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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Sorry I am new to this site, and think I sent this to everybody as a private message by mistake. But anyway here goes.

There are it is said as many different definitions of what the word “Religion” means, as there are people on the planet, and many say that it is indefinable. Which is religious speak for. “If I define it, you will knock it down, so I will pretend ignorance.”

I have however a personal definition of religion, which seems to work very well for me, in practice anyway, and which I think would be useful to sceptics generally. Which is. Religion is a synonym for the fallacy of. “Proof by authority."

When someone says something like. "I believe males should be dominant over females, because the tradition of our sacred musk ox, says so. We put out two boards out on the tundra, with male and female written on them, and our sacred ox pissed on male. Which clearly proves that it prefers males to be dominant."

The problem with that line of thinking being that it by claiming fake authority, the supernatural powers of the ox, it attempts, unfairly, to unbalance or even quash any debate.

Also by forcing believers to accept the use of fake evidence, it forces the believers and their sub-culture, to accept high levels of cognitive dissonance, and poor levels of sceptical thinking. Which spills over into all other spheres of thinking and life, like politics and social science, bad habits are like the word says, habitual.

Which is why I feel that it is useful, to separate honest unsupported beliefs, which may be needed to determine moral positions, from dishonest beliefs supported by fake evidence/authority, or in other words religion. And I find a use for the definition. "Religion is a synonym for the fallacy of proof by authority."

Do you have a personal definition of religion ?

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Religion is to me a system that takes away the power people have over themselves. I see I'll get into trouble defending that line, as there are so many systems that take away power - like governments, bosses, educators, parents, etc. I can't say it better than that, but my definition works for me.

That does work.

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