Some questions from a passer-by

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8 years 3 months ago #219571 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Edan wrote: Reneza, you're asking people here to define something that has little definition beyond what you make it. We're not the only 'religion' that won't be able to present to you indefinite answers to similar questions.


Then does this mean that the only thing Jediism is is a synonym for "individual belief system"?

Edan wrote: My question to you is, why is it so important that you draw perfect lines around Jediism?


I didn't say "perfect" but I am seeking explanations which I'm slowly concluding.

Edan wrote: No one has the answers but you. Now I know that is probably an unsatisfactory answer, but it's the one that everyone else has been trying to explain to you..


This seems to be exactly the reason that most western countries except the US refuse to recognize Jediism as a valid response on a census forms or as a religion at all.

Adi Vas wrote: A minor point to make here: Christians don't even agree on exactly what should be or shouldn't be in the Nicene Creed. What seems like a fairly trivial part of it on the surface has caused enormous schism between Christian denominations. There are also many Christians who reject the Nicene Creed entirely, saying that Scripture alone is the source of one's beliefs. This is a common belief among non-denominational evangelicals in the United States and others.


Actually mostly they do. The only valid thing which you pointed out was the addition of the filioque by Roman clerical authorities. But even regarding this, it's one word among every other one that has remained the same throughout history. If a Christian rejects the Nicene Creed they are not a Christian - this was established and has been the absolute definition since its foundation and only recently in the modern era have small sects (and the Mormons) began to use the term Christian despite not being defined by it.

Nonetheless even if we are to disregard the Nicene Creed there is still quite a good definition of what a Christian is in the person of Jesus and his teachings as presented in the New Testament. Less can be said about Jediism so far it seems.

Adi Vas wrote: Finally, the Nicene Creed (well, the ecumenical version of it) does not say anything about Scripture except that it documented and prophesied the resurrection of Christ and that the Holy Spirit spoke through the Prophets (of Scripture.) It definitely does not say that every Christian should "believe" every part of the Bible, since various parts of the Bible (Joshua, for example) contain directives from God to wage holy war and commit genocide, among other pleasant things.


I never suggested it did. In fact for most of Christian history until the protestant reformation when sola scriptura was a thing, the Bible was seen as secondary to the Church. But you must also know then that it has been almost a consensus for almost the entirety of Christian history that Christians no longer need to obey most of the 613 instructions in the Old Testament, having been made null by the coming of Jesus.

Also, your use of such a passive-aggressive phrase furthers my belief that among people here it seems eerily rather common to make snide swipes at Abrahamic faiths.
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8 years 3 months ago - 8 years 3 months ago #219577 by RyuJin
<yawn>

i hate dogma, jediism has no dogma...dogma is inflexible, inflexibility causes strife...the vast majority of mainstream religions thrive on causing strife and driving people to their "god"...this is especially common in some of the abrahamic religions....

to me jediism is more of a philosophical lifestyle. we don't tell you what to think, or how to think, instead we teach you how to think for yourself, how to decide for yourself, how to define your own path.

among the various jedi groups we share a few common beliefs...how we define the beliefs varies individually just like among various christian sects...judaism does believe in christ but they don't believe in his messianic nature the way other christians do...

we believe in the force...how each of us defines it is likely to vary. for me it's energy in all its forms, energy is quantifiable it can be measured and manipulated, there are also aspects of the force that as of yet cannot be quantified because we lack the methods to do so....this does not make them any less real...

personally i don't give two sh...ts about what others think of me when i mention being a jedi. if they laugh, they laugh...it just shows how closed minded they are and they will never know what it is like to walk my path. most people are actually quite interested once i start discussing it with them.

so take it as you will....or don't, either way i'm not fussed by it...we frequently get people seeking to "deconstruct" what we are....we're still here...we're still growing and evolving....how many religions truly encourage knowledge, understanding, and acceptance and truly mean it?

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8 years 3 months ago #219580 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by
“Religion is (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long lasting moods and motivation in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such as aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”

Using this definition by Clifford Geertz will help in understanding Jediism as a religion.

Jediism, as practiced here, is neither creedal nor revealed. Some religions are both (Christianity, Sikhism, and Islam) but religions such as Shinto, Hinduism, or the indigenous religions of North American or Africa are neither. Some religions eschew reliance on a deity such as Zen, Confucianism or Daoism, so also with Jediism. Jedi can be theists or not. Jediism is analogous to transtheistic religions in that it focuses more on practice than belief.

Metaphysics is the philosophical discipline that studies being, or, in other words, studies the nature of reality. In this sense, Jediism is metaphysical and philosophical. Metaphysics is subject to rigorous logical analysis requiring precision of language. The proofs of philosophy are subject to different standards than experimental science.

This quote is in my lecture notes but I can’t remember where I got it.

"Campbell believed myth had an important purpose in human life, and defined its four major functions:

1. The Metaphysical Function - Awakening a sense of awe before the mystery of being.
2. The Cosmological Function - Explaining the shape of the universe.
3. The Sociological Function - Validating and supporting the existing social order.
4. The Pedagogical Function - Teaching and guiding the individual through the stages of life.

Mythology and storytelling is a universal human drive. Through these four steps, myth informs and enhances human understanding of not only the world around us, but who we are, both in society and within ourselves. By mythologizing our own lives, we can understand them, and work out our place in them. By experiencing our own adventures, we too can learn."

Academic definitions of myth:
Myth is a “traditional narration which relates to events that happened at the beginning of time and which has the purpose of providing grounds for the ritual actions of men of today and, in a general manner, establishing all the forms of action and thought by which man understands himself in his world.” (Paul Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil)
Myth is a traditional narration regarding the nature of the sacred.
Myth is a traditional narrative account of the origin of an aspect or symbol of the sacred.
Myth is the narrative embodiment of an idea.
Myth narrates a sacred history: it tells of an event in primordial time or it tells how reality or a part of reality came into existence.
Myths can be known, experienced, lived in the sense that one is seized by the sacred in the ritual re-enactment of the primordial event.
The mythic person says, “That myth is true for me because it tells the story of how and why the world is the way it is.”
The truth, validity or effectiveness of a myth is determined solely on the life in the world of the participants (believers) in the myth.
Myth is the symbolic expression of primal experiences.
The symbols in the myth represent a primary aspect of experienced reality.
Myth is a narrative account of the origin of the symbol.

Some persons here at TotJO refer to the Star Wars myth in order to express their understanding of the symbol of the Force.
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8 years 3 months ago - 8 years 3 months ago #219581 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

RyuJin wrote: i hate dogma, jediism has no dogma...dogma is inflexible, inflexibility causes strife...


I am not talking about that at all. If you had read any of the text in this thread, you would see that I'm asking for definitions. If something has no definition, it lacks substance and is only an image

RyuJin wrote: the vast majority of mainstream religions thrive on causing strife and driving people to their "god"...this is especially common in some of the abrahamic religions....


So do any human systems.

RyuJin wrote: to me jediism is more of a philosophical lifestyle. we don't tell you what to think, or how to think, instead we teach you how to think for yourself, how to decide for yourself, how to define your own path.


This sounds awfully hubristic.

RyuJin wrote: among the various jedi groups we share a few common beliefs...how we define the beliefs varies individually just like among various christian sects...judaism does believe in christ but they don't believe in his messianic nature the way other christians do...


Except Christianity actually has a foundational idea of what it actually is while from my discussions here it seems Jediism does not. Furthermore, Jews "believe" in Jesus as much as a historian believes in Jesus and so to use "believe in" in this sense is completely unsuitable.

RyuJin wrote: we believe in the force...how each of us defines it is likely to vary.


So it seems that my understanding was right; "the Force" is a synonym for "individual belief system" with Star Wars imagery and nothing more. If anyone would like to suggest otherwise, let me know.

RyuJin wrote: personally i don't give two sh...ts about what others think of me when i mention being a jedi. if they laugh, they laugh...it just shows how closed minded they are and they will never know what it is like walk my path. most people are actually quite interested once i start discussing it with them.


Is self-aggrandizement and belittlement of others really so common here..?

RyuJin wrote: so take it as you will....or don't, either way i'm not fussed by it...we frequently get people seeking to "deconstruct" what we are....we're still here...we're still growing and evolving....how many religions truly encourage knowledge, understanding, and acceptance and truly mean it?


I don't know about others, but all major religions in history have been "deconstructed" by everyone including their own adherents, and for good reason. It's a good thing and healthy because it raises questions and it forces individual adherents to actually answer questions and not simply accept things as given. Knowledge and understanding do not come from taking a fictional order of warrior monks and applying their religious ideology to the real-world while also resisting any questions about it. It just makes it look all the more ridiculous
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8 years 3 months ago - 8 years 3 months ago #219582 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Saying that a Christian who rejects the Nicene Creed is not a Christian rules out a *lot* of Christians (e.g. American evangelicals or others who simply dislike creeds, like Quakers - I live in North Carolina, we have a lot of the former) whose faith I have no right to deny. Perhaps it's a product of the tradition that I belong to (I'll get back to this), but I don't think the walls to being a "true Christian" are particularly high. Of course, the walls to being a Jedi are considerably lower. I don't think the walls need be high for a tradition to be valid.

Sola scriptura, like you say, is a relatively new development. But there is no interdenominational consensus on what sola scriptura entails. The Baptists I have worshipped with are quite fond of the Old Testament stuff, especially in this day and age. Less conservative traditions practically treat the Old Testament, Psalms excepted, as if it doesn't exist. The "sola" probably deserves an asterisk if you're going to talk about it as if it were a single, monolithic concept. The inconsistency and incoherency of sola scriptura is a large part of why prima scriptura makes more sense to me.

Also, your use of such a passive-aggressive phrase furthers my belief that among people here it seems eerily rather common to make snide swipes at Abrahamic faiths.


I almost never talk about the particulars of my faith on here, but I feel this needs to be cleared up. You read too much into what I say, perceiving hostility that does not exist. There is no passive-aggressiveness on my part or snide swipe toward Abrahamic faiths, since I practice and live by one myself. I'm a devout Anglican Christian, and my tendency to jokingly describe horrible things as "pleasant" pre-dates my time as a Christian, to say nothing of my time in this community. I studied history in uni for six years and mostly focused on bad things. A sad habit I picked up from my colleagues in that field is that I tend to occasionally use sarcasm in the context of discussing historical atrocities, something I try to work on. Make of that what you will.

(Also, this is terribly off-topic - sorry guys! I'll shuffle on.)
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8 years 3 months ago #219587 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Adi Vas wrote: Saying that a Christian who rejects the Nicene Creed is not a Christian rules out a *lot* of Christians (e.g. American evangelicals or others who simply dislike creeds, like Quakers - I live in North Carolina, we have a lot of the former) whose faith I have no right to deny. Perhaps it's a product of the tradition that I belong to (I'll get back to this), but I don't think the walls to being a "true Christian" are particularly high. Of course, the walls to being a Jedi are considerably lower. I don't think the walls need be high for a tradition to be valid.


What part of Quaker doctrine has ever been contrary to the Nicene Creed? Most Christians, even today with non-Christian Christian groups such as the LDS Church, are Nicene Creed based.

Adi Vas wrote: Sola scriptura, like you say, is a relatively new development. But there is no interdenominational consensus on what sola scriptura entails. The Baptists I have worshipped with are quite fond of the Old Testament stuff, especially in this day and age.


Yes, this is a big problem within Christianity and one that has never entirely been solved; that of the existence of the Old Testament in contrast with the New. As you probably know it was the cause of many groups in the early days of the Christian faith declaring that the Old Testament was evil/nonsense/etc. But my point is still that while Jediism seems to have no real foundation in anything except for secular ideas like free speech, Christianity does in the person of Jesus.

Adi Vas wrote: I almost never talk about the particulars of my faith on here, but I feel this needs to be cleared up. You read too much into what I say, perceiving hostility that does not exist. There is no passive-aggressiveness on my part or snide swipe toward Abrahamic faiths,


Using a sarcastic expression is quite a good indication, but apologies if it wasn't intended.

Adi Vas wrote: since I practice and live by one myself. I'm a devout Anglican Christian, and my tendency to jokingly describe horrible things as "pleasant" pre-dates my time as a Christian, to say nothing of my time in this community. I studied history in uni for six years and mostly focused on bad things. A sad habit I picked up from my colleagues in that field is that I tend to occasionally use sarcasm in the context of discussing historical atrocities, something I try to work on. Make of that what you will.


Why do you devoutly follow something in which the primary focus of worship does such things?
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8 years 3 months ago #219589 by Loudzoo

Loudzoo wrote:
You seem quite intent on proving that Jediism isn't a religion.

Reneza wrote:
This is your presumption. I'm merely curious as to what a Jedi actually is and so far it definitely seems not to be a religion in the slightest or by any definition. I like to understand others and when I read about this particular phenomenon/movement and that it was based on certain historical systems/ I was curious. But now the more I read the more it does seem to be an inconsistent and intentionally vague collection of secular concepts with trappings of historical theology/philosophy.

Jestor wrote:
Please tell us what a religion is, from a agreed upon source...

Reneza wrote:
I didn't start this thread to do so and I don't see how it would help at all.

Reneza wrote:
But if you'd like to understand certain definitions of what I'm saying, I'm more than happy to clarify.


What is your definition of religion?

Or are you happy to use Alan's? [as above]

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8 years 3 months ago #219593 by
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Alan wrote: “Religion is (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long lasting moods and motivation in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such as aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”

Using this definition by Clifford Geertz will help in understanding Jediism as a religion.


You have literally picked the definition of an anthropologist completely un-related to lexicography and is completely at odds with most definitions.

Alan wrote: (...) religions such as Shinto, Hinduism, or the indigenous religions of North American or Africa are neither.


I have never mentioned anything about revelation being a determining factor in religion, yet somehow certain people seem to think this is worth mentioning.

Alan wrote: Some religions eschew reliance on a deity such as Zen, Confucianism or Daoism, so also with Jediism. Jedi can be theists or not. Jediism is analogous to transtheistic religions in that it focuses more on practice than belief.


Yes, but Buddhism and its schools have foundations in the Pali canon at least to define what they are. Jediism has nothing but vague "teachings" mentioning "the Force" (with no definition whatsoever).

Alan wrote: Metaphysics is the philosophical discipline that studies being, or, in other words, studies the nature of reality. In this sense, Jediism is metaphysical and philosophical.


In this sense you can also call any philosophy class or web forum a "religion" because it encourages people to discuss such things. Jediism is neither metaphysical or philosophical because it makes no claims to either. It only relies on its members to create definitions which completely negates the purpose of having a religion in the first place.

Alan wrote: Metaphysics is subject to rigorous logical analysis requiring precision of language. The proofs of philosophy are subject to different standards than experimental science.


What is Jediist philosophy then?

Alan wrote: Through these four steps, myth informs and enhances human understanding of not only the world around us, but who we are, both in society and within ourselves. By mythologizing our own lives, we can understand them, and work out our place in them. By experiencing our own adventures, we too can learn."


So what is Jediist myth then?

Alan wrote: Some persons here at TotJO refer to the Star Wars myth in order to express their understanding of the symbol of the Force.


What is "the Force"? You cannot claim that it is a fundamental belief of a whole group and then not define it so I'd really like to know.
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8 years 3 months ago #219594 by RyuJin
i was not self aggrandizing, nor was i belittling anyone....i'm indifferent...this is the problem in textual communications...without seeing body language and hearing vocal tone much meaning is lost. when meaning is lost misunderstandings occur....

it doesn't help that you refuse to explain how you define certain things while simultaneously demanding that we define things in a manner that matches how you define things

Jestor wrote:
Please tell us what a religion is, from a agreed upon source...


Reneza wrote:
I didn't start this thread to do so and I don't see how it would help at all.

Reneza wrote:
But if you'd like to understand certain definitions of what I'm saying, I'm more than happy to clarify.


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J.L.Lawson,Master Knight, M.div, Eastern Studies S.I.G. Advisor (Formerly Known as the Buddhist Rite)
Former Masters: GM Kana Seiko Haruki , Br.John
Current Apprentices: Baru
Former Apprentices:Adhara(knight), Zenchi (knight)
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8 years 3 months ago #219596 by
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Loudzoo wrote: What is your definition of religion?

Or are you happy to use Alan's? [as above]


Hey again! Thanks for asking. I've already stated in this forum vaguely how I define it. I think if I recall correctly I said that historically religion has almost consistently been used to refer to a deity/deities/spirit(s)/teleology/the metaphysical/etc. and veneration/worship/traditions/customs related to them.

The search engine says this which I'm rather happy with: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods or a particular system of faith and worship.
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