Notices
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Is a religion truly a religion if it has no creation myth?

  1. #1 Is a religion truly a religion if it has no creation myth? 
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    I've been studying Odinism a lot lately (as you may notice this is my third thread about it.) One of its striking features is that it has no creation myth for the universe. There is a myth about the formation of the Earth from the corpse of a slain giant, but there's no statement at all about the origin of the rest of the universe.

    Odinists don't actually believe that their gods created the universe. Nor do they believe that their pantheon is collectively able to exercise full control over reality. Indeed their gods often deal with other pantheons such as the Vanir, and fire and frost giants who fight with them, and the fire giants will ultimately defeat them at Ragnarok.

    The gods of Odinism are atheist as to the existence of any higher power than themselves, and teach their followers that the universe came about with no creator (it just is). They accept the existence of Jaweh as a literal being, but claim that Jaweh is just another entity like them, except that he's a dishonest god who has lied about a great many things to his own followers.


    So I'm just wondering...... isn't all this still athiesm? Just atheism with powerful aliens?


    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,370
    I think what we understand about religion is being redifined all the the time from what we learn from science, it is only the actual believers of these religions whose veiws are not influenced by science. Usually we consider certain religions having more credibility than on others by how likely we feel that they are possible again this is driven by our understanding learned from science.

    The point being though, that no matter how unlikely the rest of us may feel about a particular religion if it has followers they could well believe every word of it literaly. Now whether to us something actually is a religion is pretty much irrelevant it is the belief of it's followers that give it it's status.
    If they believe it a religion then to them it is. So really regardless of our own veiws and feelings we have to go with this veiwpoint of it's followers if we are to really understand the effect it has or it's purpose.


    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    722
    Buddhism has no creation myth either.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,225
    You're just being a bit restricted by your familiarity with religious concepts based on monotheism where that single all-powerful god controls absolutely everything, including creation.

    Many pagan, animist and pantheist religious systems don't worry at all about creation - just as they don't have any concept of a "supreme being".
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,309
    There is a myth about the formation of the Earth from the corpse of a slain giant, but there's no statement at all about the origin of the rest of the universe.
    what "rest" of the universe? Even Christianity didn't really have much of a concept of anything other than the earth until a few centuries ago.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    The Holy Land is everywhere Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,849
    So I'm just wondering...... isn't all this still athiesm? Just atheism with powerful aliens?
    Which would make it one of the atheistic religions.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    It depends on your definition of 'religion'. The Oxford definition is :

    noun

    [mass noun]
    • the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion
    • [count noun] a particular system of faith and worship: the world’s great religions
    • [count noun] a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion: consumerism is the new religion



      I suspect that the term "atheistic religion" is something of an oxymoron, since atheism and religion are opposites. Since Odinism is definitely a religion, I doubt you could call it atheistic.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    715
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I've been studying Odinism a lot lately (as you may notice this is my third thread about it.) One of its striking features is that it has no creation myth for the universe. There is a myth about the formation of the Earth from the corpse of a slain giant, but there's no statement at all about the origin of the rest of the universe.
    At the time the Scandinavian myths were formed there was no known universe there was only Earth.
    Were they to speak of the universe that would prove time travel.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,546
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I've been studying Odinism a lot lately (as you may notice this is my third thread about it.) One of its striking features is that it has no creation myth for the universe. There is a myth about the formation of the Earth from the corpse of a slain giant, but there's no statement at all about the origin of the rest of the universe.

    Odinists don't actually believe that their gods created the universe. Nor do they believe that their pantheon is collectively able to exercise full control over reality. Indeed their gods often deal with other pantheons such as the Vanir, and fire and frost giants who fight with them, and the fire giants will ultimately defeat them at Ragnarok.

    The gods of Odinism are atheist as to the existence of any higher power than themselves, and teach their followers that the universe came about with no creator (it just is). They accept the existence of Jaweh as a literal being, but claim that Jaweh is just another entity like them, except that he's a dishonest god who has lied about a great many things to his own followers.


    So I'm just wondering...... isn't all this still athiesm? Just atheism with powerful aliens?
    It is certainly feasible, but unlikely so when compared with the fact that humans can make anything up and then other humans believe the story with ease. That one seems more probable. The whole problem with gods and religion is that as science develops, religious claims get more and more absurd, and so a revisioned viewpoint is established to which the cycle repeats until any superstitious belief gets closer and closer to the science of the current day, thus religion ends up not being religion anymore but seems more like mumbo jumbo. The Catholic church for instance openly accept evolution now and also say that Adam and Eve story was not true. So what's next?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    89
    I really don't think the incorporation of a creation myth is what makes a religion. I am pretty sure most religions in existence never had creation myths but is more based around interacting with supernatural agents in some fashion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    592
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    It depends on your definition of 'religion'. The Oxford definition is :

    noun

    [mass noun]
    • the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion
    • [count noun] a particular system of faith and worship: the worlds great religions
    • [count noun] a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion: consumerism is the new religion



      I suspect that the term "atheistic religion" is something of an oxymoron, since atheism and religion are opposites. Since Odinism is definitely a religion, I doubt you could call it atheistic.
    Not necessarily true. Atheism is against the idea of gods or G-d, not religion. You could absolutely be an atheistic religious person. There are many. Hinduism, for example, is so varied that its branches range from polytheism, (most common,) to monotheism, to atheism. So unless you are saying branches of Hinduism aren't a religion, no, atheism isn't anti-religion.

    While we are on the topic of Hinduism, this passage from the Rig Vedas seems appropriate.

    "Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
    The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    Sow

    If you were to go onto one of the many atheist forums and post that argument, you would be shouted down. Atheists are generally vehement that they have no religion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    592
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Sow

    If you were to go onto one of the many atheist forums and post that argument, you would be shouted down. Atheists are generally vehement that they have no religion.
    My argument is not that atheism is itself a religion. My point is that it is not incompatible with religion. I wouldn't join a forum focused on atheism, anyway.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Every religion I have ever heard of has some kind of creation myth.
    I suppose it is kind of hard to avoid it because the question of where we came from, how it all started, is a big question and religion needs to answer questions like those to justify itself.

    Edit: after reading what I was posting I realized I said it wrong.
    Buddhism sidesteps the issue by saying the questions are unanswerable and meaningless. In their writings they actually give a list of meaningless questions. Depending on the texts you read there are either 10, or 14, or 16 such questions.
    http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/...avyaakata.html
    Last edited by dan hunter; September 13th, 2014 at 11:56 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,169
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I wouldn't join a forum focused on atheism, anyway.
    I don't believe forums focused on atheism exist. They are not mentioned in the Bible.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Religion is here but i'm okay with it
    By organic god in forum Scientific Study of Religion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: April 3rd, 2009, 05:01 PM
  2. What`s my religion?...
    By Hanuka in forum Scientific Study of Religion
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: July 2nd, 2008, 07:50 PM
  3. What is religion?
    By The P-manator in forum Scientific Study of Religion
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: November 16th, 2006, 08:38 AM
  4. -EDIT- The meaning in religion. was The meaning of religion?
    By DaBOB in forum Scientific Study of Religion
    Replies: 84
    Last Post: July 31st, 2006, 01:50 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •