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    28 Jul '14 09:311 edit
    Actually, this thread isn't about evolution so much as it is about what constitutes a religion.
    What are the requirements for calling some belief religious? If any belief that can't
    immediately be verified, but takes some work on the part of the "believer" to be understood
    and verified is a religion, doesn't that belittle what's traditionally considered religions? For
    instance, can the belief that your spouse is faithful even though you can't really know that,
    constitute a religious belief? If you believe, and have faith, that you're not going to be run
    over by a car when you leave for work in the morning, even though you know there are no
    guarantees, is that the same as having a religious belief? Or is there something more to
    having a religious belief?
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    28 Jul '14 09:36
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Actually, this thread isn't about evolution so much as it is about what constitutes a religion.
    What are the requirements for calling some belief religious? If any belief that can't
    immediately be verified, but takes some work on the part of the "believer" to be understood
    and verified is a religion, doesn't that belittle what's traditionally considered ...[text shortened]... he same as having a religious belief? Or is there something more to
    having a religious belief?
    yes unobserved phenomena, unable to be subject to falsification, great luminaries of the faith, places of worship termed universities, yes its a total religion man!
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    28 Jul '14 09:38
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Actually, this thread isn't about evolution so much as it is about what constitutes a religion.
    What are the requirements for calling some belief religious? If any belief that can't
    immediately be verified, but takes some work on the part of the "believer" to be understood
    and verified is a religion, doesn't that belittle what's traditionally considered ...[text shortened]... he same as having a religious belief? Or is there something more to
    having a religious belief?
    "Religion" is a useful and specific word and its application is undermined by people misusing it or distorting its meaning for rhetorical reasons. In simple terms, and at its very essence, "religion" is a belief in a supernatural power that controls human destiny. To call things like evolutionary science or atheism "a religion" is just facile wordplay and it obstructs communication about the nature of things that the word "religion" refers to.
  4. Standard memberRJHinds
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    28 Jul '14 10:43
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Actually, this thread isn't about evolution so much as it is about what constitutes a religion.
    What are the requirements for calling some belief religious? If any belief that can't
    immediately be verified, but takes some work on the part of the "believer" to be understood
    and verified is a religion, doesn't that belittle what's traditionally considered ...[text shortened]... he same as having a religious belief? Or is there something more to
    having a religious belief?
    Atheism is a Religion Says Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

    A case adjudicated in 2005 in Wisconsin, Kaufman v. McCaughtry involved an Atheist inmate who filed a grievance as a result of being denied to form a study group for Atheists in his prison on the grounds that his First Amendment rights were thwarted by denial to form the group by the prison authorities. In order to understand how this was adjudicated, we need to know exactly what the First Amendment regarding religion says:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;


    When this atheist plaintiff's case was presented to the lower court, it was thrown out of court because the prisoner was asking to form a group that was not based on religious beliefs, but was considered by prison officials to be a request to form a non-religious group that was considered to be an activity group. At the time of his request, the prison authorities, defendants in the case, said that no other activity groups were permitted to be formed at that time, so the denial of his request by the prison officials was considered legitimate.

    When the case was brought before the higher court, it was further considered, that although the prison officials did not deem atheism a religion, perhaps it should have been considered a religion because it was a group that was "religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being." The case, therefore, was finally judged by the State Supreme Court as not being in violation of free exercise because the atheist would still be able to practice his atheism whether or not he was allowed to form the group, however, his right to establishment of that group that was religious in nature was denied, and thus a violation of his First Amendment rights.

    This ruling raises a lot of issues and some questions. One of the questions that immediately comes to mind is that if the Court has declared Atheism to be a religion, then why are atheistic philosophies like Darwinism, whether taught in science class or not, still an atheist philosophy, allowed to be propagated in schools without also the creationist aspect of religion also allowed in the curriculum?
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    28 Jul '14 10:571 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Atheism is a Religion Says Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

    A case adjudicated in 2005 in Wisconsin, Kaufman v. McCaughtry involved an Atheist inmate who filed a grievance as a result of being denied to form a study group for Atheists in his prison on the grounds that his First Amendment rights were thwarted by denial to form the group by the prison auth ...[text shortened]... gated in schools without also the creationist aspect of religion also allowed in the curriculum?
    It seems the word "religion" has been hijacked here to encompass a combination freedom of thought, freedom of association, perhaps freedom of speech, and ~ it would seem ~ freedom to believe that there is no God, unlike religionists do, and to express this rejection of religion collectively. It is a misuse of the word "religion" on the part of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The English language is poorer for it.
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    28 Jul '14 11:481 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Atheism is a Religion Says Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
    Oh! Well, that settles it then. 😵

    Not only is it religious to believe in something, and that something can be anything
    apparently, but also if you don't believe in something. In other words, the word religion
    means nothing at all. I'm glad to hear that, because I couldn't quite figure out what certain
    individuals were trying to say when they looked at me as though I'm some kind of a
    hypocrite and called me religious. It was so unreal, but now I know they're not saying
    anything at all, really. Thanks RJ. 🙂
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    28 Jul '14 11:52
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    yes unobserved phenomena, unable to be subject to falsification, great luminaries of the faith, places of worship termed churches, yes that's religion man!
    So, evolution doesn't quite fit the bill then? 😛
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    28 Jul '14 11:54
    Originally posted by FMF
    "Religion" is a useful and specific word and its application is undermined by people misusing it or distorting its meaning for rhetorical reasons. In simple terms, and at its very essence, "religion" is a belief in a supernatural power that controls human destiny. To call things like evolutionary science or atheism "a religion" is just facile wordplay and it obstructs communication about the nature of things that the word "religion" refers to.
    I agree wholeheartedly with you, FMF.
  9. Standard memberRJHinds
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    28 Jul '14 12:40
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Oh! Well, that settles it then. 😵

    Not only is it religious to believe in something, and that something can be anything
    apparently, but also if you don't believe in something. In other words, the word religion
    means nothing at all. I'm glad to hear that, because I couldn't quite figure out what certain
    individuals were trying to say when they looked ...[text shortened]... us. It was so unreal, but now I know they're not saying
    anything at all, really. Thanks RJ. 🙂
    That does not mean evolution is a religion, but it seems there is a reasonable question about it because of the ruling on atheism.
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    28 Jul '14 13:00
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    That does not mean evolution is a religion, but it seems there is a reasonable question about it because of the ruling on atheism.
    I imagine you would not feel so sided with jurisprudence if they had made a ruling that Christianity was NOT a religion, you wouldn't feel so sanguine then.
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    28 Jul '14 13:43
    To do something religiously means to do it regularly. In that sense religion is more connected with the habitual repetition of the various rites connected with a religion, rather than the belief that underlies the faith. Having been brought up in a strict religious environment they said of Kant that one could set one's watch by him. So while one might be able to make a case that evolution, or any other scientific theory, is a faith, I don't think one could reasonably call it a religion. There isn't an altar or an order of service. The converse of this would be a medieval monk who secretly didn't believe in God, but nevertheless followed all the rituals religiously.
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    28 Jul '14 15:29
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    That does not mean evolution is a religion, but it seems there is a reasonable question about it because of the ruling on atheism.
    But atheism and evolution are not two sides of the same coin, are they?
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    28 Jul '14 15:37
    Originally posted by C Hess
    But atheism and evolution are not two sides of the same coin, are they?
    They are not two sides of the same coin, because divinely ordained and guided evolution of the biological aspect of life is widely accepted by several religions. It is interesting that only YEC-style theists are likely to say that evolution is a religion. This may be because they see it as a competitor, and competitors usually compete in the same arena as one another. So for this group, evolution is a (competing) religion.
  14. Standard membervivify
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    28 Jul '14 16:19
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Actually, this thread isn't about evolution so much as it is about what constitutes a religion.
    What are the requirements for calling some belief religious? If any belief that can't
    immediately be verified, but takes some work on the part of the "believer" to be understood
    and verified is a religion, doesn't that belittle what's traditionally considered ...[text shortened]... he same as having a religious belief? Or is there something more to
    having a religious belief?
    Evolution isn't a religion because there are no rules to follow, no change of lifestyle, personality or habits required. Belief in evolution changes nothing about how one lives. Therefore, it's not a religion.
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    28 Jul '14 19:011 edit
    Originally posted by C Hess
    Actually, this thread isn't about evolution so much as it is about what constitutes a religion.
    What are the requirements for calling some belief religious? If any belief that can't
    immediately be verified, but takes some work on the part of the "believer" to be understood
    and verified is a religion, doesn't that belittle what's traditionally considered ...[text shortened]... he same as having a religious belief? Or is there something more to
    having a religious belief?
    If, instead of "religion", you had used the word "theology", you'd have the answer in front of you.

    To be a religion by definition, it must be "a belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe".

    So just believing that you left your car keys in your car overnight cannot be a religion, no.

    It seems to me that if you are going to be adamant that you don't believe in something, then you must at least have some clue as to what that something is.
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