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Freemasonry AS religion?

Winter

Premium Member
An excellent article at The Midnight Freemason today. I have often wondered if we maintained the stance that Freemasonry is not a substitute for organized religion for the sole purpose of not presenting a threat to those religions. So we would not be seen as competition. But how many of us know fellow Brothers whose only religious type of observance is in the Lodge? Does the Lodge function as a church for some Brothers even if they don't admit it out loud?

http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2021/08/is-lodge-my-church.html?m=1

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MarkR

Premium Member
Freemasonry has no dogma, doesn't tell you what is a sin and what isn't, doesn't prescribe a path to salvation. So it doesn't meet the definition of a religion. But I remember when Brother Ernest Borgnine said "Freemasonry is all the religion I need." I fully understood what he was saying. It provides the fellowship, sacred space, and introspection that religion, at its best, does.

So, in my opinion, it's not a religion, but it can be a religion substitute for some people.
 

Winter

Premium Member
Freemasonry has no dogma, doesn't tell you what is a sin and what isn't, doesn't prescribe a path to salvation. So it doesn't meet the definition of a religion. But I remember when Brother Ernest Borgnine said "Freemasonry is all the religion I need." I fully understood what he was saying. It provides the fellowship, sacred space, and introspection that religion, at its best, does.

So, in my opinion, it's not a religion, but it can be a religion substitute for some people.

That's the thing. The actual definition of religion contains none of those elements.

re·li·gion, /rəˈlijən/, noun, the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

the Christian view of sin isn't found in every religion. Neither is their view of salvation. Religion is merely whatever way a person connects to deity. I can see how we have come to the conclusion that it doesn't meet the basic requirements of a religion as we look at it through the lens of the Abrahamic faiths that the majority of Masons belong to. But the fact is, we don't have a monopoly on what constitutes religion.
 

coachn

Coach John S. Nagy
Premium Member
The problem
is Trivial Ignorance.

There's a huge difference between
being religious
and being a religion.

Of course,
if more people studied the Trivium,
this would not be a problem.​
 

Winter

Premium Member
The problem
is Trivial Ignorance.

There's a huge difference between
being religious
and being a religion.

Of course,
if more people studied the Trivium,
this would not be a problem.​
Religion vs religious sounds like many of the Deism conversations ive had. And I agree on theack of education of the trivium as well as the quadrivium.

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Manwell

Registered User
That's the thing. The actual definition of religion contains none of those elements.

re·li·gion, /rəˈlijən/, noun, the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

the Christian view of sin isn't found in every religion. Neither is their view of salvation. Religion is merely whatever way a person connects to deity. I can see how we have come to the conclusion that it doesn't meet the basic requirements of a religion as we look at it through the lens of the Abrahamic faiths that the majority of Masons belong to. But the fact is, we don't have a monopoly on what constitutes religion.
When it comes to comprehending the meaning of words, the best guide I've found is to study the etymology of them and apply that in context. Religion breaks down into Re - to do again and again, -lig- meaning to bind, and -ion as a suffix means the action of. In this context, Religion means the action of binding again and again to a doctrine, which is a belief system. In that meaning or definition of religion, they are literally everywhere. Most sciences and professions today are religions because they don't tolerate thinking outside the square of their doctrines, or sacred cows. Particularly the more academic ones.
 

Elexir

Registered User
When it comes to comprehending the meaning of words, the best guide I've found is to study the etymology of them and apply that in context. Religion breaks down into Re - to do again and again, -lig- meaning to bind, and -ion as a suffix means the action of. In this context, Religion means the action of binding again and again to a doctrine, which is a belief system. In that meaning or definition of religion, they are literally everywhere. Most sciences and professions today are religions because they don't tolerate thinking outside the square of their doctrines, or sacred cows. Particularly the more academic ones.

There are not that many sacred cows in science but rather fundamental principles wich has yet fully been demolished. Scientist do tend to critique each other and that is something that is being taught at an early stage.

The problem has in my opinion more to do with the fact that the scientific approach is a bit counterintuitive and takes some time getting used to.
 

Manwell

Registered User
I'd be interested to learn how the "scientific approach" works Elexir. Are you speaking from first hand experience?
 

Elexir

Registered User
I'd be interested to learn how the "scientific approach" works Elexir. Are you speaking from first hand experience?
Speaking from first hand experience with the field of computer science/informatics as well as studying academic texts in various fields

It's based upon the base stages of: observe a phenomenon/problem, do background research, formulate a hypothesis, test your hypothesis and from there analyze your data and present it. How the different steps are done depends on the field itself.

The thing is that scientist tend to spot problems with reaserch done by other scientists and will in that case see if they truly can do it better wich means that science is evolving in its own fashion and things that don't stand the scrutiny fall out of "style".

Something to also take into account is that scientists don't always agree with each other wich tends to lead to a debate on wich is the better one so to speak.
 

Winter

Premium Member
A quick Google search of 'scientific method and religion' and I know have plenty of reading for this evening!
 

Manwell

Registered User
Speaking from first hand experience with the field of computer science/informatics as well as studying academic texts in various fields

It's based upon the base stages of: observe a phenomenon/problem, do background research, formulate a hypothesis, test your hypothesis and from there analyze your data and present it. How the different steps are done depends on the field itself.

The thing is that scientist tend to spot problems with reaserch done by other scientists and will in that case see if they truly can do it better wich means that science is evolving in its own fashion and things that don't stand the scrutiny fall out of "style".

Something to also take into account is that scientists don't always agree with each other wich tends to lead to a debate on wich is the better one so to speak.
Thanks for that concise summary, Elexir. As I see it, the fundamental problem with how science works nowadays is that it invariably focuses on a phenomenon/problem in isolation - in other words - by excluding a myriad of factors that are outside the scope of inquiry. In that context, if other scientists are similarly restricted when considering the subject, it would be likely that a number of possibilities could be presented to explain what happens and why, but don't account for the "bigger picture" outside that scope, and couldn't possibly account for the biggest picture that accounts for all factors in "the grand scheme of things". From your experience, does that seem a valid point?
 

Elexir

Registered User
Thanks for that concise summary, Elexir. As I see it, the fundamental problem with how science works nowadays is that it invariably focuses on a phenomenon/problem in isolation - in other words - by excluding a myriad of factors that are outside the scope of inquiry. In that context, if other scientists are similarly restricted when considering the subject, it would be likely that a number of possibilities could be presented to explain what happens and why, but don't account for the "bigger picture" outside that scope, and couldn't possibly account for the biggest picture that accounts for all factors in "the grand scheme of things". From your experience, does that seem a valid point?

In a way yes but with that said it is more complex as when people can prove that the scope of one science is lacking the bigger picture another field is born wich incorporates a bigger picture.
With that said there is a need to exclude certain factors in certain context.
For example when trying to develop a new building material the question of whether there is god or not or what the meaning of life is.
 

Manwell

Registered User
Thanks for that considered reply, Elexir. The fundamental problem with fields of science is that they specialize in their field, and are discouraged from venturing into "foreign" territory, which includes bigger picture realms such as "Is this necessary?", "What are the flow on effects of developing a new building material?", "Is this sustainable in environmental terms, moral terms, or social terms?" Would you agree that's why there's a need to exclude those factors? After all, if science thought outside their square, would there be any incentive to develop anything new, which is the force driving all science?
 

Elexir

Registered User
Thanks for that considered reply, Elexir. The fundamental problem with fields of science is that they specialize in their field, and are discouraged from venturing into "foreign" territory, which includes bigger picture realms such as "Is this necessary?", "What are the flow on effects of developing a new building material?", "Is this sustainable in environmental terms, moral terms, or social terms?" Would you agree that's why there's a need to exclude those factors? After all, if science thought outside their square, would there be any incentive to develop anything new, which is the force driving all science?

When it comes to sustainable materials/technology in general there is a push from companies and the public to develop it.
Here in Sweden the government is deeply involved in reaserch that is being done on how to develop an environmental friendly way to make steel for example.

Science continues to develop because there is A) a scientist wich has a new perspective and can provide a proven way forward or B) Companies or governments need something.

The thing is also that it's impossible to take every single factor into account every time and there is always a tradeoff wich need to be done at one point or another.

An example is AI where the discussion regarding the pros and cons of using it is actually pretty good and include the ethics.
 

Brother_Steve

Premium Member
In order to approach freemasonry as a religion, you would already have had to have been exposed to religion in one form or another.

Even then, the lodge would remind you of your faith to said religion. It wouldn’t replace your religion.
 

Winter

Premium Member
In order to approach freemasonry as a religion, you would already have had to have been exposed to religion in one form or another.

Even then, the lodge would remind you of your faith to said religion. It wouldn’t replace your religion.
That would imply that a person is not permitted to change religions in their life. People grow and change and sometimes the religion they are raised with no longer makes sense to them any longer so they look for answers elsewhere.

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