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What is Religion?

  1. Feb 8, 2004 #1
    What is Religion??

    in ur opinion, what do you think religion is in our world today?....
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2004 #2
    i guess nothing haha
  4. Feb 9, 2004 #3


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    I think anything that someone is truly passionate about can become their 'religion'. I have a cousin who has made snowboarding his religion.

    Dictionary.com supports this idea with the following definition:

    A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
  5. Feb 9, 2004 #4


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    I'll paraphrase from Merriam-Webster (www.m-w.com) for my answer...

    An institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs/faiths, and practices for the service or worship of something/someone...usually a supernatural being/power.

    The key aspect being...a system of beliefs for purposes of worship.

    IMHO, a snowboard fanatic is one thing, but worshipping snowboarding is another.

    As far as "what religion is in our world today"...it's one of the most powerful motivating forces and influences on human society. It remains big, even with science & technology simultaneously becoming another big force in society .
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2004
  6. Feb 10, 2004 #5


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    Your site also mentions these as definitions of ‘religion’:

    scrupulous conformity:CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
    a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

    How many people do you know that you consider ‘religious’ in their chosen faith, would be willing to change that faith based on someone else’s arguments or faith? They ‘know’ that theirs is the ONLY way - to the exclusion of all else. This is what they've been taught or chosen to believe. Nothing will change their mind.

    There ARE people who practice their whatever - snowboarding, gardening, politics, or even science in the very same way. The only thing that could stop them from believing as they do is death or complete incapacitation – in spite of whatever ‘evidence’ is laid on the table (they’re just not going to believe it!). In some cases, a true epiphany or personal experience will cause a change in their fanatic practice of said ‘religion’, but from what I’ve seen, that’s pretty rare.

    Just as each individual has their own ‘religion’, each has his own definition OF that religion. And you’ll rarely find someone who will say “Yes. I AM a fanatic about (fill in the blank) and truly mean ‘fanatic’ – and I mean in the sense that many people (especially lately in the US) think that many Muslims are ‘fanatics’ about their religion to the point that they will exclude all else in favor of their practicing their ‘religion’ and/or what it teaches.

    Also from your site, looking up ‘fanatic’:
    marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion <they're fanatic about politics>

    So, I guess my point here is not so much 'What is religion', it's 'What IS 'religion'? I say, it's "Whatever you WANT it to be". (And you're NOT going to get me to change my mind!!!!! )
  7. Feb 10, 2004 #6


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    Not "my" site. :wink: Notice my variation on the definition emphasized worship & the supernatural.

    Excellent observation. This will continually plague humans as some people will never see eye to eye. Different world views are tough to cross, but it has happened (as you later noted).

    Agree, but I think "worship" takes it to a different level and is what separates a religion from really-being-into-something.

    But this is just my definition. :wink:
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