(As you’ll probably notice, English isn’t my first language, I’m still learning it, so I apologize in advance for my spelling and grammar mistakes)
Define the limit between a non-religious person, an atheist and an agnostic isn’t easy; but I think “religious” is an even harder word to explain. To illustrate my thoughts I’ll use some religious polls from France (I thought it could be interesting to see how religions work in another country ) .They might not be 100% accurate , but that’s not the point. Approximately 55% of the French people consider themselves catholic. Less than 10% consider themselves from other religion (3-4% Islam , 2% Protestantism , 1% Judaism ...). The rest are non-religious people .
But if you look closer to Catholics for example , 52% of them only go to church for personal ceremonies like funerals , baptisms etc , 31 % go to church occasionally ( almost only to special days like Christmas , Easter …) and only 17% go to church regularly . It’s pretty much the same repartition about the frequency of prayers . But does that really determine who’s catholic or not ? I personally don’t think so.
So , how do we define what a religious person is ? First I thought that to be religious you need to believe in something paranormal like a spirit , a God or some gods ; but this time again , the religious polls I read made me doubt. 52% of French Catholics believe in God, 31% have doubts and 17% don’t think so . Isn’t the fact of considering yourself catholic without believing in God a paradox?
I’m really confused … French culture isn’t centered on religion (way less than American culture for example , thanks to French history ) , and that explain why religious people in France aren’t that practicing , I totally get that . Also only a minority of Catholics believe in creationism in my country , and I totally understand that they can adapt their religion to their opinions . But to what extent can we still consider them as religious people? Are “cultural religious people” (people who recognize themselves to religious values ) really religious ?
I’m really interested about your opinions guys !
A religious person is not a fully matured adult as they have not yet accepted the reality that there is nothing after we die.
I agree, and they still have a bad case of wishful thinking (IMO) that the outcome will be better somehow after they die.
So , how do we define what a religious person is ?
Define "religious" and you'll have your answer, or be on your way to your answer.
For example, is it a state of mind of some sort or is it proclaiming oneself to be an adherent of some specific named religion. Or is it something else entirely?
Going to church, mosque, temple can be part of being religious. Even people who do not participate in those gatherings would be religious immediately they believe that there is an invisible means of sustaining this life, and that after they are dead they would meet the invisible super being and their dead loved ones etc. In other words anyone who still has not allowed their minds to evolve past the myths of gods, angels, heaven, hell, prayers, etc is trully religious.
Thanks for the answers guys.
It doesn’t really matter if these people are really religious or not (maybe I’m just asking stupid and useless questions) , but at least a big part of these “cultural religious people” won’t transmit religion to their children.
And maybe that’s the first step to become an atheist .
Maybe they’ll do just like me and probably a lot of people on this website , a day they’ll realize that they can totally live without religion and that they don’t have as much common points with others religious people as they thought.They'll stop considering themselves as religious people.
Social and family reinforcement is hard to overcome, most of the time, most people don't know any better to question it and some just go with the flow.