Originally Posted by Achernar
Well, mister bruce goose, I certainly can't adhere to your definition of religion as you wrote it here. And even less to the idea that it would be the most relevant
way to define it.
A good definition would be the one we find on Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion): a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
There you go. I can not think of any religion or spirituality that does not invoke some supernatural being(s) or influence under one form or another. As well, every religions I know include a "code of conduct" and ritual observances. And I would add a leader, be it the Pope, the King (or Queen) of England, the Dalai Lama, or simply the religious leaders of Islam and Hinduism.
We can't define religions without taking into account their social functions and attributes in the same way we can't define a table without taking into account its function and distinctive attributes.
So, atheism, evolutionism, humanism, capitalism and socialism are not religions by any means. Evolutionism is simply a scientific theory. As was heliocentrism. These theories are bothering some religious fundamentalists, but they are often major advances in the scientific development of mankind.
As for atheism, humanism, capitalism and socialism, they're philosophies and ideologies. As every ideology, they are definitely capable of producing their own fanatics for those, as you rightly say "who blindly and unquestioningly adhere to their theories". That's why freedom of speech is so important, because we need to remain critical of all ideologies, whether they're secular or religious. Unfortunately, nowadays, any criticism of a religion passes for religious intolerance.
To be honest, these abuse exist in every society, regardless of their religious culture. At the present moment, women in India are regrouping to fight against sexual harassment and sexism that they face on a daily basis.
I agree with you. And it says a lot about their alleged inability to control themselves.
As for the last part,you were either being naive or else trying to rationalize a militant form of atheism(can't read your mind and assume motive,actually
).The leaders of those communist governments,and also the early ideological proponents,believed that atheism was a superior religious attitude and felt that the inferior theistic ones should be eliminated.In that sense,they were no different from Muslim crusaders who have invaded,conquered and slaughtered hordes of people who dissented.You can argue semantics,but it would be merely THAT,semantics,because the conduct of the oppressors was nearly identical.
I'm well aware of how sexual abuse exists everywhere;no offense,but I didn't need you to explain that to me
.I was merely comparing various religions and which ones had a greater frequency of manipulation of ministerial power.
Again,I'm fairly literate,so I didn't need you to read the dictionary for me
;I even clarified that those belief systems weren't religions for EVERYone,but they definitely ARE religions for certain people...even large numbers of them.You either have a biased,contemptful view of religion or you're being intellectually dishonest when you claim that evolution and other worldviews are never 'religious'.I have personally met LOTS of rigid evolutionist adherents who first gravitated to their beliefs largely because of a DISbelief in any deity,so their whole thought system is based heavily on your nerd's definition
;i.e.,the creation of the universe and our overall place in it.Let me tell you that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in the behavior and reactions of a devout Catholic when you suggest to him/her that the human Mary wasn't an eternal virgin(and that she may have had normal kids after Jesus)...and those of an evolutionist when you point out the laughably-embarrassing flaws in his/her theories about the geologic column or carbon dating.Members of BOTH groups get VERY,very defensive--as if you were rattling them to their spiritual core--when challenged even politely on the above issues and,if you've never seen that,then you simply haven't gotten around too much
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