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Thread: Christopher Hitchens Dies

  1. #151
    Cricketer Of The Year Agent Nationaux's Avatar
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    I am getting a sense of Deja vu. Was it you Shanker who talked about the theorisation of religion in another thread?
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    Yeah, look, it gives me a pain deep inside my uterus to admit it, but it's Ajmal until such time as we get a working throwing law again.
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  2. #152
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shankar View Post
    Not really . I wasn't saying that their zeal is religious.
    Haha, yeah, I was kidding tbf.

  3. #153
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shankar View Post
    The 'universality of religion' is not an empirical fact about the world. To say that religion is universal, one must first develop a theory of religion which can then be used to determine if a given culture has religion or not. What we have today is the assumption that entities such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Animism, Paganism etc.. (exist in the world and) are religions. We then try to find definitions of religion that fit our assumptions.

    Where did the idea that religion is universal arise? When Europeans first set out to explore other continents, they expected to find religion in these cultures because according to the Bible, God had put true religion in the heart of man at the beginning. However as time went on, true religion got corrupted. So they expected to find religion among all peoples, false religion, but religion nevertheless.

    This theological belief has got secularised into the idea that all cultures have religion. So, when Dawkins looks for evolutionary explanations for religion (without justifying the assumption that all cultures have religion), he is unknowingly trying to prove this theological 'fact' about human beings.
    So name a culture which you would say does or did not have a religion.
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  4. #154
    International Debutant shankar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    But they are?
    Why is Hinduism a religion and why isn't say, fascism a religion?

    Almost all cultures do/did have a religion. Name me one who did not.
    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    So name a culture which you would say does or did not have a religion.
    There are no known religions apart from Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
    Last edited by shankar; 27-12-2011 at 02:56 PM.


  5. #155
    International Debutant shankar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nationaux View Post
    I am getting a sense of Deja vu. Was it you Shanker who talked about the theorisation of religion in another thread?
    Yeah, I was the one banging on about the same topic in that thread as well.

  6. #156
    State Regular L Trumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    So name a culture which you would say does or did not have a religion.
    Technically apart from three abrahamic religions, remaining all other more or less started as a way of life. Not particularly defined but slowly they all progressed, and became hierarchically structured, which I think can be defined as religion. But most of the -isms didn't set out to start as a religion or a belief in god.

    Its kind of an evolutionary cycle from chaos to groups to religions and one day hopefully back to chaos.

  7. #157
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Why are the two things mutually exclusive? If you'd ask devout Muslims. Christians and Jews, they would define their beliefs as a way of life too.

    Secondly, why would the way they started have any impact on their functional categorization now?

  8. #158
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shankar View Post
    Why is Hinduism a religion and why isn't say, fascism a religion?



    There are no known religions apart from Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
    So what's the definition of one?

  9. #159
    State Regular L Trumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Why are the two things mutually exclusive? If you'd ask devout Muslims. Christians and Jews, they would define their beliefs as a way of life too.

    Secondly, why would the way they started have any impact on their functional categorization now?
    Nah they weren't mutually exclusive. But early religions started more like an idea that can be passed on, while the later ones started more like a propaganda that everyone needs to be followed. Which in turn affected all kind of -isms, and everyone started to protect their own -ism, and try to rub it on others whenever there is a possibility. Which turned everything into bitterness. But in hindsight we can say it is always going to happen no matter the -isms. In fact it is very difficult to define where lifestyle - religion - political belief borders start or end. It depends on individual I guess. In a way you are right, we can call Stalin-ism, Naziism as religions albeit god less ones.

  10. #160
    International Debutant shankar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    So what's the definition of one?
    It's not based on a definition but a theory of religion developed by someone. I described it in the thread that Agent referred to:
    Quote Originally Posted by shankar View Post
    It's a theory developed by one Prof.Balagangadhara and his research group at Ghent University, Belgium. The theory is not straightforward to explain, but I'll give a short summary:

    Their theory claims that religion is an 'explanatory intelligible' account of the Cosmos (everything that has, is and shall be) and itself. An intelligible account of an event is one which describes the event as the expression of the intentions of an agent. e.g: The window was opened because Jack wanted to let some fresh air in. An explanatory account is now which describes an event as occurring due to some causes. e.g: The window got opened because a gust of wind blew across it (or) The rainfall occurred because the water-vapour in the atmosphere got condensed. A religion is an account of the universe where the intelligible and explanatory accounts get fused into one. The agent is the entity God. His intentions are also the causes for every event in the universe.
    For now, forget about the question of why one should subscribe to this theory. Look at the question of why entities like hinduism, buddhism, taoism etc... are religions.

  11. #161
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Because they contain a set of non scientifc beliefs regarding the causes/effects/origins of phenomena - specifically origin of the universe, world, humans, or what happens after death...things of that nature.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 27-12-2011 at 03:32 PM.

  12. #162
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shankar View Post
    Why is Hinduism a religion and why isn't say, fascism a religion?



    There are no known religions apart from Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
    Fascism doesn't preach reincarnation or Nirvana, for one. Fascism is a political stance, concerning nothing but events on Earth.

    If you want to expand the usual definition of religion from spiritual belief to anything one can subscribe to on nothing but faith, then use to govern their life, then yes political views are religions for the hardliners.

    There are no known Abrahamic religions apart from Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
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  13. #163
    Cricketer Of The Year Agent Nationaux's Avatar
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    Interesting theory. So God is more than an agent but also cause/nature.

  14. #164
    International Coach Shri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nationaux View Post
    we all make random decisions in our lives.
    Thats what she said.

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nationaux View Post
    Interesting theory. So God is more than an agent but also cause/nature.
    I suppose it's difficult these days because all people who call themselves religious have different interpretations of what god actually means. You have deists, theists, and all sorts of different definitions of what god does.

    Like you said, you have people who think that god set up the initial conditions and has no influence on today's affairs and happenings and then you have people who believe he directly interacts with things that people do today. And that's but to name 2 stances, I'm sure there are numerous amounts more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    1) Had double pneumonia as a kid, as did my twin sis. Doctors told my parents to pray that we lived through the night. Dad said **** off, I'm an atheist, you ****s better save my kids, etc. Then prayed anyway.

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