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Old 10-25-2001, 09:35 PM   #1
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Hinduism v. Christianity

I'd like to discuss is the way Hinduism and Christianity view our duties to do good work during our lives. All my information is taken from Oxtoby's World Religions, either Volume 1 or 2, on Eastern and Western traditions, respectively.

In Hinduism it is believed that the 3 ways to liberation from the cycles of samsara (rebirths/reincarnations) are the way of action, the way of knowledge, and the way of devotion.

The way of action is called karma yoga, and it entails "the path of unselfish action; one must do one's duty, but it should not be done either for fear of punishment or hope of reward. We must do good works because it is "correct to do so", and because "acting with the expectation of future reward leads to bondage and unhappiness."

In Christianity however, more emphasis is put on doing good works so that we may liberate our souls and enter the kingdom of God. In that sense, this opposes the Hindu view, because Christians are promised salvation in exchange for living pious lives and for performing charitable acts on behalf of the less fortunate. Certainly, some mendicant orders, like the Carmelites believe they must "surmount worldly and physical desires," but to ordinary Christians, the performance of good works and proper moral upbringing is more strongly emphasized.

Though I am Christian (RC), I actually prefer the Hindu view. I believe it is a much stroger supporter of altruism, of selfless acts. In a way, I think that maybe this is what true liberation is - the ability to act in the right way because it is right to do so, not because we must do so in order not to live out a fiery hell with Lucifer. In the Hindu tradition, you are not acting in hope of reward, but out of a sense of duty to fellow human beings. I think there is a good lesson to be learned about unity and brotherhood, emphasized in Hinduism.

Any thoughts, opinions, opposing views are quite welcome, though I'd like to keep it to just this topic, as the 2 religions mentioned are so vast that if we stray, we could be here forever.


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Old 10-25-2001, 10:07 PM   #2
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Primarily, I don't likie this idea of placing religions in the middle of a boxing ring and comparing; all religions are equal, since they all have the same goal. Yours is the notion that Christianity contradicts the Hindu doctrine; I see no such contradiction.

WHere you have the three cycles of samsara, in Christianity you only have one; in essence, you have all the three combined into one. You stated how 'good works' are needed, well, this is done through the exact same ways and thoughts that Hinduism proposes; there IS no difference between the two.

Oh, sure, there is a difference on how people have interpreted the religions, but that is always subject to humans screwing everything up. In the same way that you get the occasional 'god-fearing' and 'self-righteous' Roman Catholic that preaches God's work like the highway code, you get the occasional Hindu who is obsessed with tradition, and takes the call of duty too far. Arranged marriages and gay prejeduice, they are all the ugly stems of religious interpetation.

At the core of religion, though, there is the need and the longing for God and liberation, I do not think that one is more effective, and in that sense 'better' than the other.

All religions are the same, and saying that one will take us more closer to God because it has a better understanding is really a very inaccurate comment to make. I can not stand it when, as an example, I lived in Kuwait for a about seven years, and we were forced to take up satellite tv because we couldnt stand national television, it was so irritatingly patronising. They would put on shows that presented American women who had converted to Islam, saying how Islam was this and Islam was that. Now, take a moment to think about that; they were promoting Islam in a way that made people admit to being part of an inferior religion. ie - christianity. All I can say is, when people start talking about why their religion is better than another religion in this way or that, I turn the other way and place my attention on something that is worthwhile.

You mentioned tradition loads of times, well, just as there are loads of stupid christian traditions, there is an incredible amount of stupid Hindu traditions as well. Traditions have nothing to do with the core of the religion, and the core of every religion is the same; God.

Ultimately, nothing takes us to God, except us. Oh sure, there is so much talk about how Jesus will take us, how everything lights up the path for us, but it all depends on the strength of the human spirit and mind; not the doctrines of outdated texts and 'cycles of samsara'.

Its all very well to compare religions, but what are you really comparing? Comparing the essences of religions is like touching God's head with one hand and touching God's feet with the other, and thinking which one you like best.

I am very touchy about this subject, because this is exactly the reason why Religion is such a problem these days, people think that one religion is 'better' than others, and that is not true. The same way I will not acccept a Muslim telling me how my way is wrong, I wont accept a Catholic telling me that my way is wrong either (as most of my family did). I was raised as a strict Roman Catholic, but around the age of fifteen I turned to my mother and grandparents and told them all that, basically, their doctrine made me feel filthy and wrong, when all the time it was THEIR interpretation that was filthy and wrong. Since then I have been without religion; I practice Yoga and I believe in a God that is not attached to any particular religion. In fact, the best quote I have concerning religion and mankind is a quote by the playwright Bernard Shaw;

'Beware of the man whose God dwells in the sky'.

Indeed, the God I believe in does not share our values or our ways, since IT (I will not call it 'him', I find it very amusing to attach genders to God) has to be quite logically beyond it. I am not saying that religion is bad, I do believe that religion can take people to God, but I have a strong objection to people promoting one religion as better than the other.

Anitram, you argue that Hinduism has three ways, well, I bet the Christian belief also has the path of action, knowledge and devotion, only that they are not given separate categories.

Ant.
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Old 10-25-2001, 10:32 PM   #3
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Anitram:

I agree that the Hindu concept is indeed admirable, but I try to follow it based on my own Christian belief. I guess that I do not strictly follow your interpretation of because Christians are promised salvation in exchange for living pious lives and for performing charitable acts on behalf of the less fortunate. See, Christ told us to help and love others and treat them well "as it is right with God," like the Hindu belief that "it is correct thing to do so." I am not so fearful of damnation from failing to do enought good works as I am from rejecting Him (and I know this may conflict with formal Catholic doctrine - I am Methodist) but I do think that good works should be encouraged within Christianity (and any religion for that matter).

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Old 10-25-2001, 10:47 PM   #4
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I do not know about Hinduism, but i know that your source couldn't be more wrong about Christianity. Christianity is not about doing good works in order to gain acceptance into the kingdom of God. A reading of the New Testament makes this plain. Good works will not get you into Heaven. Only beliefe in the saving grace of Christ Jesus will do that. Good works from a Christian come about as a result of the Holy Spirit living/working through the person.
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Old 10-26-2001, 12:31 AM   #5
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To add to what 80s and Bama said:

The first and primary demand that Christ makes of his followers is that they humbly confess and repent of their sinfulness. Deep down, we're all fundamentally sinful, flawed, broken people, and before we can make any progress in life we need to recognize this fact.
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Old 10-26-2001, 12:53 AM   #6
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Oh you've hit one of the largest rifts in Christianity: faith vs. good works. It's as different as apples and oranges, or, pretty much, Catholicism and Protestantism.

Melon

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Old 10-26-2001, 01:16 AM   #7
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The one thing that separates Christianity from the rest is grace.

"I believe in grace over karma." I think was what one of the members from U2 said.
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Old 10-26-2001, 01:52 AM   #8
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Hrrr, why do I always feel a heaviness when reading threads about religion?

Say you really respect someone, a mentor at work/school perhaps. It's natural then for you to want to imitate that person or do things that please them. In the same way, Christians do good works out of love for Christ, not out of fear of Hell.

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Old 10-26-2001, 03:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
Christianity is not about doing good works in order to gain acceptance into the kingdom of God. A reading of the New Testament makes this plain. Good works will not get you into Heaven. Only beliefe in the saving grace of Christ Jesus will do that. Good works from a Christian come about as a result of the Holy Spirit living/working through the person.
So, If I believe in Jesus and kill 6000 ppl just because i was having a bad day i will get into heaven?
Sorry, i didnt get it. I mean. I believe in Allah and his messenger Muhammad, and I got to the mosque and pray 5 times a day, and fast during Ramadam, and I got up today and killed all my family 'cos I was just mad with them...will just my belief gonna get me into heaven? I dont think so. Actions are the most important thing. I believe there are a LOT of atheist ppl who will get into heaven easier than many of us, believers.

But Hinduism says that every religion is worthy as long as you respect it and follow it as it is ment to be (And i think I believe it, and that's why i dont call myself muslim even though my beliefs). Christianism says that they are the only way...another good diference..

Love and peace on earth!


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[This message has been edited by Patti Jones (edited 10-26-2001).]
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Old 10-26-2001, 03:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
Christianity is not about doing good works in order to gain acceptance into the kingdom of God. A reading of the New Testament makes this plain. Good works will not get you into Heaven. Only beliefe in the saving grace of Christ Jesus will do that.
And will you go to Hell if you don't? Just asking so I have an excuse to paste the following anecdote:
Quote:
We're all going to Hell...

The following is an (alleged) actual question given on University of Washington chemistry mid term. The answer was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Teresa Banyan during my Freshman year, " ... that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then, #2 cannot be true.

Thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.
Just some useless OT.

C ya!

Marty

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[This message has been edited by Popmartijn (edited 10-26-2001).]
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Old 10-26-2001, 04:32 AM   #11
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There is GOD , ME and ETERNITY , that's all.
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Old 10-26-2001, 04:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patti Jones:
So, If I believe in Jesus and kill 6000 ppl just because i was having a bad day i will get into heaven?
Sorry, i didnt get it. I mean. I believe in Allah and his messenger Muhammad, and I got to the mosque and pray 5 times a day, and fast during Ramadam, and I got up today and killed all my family 'cos I was just mad with them...will just my belief gonna get me into heaven?
When Jesus was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4:1-11, an issue such as this was put forward, Satan asking Jesus to throw himself down from the highest point of the temple, for surely the angels would catch him...'Do not put the Lord your God to the test' was the reply- the point being that anyone with common sense would not do such a thing, or anything stupid like it, eg the example u stated...I believe God trusts us to use common sense, and if we dont we will not be exempt from the consequences...

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Old 10-26-2001, 05:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patti Jones:
So, If I believe in Jesus and kill 6000 ppl just because i was having a bad day i will get into heaven?
Sorry, i didnt get it. I mean. I believe in Allah and his messenger Muhammad, and I got to the mosque and pray 5 times a day, and fast during Ramadam, and I got up today and killed all my family 'cos I was just mad with them...will just my belief gonna get me into heaven? I dont think so. Actions are the most important thing. I believe there are a LOT of atheist ppl who will get into heaven easier than many of us, believers.


Patti, this post is so stupid it hurts. It proves you're only here to inflame! 80s was only commenting on good works not being the key to Heaven. He didn't say anything about the path that evil deeds will put you on.
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Old 10-26-2001, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patti Jones:
So, If I believe in Jesus and kill 6000 ppl just because i was having a bad day i will get into heaven?
Sorry, i didnt get it. I mean. I believe in Allah and his messenger Muhammad, and I got to the mosque and pray 5 times a day, and fast during Ramadam, and I got up today and killed all my family 'cos I was just mad with them...will just my belief gonna get me into heaven? I dont think so. Actions are the most important thing. I believe there are a LOT of atheist ppl who will get into heaven easier than many of us, believers.

Yes, it is possible for a lifelong murderer to undergo a deathbed conversion and be saved. I don't think it happens too often, but it's possible. And you can feel safe knowing that when you meet this person in heaven, he won't be the same person he was on earth.

When Stephen was being executed, what were his last thoughts of his accusers? "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." (Acts 7:60)


Quote:

But Hinduism says that every religion is worthy as long as you respect it and follow it as it is ment to be
This sentiment, which many people feel is true, is really quite vacuous unless you define the class of "true religions". And I'm pretty sure that the cult of speedracer worship doesn't fall into that class.
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Old 10-26-2001, 09:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patti Jones:
So, If I believe in Jesus and kill 6000 ppl just because i was having a bad day i will get into heaven?
Christianism says that they are the only way...another good diference..
If you are a true Christian, you will not kill 6000 ppl, because a true Christian has the Holy Spirit living in them. A true Christian will still sin, because he listens to the lies of the devil, but a Christian would never late hate take over to the extennt of which you speak, because of the Holy Spirit. A lot of people say they believe but tney believe it as a fact of history, in their mind. They never really committed to it in their hearts and are thus not new creations.
Now, if you kill 6000 ppl and then realize you need a Savior and repent of your sin and truly accept Christ as your Savior? Yes, I believe you will be saved.
Christianity does indeed make claims to be the only way, that's because Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life; no man comes to the Father but by me". He says it, that's good enough for me. And if you think about it, if Christianity is true, then the others MUST be false, because how can things that are total opposites both be true, especially when one or more (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) claim to be the only way?
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