How would you define religion in academic terms?

Tags: define, definition, religion

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How freakin' cool! Thanks, Robert!

Religion grows like a virus, inhabits human DNA.

Amazing video, RobertPiano :)

Given most of these definitions of religion, I would definitely be a-religious.  In fact I might be at least moderately anti-religious.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water --

Well you are, of course, a-religious - because, as I understand it, religion is about man reaching out to a deity or deities, while Catholicism is about the Catholic pantheon reaching out to man.  Did I get that right?

Ummm...

I honestly don't know, @Heather. The language you are using is very different from the language we would use, but it may be that our concepts are close. I'm not sure what a "Catholic pantheon" is, but it would be true that we talk about the Church, as people of God, reaching out to man/each other.

Within Catholicism we also use the word "religion" differently than it would be used in common parlance. It's more a term of art / technical term. So for example, most parish priests we would call "secular". Religious priests would be those belonging to a community with a particular discipline or charism, like the Jesuits.

This is why the definitions are so hard, and we have to try to clarify what it is each person is talking about before we choose to reject their words. I would join most of the people here at TA in rejecting what they consider "religion", certainly.

Yes, Bob - few cult devotees recognize that they are even members of a cult, let alone practitioners of religion.

This is why the definitions are so hard, and we have to try to clarify what it is each person is talking about before we choose to reject their words. 

@Heather, for added context:

While you were away, Pinocchio argued strenuously that God exists only abstractly, that no religion claims otherwise, and that we atheists invented God as an empirical claim: "...the existence of God is not a claim about "empirical reality" for any religion I am aware of. It's a straw man that you have created, which would be my #1 of "typical atheist arguments"

Despite being asked again and again and again and again and again and again to clarify how his imaginary God originates the universe, answers prayers, fathers a messiah, forgives sins, performs miracles, or performs any function in empirical reality, Professor Doctor Bob has ignored every opportunity to "clarify what it is he is talking about".

I suppose he's counting on this lack of clarification to prevent us from rejecting his words. It's been a real gut-buster of laughs, though.

I would join most of the people here at TA in rejecting what they consider "religion", certainly.

*Laughing* Here we go again!

Ah, @Gallup, back to the adolescent name calling I see.

I think this thread is about the definition of religion. Perhaps you would like to contribute to that conversation?

Considering that religion is based on a non-existent entity, I really don't see how it can have a definition.

Is there a definition for a belief in Santa Claus?

You can look up leprechaun, unicorn, contradiction, and god in the dictionary right now.

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