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Featured Problems with the Baha'i faith

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Kapalika, May 2, 2017.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    That's correct. Manifestation of God is a Baha'i designation. A designation for Moses would be 'friend of God', For Jesus 'Son of God', and for Muhammad 'messenger of God'. They help us understand the nature of the relationship between each of these Great Educators and God according to the language, culture and capacity of the people They taught at that time.

    It presents an immediate difficulty for many Christians who question why Moses and Muhammad would be seen as equal to Jesus. That's another story. :)
     
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  2. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    Thank you Adrian, that was very helpful.
     
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  3. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    Bahaullah proclaimed that in Reality, He was the Author of All previous Religions, and that He had sent all prophets of the Past, thus, He is the One who can explain His own Books that He had previously revealed. I quote Bahaullah:

    " ...Hearken unto the Call of Husayn[2] Who hath been incarcerated in the Prison Fortress of ’Akká by reason of that which the hands of the heedless have wrought. If one were to question them,[3]“by what reason have ye imprisoned Him?”, they would reply: “Verily, He hath come with a new Shariah and this new Shariah doth not accord with the Law under which we have been. To this matter testifieth our Book which is called the Qur’án, a Book that is from God,[4] the Lord of all mankind. See that which the All-Merciful hath revealed therein: ‘Verily He[5] is the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets.’”[6]

    To this We reply: “Indeed thou speaketh the truth. We do testify that through Him,[7]Messengership[8] and Prophethood[9] have both been sealed and any one claiming after Him this most exalted station is in manifest error.[10] Nevertheless, O Questioner! Hearken unto My voice which sayeth: “Open thine eyes that thou mayest behold the Most Great Beauty,[11] through Whom speaketh the Lord of divine decree. By God! Through Him the ‘Hour’[12] hath appeared, and the ‘Resurrection’[13] hath come to pass, and the ‘Moon’[14] hath been cleft asunder and thou wouldst behold all in a ‘continuing Regeneration’ if thou be of them that possess insight.

    “Verily, through His Advent hath come to be fulfilled the Advent about which glad tidings have been given by the Messengers of God from all eternity and there hath come to pass about which God hath revealed in the Qur’án: ‘On that Day they shall all rise before the Lord of mankind.’[15]Truly the Cycle of Prophethood hath been rolled up and He Who hath sent down the Prophets hath come, arrayed with a manifest and perspicuous sovereignty. ...."
     
  4. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    The Baha'i faith is essentially an Abrahamic attempt to be universal. So it tends to simplify other religions. But at least they're nice about it, most of the time.
    I dunno. I think those more inclined towards Polytheistic/universal sympathies might find some common ground. :shrug:
    The Baha'is I've met seem to just want to mind their own business. So I don't tend to press the issue.
     
  5. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    One thing that the Baha'is are missing here. You say you don't have a "manifestation" that started Hinduism, so then it was people, but what kind of people? Weren't they sages and/or enlightened ones? So the doctrines in Hinduism came from spiritual people. The Baha'is imply that the original teachings were the only ones right, and that they came from their God. They treat additions to the religions as corrupt people adding "traditions" that put negative changes into the religion.
     
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  6. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Here I was blaming God all this time. But wait a sec... So the person who took the title of Baha'u'llah was the author, or the "Spirit" that was in that person? And was that Spirit the same one that entered into Moses and Jesus and the others? No, sorry, that can't be 'cause that would be reincarnation.

    So forget that, Baha'u'llah is God? Or, no that can't be. How about God wasn't the author of the Holy Books, but a preexisting Baha'u'llah wrote them under the pseudo name God.
     
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  7. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Yeah, that is a major disagreement between their views and mine.
     
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  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Just a few comments..

    Baha'is do recognize there can be Manifestations that we do not know about that could have influenced civilizations or cultures that we don't fully know about...

    As Adrian pointed out there is actually very little mention of Krishna ... Abdul-Baha made a few remarks about the Buddha and Krishna while He was in Paris.. It's not like were trying to re-write Hinduism.

    The part of the Faith that is non-Abrahamic is that we also recognize Zoroaster and observe Naw-Ruz along with Shiah Muslims. I've also however discovered that there are similarities between the Zand language and ancient Vedic terms.. THe teachings of Zoroaster regarding Good Mind, Good Actions, etc. are also similar to the Eight fold Path mentioned in early Buddhism. Baha'u'llah also has roots in the province of Mazandaran and the province of Nur which was an area of Persia with strong Zoroastrian influences. An interesting connection was brought up by John Clifford Holt in his translation of the Anagatavamssa Desana where he suggests a connection with the beginnings of the Maitreya "cult" and Zoroastrian soteriological beliefs concerning Saosyant in ancient north India .. this is found on page 2 of the introduction to the Anagatavamsa.

    As to Muhammad.. I've found there's a lot of misinformation and prejudice in the West toward Islam and this goes back for centuries... Baha'is are not Muslims however we recognize Muhammad as a Manifestation and accept the Qur'an as a revelation a sacred scripture. The Baha'i Faith is the only religion in relatively modern times that has risen in Muslim countries that is independent of Muslim laws. The Faith has it's own revealed scripture.. we call the Writings and it's own laws found in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. We also accept the Writings of the Bab as revealed Holy Books.. The Writings of the Bab have not as yet been fully translated.

    I would say the main thrust of the Faith in modern society is to reduce prejudices caused by racial and religious differences in the past and to recognize some of things we all have in common and that's why we encourage participation in inter-faith activities on a local and international level. We also have NonGovernmental Org. status as advisors with United Nations committees and so on.. ultimately we hope a representative world parliament and international court of arbitration can reduce conflicts and bring an end to war. Baha'is also work to raise the status of women so they can share opportunities with men in education and vocations.
     
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  9. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    The main issue I have with the Baha'i faith is the presumption that their prophet is the current prophet for this age. What that says is that theirs and theirs alone is the right faith for this age, or at the least the best one that all the other faiths don't get yet. Obviously, one size does not fit all, by any stretch. Nor is it in any way valid to say it's the "best" or the highest standard of religious truth. I'd say it's far from being that, working off the notions of prophets of God itself being one of those, as if God does not speak in everything from the ant on the ground to the stars in the sky, but only to select special men of that person's religion.

    While I respect what it was attempting to do it its day and age, adopting a perennial philosophy trying to unite disparate religious views into some universal faith, how it goes about bringing that about by placing a prophet figure at the center kind of destroys that. That and it supersedes modern science with 18th century prophet speak, oddly enough using the King James English in its scriptures. When science disagrees with the prophet, science is wrong. That is hardly the voice for this day and age or the millennium to come.
     
    #29 Windwalker, May 4, 2017
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  10. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    I agree with your reservations about Baha'i. I am just going to add to them.

    They hold to some strange belief that every religion's primary texts must somehow all be part of some greater whole. The problem is that most of history's religions contradict each other and make exclusive claims. Why not, truth is exclusive, why shouldn't a faith be? The law of non contradiction would indicate that either 1 or none of history's religions are true. Regardless, the Baha'i faith allows it's presuppositions to render laws that lack a single exception, moot. But how do you get 100 pieces from different puzzles to all fit together? You mangle each unique religion's scriptures until they are unrecognizable then cram the whole mess back together like a theological Frankenstein.
     
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  11. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    When God raises Bahaullah from death, out of a sealed and guarded tomb, and even his enemies claim to have spoken with him post mortem then maybe what he claims would be persuasive.
     
  12. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Of course you agree. You are a fundamentalist Christian who sees only Christians as being saved. All other religious adherents go to hell because they don't believe Jesus is God incarnate and He resurrected from the dead and ascended into the physical sky to be with His Father in heaven.

    We believe there is an Unknowable Essence called God who has revealed Himself through Great Teachers throughout history. Even Christianity believes that with Moses, Christ and some of the prophets in between. The Baha'i faith simply extends the concept to consider world history and other religions.

    A well considered analysis will find they have much more in common than not.

    Because it totally dismissed the validity of other faiths and cultures.

    Whatever that means....

    Not at all. We recognise the wisdom and Divinity in all true religions and acknowledge that some beliefs are no longer appropriate for the modern age.
     
    #32 adrian009, May 4, 2017
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  13. Kapalika

    Kapalika EDM dancing gaygirl mystic
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    In fairness to the Baha'i religion I don't think claiming someone came back from the dead makes a religion any more credible.
     
    #33 Kapalika, May 4, 2017
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  14. Andy Sims

    Andy Sims NightSerf

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    Once a member of the Baha'i Faith, now an atheist... I reached a limit to the amount that I could take on faith, then realized that I really couldn't take anything at all on faith. The Baha'i Faith makes a lot of sense given the premise that God exists at all, that there is a spiritual foundation upon which physical reality is constructed. But if that premise is questioned or rejected, the whole house of cards collapses.

    For me, the beginning of the end came when with finding fallacies in the writings and sayings of supposedly infallible beings. The beauty in the writings that attracted me to the faith in the first place--the wonderful poetry in the Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, and in the Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah--was no longer sufficient to turn my mind away from those fallacies and the inconsistencies that began this stream.

    I'll always love Baha'is and appreciate the beauty of the writings and the masterful translations of Shogi Effendi. I wish them happiness. If any religion is to overtake the others, I hope that it is the Baha'i Faith. But I think it would be better for society to have no religion at all.
     
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  15. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Hi, @1robin . You raise some enlightening points, although I happen to find the Bahai stances on those generally far more sound than yours.

    A main reason why, it seems to me, is that I understand religion to be defined by its role, not by its scriptures or revelations.

    That is a very real challenge for anyone who wants to seriously conside the variety of beliefs.

    On the one hand, they are clearly at odds with each other far more often than not.

    On the other hand, all or at least a lot of religion clearly is part of a greater whole despite that lack of mutual convergence, if only because they are all attempts at addressing many of the same concerns by much the same kind of beings.


    That model of single-choice religious truth has actually been perceived as unsuitable for a long time now. A simple yet effective challenge to it is the Parts of the Elephant story.

    Blind men and an elephant - Wikipedia

    Quite simply, this universe that we exist in does not support your single-truth model.


    By taking religion seriously, mostly. A part of it is sincere effort, another is realizing that there is no shame in valuing understanding and wisdom over ready availability of often shallow answers.


    Any religion that relies too much on scripture is dooming itself. The Bahai rely on those texts somewhat more than I would advise, but it is to their credit that they know better than to treat religion as a glorified bet.


    As @Mandi above, I fail to see how such an oddity would lend any doctrine credibility. It is to their merit that they see other matters as more relevant to religious practice.
     
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  16. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    1. Abraham: Beliefs in one god
    2. Krishna is a god
    3. Moses: Beliefs in one god
    4. Zoroaster (?)
    5. The Buddha: believes in no god
    6. Muhammad: Believes in one god
    7. Christ: Believes in one god.

    The nature of god

    The nature of Brahma

    Krishna is a god and an incarnation of Vishnu. Vishnu is not the god of abraham. They do not relate. @Vinayaka

    There are four Mahavakyas, or great statements in the Upanishads, which have a profound significance as pointers to Reality. They are: (1) Prajnanam Brahma – Consciousness is Brahman; (2) Aham Brahmasmi – I am Brahman: (3) Tat Tvam Asi – That Thou Art; (4) Ayam Atma Brahma – This Self is Brahman. Discrimination of the Mahavakyas - The Philosophy of the Panchadasi - Chapter 5
    ~Nature of Brahma

    God of Abraham

    Is not Self. He is not consciousness. He is not life. He is not everything. He is not abstract.

    He is an actual creator; an actual person; and actual spirit. Not everything and everyone. Not Self. Not "changing and unchanging." He has no relation to definitions of the god(s) in India whatsoever.

    The god of abraham does not change. "Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows" (James 1:17).

    God in Buddhism?

    Quite contradictory views have been expressed in Western literature on the attitude of Buddhism toward the concept of God and gods. From a study of the discourses of the Buddha preserved in the Pali canon, it will be seen that the idea of a personal deity, a creator god conceived to be eternal and omnipotent, is incompatible with the Buddha's teachings. On the other hand, conceptions of an impersonal godhead of any description, such as world-soul, etc., are excluded by the Buddha's teachings on Anatta, non-self or unsubstantiality. ~Accesstoinsight
    In Theravada Buddhism pannā (Pali) means"understanding", "wisdom", "insight". "Insight" is equivalent to vipassana', insight into the three marks of existence, namely anicca, dukkha and anatta. Insight leads to the four stages of enlightenment and Nirvana.

    The Buddha's enlightenment wasn't a mystical experience and it wasn't a essence of god.

    This is well worth the read: Retreat Temple Romania In this, The Buddha challenges Brahma (above Hindu nature of god) in that Brahma was saying that everything was permanent and non-changing (from Buddhist text) and The Buddha corrected him saying that everything is changing and unchanging. There is nothing that is permanent but all things changed.

    :herb:

    The god of the Bahai chart does not correlate to the god(s) and definitions and lack thereof above. So the foundations for each of these faiths are different.

    Taking out Hinduism and Buddhism since they don't have the same god of abraham.

    :leafwind:

    If thou be of the inmates of this city within the ocean of divine unity, thou wilt view all the Prophets and Messengers of God as one soul and one body, as one light and one spirit, in such wise that the first among them would be last and the last would be first. For they have all arisen to proclaim His Cause and have established the laws of divine wisdom. – Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 31.

    All these faiths can't be one unity and divine when their gods are different. Whether god is all and Self or god is a creator and being. These faiths can't have a progressive foundation because The Buddha outminded Brahma, god of his era, and he is not just from his era (nor is Muhammad, Christ, and Krishna) but of today as well.

    There is no "educators of their day" and a renewal of religion today because all revealed religions believe in tradition. They believe that culture, language, and practices that are their beliefs are passed down from the past and handed on till today and the future(s).

    Yes, all these beings (Krishna and GOA), people (The Buddha), and prophets (Abraham, Moses, and Christ) are educators for this day as well as last. However, because their foundations of god are different and some none existent, they do not have a underlining line of progression.

    Now, if the revealed religions were all from the god of abraham, you may have a point. Though, Bahaullah is not a Jew nor in scripture so, like Joseph Smith, and other prophets, he is a teacher and educator and nothing more to the revealed religions.

    The progression in time does not mean each of these share the same unity or god.

    They do have similar goals of unity of humanity but each of them have unity seen by their own beliefs not as a whole. A Christian is not a Hindu all because they believe in saving humanity and work together to do so. The boundaries between all revealed faiths are distinct and need to be recognized as such for world peace-greater and lesser.

    But since Bahaullah is the "last prophet for this day" he outlines the teachings, he says, of those in the past since "they didn't work." Bahai is a "me vs. you" religion and that is okay. Bahaullah being the "last" (the best. the one. etc) does not define any of these religions nor does he have the right to interpret other people's religions except their followers.

    Hinduis believe in god and so do Christians and Muslims. They all interpret their own scriptures based on their belief in god just as Bahai do.

    To say they have no right (as said in another thread) is insulting god.

    Buddhism is excluded in all of this.







     

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  17. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    I share in this sentiment. But truthfully, would you apply that same critique to aspects of your own religion, that some of its beliefs are out of step with and no longer useful for the modern age, and in fact possibly a hindrance to the furtherance of faith in some cases? Would you be willing to admit that your prophet had ideas that while valid for his day are not really valid or true today, the same way you might say that to a person of another religion with another prophet that those beliefs are no longer appropriate for the modern age?

    Please don't get me wrong, I respect what the Baha'i stand for, I just feel some of the structures in place are truly not up to the task it hopes to accomplish and would be better served without those. I believe all religions need to be allowed to evolve, but when you place an infallible prophet at the center, that makes it hard for people to continue to examine their notions of truth and let go of them as new truth comes along. The denial of valid science today in favor of the prophet's words and his notions of science from a hundred some years ago, is one quick example that comes to mind.
     
    #37 Windwalker, May 5, 2017
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  18. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    That is close enough so I will not pick on it other than to add that the reason I deny the Baha'i faith is not because of my faith in Christianity, but in the lack of evidence that Baha'ism is true.

    What criteria do you use to decide which prophets you accept and which you deny? You responded to my conclusion with the premise for that conclusion.

    The primary value of a theology is eternal unity with God. I do not know of two mainstream religions that share the same path to achieve this, and without a doubt they don't all share the same path.

    This has little to do with what you responded to. I said that I would expect a faith to be exclusive because truth is almost always exclusive.



    It is probably the simplest and most applicable logical law known to man. Why don't you look it up?



    I won't speak for all religions but every Baha'i I ever had a discussion with has interpreted the bible differently than all mainstream commentators and theologians. As I said I don't speak for other religions but I have seen believers from those other religions say exactly the same thing about Baha'ism's mutilation of their texts as well.
     
  19. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    In Bahai view, whenever the Laws of the Religion becomes out of date, God Himself will replace it. It is at that Time the Manifestation of God appears to renew it. Bahai Faith is no exception. But Bahaullah wrote not to expect this until 1000 years later
     
  20. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    For simplicities sake lets forget what specific form a miracle comes in. Teachings about supernatural entities and powers could not possibly gain more from any event, as it would from a spiritual event that materialism can't explain. That's why hoards of people in the bible demanded miracles from the prophets, teachers, and Christ.

    If a man claimed to have power over death, what could be more appropriate than to demonstrate that claim, by raising someone from death?
     
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