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The True Religion?

User Thread
 37yrs • F •
NightSkyz is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
The True Religion?
I decided to create this thread because all my life I have observed that people of different religions are convinced that theirs is the one true religion. Christians believe Christianity is the true way, Hindus believe Hinduism is the way, Muslims believe Islam is the way, etc etc.
How is it that one "gets" a religion? Excluding converting, isn't the fact that one is BORN into a family of a particular religion determine that persons religion? So if you are born into a Christian family, you are Christian and if you are born into a Muslim family then you are Muslim. You will grow up being taught and perhaps believing that Christianity is the one True way to God and all others aren't really the true way. But then, what if you would have been born, lets say, a Muslim. So then, you would be following the "not really true way". But you wouldn't think of it that way because you would be Muslim, which you would be convinced is the true way.
My point is, religion is arbritrary. You were born into it. You could just as easily been born someone else. Then you would belong to a religion that you in your present life are told is not right. Think about that.

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"Live and Let Live"
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Some refreshing atheist posts for a change
I believe your reasoning is good and I've thought the same thing. Its one of the things which has made me dismiss the truth of religion, among other things.

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 37yrs • F •
NightSkyz is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
I know Hinduism doesn't preach that theirs is the true religion. But people who practice it begin to believe that. My family is Hindu. My mom is a religious Hindu and she openly shows how she thinks that other people are "Bad". That was why I mentioned HInduism.

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"Live and Let Live"
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Dugbug is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What I got my idea on faith from is sad, but when I heard it, it made probably the best sense ever. If any of you have seen Dogma, you know that Salma Hayek's character says that it doesn't matter who you have faith in, but really that you have faith. I use this idea in my processing on religion. Also in the movie Chris Rock says that it is better to have ideas then beliefs because you can change an idea, but people die over beliefs. I find that these two ideas make better sense then any religion out there.

If religions were based on the structure of thought instead of beliefs then there would be no religious problems. It just makes more sense that way. It just would be stupid to argue over who is right and who is wrong, when really, there is no right answer.

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"If the opposite of Pro is Con, then is the opposite of Progress, Congress?"
 41yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Aura is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I had a discussion about religion with someone a long time ago, and he said something regarding different religions that stuck with me (at the time I was expressing my frustration about the exclusivity of some religions, those that promulgate that their religion is the one *true* religion, and all other religions were 'false' or 'misguided' ).

Basically, he accepts that there is some kind of higher power, be it a common moral consciousness among people, or nature, or a higher being people call "God." To him, it didn't matter how individuals defined this higher power, just that it was a source of guidance as well as an inspiration for faith and values. He described this higher power/consciousness as being on top of a mountain, and the different religions/sects he described as different paths and roads going up this mountain, all eventually arriving at the top.

I thought that was a neat perspective. One that might at least encourage tolerance, anyway. I've known people (some within the same family) who have gotten into feuds because of differences in religion.

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"I'm here to live... OUT LOUD!"
 41yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that stealph is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
One thing is that you don't just end up being led into believing that Christianity is the TRUE way to heaven or the truth. It is a fact that when you are raised in a religion that at one point in life you will question your faith, then God sends a test. Some stay with the faith, and some stray and or become non-believers.

God will show himself once you pray for the answer, you just have to recognize that it is GOD and not some force, or pure luck that something happens in your life.

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 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'm sure a muslim could claim the same thing Stealph.

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
If there is no right answer to any one person's belief, then all would be right. But, if any one person had the belief that their faith was the only true faith and that all other faiths were wrong, they would still be right, since there is no right answer to any one person's belief. See, this logic is wrong.

We cannot say that all beliefs are right. Based on the laws of the universe, everyone CANNOT be right. If one person believes there is only one god, and another person believes there are three gods, neither can be right. If the believer in one god is right, then the believer in three gods is wrong, and vice versa.

In an age of toleration and pluralism, the most popular argument against the Christian religion seems to be simply that it is only one of many religions. The world is a big place; "different strokes for different folks"; "live and let live"; "don't impose your values on others."

The real religion of most Americans is equality; that is their absolute, self-evident value. God must be an American, an equal-opportunity employer. All religious roads, if only followed sincerely, must equally lead to God.

This way of thinking is very comfortable and seems very enlightened--until somone starts to think logically and ask obvious, hard questions like, Does that include Jim Jone's road to Jonestown? Satanism? Where do you draw the line?

Those who wish not to conform to any one religous belief, or do not take seriously the claims of a religion that says it's the only one that is true, always tend to revert to this line of defense as an excuse. They claim that ALL roads lead to God, but in actuality, they don't even know if THAT is true or not! Non-conformists tend to state that to believe the claims of the Christian religion--or any religion for that matter--is to take a leap of faith, or to have blind faith. But they disagree when the same statement is made about their "all roads lead to God" belief.

Aristotle, the master of common sense in philosophy, defined what ordinary people mean by truth as "saying of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not" (meaning, telling it like it is). I can rightly assume that everyone reading this thread believes in Objective Truth. If everyone here has gone to school and taken a science class, they know that the teacher is stating Objective Truths. These are things that tell us how the world is, and how it works. NO ONE can deny this.

The safe way to live in this world, is to only believe what is true. If one religion claims that when you die, you will be reincarnated and will live another life, and another claims that you should be one with nature or reach Nirvana, and another claims that when you die you will either be with God in Heaven, or with Satan in Hell, it would be safe to look into the belief that only gives you one chance at life. If it isn't true, then you might just have an infinite amount of lives to figure out what is. Always search out the truth.

Dugbug--"...in the movie [Dogma] Chris Rock says that it is better to have ideas then beliefs because you can change an idea, but people die over beliefs."
This is a bad way to look at things. You can change an idea as many times as you want, but you're still going to die. An idea won't save you from death.

"If religions were based on the structure of thought instead of beliefs then there would be no religious problems."
There are always going to be disputes between whose belief is right. That whole "structure of thought" basis isn't really reasonable. If someone "thought" that a pokadot elephant really lived on mars, that WOULD be a "belief." But, there will always be someone who won't believe that it is true. They would be making bold statements like, "You have no proof." or "That's impossible!" just as people make these statements against others truth-claims today.

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Decius--"Hinduism and Budhism do not preach that their religion is the one true religion. Christianity and Islam proclaim that there is only one true god and that is their God. Hence the fact that they are two of the main religions that actually convert people by force. Hindus and Budhists do not."

Christianity and Islam, along with Judaism, teach that there is one true God. But none of these faiths actually convert by force. It is only the extremists who convert people to their religion by force. Think of Iraq. That nation makes it hard for Christians, or anyone of a different faith than Islam to live there. Christians are persecuted there sometimes to the extent that they are martyred. But you must realise that this is a National religion there. The government forces this on it's people. This is an extreme tactic they use, but from what I've read, the actual faith doesn't condone it.

No doubt there are also Christians and Jews in the world that are so fanatical, that they press their faiths on others by force. But these people are not following the beliefs that their faiths actually teach.

It shouldn't be assumed that because there are fanatical people in the world who claim a certain religion, that the faith itself is the one that is actually condoning it.

Sure, Hinduism and Buddhism don't teach that they are the one true religion. Hinduism claims that there are millions of gods, so any god you choose to worship is fine according to Hinduism. If I claim to be a Hindu, and choose to worship Jesus Christ, I'm still good to go. And based on some of the different forms of Buddhism, I could still worship Christ if I really wanted to.

Even though neither teach one true religion, BOTH still claim that they teach ultimate truths.

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"No doubt there are also Christians and Jews in the world that are so fanatical, that they press their faiths on others by force. But these people are not following the beliefs that their faiths actually teach."
They would argue YOU are the one not following the beliefs of their faith close enough

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Decius--"A true believer in Christianity would almost feel dutiful in introducing and attempting to "educate" others. That's a short step away from forceful conversion."

You're right in the fact that believers in Christ "feel dutiful in introducing and attempting to "educate" others." But it is no where near being "a short step away from forceful conversion." This is the way things are done in ALL religious movements. How would the teachings of any religious movement spread through history if they were not taught to others? Especially others who are not believers in any said religion?

This dutiful obligation you speak of Christians having is biblical. One such occurance comes from Romans 10:13-15...

"...for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

...but this belief that Christians feel a dutiful obligation to preach is in no way supposed to be forced on someone to believe. That is a choice only for the non-believer to make. I can't force anyone to become a Christian. Check 1 Peter 3-15...

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"

"based on their ideologies, it would be easier for someone to feel justified in forceful conversion as a Christian than a Hindu."
And you are partly right, I think it would be easier for a Christian to be forceful in converting, though not justifiable. All the time, people are justifying things in their minds without actually looking at the facts. But that does not say in any way which belief is right.

I hope we agree on some of these points I've made, because I think if we are going to point the finger at someone who is doing wrong, we better know that they ARE doing wrong before a finger is raised in the air.


Crimson_Saint--"They would argue YOU are the one not following the beliefs of their faith close enough."

What are you trying to say Crimson

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"What are you trying to say Crimson"
I was saying one of your arguments "No doubt there are also Christians and Jews in the world that are so fanatical, that they press their faiths on others by force. But these people are not following the beliefs that their faiths actually teach."
Every religion's teachings is open to interpretation, just because YOU don't interpret the Bible to demand violence doesn't mean the biblical teachings can be interpreted to demand violence.

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Decius--"Again, this is not advocated in the religion itself, but the religion provides the first ten steps. Religions such as Budhism or Hinduism do not provide those ten steps."

Just because I'm interested, let me ask you, what are these ten steps?

"Personally, I have a great deal of respect for religions that make it difficult to join rather than ones that need enticing. I really dislike religions that contain (biblically) "truths" that create a process by which it will spread in a viral fashion."

I can't really assume for what reasons you respect these other religions though. Is it because religions like Hinduism and Buddhism claim that "truth" is more like an "ultimate reality?" Like the Absolute or God or the Real that transcends the logical categories of human thought? I could understand why you wouldn't believe in universal "truths"--like the claims of "biblical" truths-- when the typical belief of a Hindu or a Buddhist is that the the reality we see around us is percieved as an illusion and therefore meaningless. But then again, I don't know if these are the views you hold.

Crimson_Saint--"Every religion's teachings is open to interpretation, just because YOU don't interpret the Bible to demand violence doesn't mean the biblical teachings can be interpreted to demand violence."

This is a bad way to look at things I think. You claim in most of your posts that you adhere to common-sensical logic. You ask for proofs of an existence of God; you want reasons to believe the Bible is trustworthy and evidence for why it's claims are true. These are examples of things that you ask people to prove. And these show that you understand the validity of Objective Truth. I know you don't deny the existence of Objective Truth.

For you to say that anyone can interpret anything the way they want is not congruent with the way you yourself make statements like those above. Sure, people can disagree that biblical teachings do or do not demand violence. But you yourself know that there is only one interpretation to a point or statement made in any given text-- and that is the point the author is trying to make. Passages can be ripped out of context and used to make a point other than what the author was trying to say. Pastors do this all the time in the numerous sermons that they preach.

You must learn that things do not become relative when claims about God and the supernatural are made. You know that these statements and claims must go parallel with reality. They must be given the same tests that any other Non-supernatural claim is given (claims of science, history, or anything pertaining to reality).

Interpretation of anything has guidelines. You must know who, where, when and why the author is speaking. You must understand the context of the passage; interpret difficult passages in the light of clear ones; don't base teaching on obscure passages. There is science of literary interpretation out there which is parented by common sense logic and philosophy. Those who interpret wrongly, follow a false belief, period.

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Dugbug is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
When he says that people die over beliefs he doesn't mean of natural causes. What he was trying to say was that if one person believes in something then he is willing to die for it. Which is what happened. So what he was trying to say is that if people just have ideas about religion, they would be willing to change their ideas. Yet if they all just believed in their religion, they would be less likely to die for it, which is where the saying came from.

As for though. If I were to say hey there could be a pokadoted elephant on mars, you would think about that, then relize that that couldn't happen because of the lack of an atmosphere and that there is no natural life to feed the elephant. So you would then say to me no, and then explain why. Which I would then say, well it was just an idea. Now all you have to do is take pokadoted elephants and switch it with religion.

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"If the opposite of Pro is Con, then is the opposite of Progress, Congress?"
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Dugbug is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Isn't there a thing in like catholic religion or maybe another one saying that you don't really have to believe in their god, you just have to have faith? or something like that? I thought I heard that somewhere.

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"If the opposite of Pro is Con, then is the opposite of Progress, Congress?"
The True Religion?
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