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Old 07-30-2004, 08:34 AM   #31
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Originally posted by indra


I'm not quite sure if you are referring to me or not, but I didn't mention god or gods at all, let alone tell anyone what to believe. I didn't meant this to be a "defend your religion" thread...what I'm interested in is why do people seem to focus on the differences instead of the similarities inherent in religions.

I wasn't directing that towards you, just in general. The answer is, the differences are too important to set aside. A god or gods are the center of the religions we're thinking about, and if these gods aren't the same, then there's really no point in thinking of similarities. I don't believe the purpose of Christianity is salvation, maybe that's true for other religions, but not for mine. Sure, some of the details are the same, but at the core of each religion are differences that can't be reconciled just b/c the minor details are the same. Sorry, but my God is NOT the same as allah. You can't compromise religion into whatever you want it to be; I can't be a good Christian and start speculating on who God is or whether He might be like other gods. I'm not saying I hate a Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc, but they're different religions for a reason and I see no point in trying to lump them all together when most of the people practicing these religions would rather not be considered similar to another religion. It seems pretty pointless to me.
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:58 AM   #32
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There is a difference in worshipping a "triune God", as we Christians do, and practicing a different form of monotheism as both the Jews and the Muslims do. However, Muslims refer to Jews and Christians as "people of the book" and I like to think I have something in common with them nonetheless. What that is I'm not quite sure. This is a little strange for someone as opinionated as I am.
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Old 08-01-2004, 04:12 AM   #33
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


I wasn't directing that towards you, just in general. The answer is, the differences are too important to set aside. A god or gods are the center of the religions we're thinking about, and if these gods aren't the same, then there's really no point in thinking of similarities. I don't believe the purpose of Christianity is salvation, maybe that's true for other religions, but not for mine. Sure, some of the details are the same, but at the core of each religion are differences that can't be reconciled just b/c the minor details are the same. Sorry, but my God is NOT the same as allah. You can't compromise religion into whatever you want it to be; I can't be a good Christian and start speculating on who God is or whether He might be like other gods. I'm not saying I hate a Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc, but they're different religions for a reason and I see no point in trying to lump them all together when most of the people practicing these religions would rather not be considered similar to another religion. It seems pretty pointless to me.
I'm not trying to pick a fight with anyone, but discussion is pointless? I'm sorry, but wtf? I guess I'm just very surprised at the vehemence of your replies in this thread, LivLuvAndBootlegMusic. First, I feel as if Luthian Black and I got slammed by you...the comment about not really liking "non-religious persons telling me what God I worship and that God is the same as allah [not capitalizing Allah can be considered very much of a slight to one who believes in him], the Hindu gods, etc, etc, b/c he's NOT," Neither Luthian nor I get to express an opinion because we are non-religious? Besides I never told you what to believe (and I really don't think LB meant it that way either, but if you disagree with what he said tell him why, and how you see the gods as different), I asked you to consider the possibility that there are more similarities than differences in religions and then in my second post to also consider the possibility that an all powerful god could present itself in many forms. And although you are certainly entitled to your opinion (as is everyone else, including the non-religious), the idea that discussion of various aspects of religion is pointless is, I strongly believe, extremely shortsighted.

I also find it quite horrifying that you feel you "can't be a good Christian and start speculating on who God is or whether He might be like other gods." You can't question? You can't even partake in a theoretical exercise and still be a good Christian? That seems incredibly narrow to me.

I know many very religious people of many faiths (some of them even Christian) who have strongly questioned their belief, right down to the very foundations. Many ended their quest with even stronger faith...one they had thoroughly thought through and found to be true (at least for them). Some found that what they thought they believed, didn't stand up for them. You know, I admire both groups, even if I don't always share their beliefs.

And one last point...if you don't like others saying what god you believe in, why do you say "you can't compromise religion into whatever you want it to be"? I can't? You might not, but I certainly do pick and choose from many belief systems to find what works for me.
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Old 08-01-2004, 09:13 AM   #34
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Fizz Subtlety is an artform...



It really rubs me the wrong way...no, it frankly PISSES ME RIGHT OFF when people claim I am a sinner, I dont believe in a correct God because I dont attend XYZ church, I am unforgiven, I am misguided, I am..., I am..., I am....

No one knows what I am. No one knows what God wants. No one knows God. How utterly offensive and presumptuous. Doesn't that book, the Bible, even say man shouldn't be so arrogant as to assume such things? Surely it does. Somewhere.

...And when it comes down to it, people can just 'get the firetruck outta here' if they think their 'truth' is better than mine, simply because of this book. There's only one truth and none of us know it. That's why it's called faith, and not The Absolute Truth.

This has not been directed at any member of FYM specifically at all.

PS subtlety is an artform I never bothered learning, but I am fully aware of it
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Old 08-01-2004, 03:55 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Fizz Subtlety is an artform...



It really rubs me the wrong way...no, it frankly PISSES ME RIGHT OFF when people claim I am a sinner, I dont believe in a correct God because I dont attend XYZ church, I am unforgiven, I am misguided, I am..., I am..., I am....

No one knows what I am. No one knows what God wants. No one knows God. How utterly offensive and presumptuous. Doesn't that book, the Bible, even say man shouldn't be so arrogant as to assume such things? Surely it does. Somewhere.

...And when it comes down to it, people can just 'get the firetruck outta here' if they think their 'truth' is better than mine, simply because of this book. There's only one truth and none of us know it. That's why it's called faith, and not The Absolute Truth.

This has not been directed at any member of FYM specifically at all.

PS subtlety is an artform I never bothered learning, but I am fully aware of it
...aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnndddddddd thank you.

Angela
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:23 PM   #36
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I'm sorry if I offended anyone, that truly wasn't my intention. I absolutely agree with everyone who says they hate being told what they should or shouldn't worship - surely we are intelligent enough to allow everyone to worship who and how they want! I don't have a problem with religion, but more how it is abused - that some people (very, very few) use it as an excuse for violence, when most religions seem to strongly preach non-violence.

As for my comment that Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same god, I guess from a theological point of view they don't seem to anymore, but if you look at the origins of the three religions, it is logical that they worship the same deity, or at least did at one point.

I totally agree with Angela's comment about it being "faith, and not the Absolute Truth". If we knew for certain that there was a certain deity/deities, then faith wouldn't be such a great thing, such a sign of trust!
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Old 08-02-2004, 12:52 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
It really rubs me the wrong way...no, it frankly PISSES ME RIGHT OFF when people claim I am a sinner, I dont believe in a correct God because I dont attend XYZ church, I am unforgiven, I am misguided, I am..., I am..., I am....

No one knows what I am. No one knows what God wants. No one knows God. How utterly offensive and presumptuous. Doesn't that book, the Bible, even say man shouldn't be so arrogant as to assume such things? Surely it does. Somewhere.
I would be just as angry if a person claimed you are a sinner, but they are not.

The Bible tells us we are all imperfect (sinners), falling short of the glory of God.

I think that puts us all on a pretty level playing field.
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:27 AM   #38
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Originally posted by indra
[B]


I also find it quite horrifying that you feel you "can't be a good Christian and start speculating on who God is or whether He might be like other gods." You can't question? You can't even partake in a theoretical exercise and still be a good Christian? That seems incredibly narrow to me.
[b]
Oh I have doubted and questioned, believe me. I've taken my share of Catechism and various history/religion and theology classes (taught by Professors of different denominations than mine, for a more objective perspective). All I'm saying is that just b/c two religions have one God does not mean their gods are the same, or even remotely similar. To me it's like saying Democrats and Republicans....are they really all that different? I mean, either way, there's ONE President.

In your originaly post you said "but I wondered about the basic precepts of major world religions and how much they differ." Here it is: Jesus Christ is unique to Christianity and I guess he's the "basic precept" of this religion. No other religion has Jesus at the top of the pyrimid so therefore, YES the major world religions, IMO, do contain irreconcilable differences. You can't just compare them b/c they have a god; you've got to understand who that god is and what he means to the religion in order to have a credible comparison.



Quote:
And one last point...if you don't like others saying what god you believe in, why do you say "you can't compromise religion into whatever you want it to be"? I can't? You might not, but I certainly do pick and choose from many belief systems to find what works for me.
That's fine. What works for you works for you. What I believe is that God is the central authority of ALL things and as fallen human beings, it is not our place to try and mold God into what WE want Him to be. I am very opposed to the idea of "relevant Christianity" and "relevant worship", etc. I believe that as a Christian it is NOT my place to ask "how is God relevant to me?"; instead I should be asking "how am I ...how is MY life relevent to GOD?" I find peace knowing that there is something out their greater and more perfect than myself and would rather alter my life accordingly than build a religion based on me.
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:50 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
No one knows what I am. No one knows what God wants. No one knows God. How utterly offensive and presumptuous. Doesn't that book, the Bible, even say man shouldn't be so arrogant as to assume such things? Surely it does. Somewhere.

...And when it comes down to it, people can just 'get the firetruck outta here' if they think their 'truth' is better than mine, simply because of this book. There's only one truth and none of us know it. That's why it's called faith, and not The Absolute Truth.
AH, let me begin by saying that I strongly respect your opinions and grateful for what you have to say on this topic. The wide variety of opinions that this forum produces makes it such a great place to reside.

However, I would ask that, in the spirit of your post, you consider how your opinions can be just as offensive to those on the "other side."

I believe that the Bible does teach us what God wants, or at least what he is requiring from us for salvation (forgiveness of sins). It is upon this message that I base my life and hope, and to hear someone say that this is "utterly offensive and presumptuous" is personally hurtful.

In no way am I asking you to believe what I believe or "convert" to my religion. But I am asking a bit of sensitivity in regards to other people's personal beliefs. I know that many that hold my beliefs lack this same sensitivity and have likely not given this same respect to you. For that, I deeply apologize. But know that in disregarding someone's cherished beliefs, regardless of how that may rub against your world view, only widens the gap between the different faiths.

This is no way meant as a personal attack against you. I truly respect you as a person even though your beliefs are different than mine. I just wish that those who don't hold to a particular belief system would see how their opinions can be just as hurtful/offensive to those who do.
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Old 08-04-2004, 06:40 AM   #40
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This is where this gets awkward and uncomfortable stammer. I do want to apologise, and to you personally I can and would like to. I do still have a major problem with this whole religion business where someone of a certain and known faith never seems to need to apologise for what I happen to find extremely personally offensive. I hate that how I feel is viewed as possibly narrow minded or not me accepting the views of others. I hate it for 2 reasons, one being that is not actually the case at all and I do have respect, quiet respect for how anyone views their God and associated other (though I do know that I dont always show it, like in here now), but also because my anger arises from what I cant help but feel is no respect for mine. I get like this because I get so offended and frustrated at what is said to me.
I've not come to my views based on concious decisions really. It is just how I feel. It makes sense to me. I feel there is a God. i use the term God because I dont know what else to call this entity. God is as good as any name as far as I'm concerned. I think God loves us all. I think God doesn't want us to judge each other, it is His place. If there will be any at all. I think he loves us all as we are. As gays, as murderers, as school teachers, as single mothers, as priests, as Hindus, as Buddists, as mechanics, as sky diving instructors, as professional NBA players. Whatever. We're all different and many things. I believe there is only one God and we all might follow what we humanly rationalise as vastly different religions, but there is only one God. We are all seperated by our differences and they are many and as varied as culture, location and so on dictates. I believe He watches us and could even be proud that we all find our own way, thinking in our human way that we're somehow so different, yet really it is possibly just a way to reconcile what does make us all so different, and thus giving us an opportunity so we can all do this how we feel is the right way. This kinda makes no sense, but it does in my head lol. I can't explain it. But alas, I am told I believe in a fantasy religion, one which doesn't exist. I am without salvation and as a result am most likely going to hell. I have created a convenience religion which isn't real as it isn't recognised. I'm told I need to accept 'Jesus Christ'. Followed by the reasons why. But you know what? The reasons why don't concern me. I'm alive, and not dead yet. When I do die, I'm pretty sure this whole mystery will be unravelled and what I cant help but feel will be explained/accepted/whatever. But that is for then. Until that time comes, I feel life is kinda more important. It's important for me to try and be a good person, use my time on this earth to do the best I can. Not make decisions or such for what is to come later.

I'm rambling now. I'll stop boring you if you're even reading hehe. It makes me sad that religion which is supposed to be a source of such good, as a result of it's following, causes these kinds of problems. I get offended, and I seem to offend others. No one gets out of this. And it's a shame.
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Old 08-04-2004, 01:31 PM   #41
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Angie, I understand what you're getting at and respect your opinion. I think the thing that confuses me is that when I originally responded saying that as an aswer to this thread title "yes, there are MAJOR differences" I was referring to the religions mentioned in the first few posts. Pardon me, I'm not very good at explaining myself and people often feel offended b/c of it, but it seems like what you posted above you don't attach to any religion specifically, it's more your own personal beliefs, which is cool, but when I said their are some irreconcilable differences, I was talking about differences between christianity, buddhism, hinduism, islam, and judaism, not anyone's own perception of God and religion. Sure, my personal perceptions of God and religion may differ slightly in detail than those of my religion, Christianity, but when I say that at the very core of it's nature and purpose, Christianity is not at all the same as other religions, I'm saying this in general about this particular religion; I'm not trying to say what I personally believe is better than what someone else believes. I wish Christianity and Judaism and Islam, etc could be the same thing, but in practice and doctrine and theology they're not, no matter what I personally believe. Am I making any sense?
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Old 08-05-2004, 01:50 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
This is where this gets awkward and uncomfortable stammer. I do want to apologise, and to you personally I can and would like to. I do still have a major problem with this whole religion business where someone of a certain and known faith never seems to need to apologise for what I happen to find extremely personally offensive. I hate that how I feel is viewed as possibly narrow minded or not me accepting the views of others. I hate it for 2 reasons, one being that is not actually the case at all and I do have respect, quiet respect for how anyone views their God and associated other (though I do know that I dont always show it, like in here now), but also because my anger arises from what I cant help but feel is no respect for mine. I get like this because I get so offended and frustrated at what is said to me.
I've not come to my views based on concious decisions really. It is just how I feel. It makes sense to me. I feel there is a God. i use the term God because I dont know what else to call this entity. God is as good as any name as far as I'm concerned. I think God loves us all. I think God doesn't want us to judge each other, it is His place. If there will be any at all. I think he loves us all as we are. As gays, as murderers, as school teachers, as single mothers, as priests, as Hindus, as Buddists, as mechanics, as sky diving instructors, as professional NBA players. Whatever. We're all different and many things. I believe there is only one God and we all might follow what we humanly rationalise as vastly different religions, but there is only one God. We are all seperated by our differences and they are many and as varied as culture, location and so on dictates. I believe He watches us and could even be proud that we all find our own way, thinking in our human way that we're somehow so different, yet really it is possibly just a way to reconcile what does make us all so different, and thus giving us an opportunity so we can all do this how we feel is the right way. This kinda makes no sense, but it does in my head lol. I can't explain it. But alas, I am told I believe in a fantasy religion, one which doesn't exist. I am without salvation and as a result am most likely going to hell. I have created a convenience religion which isn't real as it isn't recognised. I'm told I need to accept 'Jesus Christ'. Followed by the reasons why. But you know what? The reasons why don't concern me. I'm alive, and not dead yet. When I do die, I'm pretty sure this whole mystery will be unravelled and what I cant help but feel will be explained/accepted/whatever. But that is for then. Until that time comes, I feel life is kinda more important. It's important for me to try and be a good person, use my time on this earth to do the best I can. Not make decisions or such for what is to come later.

I'm rambling now. I'll stop boring you if you're even reading hehe. It makes me sad that religion which is supposed to be a source of such good, as a result of it's following, causes these kinds of problems. I get offended, and I seem to offend others. No one gets out of this. And it's a shame.
Yes!! You hit the nail on the head, AH. My belief system doesn't fit neatly into any set system and is now and probably always will be a work in progress. I'm always interested in a wide variety of belief systems and contemplating the whole concept of god/gods/higher powers/whatever and spirituality in general. From as far back as I can remember I never believed in Christianity (or any set religion) as reality, but more as a guide to living -- much as ancient mythology was a guide to living in those times. Because no standard religion fits me, I pick what does, and that is a variety of ideas/beliefs. For this I get a pretty steady stream of "you can't do that!" and the like. But what god would really want someone to worship what she (or he) doesn't believe? What would that accomplish? But of course, I feel, as AH said in a previous post, that no one knows what god wants. We all just hope we are right!

I don't exactly know why, but I seem to be a magnet for those who want to "save" someone, and many of these people are really annoying. I remember one woman used to accost people in the restrooms at work and try to convert them! Does anyone understand how surreal it is to pee when someone is telling you to mend your evil ways or you're going to hell?

Actually, that incident (and that woman in general) was pretty funny, but I have been told for decades that I am wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. And you know, that gets pretty damned old. I'm simply trying to do the same thing everyone else is trying to do in this life, and that is to muddle my way through hoping to be more good than bad.
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Old 08-05-2004, 05:27 AM   #43
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Sorry livluv, I should have said in that first reply that my little dummy spit back there wasn't at anyone in this thread or even the whole forum. I made my usual non relevant vague post, so I hope you weren't offended either. I dont set out to get up people's noses. Truly!
I'm glad I'm not the only one with these kinds of views indra. As much as I know I will never likely join any religion, I do find it quite interesting at times to listen to others talk about it.
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Old 08-05-2004, 06:35 AM   #44
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There is no God.

Thats my opinion and I have a right to hold it, it is equally as valid as your opinion and I respect your right to believe what you want, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody.

I do not think that Allah is the same representation of a higher power as the Judeo-Christian God. As an Atheist I will respect others right to believe but when that "belief" is used to cause suffering then I will speak out against it. I think that most of the Islamic word, the centres of learning there are full of hatred, when a religion becomes a tool of destruction or a justification it becomes evil, just as the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades before Islamofascism is an evil despotic ideology that uses religion to spread. Wahhabism and Deobandist schools of thought have produced individuals who desire to bring about an apocalypse, this must be stopped. Islamic thought must be brought out of the dark ages, they need a total reformation or we are all doomed Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist and Muslim alike because if they get their way nobody will be left standing at the end. There will be a global peace of the grave where the earth is purged of Infidels and pretty much everything else.

Basically there are good men and bad men, if we allow the will of bad men to control an entire religion then it is inevitable that the religion will become a tool to commit evil acts, if we stand up to the bad and support the good then things will only get better and the religion can become a tool to better mankind. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims no better or worse than you or I, but when they are left to suffer because we will not condemn the brutality that is condoned by their religion and commited by bad men because it is considered politically incorrect to criticize then nothing will change and things will only get worse. To me Islam is equally as invalid and devisive as Christianity or Judaism, I dont mind people being devout and worshipping but when heads literally start to roll all over the world and there is one common factor then serious questions about the interperatation of said religion must be raised or else it will just continue and be ignored under the triumphant banner of political correctness.

I have no problem with Muslims or people worshipping, let me make this quite clear before you lampoon me as an Islamophobe or Racist. I dont have any problem with mainstream religious expression within a secular society. I do however have a very serious problem with the wordview that is touted by the Islamists and is being accepted by more and more Muslims around the world, I think that the general statements made by the terror networks should make it perfectly clear why I see Islamism as a threat to peace and freedom throughout the world

Quote:
'The Blood of Your Husband is the Blood of a Dog because He is an Idolatrous Infidel'
Quote:
'The Corpse of Your Husband shall be followed by Mountains of Corpses'
Quote:
'I don't know whether you know that we hate you, infidels, and we loathe you to the bone'
These quotes are directed to the Wife of Paul Johnson who was killed by Terrorists in Saudi Arabia, it was supposedly written by the Wife of on of the Terrorists. Such hatred from a woman, the indocrination permeates the society and using the soft fuzzy gloves of political correctness will not do any good in dealing with this. See the world for what it really is, do you want to see another generation of young Muslims raised to loath the West because of who we are or do you want to see a more progressive element that encourages mutual respect and acknowlegement of each others right to hold seperate belief systems, I know where I stand, where do you?
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Old 08-05-2004, 01:22 PM   #45
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Originally posted by indra
I remember one woman used to accost people in the restrooms at work and try to convert them! Does anyone understand how surreal it is to pee when someone is telling you to mend your evil ways or you're going to hell?
...yeowza.

Quote:
Originally posted by indra
Actually, that incident (and that woman in general) was pretty funny, but I have been told for decades that I am wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. And you know, that gets pretty damned old.
*Nods* It really does, you're absolutely right about that. I've never tried to convert anybody to my belief system, and have always been open to other theories about God and the afterlife and all that, so why some people can't seem to do the same to me, I fail to understand. And as I said early on in this thread, I don't understand why people are so quick to hurt or kill others who don't share their religious beliefs. Live and let live.

Quote:
Originally posted by indra
I'm simply trying to do the same thing everyone else is trying to do in this life, and that is to muddle my way through hoping to be more good than bad.
Exactly. And to everything else you said. Same with you, Angela Harlem-you and I are pretty similar in beliefs-I couldn't really find anything in your post that I disagreed with .

Angela
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