for blind justice!). He was raised an atheist and believer in Evolution, but gradually came to believe in God and creation science. He did not let his faith intrude upon his teaching in college or in his Ph.D. research, but he did write an extracurricular article which revealed his beliefs which the tenure-granting professors heard about and used against him (so much for objectivity in academia and the scientific community!).

We all possess the potential lawless, primitive, uncivilized urge to disciminate and oppress our fellow man, and rationalize and justify it, for any reason or nonreason, if we are so inclined. And sometimes we use the power of government or mob rule to further neutralize are enemies of choice. The US Bill of Rights and Constitution are supposed to protect us against such potential human depravity - - -as long as the defenders of freedom remain lawful, moral people and genuinely respectful of our nation's Constitution, and not be among those who would corrupt it unlawfully. For example, when a branch of government, especially the judicial branch or executive branch, ursurps a state's and citizen's rights. If one doesn't believe in a God from whom we are granted such rights and freedoms as the Bill of Rights states, then it is up to the whim of "might makes right" persons or entities to rule over us - - and often tyrranically as history records..
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22-07-2015, 01:47 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(22-07-2015 01:39 AM)thinkerman Wrote:  ...
the Judaeo-Christian influence in the US has diminished dramatically by opponents by use of political power, deception and/or coercion to reduce the scope and freedom of expression of theists in the public arena.
...

Well, that's a relief.

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22-07-2015, 02:04 AM
RE: What is a religion?
(22-07-2015 01:39 AM)thinkerman Wrote:  Hey, everyone who responded: I really liked the diversity of your replies, any constructive criticism, and sometimes raw emotion expressed. Some of you actually agree with me on some points. Amazing!

My main point was that the Judaeo-Christian influence in the US has dimnished dramatically by opponents by use of political power, deception and/or coercion to reduce the scope and freedom of expression of theists in the public arena.

Several examples: one is that the legal assault squads like the ACLU and Freedom From Religion crowd have defined religion in a way to legitimize their usually-non-theistic religions as being Constitutional in public schools, courts, public monuments but not theistic ones with the bogus Separation of Church and State argument now enschrined into law by like-minded jurists. Any US history scholar could plainly see that the intent by our Founding Fathers was to prevent instituting one denomination over another, as had England done and for which many colonialists had left Europe to seek religious freedom from just such religious oppression. Now theists have to fight another type of oppressor, often referred to as anti-religionists but who are really variants of religious Humanists (theistic or atheistic versions)./ That is why I support the American Center for Law and Justice, et al, who fights for our religious freedoms of public expression.

Another example, which I referred to earlier in my introduction thread, the case of Dr Jerry Bergman who was a grad student at Bowling Green University. He was on his way to getting tenure when he was discriminated against for religious reasons and denied tenure. His case was taken to court and lost despite the obvious bias and discrimination against him(so much for blind justice!). He was raised an atheist and believer in Evolution, but gradually came to believe in God and creation science. He did not let his faith intrude upon his teaching in college or in his Ph.D. research, but he did write an extracurricular article which revealed his beliefs which the tenure-granting professors heard about and used against him (so much for objectivity in academia and the scientific community!).

We all possess the potential lawless, primitive, uncivilized urge to disciminate and oppress our fellow man, and rationalize and justify it, for any reason or nonreason, if we are so inclined. And sometimes we use the power of government or mob rule to further neutralize are enemies of choice. The US Bill of Rights and Constitution are supposed to protect us against such potential human depravity - - -as long as the defenders of freedom remain lawful, moral people and genuinely respectful of our nation's Constitution, and not be among those who would corrupt it unlawfully. For example, when a branch of government, especially the judicial branch or executive branch, ursurps a state's and citizen's rights. If one doesn't believe in a God from whom we are granted such rights and freedoms as the Bill of Rights states, then it is up to the whim of "might makes right" persons or entities to rule over us - - and often tyrranically as history records..

You realize this occurrence has happened because mainly religious power and control of influence in politics rose to excessive degrees in the 20th century that weren't unchecked. It started early in the 1900s when religious groups really politically united more than they had previously, it's what added more power to the grouping and control. Part of that was contrast to growing movements of scientific fields, agnostic/deistic leaning figures, anarchists, etc. Then of course the anti-communistic mentality that spread to adding religious statements and sentiments. Like In god we trust, under god, commandment statues, and other figures.

People act like the era of the mid-1900s is somehow what the political sphere should of been or was for longer than it was. It's a wax and waning system and the point it to not let power be over-determined unchecked by some source.

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