All religions are false (One Truth)

Discussion in 'Theology' started by Gatekeeper, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,084
    Likes Received:
    1

    Fair enough. I think you are very close to understanding something here, don't get bogged down in the minutiae of religion. If the thing that you think is added then the religion will cease to be what it is. Doesn't it seem strange that an integral part of the universe seeks to become part of the universe? Nothing can become one with that which already is.
     
  2. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think they just haven't yet figured out a way to co-operate. I think there are ways to co-operate on important social, political and economic issues without discarding one's religion.

    Well, now that you have chosen your religion you must complement and supplement it with some useful commentary so that you can apply your philosophy of "love" to real life situations. Purchase a notebook so you can write down all the ways you can project love onto others. This will be your religion and your religious text.

    Not every religion dies as you say. I think you might be missing the point of religion. Religion is about bringing people together for a common cause. It is about community and sharing. Part of religion is about requirements of things deemed important, but a large part of religion is also commentary. Not everything in a religion is mandatory. Some things are optional. Devotion and study of commentary, for example is not mandatory. It may simply be useful and important.

    It's not always as black and white as you make it out to be. A lot of things are relative. Surely, when I say that religion is not all black and white, that a lot of it is relative and optional, but useful and important, that a large part of it is commentary, is that not true? You can't be legalistic about commentary. You can't be legalistic with things that are relative and optional. Legalism is about being inflexible, but many religions allow for flexibility.

    Things aren't perfect. Surely God would give people a chance.

    It sounds like you are saying that God should reject people for being religious, that all religious people are rejected by God because all religions are "false." They are free to practice and follow them in their earthly and mortal lives, but that choice will lead to them being rejected. That's a pretty harsh philosophy isn't it? If you are foolish enough to have a religion, God will damn you for eternity.

    Religion isn't all about blind following of rules. That's what you seem to be saying about religion, that it's all about following orders without question. I think the point that you are missing is that religion has sentimental value. Religion is about "being," existing and living. Religious people may well understand that "our way is not the only way" but out of loyalty and respect for previous generations of adherents to a religion, they choose to preserve its teachings and traditions.

    But why should God reject people because they follow religions with falsehoods in them? This sounds like a God who can't tolerate mistakes, a God who doesn't care about our fallibilities and vulnerabilities. He just wants us to perform and if we can't perform, He rejects us. That's not a very nice God.

    Fair enough. We disagree on terminology. We also disagree on a technicality.

    That is the path that will lead to "truth." Figure out what it means to be human and decide how to use that understanding to find God, even if it means having a religion.

    I wanted to add to my response to this. Regarding what you say about "truth" and "falsehood," truth and falsehood are only important for "spiritual ascension" (my alternative term for salvation .... or nirvana/enlightenment) and spiritual ascension is important for a favourable outcome in the afterlife. Having said that, I think you're putting a big emphasis on the afterlife and hereafter.:)

    But religion is not all about afterlife and hereafter (or the next life for Hindus and Buddhists). A lot of it is about our earthly and mortal lives. I was saying earlier that religion brings people together. The trouble with your "religion of love" is that it is just a religion for you, not for anyone else. It is a "religion of one."

    If you choose this "religion of one" because you are an individualist, that is fine with me because I am individualistic myself. But I am not a pure individualist. There are six billion people in the world. People living in developed countries get to live a life of comfort while people in Africa are drowned in poverty.

    What we saw at Copenhagen was the selfishness of developed countries. As a person born, bred and living in a developed country, what I see is the depravity and moral decline of Western and developed countries. Economic growth has been made more important than the dignity of the poor in Africa. While Africans are drowned in poverty, people in developed countries are drowned in a desire for pleasure, in hedonism and self-indulgence. What drives this hedonism is capitalism, greed and the unsatiable desire for more.

    A "religion of one" would not be able to solve the world's social and economic problems. That is why saying that the world's religions are "false" isn't very rational. It may seem rational if your only interest is in the afterlife and hereafter. But I know that there is more to life than the afterlife and hereafter.

    I look around me and I see people, people with a soul. To say that all the world's religions are false and to say that pursuit of "truth" is the most important thing is to deny something spiritual. You are denying something spiritual because you are rejecting all the other people that don't believe your "truth," and there are a huge number of them. A huge proportion of the world's people have a religion.

    If pursuit of truth is about the pursuit of what is important and spiritual then I think you are missing the mark and there may be "falsehood" in your truth.

    I believe the world's religions would be useful in solving the problems associated with economic and environmental sustainability. If we all worked together rather than competing with each other for wealth and if we spent less money on our pursuit of pleasure, there would probably be less poverty and our way of life would be more sustainable.

    The communities that represent these religions would make a massive labour force. Unfortunately due to capitalism, the people who are supposed to form this poverty-fighting labour force are more interested in making money and living in greed and hedonism.

    As Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, agnostics, atheists, humanists, skeptics, etc. we can all work together to fight poverty and work towards economic and environmental sustainability, each of us using the greatest, intrinsic strengths in our various traditions. Our co-operation, community-connectedness and social integration will bind us together. Despite following different traditions and having different beliefs, or not having certain beliefs, I think God would have to put us all in the same category. We put all our devotion toward the same goal, same ideal, same purpose. If this is our path to spiritual ascension, then we can all benefit.

    As soon as we denounce the ideology of capitalism and stop living in greed, hedonism and self-indulgence, we can get started on doing something noble and honourable for the poverty-stricken in Africa.
     
  3. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    39
    Saltmeister

    I agree that cooperation is needed, but as long as mankind continues to believe that 'their way' is the only way, there can be no good end.

    Sorry salt, but love is a way of life. As soon as we start placing 'rules' on love, it becomes organized, and no longer becomes about love, but about 'following' rules. Love is something each man must find and discover, and as each man grows in love, the more they will live through it. Love cannot be a religion and survive, it must come from the heart.

    I'm one who believes that 'religion' is dead already, the traditions may very well be alive, but the intent behind religion itself is stagnate and unfavorable for cooperation with other religions. Everyone believes that their 'religion' has the answers to life, so they will never come together with other religions because their faith in their own is too strong, and so very deceiving.

    God rejects no one, we reject Him. The problem is no one really knows who/what God is. All we have are different religious texts describing different gods, which makes it very difficult for anyone to agree on the correct way to honor Him. We may never truly know and understand God, but we are capable of understanding love, and we are capable of seeing where love can lead us. Those who don't believe in one religion are considered heathens by those who do, and so they cycle of intolerance, judgment of others, discrimination, etc. continues. It has no good end, salt ....

    All religions are sentimental, and personal to those following them. Even so, it doesn't make them beneficial to society as a whole. Christianity wants a Christian world. Muslims want a Muslim world, and so it goes. There can be no unity between religions until those practicing religion come together in love. Love is a common thread shared amongst most religions, but each religion is so deeply ingrained in those who practice them, it makes it extremely difficult for this to happen.

    Even so, God has allowed them to exist, and some people [are] able to accept others of different faiths as Gods children too. Some are able to break down the barriers between them, and love others of different faiths as their own siblings. This is a rare occurrence, however. One must truly understand that love is the answer before able to come to such acceptance.

    God doesn't reject people because of their religion, but because they fail to honor His ways. We reject Him in other words. Religion just so happens to be a tool that leads to the intolerance of others. Until we are able to love one another as equals, and tear down the walls between us, little will change on earth.

    Actually, I'm not too awfully concerned with the afterlife, Salt. I'd much rather live in a manner beneficial to the world we live in. I'd much rather love all people regardless of religious affiliation. It just so happens that I think most are on a path to no good end, yet i love them just the same.

    Actually, it really isn't a religion, but rather a way of life. I choose love, and there are thousands more who do the same.

    Which is why love is important, Salt. It is mankinds get out of jail free card (So to speak)..

    Until mankind comes together, nothing will change. Love is the answer (Make no mistake about it).
    My truth is love, man. Love is available to all, but not all accept it, or desire to live through it. This is due to selfishness and self indulgence.

    Is love false? My problem isn't with spiritual practices, but rather with the way religions suggest that their practices, and doctrines, and rules, regulations, etc are set in stone "Truth", and that all humanity must belief this or that in order to reach a place 'somewhere' out there.

    I myself believe that the life we lead today is most important. What we do for others, etc. Love isn't about gaining eternal life, but about fixing the life we have [today].

    I agree, but what are the chances of deeply ingrained religious views people hold leading anyone the desire to 'work together' with the 'heathen' for the common good?
    Yup .....

    Love for neighbor ....

    I believe we can do so before, Salt. Each man able to share their blessings with those around them. But we gotta have the heart before hand to do it, and that is why we gotta learn to love.

    If we act wisely, wisdom being a tree of life, our wise actions compassed by love will lead mankind back to paradise. Who cares about the after life, Salt. We have today, and it is time we start doing our best to make life a little bit better for our future generations.

    With that being said, let me quote Horace:

    "Ask not—we cannot know—what end the gods have set for you, for me; nor attempt the Babylonian reckonings ..... How much better to endure whatever comes, whether Jupiter grants us additional winters or whether this is our last, which now wears out the Tuscan Sea upon the barrier of the cliffs!

    Be wise, strain the wine; and since life is brief, prune back far-reaching hopes! Even while we speak, envious time has passed: seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in tomorrow!"

    We need to be wise and let the Spirit of God (Love) compass our life. There is nothing literally forbidden in life, but our unwise actions [can] lead mankind as a collective whole to destruction, and the opposite is true for wisdom, which is acting through love (IMO).

    Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

    Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

    Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

    All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

    Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

    She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

    Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

    The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

    If we let her (Wisdom) into our hearts and allow love to compass our lives we will do well, the rest is inconsequential baggage, Salt. All we need is love, and enough wisdom to live through it.

    GK
     
  4. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    39
    Sounds reasonable to me, Q .... It is the baggage that ultimately hinders us on this journey we call life.
     
  5. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,906
    Likes Received:
    5
    Lol, my point was, we don't need much to survive, yet can thrive...and still look good...especially to those who think we should look and act a certain way (that they need their baggage to maintain).

    Get it?
     
  6. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    39
    Do they (We) really need all that extra baggage to maintain a good life? We (Mankind) can live on bare necessity, and still thrive as you say, or even more so (IMO). Looking good isn't the point, but living, and thriving without the extra weight the 'baggage' places on our shoulders.

    My point is that all the religious baggage hinders us as a peoples. It weighs us down, whereby we [Mankind) are unable to live our lives free from religious rule and regulation.

    All we truly need is love, but most are unable to see the forest for those darned trees, which is to say that many can't see the simplicity of the truth because of all the so called religious requirements standing in the way.

    GK
     
  7. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    2
    ideology, like halitosis, is what other people have.

    hmm. i think you're falling far too easily into a false dichotomy. if you take a specific example like, say, the story of the "good samaritan", if you know the relevant "legalistic" regulations then it can easily be argued that jesus' main criticism was that the samaritan was acting correctly *within the law*, whereas the priest was ignorant of the correct halakhah - but, of course, you'd need to know the halakhah of the met mitzvah for that to make sense and, of course, virtually no christians do. the same might potentially be argued about a number of jesus' allegedly controversial acts, like chasing the moneylenders out of the Temple and a couple of other incidents.

    exactly, although these could be normative opinions rather than factions, of which there were plenty to choose what with sadducees, boethians, samaritans, hellenizers and ignoramuses around the place. of course, not all of these are cases where he takes the same position as the normative halakhah - the bit where he picks corn and heals a guy's arm on the sabbath are good examples of that, but within his context (read geza vermes on this) he's an excellent example of someone who challenges the system and points out some of its issues.

    this is more a semantic argument than anything else, but your terminological inexactitude detracts from its clarity; it sounds like we're saying the same thing.

    it's certainly a G!D perspective.

    so, if i understand what you're saying, because we can never really understand the "Truth" of G!D's Will, we can only ever deliver an approximation of it? i'd certainly agree with that.

    ah, but there you go again, making it even more vague then it needs to be.

    eh? but hang on, now you're deciding what "love" turns out to be in practice - and defining "religion" (poorly defined) as in opposition to this? i don't see how you can arrogate to yourself this kind of perspective.

    well, yes, but that also involves building structures for ourselves to live in, these include building, civilisation, culture, technology and law - the construction of these things constitutes the experience through which we are discovering life.

    how would you know?

    attributing human characteristics to G!D (anthropomorphism) is extensively warned against in judaism - where the Text speaks of, say, "the Hand of G!D", we are enjoined to remember that it's only a "hand" as we understand it, not from G!D's point of view.

    That Which Truly Is.

    indeed.... but the same can be said for "love", which is what my original objection was.

    er... well, isaiah, in fact, quoting G!D, but yes.

    but that's my point - causality is built into the system, so that we may experience "good" or "evil" from our perspective, but from G!D's Perspective it is neither, as all possible outcomes are equal from the point of view of true/false past/present/future good/evil. it's only from our limited five-dimensional perspective that it appears so; that's why i wouldn't limit this concept by referring to it as "love", as that is a completely inadequate word, bounded as it is by christian semiology and emotional baggage.

    NOOOOOOOO! G!D Is not a metaphor for anything - G!D simply Is. this is simply a restatement of the classical gnostic theological short-circuit. you need no metaphors for "good" and "evil", they are simply consequences of causality as filtered by human experience.

    your insistence on one particular word actually distorts what you're trying to say, unfortunately.

    rubbish. you made some assertions about my religion, but you haven't given so much as an example, from which i conclude that you don't actually know anything about it other than what you have been mis-taught by reading the new testament.

    yes, but that has to be INTERPRETED!!! if i want to "live through the spirit of love", then what does that mean when i buy a sandwich for lunch? do i still have to pay for it? what does that mean when i want to teach something to my children? it all sounds good in theory, but in practice, there's actually nothing there that you can implement.

    ok, so neither of us have a problem with homosexuals, that's great. now, le-havdil, how about nazis? they really "love" their race, they want it to prosper, they want to sacrifice themselves for their brothers in blood and ethnicity - how does "love" help us? can we "judge the way they have chosen to live"? how does love help us fight injustice? how are we to define "injustice"? surely you must see that some interpretation is needed here?

    no, you said that "the spiritual law of love is preferred before the laws given through Moses", but there is nothing apart from your say-so that says that you have any authority to determine where the writ of the "laws given through moses" runs and, if you think that those laws were true when given, then you have to accept that they say that they aren't going to be changed for us ever.

    i suspect that this is another point of irreconciliable difference between us; i would say that desire is a product of will, he would say the opposite. i would argue that if you can change what you desire, then that is an act of will, philosophically i think you are both on a very sticky wicket here.

    judaism does not demand this. it is not forced on people. we do not proselytise. do you not realise this?

    nonsense - i love the redoutable mrs bananabrain, but there are still rules needed for us to organise our relationship effectively!

    i think you are wilfully building a wall between your Brilliantly Simple Insight and the world in which the rest of us Stupid Complicated People live. i've seen what happens when people try and apply Brilliantly Simple Insights such as:

    "if only there were no rich people screwing everything up"
    "if only there were no religion screwing everything up"
    "if only there were no king/emperor/parliament screwing everything up"
    "if only there were no jews/hutus/bosnian muslims/etc screwing everything up"

    what seems elegant and perfect in theory is invariably brutal and mistaken in practice. your "law of love" seems simple, but it would be fascistic. get over it - there are no simple answers. the "devil" is not in the detail, but in ignoring the detail.

    well, that is what the sabbath is for! what is "rest" if not freedom from baggage? that's how we do it, at any rate.

    aha! and that is an important thing to realise - we cannot get away from minutiae, they determine our every moment, especially if we don't live alone on desert islands, but at the same time, we MUST get away from them if we are ever able to see the big picture. it is the paradox of dynamic tension that we all exist within.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  8. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    39
    bananabrain

    Our governments and our religions are man attempting to rule when only God is able to rule successfully. God hasn't left mankind the world for us to rule the world, but to become caretakers, and good stewards, whereby we will govern through Love. God is love, and mankind needs to submit to Him, and live through His Spirit.

    Love is a way of life. As soon as we start placing 'rules' on love it becomes organized, and no longer becomes about love, but about 'following' rules. Love is something each man must find and discover, and as each man grows in love, the more they will live through it. Love cannot be a religion and survive, it must come from the heart of man, and given by God.

    Rules are only needed until a man is able to discover what it means to love one another in practice. Love is far from emotional, bananabrain, and although coming from the heart it is more about action and the way we treat our fellow man.

    I'll give you my definition of what love is:

    Love is much more than a fickle emotion, just as it is more than mere action or words. It is the very essence of God. It is not soft or weak, nor is it always gentle to the heart. Love can convict us deeply of our wrongs; in it is God’s power and truth. Love is Gods divine essence that when utilized, can remove the many strongholds that bind us in spirit. Jealousy, anger, bitterness, greed, selfishness, pride, hate, fear, lust, envy, the intolerance of others, and every other spiritual vice can be conquered through love.

    True love is not proud, jealous, envious, haughty, or boastful, nor does it seek its own, but rather the good of others. It is the source of all virtue, just as lust is the source all of vice. It is life and light to those who keep it close to heart. Love is not dependent upon condition; it realizes that none are perfect; it leads us toward unity with God, his grace, as well as his mercy. It is purity in essence releasing us from the darkness of heart, soul, and mind. Love lends to us comfort, peace, and immeasurable power. It is truly mankind’s only real freedom.

    It is the strait gate, and the narrow path that so many of us fail to enter and follow. To walk in love is to walk as Christ did, and doing so enables us to fulfill God’s will for mankind. Love is grace, purity, truth, and light. It is given freely to all willing to receive, and if nurtured as a seed, it will produce its substance both in self and in others.

    Consider the time, effort, and patience it takes to grow a garden. Love is the same way; if it is neglected, even the love a person does have will slowly wither away. But, if it is nurtured it will grow, and in time it will help us live in the fullness of God‘s grace. Understanding love unlocks the door, faith in love releases its power, and the hope that we can be free from darkness through it, keeps the spiritual man forever in God’s grace.

    We naturally feed on thoughts of anger, fear, bitterness, resentment, deceit, the lust for of riches and the deceitful pleasures of this life, being tossed to and fro by every whim of the mind. These are the ways that seem right or “natural” to a man, but these ways ultimately lead to spiritual emptiness.

    We often times push love so far out of sight that we have little to no chance of ever knowing, or realizing its true power. Somehow many of us come to the point where we love darkness more than the light, and we suffer for it. The natural consequence of resisting love is enough to bring the strongest man to his knees. Many of us tend to overlook love, we neglect it, we discard and regard it as weak. But it is a seed of great power.

    We need to realize that all people are the same and that all fall short of perfection. Love is our spiritual compass; when utilized it guides us, convicts us, directing and redirecting our steps. God has given this gift, this spirit, this seed of mercy to help us become children of light. All are able to receive love; all are able to grow in love, and all are able to accomplish what God wants for us.

    Even though we all make mistakes and fall short of perfection, we have an opportunity to embrace God’s gift, becoming obedient children of the most high God. If we fail to heed such guidance we will remain in darkness unaware, and blind to the harm it causes both to self and to those around us

    Most of us have experienced only remnants of love. Meaning we have only known love in measure, whether it came from family or from friends. Very few of us however, know and understand the power of God’s Love, and what His grace can do for His people. Think for one moment what life would be like without even the remnant of love we do know.

    I can only imagine the horror, and emptiness, and hopelessness such a life would entail. Love is mankind’s comfort, it is our safety, our peace, and our life force. Without it, this world would be a very dark, lonely, and empty place to dwell. It would be as if we were in a grave, rotting and decaying without hope of ever sustaining life at all. The term “hell “ might be appropriate to describe such an existence, or state of mind reflecting the darkness of the grave, where we are no longer capable to realize the Love of our God. The truth is that even with the remnant of love we do know, many are still in a metaphorical grave, unaware of the blessings that God‘s love provides.

    Love lends to us comfort, and peace; it also grants to us great power over our natural selves. It allows us to grow past our destructive natures, and it helps us develop a newness of mind. The more we allow love to grow within, the more we become free from our lustful ways. To walk in love is to walk as Christ did, and doing so enables us to fulfill God’s will for mankind. It is grace, truth, and a light for all mankind to receive. Love is a tree of life, that if nurtured as a seed, will produce its fruit both in self and in those we encounter. We do this by sharing and extending this wellspring of life towards others.

    GK
     
  9. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    39
    A confession, and explanation for my views .....

    Everything I once believed about Christianity has come to a head, and has been challenged to such a degree that I have come to believe that the Christian religion is false (Along with all others), but also that the message of Christ is true.

    I look back at the old testament all the way to the new, and have come to the point where I feel I must ditch the religious baggage of it all in favor of simple submission to God, who I believe to be love. Btw, this is a very real change of heart.

    I'm thinking about what Jesus said about pouring new wine into old wine skins. It would seem that in order for mankind to be made new, we must empty ourselves completely of our indoctrination, starting with a clean (New) slate, and then fill ourselves only with God's Spirit, which is love (The new wine).

    The old wine (Religion) might "seem" better to some, but Jesus pretty much told us to ditch it all, and start with a clean slate, and a new heart so we might be filled with Gods Spirit, which is truth. Everything else weighs us down, and leads to our (Mankind's) destruction.

    Think about the way many Christians and many who follow other religions are intolerant of others and extremely hateful towards them .... Atheists, homosexuals, and those who practice different religions than their own, etc. These type of Christians and religious zealots will be destroyed by the new wine simply because their ways are not conducive to love and peace.

    I believe that one day their own beliefs will be challenged, and the will either continue on the broken road, remaining intolerant of those they share the world with, or they will submit to God in all they do, and accept others for who they are.

    God answers those who call on Him, but we must be willing to hear Him, and then allow ourselves to submit to Him and live through His Spirit (Love) completely. Otherwise we are apt to lead destructive lives and many people will suffer because of. Love is the answer, and it is submission to love (God) that Christ taught mankind.

    The rest is man attempting to rule man, which seems to cause a great deal of conflict, no? Religion, our governments, etc. will one day come to an end and God (Love) will be all in all, and I for one believe it will happen.
     
  10. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't believe that religion is all about doing that. That is why I am disagreeing with you. For many it's "my way is not the only way." We are all a product of our own environment. What we see as "rational" and "truth" is therefore a product of our own environment. Many people are aware of that. Having a religion isn't a denial of that. People are looking for a way of life.

    If religion is dead then it can be resurrected. Isn't this another one of the concepts in Christianity, that what used to be dead can be resurrected? If human beings can be resurrected, then I suggest you can do it with religions as well.

    The reason for the lack of co-operation among the different religions is that many of their adherents aren't interested in it. They are more interested in giving their own traditions credit than in giving it to others. If I remember correctly, citizenzen is one example of a Buddhist who is interested in how the many traditions find their paths to spiritual ascension. It is due to the self-interest and MYOB (mind your own business) attitude of the adherents of these traditions.

    Like I said, I believe a large part of religion is commentary. Religion is not the end itself, but a means to an end. The various traditions may describe a different path, but just because we follow different traditions does not mean we can't share the journey. We are all trying to do the right thing. Let us help one another do that.

    How about this, Gatekeeper? If I believe they can do it, isn't that cause for hope?:)

    Do I want a Christian world? Really? Do all Christians want a Christian world? Christians don't even agree among themselves. It would actually be a quite dangerous development for other Christians if one group of Christians started dominating. They would think that because we're all Christians we would have to do things their way, that all Christians want to do things the same way.

    One group of Christians will impose their beliefs on all other Christians. These Christians may not care about other religions, just their own. But it doesn't make the concept any more favourable. Just watch the dominant group hunt down the heretics. This is why a secular democracy is such a wonderful concept.

    I trust God, but not other Christians to run the system.

    This is also why I prefer to share rather than dominate. I prefer equality rather than supremacy. My argument would be that the world's religions don't have to be supremacist. We can share the journey. You do it your way, I do it my way but we will find opportunities to share the experience and the journey.

    I am relieved that you are not arguing that we should completely discard the various traditions, because I believe they can be used to achieve your goal of love. If religion is largely commentary and is primarily just a means to an end, surely this "common thread" that exists in most religions is what we want? Why not salvage the existing traditions rather than ditching thousands of years of soul-searching?

    Love may be the ultimate ideal, but I don't think it's the starting point most of the time. I think the point of the various traditions is to do it in their very own way. Love may be the "way of truth" you speak of, but there are different ways of thinking about love and therefore different ways to love. This is probably why we have so many different traditions.

    Your reasoning seemed to involve religious constructs. You say there is no good or evil, but you say there is truth and falsehood? I have tried to reconstruct your "belief system."

    1. Jesus said, "I am the truth, the way and the life, nobody comes to the Father except through me.
    2. Jesus also said, "Love your neighbour" (that was his way) -- the way of love is the way of truth.
    3. All religions are false because they fail to live the way of Jesus; they fail to live out the way of love.
    4. You are Christian, but you reject everything in "Christianity" except what Jesus said about "truth" and "love."

    Basically, you didn't like Christianity and decided to strip it naked, leaving only what you thought was essential. Your "way of love" is fine, but why do you see the need to keep the obsession with "truth and falsehood?" One of the main reasons why your "way of love" makes me uncomfortable is not because love itself is something I dislike, but because you bundle it with the obsession with truth and falsehood.

    I think I should explain my own position on truth and falsehood. I don't believe in an objective reality. I am mostly subjectivistic in my thinking. "Truth" as an absolute, universal fact is largely meaningless to me. "Truth" as something absolute, universal and objective is just an annoying argument. If people have to reconcile a concept to their direct experiences in order to develop rational and practical beliefs, then belief in an absolute, objective truth is pointless. Every human being needs a direct experience in order to rationally decide that a religious teaching is "true."

    While I choose not to reject Christianity, I wonder why you're holding onto an impractical doctrine in Christianity: truth and falsehood. You have rejected most of Christianity because it is "intolerant and detrimental to the world." I would think that the doctrine of truth and falsehood would be one of the concepts you'd dislike. Why do you keep it? Why not let the way of love just be the way of love? Why add truth to it? This is why your way of love sounds like a religion.

    It is also what makes you sound judgmental. You say that all religions are false and that you have the way of truth because it is the way of love and you follow it. Do you understand why they believe their traditions have value? This is the best they can do with their life experiences. This is where life got them. You can't blame them for being themselves.

    The doctrine of truth and falsehood is adding "baggage" to your way of love. I would have thought you'd have discarded it already.:)

    I don't dispute what Jesus was trying to convey with his "way, truth and life." I just think he was misunderstood. He was not talking about an objective truth, but a practical one, a "truth" that referred to the social and political environment he was in (you would have to look into the history of early Christianity to know what I mean).

    As I said, love isn't always the starting point to love, sometimes you have to start somewhere else.:)
     
  11. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    39
    You make some very good points in your post, salt. I hold on to the concept of there being truths and falsehoods because there are truths and falsehoods to be realized. Either something is true, or it isn't, right? I place value on love because love can lead us to life and freedom collectively. The opposite is true when we act in opposition to love, which can lead us to destruction collectively.

    I no longer carry the weight of religious rules, doctrines, practices, etc. on my shoulders because my "yoke" is now love, which is quite an easy yoke to bear, and also a very light burden to shoulder.

    I must admit that my starting point (Many years ago) was Christianity, but I have taken the first few steps on a new journey, and one that I must walk for myself. If I seem judgmental towards other religions, then it is because I know where those religions can lead mankind. Even so, these religions can also lead us to love. Such was my experience with Christianity.

    I suggested that our starting point be founded on love, so each of us can discover the goodness of life together, and without the weight of the extra baggage. If others would like to hold on to their traditions, that is fine, but don't expect or push those who have shifted their entire faith to God (Who is love) to follow these religious traditions, rules, regulations, and doctrines, etc.

    We have been set free these things. Our burden is now to discover what it means to truly love our neighbors, and to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem in our world. Not that we won't stumble and fall at times, but that we start this new journey to simply discover what it means to live our lives with love for all mankind.

    Religious intolerance is common theme, but if we can tear down the walls that divide us, strip ourselves of our old ways, then we can make great strides towards the common good of all simply by esteeming love above all else, and by learning to live our lives through this life giving force.

    Love cannot be a religion, it must become a way of life. Likewise, Christianity was never meant to be a religion, but rather a way of life as demonstrated by Jesus. I do believe that most religions can lead us to the same end, but only through a common thread present in each of them (Love).

    GK
     
  12. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,084
    Likes Received:
    1
    Brilliant :)

    I think Gatekeeper is on to something here. It has been my experience that love can inspire me to embody the great virtues or at least set them as my azimuth.
    Why else would someone stand firm in the face of the enemy to protect her family and homeland?
    Why else would a man give up his time to watch sports to console his daughter and teach his son?
    And why else would a person look deeply into their own heart to see both the good and bad that lie within and make the changes that need to be made?
    Religion has been a necessary factor in the development of Man and it still does that today. But for some who have lived it and embraced it there is a time to let it all go and move up to a higher way of being. Not to destroy the old laws but to fulfill them and go beyond.
     
  13. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is an interesting discussion. I'm not sure I have anything to add other than the following musing:

    It's always interesting to me how a discussion of "pure motive" always seems to retreat into terms which are ultimately indefinable. Religion is ultimately about the creation of status and identity. Perhaps Love is the eschewing of status and identity? If so, it would seem that Love can only be a solo pursuit, as the interaction of people is also organized about the creation of status and identity. If not for evil there would be no need for artifice or edifice, justice, mercy, or morality. Perhaps the purpose of life is to utilize evil without becoming consumed by it.

    Chris
     
  14. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,259
    Likes Received:
    8
    So when you reach the other shore, you discard the boat :)

    s.
     
  15. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,259
    Likes Received:
    8
    Admit it, the kids are just an excuse for the wife :p

    s.
     
  16. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,906
    Likes Received:
    5
    There hints a bit of truth in that statement...lol:D
     
  17. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    1
    Although I do not consider Judaism a religion but a way of life, I would like to reply to your thread with the following question: What is the Truth? Once Jesus declared that the Truth is the Word of God, according to john 17:17. When he said that, he referred to the Tanach, the Jewish Scriptures, because the NT did not exist yet, as it was written 50+ years after Jesus had been gone. Then, according to Psalm 147:19,20, the Word of God was given to Israel only and to no other people on earth. Now, if you think, as I am sure you do, that Judaism is just another religion, how do you explain that the Truth was assigned to Israel only and to no other people on earth? If you are not too proud to admit, here is a religion with the Truth.
    Ben
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,549
    Likes Received:
    1,538
    Religions point the way to God, the True, the Good, the Beautiful ... it's telling that one should see it as a restriction. Anything worth having sets its own agenda, and something had for nothing is invariably treated as less than nothing.

    Maybe God makes it hard so we realise the value of what is offered?

    Maybe indulging our every whim and whimsey is not the way to go?

    Nonsense, although you may suppose so, you seem to come from a very dark place.

    One simple act of generosity shines out like a beacon — no matter how much those without love in their hearts will insist on explaining it away as pragmatism or self-serving (the antichrist at play).

    Nor can you quantify the matter, because it's a matter of quality: one solitary candle can offset all the darkness in the world ...

    Or mistaken? Charity figures quite predominately in the Christian ethos. It seems absent from yours?

    Ah, this generally means one likes to think of themselves as a spiritual person, but not to the point of actually doing anything to realise that notion?

    I suggest it was a religious way of life ... life in God is its end, and Jesus Himself referred to His community as 'church' .

    Yes.

    What d'you mean 'us'? Speak for yourself.

    I think you'll find the answer is, it takes effort. As Christ pointed out, doing what we like is easy, doing what is necessary is not so easy ...

    Christianity is hard, and if you find it easy, you're probably doing it wrong.

    Well Jesus spoke of those 'justified', and he was talking of the widow, the publican, the tax collector, the sinner, the robber on the cross ...

    So whilst you make love the primary issue of your argument, it should be tempered with justice, and mercy. I see plenty of man's delight in the former, but not a lot of the latter?

    Happily, Christ is not so demanding as we are. It is my hope that some, perhaps all of us, might make it. If we were the judge however, then in light of your missive, I'm not sure anyone would.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,270
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    Ya think? Or do you think the Vedas were given to another people and the dharma to another, and the I ching to another and the Quran to another

    If you were to write a book about the origen of the earth, don't you think you'd make yourself chosen too?

    Somehow reminds me of Manifest Destiny....where those darn natives or medianites or whoever is just in the dang way of my empire building...after all G!d said we were chosen....

    Seems Roman Emporers at the time thought the same thing didn't they?

    Someone just told me the other day that the Jews were the first Monotheists, they were the first to recognize G!d as one and that is why they were the chosen. I asked what about Zoroastrians...they were monotheistic....to which she replied, then why weren't they chosen....to which I said, I don't know...maybe they are in their book.

    Funny what authorship does....you know like, All men are created equal....except for those black ones, they are 2/3 of equal.
     
  20. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    39
    Wow! Old thread ...

    Looking back I can see how contentious I was towards religion in general. I still think there can be only one truth and that no religion has a monopoly on that truth, but I also think that truth is present in most religions. It's funny how much a person's views can change in only a years time. Truth be told, I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from my former religious views. Today, I try to honor reality. Even so, religion is a very real part of mankind's reality, so I think instead of being so contentious towards religion, I'll submit to the idea that religion is an important aspect of mankind's journey and leave it at that. I think religion can take us to very dark places, just as it can lead us to light. Perhaps the determining factor is our personal attitude. :eek:
     

Share This Page