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Featured What do you think makes your religion true?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by LittleLowlife, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I was raised in a Baptist family and my Grandfather was a fine model ... but my childhood was during WWII and my father was away in the Pacific theatre of the war until 1946.. My uncle was in the European theatre of the war. Any way in a few years the Korean War started and my father went to Quantico Va. to train lieutenants... Later I joined him and in 1952 observed the racial segregation of Washington DC ... Colored and white schools, drinking fountains, bathrooms, you name it.. racial segregation. So I grew up with baneful influences of was and racism.

    When I returned to my own community I had begun reading books in the local library and came across the works of Sir Edwin Arnold who translated in poetic English the Bhagavad Gita, The Light of Asia (Buddhism); Islamic Sufi works... I began to be drawn to exploring other religions... I soon felt I could not belong to a religion that " looked down on other religions".

    Around 1965 I discovered the Baha'i Faith in my public library. The Faith opposed war and racism and recognized the Divine origin of the major world religions. I soon found Baha'is in my local community and joined the Faith.

    Teachings

    One thing that I later discovered was that the philanthropists who donated the library early in the twentieth century had also met Abdul-Baha at a Peace Conference they had organized in 1912
    in Mohonk New York.... so it really is a "small world after all!"

    Peace Conference at Lake Mohonk | The Journey West
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I was raised in a Baptist family and my Grandfather was a fine model ... but my childhood was during WWII and my father was away in the Pacific theatre of the war until 1946.. My uncle was in the European theatre of the war. Any way in a few years the Korean War started and my father went to Quantico Va. to train lieutenants... Later I joined him and in 1952 observed the racial segregation of Washington DC ... Colored and white schools, drinking fountains, bathrooms, you name it.. racial segregation. So I grew up with baneful influences of was and racism.

    When I returned to my own community I had begun reading books in the local library and came across the works of Sir Edwin Arnold who translated in poetic English the Bhagavad Gita, The Light of Asia (Buddhism); Islamic Sufi works... I began to be drawn to exploring other religions... I soon felt I could not belong to a religion that " looked down on other religions".

    Around 1965 I discovered the Baha'i Faith in my public library. The Faith opposed war and racism and recognized the Divine origin of the major world religions. I soon found Baha'is in my local community and joined the Faith.

    Teachings

    One thing that I later discovered was that the philanthropists who donated the library early in the twentieth century had also met Abdul-Baha at a Peace Conference they had organized in 1912
    in Mohonk New York.... so it really is a "small world after all!"

    Peace Conference at Lake Mohonk | The Journey West
     
  3. Messianic Israelite

    Messianic Israelite Active Member

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    I believe my faith is the truth because we believe in the Bible. We have complete faith in what it says, we believe in keeping the commandments of Yahweh and the faith of Yahshua (Revelation 14:12).

    I'm affiliated with the Assemblies of Yahweh. We believe in using the Name of the Almighty and His Son.
     
  4. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    For everyone, myself included, it comes down to life experiences as we are all a product of our life experiences. Things could not have gone any other way given who I am and the environment I grew up in. But it's not about something being "true" in my view, at least not if by "true" one means it in the narrow sense of being "factual." That's not the core of what religion is about. Religion is about navigating our life experiences and their meaning through stories, practices, values, and community. All humans do these things, whether or not they attach the label "religion" to it (a word that is largely a modern, Western artifice). And the stories people tell, the practices they adopt, the values they uphold, and the communities they are part of are basically the product of their life circumstances/experiences.

    Paganism works for me because it meshed with the stories, practices, values, and communities I upheld and wanted to engage with. I've always had a deep love of science and the arts, and when religions exist where the gods are the world itself and embrace creative expression, that's a very good fit. The Druidic order I belong to emphasizes all that in particular.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Good thing I don't have to worry about stuff like that.
     
  6. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    It speaks the truth.
     
  7. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Being Catholic as a kid and having been raised by a very strict father, back then I used to think I was on the right side worshiping and giving myself up for "the Heavenly Father". Still, I found "the Catholic God" to be distant and unresponsive. That thing of "Jesus is your friend for life" just never worked for me. I also disliked the many "Hail Mary's". I think worship should be given to God alone, not to a "replacement", but I guess when it comes to the amount of time of worship, many Catholics effectively worship Mary more than they worship "God" because they feel dissatisfied or intimidated by "the Catholic God".

    After breaking away from traditional Christianity, I kept searching and searching and tried a lot of things available to me. I considered Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, and Tibetan Buddhism. However, I thought I would never end up with the Hare Krishnas because in my culture they are the poster children for “evil cults”. Yet when I sang with them for the first time, it felt so “different” from the other groups because most groups come up with claims you can classify as “true” or “false”. Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Did Joseph Smith really find golden plates? Is reincarnation real? That kind of thing.

    It’s true that the Hare Krishnas have their fundamentalists too, but the process of chanting Hare Krishna doesn’t lend itself to evaluation of “true” or “false”. It’s not a logical statement, but there is a beauty in chanting mantras that touched me on a far deeper level than mere logic.This experience is what makes it “the right thing” for me. I also think that experiences induced by chanting may have a mystical quality and therefore may not be really suitable for religious quarrels.
     
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  8. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Well I have to address this from two points of view: Ethical monotheism and Judaism.

    Ethical monotheism is what i hope for, for the world. I don't expect everyone to become a Jew. It's not necessary. Be a good person. Love the Creator. I think that monotheism is superior to atheism and polytheism, sure. I think that polytheism, given enough time, will inevitably evolve into monotheism. I think that there will always be those people who have a flawed God radar, and through no fault of their own simply lack the capacity to believe in God because they don't sense the divine or stop sensing the divine. But there certainly is a source that underlies all that is, as the Buddhists would say. Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things, as the Taoists would say. I am that I am, as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob says of himself. And this deity cares about our behavior, unlike earlier ideas of gods that only wished to be appeased and left morality for humans to negotiate.

    But for myself, I have stricter standards. It can't be just any deity, no matter how monotheistic that deity is. It can't be the Jesus of the Chrisitans or the Allah of the Muslims. I am a Jew, and I practice the faith of my people. Why? Because I have a covenant that sets me apart, that gives me responsibilities that non-Jews don't have. Sure I can refuse to obey, but I can never get out of my responsibility. I can even apostatize, but still I can never get out of my responsibility. This is what it means to be a Jew. It's just more than bagels and lox and waving an Israeli flag.
     
  9. Nova2216

    Nova2216 Active Member

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    I am a member of the church of Christ because it teaches truth.

    31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (Jn 8:31,32)

    17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Jn 17:17)

    11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; (1Peter 4:11)
     
  10. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein I'm not deaf, I'm just a real bad listener
    Premium Member

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    I have no idea what is true, religiously speaking. I've felt like this for so long when I try to figure it out:

    I sit here clutching useless lists
    Keys for doors that don't exist
    I crack my teeth on pearls
    I tear into the history
    Show me what it means to me in this world
    Yeah, in this world

    Cause I am due for a miracle
    I'm waiting for a sign
    I'll stare straight into the sun
    And I won't close my eyes
    Till I understand or go blind

    I see the parts but not the whole
    I studied saints and scholars both
    No perfect plan unfurls
    Do I trust my heart or just my mind
    Why is truth so hard to find in this world
    Yeah in this world

    Cause I am due for a miracle
    I'm waiting for a sign
    I'll stare straight into the sun
    And I won't close my eyes
    Till I understand or go blind (till I understand or go blind)

    I know that there's a point I've missed
    A shrine or stone I haven't kissed
    A scar that never graced my wrist
    A mirror that hasn't met my fist
    But I can't help feeling like I'm

    Due for a miracle
    I'm waiting for a sign (waiting for a sign)
    I'll stare straight into the sun
    And I won't close my eyes (and I won't close my eyes)

    Due for a miracle
    I'm waiting for a sign
    I'll stare straight into the sun
    And I won't close my eyes


    - Thrice, "Stare at the Sun"

    Maybe I should've just stuck with Greek polytheism all along as the Greek myths were my first love, in terms of religious mythos, since I was a kid. I always found the Biblical narratives dull in comparison (although the Psalms and Prophets make quite lovely literature) or at least in comparison to Edith Hamilton's retellings of the myths in Mythology. I checked that out from my school library as a kid and have been stuck on them ever since (I've bought it multiple times). I've been all over the map, spiritually. But maybe it's more about finding a balance or middle way that satisfies all aspects of me, instead of trying to force myself in a certain mold. Greek religion could provide that. I think at heart that I'm akin to a bookish type who just wants to be locked in an infinite library away from anything and everyone else for eternity so I can think and absorb knowledge. No wonder why I seem to be attached to Zeus and Athena (two deities concerned with the intellect). I did almost become a monastic when I was a devout Catholic, anyway.

    I do envy those who are able to stick with a religion for years or their whole life. Especially those who can use circular logic and not see the problem with it ("I believe it is true because I believe in the Bible"). Oh, to be that childlike and naive.
     
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  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I am a Bokononist because it teaches that everything we believe is a shameless untruth.'
    Live by the lies that make one happy.
     
  12. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    Personal experience.

    I also want to add that just because it is true in my eyes doesn't mean that it should be true in another's.
     
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  13. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    I treat religion in the same way as I treat history and biology. I look for the evidence and then for the theories which give the best explanations. The evidence for religion is experience — what other evidence can there be for anything?

    Now evidence needs corroboration. If one person report seeing a puma in a wood near London, they may have actually seen a large dog. If a dozen such reports come in, then something has obviously escaped from captivity. This eliminates reliance on scriptures, which are unique. Muhammad claimed that the Quran was dictated by Gabriel, but no-one has been able to check with the angel!

    Experience is also vary variable. This is a problem for all monotheistic religions. The Christians have either to reject my experiences of gods or to claim that I "really" experienced their god. But if they reject my experience, how can they simultaneously believe in prophecy? Why should Isaiah be more reliable than I? Taking the other approach, why should their god come in disguise? At least the atheists are consistent in rejecting all experiences, rather than cherry-picking. Their problem is that they have no rational reasons for their rejection.

    So, to explain all religious experiences, we have polytheism. QED.
     
  14. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    I think many might put such experiences down to psychological phenomena (explained or unexplained), so I would think that is a perfectly rational explanation for rejecting what others might see as purely religious experiences.
     
  15. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    If your own grandpa encountered God (that's before you were born), how can he provided you with the information. Can he evidence his encounter? He can't only stupid humans would ask for evidence in this case. The only thing your grandpa can do is to write down his experience and the information given by this God for you to believe. Humans lack the ability to get to evidence of past events, especially in terms of individual activities. To put it another way, can you evidence the humans ever encountered by your own grandpa. You can't! You can't because it is out of human capability to evidence this kind of truth. If you can possibly evidence most humans ever encountered by your own grandpa, it simply means you can evidence nothing even when he encountered God.

    To put it yet another way, humans rely on testimonies from eyewitnesses accounts to get to a truth, especially historical individual activities such who ever encountered by your own grandpa. He wrote down the info he chooses to let you know and for you to believe, this is the only way you can possibly get to who he ever encountered in his life. The more far away in history the more it is so. It is more difficult if you would track the down the same, say, encountered by the grandpa of your grandpa.

    Bible is a book, like history books, composed of testimonies from those claimed to have encountered God and gathered info from Him. Most holy books are not written this way (the way how your grandpa would write down his encounters). For example, Mohammad is not even an eyewitness to write down the Quran based on his encounter of God and what God has told him. He acquired his info from a self proclaimed angels instead. It's like your grandpa wrote to you not about his encounter of God and what God showed Himself up to pass the info to him, but rather a hearsay from a ghost. So if what your grandpa wrote down is not his direct experience but a hearsay from someone whose identity can't even confirmed by himself, then he's at least not an eyewitness whatever he wrote is not a testimony from an eyewitness account. It's like in a car incident, you witnessed and wrote down what you saw and experienced, then it's your first hand testimony. If however what you wrote down is not what you saw but someone else told you so, then you need to do one more thing, you need to confirm his identity to be sure that either he's an eyewitness his info is ultimately from an eyewitness account.

    From another perspective, if the US government has a crucial message for its citizens what would it do. It delivers the message to only one or two states, or it should deliver it to all the states? Similar, if a God has an important message for humans, should He delivers the message to all nations or just India. Hinduism is about the gods delivering messages to only Indians locally. The God of Christianity puts effort in preaching the gospel to each and every nations as the human facing mission since day one!

    From yet another perspective, humans need a God because it is out of human capability to get to a future, especially the one beyond our physical death. Only a God can have such an info. The importance of religions is to get to such a future which could possibly impact us by means of a God who knows. Or otherwise humans have no way to get to such an info even when such a future exists.That's where humans need a God for in terms of our dead or alive. If a God would like to keep humans informed of such a future, He at least should have a human audience base. For example, Zeus doesn't have any human followers, so if he has a message for humans his message can only effectively reach his followers which you can count with your fingers as the number of his followers is literally 0. The possibilities are, if a God loves humans to keep them informed of his message, His message must be human facing as mentioned above plus He must have a popularity for His message to convey.

    By the criteria above, only Christianity is possibly holding the truth.
     
  16. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul One Planet One People Please
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    I see that in the end Truth becomes the standard of the progress for Humanity and what is not truth, leads to the destruction of humanity.

    So what leads us to True Faith, is the Truth itself, when it starts to become part of us and we choose to live it in our lives.

    This is the logic I found in the Baha'i Faith which logically and clearly has set the standard we need to live by in this age. Living to those standards will bring about a unity of action, which living anything short of those standards will not enable us to find our unity. Those standards can be found only in what God has given.

    Many times throughout our history when men have borrowed, or taken a Faith from what God had purposed and made it their own, when they do this, faith looses it's potency and can no longer exercise a lasting influence for the good of all, that is when God renews Faith. All Faiths tell of this renewal.

    Regards Tony
     
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