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A Civil Religious Debate

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atypican(4874) pic

Create Debate Defines Religion

Either try to come up with your own, post someone else's, or your favorite dictionary's, then upvote the best one(s) you see posted so far...

Definitions voted highest will be edited into this debate description.



1) X) a: The human habit of forming ideological alliances with one another, regarding issues commonly accepted as being of highest importance. b: An institution,organization, or group based on such alliances

2) pending

3) pending

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5 points

X) a: The human habit of forming ideological alliances with one another, regarding issues commonly accepted as being of highest importance. b: An institution, organization, or group based on such alliances

Does this include liberalism? ;)

1 point

So, this means that atheism is a religion, because youve said that.. it is the human habit of forming ideological alliances with one another.. sorry. Im just quite confused.

Banana_Slug(845) Disputed
1 point

That is quite inaccurate being atheist means not having belief in god or gods.

It's same as not collecting stamps isn't a hobby or not smoking is not a habit, atheism is not a religion, it's simply not doing so.

2 points

X) belief in god .

atypican(4874) Disputed
2 points

There are atheistic religions, so this is not definitive of religion, only certain popular variants.

2 points

X) Conviction in supernatural realities relevant to human well being

This, it must include relevance to the supernatural to distinguish it from other ideologies, and most include relevance to well being to distinguish it from Deism.

atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

I would reject this definition because I think it's not a good idea to insist that supernaturalism is definitive of religion. I think there can be, and are, religions that eschew supernaturalist concepts.

MuckaMcCaw(1968) Disputed
1 point

I think there can be, and are, religions that eschew supernaturalist concepts.


I do know that some schools of Zen Buddhism attempt to stay away from the more supernatural aspects inherent in other Buddhist sects, but I would argue that Buddhism can be either a religion or a philosophy or a religion, and loses its religiosity when it casts aside its supernatural elements.

Also, if religion is not necessarily reliant on supernatural components, what would the word used to describe such a supernatural philosophy. Would there be none? Is there no value in differentiating between naturalistic and supernaturalistic philosophies?

2 points

X) a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Do grammar Nazis fall under this category ;)

2 points

X) the service and worship of God or the supernatural .

atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

Since I can't understand how one would service and worship the supernatural I can't accept this one.

The atheists' nemesis. ;)

2 points

Religion: "Any absolutist attitude is always a religious attitude, and in whatever respect a man becomes absolute, there you see his religion." Carl Jung.

1 point

I like that one. But it's not worded like a definition. Will you do that, or would you like me to?

You can reword it as a definition, I just didn't take the time to redefine another man's words.

2 points

X) Habitually and articulately expressed values and beliefs applied as a comprehensive philosophy or way of life.

1 point

X) Habitually and articulately expressed values and beliefs that constitute a philosophy or way of life.

joecavalry(38758) Clarified
1 point

Wow! So by this definition, joe_cavalry can be considered a religion..., since it is already a way of life ;)

1 point

The definition allows for individualized expression sure. You practice Joe_Cavalryism ;)

ChadOnSunday(1863) Clarified
1 point

So brushing my teeth is a religion? I do it habitually; I can articulate reasons I do it based on my beliefs and values and it absolutely shapes my way of life.

1 point

It would be part of the cleanliness related portions of your religion....sure.

1 point

X) Ideological inheritance .

1 point

X) commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

This definition makes use of circular logic so I reject it on that basis

A system of belief that deals with but is not limited to god(s), the supernatural, clergy, faith, tithing, church, spirituality, well-being, moral values, scripture, prophecy, messiahs, mythology, magic, ritual, and the like. Religion is just philosophy + some superstitious mumbo-jumbo, essentially.

1 point

So then does this fit your idea of religion nicely?

ChadOnSunday(1863) Clarified
1 point

Link didn't work. Just kept bringing me to the top of this debate. Unless that was your intent, in which case...


1 point

X) A type of philosophy that relies on superstitious mumbo-jumbo

(inspired by ChadOnSunday's Post)

That guy sure knows what he's talking about.


No, my definition of religion is a lot more complex than that, as I think you know, though I suppose that's not a bad summary version.

Personally the more complex the better, when it comes to definitions. I think all of the definitions you listed here work and are applicable. I think with something as intangible and subjective as belief systems one can't really give a simple one line definition and encompass the concept. Accordingly, when determining what a belief system is, when have to look at several definitions as being applicable simultaneously and not just one.

It reminds me of diagnosing the mentally ill using the DSM. You have to look at all the aspects of the symptoms and all the aspects of the criteria for mental illness and make a judgement based on that. There are symptoms that are common to several different disorders, and if we only focus on one symptom or one criteria for mental illness, we'll probably get the diagnosis wrong.

In his youtube series "Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism", user AronRa claimed (and I am paraphrasing here) that "all philosophies described as a religion by both their detractors and supporters make claims regarding what happen to people after their physical bodies die." I am not sure if this is strictly true, but it does fit with all religions I know of. How the religion handles this concept varies wildly, but it seems to be one of the only universal components of all religion.

At a different point in the series he offers that all religions require faith. And since no concept of "afterlife" happenings can be fully confirmed or denied objectively, faith would be requisite.

So, I guess that my answer would go something like this:

"A collection of beliefs and practices stemming from particular, faith-based notions disputing the finality of death."

1 point

X) An individual or groups particular brand of intolerance.

1 point

X) the most intensive and comprehensive method of valuing that is experienced by humankind.

1 point

X) An individual's or group's absolutist attitudes

(Inspired by a post from Thewayitis)

Religion = what people think

what people think = public opinion

debating = re modelling public opinion

create debate = high level debating

Therefore, create debate defines religion to some extent.