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  1. #1
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Default Is Secular Leftism A Religion?

    Religious belief is human nature, huge new study claims – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

    If human beings are religious by nature, and traditional religion is dying off in the west, is this new rise in leftist ideology a substitute religion all its own that will only be recognized in hindsight?

    If you are familiar with Christianity, consider some of these parallel phrases and let me know what you think:

    Blasphemous
    Problematic

    Evil
    Hate

    Original Sin
    Privilege

    Confess and repent
    Check your privilege

    Peace and justice for all
    Equality

    The Devil
    The Patriarchy

    Sin
    Oppression

    Communion
    Inclusivity

    I feel like I could go on all day...
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  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "secular leftism"? I see religion at root as belief in some supreme being/deity/super-natural force, something beyond the physical world. Does your secular leftism include that? If not, I would not consider it religion. Ideology to be sure, perhaps philosophy.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    What do you mean by "secular leftism"? I see religion at root as belief in some supreme being/deity/super-natural force, something beyond the physical world. Does your secular leftism include that? If not, I would not consider it religion. Ideology to be sure, perhaps philosophy.

    My thought exactly. Just if something is a political movement that doesn't mean it is religion.

  4. #4
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    What do you mean by "secular leftism"? I see religion at root as belief in some supreme being/deity/super-natural force, something beyond the physical world. Does your secular leftism include that? If not, I would not consider it religion. Ideology to be sure, perhaps philosophy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual ghost View Post
    My thought exactly. Just if something is a political movement that doesn't mean it is religion.
    A belief in some supreme being would fit the same genre of religion that Christianity falls under, but there are others:

    Definition of religion
    1a : the service and worship of God or the supernatural
    (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
    2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
    3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
    4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
    You can argue that it's a different kind of religion, as though no religion has ever done that before.

  5. #5
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    A belief in some supreme being would fit the same genre of religion that Christianity falls under, but there are others:

    You can argue that it's a different kind of religion, as though no religion has ever done that before.
    I see. So you are going with the less common definitions, I assume (4) as (3) is considered archaic. (2) is self-referential in any case (religion as a system of religious attitudes). I don't prefer this definition as it is far too broad. Under it, nearly anything can be considered a religion. At least this is clarified now, for anyone wishing to pursue a discussion under these terms.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #6
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I see. So you are going with the less common definitions, I assume (4) as (3) is considered archaic. (2) is self-referential in any case (religion as a system of religious attitudes). I don't prefer this definition as it is far too broad. Under it, nearly anything can be considered a religion. At least this is clarified now, for anyone wishing to pursue a discussion under these terms.
    The archaic definition (I think) just links the word roots with an old synonym for ‘conscientious,’ which is a pretty strong pillar of leftist living.

    This for me is an interest in isomorphisms between religious institutions under the presupposition that secular leftism is one of them.

  7. #7
    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    A belief in some supreme being would fit the same genre of religion that Christianity falls under, but there are others:

    You can argue that it's a different kind of religion, as though no religion has ever done that before.

    Ok, fair enough.
    However in my first language the definition of religion is different and requires supernatural. You can have a cause without religious element and therefore I vote "no" in this thread since I fail in adapting to your definitions.


    I leave this thread to those for who it was made for, I don't belong to this "debate".
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  8. #8
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    So you are going with the less common definitions
    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual ghost View Post
    in my first language the definition of religion is different and requires supernatural

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    What do you mean by "secular leftism"? I see religion at root as belief in some supreme being/deity/super-natural force, something beyond the physical world. Does your secular leftism include that? If not, I would not consider it religion. Ideology to be sure, perhaps philosophy.
    Yeah, I would say there definitely has to be supernatural, metaphysical or cosmological aspects.

    What is being described is a philosophy, tradition, set of social or cultural norms.

    There's all kinds of problems with that, not least the implicit idea that there a dichotomy between religion and secular left wing thinking, not that it would not be accepted by both the right and the left of the political spectrum at present. For me that sort of agreement alone ought to make it suspect thinking.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I see. So you are going with the less common definitions, I assume (4) as (3) is considered archaic. (2) is self-referential in any case (religion as a system of religious attitudes). I don't prefer this definition as it is far too broad. Under it, nearly anything can be considered a religion. At least this is clarified now, for anyone wishing to pursue a discussion under these terms.
    Well, there are some good analysis of religion by anthropologists or others which reduce it to an object of devotion and frame of orientation, ie values, ethics, norms.

    Those sorts of definitions are interesting, I think, in so far as they can lead people who've dismissed religion altogether to reappraise it. Also I read some interesting stuff about how, if you employ that definition, you can analyse individuals to discover what is virtually a "private religion" and determine all their motives for anything. Though its using that definition.

    The downside of it is exactly what you have said that it allows for too much generalisation and too broad a definition. Everything and anything can be defined as religious consequently.

    To be honest it sounds like an exercise of the new atheist right wing, dont like something, well, then its got to be a religion. Everything you dislike is essentially the same thing anyway.

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