David N. Snyder wrote:There are many different versions of what is a religion, but the one I like is:
a belief in any one or more of the following:
1. A belief in a supreme being God or in gods, worthy of worship or veneration
2. Belief that there are sacred things, objects, places, or writings set apart from other mundane things and writings
3. Belief in some kind of post-mortem continuation, heaven, hell, reincarnation, or rebirth
Buddhism, oops I mean The Dhamma meets all of the above. There is no creator-God, but there are devas (1), there is the Pali Canon, pilgrimage (2), and there is rebirth (3).
so, you are saying that the Dhamma may be religion for whoever is not a sotapanna yet, not so after that. In your definition, first thing I would replace the word "belief" by "dogma" and still consider the teaching of the Buddha as something quite different from all rest, since it is entirely non-dogmatic (the Dhamma is sanditthiko visible here and now, akaliko - immediately testable, paccattam veditabbo viññuhi - VERIFIABLE by the wise for themselves). To me, considering his teaching a just another religion is greatly depreciating it, as Goenka says. And to me, this is the very reason why there were no Buddha statues in ancient times.
I would rather define a religion as "a social organisation based on a set of unverified dogmas that regards itself as the supreme moral and spiritual authority".
David N. Snyder wrote:Follower of the Dhamma, Buddhist, etc. "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
Call it whatever you like, but it is Buddhism.
Well, there IS a difference between considering it as a religion and considering it simply as the pragmatic way to end suffering. one example is that in the former case, people get attached to rites and rituals, not in the latter. I will post an illustrating story about the "religious feeling" that happened to me later.
m0rl0ck wrote:Religions are make beleive and myth and the dhamma is about reality.
I would rather refer to the concept of dogma vs verifiability, again.
m0rl0ck wrote:Imo if people need to feel holy they should go somewhere else.
I wouldn't go to that far though. If you read the definition of the sangha, it does somehow state that its members are kind of holy, as they are worthy of gifts and respectful salutations.