heart wrote:And if you recommend listening to a great Dzogchen teachers webcast to a friend you are being religious? Some of the ways religion is defined by science, there is no universally accepted definition so far, would without doubt cover the DC for example. Saying "I don't believe in religion, it is evil" could very easy qualify as a religion also.
Yes, but what's exactly your point?
I've got an impression that you're trying to tell us that our talk about religion is both meaningless and wrong at the same time.
Yes, 'religion' is an abstract noun, i.e., a perfectly empty signifier which, as we know in those po-mo times of ours, can be used to point towards anything, everything and nothing. That doesn't mean, however, that the sentence 'spirituality doesn't equal religion' is both meaningless and wrong. It is meaningless if you don't disambiguate it. To state that it's wrong (or right) you must not only at least provisionally disambiguate it first, but also be convinced that the disambiguation effort was successful.
Also, Malcolm, underthetree and me, we've all trimmed down the scope of the word 'religion' here; if you think of my usage of 'religion' for instance, mere 'saying "I don't believe in religion, it is evil"' could not 'very easily qualify as a religion also'. So it's not that we're relying of an unspecified concept in order to prove our point - and if you want to understand what your interlocutor is trying to say, I guess you ought to provisionally accept her or his understanding of the keyword. Another route would be to persuade them to drop that understanding, of course.
heart wrote:Some of the ways religion is defined... would without doubt cover the DC for example.
Which was what Malcolm was implying, wasn't it? It's practitioners who transform the Dharma into a religion, after all. The DC people can, and certainly at times do, mess things up - and why wouldn't they? They're just sentient beings, after all. Every sangha has a potential to become just a religious institution.
More than that, I'm quite convinced that most if not all of us will at least at times be greatly tempted to replace the plain real thing with a baroque fake. Ah, the comfort that religious identities promise...