Re: Atheistic Religions?

Peter D. Junger (junger@PDJ2-RA.F-REMOTE.CWRU.EDU)
Thu, 9 Nov 1995 23:01:13 -0500

SS51000 writes:

: Not to be a spoilsport, but it seems to me that one might well pause
: before accepting the view, expressed by J. Kotliar and J. Strader, that
: religion can take atheistic forms. There is a time-honored alternative
: bequeathed to us by Edward B. Tylor himself: if a belief does not
: involve spiritual beings (in the broad sense of that term), then perhaps
: it ought to be defined as non-religious. Whatever is animistic is
: religious; whatever is not animistic is not religious. I realize these
: are some vague terms; but don't we want--and need--some way to demarcate
: religious phenomena? We can neither describe nor explain reality
: without dividing it up. So if atheism can be religious, are there any
: kinds of ideas that cannot be religious? --Bob Graber

Surely a Buddhist would ask you what you mean by spiritual beings?
And then would ask you whether the realization that there are no
beings there--spiritual or otherwise--which arouses in one the
compassionate desire to save all beings--involves spirtual beings?

Of course there are other Buddhists who would not phrase the questions
in quite that fashion.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH