How to Choose a Religion VII: Old Religions, New Religions

What is the difference between older religions and newer religions? Ever since I posted the previous essay in this series, Languages of Spirit, I’ve had a surprising number of page hits from people putting this question into Google. I don’t know — maybe some professor somewhere issued this as a question for a take-home test,…

How to Choose a Religion VI: Languages of Spirit

In this post I’d like to start exploring religion from a different perspective, using language as a metaphor. I’ve been pulling together my thoughts on this for a couple of months now, and I’ve found that looking at religion in this way resolves the fundamental issues I talked about in my last post on this…

How to Choose a Religion V: the Search for Truth

The following story is absolutely true. God and Terror in the Mountains A friend of mine once worked for private detective agency. She took the job on a temporary basis, just to make a little extra money on the side. She didn’t sign up for any of the dangerous work; mostly she would just watch…

How to Choose a Religion IV: Common Pitfalls: Community, Fear

If you read the summary of this series available at Shift Your Spirits, you saw the list of ways you should not choose your religion: DON’T choose your religion based on details like food. A ritual is participatory drama. If the drama speaks to you, resonates with you, it’s a good ritual. If it provides…

How to Choose a Religion III: Why Be Religious?

Why choose a religion? This post is addressed to agnostics — those who haven’t decided what they believe, or who have decided not to decide. If you believe strongly that there is no God, or that science is the ultimate answer, then I count that as a religion too (see this post for why). But…

How to Choose a Religion II: Definition of Religion

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of choosing a religion, we have to do some groundwork. Three issues deserve some thought: 1. What is a religion? 2. Why would you want to have one? 3. Pitfalls to avoid before you start looking.

How to Choose a Religion I: Intro

This is the first of a series on how to choose a religion. It’s a remarkable age we live in. At any time prior to this in human history, your religion was chosen for you. Your religion was simply the common knowledge of your tribe. Everything your tribe thought it knew about the universe was…