Religions vs. religions

akbar

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Does each religion have a separate God? Why they insist on special name or names for their God? Does God approve any language necessary to be prayed? Does not He know other languages? Does he approve only special manners to be prayed as different armies observe different orders for show off? Does religion not believe that the God is one, the God of universe and mankind?

The God is one but religions differ and they (God forbid) compel the God to be only their. Groups had/have been fighting for their separate identities and even for preferences including languages, races, nations, religions for the God to be their. Any one religion is not willing to share his so called God with any other religion and struggles to prove his claim. Each claims the God's preference. Each claims having God's authority or (God forbid) authority over God. Faith in the God including mercy, kindness, love, justice, brotherhood, fraternity and good social behaviors do not fulfill the need of having a separate religion so some or more additions, conditions and other specialties are necessary requirements. Religions require clergies to teach such specialties and clergies require specialties of concerned religion for their existence. How clergies can say that their can be any way out other than observance of such specialties?

All religions join such competition so separate additions, conditions, and other manners are included for keeping separate entities. Claims of superiorities are necessary to satisfy respective followers, so each religion claims having best additions, conditions. Places of worship, designs of worship places, manners/timings of worship, holy days/observance of such days, holy places/pilgrimage of such places, and traditions/observance of such traditions from birth to death and even names of individuals are kept different for maintaining religious differentiations. I know some clergies who insist on observing particular manners for eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, entering a building or coming out and many more. They also insist on related prayers for all such occasions to be learnt by heart. Religions must be different with different holy personalities for attaining blessings and for getting approvals for heaven.

Clergies of each religion claim that heaven or blessings of the God are only for their followers excluding all others, so this can be a perfect base for scuffles and also wars. Some where in holy books followers are admonished not to be friendly with others and they are motivated to wage holy wars against those who do not accept their God. I appreciate wisdom of all religion followers that they do not fight in spite of having such perfect bases of differentiations and live in peace on the principle of live and let live. Does this mean that they have turned hypocrites?

Please allow me to point out some hypocrisy (as I think). Please forgive me if I am wrong. People of many religions believe that there is an endless life after death with unimaginable pleasures, satisfaction and happiness. Such life is invisible. I think that had there been a visible life just equal to this life we are living then people would have given much importance to such a life. People do prefer to live with ease in coming future and for this purpose they save, work and even suffer; so had there been a visible transformation/migration from one continent to another or from one planet to another then people would have been much concerned about even such time was/is equal to their present life. If this is correct then hypocrisy certainly exists otherwise why they do not care much for that endless life? Why they cheat, torture, kill and lie? Why they remain cruel and unkind? This certainly means that they do not believe in that endless life and even then religions do accept their eligibility for heaven and blessings of their God above all other humans not belonging to their creed or group. If you do not mind this seems to me hypocrisy.

I do believe in life after death and that human soul will never perish. I also believe in the God’s rewards and punishments but I do not claim to have achieved perfection in faith.


If in the name of God,

If in the name of God you fight,

If in the name of God you kill,

Will HE hold you up by his might?

Will He favor you by his will?

He is their also as others claim,

Had He been yours as you say,

Why at times you bear shame?

Why you suffer as others may?

So better not on him to rely,

So better not him to call,

Call to yours, if they reply,

Yours only don’t like you fall.

Fight in names of yours you believe,

Kill in names of yours not others,

They will favor you if not asleep,

Or have knowledge and any powers.
 

Jim M2

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akbar
I certainly agree with what you say. There can be only one God. Religions pervert the teachings of the great spiritual leaders. The religions are into hierarchies, structures, doctrine and the like, and these are nowhere near the spiritual and behavioral teachings of the spirituals leaders. And yes, it's very hypocritical. Just my 2 cents.
 

mee

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psalm 83;18
That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah,​

You alone are the Most High over all the earth.
 

akbar

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Thanks Jim,
I think you properly understood my message.
 

Obvious Child

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akbar said:
Clergies of each religion claim that heaven or blessings of the God are only for their followers excluding all others, so this can be a perfect base for scuffles and also wars.
This is not accurate. There is no religion that clearly makes this statement, or rather that clearly makes this statement and doesn't make statements leading in the opposite direction as well.

Christianity: 'No-one comes to the Father except through me': but Jesus is meant to be the sacrificial lamb and/or allow God-man relationship. This is different from 'no-one comes to the Father except through worshipping me under the name Jesus and in accordance with the Church'

Judaism: accepts Gentiles can gain a positive afterlife by following Noahide commandments

Islam: people of the book (widely interpreted near the time of Muhammed) can acheive heaven

Hinduism/Buddhism: most accept good karma for good deeds, and several routes.

mee: I don't see what your point is. This is arguing that there is only one God. I don't see what a name (with arbitary vowels that we can't know from the Hebrew) changes. It means 'I am what I am', or 'I will be what I am' or 'I will be what I was', or whatever past, future or present cases of 'to be' you prefer. It's a statement of existence.
 

akbar

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Jim,
As many time said I believe that the God is the God of universe, the God of mankind; not of religions, communities or groups and that unlike religions faith in the God is neither a heritage nor an inheritance. I have interpreted it in my posts. Yes the God I believe is one.
 

lunamoth

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Käthe said:
Just out of curiosity, why?

I'm being serious, why can there be only one "God"?

Hi Kathe,

I'm not Jim M2, but reading your question reminded me of something I heard once. It's not really a point I want to defend, just thought I'd throw it out there for you...

Anyway, if there are multiple gods, are they all of equal power and of equal intent for humankind? And if not, doesn't that lead to a lot of squabbles in 'heaven,' or wherever the gods reside? And, if there's all this fighting among the gods, aren't they just a lot like us, only more powerful; and if there is chaos in heaven, does it then cause the chaos on earth?

Like I said, just putting this out there for comment.

lunamoth
 

Käthe

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lunamoth said:
Hi Kathe,
Anyway, if there are multiple gods, are they all of equal power and of equal intent for humankind? And if not, doesn't that lead to a lot of squabbles in 'heaven,' or wherever the gods reside? And, if there's all this fighting among the gods, aren't they just a lot like us, only more powerful; and if there is chaos in heaven, does it then cause the chaos on earth?
lunamoth
Interesting assumptions here.

First, that gods would be enough like humans or other pack creatures to be territorial and have fights.

Why would you/we assume that?

I wasn't trying to be anything but serious in my question, BTW. I hear all the time that there "must" be only one "God" but I haven't heard any convincing reasons.

Most of the time it just sounds like projection of pack heirarchy onto the gods. Which is *our* way of looking at things.

Someone's gotta be "in charge".

The question remains, why?
 

lunamoth

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Käthe said:
Interesting assumptions here.

First, that gods would be enough like humans or other pack creatures to be territorial and have fights.

Why would you/we assume that?

I wasn't trying to be anything but serious in my question, BTW. I hear all the time that there "must" be only one "God" but I haven't heard any convincing reasons.

Most of the time it just sounds like projection of pack heirarchy onto the gods. Which is *our* way of looking at things.

Someone's gotta be "in charge".

The question remains, why?

Hi Kathe,

In gentleness, I did take your question seriously. I posed those assumptions as questions--not as challenges to you or anyone else. My only image of polytheism is the Greek pantheon who did fight among themselves and treat humans as toys. I'd be happy to learn another model to replace this. I'm aware of the many avatars of the Dharmic religions, but I also thought these were considered more like different characters of one God personified.

peace,
lunamoth
 

Pathless

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The one God or many goddessess and gods question is one that I've been quite interested in lately. How can or should there be only one God, and why is it primarily assumed that such a God is male? From my perspective, a unified God/dess has the following properties:
  • Unable to be comprehended by human intellect
  • Both transcendent and immanent
  • Inclusive in a way that completely nullifies any duality, including distinctions of male/female and good/evil
This list is by no means inclusive, but I'd like to stop there to make some comments. In my view, this unified God/dess is everything, nothing, everywhere, nowhere; in short, It is a hodgepodge mishmash of every possible experience. It is infinite and omnipresent in every creature and inanimate object; indeed such a unified God/dess is the root essence of all existence at the same time as encompassing states of "nothingness." Because of this utterly ineffable and comprehensive quality of It, It does indeed encompass good and evil.

What USE is such a concept to flesh and blood creatures, such as us humans? We can certainly appreciate, enjoy, and be in awe of the mystery of such a state of being that this God/dess represents. Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism, comes to mind here. A large part of Buddhist practice is the appreciation of this unified state. But the stumbling block on this path of Buddhist enlightenment I would label "inaction." After all, if there is a complete unified state that remains after everything has been annihilated, what is to be accomplished? This type of appreciation is very profound, and is a great gift of Buddhism to humanity; however, I believe that this realization is not the reason we are human.

As humans, we are firmly entrenched in a world of good and evil, and other dualities. We can take a vacation from this world of duality through spriritual practice, but we've always got to return to our lives, until we die. So what do we do with our lives? Some may propose that we simply enjoy the undifferintiated state of Nirvana once we have "attained" it, or perhaps we pray to God for our salvation--the answers may vary depending on your approach or inclination. Often these answers, however, have their roots in personal salvation, which I would argue is a product of a pathological worldview--the idea that we are inherently sinful or incomplete and must be redeemed. Beyond that, they exhibit a lack of vision or apprecation for the diverse forms of human life and suffering.

I believe that a polytheistic approach offers us a more diverse and human-centered way of being in the world. When a person accepts that Christianity is just as viable an option as Buddhism, or that Islam and Hinduism can co-exist without feeling threatened by each other, that person opens a door into a wider and more colorful world. Dogmatic assumptions must be dropped to open this door, and the baggage of the "one way" religious mentality must certainly be left behind to move through the doorway.

After expressing that goddesses and gods are connected to certain places, Issac Bonewits is quoted in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, saying, "If you go to another place, there are different gods and goddesses, and if you're staying in someone else's house, you're polite to their gods; they're just as real as the ones you left back home."

For the strict monotheist, such an idea is an abberation or a sin. The fear of eternal damnation rises up and creates a knee-jerk reaction to turn away from the implications of equality that come along with a diverse pantheon of gods. Yet if one has a unified concept of God/dess as an ineffable It, equally cosmic mystery and spontaneous bufoon, a polytheistic view is not an abberation. Indeed, it becomes a logical idea: from the great ineffable mystery shines a host of gods and goddesses, each with the heart-essence of the ineffable mystery. The amazing thing about such an approach is that it can be taken further and applied to humans, animals, plants, rocks. All of these things then become unique expression of one divine truth, and they are all sacred. Human rights, animal rights, environmental issues are then charged with soul and spirit. The interconnections of the world shine out at you, surprising you at every turn.
 

Obvious Child

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It is questionable whether what you set out here would truly be 'polytheism'. A popular term at the moment is 'polymorphous monotheism': one God, many forms. It seems that this may best describe Hinduism in particular.
 

Käthe

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It is questionable whether the religions that seem to be monotheistic are really so, too. If, as they posit, "god" is all good, then there has to be a corresponding evil "god".

Or at least, that' the way it looks from the outside.
 

Quahom1

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Käthe said:
It is questionable whether the religions that seem to be monotheistic are really so, too. If, as they posit, "god" is all good, then there has to be a corresponding evil "god".

Or at least, that' the way it looks from the outside.

Apparently there is an opposite of God. He is called the fallen one, the deceiver, the antagonist. As far as more than one God, Christians (mainstream) believe in the trinity, which is Male, Female, and Redeemer (Father, Holy Spirit and the Christ), but one God. Then there are ministers and demons (angelic beings, or little gods). The other Abramic faiths consider God as one, and only one but do consider angelic beings as being above us but below God. Zorastrianism also considers one God.

Unless you intend to apply your definition of God to other religious faiths, then yes, monotheism is really monotheism. And people really do believe in the concept.

my thoughts

v/r

Q
 

Obvious Child

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Käthe said:
It is questionable whether the religions that seem to be monotheistic are really so, too. If, as they posit, "god" is all good, then there has to be a corresponding evil "god".

Or at least, that' the way it looks from the outside.
Only if you believe in a truly existent evil. Which I do, but there you go.

In practise, many monotheism worship god indirectly and are in a sense polymorphous too. Cults of saints etc. spring to mind.

Käthe said:
Apparently there is an opposite of God. He is called the fallen one, the deceiver, the antagonist.
He is not a true opposite God though as he has no independent power.
Käthe said:
As far as more than one God, Christians (mainstream) believe in the trinity, which is Male, Female, and Redeemer (Father, Holy Spirit and the Christ), but one God. Then there are ministers and demons (angelic beings, or little gods).
Mainstream Christians do not consider the spirit neuter, when they consider it at all. It is feminine in the OT and neuter in the NT, but is often considered male, like the rest of God, or neuter.

Käthe said:
The other Abramic faiths consider God as one, and only one but do consider angelic beings as being above us but below God. Zorastrianism also considers one God.
The early Zorastrianism was dualist: in fact that was its fundamental characteristic from the Christian POV. They did add the over-god who transcended light and dark, good and evil, later.
 

Käthe

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Wow. I had no idea that I had "originally" posted some of that stuff. In fact, I'm sure I didn't.
 

ili

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Isn' the idea of a supreme being/s, with the ability to looking in on our affairs and thus punish/reward accordingly, a bit far fetched?

And doesn't it say in the Bible that each of us carry the seed of God in us, if that is true doesn't it follow that easch of us has the ability to be God-like?

Therefore, if God/s is there to look after us, shouldn't we look after our fellow humans in the same way? Because if we don't do it, who will?

ili
 

Quahom1

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ili said:
Isn' the idea of a supreme being/s, with the ability to looking in on our affairs and thus punish/reward accordingly, a bit far fetched?

And doesn't it say in the Bible that each of us carry the seed of God in us, if that is true doesn't it follow that easch of us has the ability to be God-like?

Therefore, if God/s is there to look after us, shouldn't we look after our fellow humans in the same way? Because if we don't do it, who will?

ili

Well, when scripture states that God knew us BEFORE we were stitched together in the womb, I'd say no. It seems God has a "personal" interest in each of us. I mean, literally He was there while our blueprints were still drying on the drawing board.

I do not know where the Bible says man carries the seed of God within, but He does command us to be godly.

We are suppose to look after our fellow man ("what so ever you do to the least of these my brethren, you do unto me.") However, if we do not give praise to God, then the Bible also states that the trees, the hills, even the rocks will cry out His name in glory.

As far as who will look out for our fellow man if we don't (or can't), well this may not be much, but I have witnessed dolphins push small children to shore, when they were taken out past the breakers due to a rip tide (and parents not paying attention). And I have read stories of animals wrapping themselves around people who were freezing to death, and quite literally saving their lives. And I experienced bottle nose's attacking black tip sharks that had me pinned to the bottom of the sea, and intending to have me for lunch when my air ran out...

Just because man isn't around, doesn't mean God is absent...;)

v/r

Q
 

Quahom1

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Käthe said:
Wow. I had no idea that I had "originally" posted some of that stuff. In fact, I'm sure I didn't.

....ghost writing, that must be it...:eek: ;)

v/r

Q
 
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