- Religion and Philosophy
How many religions are there in this World?
Just too many to count !
There are probably as many definitions for the term "religion" as there are religions, but the definition that is most used is; "Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life."
Explaining 'religion' -An old East Indian tale:
Once upon a time a king gathered a few men who were born blind. They were asked to describe an elephant after each one was presented with only a certain part of the animal. To one the king presented the head of the elephant, to another the trunk, to another its ears, to another the leg, the body, the tail, tuft of the tail, etc. The one who was presented with the head said: "The elephant is like a teapot!" The one who was presented with the trunk said, "The elephant is like a snake." The one who touched only the ears thought that the elephant was like a fan, the others said that it was a pillar, a wall, a rope, a brush, etc. Then they quarreled among themselves, each thinking that he was the only one right and the others were wrong. The obvious truth is that the elephant is a unity of many parts, a unity that they could not grasp in their ignorance.
Thus, to narrow the scope, included here are the great monotheistic (a doctrine or belief that there is only one deity) religions, Eastern, Neopagan, and a wide range of other faith groups, spiritual paths, ethical systems; and beliefs about the existence of God(s) and Goddess(es).
Funny, this list may generate some angry zealots out there that will say they don't judge others, but in the next breath will be insistent on excluding some religions from the christian group, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholic Church, the Mormons as well as some other denominations.
Christianity is dealt with in greater detail than other religions simply because 75% of North America identifies themselves with that certain religion. There is no implication here that Christianity is superior or inferior to other religions, only that Christians outnumber the next largest religious group, Judaism and Islam, about 40 to 1 in the U.S. and Canada.
- There are about 21 major world religions today with many new religions popping up and saying they are the best religion. About 1 billion people do not profess belief in any religion, and that number is growing.
1. Christianity 2.1 billion
2. Islam 1.3 billion
3. Secular/Irreligious/Agnostic/Atheist 1.1 billion
4. Hinduism 900 million
5. Chinese traditional religion 394 million
6. Buddhism 376 million (see also buddhism by country)
7. Primal indigenous 300 million
8. African traditional and diasporic 100 million
9. Sikhism 23 million
10. Juche 19 million
11. Spiritism 15 million
12. Judaism 14 million
13. Bahá'í Faith 7 million
14. Jainism 4.2 million
15. Shinto 4 million
16. Cao Dai 4 million
17. Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
18. Tenrikyo 2 million
19. Neopaganism 1 million
20. Unitarian Universalism 800,000
21. Rastafari movement 600,000
Two religions, that are related to each other, and did not show up on the radar I initially used for this blog are Amish and Mennonite. The Amish Waylay. Amish Weddings. My Amish Client. Amish buggy rides. [VIDEO]
The Amish (/ˈɑːmɪʃ/ AH-mish; Pennsylvania Dutch: Amisch, German: Amische), sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann.Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.
The Mennonites are a Protestant group based around the church communities of the Christian Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland (at that time, a part of the German Holy Roman Empire). Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The teachings of the Mennonites were founded on their belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, which they held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. Rather than fight, the majority survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their radical belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism (opposition to war and violence).
1. The Church of Scientology was established in 1954 and is based on the teachings of American author L. Ron Hubbard.
2. While the Church of Scientology claims it has over 10 million members, its critics argue that it has just about 500,000 members, mostly in the U.S., South Africa, and Australia.
3. Scientology is a successor of founder Hubbard’s earlier self-help system called “Dianetics,” which was first published in 1950. Its publication is considered by Scientologists to be the seminal moment of the 20th century.
4. The precursor of Scientology was called “Dianetics.” It was initially designed as a new psychotherapy and was not expected to lead to a new religion.
5. The basic tenant of Scientology is that man is “basically good and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows, and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.”
6. The fundamental principles of Scientology are 1) man is an immortal, alien, spiritual being called a thetan, 2) his experience extends well beyond a single lifetime, and 3) his capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.
7. The complete structure of the practice of Scientology is called “The Bridge to Total Freedom.” The levels of progression are Pre-clear, Clear, and Operating Thetan. Pre-clear, is the initial stage where a member undergoes a therapy session called “auditing.” A member is a “Clear” when, after the auditing sessions, he or she is free of negative emotions. The ultimate level is the Operating Thetan, which is where the participant is in control of life, thought, matter, energy, space, and time.
8. The Scientology cross is a major symbol in the religion. It is similar to the Christian cross, but has an additional 4 diagonal rays between the horizontal and vertical arms. The eight points of the cross symbolize the 8 dynamics in Scientology: 1) The Self, 2) Creativity, sex, and procreation (family), 3) groups, 4) humankind, 5) all life forms, 6) physical universe, 7) spirituality, and God, infinity, or the Supreme Being.
9. Scientologists believe that souls have lived on other planets prior to living on Earth. A person cannot progress until “aberrations’ from previous lives are cleared.
10. Scientologists believe that L. Ron Hubbard discovered their religion through scientific methods, not by revelation.
11. In his therapy sessions, Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard used the word “clear” from early computer science. Hubbard felt the human mind was similar to a computer that needed to be “cleared” of flawed data.
12. Scientology is a contraction of the Latin scio, “knowing,” and Greek logos, “study of.” In short, Scientology means “knowing how to know.”
13. Scientologists eliminate self-destructive behaviors by cleansing their minds of bad memories called “engrams” through therapy sessions called “audits.” Specifically, founder L. Ron Hubbard defined an engram as “a mental image picture of a moment of pain and unconsciousness.”
14. Once Scientologists eliminate negative memories through therapy, they are “clear.” Once clear, they then attempt to move through many levels of understanding associated with “Operating Thetans” (OTs), who are believed to be able to control the world with their minds.
15. One of the most significant criticisms of Scientology is that members must pay significant amounts of money to participate in “audits,” or therapy sessions, in order to advance to new levels of understanding.
And how about Islam ?
Think on it:
Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Christians = No Problem
Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
Christians living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem
Confusians living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Christians = No Problem
Christians living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
Confucians living with Hindus = No Problem
Got Religion? Here's new ones to try:
- Atheism on the rise in Egypt - Salon.com
Atheists in Egypt are on the rise — and assertively pushing their way into the country's political debates
- The rise of atheism in America - The Week
- WorldWide Religious News
WorldWide Religious News is a non-profit service that has been providing the international academic and legal community (as well as various government agencies) with up to date religious news. WWRN news articles and information are researched.