Kurieuo wrote:You know, I don't really consider myself religious.
It just what I believe.
I hear that a lot.
Unfortunately, here is the definition of the world "religious".
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.
See, IF you have a belief about the universe, especially that it was created by God, you are religious.
Yes, I know.
In fact, I use to declare I wasn't religious.
BUT, you'll notice my language was carefully constructed: "I don't really consider myself religious.
The fact is the meanings of words evolve.
Dictionaries try to capture the standard use of a word in society.
The letter in many dictionaries here I believe is behind on the modern etymology of "religion/religious" and what people mean by such.
Certainly, if you're going to define "religion" flatly as belief in God, then there's no escaping I'm "religious" as so defined.
But that is a really flatten out definition. Such that, it would today be misleading to most people who might visualise me on my knees regularly praying to God in a church, performing this or that religious rites, placing myself under the authority of some church to whom I've kind of pledged an allegiance to... you know?
For me, "religion" is man-made. Churches, rituals, systematic
beliefs which if rejected you'd be shunned for and the like.
"Religious" I see means almost something other today. Has taken on a developed meaning. It is about ritual and dogmatism regardless of any "God" belief.
For example, someone with OCD might wash themselves "religiously" because they feel dirty.
There is an evolved meaning that many dictionaries may not capture in their definitions.
In fact, Buddhism is classified by many as a religion but such does not necessitate a belief in God or gods
There are many senses used today of these words that people understand.
If I say that Dawkins is religious in his Atheistic beliefs, then many people will understand that.
Of course Dawkins would love to distance himself from this, even if the essence of what is being said is true.
So he'd hark back to a main dictionary definition that he doesn't believe in God so isn't in anyway "religious".
But this just ignores what many people today associate with these terms.
So based upon all that, regardless of what any dictionary says...
I think it would be very misleading to most people today to say that I believe in a religion or am religious.
If someone said to me that they were "religious" when all they meant was that they believe in Christ, I'd be mislead into thinking something more.
Certainly I don't consider Einstein religious because he believed in a Spinoza-like god.
Therefore it is more truthful such terms be avoided, or at least qualified when used by those using them as to what they mean.