(alchimiste) do you think that rules are mostly rational or that thye are form of religion?
Always nice to be on Page 1 of that which will become a 50 pager ... I attended an interesting mass this weekend at the Church of the Sartorial Excellence. The mass was so compelling, I remained for almost 20 hours. I listened with intensity to the parishioners, many of whom, as I, were so enthralled that they spent many hours at the altar. There can be no question, no doubt, not even a whisper, but that the rules you cite are a religion. Those who followed the rules of the church were elevated to the highest of stature. Those who sinned were summarily excommunicated by their fellow parishioners. And in a strong diversion from those who know me well that soliloquy, humorous as some might consider it, is said with the greatest seriousness I can muster.
(Manton) That said, taken as a whole, we may say that the rules are largely irrational, both because the irrational rules probably outnumber the rational ones, and because the presence of any significant irrational parts of a thing inevitably detracts from the rationality of the whole.
I am not sure, after a 20 hour mass, whether I am sufficiently rational to determine whether the statement is, or is not, rational. However, this I do know: Religion - that of the organized type - is comprised of the teachings which have become beliefs which have become teachings - some of which came from folk lore and others of which derived from rational deduction or personal witness. Various facets of a religion may be rational; many certainly are not. And so go "the rules". Some perhaps rational; others not. None of which alters in any way the fact
that, to they who adamantly believe, those rules constitute a religion. I have carefully avoided citing rational and non-rational religious tenets in an effort to keep the thread from becoming embroiled in controversy over the basis of the various beliefs of the many organized religions. Perhaps that spirit might be contagious lest we be relegated to the dustbin of The General Conversation Forum?