What qualifies something as a religion?
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18-09-2014, 04:47 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2014 06:39 PM by CleverUsername.)
What qualifies something as a religion?
Like, law wise? Is there some kind of specific parameters one needs to meet before something can be considered a religion or something?

Cause, with the recent Hobby Lobby thing, related news stories, and non-related news stories (the semi-regular news about a kid dying due to only getting faith healing, for instance), I'm wondering what exactly is keeping people from just making up their own religions to do whatever they want.

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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18-09-2014, 05:01 PM
RE: What qualifies something as a religion?
Parameters of a religion.

1. It requires a Supernatural cause and effect for either everything or a very specific thing that is deeply involved with reality and how it works. However, an ideal that has a supernatural appeal to it may also work as well.

2. It requires a non scientific explaination for the universe beginning, however, this one does not always have to be true unlike the others. But, it does make classifying something as a religion far easier when this is present.

3. It requires a set of morals, commandments, ethics, or other other similar teachings that require you by the laws of the religion for you to act and behave throughout your life.

4. You need some stories to tell. No religion is complete without some stories about people and places from a really long time ago.

5. It requires a spiritual like ceremony or some sort of ritual experience for something. Such as Baptism for Christianity or for my only actual religion, the incomplete religion of Kopimism in which simply presenting someone with something copied from the internet, your computer, a disk or anything really "doesn't even have to be digital...per say". Then with the words, copied and shared as it is handed off to its new owner. That is sort of like a ritual of sorts. So as long as it is something along the lines of ritual or spiritual, like meditation for example too. It counts.

6. It requires a place of meeting. Whether it is online, in a building or whatever. You need a place where regular meetings can be held.

7. It requires a consensus on ideals from a majority. Otherwise you end up with Sects and denominations and other stuff....like Christianity and every other religion that isn't the original. Although, with older religions, the original has long lost its meaning.

I think that is about it really. Those are the things I can think of that makes religion a religion.


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18-09-2014, 05:06 PM
RE: What qualifies something as a religion?
Bunch of people, believing in something unfalsifiable...

Optional extras...

Weird hand gestures, chanting weird words, AK47s... etc, etc.

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18-09-2014, 05:25 PM
RE: What qualifies something as a religion?
Here's an interesting link.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-09-2014, 05:57 PM
RE: What qualifies something as a religion?
If you are only considering what it means in relation to legal terms, it's a bit different because there needs to be a religion in an essence. In some ways, in order for there to be equal legal situations, secular humanist/non-theist has been granted the basis of being a religion.

For some of the other legal rights, a religion has to be recognized by the state. Scientology through various efforts and perhaps giving acres of land and money to the government got their standing as a religion. The same situation applied for the Mormons in the 1800s, the US wouldn't let them in though until they gave up some stipulations, such as in their charters accepting polygamy and wanting huge tracks of land(where gold/silver existed.)

I don't know what the legal exact qualifies for a state accepted religion are, perhaps they are in Chas's link in some regard. But I know they're less in other countries because I recall in Sweden, the religion of Kopimi(which was a fake internet formed religion about considering copying and transferring files to be scared for the spread of information across humanity) got granted religious standing.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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18-09-2014, 08:00 PM
RE: What qualifies something as a religion?
There has to be money involved and a lot of saps paying to support it.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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