How would you define religion in academic terms?

Tags: define, definition, religion

Views: 937

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

The simple answer is because it's against my definition.

The slightly longer answer is that one person's private beliefs and activities does not constitute a religion. The raisons d'être of religion - fostering social cohesion, casus belli, battle motivation, jurisprudential justification, keeping order, acceptance of kleptocracy, etc - requires religion to be a shared activity to have any value and longevity. 

With a religion of one, you could only control yourself, and that would take all the fun out of it.

(O)ne person's private beliefs and activities does not constitute a religion. The raisons d'être of religion - fostering social cohesion, casus belli, battle motivation, jurisprudential justification, keeping order, acceptance of kleptocracy, etc - requires religion to be a shared activity to have any value and longevity. 

But all those things are not necessary components of religion. They are components a religion can take on optionally. A religion is a system of beliefs based on a metaphysic that is believed on faith rather than fact. A much better definition I think for being less obviously made up based on Arcus's personal gripes and prejudices about about religion (kleptocracy?).

I believe you are putting the cart before the horse.

Religion arises as tribes develop into cheifdoms, population increases from at most the hundreds to the thousands, from 1 village to several, from an egalitarian decision making process to hereditary hierarchy, and the development of a bureaucracy. Usually religion and laws develop side by side, and both serve the purpose to control behavior. The content of the religion, which you are attempting to define, differ as much as the content of sports, as used elsewhere here. 

And kleptocracy isn't referring to my own gripes and prejudices, but you cannot have a society larger than an egalitarian tribe, where everyone produces their own food, without the need for kleptocracy. The need for organization requires full time organizers, and these need to be fed. 

There are at least two components to a religion: social and private.  Just as there are with people. 

That sounds more like a proposed definition than a fact. I think this post asks what the definition of religion IS not what you or Arcus would like it to be.

"How would you define religion (..)"

Wiki defines it as "Religion is an organized collection of beliefscultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence", which I believe is somewhat near what I described. However, I'm trying to define religion from an "outside" anthropological standpoint, not an "inside" philosophical one.

But this is what I've found religion to be, in all my researches.  It has a social aspect, and just as importantly, a personal aspect.  In my field-testing, I have found both of these aspects to be true.  So says San Miguel, the Patron Saint of Spain. 

Field testing?  Seriously....you are going to call your layman's ambling 'field testing'?  Get serious.

Religion may come to form the core of a person's identity (such as your identity) but it is a social institution, a group mechanism - not a personal initiative...well, unless you are the cult leader.

So, supposing the last two religious people on Earth are Catholics who believe the Catholic catechism heart and soul. One of them dies. The remaining one, POOF!, is no longer religious?

I'm not buying.

Religious ≠ religion.

He may still be religious, but Catholicism has seized to be a religion upon his death, assuming it isn't spread somehow. 

Want to see 5,000 years of religion in 90 seconds? Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism

RSS

Forum

The Elephant in the Room...

Started by Belle Rose in Small Talk. Last reply by Pope Beanie 2 minutes ago. 7 Replies

Ear-piercing a baby

Started by Simon Mathews in Atheist Parenting. Last reply by Unseen 15 minutes ago. 27 Replies

Up the duff. How about some secular baby names?

Started by Kairan Nierde in Atheist Parenting. Last reply by Belle Rose 32 minutes ago. 15 Replies

My Grandpa died last week

Started by Physeter in Small Talk. Last reply by Kairan Nierde 37 minutes ago. 10 Replies

Torture Report release today

Started by Unseen in Ethics & Morals. Last reply by Pope Beanie 11 hours ago. 134 Replies

Blog Posts

How did that happen?

Posted by Belle Rose on December 19, 2014 at 4:36am 6 Comments

Pabst Blue Ribbon to the rescue!

Posted by Ed on December 15, 2014 at 9:33pm 0 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service