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Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Old 08-09-13, 12:39 PM
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Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Hi Everybody!

Let's assume for the purposes of this thread that there is a God or Gods.

One of the big questions that I've wrestled with relating to religion is the idea that "they all can't be right". God is whatever God is, and religion is an attempt to understand what God is and what he/she/it/they want. If that is the case, then only one religion can be "right" and the others must be wrong; right? (Of course, maybe none of them have it right yet.)

This idea was fostered in me initially by the statement attributed to Jesus in John 14:6 - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." To me, that clearly states that any religion not founded on a belief that Jesus is the Savior is just plain wrong.

It is my understanding that Islam also considers itself the one true faith, with all others being untrue. I'm not knowledgeable enough in other religious traditions to know which consider themselves the only truth, but I bet there are others.

However, I've had friends tell me that this isn't so. The theory/doctrine/idea of "religious pluralism" has been explained to me, in simple terms, as the concept that God has revealed himself to different people, at different times, in different ways, and that there is more than one path to God.

What do you think about this? If that's the case, then how do we know with path is right for us? How do we know which paths are valid, and which are not? Or are all religions followed with sincerity valid paths to God?

This is a concept that has been troubling me, and which seems at odds with the plain statements of prominent religious texts (specifically, the Bible and the Q'ran, as discussed above).

I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
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Old 08-09-13, 12:52 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

To be a Christian, I think, does require one to believe that when another religion says something that is incompatible with the Christian position on that subject, then that other religion is wrong and Christianity is true. So yes, along with this, I don't see all religions as being an equal path to salvation.

Regarding the above-mentioned John 14:6, I know some Christians interpret that to consider the possibility that Jesus could choose to save people who don't explicitly follow him. That seems worthy of consideration to me.

But to me, this is the real meaning of the Christian advice "judge not, lest ye be judged". We're not supposed to take it upon ourselves to pass judgement and declare the damnation of another soul.

So, I believe that becoming a Christian greatly increases your chances for salvation, but I'm not going to say that there's no possibility for a non-Christian to be saved.
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Old 08-09-13, 01:21 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Almost by definition a religion is going preach what they believe to be the truth about God and the afterlife. There is usually not a lot of wiggle room in that.
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Old 08-09-13, 01:29 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Reminds me of this often used quote: “Everybody is an atheist in saying that there is a god - from Ra to Shiva - in which he does not believe. All that the serious and objective atheist does is to take the next step and to say that there is just one more god to disbelieve in.” ---Richard Dawkins
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Old 08-09-13, 01:38 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
If that is the case, then only one religion can be "right" and the others must be wrong; right? (Of course, maybe none of them have it right yet.)
You answered your own question.
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Old 08-09-13, 01:45 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
You answered your own question.
Then how do you explain this?



Unless you think they just painted a picture of a dinner table and "imagined" what the creatures looked like? Not very likely... And that's a FACT!
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Old 08-09-13, 01:59 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Maybe every deity has its own little patch of eternity to play with, and whatever you believe in is wherever you end up in the afterlife.
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Old 08-09-13, 02:04 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Here's where the hatred lies :

Christian : Jesus was the son of and is God (divine) and the messiah. Islam not a real religion. Judaism is a religion, but it's revelations are incomplete.

Muslims : Jesus was a prophet and not divine. Jews and Christians are are holy people but their beliefs are corrupted.

Jews : Jesus was a false prophet and not divine. Islam and Christianity are false interpretations and extensions of Judaism.
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Old 08-09-13, 02:15 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

When did the movement from polytheistic religions to henotheistic religions such as Judeo-Christianity begin?
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Old 08-09-13, 02:34 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Well, Judaism is at least 3,000 years old, possibly older. But Judaism was never considered a major religion. I think the bigger turning point is Zoroastrianism, which introduces many of the concepts we associate with Christianity today.
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Old 08-09-13, 02:45 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Historically speaking, I think it began around the time of


Spoiler:

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Old 08-09-13, 02:49 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

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Old 08-09-13, 03:33 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Maybe every deity has its own little patch of eternity to play with, and whatever you believe in is wherever you end up in the afterlife.
Which god will give me good beer and hot babes in the afterlife? I'll start worshiping now.
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Old 08-09-13, 03:44 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

I will. All you have to do is tithe me $8,000 a month!
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Old 08-09-13, 03:49 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
I will. All you have to do is tithe me $8,000 a month!
Damn, that's close to tithing for me (I make 7 figures and have a 12" penis).
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Old 08-09-13, 03:57 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

I have 7 penises and make 12 figures.
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Old 08-09-13, 03:59 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Perhaps mankind is tapping into a universal force, and interpreting it as he sees the world. That's why early cultures that really didn't understand how the world worked came up with poly-theistic religions full of crazy hybrid gods and the endless soap opera dramas around them. As our culture became more sophisticated, religion evolved (pun intended) into the monotheistic strains that we see mostly see today.
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Old 08-09-13, 04:05 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
This idea was fostered in me initially by the statement attributed to Jesus in John 14:6 - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." To me, that clearly states that any religion not founded on a belief that Jesus is the Savior is just plain wrong.
Another reading of that verse is that Jesus lived, died, and resurrected for everyone and even if one doesn't believe that it doesn't negate it as true. It speaks to his relevance, that he is so important and unique that he's indispensable. The life he leads, the death he suffers, and the resurrection he undergoes is a necessary part of the story that is the relationship between God (the Father) and humankind. In this reading, there is not necessarily a negation of other religions or beliefs or even unbelief.

That one verse, too, is sometimes taken out of context. 1. It's a response to a question; 2. It sets up another question; 3. Jesus says another sentence after it. It's not like Jesus was in the habit of standing up in the middle of the market, saying a quotable quote, and then sitting back down and going back to eating dinner. Well, okay, he kinda did that a little bit. But my point is, all of these single verses come in a much greater context and that's a good thing! Also, in terms of historical context, the Johannine community was struggling with persons around them who disagreed with them and so in a way this is a sort of "take a stand" statement about their community's faith.

Openness to pluralism is, I think, one of the greatest things anyone, including a person of faith, can do. As much as I believe Christianity and Jesus are relevant, even necessary, I don't think Christ ever meant us to think about life in terms of exclusivity, of who is in and who is out. Plus, some of the tenants of different religions may be closer than we think, if they were given scrutiny with an open mind (for example, I've heard Buddhism and my faith tradition, United Methodist, have some strong ideas in common).

There is a well-done podcast from the Interfaith Alliance called "State of Belief Radio" which has several interviews (Christians, other religions, and atheists) each week talking about how to better live in a multi-cultural and multi-belief world in loving, peaceful, justice-serving ways. http://stateofbelief.com/
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Old 08-09-13, 04:05 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
Which god will give me good beer and hot babes in the afterlife? I'll start worshiping now.
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Old 08-09-13, 04:40 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by story View Post
Another reading of that verse is that Jesus lived, died, and resurrected for everyone and even if one doesn't believe that it doesn't negate it as true. It speaks to his relevance, that he is so important and unique that he's indispensable. The life he leads, the death he suffers, and the resurrection he undergoes is a necessary part of the story that is the relationship between God (the Father) and humankind. In this reading, there is not necessarily a negation of other religions or beliefs or even unbelief.

That one verse, too, is sometimes taken out of context. 1. It's a response to a question; 2. It sets up another question; 3. Jesus says another sentence after it. It's not like Jesus was in the habit of standing up in the middle of the market, saying a quotable quote, and then sitting back down and going back to eating dinner. Well, okay, he kinda did that a little bit. But my point is, all of these single verses come in a much greater context and that's a good thing! Also, in terms of historical context, the Johannine community was struggling with persons around them who disagreed with them and so in a way this is a sort of "take a stand" statement about their community's faith.

Openness to pluralism is, I think, one of the greatest things anyone, including a person of faith, can do. As much as I believe Christianity and Jesus are relevant, even necessary, I don't think Christ ever meant us to think about life in terms of exclusivity, of who is in and who is out. Plus, some of the tenants of different religions may be closer than we think, if they were given scrutiny with an open mind (for example, I've heard Buddhism and my faith tradition, United Methodist, have some strong ideas in common).

There is a well-done podcast from the Interfaith Alliance called "State of Belief Radio" which has several interviews (Christians, other religions, and atheists) each week talking about how to better live in a multi-cultural and multi-belief world in loving, peaceful, justice-serving ways. http://stateofbelief.com/

Excellent response, story, thank you. I will have to go back and re-read that chapter of John in its entirety. And I will check out that podcast.
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Old 08-09-13, 04:51 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
Religion was created by man to control the masses. (or a little less distasteful, religion was created by intelligent philosophical men as an opinion guide on how one should live their life)


There may or may not be a god, but "religion" has nothing to do with it



Then religious pluralism makes a little more sense...

I don't have "faith" of any type, so religion of any type has never made any sense to me. The root boils down to faith, without that, everything else crumbles in one argument or another.

People try to label me as atheist or agnostic or something along those lines. However, I am not sure what category I really fit into, I choose not to label myself.

The one statement I will make is that there may or may not be a god of some sorts. I am not capable of figuring it out, so I quit, no point in wasting any brain power on it. No man can tell me the answer (divinely inspired or not)

One thing is for certain, I will get an answer one day if I do something about it or if I do nothing about it, my guess is my path will be the same either way.

Now where are the hookers and blow? I need to have some fun before that happens

Spoiler:

I am truly shocked the perfect and awesome bandoman doesn't have all the answers
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Old 08-09-13, 05:00 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
Spoiler:

I am truly shocked the perfect and awesome bandoman doesn't have all the answers
Oh, I do. I just want to see if you do.
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Old 08-09-13, 05:08 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

We try not to bring up the Perfect and Awesome Bandoman, because he makes regular ol' Bandoman really jealous.
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Old 08-09-13, 06:44 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

:glare:
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Old 08-09-13, 07:18 PM
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Re: Question/Discussion of Religious Pluralism

Stop proving me right!
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