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Subject: "Christianity is not a religion; it's a philosophy." rss

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Barry
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Apparently Bill O'Riley doesn't own a dictionary.

Even better, I just heard Glenn Beck say the same thing, right after he said that the government is "forcing" the "religion" of Secular Humanism down our throats.

Now I have a hard time believing these people are that stupid. What gives?
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ChickenSedan wrote:
Now I have a hard time believing these people are that stupid.


Really?
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Jythier wrote:
ChickenSedan wrote:
Now I have a hard time believing these people are that stupid.


Really?


Disingenuous, yes. Jaw-droppingly stupid, no

Basically, I have a hard time believing that anyone could be so stupid.
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Josiah Fiscus
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Isn't it both? It's possible to be a philosophical Christian and not a religious one and vice-versa. But the same is true for pretty much any religion.
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There is plenty of reason to say that most 'Christians' are nor religious, it's a cultural thing (after all they do not believe in god, I would have thought a requirement to be religious).
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happyjosiah wrote:
Isn't it both? It's possible to be a philosophical Christian and not a religious one and vice-versa. But the same is true for pretty much any religion.


I suppose it matters a lot more about what part of Christianity, or even what sect, you're talking about. Christianity means a lot of things, unfortunately.
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happyjosiah wrote:
Isn't it both? It's possible to be a philosophical Christian and not a religious one and vice-versa. But the same is true for pretty much any religion.


Yes. Christianity is a philosophy. It is also a religion. O'Reiley was saying it isn't a religion last night. He was saying religions like Catholocism, Baptist, Mormon are religions within the Christian philosophy.

From the wiki...
A current list of philosopies.

Quote:
AAbleism - Absolutism - Absurdism - Acquiescence - Activism - Actual Idealism - Actualism - Advaita Vedanta - Aesthetics - African philosophy - Agnosticism - Agnotology - Altruism - Amor fati - American philosophy - Anti-imperialism - Anti-psychiatry - Antinatalism - Anti-intellectualism - Anti-realism - Antireductionism - Analytic philosophy - Anarchism - Ancient philosophy - Anthropocentrism - Anomalous monism - Applied ethics - Aristotelianism - Asceticism - Atavism - Atheism - Authoritarianism - Autodidacticism - Averroism - Avicennism - Axiology

[edit] BBa'athism Bahá'í teachings - Baul philosophy - Biblical literalism - Bioconservatism - Bioethics - Biolibertarianism - Biosophy - Buddhist philosophy - Business ethics

[edit] CCapitalism - Cartesianism - Catechism - Categorical imperative - Centrism - Chaos theory - Charvaka - Chauvinism - Chinese naturalism - Chinese philosophy - Christian ecology - Christian existentialism - Christian humanism - Christian philosophy - Christian theology - Christology - Classical liberalism - Collectivism - Cogito ergo sum - Cool (aesthetic) - Cognitive biases - Cognitivism - Compatibilism and incompatibilism - Computer ethics - Confirmation holism - Conformism - Confucianism - Consequentialism - Constructivist epistemology - Continental philosophy - Continuationism - Cultural hegemony - Critical rationalism - Cultural relativism - Cynicism - Czech philosophy

[edit] DDanish philosophy - Daoism - Darwinism - Deconstruction - Deductive reasoning - Deism - Defeatism - Democratic transhumanism - Denialism - Deontology - Determinism - Dialectic - Dialectical materialism - Didacticism - Digital philosophy - Discordianism - Dogma - Dualism - Dvaita

[edit] EEcocentrism - Ecumenism - Egalitarianism - Eliminative materialism - Emotionalism - Empiricism - Environmentalism - Epiphenomenalism - Epistemological nihilism - Epistemology - Erudition - Eschatology - Ethical Egoism - Ethics - Eudaimonism - Evangelism - Existentialism - Externalism - Extremism

[edit] FFallacy - Fanaticism - Feminism - Filial piety - Flower Sermon - Foundationalism - Foundationalism (international relations) - Freemasonry - Free will - Fundamentalism

[edit] GGerman idealism - German philosophy - Globalism - Gnosticism - Gothicismus - Greek philosophy

[edit] HHegelian synthesis - Hegelianism - Hedonism - Hermeneutics - Hermeticism - Heterophenomenology - Hindu philosophy - Historical materialism - Historical revisionism - Historicism - Holism - Human exceptionalism - Humanism - Humanistic naturalism - Hasidism

[edit] IIdealism - Identityism - Ideological criticism - Ignosticism - Illegalism - Illumination school - Incontinence - Individualism - Indian logic - Indian philosophy - Indonesian philosophy - Induction / Inductionism - Informal logic - Innatism - Instrumental rationality - Instrumentalism - Integrity- Interactionism (philosophy of mind) - Internalism - Interventionism - Intuitionism - Iranian philosophy - Irrealism - Islamic ethics - Islamic philosophy

[edit] JJainism - Japanese philosophy - Jewish philosophy - Juche - Judeo-Islamic philosophies (800 - 1400) - Just war theory

[edit] KKaizen - Kantianism - Kashmir Shaivism - Korean philosophy

[edit] LLeaderless resistance - Legalism - Libertarianism (metaphysics) - Libertarianism - Literary criticism - Literary theory - Logic / Informal logic - Logical atomism - Logical positivism - Logicians - Logicism - Logic in China - Logic in Islamic philosophy

[edit] MMachiavellianism - Manicheism - Marxism - Materialism - Mathematical logic - Mazdakism - Medical ethics - Medieval philosophy - Medievalism - Mentalism - Mereological nihilism - Meta-philosophy - Metaphysics - Metaethics - Misology - Modernism - Modern Islamic philosophy - Mohism - Monism - Monogamy - Monotheism - Moral absolutism - Moral objectivism - Moral realism - Moral relativism - Moral skepticism - Multilateralism - Mysticism

[edit] NNaïve realism - Naturalism - Negationism - Neo-Confucianism - Neo-Hegelianism - Neo-Kantianism - Neoplatonism - Neo-Scholasticism - Neotaoism - Neuroethics - Neurophilosophy - Neurotheology - New Age - New realism - New Thought - New Wittgenstein - New World Order (conspiracy theory) - Neutral monism - Nihilism - Nominalism - Nondualism - Non-philosophy

[edit] OObjective idealism - Objectivism (Ayn Rand) - Occam's razor - Occasionalism - Ontology - Ontotheology - Open individualism - Opportunism - Optimism - Organicism - Orientalism

[edit] PPacifism - Paganism - Pakistani philosophy - Pancritical rationalism - Pandeism - Panentheism - Panpsychism - Pantheism - Paradigm - 'Pataphysics - Pay it forward - Perennial philosophy - Perfectionism - Peripatetic - Personalism - Perspectivism - Pessimism - Phenomenalism - Phenomenology - Philosophical anthropology - Philosophical Satanism - Philosophy of art - Philosophy of artificial intelligence - Philosophy of action - Philosophy of biology - Philosophy of business - Philosophy of Common Sense - Philosophy of copyright - Philosophy of economics - Philosophy of education - Philosophy of history - Philosophy of information - Philosophy of language - Philosophy of logic - Philosophy of love - Philosophy of mathematics - Philosophy of mind - Philosophy of nature - Philosophy of neuroscience - Philosophy of perception - Philosophy of physics - Philosophy of psychology - Philosophy of religion - Philosophy of sex - Philosophy of science - Philosophy of social science - Philosophy of space and time - Philosophy of war - Physicalism - Physical ontology - Platonic realism - Platonism - Pluralism - Political philosophy - Polygamy - Positivism - Postanalytic philosophy - Post-structuralism - Posthumanism - Post-materialism - Post-modernism - Practical reason - Pragmatism - Praxis school - Premillenialism - Presentism - Process philosophy - Progressivism - Property dualism - Proselytism - Pseudophilosophy - Psychological Egoism - Pure practical reason - Pure reason - Pyrrhonian skepticism - Pythagoreanism

[edit] QQualia - Quantumism - Quietism -

[edit] RRacism - Raëlism - Rastafari - Rationalism - Realism - Reconstructivism - Reductionism - Reductive materialism - Reformational philosophy - Reification - Relativism - Relevance logic - Religious humanism - Religious philosophy - Reliabilism - Renaissance humanism - Romanian philosophy - Romanticism - Russian philosophy

[edit] SSabellianism - Scandal - Scholasticism - Scientific Development Concept - Scientism - Secret society - Secular humanism - Semantic holism - Sensualism - Sexualism - Sexism - Shamanism - Sikhism - Simulism - Singularitarianism - Skepticism - Social business - Social philosophy - Solipsism - Sophism - Spiritualism - Stoicism - Structuralism - Subjective idealism - Subjectivism - Sufi metaphysics - Śūnyatā - Supersessionism - Supervenience - Surrealism - Survivalism - Synoptic philosophy - Systems philosophy

[edit] TTaoism - Tautology - Teleology - Tetralemma - Theism - Thelema - Theology - Theosophy - Traditionalist School - Transcendent Theosophy (al-Hikmat al-Muta’liyah) - Transcendentalism - Transcendental Perspectivism - Transhumanism - Transmodernism - Type physicalism

[edit] UUnilateralism - Universalism - Universal reconciliation - Utilitarian Bioethics - Utilitarianism - Utopianism

[edit] VValue judgement - Value-pluralism - Value theory - Verificationism - Victorianism - Vienna Circle - Virtue ethics - Vishishtadvaita - Vitalism - Voluntaryism

[edit] WWahdat-ul-Wujood - Wahdat-ul-Shuhud - Western philosophy - Wiccan

[edit] YYekishim

[edit] ZZen - Zoroastrianism - Zurvanism

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Kevin Salch
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There are "Religious Humanist" and "Secular Humanist"
It appears that SCOTUS has found at least one Secular Humanist organization to be a "religion" for tax exempt status. However it also appears clear that SCOTUS has found that "Secular Humanism" is not a religion for Establishment purposes.

It seems a bit unfair that legaly something can be both a religion and not a religion.

Legal definitions do not necessarirly equate to "smart."

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Jythier wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
Isn't it both? It's possible to be a philosophical Christian and not a religious one and vice-versa. But the same is true for pretty much any religion.


I suppose it matters a lot more about what part of Christianity, or even what sect, you're talking about. Christianity means a lot of things, unfortunately.


Why is that unfortunate?
 
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Christianity is only a philosophy according to christians. A philosophy has to be derived from logical or natural rules, it cannot be dictated by some external entity. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a philosophy, "Do as god says or you are going to hell" is a religion. As soon as a mystical being, afterlife, etc is brought into the picture it becomes a religion. A philosophy does not require faith, it only requires knowledge and logic. The "philosophy of jesus" frequently references a god, ergo it is a religion.

That is not to say that christianity doesn't have a lot of things in it that could be used as a philosophy if you remove the deity/afterlife nonsense from it, just that if you remove the deity from it then it is no longer christianity. It too often relies on an external being to justify or confirm the rules instead of relying on rationalism.
 
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sfox wrote:
Christianity is only a philosophy according to christians. A philosophy has to be derived from logical or natural rules, it cannot be dictated by some external entity. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a philosophy, "Do as god says or you are going to hell" is a religion. As soon as a mystical being, afterlife, etc is brought into the picture it becomes a religion. A philosophy does not require faith, it only requires knowledge and logic. The "philosophy of jesus" frequently references a god, ergo it is a religion.

That is not to say that christianity doesn't have a lot of things in it that could be used as a philosophy if you remove the deity/afterlife nonsense from it, just that if you remove the deity from it then it is no longer christianity. It too often relies on an external being to justify or confirm the rules instead of relying on rationalism.


I'm pretty sure this isn't true at all. The enormous list of things considered philosophies that Mac listed contains many examples of metaphysical thinking. In fact, just that the word "metaphysical" has a meaning in philosophy shows that your narrow definition just isn't accurate.
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happyjosiah wrote:
sfox wrote:
Christianity is only a philosophy according to christians. A philosophy has to be derived from logical or natural rules, it cannot be dictated by some external entity. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a philosophy, "Do as god says or you are going to hell" is a religion. As soon as a mystical being, afterlife, etc is brought into the picture it becomes a religion. A philosophy does not require faith, it only requires knowledge and logic. The "philosophy of jesus" frequently references a god, ergo it is a religion.

That is not to say that christianity doesn't have a lot of things in it that could be used as a philosophy if you remove the deity/afterlife nonsense from it, just that if you remove the deity from it then it is no longer christianity. It too often relies on an external being to justify or confirm the rules instead of relying on rationalism.


I'm pretty sure this isn't true at all. The enormous list of things considered philosophies that Mac listed contains many examples of metaphysical thinking. In fact, just that the word "metaphysical" has a meaning in philosophy shows that your narrow definition just isn't accurate.


Metaphysics doesn't mean what you think it means.

A list of "philosopies" on Wikipedia does not prove anything.

I agree if you look at the 5th or so definition of philosophy it is sometimes used to mean any system of beliefs, but I'd argue that it is a misuse of the word in the same sense that teenagers often misappropriate words like "bad", "swag", etc to mean whatever they want it to mean.
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sfox wrote:

Metaphysics doesn't mean what you think it means.


Please, enlighten me.

sfox wrote:

A list of "philosopies" on Wikipedia does not prove anything.


It proves you hold an extreme minority position on this issue. Do you really mean to contest 90% of that list as "not philosophy"?

sfox wrote:

I agree if you look at the 5th or so definition of philosophy it is sometimes used to mean any system of beliefs, but I'd argue that it is a misuse of the word in the same sense that teenagers often misappropriate words like "bad", "swag", etc to mean whatever they want it to mean.


Yeah, that's not the same thing at all. Words do shift in meaning, and if you look up "bad" now in the dictionary you will see "slang. very good; great" listed. Can you point me to a time when your view was widely accepted and things like Christianity would be widely excluded from a list like the one above? Because if not, it's not a shift in meaning as you suggest, you are just defining it in a way that few others do.
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sfox wrote:
Christianity is only a philosophy according to christians. A philosophy has to be derived from logical or natural rules, it cannot be dictated by some external entity. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a philosophy, "Do as god says or you are going to hell" is a religion. As soon as a mystical being, afterlife, etc is brought into the picture it becomes a religion. A philosophy does not require faith, it only requires knowledge and logic. The "philosophy of jesus" frequently references a god, ergo it is a religion.

That is not to say that christianity doesn't have a lot of things in it that could be used as a philosophy if you remove the deity/afterlife nonsense from it, just that if you remove the deity from it then it is no longer christianity. It too often relies on an external being to justify or confirm the rules instead of relying on rationalism.


The delineation between philosophy and religion isn't that clear-cut. Even "religion" on its own isn't so neatly summed up as simply "a belief in god," since that alone would exclude a lot of philosophies that are considered to be religions. In most cases, religions attempt to address the same problems and questions that secular philosophies attempt to address.

Philosophy, in over-simplified terms, is merely the study of the various 'problems' of existence. And even my use of existence there is a bit fuzzy, since the study of existence is itself a type of philosophy.

And as much as I dislike religion in general, there are lots and lots of religious thinkers out there that spend their time rationally analyzing their own religions. "God" or "gods" may be their launching point, but the processes are (or, at least, can be) the same.
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I've never entirely been clear on the modern distinction between religion and philosophy; largely it depends on whom one asks. Originally, philosophy was the intellectual development of the Greek religious tradition. This is why the Greeks thought the Jewish Oral tradition (what is now found in Mishna, Gemara, Talmud Yerushalmi, etc., and works developed from them) analogous to it.

Christianity has a robust philosophical tradition which also continues to this day. All the works on how to do X while being a Christian or what does Y mean for Christians are prime examples of Christian philosophy.

Yet philosophy is traditionally not purely intellectual. It can be extremely mystical at times. Take the Pythagoreans as examples; they were as must philosophers as were Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. It is simply mysticism with an intellectual aspect to it. Judaism has those traditions too.
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Christianity is a philosophy. A philosophy with a huge fucking church attached to it. Which I guess makes it a religion.

wow I didn't know curches did that?!
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The vast majority of philosophy is concerned with religion / god in one way or another.
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DCAnderson wrote:
So instead of worrying about whether or not Christianity is a philosophy, could anyone come up with an argument for why Christianity is not a religion?
This took some thought.

And I had to do a warm-up and then think.
But here it is.

Christianity can be the purely private philosophy that holds Christ as the Savior of a world created by God.

Religion is by definition a social grouping. "Where two or more of you are gathered together .... ."

So Christianity as a non-social activity, a purely private philosophy, is not a religion.

Further, but unnecessarily as I have already shown that Christianity can be not a religion, any Christian who, in addition to being a cultural Christian, has accepted Christ as their savior is going to have a private inner Christian philosophy. For them Christianity will be both a religion and a philosophy.

This is what eating meat can do for your brain power.
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Pinook wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
So instead of worrying about whether or not Christianity is a philosophy, could anyone come up with an argument for why Christianity is not a religion?
This took some thought.

And I had to do a warm-up and then think.
But here it is.

Christianity can be the purely private philosophy that holds Christ as the Savior of a world created by God.

Religion is by definition a social grouping. "Where two or more of you are gathered together .... ."

So Christianity as a non-social activity, a purely private philosophy, is not a religion.

Further, but unnecessarily as I have already shown that Christianity can be not a religion, any Christian who, in addition to being a cultural Christian, has accepted Christ as their savior is going to have a private inner Christian philosophy. For them Christianity will be both a religion and a philosophy.

This is what eating meat can do for your brain power.


Nope. Just because one person's interpretation of Christianity may be philosophical (not that I buy your argument anyway, worship of a god is sufficient for religion), that doesn't make the whole concept of Christianity not a religion.
 
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Pinook wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
So instead of worrying about whether or not Christianity is a philosophy, could anyone come up with an argument for why Christianity is not a religion?
This took some thought.

And I had to do a warm-up and then think.
But here it is.

Christianity can be the purely private philosophy that holds Christ as the Savior of a world created by God.

Religion is by definition a social grouping. "Where two or more of you are gathered together .... ."

So Christianity as a non-social activity, a purely private philosophy, is not a religion.

Further, but unnecessarily as I have already shown that Christianity can be not a religion, any Christian who, in addition to being a cultural Christian, has accepted Christ as their savior is going to have a private inner Christian philosophy. For them Christianity will be both a religion and a philosophy.

This is what eating meat can do for your brain power.


Good shot at that. I'd like to introduce Ninian Smart's widely accepted definition of religion here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninian_Smart for the non-researcher).
Religion has:
Narrative (Mythological)
Experiential
Social (Institutional)
Doctrinal
Ethical
Ritual
Material

In order for someone to believe in Christianity as you discussed, the narrative of the Bible is required. That narrative explicitly calls for social, "...Do not forsake your gathering together as some are in the habit of doing..." and with many other directives and examples. It also calls for the other six elements of religion, so I think the classification of Christianity as only a philosophy is not possible in the way you described. Accepting Christ as savior requires a level of trust in the Bible that makes violating the rest VERY difficult.

However, it is possible without strict adherence to Christianity's narrative to use the Bible pragmatically while denying Christ and true faith in what it says. If used only as a philosophy, it is taken as a moral guideline or just good advice. So I'd say Christianity can be only a philosophy, but not in the definitive "is not".

O'Riley is a shock jock and enjoys slapping people in the face with stuff like this to get a reaction. It's only a technique to get people listening and thinking. Beck's doing the same thing on the other end. However I'll honestly say with Smart's definition I can easily show that both Atheism and Secular Humanism are religions. Think about it a bit and see if you can do it yourself.
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JesterKnot wrote:
However I'll honestly say with Smart's definition I can easily show that both Atheism and Secular Humanism are religions. Think about it a bit and see if you can do it yourself.


I think you'll have difficultly finding ritual in secular humanism (and Narrative (Mythological) and Experiential might be tricky). Or at least, only in so much as that would then class all political movements or even boardgame clubs as religions too.

Atheism doesn't have an of them, nor does theism.

(Also, if the wiki article is accurate, Smart's list is not a definition, merely a list of things all religions posses. Which does not automatically mean that everything that posses these things are religions.)
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I wonder how O'Reilly is going to address the Pope's War On Christmas.
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JesterKnot wrote:
However I'll honestly say with Smart's definition I can easily show that both Atheism and Secular Humanism are religions. Think about it a bit and see if you can do it yourself.


I did. And I can't.
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DCAnderson wrote:
So instead of worrying about whether or not Christianity is a philosophy, could anyone come up with an argument for why Christianity is not a religion?
Isn't the explanation as simple as: "Christianity is many religions." So it's technically not a religion....rather it is a group of many religions.

Let me know if I've missed the point here (a dangerous thing to type in RSP! )

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