On Religion

Parallel teachings

There is a certain amount of arrogance required in religion that even I with my oversized ego just can’t follow. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against it at all but I refuse to follow any one path. Call me a coward but I refuse to choose and rather remain an agnostic (which is a path in itself. Contradiction) believing in some higher body and purpose than practise any one religion or rather just call it a whole lot of malarkey and be an atheist. Who am I to choose which path is the right one? You see, that is where the arrogance comes in. Belief is all good and dandy and is the corner-stone of any religion but there is a certain amount of arrogance that is required to acclaim anything as the one true faith. You can’t prove the existence of a god over another or the existence of any nor can I prove their non-existence. Each has their own proofs of divinity anyway, so what then? Besides, and I’m generalizing here, the world’s religions are often preaching the same stuff: love thy neighbour, do unto others as you wish done to you etc. Admittedly, ritual practises differ and each has its own quirks but essentially the message is the same. One could point this out as proof of universal morality etc but let’s not get ahead ourselves. If the message is the same then the old adage ‘all roads lead to Rome’ rings true and even an agnostic’s or atheist’s path leads him to whatever it is at the end of the road. I merely have to live a good life. Whatever that means. I haven’t forgotten either that the purpose of religion isn’t just the afterlife, it is also the present, giving comfort and guidance to its practitioners. Either way, believe what you will, just don’t keep bothering me by telling me that your path is the one true path. Maybe I’ll see you at the end of the road and we can compare notes. I hear Rome is spectacular in the Spring. Till then.

Below is a link to a fellow who agrees and does a comparison too. http://elpidiovaldes.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/the-parallel-sayings-of-four-mystical-traditions/

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3 thoughts on “On Religion

  1. Hi,
    Interesting views. Very interesting views.
    It’s interesting to note how the exclusivity of religious views has lead to the self-righteous hatred of groups of people by other groups. Something that has led to a lot of damage in society.

    Regarding the blog post above, I’d like to “arrogantly” disagree. I’ll say why:
    I think everyone claims to be right…

    You mentioned how it’s arrogant to make a claim that your view is the only right view, and there may be many roads that lead to Rome… Don’t you think you are doing the very same thing you’re against?

    Let’s take the analogy of a mountain. We could say there are many different paths that lead up to table mountain, and we shouldn’t discount other paths thinking that our path is the only path. But the only way you can make such a claim is if you know that many paths actually lead to the top of the mountain. Then you’re making the “arrogant” claim that not one exclusive path leads to the top. I think every world view excludes someone. The “inclusivists” also exclude the “exclusivists” with their “arrogant” opinion of relativity.

    Secondly, with the view that all the religions teach the same thing: The question is this: is the ultimate end and purpose of religion good moral behaviour? If it is, then the existence of a supreme sovereign being is completely irrelevant, and we should do whatever is needed to lead that life of saying “please” and “thanks”, and not lying to our neighbour (or at least not lying too much).

    According to the online dictionary, Religion is defined as:
    A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

    According to my “arrogant” understanding, religion is the knowledge of the supreme being, and that’s the final goal. And if different groupings teach different things about that supreme being, then they really can’t be the same. If I said Ashley was a black male from Congo, and another person said Ashley was a white female from Sweden, we’d be describing 2 different people. Similar to different religious views about God. And the truth is our understanding of the supreme being will determine the kind of world a supreme being would create, and the kind of way he’d interact with the world and creatures he has created. For this reason, it’s really oversimplified to say that all religions are the same because they all believe in some force beyond the natural.

    Disclaimer: I’m an exclusivist, coming from a Christian worldview.

    But enough of my blabbering. This is long. Its a conversation that should continue over a beer.

    • We will continue the discussion over that beer but before that:

      I did not claim that my way was any better than the rest, I merely stated that I would not choose any one path. My way is all of them. in so far as your mountain analogy, on a mountain you get to the top and you come down. By reaching the top you prove the correctness of the path and come down to show it. Various paths can be proven or disproven. With religion however this is not so. You take it by faith that the path chosen is the correct one. Which actually leads me to your next point concerning the point of religion. Suppose ‘god’ is benevolent, would he send to hell/purgatory/whatever version for punishment because I did not follow his one true faith yet I lived a ‘good’ life by his own dictates? I think not. By that rationale then it is not the ritualistic practices that matter but more so the manner that which I live. No? Last thing, I did not say the Religion itself is the same, the teachings are, the core message. Remove the garb that ritual practices are and whats left in all their naked glory are essentially and I am generalizing – the same things. Did you follow the link I added at the end?

  2. Pingback: On Religion | ninetalesfox

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