Author Topic: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?  (Read 1638 times)

SidewalkCynic

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Gender: Male
  • What are you looking for?
    • Secular Library
What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« on: January 25, 2019, 02:41:50 PM »
Religion is the practice of exercises that maintains dignity.

The common description used by atheists, that religion is the belief and worship of deities, is a misnomer from the dictionaries, because the definitions of "belief," and "worship," are not distinguishable enough to justify the conjunction of the terms to distinguish religion from theism. Belief is a form of worship, and so there is a redundant category error being deployed by the definition.

This becomes more apparent when theists argue that atheists have a religion. The theists realize that atheists do not believe in the existence of a god, and they realize that religion is not "belief and worship." They realize that the definition of religion is something else. The theists realize that atheists are adherents to a doctrine - science and reason. The problem is that atheists do not realize that their doctrine includes the definitions of words, because the definitions of words are the basic tools of reasoning - we have to agree to the definitions of the words we use in our arguments.

The problem is that there are incorrect definitions that atheists use, because the editing of the dictionaries have been without the strict rigorous review that scientific method would impose. And these incorrect definitions that atheists use to test arguments, that distinguish the arguments that theists use from the arguments that atheists use, form the dogma that stalls the atheists' agenda to advance reason in society.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 05:12:33 PM by SidewalkCynic »
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Tank

  • Administrator
  • Excellent and Indefatigable Guardian of Reason
  • *****
  • Posts: 31797
  • Gender: Male
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 02:51:44 PM »
 :popcorn:
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Icarus

  • The wise one.
  • Guardian of Reason
  • *****
  • Posts: 5818
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2019, 03:39:28 AM »
 ^^ :query::wtf:...........please continue

hermes2015

  • Touched by His Noodly Appendage
  • *****
  • Posts: 2375
  • Gender: Male
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 03:50:12 AM »
My daily visits to the loo also help maintain my dignity.
“Who is to say that pleasure is useless?”
― Charles Eames

SidewalkCynic

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Gender: Male
  • What are you looking for?
    • Secular Library
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 02:37:26 PM »
My daily visits to the loo also help maintain my dignity.

Yes, it does. Washing your hands afterwards. Going to work in the morning - on time. Doing the best you can. Being kind to your neighbors. Loving your spouse and children. Indoctrinating your children with the correct information. Compromising your principles with your fool spouse. Not living in the fairy tale of a deity. Trying to make this a better world.

All that stuff is what religion is. It is not belief and worship of gods - that is theism. Belief is a form of worship - it is a redundant category error.

^^ :query::wtf:...........please continue
I'm pretty sure that the incorrect definition leads atheists to describe relative degrees of atheism - hard atheism, soft atheism, militant atheism. Very similar to describing people as, "not very religious," "very religious," and "not religious" it is a matter of counting how many of the rules that they comply with, and how they attempt to impose the rules on others.

It is not my fault that in previous generations, atheists, were probably unable to recognize the incorrect definitions and it really didn't make much difference back then. More, or less, atheists of the previous generations were compelled to just go along with whatever was less controversial. But now, as the society has relatively advanced in sophistication, some of these seemingly innocuous errors, do matter now; and it would be very beneficial to the ambition of atheists to correct these discrepancies before the Christians do it and claim their continued guardianship of atheists.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 07:58:30 PM by SidewalkCynic »
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Bluenose

  • Taking the Road Less Travelled
  • ****
  • Posts: 1292
  • Gender: Male
  • Final approach to HMAS Melbourne CVS-21 (1980)
    • Native Fish Australia
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 11:25:06 AM »
Religion is the practice of exercises that maintains dignity.

The common description used by atheists, that religion is the belief and worship of deities, is a misnomer from the dictionaries, because the definitions of "belief," and "worship," are not distinguishable enough to justify the conjunction of the terms to distinguish religion from theism. Belief is a form of worship, and so there is a redundant category error being deployed by the definition.

This becomes more apparent when theists argue that atheists have a religion. The theists realize that atheists do not believe in the existence of a god, and they realize that religion is not "belief and worship." They realize that the definition of religion is something else. The theists realize that atheists are adherents to a doctrine - science and reason. The problem is that atheists do not realize that their doctrine includes the definitions of words, because the definitions of words are the basic tools of reasoning - we have to agree to the definitions of the words we use in our arguments.

The problem is that there are incorrect definitions that atheists use, because the editing of the dictionaries have been without the strict rigorous review that scientific method would impose. And these incorrect definitions that atheists use to test arguments, that distinguish the arguments that theists use from the arguments that atheists use, form the dogma that stalls the atheists' agenda to advance reason in society.

This is just so much word salad. Not buying any of it.
“The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

― Douglas Adams

+++ Divide by cucumber error: please reinstall universe and reboot.  +++

GNU Terry Pratchett


Tank

  • Administrator
  • Excellent and Indefatigable Guardian of Reason
  • *****
  • Posts: 31797
  • Gender: Male
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 11:39:45 AM »
Religion is the practice of exercises that maintains dignity.

The common description used by atheists, that religion is the belief and worship of deities, is a misnomer from the dictionaries, because the definitions of "belief," and "worship," are not distinguishable enough to justify the conjunction of the terms to distinguish religion from theism. Belief is a form of worship, and so there is a redundant category error being deployed by the definition.

This becomes more apparent when theists argue that atheists have a religion. The theists realize that atheists do not believe in the existence of a god, and they realize that religion is not "belief and worship." They realize that the definition of religion is something else. The theists realize that atheists are adherents to a doctrine - science and reason. The problem is that atheists do not realize that their doctrine includes the definitions of words, because the definitions of words are the basic tools of reasoning - we have to agree to the definitions of the words we use in our arguments.

The problem is that there are incorrect definitions that atheists use, because the editing of the dictionaries have been without the strict rigorous review that scientific method would impose. And these incorrect definitions that atheists use to test arguments, that distinguish the arguments that theists use from the arguments that atheists use, form the dogma that stalls the atheists' agenda to advance reason in society.

This is just so much word salad. Not buying any of it.

Yep. A perfect example of creating a straw man because one can't cope with the reality of a situation.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

SidewalkCynic

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Gender: Male
  • What are you looking for?
    • Secular Library
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 03:08:44 PM »
What's the reality of the situation that I cannot cope with???

What then is the correct definition of religion?

https://www.google.com/search?q=religion

WordNet has dropped the "worship," term. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=religion&sub=Search+WordNet&o2=&o0=1&o8=1&o1=1&o7=&o5=&o9=&o6=&o3=&o4=&h=
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Recusant

  • Miscreant Erendrake
  • Administrator
  • Wears a Colander Hat for Special Occasions
  • *****
  • Posts: 6282
  • Gender: Male
  • infidel barbarian
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2019, 08:44:30 PM »
You don't like the definition you find in dictionaries so you make up your own, then justify this by disparaging dictionaries in general. It's not a problem to make up your own definitions, except to the extent it diminishes your ability to communicate clearly.

It is said that a productive discussion can only be had by agreeing to definitions of terms. It isn't conducive to a reasonable exchange of views to preemptively assert that your personal definition is the correct one, and that anybody who disagrees with you is incorrect. In fact you'll often end up discussing definitions rather than the ostensible topic, assuming there is one. In this case the topic is a particular personal definition, so maybe we'll be okay.  ;)

Dictionaries by long-standing practice tend to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. That is, they attempt to delineate generally agreed and prevailing usages rather than dictate what is the proper usage according to the editors of the dictionary. So for instance incredulous is generally understood to mean "skeptical" or "expressive of disbelief." However in the latter part of the 20th century it was becoming common for people to use the term to mean "incredible" or "discreditable" because they were unaware that this was contrary to the prevailing usage. It so happens that a couple of centuries ago incredulous was used in this way as well as the current recognized usage. Merriam-Webster therefore has listed the revived usage, and appended a note saying that "it is widely regarded as an error resulting from confusion with incredible, and its occurrence in published writing is rare." Still, I've noted its use in published writing and expect that at some point it will be fully accepted.

It seems to me that your understanding of how dictionaries are edited is faulty. There is strict review, but that review is entirely in regard to how people use words. Accurate observation and recording of results are the only parts of the scientific method that are of any use to dictionary editors. They aren't in the business of enforcing particular usage, except in places like France, where the Académie française is fighting a losing battle as it attempts to stop people "degrading" the French language.

All this is to say that I don't think it's out of line to disagree with a dictionary definition as long as one can make a very good case showing that the dictionary has failed to take account of a prevailing usage. On the other hand, the invention of a new definition to serve some agenda will tend to fail unless the inventor has a following that is willing to agree to the new definition and defend it. The lone advocate of an idiosyncratic definition, absent agreement by some portion of the population, is just engaging in a futile exercise in rhetoric.

How then would agreement be obtained? First, by showing that the current definition is inadequate in some vital way, failing to properly encompass a worthwhile concept. Second, by demonstrating the utility of the new definition. Third, by showing that the only way to improve the situation is to change the definition.

You believe that the current definition of religion used by atheists is "a misnomer." It isn't just atheists who use that definition though. I suppose if you get enough atheists to agree with you there will be at least some impetus to change the prevailing usage, but it's really the wider population that matters in regard to usage.

For instance, many atheists have been asserting for some time that atheism is "lack of belief in deities" rather than "disbelief in or denial of the existence deities." I've only encountered one dictionary that has partially accepted the definition supported by an apparent plurality of atheists: the Cambridge Dictionary says that an atheist is "someone who does not believe in any God or gods." However it still holds that atheism is "the belief that God does not exist." The difference between a positive belief and the absence of belief doesn't trouble them, it seems. Atheists who insist that atheism is an absence of belief in deities will continue to be confronted with dictionary definitions that don't acknowledge their usage, probably for some considerable time into the future. Even if you convince atheists to agree with you, the prospects aren't great.

Your definition of religion dispenses with any reference to deities. OK as far as that goes, but the deities will not be so easily displaced; there will inevitably be confusion regarding the term should you succeed.

You insist that "belief is a form of worship." It might be argued that is the case in a religious context but absent that context, belief and worship are without question two distinct concepts.

You attempt to justify your new definition by referring to rhetoric employed against atheists by religious people. That doesn't bode well if your intention is convince atheists that your definition is correct. Few atheists agree with the religious people's rhetoric in the first place. In the second place, agreeing with those religious people that atheism is a doctrine requires a redefinition of either the word doctrine or the word atheism. Atheism, as noted above, pertains to a position on the existence of a single class of entities, whatever recognized definition one chooses. On the other hand doctrine describes a body of instruction or teaching. While there may be atheistic doctrines, atheism itself doesn't qualify as a doctrine. Apparently you're proposing the redefinition of more than just religion, then.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 09:23:34 PM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


SidewalkCynic

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Gender: Male
  • What are you looking for?
    • Secular Library
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 09:27:53 PM »
It seems to me that your understanding of how dictionaries are edited is faulty. There is strict review, but that review is entirely in regard to how people use words. Accurate observation and recording of results are the only parts of the scientific method that are of any use to dictionary editors.They aren't in the business of enforcing particular usage, except in places like France, where the Académie française is fighting a losing battle as it attempts to stop people "degrading" the French language.
I believe I have discovered the code for deliniating the order of technology, and that that is the scientific enforcement to stabilize semantics; which becomes more important as the evolution of society expects a more reliable semantic structure compared to the less sophisticated eras of the past.


You believe that the current definition of religion used by atheists is "a misnomer." It isn't just atheists who use that definition though. I suppose if you get enough atheists to agree with you there will be at least some impetus to change the prevailing usage, but it's really the wider population that matters in regard to usage.

Your definition of religion dispenses with any reference to deities. OK as far as that goes, but the deities will not be so easily displaced; there will inevitably be confusion regarding the term should you succeed.
We are enduring confusion - theists claim that atheists have a religion!

You insist that "belief is a form of worship." It might be argued that is the case in a religious context but absent that context, belief and worship are without question two distinct concepts.

I believe it is just the opposite! What is worship without belief in the supposed doctrine?

Your attempt to justify your new definition by referring to rhetoric employed against atheists by religious people doesn't bode well if your intention is convince atheists that your definition is correct. Few atheists agree with the religious people's rhetoric in the first place.
Except, of course, when the theists rhetoric supports the atheists arguments - then the theists are the good ones, or reasonable, or something...

In the second place, agreeing with those religious people that atheism is a doctrine requires a redefinition of either the word doctrine or the word atheism. Atheism, as noted above, pertains to a position on the existence of a single class of entities, whatever definition one chooses. On the other hand doctrine describes a body of instruction or teaching. While there may be atheistic doctrines, atheism itself doesn't qualify as a doctrine. Apparently you're proposing the redefinition of more than just religion, then.
Yes, you missed it in the other thread, or someplace. But that's really good that you recognized that I do have, at least, one other word that needs to be adjusted.

Your ability to present such arguments proves that BlueNose and Tank are somewhat in error in deciding that I merely composed a "word salad" that fails to argue anything.
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Tank

  • Administrator
  • Excellent and Indefatigable Guardian of Reason
  • *****
  • Posts: 31797
  • Gender: Male
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 09:36:37 PM »
Quote
I believe I have discovered the code for deliniating the order of technology, and that that is the scientific enforcement to stabilize semantics; which becomes more important as the evolution of society expects a more reliable semantic structure compared to the less sophisticated eras of the past.

I'll have mine with Blue Cheese sauce please.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

SidewalkCynic

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Gender: Male
  • What are you looking for?
    • Secular Library
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2019, 09:39:04 PM »
So, what is the practice of exercises that we do to maintain or sense of dignity, if it is not religion?
If there were a god, then it would have revealed itself to me. There has never been anything more important in the history of Mankind than what I am delivering - scientific collation theory for the organization of technology.

Recusant

  • Miscreant Erendrake
  • Administrator
  • Wears a Colander Hat for Special Occasions
  • *****
  • Posts: 6282
  • Gender: Male
  • infidel barbarian
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2019, 11:03:10 PM »
It seems to me that your understanding of how dictionaries are edited is faulty. There is strict review, but that review is entirely in regard to how people use words. Accurate observation and recording of results are the only parts of the scientific method that are of any use to dictionary editors.They aren't in the business of enforcing particular usage, except in places like France, where the Académie française is fighting a losing battle as it attempts to stop people "degrading" the French language.

I believe I have discovered the code for deliniating the order of technology [. . .]

We're going to have to go through this bit by bit. When you say "code" what does it refer to? A well-defined system of thought? If not, then what?

What is the process of "delineat[ing] the order of technology"?

and that that is the scientific enforcement to stabilize semantics [. . .]

Interesting that you're proposing enforcement of a prescriptive approach to language when I just pointed out that an existing attempt at just such an approach, fully supported by the government of the nation in question, is failing to achieve its aim. There's an inescapable reason for this: Language simply doesn't work that way. It's almost completely a bottom-up phenomenon--the population uses it and changes it as it suits them, not as some body of officious do-gooders tells them to.

which becomes more important as the evolution of society expects a more reliable semantic structure compared to the less sophisticated eras of the past.

The evolution of society doesn't have any expectations. Evolution cannot be correctly understood as a teleological process. Societal changes take place almost entirely in reaction to events and demographic movements. The desires and efforts of those who may think that they're in charge of directing the way that societies evolve are of relatively little importance.

We are enduring confusion - theists claim that atheists have a religion!

That is their own construction, and it's usually nothing but a rhetorical cudgel. Those who actually believe it are the ones who are confused. In any case, some degree of confusion is a natural result of the way that humans think and communicate. Outside very strict academic venues this circumstance will continue to pertain.

You insist that "belief is a form of worship." It might be argued that is the case in a religious context but absent that context, belief and worship are without question two distinct concepts.

I believe it is just the opposite! What is worship without belief in the supposed doctrine?

It's fairly common, really. I attended church for several years and participated in many, many acts of worship, even though I didn't believe. I know I'm far from the only one who did so. Pro forma ritual is a big part of religion.

You neglected to consider the reverse of your question. Even in a religious context, there is a multitude of people who sincerely believe in a god, yet never perform a single act of worship. Even if they were to get dragged into a church service they'd only be in the presence of others who were worshipping, and likely resenting every minute of it. They'd be hard put to participate; wouldn't know the words to say, and would probably only be able to sing along on some of the songs. You may not acknowledge that belief can exist without worship, but you don't dictate what goes on in other people's heads.

Your attempt to justify your new definition by referring to rhetoric employed against atheists by religious people doesn't bode well if your intention is convince atheists that your definition is correct. Few atheists agree with the religious people's rhetoric in the first place.
Except, of course, when the theists rhetoric supports the atheists arguments - then the theists are the good ones, or reasonable, or something...

Can you cite an example?

Yes, you missed it in the other thread, or someplace. But that's really good that you recognized that I do have, at least, one other word that needs to be adjusted.

You can adjust all you like. I don't think you've actually addressed the difficulties such a project presents.

Your ability to present such arguments proves that BlueNose and Tank are somewhat in error in deciding that I merely composed a "word salad" that fails to argue anything.

It may be that at the moment I'm inclined to be a bit more patient than they are.  :lol:

So, what is the practice of exercises that we do to maintain or sense of dignity, if it is not religion?

When I take a shower in the morning it's part of maintaining a sense of dignity. Are you telling me that an atheist taking a shower is participating in religion?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 12:09:52 AM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


xSilverPhinx

  • Non Dvcor
  • Global Moderator
  • Luxembourg Trembles!
  • *****
  • Posts: 16940
  • Gender: Female
  • I Spy With My Googly Eyes...
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2019, 11:04:04 PM »
Quote
I believe I have discovered the code for deliniating the order of technology, and that that is the scientific enforcement to stabilize semantics; which becomes more important as the evolution of society expects a more reliable semantic structure compared to the less sophisticated eras of the past.

I'll have mine with Blue Cheese sauce please.

:lol:

Make it two, please.

Seriously SidewalkCynic, what are you rambling on about?  :wtf: What on earth does "the scientific enforcement to stabilize semantics" mean? Are you trying to create a linguistic meme that will propagate among atheists and theists alike? :lol:

If only OldGit could chime in. He's a linguist and would have some very interesting insight.
Give no mercy to your fear.



Sandra Craft

  • Surprisingly OK
  • Global Moderator
  • The Cure for Boredom is Curiosity. There is No Cure For Curiosity.
  • *****
  • Posts: 9559
  • Gender: Female
Re: What is the Correct Definition of Religion?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2019, 12:41:34 AM »
So, what is the practice of exercises that we do to maintain or sense of dignity, if it is not religion?

I believe most people call that "self-care".
Sandy

  

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."  Sarah Louise Delany