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What is the objective of religion?

 
 
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2014 05:07 am
Why would a god require his followers to congregate together?
What is the objective of a religion?
What should be the basis of a religion?
What identifying marks would a religion need to have?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 4,407 • Replies: 24
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2014 06:08 am
The objective of all religions (and this applies to politico-ideological systems, too) is to impose a world view on people. Although it is usually a world view ascribed to the putative founder of the religion or ideological system, one finds that the world view has been modified by those who come after the founder. Sometimes this is for as trivial a reason as the unreliability of a written record (we don't know if the sayings attributed to Siddartha, the so-called Buddha, are what he actually said). At other times, it is the result of the willful imposition of later adherents, such as is the case with Marxist-Leninism (Lenin came to realize that Russia could not provide the dictatorship of the proletariat when it was not yet fully industrialized; so, Lenin imposed the NEP, the new economic plan, which sought to industrialize Russia--this was modified to the point that it was abandoned when Stalin took over after Lenin's death).

So the object of religion is to impose a world view, regardless of it's alleged or real provenance. You have no way of knowing that your god requires people to congregate (or even if your god exists). Congregations, however, are useful tools for assuring the orthodoxy of one's followers. One can hope to prevent heresy by preaching to the faithful, to assure that they're all "on the same page."
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2014 08:56 am
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:

Why would a god require his followers to congregate together?
What is the objective of a religion?
What should be the basis of a religion?
What identifying marks would a religion need to have?


The correct interpretation of your question needs to have a sociologically oriented answer, in my opinion. So, the objective of a religion is to get people to function together under one main power base. That was why Christianity was imported into Europe under feudalism - to get the pagan tribes to stop warring against each other.

Judaism was to bring the Hebrews, as a wandering group of bedouins, into a political alliance.

Same for the spread of Islam (cooperation politically/economically).

I posit that only Judaism was successful, in that Jews tend to cooperate with each other the most, when living in the same locale. I think non-Jews (aka, Gentiles) jocky for position, as to who will be top dog, too often to be considered always effective cooperators. Just my opinion. But I have been observing Christian Gentiles for over half a century, and they really do like to jocky for the big cheese position. Why? I would guess it's in their DNA, since the Vikings, or Barbarians. No one asks why army ants do their thing?
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2014 09:04 am
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:

What is the objective of a religion?

To sell raffle tickets.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2014 10:22 am
@Smileyrius,
The word "objective" is a misnomer unless it implies intent, and this aspect is involved in the reification of power structures. But there are unintentional functions served by religion such as a manifestation of the tribalism we have in common with other animals. In addition there is its obvious psychological function of a palliative against the "uncontrollable", and its use to attempt to give an individual life "signficance". These two are part of the price we pay relative to other animals for our cognitive ability to contemplate the future.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2014 11:06 am
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:

What is the objective of religion?

I believe that the original objective (stone age cultures) was probably as a way to understand nature and to interact with it and possibly control it. Essentially it was the science of the stone age. Early people observed nature and came up with theories for why things happened, then tried to affect their world the same way they interacted with each other, by pleading and bargaining. Unfortunately as time went by the original objective became corrupted by the secondary affect of manipulating others by "speaking for the gods" (priests and stories), and thus the institutionalization of religion came to be.
Smileyrius wrote:

Why would a god require his followers to congregate together?

Gods took many forms, this was by no means a generic requirement, or even a common one. Most of the early theologies had multiple gods, not just one.
Smileyrius wrote:

What should be the basis of a religion?

The basis of a religious institution should be to strengthen and propagate itself. The same for any institution which hopes to survive. This may not be a "good" thing, but it's the way it works out.
The basis of a personal religious experience should be to strengthen and facilitate the happiness and survival of the individual (in my opinion).
Smileyrius wrote:

What identifying marks would a religion need to have?

I'm not certain, but I believe all religions need to have at their heart a deity or deities which are ultimately supernatural. But I'm not certain about that, I guess it would depend on which definition of religion you are working with. But the definition you choose would determine the answer to this one.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2014 04:36 pm
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:
Why would a god require his followers to congregate together?
What is the objective of a religion?
What should be the basis of a religion?
What identifying marks would a religion need to have
You are referring to religion in the sense of belief in something supernatural, right? Because patriotism is a form of religion, as is materialism, and, for some, adulation of the Seahawks. (OOPS, did I forget to tell you the 'Hawks destroyed the Broncos yesterday?)

For many the supernatural brand of religion is simply a means of gaining control over a population. Is that what you mean?
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2014 04:46 pm
Quote:
Smileyrius asked: Why would a god require his followers to congregate together?
What is the objective of a religion?
What should be the basis of a religion?
What identifying marks would a religion need to have?

1- Churches and home groups are fine IF they're good sensible decent people, but Jesus said it's also fine to stay home (Matt 6:6)

2- Jesus said "I've come to save the world" (John 12:47), so that's the objective.

3- The basis of Christianity is JESUS- "You have one teacher, me" (Matt 23:10)

4- The identifying mark of a valid religion is that it's got Jesus the Son of God at its heart, and only Christianity has got him, which means all other religions aren't worth a plugged nickel..Smile
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2014 05:23 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
I'm not certain, but I believe all religions need to have at their heart a deity or deities which are ultimately supernatural.
True for the most part Ros. However the apodictical existential pantheist maintains that She's a perfectly natural phenom

There must be at least two of us
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2014 07:12 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

Quote:
I'm not certain, but I believe all religions need to have at their heart a deity or deities which are ultimately supernatural.
True for the most part Ros. However the apodictical existential pantheist maintains that She's a perfectly natural phenom

Paraphrased from Wiki: Pantheism is the belief that the universe is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God.

That definition heavily implies a deific basis. If your view of God isn't supernatural then you are not a Pantheist.

And if God isn't supernatural then you're use of the work "She" when applied to a non-supernatural entity is not only meaningless but deeply odd.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2014 12:42 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
If your view of God isn't supernatural then you are not a Pantheist.
I'm not sure about that since as we're a rare breed I haven't yet discussed it with every other pantheist (only 3 others so far). As apodictical existential pantheist however, I do maintain Her existence as perfectly natural Phenom

Yes it does stretch the imagination, just as my alternative posit regarding t-at-a-d

Quote:
And if God isn't supernatural then you're use of the work "She" when applied to a non-supernatural entity is not only meaningless but deeply odd
It's done tongue-in-cheek to ridicule the notion of Her, Its, sex
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2014 07:13 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:
Yes it does stretch the imagination, just as my alternative posit regarding t-at-a-d

Irrationality also stretches the imagination, and in your case it's not clear whether you're stretching it or it's stretching you.
dalehileman wrote:
It's done tongue-in-cheek to ridicule the notion of Her, Its, sex

Ah, ok. That much I can agree with.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2014 07:31 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Irrationality also stretches the imagination, and in your case it's not clear whether you're stretching it or it's stretching you.
Recent postings in the relativity thread perhaps an example of the latter. Late in the day after hours at the PC, my wording having stumbled a bit I had given the wrong impression with the formula t = d/v where I had meant t to represent not the trip time but the range of time-at-a-distance, that is noon plus or minus t as reported by the three participants

Yes it was idiotic but in my own defense of course they're both 5 minutes
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Feb, 2014 10:40 pm
@Smileyrius,
Not necessarily in this order:
1. To control the masses
2. To collect money
3. To lead people
4. It's a natural phenomenon of human animals. All cultures have developed their own gods and religions
5. Humans need a super, omnipotent, god that created everything to give meaning to life
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Feb, 2014 07:54 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Not necessarily in this order:
1. To control the masses
2. To collect money
3. To lead people
4. It's a natural phenomenon of human animals. All cultures have developed their own gods and religions
5. Humans need a super, omnipotent, god that created everything to give meaning to life



You forgot to add, To make adversaries less like them, so in time of war, there would be less concern to kill the adversary. Religion and tribalism can be like a horse and carriage, as the song goes.
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Feb, 2014 08:09 pm
Quote:
Cicerone said re religion:
1. To control the masses
2. To collect money
3. To lead people
4. It's a natural phenomenon of human animals. All cultures have developed their own gods and religions
5. Humans need a super, omnipotent, god that created everything to give meaning to life

1/2/3- True Christians don't want to control anybody or make money-
"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them, not lording it over those entrusted to you.....Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit" (1 Peter 5:2-3,2 Cor 2:17)

4/5- Nobody invented Jesus, he came to us..Smile
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Feb, 2014 09:26 pm
@Foofie,
History have shown that adversarial conflicts have happened no matter what religion any culture has accepted.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2014 02:30 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

History have shown that adversarial conflicts have happened no matter what religion any culture has accepted.


O.K.; however, it is easier for a country to demonize an adversary, if that adversary is of a different religion, in my opinion.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2014 05:03 pm
@Foofie,
Probably true generally speaking, but wars within some countries have often been cultures that believed in the same religion(s).
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2014 05:16 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Probably true generally speaking, but wars within some countries have often been cultures that believed in the same religion(s).


I said, "easier to demonize an adversary," if they are a different religion. The operant word is "easier."
 

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