What should be the overall purpose in CR? (if any)

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Neemai, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Neemai

    Neemai that's my Boss in the pic

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    I'd like to ask this question of everyone just to see how it varies amongst us. Should the purpose of discussing on these forums be to establish some concensus of ultimate truth through argument? If that is our purpose then what would the value of such a concensus be, as these forums are only a very small selection of viewpoints compared to the wider human population. Each person on here surely has their own opinion of what, if anything, constitutes an overall or ultimate truth?

    Or should the purpose be to learn about other people's perspectives whilst sharing those of your own? Seeing and appreciating the differences between the wide variety of belief systems, philosophies and practices around this world, and also discovering the similarities.

    An Evangelical Christian will follow a different philosophy to a Catholic Christian, what to speak of comparison to say Mahayana Buddhism, which in turn is a different philosophy to a Thervadin Buddhism, which in turn would be different to the philosophy of a follower of any of the dvaita schools of Hinduism, which would be different again to the philosophy of monist Hindu thought (advaita), which again be different to the philosophy followed by a Sunni Muslim, or a follower of Judaism etc... etc...And similarly, if one believes in a world philosophy which sees all of the above as ultimately promoting the same message, or even being identical or similar in their "original" or "purest" formats then surely that also should be treated as a belief, and treated accordingly?

    What are peoples thoughts on what we should be trying to work towards (or not)? If anything?

    Om shanti,


    ... Neemai :)
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Neemai —

    No.

    Yes.

    Oooh, you don't wanna listen to them evangelicals! ;)

    When I first joined CR, many years ago, I was very stridently Catholic, and other religions were simply 'wrong'. I have since learnt that other religions are, in fact, 'right' ...

    I think the jewels of all the great Spiritual Traditions are precious, and beautiful, and should be seen, and their wisdom shared, but they are best appreciated and approached from within the tradition to which they belong ... they are never so luminous, as when they stand in their own 'setting' ... it is within the tradition that they are seen to their (and our) best advantage.

    Pax tecum,

    Thomas
     
  3. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Neemai!

    I would like to add to Thomas' excellent response.

    No. I think your comment points to the reason why. Even two people within the strictest ranks of the strictest discipline will not completely agree on all matters...disagreement is human nature, we are not clones. What is more, I think such a world would be so boring as to not be worth living in. Add to this the logistical problem of forcing people into "one" agreement and anarchic chaos would be the only realistic outcome possible.

    Yes. This place is a gymnasium for exercising the muscles of tolerance and discovery, I think your comment points in that direction as well.

    Are these not all different colors with which to paint on the canvas of human experience? Were all one, the canvas would be a monocolor...drab and boring no matter which shade. But human experience is not a monocolor, it is a rainbow of shades and subtle nuances, all of which contribute to what makes each of us an individual. How's that for paradox?

    Tolerance and understanding. Agreement is not necessary, and might even be counterproductive. Respect however, is crucial.

    Shalom. :D
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I think the point of CR isn't that any consensus needs to be reached, nor anyone's point of view be shifted from one faith viewpoint to another.

    I think the point of CR is to simply create a relatively safe and comfortable area for people of any interfaith to share their ideas.

    The fact that we have people from such a variety of backgrounds here, and the fact that for the main discussions can be kept civil, I think is the achievement in itself.

    Also remember that while there are many active members, there are far more people who actually discover and read the threads, without replying - not least because all discussions are in the public domain and so can be read by non-members.

    So while two people may dialogue from different viewpoints, there is an unseen audience who may read those viewpoints, and take something constructive on board for their own.

    On that point, I've already bought the domain name interfaith.org, and will be moving CR there (eventually) to continue the remit of being an interfaith platform - where diversity can safely come together, dialogue, discuss, learn, teach, and be enriched.
     
  5. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    From my generic Christian perspective:
    Matt 5:43-48 [Jesus said:] 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.​
     
  6. Neemai

    Neemai that's my Boss in the pic

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    I love this quote - it agrees, in a form of great simplicity, with a lot of the above comments.

    a wide variety of backgrounds with varied, but similarly peaceful/tolerant, ethos'.


    ... Neemai :)
     
  7. Dah-veeth

    Dah-veeth Abeja Maya

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    Purpose of CR?

    I say:

    "Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship." -Baha'u'llah
     
  8. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    Absolutely, positively, YES!

    Yes. OR? Are you led to believe that is any different than the first question? How so? I submit the two are the same.

    As I see it, the word 'ultimate' is intended to remove from the word 'argument' in the first question. Am I to be persuaded to seek a frozen death by the imagery of a burning one? Nope. Neither then am I persuaded that argument is fruitless by the imagery of seeking an impossible ultimate truth.

    As I see it, the second question also reveals the same missing concept of learning self via the argument or discourse. It equally suggests that a person knows their beliefs, but does not know other religions. I suggest to you that until a person argues their own beliefs... they do not know them.

    If I have answered your questions in a way that you did not expect, then I suspect it could be one that you will not favor. So then, which will you judge it as... an argument, or the sharing of a perspective? It is both.

    You mention: Evangelical Christian, Catholic Christian, Mahayana Buddhism, Thervadin Buddhism, dvaita schools of Hinduism, monist Hindu thought (advaita), a Sunni Muslim, and Judaism... so in which of those philosophies or religions do you find that the founders and the immediate followers did not seek Truth, or consensus, or had no argument? I suggest all of them do, therefore my answer to your first question is a resounding YES.
     
  9. Dah-veeth

    Dah-veeth Abeja Maya

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    What I like about having a common language is that so many different people can communicate directly. At the very simplest, this forum is for communication... and communication is a step in the right direction... a step towards understanding which leads to love and fellowship.

    Which reminds me of a quote:

    "Consort with all men, O people of Baha, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and good-will. If it be accepted, if it fulfil its purpose, your object is attained. If any one should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding...." -Baha'u'llah


     
  10. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    [SIZE=-1]Discussion and chat about worlds religions,[/SIZE]
     

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