First of all good topic
- What does the _concept_ of religion mean to you personally?
An institute of rites and ritual aimed at reaching or pleasing something metaphysical coming from conditioning, wish thinking, false concept of morals or false concept of conditionality and so, for the most part, superstitious in nature. Something that for the most part is removed from this world and focuses on something beyond. I see it as a set of beliefs that have no inherent meaning anymore other than having the ability to comfort ( and inspire art and poetry etc). Something that stands at odds with how we think, an offering of an extraordinary "truth" but offering no evidence in support and so a system of non-thinking
How does the _idea_ of religion itself make you feel?
To me personally religion means nothing. I dont hate or like religion it just doesnt have any inherent meaning to me, like football . I do feel sad for people though when i see them being twisted by absurd dogma or when that religious dogma turns evil and begins to cost lives
- How familiar are you with the history and origin of the idea of religion (the concept, not the phenomenon)?
I did write a paragraph here but realized that it was all speculation and guess work. I dont think we can know what concept our ancestors had, if they had the concept of religion as we have or not
- Why do you choose to engage with Buddhism as a religion rather than just as a body of valuable wisdom and practices?
I dont, to me it is valuable wisdom and practice
- For you personally, what elements of Buddhism need to be viewed through the lens of "religion"?
- Is meditation inherently a religious activity?
- Is lovingkindness inherently a religious activity?
- Is generosity inherently a religious activity?
- Is compassion inherently a religious activity?
- Is death contemplation inherently a religious activity?
- Is a religious perspective necessary to understand and practice sila?
- Is a religious perspective necessary to understand kamma?
I dont know all there is about kamma but i say no
- Is the experience of clarity (both incremental and ultimate) a religious experience?
- Are the various mind-states (or stages) encountered throughout our meditation practice religious experiences?
- If you hold a belief in rebirth: Is a religious perspective necessary in order to have a positive rebirth experience upon death of the body?