What constitutes a religion?

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by mrgoodsmoke, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. What is it that constitutes a religion? How is one defined? When we use the term "religion" how do we mean it, and to what property of all so-called religions does it refer?

    I know there are lots of different religions that all believe different things, sometimes in agreement, sometimes not. But what it is about all of them that is similar and gives us cause to categorize them as religions and not as something else?
  2. I would characterize a religion as a cult that has grown out of the transmission of spiritual ideas from one generation to the next such that it has become something of a bureaucracy. A cult that has spawned other nearly identical cults using the same teachings. Characterized especially by writings meant to preserve the core ideas.
  3. usually on weather if its full of bullshit or not

    if yes then , you have yourself a fine fine religion buddy:smoke:
  4. A set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe.
  5. Dictating beliefs, rather than teaching them.
  6. Heh, I was trying to think of it, but you got it! :D
  7. Glad to be of service:cool:
  8. Good stuff so far. I think it'd be interesting to try and answer the questions in the OP one by one to come up w/ a thorough definition which defines only religion and not possibly other things.

    The military could be seen as dictating beliefs and yet it's not a religion.
  9. Hah, It's part of a marines religion to be a marine! A Marine and his rifle is the deadliest weapon! How can it not be a religion?
  10. I'll accept that challenge

    How's this? The dictation of beliefs by those who claim to be an authority on that which is not governed.
  11. You are all wrong lol we're all religious in this thread. Religious in finding the truth, religious in being right. Religion would constitute a firmament belief in achieving an ideal. Its like this if you have a picture how would you bring it alive? That in itself is religion
  12. I've always liked the definition I learned in sociology class years ago:

    Religion is a set of beliefs and practices that

    1. is concerned with the supernatural;

    2. includes rituals;

    3. attempts to answer life's "big" questions, such as "What's the meaning of life?" or "Why do bad things happen to good people?"; and

    4. identifies some things or ideas as sacred.
  13. :laughing:
    I have no idea what your talking about.
  14. And yet for some others out there, a religions "justification" to exist lies solely on the fact that it's a HUGE tax shelter.

    In fact, I would love to offer this challenge to the US Government. You want to fix this economy? You want to help create revenue for the Government without affecting the majority with huge tax increases across the board?

    Then the answer is simple really. Start taxing religious organizations.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I'm so cruel, so immoral to ask that, right?

    And those that take in millions, even billions every year, pay themselves obscene salaries all while preaching the damnation of your very soul if you don't continue to feed their coffers?

    Those that purposely start up a "new" religion under their own roof just to escape property taxes?

    Those who start up a charity (Susan Komen comes to mind this month), only to find that millions are paid in salaries before a single dime lands in the hands of those desperately needing it?

    Yeah, and I'm somehow viewed as the "immoral" one here... :rolleyes:

    I'm sorry, but if you want to help keep religion in check (and I mean that in a GOOD way), then I feel that it needs to be taxed just like any other organization.

    If we did tax religion, not only would we see unprecedented levels of tax revenue, but you might not have so many greedy people running to scamper under that tax-free umbrella then.

    Of course, then the focus goes back to the receiving end of this revenue, to ensure the greed and corruption within the Government doesn't manage to make things worse.
  15. I'm talking about religion without a holy book staying within that context is stagnant. People worship television and celebrities, the box update god of twitter and facebook and make fun of people who go to church and mosque. Its hilarious
  16. a religion is putting faith in an outside source, a god

    a god who governs the universe from the outside, never tampering with it though, making evil spread,

    the universe is govern by the forces of nature, not god, god is love, a created idea
  17. I feel the downfall of all religion is when people subscribe to the idea that this is one in the same.
  18. it will happen, religion, dividing back to zero a new start start with one god, god of love
  19. Not until you take the monetary factor out of religion will it become pure again. Until then, it is a business like any other, but with a HUGE tax advantage, which creates even more doubt as to the purity of their ideals and motivation.

    Their marketing is rather unique though. Don't contribute to the coffers, and you go to Hell. Pretty powerful sales pitch right there...:cool:

  20. lol wut?

    they never say I am going to hell if i don't give them money...

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