+JTB Pred By that stunted definition you gave, I would agree with you. But a slightly more authoritative definition might be: “A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe.”
Via Wikipedia although I can find other definitions that fit.
It’s easy to bring up a straw man and then attack it. Give a stunted definition and then saying, “And that’s not what x is”
But it’s much harder to hold on to that idea by being more accurate in your definitions.
I’m not defending religion nor am I saying anything bad about science.
I’ve just found the trend in recent years of some theoretical physicists deciding that now is the time to convert the masses that is somewhat disturbing.
I was especially disappointed in Hawking. He is one of my idols (lol idols) – a hero in so many ways. And he still is. But when I saw his special about “Why God isn’t necessary” and showed his theory of a possible Universe that created itself; well I’m personally ok with that theory – it’s as fine as any other theory. But his descriptions of religion were way slanted and offbase. He was preaching to the choir and characterising what he perceived as opposition in a manner that would fit his theories.
But knowing both parts quite well – having studied religion (my 20s) and science (my 30s) heavily (and concluding personally that NEITHER has “it all” yet) – I’ve been studying the gaps. I’m not talking about the “God of the gaps” thing or any absurdities like that.
Rather, it’s the gaps in logic – the blind spots – to see where they stem from and see where the prejudices lie in the different worldviews.
As it stands, I can easily get someone who is passionate about one side or the other angry at me: science lovers think I’m religious, and religion lovers think I’m an atheist. I’m neither. It puts me in an awkward position, in the gaps with no ideological support from either side. But it’s only in the awkward places that any growth can take place. Otherwise, it’s just a continual process of defending someone or something’s honor all of the time. I’m finding the awkward missing pieces – and they’re there, so far in all systems of human knowledge.