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I was reading something this morning in which the phrase "the Christian tradition" was used. A little later I was looking at the 'I identify as' thread here on I.O. It suddenly struck me, what a good word tradition was.

I have known people to mention their religion in hushed, almost embarrassed tones. Others have stressed it proudly as if throwing down a gauntlet. What is a tradition? All countries have them. It is not a competition, but simply a way of expressing and sharing formative experiences. That is I think, a good way to view our religious practices and very conducive to inter-religious dialogue.
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I am not big on tradition... I am more of a utilitatrian... I gravitate to what works vs 'the way we've always done it"

I just don't see that as a reason to do anything once we find a way that is more.effective or uses leas energy.

Traditions are often kept around despite their being a better way.

But maybe we are talking about different things.
The way I see it, the word 'tradition' is being used here more as a way for someone to indicate the way they do things, rather than mindlessly following traditions. Sect, sampradaya, denomination all come as similar words and phrases to describe the same thing.

Tradition doesn't have to be empty. One can adopt traditions that aren't necessarily things they grew up practicing, and give great thought and meaning as to why they're doing them.
a Traditionalist's view:

Tradition speaks to each man the language he can understand, provided he be willing to listen; this reservation is essential, for tradition, we repeat, cannot become bankrupt; it is rather of man’s bankruptcy that one should speak, for it is he who has lost the intuition of the supernatural and the sense of the sacred. Man has allowed himself to be seduced by the discoveries and inventions of an illegitimately totalitarian science; that is, a science which does not recognize its own limits and for that reason is unaware of what lies beyond them. Fascinated by scientific phenomena as well as by the erroneous conclusions he draws from them, man has ended up being submerged by his own creations; he is not ready to realize that a traditional message is situated on an altogether different level, and how much more real this level is. Men let themselves be
dazzled all the more easily since scientism gives them all the excuses they want to justify their attachment to the world of appearances and thus also their flight before the presence of the Absolute in any form.
(Frithjof Schuon, The Play of Masks, "No Initiative without Truth)

"Traditionalism”, like “esoterism,” . . . has nothing pejorative about it in itself and one might even say that it is less open to argument and a far broader term, in any case, than the latter; in fact, however, with a particularly reprehensible arbitrariness it has been associated with an idea which inevitably devalues its meaning, namely the idea of “nostalgia for the past”; it is hardly credible that such an idiotic and dishonest
circumlocution should be freely resorted to as an argument against strictly doctrinal positions or even purely logical ones. Those who look back longingly at some past age because it embodied certain vital values are reproached for adhering to these values because they are found in the past, or because one would like to situate them there “irreversibly”; one might as well say that the acceptance of an arithmetical proof is the sign, not of the unimpaired functioning of the intelligence, but of a morbid obsession with numbers. If to recognize what is true and just is “nostalgia for the past,” it is quite clearly a crime or a disgrace not to feel this nostalgia.

The same goes for other accusations prompted by the idea of tradition, such as those of “romanticism,” “aestheticism,” or “folklore”; far from disclaiming any affinity with these things, we adopt them in the precise measure that they have a relationship either with tradition or with virgin nature, restoring to them in consequence their legitimate and, at the very least, innocent meanings. For “beauty is the splendor of the true”; and since it is possible to be capable of perceiving this without lacking “seriousness,” to say the least, we do not feel obliged to offer excuses for being particularly sensitive to this aspect of the Real.
(Schuon, Logic and Transcendence, Introduction)