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May 18, 2007


Stephen Downes

> it lacks an afterlife, any deities, and is unconcerned with spiritual matters such as the nature of the soul.

That may make it different from Christianity. But it certainly does not prevent it from being a religion. Not all religions require an afterlife or a soul.

Confucianism is widely thought of as a religion, taught as one, and recognized as one. It is inaccurate to suggest that it might not be.

Graham Glass

Hi Stephen,

From wikipedia: "Although Confucianism is often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, arguments continue over whether it is a religion."

The definition of religion sometimes includes simply a code of ethics that does not involve any supernatural force:

From wikipedia: "Religion—sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system—is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices and institutions associated with such belief."

However, if I told someone that I randomly met that I was religious, 99.99% of people assume that I believed in some kind of God.

So even though Confucianism is a religion based on the broadest definition, it's not a religion based on how most people understand the term.


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