reply to post by JoshNorton
Anti-masons always use the dictionary definition of religion, because they know if they did research on the actual definition of religion proposed by
SCHOLARS OF RELIGION that it wouldn't fit their agenda.
***ATTENTION ALL ANTI-MASONS***
The definition of words in dictionaries are meant to be simple, even though we know words have complex meanings. When considered in different
contexts, words have completely different meanings. For example, the definition of the word "short" in the dictionary says that short means an
attribute related to height. However, when I use the word "short" in terms of the stock market, I mean that I am shorting a stock - betting that it
will go down. These two completely different opposite meanings, because one is in a general context and one is in a financial context.
When we talk of religion, we are now moving away from a generalist context and are talking in a religion context.
As such, the meaning of
religion when we're talking about religion itself is best defined by the scholars of religion - and not the dictionary. The reason why, before anyone
shrieks, is what I just mentioned - the true meaning of words are different in context.
Unsurprisingly, the scholarly meaning of religion does not fit masonry - anti-masons know this, which is why they only use the dictionary
Let us now turn to see what the peer reviewed literature from religious scholars says about the definition of religion:
"Religion" then may be defined as any behavior which believers interpret as communication, direct or indirect, between themselves and beings
whose existence and activity cannot be verified or falsified but whom the believers believe to exist and to be active, directly or indirectly, in
their lives and environment. And a "religion" is defined as the network of reciprocal relationships which a believer, or a group of believers,
believes to exist between him, her, or itself and the non-verifiable/non-falsifiable beings which they believe to exist and to be active in their
- Platvoet, J. 1990. The definers defined: Traditions in the definition of religion. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Any review of the literature shows this definition is widely agreed on by other scholars.
What does this mean? That masonry is not a religion
, no matter how feverishly you search through 1,000 dictionary definitions trying to find
one to match anti-mason propaganda.
Masonry says that its members must have their own religion - directly, in the ritual - and according to this actual definition of religion, the
network of members in masonry do not constitute a religion.
[edit on 20-6-2008 by ALightinDarkness]