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Which is the oldest religion in the world?

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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2018 at 23:18
When you say "organized," do you mean "intentionally" organized, consisting of a structure that believers buy into?  Or do you also include structure that is unconscious or sub conscious?  I tend to think that religions have a great deal of inertia, because most of them, like an iceberg, is below the surface.  

I think personal religion is something people in the West understand quite well.  I tend to think it is a response to division of Church and State.  Kind of a, 'I have these beliefs, but I don't expect anyone else to have them.'  While I subscribe to such a view, I don't know how it will suit Christianity in the long run, and I don't think it suits Islam at all.  For atheists and humanists who have a problem with Christianity, I think it might be choice of evils.  The nearer evil (for them) is the one they go after with vehemence, little do they realize the are undermining the lesser evil that is in the way of the greater evil.  Christianity has some understanding of separation of church and state (religion and government), is open to a great deal of the scientific endeavor and to wealth producing capitalism.  Islam, not so much.
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caldrail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2018 at 12:16
'Organised' means exactly that - a social or political structure controlling religion to any lesser or greater degree, even if merely one charismatic leader calling the shots.
 
Personal religion is far from well understood in the west. Adherence to group worship has the comfort of safety in numbers and a sense of 'doing one's duty' in society. Many adherents are inactive as worshippers, not because of personal beliefs or convictions, but the lack of them, a sense of 'I display the label but can't be bothered to turn up'. Alternative personal religions exist outside of this factional or tribal aspect of human society and anyone who truly walks that sort of path will discover that society doesn't have a lot of patience for those who go it alone, something that has plagued my life since a child but personally I cannot accept that anyone has the right to dictate my beliefs or religious conduct - That's something I maintain despite all the pressure and action society uses to make me conform. That is after all the point. Society likes conformity with ideals or stereotypes. If you truly want to by non-conformal, there is a price to pay for that, and most of us would rather live under the umbrella of a faction they don't quite believe in than risk society's ire.
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2018 at 20:51
GK Chesterton says something like if Christianity were from China we would be entranced and enamored about how exotic and profound it would seem.  But since it is familiar, we think little of it.  Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  But I do understand about how particulars can discourage one from engaging in the bigger structure.  Methodism as a mainstream denomination is in a decline, and yet it seems that the clergy wants to play a game of supporting radicals that will piss off the rest of the church.  And then they want the shrinking number of people donating, to donate more.  It is a great scheme if you can pull it off.  btw, when I hear on the BBC them referring to scheme, I always think 'scam,' although I am sure it doesn't have that connotation in British English.

I think that there is something best about religion when it has a public aspect, belief does not rightfully refer to a cognition, but to action that comes from a cognition, emotion, inclination. an action that is acted out at least partially in the public realm.  Not populist though, for populism bows to catering to the masses, and smacks of a kind of idolatry.  Again, I say "something [that is] best about religion, at times we cannot meet that best, for it does presuppose a fitting community.  Sometimes we have to be a belief and a believer of one, but even then there is a public aspect, just not an aspect that is overt, explained.

There was something late night on NPR or BBC that said that as many people today self-identify as religious, as it used to be, but these days, many of their views are heretical, and they don't even know, or care that their views are heretical.  I don't think this is necessarily a problem for the average church goer (depending on what), but it is there even amongst the clergy, who should know better, and more importantly, teach better.  For example, the Methodist, (lesbian) bishop preached that Jesus was prejudiced against the Syro-Phoenician woman until she snapped him out of his bias.  Even the messiah discriminates unfairly.  So, we have a messiah whose feet are of clay, who isn't worth worshipping.  If it is that interpretation one wishes to put forward for identity politics.


Edited by franciscosan - 17 Oct 2018 at 21:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2018 at 01:44
We're starting to wander away from the OP now.

I'd like to suggest that the oldest religion is that practised by Stone Age man when he linked the natural world around him to the celestial bodies he could see, and which he worshipped so as to improve aspects of his life, hopefully.

I have no argument with the fact that Hinduism may well be the oldest remaining organised religion.
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2018 at 02:20
There is a temple complex (name escapes me) in Southern Turkey (monolithic art) that dates from the hunter gatherer period.  It used to be believed that monumental art and religion was a result of agriculture, but now the thinking is that (the organization of) agriculture was the result of monumental art and religion.  Dr. Oz in interview with Jordan Peterson mentioned that.
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