Talk:Secular religions

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Icon religion.svg

This Religion related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Heh! Like it! (Not to mention "Evolutionism as a word") SusanG  ContribsTalk 11:18, 27 September 2008 (EDT)


As a former Objectivist, I can say that it nearly meets any definition you'd like of a religion. It has a founder, a set of dogma (more dogmatic, in fact, than most forms of Christianity), and even supernatural characters. (They don't call them that, but it's obvious that Aristotle is God, Aquinas is Moses, and Rand is herself Jesus, while Plato, Augustine, and Kant are all the Devil.) If nothing else, it should count as a secular cult. Researcher 18:02, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

Employment discrimination[edit]

In the UK, all manner of beliefs or lack thereof have been legally counted as "religious" for purposes of employment discrimination cases (e.g.. Although I suspect these wouldn't pass either in normative or sociology of religion terms, they should be noted here - David Gerard (talk) 16:15, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

The "Does secular religion exist" section[edit]

This is a pretty badly argued section, and it's overall not a very convincing article either.

However, those using functional rather than a substantive definition of religion would argue that whether the nature of the belief is supernatural or theistic is irrelevant, so a secular religion is possible.

This statement is silly because if you're talking about "secular religion" then you're using a "functional" understanding of religion by definition. Earlier on we have this:

Religions invariably include a belief in some form of supernatural beings, force or deity at work in the world, and usually involve specific activities including worship and ritual ceremonies.

This conflates the two definitions haphazardly, and is also very questionable. Firstly, why does religion "invariably" include this kind of belief? This is a distinctly Eurocentric claim based on a post-Reformation understanding of what "religion" means. Secondly, why is it "invariably" incorporated in a belief but only "usually" to do with specific activities? (The sociological consensus is pretty much the exact opposite -- there are some types of belief that "usually" characterize what we understand as religion, but ritual is inherent to it.) More generally, saying that A "invariably" includes B and therefore A cannot include B is tautologically shuffling definitions around and doesn't make "A including B" a useless concept.

Returning to the last paragraph, we have:

The concept of 'secular religion' is a paradox, since anything secular is, by definition, not religious, and if it becomes religious it ceases to be secular.

This statement (and the one after it) is verging on being a PRATT as far as sociology of religion is concerned. Yes, it is true that the public secular sphere has been defined in the West in juxtaposition to the private religious sphere, but this has no bearing at all on whether secular attitudes can in fact be considered using the interpretative apparatus usually applied to religion. If they can, then it's pretty arbitrary to beat around the bush by calling it "quasi-religious". --Lord Shang (talk) 00:54, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

New atheism proselytizing -- atheism as a religion.[edit]

How does the new atheist who tries to convince people to abandon faith or who argues that belief systems other than her own are universally a bad thing not, in the words of this article, "mimic the forms of religious institutions"? Theory of Practice "Now we stand outcast and starving 'mid the wonders we have made." 15:51, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I've wondered that myself. I don't spend time trying to convince people that Loch Ness, or Ghosts do not exist. When you hold there is no god, and go about your business the same way you do about Santa, or Loch Ness that's one thing. But when you activly try to change the mind of those who believe, are you not proselytizing? And isn't your "lack of belief" now something more?--Green mowse.pngGodot She was a venus demilo in her sister's jeans 16:16, 31 December 2012 (UTC)


This discussion was moved to Forum:Dirk Steele said something.

Unitarian Universalism[edit]

This discussion was moved to Forum:Dirk Steele said something.

Why did whoever removed it remove it? Shall we go, you and I while we can/Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds? 12:59, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Dunno. Ask them. Dirk Steele (talk) 13:39, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, butterfingers on my iPad. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 13:48, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Auguste Comte[edit]

It sould be noted that 19th century French thinker Auguste Comte created a secular religion called The Religion of Humanity, which probably comes closest to a "secular religion" than a lot of other beliefs in this article. Does this bear adding? MidnightBlue766 (talk) 02:07, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Oh, why not - David Gerard (talk) 22:33, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Atheism as religion, take II[edit]

....atheism itself is a religious belief.

This seems to be worded oddly. While atheism may not be a religion, atheism is a religious belief; it is a belief about deities. The fact that it's a null hypothesis doesn't change the nature of the subject. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 02:39, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


The way in which ethnic nationalists fervently believe in the total veracity of their own persecution-complex-fostering lies and the propagandic nature of the narratives of all other ethnic groups (for no other reason than groupthink caused by echo chambers and early indoctrination) does seem to me rather similar to the way in which adherents of religions so often firmly believe in the existence of their local deity or the validity of their own particular denomination and the falsehood of all others.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 23:07, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

That's really going to take you into definitions. It can be a little difficult to maintain a definition of "religion" which is sufficiently narrow to be meaningful. There are certainly close parallels with nationalist beliefs and religions. But there are also close close parallels between football (US soccer) supporters and religious believers. The belief tends to be total, it is often inherited, it's not based on logic and evidence, and it is very difficult to escape from.
But for a religion you really need some supernatural elements, probably a god (or gods or whatever), some priests, an afterlife and some associated ritual. But even then you are going to have some grey areas. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:09, 14 June 2021 (UTC)