Religion has been oftentimes categorized as the GREAT DELUSION and OPIATE of humankind. Religion has been the means of separation and dissention among humankind. Wars and prejudices against those we deemed to be outsiders have been done in the name of religion. Religion is the antithesis of logic and reason. Religion has been responsible for the thwarted progress of many societies, particularly in terms of equality for LBGT people and women. It is religious indoctrination which oftentimes precludes further research, particularly stem cell research and the teaching of proper evolution education in our schools.
History have substantiated the religions existed only as a power base and to make people subvert and give away their individual power. There are many people who believe that religion is the be and end all in their lives and inculcate their children in this premise. Religion does not encourage logical and critical reasoning but blind acceptance of their particular dogma. There are people who use religion as an excuse and escape from their lives, believing that things will be better in thereafter instead of being proactive and making their individual lives better.
Many people mistakenly view religion as spirituality. However, they are mutually exclusive concepts. One can be highly spiritual and believe in God and/or another higher power without being religious. Atheists are spiritual people. Many religious people are not spiritual people or have a concept of that world, they just follow the rules of that religion. Spirituality is inclusive of all while religion is oftentimes exclusive of those who think differently from the particular religious consensus.
Do you believe that religion is harmful and divisive or not? Do you maintain that religions will die out and people will evolve into spirituality without religion? Why? Why not?
How do you propose to have spirituality without religion? Unless, it is your contention that 'the great beyond' will make contact with all individuals? They won't need religious texts to know what they are being spiritual about? I don't see how one can exist without the other.
I do think religion will, at some point, hold less power over the individual. They will embrace bits and pieces of many religions in their philosophy. It is already happening in the West. And by doing this they will bridge the gap between the religions that separate.
Please define "being religious" as opposed to being spiritual.
The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition, although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.
The use of the term "spirituality" has changed throughout the ages. In modern times spirituality is often separated from religion, and connotes a blend of humanistic psychology with mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions aimed at personal well-being and personal development.
I understand many religious people not being spiritual, but I don't understand how an atheist, who by definition does not believe in spirits, can be spiritual.
Religious and spiritual are words used to try and describe a reality that we barely have a thorough understanding of. Concepts are introduced to convey a meaning that at one time meant something to whomever and has evolved as the world as we know it has continued to evolve. Our perception of what each means may differ even though there is a defined meaning. History is a fine example of how different groups can understand each concept differently and as a result have either done good things or bad things that in their understanding is the correct thing to do.
All you've managed to accomplish with that claim is to show you have no concept of reality. Show us anything regarding the religious or the spiritual? You can't, no one can, because it isn't part of reality.
Then obviously, those whose perceptions differ from reality are mistaken.
There are three definitions of religion to consider. One definition of religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. This definition (in my opinion) primarily deals more with an individualized ideal of religion. Meaning how one person believes and experiences God is different from how another person.
The second definition is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. This definition deals more with a group mentality. Enough people believing the same thing fundamentally.
The third definition is the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices which just means the group of people in general..
The biggest problem with religion lies with the second definition, which is more in line with Organized religions. When you have a group that believes the same thing exactly the same way, you generate a mob mentality. It is this mob mentality that allows no room for alternative thinking. This is why you have some people trying to force their beliefs onto others even to the point of threatening them with Hell. This mentality makes it difficult on the whole group as well as individuals because not all who claim they are Christians believe the same thing.
Those appear to be right out of the dictionary. But, notice that the binding ideal between all of those definitions is 'a set of beliefs', which is the primary body of the definition. Even though, the various forms of the definition differentiate slightly to encapsulate the individual and the group, the focus is on the beliefs and not so much the rest.
Hence, there are over 38,000 denominations of Christianity, all of them fighting amongst each other, calling the others names and telling them they are not "real" Christians.
And remember, if not for the Organized religions having indoctrinated people as children, those folks would most likely not hold that set of beliefs.
That's quite an exaggeration, actually. Even if there are "over 38,000" completely different groups of people calling themselves Christian (where did you get that number and how do you define it?) there is not some perpetual war among most of them. As in any debate, the most vociferous get the most attention. And the extremes usually set the agenda. I've known Catholics, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists and we may not agree on every little point but we agree on the main points and do not go around telling each other who is a "real Christian."
You claim to be a Christian and you don't even know that? lol
That's what I love about you. You make accusations but you always find ways never to back up what you say. Nothing like a blanket statement that you don't have to actually prove to make you sound authoritative. (I seem to remember that a certain dead leader of Nazi German was especially good at that...)
At least you're not as completely humorless as some people!
Oh yeah, almost forgot, it also helps if you don't actually quote the person in entirety!
You can't be serious, do you have any idea how many times those links have been placed on these forums? And, you're going to tell me you never once saw them? Obviously, they were placed here, but you most likely ignored them.
How Christian of you to reference me to the Nazis.
That would be "no." Believe it or not, my life does not revolve around these forums. I enjoy them, I like talking to people, and it filled a hole when my wife died (a situation that I know you were not unsympathetic to) but I don't have the time or energy to read even all the posts that I get notifications for, let alone all the posts. So I'm referencing your interaction with me, which historically has either consisted of statements you don't back up or generalized "go google it" replies, neither of which hold water. I want to know why you think what you think, I already know what you think and tossing my queries into the elephant gun void of google is not a good reply.
Sorry, I was incorrect, there are 43,000 denominations of Christianity as of mid 2102...
http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/ … ission.pdf
Okay, thank you for that. It still doesn't mean that these denominations are at war with each other, so my point about that has not been refuted. And it would still be interesting to know what gordonconwelltheologicalseminary uses as the definition of "denomination." And where you get the idea (as I've understood what you've said) that each denomination is so radically and fundamentally different in what we say about God and who is a "real Christian."
They certainly don't agree with one another and we have seen arguments ad nauseum here between Christians to the point where they call each other demons.
I would suspect, like anyone else, they would use the common, accepted definition. Why wouldn't they?
I don't recall saying they are "radically and fundamentally different"... of course, is there any reason for them to be exactly the same and still create another denomination? How does that work?
Again, it's what I've understood from what you've said. If I'm wrong, I'm fine with admitting it. Once I understand you better.
Often times differences in denominations come from governance. Rarely does it actually come from a fundamental understanding of who Christ is. So my point about denominations not being at war with each other stands. Yes, there are those who make extreme statements, and like I said, in any debate it's almost always the most extreme who get the press (if you and I were taking part in this as a national debate, we probably would be ignored since neither of us is the most extreme example of our respective points of view.) That doesn't mean that most of us are engaged in such tactics.
What, in your mind, is the "common, accepted definition?"
Those certainly are the tactics we see here between Christians.
It's not in my mind, it's in the dictionary.
The dictionary carries several definitions of several words.. So which definition would be the most common and accepted? or would all of them be common?
- A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy.
- A name or designation, especially for a class or group.
Didn't see this when I posted my reply.
It still doesn't change any of what I wrote. Most denominations are organized around the governance, not any different ideas about who Christ is or what He did for us. And yeah, some of them fight but it isn't like most of us do.
You mean it doesn't change your denial.
Oh, I see, you know have answers in regards to denominations, not knowing a single thing about them just a very short while ago; the definition of the word, statistics showing the thousands of denominations, etc.?
The fact that many of those denominations are not openly at war with each other does not mean they don't vehemently disagree with each others perceptions and ideals that they worship and cherish.
Why have any denominations? There's only one book on which to agree and you can't even do that. How are any of you expected to agree with anything or anyone else?
It doesn't change my denial of your fallacious assertion, you are 100% correct.
I wanted to know what YOU think. You've been very good at tossing things out with no backup whatsoever, and although I often feel like you understand fully what I say and simply twist it to force into whatever assertion you are into, I thought maybe you just really see even basic things differently than I do. So I asked.
Your little diatribe changes nothing. I didn't say all denominations, but having been a member of a couple different churches I do know a little bit about it and it seems to be more than either you do know or more than you want to know, I'm not sure which.
But this thought occurred to me today, if you look at colors the same way you treat religions (and you very well may for all I know) there are no chartreuse or mauve because they would be essentially no different from green and purple, and in fact there is really no difference between colors at all, it's just words people use to defend their choice of blue over red.
Why have denominations? Because God created a big, beautiful rainbow of people in this world and it's not necessary that everyone see everything exactly the same for us to have a relationship with Him. He likes variety, it doesn't scare or upset Him.
Here you are being totally dishonest, again. You asked for the definition of denomination, I provided it for you. You asked for statistics regarding Christian denominations, I provided that for you, too, because you were too lazy to look it up yourself.
And now, you tell me I toss things out with no backup whatsoever?
That is the reason why it is a waste of time trying to explain anything to those who don't wish to hear it in first place and then complain no one ever provided it for them. Totally dishonest.
And yet, I have seen chartreuse and mauve colors. Yes, they are different, in case you didn't know.
Did He tell you that Himself?
Funny, how you claim your God feels vehement disagreement between faction on what it is you're supposed to believe and not believe is a good and beneficial thing for people and societies. Hilarious.
It never ceases to amaze me how often you describe yourself when you purport to be describing me. And this was no exception. Your ability to contort what I write to force-fit into what you had already planned to say is as amazing as it is boundless. You love to fight and you love fighting with me most of all because this conversation has finally reached the level you like best, simply trading barbs back and forth. Have fun talking to yourself because you certainly don't listen to anyone else.
Actually, you know very well my response was not trading barbs but was instead showing you that I did indeed provide things for you when you dishonestly accused me that I didn't.
All right, let me backtrack and be less personal in my response. In all the times we've interacted, I can count on one hand the instances where you have actually provided any kind of backup at all. Most of the time, the vast majority of the time, you either simply toss the statement out or, when I ask why you think a particular thing, you tell me to google it. That smelled like a setup then and it hasn't changed. So if you do it once or twice and think that settles accounts, it doesn't. You would never accept that from me, and rightly so.
Okay, so quote the dictionary to me, man!
And yeah, I've said (over and over) that these are tactics between some Christians, a few of them. Not nearly as many as you make out. So my point still stands.
That may be true, The definitions have one common denominator among them, But, like atheists, does not make them all the same.. Case in point, I do not try to convert anyone over to what I believe. Personally, my beliefs are my beliefs. If i say something that makes enough sense that you think there might be something to it, then cool. But if not, that's fine too because whether you believe what I believe or not has no effect on my life overall. Because I can accept and respect differences, I can still hold conversations (and debates) with people of opposing beliefs because, in my opinion, a person't beliefs does not change the type of person that they are. This is where and how I lean more toward the singular definition of religion. The belief may be similar fundamentally, but the application of those beliefs are different.
Are you saying there are various differences in not holding a belief? How does that work?
Sorry, but I still don't see any major differences in the definition.
I apologize , but I must have misread in another forum where you, Rad Man, and JM al have said that the only things atheists share in common is a lack of belief. Outside of thet you all are different in your ideals regarding your level of that lack of belief
Which proved the point I made in another forum when I told you that It would be a waste of time for me to try to explain it to you because you wouldn't see the difference. This is no knock on you (well none intended). I have learned that your view of religion in general is that you look at it all the same. You are openminded in that you are interested to see if you hear anything different (Which I appreciate because you have at least softened your approach with me) but any similarities lead you back to the same premise you hold in general.
I would see the difference is there was a difference. But, there wasn't anything substantial.
Which still rests my case. You don't see anything "substantial" (in your opinion), therefore you dismiss it. But there is still a difference (even if it is slight). Even slight differences can be a determining factor in the outcome of a situation.
Sorry, but the miniscule differences are insignificant to the primary meaning.
That isn't a case, it is a logical fallacy.
Now we're getting to a point where we are debating one opinion based on another. You state that minor differences are irrelevant to the General idea, whereas I am simply pointing out that any difference is still a difference whether you accept its relevance or not.. When we're dealing with two opinions, each opinion has equal validity to the mind of the person giving it. I am not totally disagreeing with you generally speaking, but there are instances where even minor differences can make a big enough difference to be a factor.
So based on the point I was making and your response to it, my case still rests.
Whether an individual or group believes in a god, it is the same god and the same beliefs, regardless, which is what religion is about.
Tell that to a hindu, a muslim, and a christian standing side by side
Is that a joke?
A hindu and groups of hindus have their god, which they worship and obey
A muslim and groups of muslims have their god, which they worship and obey
A christian and groups of christians have their god, which they worship and obey
Is this about different gods?
I've been born and bred as a Jew so I suppose I'm a tad biased but when I learn the talmudic texts of our heritage and expound on the thoughts of our ancestors, it feels very spiritual, so in that sense religion does bring about spirituality.
In the absence of formal organized religion; there will always be spiritual minded people of varying degrees, and among these there will always be those that feel a need to be lead deaper within their own spirituality and there will always be those who feel the need to be a leader. and from this a "New" religion is born. And around the corner will always be a "Newer" and improved religion.
The only excape from this IS .... If that which religion teaches is true; that when we die we (Re)enter this spiritual realm purified, we will not desire to live in this physical world. But as long as we are in this world, religion, as imperfect as it is, will always be a reminder of where we came from.
Or something similar to that.
"Studies show that most Americans want spirituality, but perhaps not in religious form. Researcher Wade Clark Roof, Ph.D., from the University of California at Santa Barbara, found that in the 1960s and 1970s baby boomers dropped out of organized religion in large numbers: 84% of Jews, 69% of mainline Protestants, 61% of conservative Protestants and 67% of Catholics.
Many left church and synagogue not because they had lost interest in spirituality, but because organized religion was not meeting their spiritual needs. In the 1990s and as we approach the millennium, it is obvious that Americans are becoming more expressively spiritual." - from Psychology Today.
I think one can find spiritual fulfillment even in music. It doesn't have to be associated with any religion, or with a god.
That's true and I agree. The problem is not in people craving "spirituality" but in whether God actually exists.
And I'm not faulting people for not loving the church. I'm a believe that there are reasons for tradition, but God loves everybody as they are and that's not a message the church has always been good at conveying.
And, since you're one of the very few individuals who actually converses and observes God, we are to take your word for His existence. Yeah, right. lol.
Religion is a sad relic of Stone Age ignorance, and thus will be cleansed from our societal immune systems eventually. Spirituality is not quite as annoying, but that will probably be weeded out as well.
With the decline of religion, it seems as though spirituality is the new opiate of the masses. With the rise of global capitalism, it seems that the retreat into self and spirituality is the perfect way to ignore the horrific troubles of the external world. I see spirituality without religion replacing organized religion but I think it's a bad thing on the whole - it's the most efficient way to be uncritical about the unsolvable problems in capitalism and democracy.
I also think you might be using the term 'religion' a bit too broadly here. Seems like one hell of a claim to say that all religions are irrational: what about the Buddhists - they're more concerned with formal reasoning than analytic philosophers! Moreover, most religions have had vibrant philosophical traditions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam included. Islamic philosophers are the thinkers credited with saving Aristotle, who puts the anal in analytic reasoning.
As an atheist, I can say that I have a whole lot more respect for religionists than spiritualists. If anything, religions are generally founded on rational or liberatory cores and perverted later, spirituality is to the core and from the very beginning ideological and unhelpful.
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