Properly defined religion is “a set of beliefs concerning the nature and purpose of the universe, generally agreed upon by a number of persons; something one believes in and follows devotedly.” So you don’t need God to have a religion. All you need are some prophets (e.g. Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris), an authoritative book (e.g. The God Delusion), an ultimate concern (e.g., the self, reason), a church (e.g. the Freedom from Religion Foundation) and a devout belief (e.g. evolution and science). Thoughts?
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Interesting. I wonder: in your perception does atheism thus represent absolute truth? And does this mean people are born atheists by nature and then are taught religion?
People are absolutely taught religion. They're born as blank slates, not as atheists.
I see. So a person moves from being "blank" to the rejection of belief to the absence of belief in anything.
No actually it's the rejection of deities. There are atheistic religions.
Thanks for your answer.
Thank you for your insight.
Questions are great so one doesn't fall into the trap of presuming what others think. This way I can make an assessment with real-life proof. The Q is likely asked because as this forum suggests, there are many modern interpretations of "religion."
According to the definition of dictionary.com, a supernatural component is often associated with "religion" but not a requirement of it. I also have yet to meet an atheist who knew the of the purpose of the universe. Thx for your answer.
Indeed. There is a huge difference between how it is defined historically, in the dictionary, and how it is used in modern parlance. Tillich once wrote it was an "ultimate concern" which could mean anything.
Thx for your input.
I think you are confusing spirituality/faith with religion. Religions are groups of protocols, dogmas, doctrines and commonality.
Nope. I actually paid attention in class. Religion is belief in the supernatural.
So if I believe in my God that no one else believes in and do not follow any customs of worship -- I have a religion of one?
Mythologies are stories about the supernatural and religion is belief in the supernatural.
Well I can see where you get your notion of religion. Seems current notions of religion kind of merge faith with religion. I think that not making a distinction between faith and organizational institutions is an intellectually lazy approach.
Don't worry. I make the distinction - which is why I spend most of my time alone with God, rather than allow myself to mingle with the things of man. I am a Quaker.
It seems one thing is evident from the answers and comments in this forum: that regardless of what the "textbook" definition of religion is, there are various degrees of interpretation amongst different people.
No, though religion can often have supernatural elements, religion in itself is not belief in the supernatural.