Helping Webster’s New World College Dictionary keep its place in the 21st century…This expands its 2nd definition and updates the 3rd definition as given in the Oxford Kindle Dictionary:

 Religion — “…a set of beliefs that explains what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things that human beings should spend their time doing.”

–from Tim Keller, The Reason for God (Dutton, 2008) ch.1 [smy addition]

Why such a modification of, perhaps, the obvious?   Time for the DOOR.  


Two reasons to help Webster’s and Oxford out:

(1)  Most definitions say, or imply, that religion includes belief in God, the “divine,” or the supernatural.  But this leaves leaves many folks out.  For example, in Zen Buddhism there is no belief in God.  In Hinduism there’s no belief in the supernatural.

(2)  This provides easy and proper room for those who believe in Materialism.  A materialist believes that the material universe is all that exists, or as several have put it, “all that is, was, and ever will be.”  Believing, and advocating that there is no God is no less an act of faith as is believing in an invisible God.

Keller states what reason demands:  “Some think this material world is all there is, that we are here by accident and when we die we just rot, and therefore the important thing is to choose to do what makes you happy and not let others impose their beliefs on you.  Note that though this is not an explicit, “organized” religion, it contains a master narrative [emphasis mine], an account about the meaning of life along with a recommendation for how to live based on that account of things.”

[much wording from Keller…]

[Later Addendum below]

(3) The “voice” of science puts its credibility in question when it makes demands (instead of theories) that leap beyond the evidence.

(4) If my bothers you, scrub out the color. I have a reason, but it doesn’t matter much here.