The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by inhumility, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue


    I have been asked to join this debate by inhumility. It gives me an opportunity to take a brief pause in my theological work to do so.

    Why do I chuckle? With due respect to all the members, I have selected various bits and pieces from several posts, which I will use within the body of my response. I find them thought provoking. I believe, without stating it emphatically, that Ron Price has hit the nail on the head. He might not even have realized it! Reread his post, if you will, with a discerning eye to 'person.'

    My second cause for humor is the fact that anyone could produce sufficient verbal dissertation to allow for more than four hours in which to read a simple essay! If I were a Cobra and an Indian mystic had played the pipe, I would have slithered off before the first thirty minutes had expired! But then, there are those who can hypnotise and mystify with the sound of their voice.

    With your permission I will take the time to write a proper response and then return to post it. I merely wished to note that I will participate and in doing so will not demean anyone or their beliefs.

    Victor G
     
  2. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue


    I will speak for the Fellowship of Reason's nontheistic philosophical and spiritual path, which we call Eudaimonism. This path has its roots in ancient Greek eudaimonistic thought, in particular Aristotle, and in modern thinkers such as Ayn Rand, David Norton, Abraham Maslow, and others.


    The Physical, Moral, and Spiritual States of Man.

    To boil it down from one perspective...

    Health, decay. Self-actualizing, self-destructive. Self-esteeming, self-hating.

    What is the State of Man After Death?

    No state. Non-existent.

    The Object of Man's Life and the Means of its Attainment.

    The object of man's life is eudaimonia, which may be described as the objective flourishing or happiness of the human individual in this life. All of us are like diamonds in the rough, with potentials to actualize and fulfill. The means of eudaimonia's attainment is, at root, the excellent use of the faculty of reason, and includes developing moral character, mutually beneficial friendships and other relationships, and a love of life.

    The Operation of the Practical Ordinances of the Law in This Life and the Next.

    The what?

    Sources of Divine Knowledge.

    Reason is the only means of acquiring or validating knowledge. Perhaps this makes reason divine.


    eudaimonia,

    M.
     
  3. soulatom

    soulatom Member

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue

    More than a million years before God “Revealed” Himself to mankind through Holy Scriptures, tens of thousands of generations of our ancestors also needed to communicate with Him and gain spiritual comfort from His Presence.

    Throughout the Stone Age, He/She was seen everywhere present – in every animal, tree, rock or cloud. For 99,000 generations Animism sustained mankind’s needs and helped hunter/gatherer family groups to gain self-confidence, multiply and spread out of Africa across the face of the Earth.

    Then, when hunting and gathering could no longer sustain our on-going evolution, the idea of agriculture inspired the mind. Family groups banded together and cooperated in domesticating Nature and over time grew into large clans, which kept dividing. Each clan worshiped its own ancestors as spirit mediators between God and the living. Each erected its own totemic image. As competition between clans escalated each began to believe that their original founder was the only direct Son of God and sat on his right side. This superstition assisted in binding individual clan loyalties and giving pause to disgruntled members about thinking of betrayal during internecine clan vendettas. Shamans mediated between the living and the dead - especially on the death bead, when grim specters related to sloth, laziness, and deceit etc, rose up to haunt the dying.

    When regional areas could no longer sustain farm-based economies, nationalization became an evolutionary imperative. The superstitious lock made union rationally impossible. Total, devastating war, initiated by a ruthless warlord was the only answer. Merciless impaling and the skulls crushed of literally hundreds of thousands of people, broke the spirit of totemism and forced the clans to unite behind a the tyrant’s own clan. (See the Rule of Shaka, Zulu, 1780 -1821) Thus nations were born out of clans through blood and chaos. Dynastic rules inevitably weaken, and the union would disband back into petty clan vendetta – unless a powerful, binding, dogmatic Scripture emerged to keep the nation intact. Scripture served multiple purposes. Firstly: Belief in God, supplied every individual with an absolute standard of Goodness against which to measure themselves and promised an after-life – which in-turn allowed for discrepancies in caste. It also generally supplied a genealogy that showed how all the clans originated from a Single Godhead. It gave written rules and instructions for good social behavior, It supplied metaphorical answers to the mysteries of Creation It evolved a learned priest caste who’s mission was to teach callow youth how to read. It was instrumental in creating conscientious industrial craftsmanship. It supported the idea that the King was Divinely appointed, which helped ensure national loyalties during national wars.

    The success of nationhood, led to imperial colonization and the rise of scientific technology. Science succeeded in demystifying the Scriptures and gradually used rational argument to break the superstitious Belief in the Divine nature of Royalty. Thus republicanism was born, but not without bloody revolution,

    In this sense Science replaced Scripture and became a universal standard of measurement. The problem faced by science today is that it is not infallible, and cannot supply an absolute Standard of Good. This leaves modern, atheistic man, spiritually uncomfortable, if not destitute,

    With the end of imperialism, a New global paradigm has emerged. And Mankind finds itself in increasing need of a “New Revelation”

    So from this perspective, the question raised at the beginning is moot. Man’s need of God has always been revealed and the argument about who is God’s only son ends up with a logical answer. Mankind itself. There is no more need to argue.

    The New Scripture has to be a meld of the human mind and the human heart.

    If this all sounds familiar, it is inspired from the posts of a member who is no longer present and who’s name is not allowed to be mentioned..

    Cheers.
     
  4. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue

    inhumility, et al:

    If I am lengthy, it is because my advanced age and ‘failing’ sense of humility allow me other than brevity.

    Mick: "I believe the original theme of this posting is that you should be able to find references in your Revealed Books. I am not suggesting that the Christian Religion is Man-Made, but the exercise was not to state your opinion or belief, but to answer the five questions with support from your Bible."

    All that we assume or state as belief or knowledge is essentially our personal perspective of that which others have set as standards of doctrine and behavior within given spiritual denominations.

    Ron Price’s offering: “As I see it…. everyone has assumptions and gathers his or her emotions around those assumptions….. For me, the core of my position I could express….. "my apologetics position"…..”

    Ron is correct! If Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, had wanted to bring the major religions into discussion he would have found it necessary to employ an area large enough to accommodate approximately 3 billion delegates. Why; because each of us discerns our basic faith in as many divergent forms. Doctrine varies from denomination to denomination, sect to sect, individual to individual. There are over 1000 variations in the worship of Christianity alone. Islam? Well, I am aware of three basic groups, Sufi, Suni, and Shiite. In Judaism? And in each, doctrine varies, as does the Law, in each major group AND within the minds of the congregations! We each have, as Mick states properly, (in my personal opinion):

    "Furthermore, know ye that God has created in man the power of reason, whereby man is enabled to investigate reality. God has not intended man to imitate blindly his fathers and ancestors." `Abdúl-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 291.

    And “truth” is to each of us, as is beauty, in the eye of the beholder! May I say that we are all sick and tired of having the establishment make statements of faith, and decisions of doctrine, for us. We each have a mind endowed by God’s Holy Spirit and we have the freedom of action that allows us to agree with, or disagree with, even the most basic precepts of our chosen religions. One of my most personal disagreements within my Lutheran faith is the matter of ‘original sin.’

    If anyone here believes that the Bible, or the Quran, or the Holy Scriptures, were the only means through which God revealed knowledge of His wisdom to man, I consider them sadly mistaken. You see, there is no one book, no one ‘word’, that contains all that man is to be informed of, and I refuse to be limited in scope of thought or acceptance of belief, to any one source.

    The Physical, Moral, and Spiritual States of Man.

    The physical state of man is as we see it in ourselves; a material vessel subject to the corruption of time and the world. In youth we are vigorous and strong, we agitate and seek to discover the earth and all its knowledge, but then we age; we dim, we tire, we grow weary. ‘Pot’ bellies become ‘obscene’, breasts sag, and we discover that as we believe Adam was sent into the physical world, cast out from paradise, we are all that Adam, all to suffer the same fate:

    “And unto Adam He said: ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying: Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt though eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-21 Masoretic Text)

    The moral state of man: Ethics and Morality vary from social order to social order, they would certainly vary from species to species, and from life-form to life-form!

    Religions give us basic codes for moral action, and they often vary as do Judaic, Christian, and Islamic Law though they come from the same base. The basic foundations of our legal systems stem from ‘Theos nomos’, God’s Law! ‘Agios nomos’, man’s law, usually generates from those principles and adapts by necessity. But no one yet has accomplished a ‘perfect’ Law in heart, mind or spirit. In this sense, our moral state is chaotic at best. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are based on those Laws which we consider Deuteromic. (Genesis 20:1-14; Deuteronomy chapter 5.)

    Our Spiritual state, however, deserves greater emphasis and understanding.
    “Then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul!” (Genesis 2:7 Masoretic Text)

    “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden…” (Genesis 2:9) “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, though shalt not eat of it…” (Genesis 2:16b)

    Adam was immortal. He was a creation of God given an immortal soul (the breath of life) which emanated from God Himself and he ate of the tree of life which made him immortal…. “…lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22) [Unhappily, this is not the time or place to debate the divergent cult myths concerning Genesis.]

    The three major faiths I have mentioned, and others of which I am totally ignorant, suggest an afterlife. The supposition here is that in one form or another, physical or spiritual, we will inherit an afterlife to which we are deserving. In Lutheranism as well as in the vast majority of Christian doctrines, it is agreed that man possesses an immortal soul. His spiritual state, however, is one that remains incomplete. That discussion is best taken up in the next issue.

    What is the State of Man After Death?

    I insist that definition be noted here. To this person; paradise, heaven, the Garden of Eden, the Kingdom, nirvana… whatever, all denote the same plane of existence, a state of afterlife and (possibly) immortality.

    “The Quran insists upon belief in the life after death.” (Surah 5:70; 23:38)

    Christianity believes in an afterlife, but as late as Paul the resurrection was a Spiritual resurrection, not one of the physical body.
    “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54 RSV)

    It is as late as the Maccabees that a doctrine concerning a physical resurrection was adopted under the cruelties of Antiochus Epiphanes. (See 1 Maccabees Chapter 1: NRSV Study Bible) Lutherans, as well as Catholics, believe in the physical resurrection as stated in the Apostles Creed as well as in the Nicene Creed:

    “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” (The Lutheran Book of Worship)(The Small Catechism: The Book of Concord)

    Jesus, however, disagrees on this point. Let us visit his teaching on the woman with seven husbands. A woman’s husband has died. Under Jewish Law his brother may take her as wife. Unfortunately for this woman, he had seven brothers, and she worked her way through all seven before the last also perished.

    “After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:27-30 RSV)

    Here Jesus also refers to the resurrection by teaching: “And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31-32 RSV)

    Oddly enough, the Jewish orthodoxy in the first century believed that angels were neither male or female, that they were as God created them, both male and female… in other words, neuter! This also, I believe through study, meditation and life-experience, was the nature of man in the beginning. Make of it what you will, but I refer you to the scripture Jesus referred to, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27: RSV; Masoretic Text) And due to the Creator’s nature, I believe that He is a spiritual entity and not a physical human being.

    “God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24 RSV)

    It is my belief from the Holy Scriptures and the New Testament that we will ascend in a spiritual resurrection into the Kingdom, and there, in God’s garden, will take up the task of the fallen Adam in an effort to reach a state of perfection (whatever that may entail). Amazingly, one may refer to the writings of Theophilus of Antioch, the 6th Bishop of that church. Circa 170-188 A.D. the Bishop wrote in his, Ad Autolycum, this very same awareness; that each of us upon reaching that state, would ascend into Paradise, the Garden, and there take up the task of the original Adam in gaining knowledge and wisdom and eventually reaching a state of grace, or perfection.

    In the end, Jesus the Christ assures us of our task here on the earth.

    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

    The Object of Man's Life and the Means of its Attainment.

    I have read in your posts notations that refer to compassion, justice, caring for others, loving the stranger, etc. Well, this is all very nice. It certainly can have the effect of making one feel warm and cuddly inside, but it most assuredly has nothing to do with the basic purpose in life of spiritually guided souls. The great prophets of all religious groups give us the same cautions and directions. The fact that they bring us the same message helps to assure us of their validity. But their insights are only guidelines toward the ultimate goal of man, Redemption!

    In most religions it is the following of God’s Law and living a righteous life that leads toward salvation. And I must note that even within the dawning doctrines of Christianity, into the late 2nd century, this held true. Theophilus quotes Ezekiel 18:21-23 in his, Ad Autolycum, which is an amazing revelation for this period in time.

    “If the lawless man is converted from all the lawless deeds he has done and keeps my commandments and performs my ordinances, he may truly live and will not die; all his iniquities which he has done will not be remembered, but by the righteousness which he has done he will live; for I do not desire the death of the lawless man, says the Lord, so much as that he may be converted from the evil way and live. (3.11) (Theophilus of Antioch: Rick Rogers)

    Today, in our modern Christian theology, there is but one way to salvation and that is through acceptance of Christ Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. Redemption comes through true repentance and a conversion of mind, body, and soul to trust and confidence in Jesus the Christ. I could add a hundred claims made by that figure, including that of John’s Gospel in which Jesus states that no one ascends to the Father save through him, but I choose another as my personal text.

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24 RSV)

    The Operation of the Practical Ordinances of the Law in This Life and the Next.

    I believe we have noted this in other parts of my offering. The Law is essential to a well governed, civilized society. I would then only encourage Christian participants to note Jesus’ own words.

    “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18 RSV)

    This may be accomplished individually or universally, but I would not think that the Law would apply in the Kingdom… would it be necessary?

    Sources of Divine Knowledge.

    For myself, the Holy Spirit is the benefactor of life and the source of ALL knowledge. Surely the prophets came with God’s word to enlighten mankind, but they too were a tool. The source of their wisdom was also of the Holy Spirit. Where wisdom is spoken of in the New Testament, the Spirit is co-joined with it. (KJV Luke 2:40)

    “Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom whom we may appoint to this duty.” (Acts 6:3 RSV)

    Theophilus echoes the words of Holy Scripture when he states: “It was the [the logos], spirit of God and beginning and Sophia (wisdom) and power of the most high, who came down into the prophets and spoke through them about the creation of the world and all the rest.” (2.10) (Theophilus of Antioch: Rick Rogers)

    Without further dissertation, I must end my offering at this point. I do not wish to extend my responses to four hours. However, I would like to address a fellow sojourner.

    inhumility :"...I have not yet found any other faith that would convince me that they are better guided and truth is more with them….. The purpose of this exercise is that one could clearly explore the truth between the religions of the world under a common, simple yardstick and follow the best religion one finds among them."

    I do not believe that you will find that which you are seeking in this manner. No simple yardstick is sufficient to measure the minds of mankind adherent, yet differing in their ‘translations’, to any given religion or spiritual state. You and you alone can only witness to yourself and the wisdom imparted to you, by the Spirit, as an individual soul. Aside from doctrine and theological assumption, ‘life experience’ may be the greatest ‘religious’ experience of all. I thank you for your invitation and pray I have not overstayed my welcome but the nature of your post demanded lengthy response.

    “No one has yet accomplished a ‘perfect’ religion or spiritual statement. I believe it is because we have become so diverse in our nature as individuals.” (Victor G)

    Victor G
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue

    Namaste soulatom,

    thank you for the post.



    since science deals with evidence and observable phenomena, there is no remit to make pronouncements concerning ideas such as "good" and the like.



    au contraire ;) i have no "spiritual uncomfortability" though, perhaps i do since i'm not really sure what this is meant to be indicating. a general sense of spiritual lacking or some such?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue

    Namatse victor,

    thank you for the post.

    a correction if i may.

    Nibbana/Nirvana is not heaven in any sense of the term nor is it a seperate plane of existence, Nirvana is something which is realized whilst this physical form is manifest in this world system.


    when both genders are present, isn't the term hemaphrodite? neuter would, i think, be when there is no gender expression, yes?


    i am sure you won't be offended if i don't take your word for this seeing as how i lack a belief in things called "souls". Buddha Dharma places a fair amount of importance on the generation of Bodhichitta, the development of genuine compassion for the welbeing of other sentient beings.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  7. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue

    Who is "modern, atheistic man"? Are you talking about self-identified atheists -- and specifically those who are scientistic (i.e. who attempt to reduce all knowledge to results of the scientific method)? Or do you have a broader category in mind?

    As for me, I value philosophy (including ethics, which gives me a standard of human good) along with science (and so I am not scientistic), and I find myself quite spiritually "comfortable".

    I suspect that even scientistic atheists are often comfortable not believing themselves to have infallible knowledge of the universe or ethics, because they tolerate a lack of absolute certainty, and because they love the search for knowledge.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  8. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Vajradhara:
    Thank you for your corrections and I am most certainly not offended. Is not our point here to be educated in matters in which we lack knowledge?

    "Nibbana/Nirvana is not heaven in any sense of the term nor is it a seperate plane of existence, Nirvana is something which is realized whilst this physical form is manifest in this world system."

    Now this interests me since Christian ethic claims that we have the power to become the ‘sons of God,’ but of course, they claim this is attained AFTER death. (God forbid that anyone should reach this level of enlightenment before that event. LOL)

    "when both genders are present, isn't the term hemaphrodite?"

    Physically, yes, but in this context it is to be taken as, Spiritual. I personally do not accept the Christian doctrine that we will receive a ‘physical’ body in the afterlife. In this instance I am forced to accept Paul’s definition that our mortality must take on immortality. He believed, as did the Pharisees of that period in a spiritual resurrection, as did Jesus.

    "…the development of genuine compassion for the well being of other sentient beings."

    As does Christianity, but it is involved in a process of attaining, Salvation, the end result of a doctrine reaching toward, Redemption. Here the great debate still rages in my religion because most Christians are Pauline and they accept a matter of salvation on Faith alone. James, the Lord’s brother, however, writes that faith without works is dead! That faith and works are united irrevocably. And so the debate goes on….

    I Am, as always,
    Victor G
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste victor,

    thank you for the post.

    generally, yes :) though i'm sure that you and i have both run into beings that were not very receptive to having their ideas challenged :) heck, i suspect that, for some beings, i am that being ;)

    i agree. this is one of the most fundamental differences between Sanatana Dharma and the Christian paradigm, in my view. of course, if one reads some of the non-canonical texts like the Gospel of Thomas, for instance, we find Jesus teaching that "the kingdom of Heaven is within" which, in my limited understanding of things, seems to initmate that one need not wait until the physical form ceases to realize this kingdom.

    ah, thank you for the clarification.

    that would be the most consistent position on this to take, in my view. i've always been somewhat curious as to how the spiritual ressurrection was confused to be a physical one... i suppose that it has something to do with Jesus body not being found in the tomb... though how that relates to beings who are not Jesus is a bit unclear to me.

    as an aside, i have really enjoyed your essay on Paulinian Christianity and, after investigating the claims made therein, agree with your conclusions. a fine piece of writing, to be sure. i suspect, however, that many of your companions in the faith are not so keen on it ;)

    i would, of course, agree. ones actions and the intentions behind said actions are paramount. what use are proper vocal chord vibrations without accompanying action?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  10. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Vajradhara:

    If I may, I suggest a reading of, The Gospel of Mary which is contained in
    two separate volumes; The Complete Gospels, and, The Nag Hammadi
    Library. Much like Thomas, which I am familiar with, the writing, is
    spellbinding. The last time I heard anyone mention pre-animate matter and
    matter dissolving at the end time was on Star-trek! And this is a second
    century writing.

    As to a physical resurrection, I understand it to have been introduced when
    the Hellenists entered Palestine after Alexander the Great’s conquests. The
    original ‘holocaust’ under Antiochus Epiphanes was so horrific that
    Jewish doctrine changed, probably during a period of 165-180 B.C. This is
    contained in the Apocrypha in, 1 Maccabees. Oddly enough Paul’s
    theological outlook did not differ from the original spiritual doctrine, yet
    during the Advent of the Church, Hellenistic thought controlled the moment.
    Even stranger is that the church today is basically Pauline.

    Finally, most who have read, The Pauline Conspiracy, agree with it, even in
    my church. However, your thoughts humble me and I am grateful for this
    site which has excellent positive vibrations.

    A fellow sojourner;
    Victor G
     
  11. inhumility

    inhumility Active Member

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    Re: The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue

    Sir,It is just to clarify that as I have already mentioned in my post #13 of 04-29-2006, 10:49 AM , neither the Conference of Religions was arranged by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad nor the five questions were set by him, for refresh memory of the worthy participants of this thread , I copy/paste a few paragraphs from my above mentioned post hereunder.
    Swami Shugan Chandar had conceived the idea of holding a Conference of different religions/faiths to provide an opportunity to the truth-seekers in them for an Inter-Religious comparison and he approached all the leading figures of Religions in India and even personally visited and exhorted them to participate in the Conference and answer the five questions from the scriptures they believed in, the answers of which he thought was vital for the moral and spiritual uplift of fellow humans. India was most suited at that time to hold such a conference as followers of almost all big religions were present in India and the proverbial justice of British Rule facilitated it and provided the necessary security.
    So, in fact, the questions were not selected by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadi as some members of the CR have opined, however, in an announcement published by him; Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, requested the participants to make the most use of the Conference and for that he proposed that Claim & Reason should be given by the participants from the Revealed Book of the Religion of the speakers to facilitate an easy comparison. He himself, voluntarily, adhered to it very sincerely. Even otherwise whenever he addressed a gathering or he wrote an essay or a book on a religious topic he made it a point that he generally quoted the references for Claim & Reason from Quran, the pristine revealed book of Islam.
    Now a hundred years have passed by. Still there are many truth seekers in the world who would respond to the call of their conscience and select for themselves the truth at all and every cost. I am also a very humble student in this regard. The world is now a global village; to commemorate the event and the centenary of the Conference and to remember the zeal and sincerity of Swami Shugan Chandar and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad; I have started the thread.


    The say that never say that this thing is impossible, some fool guy would come up and make that impossible, a possible, I amend the above as a wise guy. There is no harm in commemorating the centenary of Swami Shugan Chandar and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the way it has been proposed. If all join in,God willing, we can make it a success. Thanks for everybody.
     
  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    • The Physical, Moral, and Spiritual States of Man.
    • What is the State of Man After Death?
    • The Object of Man's Life and the Means of its Attainment.
    • The Operation of the Practical Ordinances of the Law in This Life and the Next.
    • Sources of Divine Knowledge.
    Question one is actually three parts (or seperate questions).

    The physical state of man, is a short one. We start as dust (physically), devlop for a time, then end as dust. There is strength in our fragileness, and fragility in our strength. But of its own merit our physical state is for naught. Our physical state is imperfect. (Genesis)

    Moral state of man, is relative. Of our own merit, we determine what is right and wise, but what may be right in our eyes may be foolhardy in the eyes of another, therfore we can not in good conscious rely on our own wisdom to determine man's overall morality. (Deuterotomy)

    Spiritual state of man, is a fallen one. When alone, we ponder if this is all there is. We ache for something we can't even put a name to. We try to find solace in eachother, but that fades in time, and we continue to search for that which will make us whole, yet we can't describe what it is we need. All we know is that we need, and we are desperate in our search, even relentless (Ecclesiasties, and Songs)

    What is the state of man after death: Our body is dust, our mind is still, leaving the spirit of man. What of our spirit? Some say it is asleep, while others state it is awake and with God. Jesus stated (in effect), "as you believe, so it shall be". I opine that His statements were not meant to be taken lightly (Matthew, Mark, John)

    The object of man's life and the means of its attainment: Let's reverse the statement. "And the two shall become one" "And man shall be fruitful and multiply". "And man walked with God in the garden..." (Genesis)

    The Operation of the practical ordinances of the law in this life and the next: He who is first shall be last, and he who is last, the first. Spend not your time reaping riches (material wealth), here in this time, but rather helping others (thus reaping riches in heaven). What so ever you do to the least of these my brethren, you do unto me. For you say, we kept your word, and we did deeds in your name...but I say I knew you not. (new testament)

    Source of Divine Knowledge: That is a tough one. There is the Bible, but it is not welcomed in all walks of life... Ah, but there is the human conscience. "For the laws of God are written into every man's heart." We know better, because we are born with that knowledge. If all books and all adults were gone, and only babies were left, and somehow they survived, they would still know right from wrong. They would still understand the laws of God, for they are written in the heart of every human.

    Idolatry
    blasphemy
    Homicide
    Illicit relations
    theft
    rending limb from a living creature
    establishing just courts and law

    I think my "religion" is intact, and not man made.

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  13. queenofsheba

    queenofsheba Well-Known Member

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    The object of man's life? Maybe there isn't any, but you can always live as if there was.
     
  14. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    What does "The Operation of the Practical Ordinances of the Law in This Life and the Next" mean?


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  15. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    How we live our life now, will determine how our life will be in the next realm.

    We reap what we sow.

    v/r

    Q
     
  16. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Then I submit that if this is true, the only book of scripture worth anything would be Ecclesiastes (all is for naught, nothing new under the sun). I guess I have a difficult time with that concept. :eek:

    v/r

    Q
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    ah, karma :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  18. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    Ah, cause and effect. ;)

    I didn't answer this particular category before because I didn't understand what it was about, so I'll give my reply below.

    I don't believe in "afterlives" in any form, but I do think that our actions, the actions of others, and nonvolitional happenings all influence our lives to some extent, though most important to us are our own actions, and second most are probably the actions of those who most influenced us when we were young and impressionable. I don't believe in "karma" from past lives, but I sure believe in "karma" (e.g.) from our parents! Unfortunately, many of us have to get over a lot of "bad karma" from our younger years. I have my fair share of things to get over.

    I don't believe that all the bad things, or all the good things, that happen to us in our lives are caused by previous actions of our own, though certainly our actions in the present have repercussions in the future, both good and bad.

    Think of it as being at sea in a sailboat. We don't control the weather or the choppiness of the waves, but if we are rational and skillful at sailing, we may gracefully avoid many bad outcomes that could have happened if we didn't pay attention, or were doing stupid things, or didn't know how to sail. Wisdom (this includes morality, rationality, prudence, and practical life skills) is the overall skill (or set of skills) of navigating the choppy waters of life. Eudaimonia (personal flourishing) is skillful sailing seen from the context of an entire lifetime ("for one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy" -- Aristotle).

    Even though how we live our lives now does not completely determine how our lives will progress, the quality of the choices that we make will certainly influence how we evaluate our lives, and form the overall patterns and themes of our lives, since these are the patterns of our own "soul" -- and so our actions echo throughout our lives more than those from any other source. We might be able to reduce the psychological "echos", and "echos" of habit, through various means (e.g. meditation, reflection), but we need to learn to act well also, for our own sake in this life.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  19. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste mark,

    indeed.

    we cannot change the wind though we can adjust our sails.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  20. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I like the sailboat analogy too. We can either set our sails, or we can drift (or founder). And some days the waves knock us off course, but if we have the skills and determination we can back back on course, or find a new one. I like it especially because it allows for many different 'schools' of wisdom to be effective for skillful sailing. :)

    luna
     

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