Some questions from a passer-by

More
06 Jan 2016 20:43 #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]

The Librarian
Knight of TOTJO: Initiate Journal , Apprentice Journal , Knight Journal , Loudzoo's Scrapbook
TM: Proteus
Knighted Apprentices: Tellahane , Skryym
Apprentices: Squint , REBender
Master's Thesis: The Jedi Book of Life
If peace cannot be maintained with honour, it is no longer peace . . .
The following user(s) said Thank You: OB1Shinobi
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
06 Jan 2016 20:50 #219593 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

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.
The topic has been locked.
  • RyuJin
  • Offline
  • Master
  • Master
    Registered
  • The Path of Ignorance is Paved with Fear
More
06 Jan 2016 20:54 #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.


Warning: Spoiler!

Quotes:
Warning: Spoiler!

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)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Loudzoo
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
06 Jan 2016 20:56 #219596 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

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.
The topic has been locked.
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
06 Jan 2016 20:59 #219598 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Reneza wrote:

Senan wrote: Not every Christian believes every part of the Bible because the Bible in it's entirety contains contradictions.


They are required to by definition otherwise they are not defined as Christians. The definition of Christian was made with the Nicene Creed and it has been agreed upon ever since that anything contrary to this is not defined as "Christian." If you just allow everyone to define words, there is no meaning to anything and dialog goes out the window.


Required by who? Agreed upon by who? Christians have a commandment prohibiting murder, and yet went on crusades. Definitions, meanings and agreements certainly change over time. Jedi understand that. If I am to accept your definition of "Christian" being the one from thousands of years ago for the sake of this conversation, would you not then be expected to accept my definition of Jedi as I define it today?

Senan wrote: We are an officially recognized 501-(c) (3) in order to operate as a tax exempt charity and this Temple is legally recognized allowing for our clergy to perform certain legal functions, hence the titles.

How did it register? I mean, what definition did it use when registering?


https://www.templeofthejediorder.org/media/kunena/attachments/523/ha011135.pdf

Senan wrote: The Force does not have to be metaphysical. Some would say the quest of theoretical physicist is to finally define a unifying force. Currently, Quantum Mechanics could explain the Force just as well as someone calling it "god". That is why we are here. We are exploring these questions together. A Jedi is not expected to believe any one thing over another. We are expected to do our due diligence to find the answers for ourselves.

The Jedi simple oath asks you to uphold the "Jedi teachings" which include in the very first clause: belief in "the Force." What is the definition?


I am a Jedi and I profess my belief in the Force. The Doctrine does not demand a definition in defense of my belief. It simply demands that I have one.

Senan wrote: Why do Christians maintain the traditions and mythology shared with Jews?

Again, this is a really interesting trend I'm noticing here among many people: imposing the idea of myth onto other religions who do not see their faith as myth but reality. This organization definitely does not seem to be neutral on the matter of other faiths.


Are we not allowed to see the Force as a reality? Are we not allowed to consider the Bible a collection of mythology? Am I to accept the story of Noah's Ark as truth because all Christians "have to"? I'm sensing a double standard being applied here.

Senan wrote: The Star Wars mythology was inspired by many ancient philosophies and religious texts including the Tao Te Ching and Bushido Code along with some newer ideas from Campbell and Watts among many others.

So is the metaphysics of the Tao Te Ching actually binding with this organization, or if not all of it, which parts?


The Tao Te Ching isn't mentioned in our Doctrine. It is simply an example of many sources we incorporate into our studies. "Inspired by" was not meant to equate to "binding". This is the kind of thinking that allows extremists of any religion to be "bound" to the literal text rather than seeking the lesson within.

Senan wrote: Jediism is the name we use now because it allows us to identify with much of the ancient mythology in a way that can be understood in our current society.

This goes back to what I said before: to make the statement with a hidden clause that other religions are not "relevant" to the world today but this one is. Very interesting stuff.


I would not agree with your assertion that Jediism suggests that other religions are not relevant today. If that were the case, we would not include study of them in our Initiate Program. I would be willing to say that certain aspects of some religions may not be relevant to some people anymore. As a former Catholic myself, I was known to eat meat on Fridays. I would also readily admit that there are some aspects of Jediism that do not resonate with all Jedi.

Senan wrote: 5. Our Creed begins with "I am a Jedi, an instrument of peace".

What is "peace"?


What is a cupcake? I can give you a dictionary definition if you'd like, but it will pale in comparison to actually eating one yourself. Be at peace, and you'll know. Have your peace disturbed, and you'll know. Or maybe you won't.

Senan wrote: Jediism represents a collection of individuals seeking ways to better understand the universe and our place in it.

Then it's not a religion according to you, I suppose.


We're right back to defining terms rather than seeking truth. To say that I don't believe Jediism is a religion is to say that my definition of religion is the same as yours. If you want to rely on dictionary definitions, we certainly can, but in that case, nothing I said here conflicts with the accepted dictionary definition of "a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, ethics, and social organisation that relate humanity to an order of existence."

Senan wrote: To be "objective" suggests that one can remove themselves from the process of analysis

Sounds like the opposite.


A scientist takes all measures and steps to remain "objective" while conducting experiments. This does not, however, remove the scientist themselves from the experiment, even if they are only an observer. To say that Jediism or The Force is objective would assert that all Jedi are objective, and that is clearly not always the case.

Senan wrote: What I believe the Force to be works on a fundamental level,

How does it work?


This is a great question for you to explore for yourself, just as many of us do every day in this Temple. :)
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
06 Jan 2016 20:59 #219599 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

RyuJin wrote: 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


But I'm doing this over and over right now for many words/concepts I'm attempting to discuss. And part of my problem is that people won't define what they mean themselves , not that I'm demanding they adhere to any of my definitions.
The topic has been locked.
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
06 Jan 2016 21:00 #219601 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Reneza wrote: Why do you devoutly follow something in which the primary focus of worship does such things?


I don't want to derail this thread any further (you're welcome to PM me if you want to continue discussing this), so I'm only going to address this part, but my short answer is simple: the primary focus of worship doesn't do those things. My long answer is not that of a seminary-trained theologian, so I encourage you to research this subject for yourself if you're interested, and take what I say with a grain of salt.

The Book of Joshua was heavily modelled on the terror propaganda of the Assyrian empire (using similar language and ideas), but there is also no historical/archaeological evidence that the genocides and ethnic cleansing depicted within ever took place. It's more likely they slowly moved into and occupied that land over a long period of time. In Joshua, however, Joshua and his followers conquer and pillage everything basically unopposed - because, the book says, they have God on their side. In contrast, the book that follows, Judges, shows the multi-level collapse of the kingdom Joshua and his descendants helped create - the suggestion being that they turned away from God, and therefore, without the strength of God, were impotent against forces that led to chaotic "days [where] there was no king in Israel."

It is considered likely by some scholars that both books were composed/compiled for the first time during or after the Babylonian exile (6th century BC.) For a people living under oppression, propaganda stories of kicking ass with God on your side would probably resonate really well - indeed, given that all these stories were part of an oral tradition originally, this is likely why they endured for so long. The chaos depicted in Judges, with the eponymous judges (which were more like warlords) unable to lead Israel to glory, carries a moralistic message befitting the times: "our failure is because we have turned away from God, and this is what it leads to." Tales of this past era without kings in Israel would have resonated powerfully with people whose fortunes had fallen considerably since a generation prior.

Do these lessons need to be taken literally today? No - otherwise all Christians would be obliged to murder non-believers and conquer their lands, "with the Lord our God on our side." But in their time, which is practically alien to our own, these stories carried powerful meaning in a world where might made right. Why are these in Scripture, then? One reason is probably because understanding the world of the Old Testament is extremely important for understanding the world of the New Testament. As a final note, in the U.S. Episcopal tradition, readings of Scripture during services usually end with "The Word of the Lord." But that's kinda hard to stomach when the "word" is "genocide." I much prefer the way the Anglican Church in New Zealand does it: "Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church."

Right, now I'm out of here, since this is too far off topic - I don't want to detract from Jedi Stuff™. But like I said, you're welcome to PM me! All the best.
The topic has been locked.
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
06 Jan 2016 21:02 #219602 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by
I admittedly have skimmed some of the longer posts here but I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet or not. Have you read our doctrine page?

While we all may have different interpretations of Jediism and it's doctrine it does actually have one. It might be a useful place to start and then ask questions about specific parts of that. Right now you're asking for a description of something that is, first of all, very vague and, secondly, is very difficult to define if it's even possible at all. Perhaps looking through that can answer some questions or at least give you more specific questions to get answers to.
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
06 Jan 2016 21:17 #219607 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Senan wrote: Required by who? Agreed upon by who? Christians have a commandment prohibiting murder, and yet went on crusades. Definitions, meanings and agreements certainly change over time. Jedi understand that. If I am to accept your definition of "Christian" being the one from thousands of years ago for the sake of this conversation, would you not then be expected to accept my definition of Jedi as I define it today?


It was agreed upon by Christians for almost 1500 years. Words need definitions otherwise they serve no purpose but terrible signs directing people to nowhere.

Senan wrote: I am a Jedi and I profess my belief in the Force. The Doctrine does not demand a definition in defense of my belief. It simply demands that I have one.


No, but by having something so fundamental, especially making it a proper noun such as "The Force" without defining it is absurd to say the least.

Senan wrote: Are we not allowed to see the Force as a reality? Are we not allowed to consider the Bible a collection of mythology?


Of course you are, I just want to know what you mean by it.

Senan wrote: Am I to accept the story of Noah's Ark as truth because all Christians "have to"? I'm sensing a double standard being applied here.


The Nicene Creed says nothing about the Bible as literal history. Jediism however says nothing about "The Force" at all.

Senan wrote: What is a cupcake? I can give you a dictionary definition if you'd like, but it will pale in comparison to actually eating one yourself. Be at peace, and you'll know. Have your peace disturbed, and you'll know. Or maybe you won't.


I just ask because I want to know what you mean by it so we can have a clear conversation.

Senan wrote: We're right back to defining terms rather than seeking truth. To say that I don't believe Jediism is a religion is to say that my definition of religion is the same as yours.


Governments have agreed upon definition and none of them except the US allow Jediism to be counted as a religion. The US only allows this because its liberty philosophy allows anyone to define themselves in any way they wish, even if it makes no sense.

Senan wrote: If you want to rely on dictionary definitions, we certainly can


No, just your definition would be nice.

Senan wrote: This is a great question for you to explore for yourself, just as many of us do every day in this Temple. :)


So why then doesn't anyone wish to explain what they mean by their own claims? Why is this so difficult?

Adi Vas wrote: (entire post)


I'll discuss this with you later via PM

Goken wrote: While we all may have different interpretations of Jediism and it's doctrine it does actually have one. It might be a useful place to start and then ask questions about specific parts of that. Right now you're asking for a description of something that is, first of all, very vague and, secondly, is very difficult to define if it's even possible at all. Perhaps looking through that can answer some questions or at least give you more specific questions to get answers to


I have read it and by almost every definition of religion except the most modern and loosely defined ones set by individuals themselves, it isn't a religion and raises more questions than answers.
The topic has been locked.
More
06 Jan 2016 21:17 #219608 by Loudzoo
Thanks Goken - that has reminded me of something else that might help here.

Reneza - if the terminology of our actual Doctrine is impenetrable - try this - it won't help with the definitions much but it communicates the spirit of what we're about very well, in my opinion.

https://www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/47-Journals/105619-book-of-proteus-personal-log?start=47

The Librarian
Knight of TOTJO: Initiate Journal , Apprentice Journal , Knight Journal , Loudzoo's Scrapbook
TM: Proteus
Knighted Apprentices: Tellahane , Skryym
Apprentices: Squint , REBender
Master's Thesis: The Jedi Book of Life
If peace cannot be maintained with honour, it is no longer peace . . .
The following user(s) said Thank You:
The topic has been locked.
Moderators: ZerokevlarVerheilenChaotishRabeRiniTavi