How would you define religion in academic terms?

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Adherence to a set of dogmas, particularly those that dictate a belief system and/or worldview.  Also, that set of dogmas and the belief system/worldview so formed.

I think I would also tend to include some stipulation that an authority or authoritative body dictates/controls the set of dogmas as well.

Heather! It seems like I've not seen you post in ages. It's good to see you.

Adherence to a set of dogmas, particularly those that dictate a belief system and/or worldview. Also, that set of dogmas and the belief system/worldview so formed.

I think I would also tend to include some stipulation that an authority or authoritative body dictates/controls the set of dogmas as well.

How does this apply to something like Confucianism? Is it a religion or a philosophy?

I think that Confucianism is a philosophy - although I wouldn't be surprised to find out some small pockets of people have turned it into a religion.

Anyway, I had a nutso job the last 4 months so didn't have much time for posting.  At one point I did 400 hours in 40 consecutive days of work.  erg.

Adherence to a set of dogmas, particularly those that dictate a belief system and/or worldview. Also, that set of dogmas and the belief system/worldview so formed. I think I would also tend to include some stipulation that an authority or authoritative body dictates/controls the set of dogmas as well.

It seems like a claim of supernatural (or supernatural-like) backing should be included in the definition somewhere. Otherwise what keeps adherence to dogma like the taxpayer protection pledge-- a dictate of the Americans for Tax Reform-- from qualifying as a religion?

Anyway, I had a nutso job the last 4 months so didn't have much time for posting.  At one point I did 400 hours in 40 consecutive days of work.  erg.

You were missed.

I hope the payday was equally impressive.

Payday was quite nice - and continues to be so as they catch up on my banked hours.  Already starting a new job.

I don't see a supernatural component as being compulsory, although I think a 'moral' component may be essential.  One COULD make a religion out of humanism, for instance, or even eugenics.  All you need do is compose a body of rigid dogmas that define necessary beliefs of the adherents.  Theoretically that body of dogmas could be very useful in some situations, although the rigidity would likely cause it to outlive that usefulness - aka, bronze age beliefs in the 21st century.

I don't see a supernatural component as being compulsory, although I think a 'moral' component may be essential.  One COULD make a religion out of humanism, for instance, or even eugenics.

I think the difference-maker with religion is less about dogma (i.e. 'don't question this') and more about the reason questions are disallowed or not asked. For instance:

Dogma that means 'don't question it' because we're really dumb: Republican ideology. (They don't think to question it.)

Dogma that means 'don't question it' because we'll fucking kill you: North Korean cult of personality. (They're not allowed to question it.)

Dogma that means 'don't question it' because the sky-dude said so: religion. (Often neither think to, nor are allowed to question it.)

As applied to Humanism, I get it: it stops being philosophy and becomes dogma when people stop questioning it. But I think it could become dogma without being a religion, say, for example by being just an unquestioned ideology. But to make it a religion, it needs a magic rainbow or a talking bird or a sky-dude to bless it: products of men can be questioned, but products of "the other side" can be held as above question this like nothing else. That's what I think is the difference-maker with religious dogma.

Well I had tacked on something about a central authority controlling the dogma.  I think that is more important than the dogma being supernatural.  To an extent, Nazism became a religion - who the fuck was going to question Hitler? It didn't have time to 'blossom' though, in the way Scientology has.

I feel that the fact that all religions seem to be based on woo is mostly coincidence based on the lowest common denominator - if you are going to make up something that can't be questioned, then 100% original bullshit is easier to sell because no one else can claim authority over it.

As Sam Harris puts it, the collective term "religion" is equivalent to the collective term "sport".  Within sport, he says, you can have Badminton, or Thai Boxing - and the only thing they have in common is breathing. 

Religions are so disparate, they are all ways of perceiving existence.  That's what they really all boil down to.

Ways of perceiving existence--I like that. Perhaps it's still too broad though...it could include political worldviews. I guess it's time to crack open Webster's. :-)

@Kairan  I'll poach a word from Unseen :)

Religions are a way to perceive existence in a metaphysical way.

Better?

psychosis: the inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy. 

Some people call music religion or football religion. Is there a difference between religion (like Islam, Christianity, etc.) and such "pop-culture religions"?

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Posted by ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp on July 28, 2014 at 10:27pm 0 Comments

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