I've got to give a talk in about 6 months and I've got 20-25 minutes to do it. I want to make it as tight as possible and suggest some ideas that the audience hasn't considered before. I'm going to work out some of the concepts here.
The dictionary definition of religion is a bit cramped. I have to say I don't agree with it at all.
(T)he belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
I don't see it that way. To me, it's a holistic system of beliefs which describe the world as it is. I'm probably cadging the definition of another phrase, "worldview" perhaps? Oh well.
Catholicism unites philosophy, science and faith. So does Islam. So does atheism. Agnosticism lays down on the couch, hoping it will all go away. How about this as a definition of religion:
The selection of one of a set of competing hypotheses about the nature of reality.
After all, since you can't prove the existence or nature of God the way you can work out thermodynamics equations, they all require faith. No one knows which one is true. You can only make an educated guess with more education giving you more accuracy.
The morality of a religion naturally falls out of the belief system. If Jesus was the son of God and He said we should forgive, then we'd better get on with the forgivering. If Mohammed was given the inerrant word of Allah and he says we need to convert the world or slay the infidels, then it's time to sharpen our swords. If there is no God, then the Marquis de Sade and Dylan Mulvaney have it right and we shouldn't waste time on anything but pleasing ourselves.
|Party on, girls.
It's something to ponder.