Approach to the study of religion.
What do you guys here think about this approach to the study of religion?
The straight dope only, please.
First, you make a list of everything that can be put in the big big basket called religion.
What are these things?
Well, like places, objects, actions, words, persons, ideas, the “quis, quid, ubi, quibus
auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando” of everything, which includes everything, like all the
thinkables and all the unthinkables.
O.K., now find out what is it in all these things that can be put in the big big basket called religion, that is peculiar to them but not in all the things not includable within the big big basket called religion.
All things in the basket of religion, for examples: churches, prayers, priests, nuns,
crucifixes, Mass, baptism, Holy Friday, Easter, curses, blessings, etc.: you get the idea?
Now, what is that component qualifying all these things to be includable in religion, the absence of which excludes other things from religion?
For example, garbage, not being irreverent, but just being down to earth realistic, is not includable in religion. Another example, genitals, but circumcision is includable under religion if you connect it to the Jews.
O.K., all you guys, figure out what is that component which makes all those things in
the basket of religion qualifying them for such an inclusion; and you will get the
essence of religion.
The straight dope, please.
Let me try again to introduce this question to the learned and keen minds of these boards here, as a topic for discussion. Of course we can bring up facts in the process. And it can be a debate also.
We know that religion is a fact in our society at present and in the history of mankind.
Now, a fact is composed of parts which are also facts. For example, Susma Rio Sep is a fact. He is composed of parts which are facts, like body parts.
To continue, religion is a fact like business and marriage. My question is therefore what fact or facts within the fact that is religion distinguishes religion essentially from business and marriage?
Business and marriage are two facts, they are composed of facts which are common or similar ones to both; but they are also composed of part-facts which are distinctive and even essential to each; so that when you think business you have got to have that distinctive fact in your mind, the same with marriage.
My purpose here is to ask the learned and keen members of these boards here what they think is the fact that makes religion distinctively unique from business and marriage, and also all other similar entities in human society and in the behavior of man.
In this respect, and from this approach, in lieu of the original approach, I do see that this is a factual question or a question seeking for facts as answers.
But we will discuss or debate on the essential fact of religion. I prefer discussion, because debate is rather confrontational and stressful, not at all as productive as discussion.
On my own part, the essence of religion from an examination of all those things I mentioned above that can be put in the big big basket called religion:
I can draw the conclusion that religion is essentially a kind of believing, a belief. This belief of religion has an object: a power that is not known as we know Cecil Adams; but, again that word, believed in.
So, the essence of religion is a belief in an unknown power.
What do you learned and keen minds think about my idea of the essence of religion. I will have more to add to the essence of religion; but I have put forward the fundamental essence at this point.
Let’s hear from the learned and keen minds of these boards here.
Susma Rio Sep