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Religion meme?

Well, I’m not back in business yet… and, yeah – that’s mostly still a good thing. You may have noticed that there have been a trickle of eye-boogers coming in (unless you’re reading on Facebook or RSS)… so I’m getting there. Oh, yeah… by the way – the Eye Booger links are probably the best part of the whole deal anyway… so if you’re on Facebook or RSS & can’t get them, you can always find them here, or subscribe to them via Atom feed. So there’s that.

Anyway, I thought I’d drop in and try to start a meme. I’m estimating – 5 gazillion different varieties. The word means different things to different people. Maybe we need as many words for religion as Eskimos supposedly have for snow. Or maybe we can get by with what we have. This meme is for sorting that out. So, try to include all the statements about what religion (and add your own if you like), and label them this way… those labeled “something other than religion” are often aspects of some religions – this just indicates that they properly belong to another area of thought than religion and that they should be recategorized away from it:

Statement:
Belongs to: (all religion, my religion, other people’s religion, something other than religion)
My view of this aspect of religion is: (favorable, neutral, unfavorable)

Here goes…

Religion is a sense of humility in the face of a world too wonderful/complex/awe-inspiring to fully understand or even fully cope with on a rational level.
Belongs to: all religion
My view is: favorable

Religion is a set of external (non-personal) moral standards toward which we should sometimes aspire.
Belongs to: all religion
My view is: neutral

Religion is a set of absolute moral standards toward which we should always aspire:
Belongs to: other people’s religion
My view is: negative

Religion is a way of knowing things that cannot be known through careful empirical observation and reasoning:
Belongs to: other people’s religion
My view is: negative

Religion is a positive way of relating interpersonally with a community of people:
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: favorable

Religion is a way of having relationships with incorporeal entities with whom physical interaction and ordinary means of relations are impossible.
Belongs to: other people’s religion
My view is: unfavorable

Religion is any non-rational or irrational set of notions that influences behaviors, whether associated directly with a religious community or not.
Belongs to: something other than religion
My view is negative

Religion provides us knowledge of a future life after our our current life ends, which can be known by no other means:
Belongs to: other people’s religion
My view is: negative

The dictates of religion should override moral reasoning and/or the dictates personal conscience.*
Belongs to: other people’s religion.
My view: is negative.

Religion serves as a needed reminder to listen to our moral reasoning and/or conscience.
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: positive.

Religion is a good way to know about history.
Belongs to: something other than religion
My view is: negative

Religion is a good way to know about the natural world.
Belongs to: something other than religion.
My view is: negative.

Religion is a good framework for becoming a more productive and helpful member of a community.
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: favorable.

Religion is a good source of personal, financial, or emotional support for people in distress.
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: favorable

One should protect one’s religion from anyone who seeks to persuade its members to leave it
Belongs to: other people’s religion
My view is: negative

Religion can exist without a belief in the supernatural.
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: positive

Religion can exist without compromising careful reasoning and good intellectual habits.
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: positive

Religion can be good poetry.
Belongs to: other people’s religion
My view is: neutral.

Religion (practiced such that it does not cause direct harm or abuse) should be protected from state interference.
Belongs to: all religion
My view is: positive

Religious people who are empowered in some way by the government office should be able to express their religious views as part of that state-sponsored function.
Belongs to: something other than religion
My view is: negative

Religion contains or provides knowledge that can be held with great certainty.
Belongs to: other people’s religion
My view is: negative

Religion can be uplifting, fun, and challenging.
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: positive

Religion requires much effort on the part of the adherent.
Belongs to: my religion
My view is: positive

Some religions are better than others.
Belongs to: something other than religion
My view is: positive

Religion is good or bad depending on how it is practiced.
Belongs to: something other than religion
My view is: positive

Religion should be treated with special deference.
Belongs to: something other than religion
My view is: negative

Religion should be tolerated.
Belongs to: something other than religion
My view is: positive

Ok… I tag Buck. And Jadarm. And Alice… And RW if you want to re-open TITA or just do it in the comments on this post. And everybody reading this on Facebook (tag me, so I see your post, please!). And… James McGrath if someone tips him off that he’s tagged, since I doubt he’ll read this otherwise. Same for Micahel Whitenton. Same for Ophelia Benson. I also tag all the UU bloggers reading from UUpdates.

*It’s a cop-out to say your religion always agrees with proper moral reasoning and “real” conscience. That’s may be a specific belief of your religion but it is not objectively true. Even if it is true, you should be able to deal with the hypothetical case – say a command from God to commit a child-sacrifice – in which for some reason there was a conflict, and one has to override the other. A similar standard applies to other possible cop-outs

Ok… That’s it… Go.

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