OGDEN's BASIC ENGLISH
Basic English and Religion
Basic English attempts to simplify and remove redundancy as an international
second language. By judicious selection of words, the concepts found in a pocket dictionary
can be expressed with only 850 English words.
In simple truth, much of religious language and terminology is intentionally divisive.
These uses developed during ages when religion was involved in tribal identity, confrontation and conflict.
The continued use of divisive language is not called for in the modern era. Basic English tryst to find
a common expression using simple, general words. The use of common expressions
for religious concepts calls attention to the features common in all religion. This common usage of shared relationships is desirable to understanding. Understanding leads to a sharing of togetherness which is valuable in encouraging cooperation.
- Father of all is the term for the divine deity as God, Jehovah, Lord, Allah, Great Spirit, ...
- House for worship expresses the sacred building in an more inclusive manor than the separate and exclusive words of synagogue, church, mosque, temple, et al.
Specific buildings are called by their proper names in English form, ie. Cathedral of Notre Dame,
Mormon Tabernacle at Salt Lake City.
- Head of religion suffices for rabbi, priest, minister, imam, medicine man, ...
Degrees of authority with distinctive titles as allowed in Basic English and as is
customary within any organization and much the way that Mayor, Governor, President
defines a hierarchy within head of government.
- Book of Beliefs or just The Book describes the Testament, Torah, Bible, Koran, ...
Once the inclusive expressions are used, the divisive nature of
separate words for the same things simply disappears. This encourages inclusiveness,
discourages a "we are difference" tribalism, and mitigates against
Take for example, "There is but one God, Allah." This expression
reduces to essentially, "God is God". This is a logical identity, a redundancy,
and is not necessary or useful. There is no reason to
differentiate the one and only god of a religion group
from other tribal gods. Muslims, Christians, and Jews are said to share the same God.
The expression God is God might be expressed as "God is" or "God exists" as a profession of faith, yet even this is unnecessary among believers .
Yet, this meaningless greeting can be taken as intentionally annoying, insulting, and certainly divisive towards others. It is likely that each religious authority will encourage
its members to adopt an uplifting greeting rather than an antagonistic slogan.
Prophet is defined in Basic as a "Great teacher from God" .
"Religious act" refers to a sacrament, ceremony, ritual, ...
Prayer is a "Request of God" .
Ogden developed Basic English for international application of sciences, industry and commerce.
The language is suitable for all applications but societal subjects
were deferred. Yet a special wordlist was created for translation of
"The Bible in Basic English", 1946. To participate in an expansion of Basic into other
essential areas including religion, see Basic English Needs.
Link : Thoughts on Words for Religion in Basic English
About this Page: Religion.html -- A universal language can
lead to greater religious understanding. Ogden was intentionally
non-confrontational with Basic English. He did espouse Basic for
its benefits towards Peace, Understanding, ... If he lived today,
we can be sure he would mention the advantages offered by Basic
in a world where religion has become an issue of vital international interest.
Created on January 31, 2002
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