First Things First
(still a draft, to be continued shortly)
Amputation is inevitable
The patient is losing his limb to gangrene. Amputation is inevitable. The doctor has it done.
A few months later, the patient sues the doctor for he is responsible for patient's loss of the limb.
Conclusion 2: When judging an action, look for possible necessities for it. In this case, ends justify means as nothing is lost via the means (amputation), except already gangrenous, whereas the ends bring benefit.
Conclusion 3: The patient is logical in his arguments! Unfortunately, being logical is not enough (contrary to everyday claims, such as: "Please, be logical!", "Let us logically decompose the argument.", "To defy logic" , etc…; see also Logico-Empirical chains)
Understanding the problem of Death and acting upon that understanding is that painful amputation needed to remove gangrenous delusions about life in order to lead a logically congruent and empirically solid existence.
It is no longer belief
Once the patient knows their diagnosis, they no longer believe, but face the truth. Once one faces the truth, they only have a choice: submit to it or continue as if ignorant of it. One can no longer justify the actions by saying: "I believe it is true." It is gangrenous, you know it is. So the choice is yours!
(See also below, when the patient knows not their diagnosis)
Religion enters the stage
Imagine you are reading a Scripture, your friend passes by and looks at you with wide open eyes, perplexed by the surrealism of the scene, almost smiling inside at the simpleton-friend of his who somehow evaded the achievements of science and the world of high-tech joys, childish ancient fairy tale lover become you in his eyes, he portrays you praying to a white-bearded gentleman somewhere on a cloud, observing cumbersome rituals that lead to neither profit nor bodily pleasures, so his ego cannot resist to remark: "What are you doing? And why???"
We started our Tutorial on Death using purely empirical evidence, we continued by necessity arguments and arrived at beliefs. Many people would start justifying beliefs with other beliefs only to multiply the arguments. First things first!
What we came to know during this exercise is that if you are concerned with problems of death and life, you are probably the most sane human being out there, because you ask questions about the existence itself, before asking Google about the top 10 places to visit before you die. So, the question "WHY" should be addressed to those strange aliens walking on the street, constantly distracted in their gadgets, and having no clue, although all necessary intellectual instruments to understand the problem are given to all of them. First things first!
Empirically, it seems that only that vast realm we call religion and spirituality deals somewhat consistently with Death. Indeed, what else in those vast prairies of knowledge is but concerned with life and death together. Thus, as far as these pages are concerned, religion will be defined as one dealing with the problem of Death necessarily. First things first!
And as a consequence of this necessity, it follows that religion must be conjugate to beliefs associated with things after death (or after life), which is indeed the case normally (thus, reinforcing the veracity of our definition). We know that tradition, spirituality, law, culture are typical lexicon one expects to describe religions. On contrary, we dare to postulate the very first value of any true religion: Invariably, religion is what we invoke when we want to appreciate death, life, after-life, and beliefs. First things first!
False start when criticizing religion
Perhaps, due to this perceived understanding of religions in established terms, the critics of religion stumble time and time again upon the very same issue: They start their polemic around things secondary to the main problem.
If religion solves the first problem to be solved, why to criticize the particulars. Specially, when you cannot come up with a better alternative of the solution.
They see the dots that sometimes fall off the area of their understanding (or shall we say desires?), but fail to realize that the dots are but the tips of the branches all connecting down to the trunk. Because they see the crown in aerial view over a plane, the branches appear to be randomly scattered depending on the surrounding and conditions of the country, but the tree has a 3D structure with the trunk solid and rooted firmly in one place.
By cutting the branches, they believe to uproot the tree, and this is only an illusion.
In the vast prairies of former communist countries where atheism was spread widely, appeared a movement that is genuinely concerned with Life & Death. They are troubled by the fact that everything goes blank with death for an individual (Sheer Void). Luckily, there is this thing called Evolutionism that postulates that everything is developing and improving. So we are just cogs and wheels in this huge machinery of Evolution and when we die we have served our purpose for the best of the world that continues to evolve after us to some distant but surely worthy goal.
What is problematic with this reasoning? Even after death, it still connects you with this life we all know. You believe you are gone and blank, so nothing in this life will be of any concern to you whatsoever, because there is no you! It could be, however, a valid purpose in life to contribute to the development of the world while living (be it even with your own genes, as these adherents may believe).
Fake religions will have some of the following attributes regardless of their rhetorical support (Evolution, Scientism, Humanism, Radicalism…):
- They negate the fact of death, by mere rejection of the empirical evidence: Some believe they will never die or can live forever, both of which are yet to be shown empirically.
- The aim of their existence is within this life: Death for them is mere nuisance, not an opening or revelation. It brings them to the realisation of an end, but logical incapacity turns them back to life.
- They confuse the purpose in life with the aim of life as defined on these pages (see Purpose-vs-goal) — an easily made confusion, unless the terms are rigorously defined .
Indeed, many common people do one of these mistakes when reasoning about death. But the movements that arise following these mistakes are many too. Beware fake religions!
This type of religions is not even a religion. If you follow your forefathers or anyone from your culture without giving slightest consideration as to why and what for, this is a form of nationalism/patriotism and ultimately a doomed thing to do.
Verily, if you think that your culture (nation, race, village, community, ideology or anything like that) is superior to all others, think about all other cultures (nations, races, villages, ideologies or anything like that) that thought likewise in history or continue to think elsewhere on the planet. Their claim is exactly like yours. If they claim the same and do not understand the superiority of your culture (that is, no doubt, best for you), what makes you think you are not falling into the same trap by not understanding them?
Starting wrong is in our culture
We call it professionalism. It is that professionalism that is instilled in our hearts during our upbringing with the aim of getting a career. Everything in the society is made to promote this highly tailored set of skills facilitating economical progress of a sort. The most gifted with skills get all the rewards (Nobel prize, Knighting and Sir-ing etc.) and sometimes think they can expand their narrow minded approach beyond the dedicated application area. And Life and Death are just subjects to these expansion efforts.
In itself, the professionalism is not a bad idea, but it is exactly when the application is expanded that we see the wrong tool applied to the problem. The situation is accentuated given the educational system no longer supports skills needed to deal with the problem.
For example, a simpleton who knows basics in logic would spot these ill-attempts easily. The good example is attempts by various professional narrow-minds to define life: "What is Life?" — the book title that floods the shelves of intellectuals. One time you'll find on those pages that Life is about existence of protein-based bodies, some other time that it is a struggle to pass your genes down to your descendants, yet another – a way to satiate your appetites. Some books will tell you about intellectual life, others about artistic. Yet others will tell about life in prison or life in sin, or life on a deserted island, or life of a civilization. So, our simpleton, given the same name the authors give to their subject, may ask "What is the definition of Life, Sir?". Is it that kind of life when we say "Robert, poor soul, had no life at all!" or "Magdalena had a life, full of glory!"?
None of these professionals passes a simple test a common student of a grammar school should be able to conduct. The implications, it seems, are numerous, but they are all too dangerous for the societies to continue this ill-equipped attempts on Life. For one, consider another simpleton who passes by a book of the sort and becomes curious of the subject — it is so interesting to know what the progress has brought in understanding of Life! — only to discover that he is just a collection of cells that eat, excrete, communicate, and sometimes rebel against the body. He may also find that his existence is pointless because passing genes, i.e. having more kids, is not in his plans.
Will he come across another book with the same name but written by an astrophysicist or theatrical critic? Maybe. But certainly, he will exhaust his effort long before he can comprehensively study all of these narrow-minded attempts on Life.
These authors have their desires above everything else! These authors are not social beings! These authors deserve isolation in the dark impenetrable corners of academia!  They are just millers who are distracted by the circumstances (see Miller effect).
Check your world against data
So far we have been discussing the situations when the gangrene of life is appreciated. The patient is already with the doctor knowing his verdict.
What about the patients that have not yet realised their pathology? In this situation, epistemological methods come into play.
The very basic of them all is to check your world view against data. When you enter a train, do you not check the destination? When you enrol in a course, do you not check its objectives? When you buy shoes, do you not fit them first on your feet? When you have problems with your hands, does it not make sense to inquire into them and to ask to see a doctor?
So, why do we not inquire into the most fundamental problem of life with all our effort? Why do we continue to live as we find appropriate when the world around us cries incessantly with data about our inconsistencies.
(P.S. There is always a possibility to choose ignorance at all cost. Not only can you be ignorant of your gangrene, but you could care less about treating it. Study the basic reactions to the gangrene in Four groups by Leo Tolstoy)
Clearly, religion is much-much more than the definitions presented in this study. More yet, I am not even sure we will be using the word "religion" consistently throughout these pages because all religions, true or fake, need to be mentioned and because inventing a new word for our definitions does not seem practical. However, it is important to understand this quality of "true" religions that deals with the most basic necessity of life. It is necessary attribute of all religions, yet far from being sufficient.
Finally, we have yet not said how religion resolves the problem of death, except that it only appreciates all necessary elements involved in the problem: life, death, rational existence, necessity of belief. This, however, requires further studies.
 Strictly speaking, defying logic invalidates an argument as logic is a necessary condition, but having a logical argument does not make it valid, as logic is not a sufficient condition.
 We do not insist on the terms, but on their meaning. Their confusion is with the meaning.
 If you wonder why they deserve all of these, you may want to have a look at The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis, where he argues why these attempts are agenda to rationalize irrationalizable by following any desire any given moment in history gives allowance to progress on.