There is some merit to such an argument, but I think that the above format for defining religion manages to address the most serious concerns. Life’s advancement is fostered by diversity; uniformity merely sustains life in between advances. The population, in democracies, has always placed religion in this position. This definition also recognizes the diversity of religion by not insisting that all characteristics be met in order to qualify as a "religion." The religion must be rationally based. It's so common, in fact, that some people mistake mere theism for religion itself; yet that is incorrect. Many rituals, like sacrifices, are one type of attempted interaction. If, to guide our moral decision making, a universal purpose is indeed formulated from Life’s “meta-purpose,” then the guidelines we later develop must all emanate from the desire to achieve this purpose. money worship) - possibility to put wrongdoings right and repent in this world It says nothing about the afterlife and little about God, but it does say much of what needs to be said about how to conduct oneself in an ethical manner. their appeal to diverse populations; their adaptability as they moved from one cultural and geographical area to another; their promotion of universal rules and principles to guide behavior that transcended place, time, and specific cultural practices; their proselytizing of new believers by energetic and charismatic missionaries; the deep sense of community felt by their converts; and the support given to … Connecting Ancient Greek Mythology to Religion, Religion 101: Examining the Nature of Religion and Religious Beliefs. These characteristics may be shared with other belief systems, but taken together they make religion distinct. Religious believers often join together with like-minded adherents to worship or even live together. This picture will usually include some details of an overall purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into that as well - for example, are they supposed to serve the gods, or do the gods exist to help them along? We are creatures of both worlds, responding to feelings and concepts of spirituality that our body’s emotions generate, as well as to the logic upon which our minds operate and thrive. Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. The religion has to be suited to our times. From Wikibooks, open books for an open world. These characteristics may be shared with other belief systems, but taken together they make religion distinct. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Are there Religious Atheists? The Problem of Defining Characteristics of Religion, Religion Is a Belief in Supernatural Beings, Religious References on the Definition of Religion. Justification for this particular moral code rather than any other usually comes in the form of the code's supernatural origins, for example from gods which created both the code and humanity. This page was last edited on 24 February 2019, at 12:48. Belief in Supernatural Beings Belief in the supernatural, especially gods, is one of the most obvious characteristics of religion. In a democracy, the direction in which civilization heads is a matter for the population to decide. When disputes arise, such as the economic vs. moral dilemma that patent laws create, the populace must decide how they wish to proceed if democracy is to be preserved.. Its development must be crafted by many, particularly those who possess relevant knowledge: theologians and scientists, managers and workers, people who practice many disciplines, those who tread many lands, and members of many cultures. Return to A Universal Religion, Introduction, https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=Developing_A_Universal_Religion/A_Universal_Religion/Characteristics_Of_A_Universal_Religion&oldid=3519156. Belief systems and other pursuits that are described as "religious" in a metaphorical way, like for example some people's approach to sports, will exhibit 2 or 3 of these. Few religions don't include some sort of basic moral code in their teachings. Because most universalizing religions operate on a global scale, conversion to universalizing religions is usually relatively easy and highly encouraged by practitioners of the faith. Because most universalizing religions operate on a global scale, conversion to universalizing religions is usually relatively easy and highly encouraged by practitioners of the faith. The new religion, for reasons that apply to all institutions, must incorporate defences against being exploited. (The religion most closely resembles a universal “Hippocratic Oath.” This oath does not prevent any one in the medical profession from being Christian, Muslim, Hindu or otherwise. Most commonly recognized religions — like Christianity or Hinduism — will have all of them. The religion’s development cannot end. It's normal for religions to present believers with a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein - for example, whether the world exists for them of if they are a bit player in someone else's drama. Our new religion must embrace and support our emotional needs as well as our rational needs. (And legislated power should be refereed by the electorate, for it is individuals who contribute to Life’s continuation and evolution, not the state.) By using Learn Religions, you accept our, Ritual Acts Focused on Sacred Objects, Places, Times, A World View & Organization of One’s Life Based on the World View, A Social Group Bound Together by the Above, Who Cares? The power commanded by a position within the hierarchy serving the needs of a universal religion will always attract some who would position personal gain over Life’s gain. Like rituals, this attribute often occurs outside religion. In order to help solve problems of the kind noted earlier, our new religion must possess certain features. Thus, we cannot, for example, simply proclaim an unfounded “it-is-wrong-to-xxxxx” commandment. Brings people together in communities 1.2. It also determines the apex, the purpose to be used when writing society’s governing laws. Mahayana Buddhism (universal religion) focuses on devotion; believed that Buddha was a savior who could take away bad karma and help a person realize nirvana, and they also developed the … Real and relevant issues must be recognized and addressed in a practical manner. Doubtlessly our new religion could have many other characteristics, but the above list should suffice for our purposes.