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Do all religions lead to God?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Admin Singh, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    It is sometimes argued that all religions lead to God, especially in Sikhism?
    What are your ideas about this statement?
     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    It is TRUE that ONLY SIKHS say this of all other religions.

    Ask any Christian...his answer will be THE ONE and ONLY WAY..is through Jesus...IF you beleive in any others.. no way you will be saved. Period.

    Same for Muslims and the Koran... Prophet Muhammed is the ONE and LAST PROPHET...IF you dont beleive in the Prophet..no way to be saved.

    ONLY the SIKH GURUS had close and dear friends among ALL religions...Hindus, Brahmins, Shudars, muslims. Guru nanak ji went to all four corners of the earth...visiting all the big and famous places of religious Worship..the Harmandir Sahib Sikhism's Holiest Shrine is one whose FOUNDATION was laid by a Muslim Mian mir..Guru Garanth Sahib jee, Sikhism's Holiset collection of GURBANI contains Banis from Muslims, hindus and many others who were not SIKHS. Thsi si a FIRST in World History..NO HOLY TEXTS of any religion contain even one line form any other religion...the SIKH religious Text contains many many pages of such Other writigns.

    Sikhism regards all as BROTHERS..all as Creations of the Same GOD..in Gurabni Allah, Raam, Krishan, Gobind, Haree, Raam, all refer to the SAME AKAL PURAKH.

    But now we come to one common failure... it is a fallacy to read all the above to mean that since All religions lead to the SAME "GOD" then why have SIKHISM ??..Why be a SIKH at all..why not be a Muslim...christian..Hindu..

    Gurbani and the GURUS..DID NOT SEEK to CONVERT anyone. In fact Gurbani contains so many passages addressed to HINDUS..BE a GOOD and STEADFAST HINDU... to a MUSLIM..Be a GOOD MUSLIM and steadfast in YOUR own religion.

    Guur Teg bahadur Ji gave His LIFe in Delhi MARTYRED by the Muslim Emperor Aurengzeb for the RIGHT of HINDUS to Practise their Religion. Aurengzeb wanted to CONVERT all to ISLAM..GURU JI was chosen by the HINDUS to champion their Right to HINDUISM. The Interesting thing is that GURU NANAK Ji and all the other Sikh gurus including GURU TEG BAHADUR Ji TOTALLY REJECTED HINDUISM...and all its BELIEFS and RITUALS such as Idol worship, 33 kror devis and devtas, janeaus, caste system etc etc..BUT GURU JI gave his life to DEFEND the HINDUS right to practise their religion. Thsi is also a FIRST in the History of the world..NO PROPHET has ever DIED for any other religion. NO Prophet has ever sacrificed for others.

    Then WHY SIKHISM..why be a Sikh ? Because ONLY SIKHE/GURMATT has the Concept of NAAM JAPP. NAAM is SUPREME in Sikhe...Sikhe REJECTS all karam kaands..like Good deeds, bathing at teeraths/pilgrimages, Fasts, praying etc which are doen as RELIGIOUS DUYIES. IF there is NO NAAM in all these then they are just empty rituals...valueless.

    The ONLY "CURRENCY" that is LEGAL TENDER in the Boat of Kingdom of WAHEGURU is NAAM. Good deeds, charity, pilgrimages, etc etc all help make a good person..a happy perosn, a peace loving person...but as currency in God's Kingdom..they are of no value..they wont go with you.

    The CONCEPT of NAAM is unique to Sikhe.... its IMPORTANCE above all else is ONLY in SIKHE. No other religion stresses this as much...And Most important of all NAAM assures MERGER with WAHEGURU....Jeewan Muktee. In Sikhe there is NO heaven/no hell per se. All those are on this EARTH..and the good deeds, charity, donations etc etc are for this EARTH. ONLy NAAM goes to NEXT..Abode of WAHEGURU.

    Second MAJOR difference between the GOD/ALLah/Raam/Brahma Vishnu Shiva..... and WAHEGURU is this. The GOD of the Bible is full of Anger, fire and Brimstone, punishing and destroying whole cities, wiping out entire continets..even DROWNING the entire EARTH..to punish the sinners...same for Allah of the Koran..He THUNDERS and ROARS...

    BUT WAHEGURU of SIKHE is FOREVER SMILING..PEACEFUL..NEVER ANGRY for even an Instant..Never PUNISHING/VENGEFUL/..Mitth bolrra ji har sajan mera..speaking ever so SOFTLY...in SIKHE and GURMATT..BOTH the Angel and the Devil are WAHEGURU..Both the sinner and the good are WAHEGURU..IN FACT it is ONLY and ONLY WAHEGURU everywhere. Thus Sikhe has NO DEVILS and EVIL..all is the HUKM of WAHEGURU.

    SO there is ONLY ONE "PEAK"...and many Paaths up the mountain... SIKHISM's PATH is straight and easy almost like rididng an ELEVATOR all the way UP..while all others STOP at the PEAK...Sikhe SHOOTS UP HIGHER into the SKY...

    Jarnail Singh
     
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  4. Wanderer2369

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    Actually protestants also say, the one way - true way, is God. God is hope, peace and life. Which is why we differ from christians. Because we're not forced to. It just says, if you believe in anything - enough. Ultimately it will lead you back to God. Catholics say salvation is found in church and praying. We say - we dont need buildings to pray and worship God. to rejoice God, yes. Not to pray and that be our only way to redeem ourselves.
     
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  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Please do tell us more about this. The more likeminded people in different religions come together to share ideas..the more peaceful our earth will become. We must act more forcefully to keep the Fanatic Minority fringe in every religion in their proper place....

    Jarnail Singh
     
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  6. Satyaban

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    Namaskar,
    Indeed I do believe this. As a Shaivite it is a part of my faith
    It is said that Sri Ramakrishna experienced all faiths. I also believe that all are on a spiritual path even the atheist.
     
  7. truthseeker

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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!!

    THis may seem like a very ingnorant question.. but im really curious. Satyaban ji, You said that you are a Shaivite. I have never heard of this religion before.. and was wondering maybe if you could enliten us all about your religion.

    Plz forgive me
    Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!!!
     
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  8. Satyaban

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    Namaste

    Truthseeker your your question does not appear nor is it ignorant.
    I am a devotee of Lord Shiva. I do not use the word "hindu" because that identifies an ethnic group more than a spiritual faith. Perhaps Sanatana Dharma is a better term but even this covers a great many practices or faiths.

    Using the term Shaivite puts a little finer point on how I worship. But make no mistake the fact that I call god Shiva is not to mean there is more than one God because we worship "That One" who is the creation and the creator of all without beginning and without end.

    Peace my friend

    Satyaban
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    wjkk
    wjkf

    welcome to sikhphilosophy.net satyaben.i read your id on hindunet.com
    i regularly visit that site
     
  10. Satyaban

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    Cool:) I haven't been there enough lately.

    Peace
     
  11. orange_slice

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    The way I understand it, it is not so much which religion brings you to God (because all potentially can), but rather which method will bring you to God. Sikhism tells us meditating on God's name and abolishing the five vices are necessary to attain salvation. Well, these things can be done through any religion. So whichever religion you follow, meditating on God's name and giving up greed, ego, lust, attachment, and anger is crucial to attaining salvation. So, someone of Religion X who believes in holy wars or forcibly converting people will not attain salvation, but this is not because they are part of Religion X; it is because they are not devoting their lives to meditating on God's name and destroying the five vices. Instead they are devoting their lives to the destruction of life and the conversion of others through force.

    Bottom line, yes, all religions can potentially lead to God, but meditating on His name and destroying the five vices is a necessity for anyone to attain salvation, no matter which religion.
     
  12. KSKhalsa

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    Remember GOD in whatever way one can!

    You can say WJKK WJKF or RAM, ALLAH, CHRIST whatever u say, but whenever you are remembering HIM realization of HIS values can bring more near to HIM.

    I would like to add here, may be someone can correct me, if I'm wrong that RELIGION is only ONE that is to have His Remeberance and DO all the good deeds for which you are capable, rather we may have different FAITHS- SIKH, HINDU, MUSLIM, CHRISTIAN, BUDHISM, JAINISM etc. Whatever faith you may choose, One thing is very clear that ROLE of YOUR GURU, I mean to say TEACHER. Main crux lies on is you must have Truthful Guru, and you have full devotion towards that GURU who can act as intermediary and who know about the GOD and GOD is infinite and all of us have finity. So whomsoever is your GURU must have accessability to GOD. Thats why, in Sikhism there is no difference between GOD and GURU. In the shape of eternal light HE is in everyone and is everywhere like we can see the 'sky color' of sky in pots filled with water . and whatever path you may choose if you have determination and Love towards Him, HE will automatically recognizes that faith -whatever faith.

    That is one of the reason I'm strong believer that Sikhism faith is quite nearer to this as there is no difference in SATGURU and GOD. IF you love your Satguru/GOD HE will automatically recognizes your feelings and there is no need to worry- why -becauze worry for only those things which cannot be possible and everything in this human life is possible - Life, Death, Happiness, Sorrows etc.

    Let us pray that fragnance of love and equal treatment for all prevails in this world - Let us grow where we can't restrict ourselves to my, own -family, community,society, state, country. Deliver the message of Universal brotherhood which is the essence of Sikhism.

    I'm thankful to my Satguru/ God who has given me this realization and ability to write on this controversial subject.

    Wherever HE prevails leads to have no controversy.
     
  13. Satyaban

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    My friend,
    I see no controversy in faith but dogma and ideology are diversions to worship.
     
  14. KSKhalsa

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    My brother Satyaban,

    My last line is to just narrate to this world that why you are creating controversy for Religion. There is none other than One Religion and that religion is to have true compassion, respect and love for God and all faiths - one or the other somehow tend to make us good human being. So, respect for all faiths in everyone's heart is my main message. My Satguru has warned the followers of all those faiths who want to create controversy for their political, social or religious gains instead of spreading the real message behind the faith. Even, if sikhs are not going to heritage the real message of their Satguru, they will also face the same fate.

    Thanks for your correction.
     
  15. Satyaban

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    My friend,
    I hope you didn't misunderstand me. When I spoke of dogma and ideology I meant that they are man made divisors. I agree with you.
     
  16. dattaswami

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    World Religions:


    If anyone says that his/her religion is the only path to God and that other paths lead to hell, I have one humble question. The question is for every religion without any trace of partiality. The simple question is: Today I have heard your Religion and if I follow that, I reach God and if I refuse I will go to the hell for my own fault. This is very much reasonable. But before your ancestors discovered our country, the literature or even the name of your religion was not known to our ancestor and he could not reach God for no fault of him. But your ancestor reached God through your religion at that time.

    Even if I assume that my ancestor will take rebirth now and will follow your religion to reach God, such possibility is ruled out because you say that there is no rebirth for the soul. Thus my ancestor suffered forever for no fault of him and the responsibility for this falls on the partiality of God. Had the God been impartial, He could have revealed your religion to all the countries at a time. Had that happened, my ancestor might have also reached God as your ancestor. Therefore your statement proves your own God partial.

    The only way left over to you to make your God impartial is that you must accept that your God appeared in all the countries at a time in various forms and preached your path in various languages. The same form did not appear everywhere and the same language does not exist everywhere. The syllabus and explanation are one and the same, though the media and teachers are different. Can you give any alternative reasonable answer to my question other than this? Certainly not! Any person of any religion to any other religion can pose this question.

    Moreover every religion states that their God only created this world. Unfortunately this world is one only and every God cannot create the same world. There are no many worlds to justify that each God created His own world. Therefore any human being with an iota of commonsense has to agree that there is only one impartial God who created this one world and He came in different forms to different countries and preached the same path in all the languages simultaneously at one time.

    Let this logic sword of the divine knowledge cut the rigid conservatism of the religious fans in this world to establish the Universal Peace. I need not beg all these religious followers to be united and harmonious to each other for the sake of world peace. Such begging appeals are made enough in the past. The religious fans feel that there is no unity really in the religions but they have to be united since their kind hearts melted by these appeals. Thus a temporary change was only brought. At the maximum one generation of the followers got united. The next generation fights with each other because they feel that there is no real unity in them due to lack of the real unity in their religious scriptures.

    A permanent solution for this does not lie in the begging appeals, which may or may not unite the followers. Even if the appeals unite such unity is not permanent. If the real unity in all the religious scriptures is exposed through the logical divine knowledge, the followers have to be united for generations together. Therefore, My attack is not on the hearts of the followers through love and kindness. My attack is on all the religious scriptures through intellectual logical analysis of divine knowledge. The unity of hearts through love can be only temporary. The unity of brains through intellectual analytical divine knowledge will be permanent. Hearts agree but brains realize. Agreement is temporary, but realization is permanent. Thus this is My first blow of My divine Conch shell for the permanent unity of all the religions aiming at eternal Universal Peace.

    At the Lotus feet of Datta Swami
    ANIL ANTONY
    --------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------
    Universal Spirituality for World Peace
     
  17. dattaswami

    dattaswami
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    Every Religion in this world wants you to get rid of bad qualities at least from today for the admission into that religion which is practically impossible. The reason is that these bad qualities were grown like hills for the past millions of births. This small human life is insufficient even to move them, not to speak of removing them. People can control the bad qualities to some extent by their efforts.

    These bad qualities are frequently sparking in the minds of even the most pious sages. If one says that he is good and he is devoid of all the bad qualities, it only cheating others, which in turn is cheating oneself. Due to this practically impossible condition, for the religious admission, people have developed allergy towards any religion because the eligibility for admission is impractical.

    The religious preachers have confused the whole situation by fusing religion and spiritualism. Religion is the context of GOD to establish peace and justice in this world. In this context, you must control your bad qualities so that you will not disturb the peace and justice and will not harm any good person in this world. If you disturb the world by your bad qualities, God will punish you. But, in this context, it is sufficient if you control the bad qualities since you cannot remove them. The Religion ends here. Some religions strictly end here without any spiritualism.

    The spiritualism is the context in which you have to make efforts to reach God. In this context, you need not even control your bad qualities because, God has no personal objection towards your bad qualities. These bad qualities cannot be obstacles in any manner in this context. Moreover, when you turn these bad qualities towards the God, they become your helpers.

    Any quality whether good or bad, is created by God only to help you in reaching Him. If you realize the original aim of all these qualities, good or bad, why should you control these qualities, which are with you as a helper? No fool controls his helpers. So, any quality when involved in spiritualism is used for its original aim, it becomes a good quality. So all your qualities become good in spiritualism and you need not put any effort to remove or even control them. When the qualities are not used for their original purpose, they become bad qualities. Therefore, whatever qualities turned towards the world, are bad qualities. In this spiritualism, there is no need of any effort even to control these bad qualities.

    Then, for what, our effort should be made? Our effort should be concentrated to achieve “Bhakthi” which is the love on God. “Bhakthi” is achieved and is grown by the knowledge of God. For example, you came to know that Bombay City exists. This is the knowledge of existence of Bombay. By this you want to see Bombay. As you know the details of Bombay more and more, your desire to see the city becomes more and more. Knowing details about the Bombay City is again the further knowledge.

    So, knowledge is directly proportional to desire. First Rukmini heard that there is Lord Krishna on this earth. As she heard more and more about Lord Krishna from Sage Narada, her love on Krishna increased enormously. Narada means he who gives knowledge. Therefore, ‘Jnana”(knowledge) generates and develops “Bhakthi (devotion)”. Due to Bhakthi, the Lord is attained. Gita says the same ‘ONLY BY BHAKTHI I AM ATTAINED’ (‘Bhaktya………’).

    In the spiritual path all your effort must be concentrated in acquiring the knowledge of God day by day. Once this knowledge based Bhakthi (devotion) is achieved, your qualities good or bad are immaterial. Whatever may be the vessel, the drink in it is important. The value paid in a hotel is for the drink only. If you have taken a cup of coffee, you are paying the cost of the coffee only whether the cup is made of glass or metal.

    Similarly, God gives value only for your Bhakthi and not for your quality. I will give a beautiful example here. “Sabari” is with good qualities and offered fruits to the Lord Rama who is Vishnu. A hunter called “Kannappa” gave flesh to the Lord Siva. Sabari reached the ‘World of Vishnu and Kannappa reached the World of Shiva”. Both have reached the same Lord because Veda says, “Shiva is Narayana”. Both of them have been given the similar value by the Lord because in both cases, the intensity of the devotion is the same as both gave even their food without eating.

    Therefore, this proves clearly that the Lord has no objection for your bad qualities. Hence, all the effort should be only to achieve and increase the intensity of love devotion or Bhakthi on God. It is not necessary to bother about your qualities that are inherent coming from millions of births. They are the born qualities. The tail of the dog is curved. Any effort cannot make it straight. By force, we can keep it straight but it has not become straight.

    Similarly you can control your bad qualities for not disturbing peace of the world by some force. When you come to God, you come in your natural state because you can deceive the world showing that your banded tail is straight but not the God. Whether the river comes in straight path or curved path, the ocean receives only the water with equality. Similarly, God receives your love irrespective of your quality. He received “Sabari” and ‘Kannappa” equally. Sabari with good qualities and Kannappa with bad qualities reached the same Lord, as their devotion is of same intensity.

    A piece of gold is wrapped in an old cloth. A stone is wrapped with a metallic foil. Which has more total value? Similarly, the love with high intensity covered even by a bad quality has more total value than the love with lesser intensity covered by a good quality. When the blood flew from the eye of the Lord, the Priest who is a person with good qualities is trying to apply the medicine. But, his devotion is less. In the same situation, “Kannappa” plucked his eyes and donated to the Lord.

    Kannappa is a person with bad qualities but his devotion is the highest. Devotion is the highest good quality. Now let us evaluate the total cost of the priest and Kannappa. The devotion in Kannappa is +100. The bad qualities in Kannappa are –10. The total cost is +90. The priest with good qualities is +10. The devotion in him is +20. The total cost is +30. So, of the two who is good? Obviously it is Kannappa. Gita says, that, “Even the worst is best by Bhakthi” (Api chet….).

    Therefore, what is the eligibility for the admission into our religion of Guru Datta? The eligibility is that you should be a living being. Even animals and birds are eligible to reach God irrespective of their qualities. Even serpent, spider and the elephant got salvation in Sri Kala Hasthi. The serpent has all bad qualities. God did not insist the serpent to get rid of all the bad qualities. Even if God says, the serpent is unable to understand put the efforts.

    When such a serpent is eligible, why not a man? All the people are depressed and dejected with the eligibility conditions stipulated by various religions. For example if an Institution stipulates the eligibility condition as that one should remove his head and come, nobody can be admitted. Similarly the religions stipulate the removal of all the bad qualities, which is impossible. Only a temporary control is possible which is necessary for you to live in this world with peace. This control is possible. In our religion also we are stipulating this condition, which is possible. So, in our Datta religion, the eligibility condition is that if your bad qualities do not disturb the world, the Lord has no personal objection to them and you need not even control them. Moreover, they will help you in spiritualism.

    How to turn the bad qualities towards God and make them helpers in reaching the God? There are six bad qualities that are inherent in any living being since millions of births. They are Lust (kama), Anger (krodha), Greediness (Lobha), ego (mada), Blind attraction (Moha) and Jealousy (Matsarya). Anger, greediness, ego and jealousy come under Rajas quality. Lust and blind attraction come under Tamas quality. I give you an example to divert your bad qualities towards the Lord, which can be used as powerful vehicles. Example:- Love in cinema songs can be diverted to the Lord by little change in words. Then, the powerful tune that created sweet feelings in you is now a powerful vehicle to make you to reach the Lord.

    A film song ‘Churaliya Tumne ……’) instead of ‘Sanam’ replace the word with ‘Hare’. All the sweetness of your mind is now on the Lord Krishna (Vishnu). See how a person, mad after cinema songs become a powerful devotee in his own way without any change! You can sing this as your prayer for which you need not put any effort by force. Your worship should be natural and spontaneous, which alone can be true.

    At the Lotus feet of Datta Swami
    ANIL ANTONY
    --------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------
    Universal Spirituality for World Peace
     
  18. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    World religions are not cults.



    Who is religious?
    A religious person is a person who has a belief system.

    Therefore, everybody is religious, since everybody has a belief system.

    Everybody believes something about reality. That belief system is their religion, whether it is a popular world religion or not.



    How does a person’s religion effect them?
    Since their religion dictates their world view, their understanding of reality, it is used as a set of base rules to help formulate their decisions.

    For example:
    A Christian would not be keen to be involved with a séance; because she believes that there is a God, that God wrote the Bible, and since the Bible commands that people avoid necromancy (communication with the dead) she had better obey that command.

    A Hindu may not want to eat beef since he believes cows are sacred and he would generate bad karma for his next life.

    An Atheist or “Naturalist” may believe that there is nothing beyond the material realm, and finding this thought depressing she turns to alcohol, or some other form of escape to dull the pain of the “pointlessness of life”.

    A Muslim may take a trip to Mecca, since he believes that the God of Islam has commanded every Muslim, who is able, to do this at least once in his lifetime.
     
  19. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    World religions are not cults.

    How do people validate their belief systems?
    Firstly, it is surprising that a great deal of people never spend time validating their belief system.

    Many people who would carefully examine a school before sending their children there, or would carefully research a company before investing in it, never set aside time to investigate what they believe. We would suggest that examining your belief system is an extremely wise thing to do.

    Now back to the question; the common ways people validate their religion are by asking the following five questions:

    1) If the religion makes historical claims how valid are they? For example if the religion is based on a historical figure, then is there strong historical evidence that the person actually existed?

    2) Does the belief system make sense, is it consistent? For example if the religion teaches that you must own a hat, and also teaches elsewhere that you must not own a hat, then that is contradictory. It does not make sense. If a religion is true then we would expect it to have robust internal integrity, and not contradict itself.

    3) Does the belief system reflect reality? For example, if the religion in question teaches that all people are basically good, do we see evidence of this, or is the opposite true? If the opposite is true then we must question that religion. So it is reasonable to expect a belief system to have good external integrity, and accurately reflect the reality we see around us.

    4) Does the religion have good explanatory power? In other words does it give first-rate explanations of those things which puzzle us most? Things like the nature of being, where we came from, where we are going, the problem of guilt, the origin of logic, love, good and evil, and so on. We can expect a true belief system to cast light on these questions.

    5) Lastly how does it stack up against other belief systems? If we were to consider one religion which had no historical evidence, no internal integrity, no external integrity, and weak explanatory power, against one whose history was verified, which suffered no major internal or external integrity problems, and offered reasonable explanations for many of life’s mysteries. Then common sense dictates that we choose the latter over the former. Ultimately we must compare belief systems and settle on the strongest.

    These questions of course are not the only tests which allow us to validate a belief system.

    Religion is often described as a quest, a quest for the truth. Arguably the most important quest of someone’s life.
     
  20. Astroboy

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    World religions are not cults.



    Aren’t all religions the same?
    People that teach all religions are the same claim that religions “differ on the minors but agree on the majors”. In other words all the religions may have superficial differences but where it really counts they are the same.

    Surprisingly, this well intentioned idea is a religious view itself. It is a belief about reality. The adherents to this belief system are often kind hearted people who think that by making all religions the same they will help eliminate wars and other types of suffering. Unfortunately, as nice as the idea sounds, it is not supported by the evidence. For example, one belief system claims that God is outside of the universe and not part of it, another religion claims that God is the universe. These statements can not both be true since they are contradictory. Either the first belief is true, or the second belief is true, or neither of them is true, but they cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way. While a number of beliefs are shared between some religions, the reality is that most religions differ significantly from each other. And they differ in vitally important areas of belief. Just peruse the World Religion’s subsections if you doubt this.

    It is intellectually dishonest to claim all religions are the same. It is more honest to recognize their differences and compare them to each other, with the purpose of figuring out which one, if any, is most likely to be correct.



    Does it really matter what I believe?
    If there is life after death then it probably matters a great deal.


    Imagine you are in a jet plane over the ocean. This plane has an amount of fuel left. You do not know how much fuel, but you do know for certain that there is not enough to get you to land.
    If you do not find a way out then you will die when the plane plunges into the sea.

    Inside your plane is a whole bunch of parachutes. Each parachute has been designed by different people and reflects their thoughts on how a parachute should work.


    Some designs are clearly suspect, like the “Acme Anvil Parachute” which on pulling the cord ejects an anvil attached to a rope. Others seem more likely to work; like the one which promises to sprout feathered wings and flap you gently down to the ground. Then there are those which seem really good, a few of them claim to eject a wing of silk attached by hundreds of strong threads, and as a bonus they even claim to have a life raft attachment.

    However on investigation you find one of these great sounding parachutes is actually made of tissue paper!

    Clearly in the time you have left, before the jets engines suck the fuel tanks dry, you will invest a lot of effort in discovering which parachute is most likely to work.

    Now all of us are, metaphorically speaking, in a doomed plane.

    At some finite time in the future you will die.


    At some finite time from now the blood will cease flowing in your body. You will stop breathing. Your brain will shut down. No longer will your body repair itself, instead it will fall apart. There will be a definite point when you cease to have life.

    If people are able to see your eyes when you die they will be able to tell the point at which life leaves you, it’s like a light being switched off.

    And that is going to happen to you. It’s inevitable. It’s only a matter of time.


    In general people are scared by the prospect of death, and as things go it’s a pretty worthy thing to be afraid of. Even people who joke about death, or say they are not scared of it, when the time comes are petrified.


    “It is hard to have patience with people who say ‘There is no death’ or ‘Death doesn't matter.’ There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter.” – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, 1961.

    Now while death itself is scary, what is even more frightening is the prospect of life after death being a reality and you having the wrong parachute.

    So does it really matter what I believe?

    Yes it does.

    Ask yourself, are you prepared to take the risk of believing the wrong thing? Because in the end you’re the one who must suffer the consequences.
     
  21. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Begum ji

    Congrats!!! This is a comprehensive and at the same time clearly written essay with some serious tools of analysis therein. Every single one of the paragraphs is a window into how to compare and contrast religions to find similarities and differences -- and if we had had this to read a few months ago perhaps we would have been spared some agonizing episodes in which numerous, ridiculous statements were made and were often countered in equally ridiculous ways.

    People have to be allowed to ask questions, like the questions listed above, without being targeted as misled, confused, lost, imbeciles, under-educated, full of Haumei and all the rest. Some of those discussions were almost scripts. A person could predict who was going to say what next.
     

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