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Why is exclusivity of thought such a key component of some religions? Many religious traditions believe that if one does not practice religion in precisely the same way that they do, that God will not favor them and they will be doomed to 'eternal damnation'. Of course this creates all manner of groups, each of whom believe that their way is the ONLY way. They also believe that the rest of the world is going straight to Hell (or the equivalent).

Does this make any sense? Why is this a reasonable way to approach religion? Why can't people look to deeds and character and faithfulness, broadly, as definers of the "value" of man? Is this more about controlling people than teaching an appropriate religious path?

Thoughts?

© MBM

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Every religion thinks that it is the one "true" religion, and the only way to reach heaven or its equivalent is by following that religion. Therefore, the customs, beliefs, rituals, traditons and ways of that faith must be observed and obeyed in order to reach heaven. Any variation or lack of observance disqualifies a person from entering heaven, and deems them an unbeliever, who is forever doomed. This is just the way it is, and it makes sense to me. If a religion said, do this, and you're okay, but if you follow this too, even though it's not part of what we believe, you'll still be okay...what kind of religion is that? A religion has to have "rules" and guidelines...it's just the way it is.

I guess one reason why people are so adamant about proving to others that a particular religion is "the way", is because when you believe in something with your whole heart, your whole soul, and it make sense to you, you will do everything in your power to defend it. Whoever stands in your way or argues with you is going to suffer your wrath. There's nothing wrong with having passion and faith, but these people need to realize that it's useless to try to force religion on someone.

In Islam, we SPREAD the word, not force it. Once it's heard, it is the responsibility of that person to accept it. If they don't, that's their problem. It is recognized that what people believe is just what they believe, and most of the time, it doesn't change.

My devout Christian friend would give me lectures in my bad girl days. All they did was piss me off, I didn't get "saved" like she wanted, (not by Jesus anyway)...and the friendship actually broke up because of it. In all my convictions, and believe me, I have some very strong beliefs, I refrain from forcing anything on anyone. I like to teach instead, and let people make up their own minds. I mean, why waste all that energy when they are going to do what they want anyway?
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
Every religion thinks that it is the one "true" religion, and the only way to reach heaven or its equivalent is by following that religion.[quote]

Not every one. Mainly the Judeo-Christian-Muslim based ones...
Remember...heaven doesn't exist in some spiritual paths(including Judaiism believe it or not)...Many spiritual paths are about becoming one with God in a spiritual sense....Developing your inner self or reaching enlightenmnet. Mystic traditions in Judaism(Qabalah), Islam(Sufi), And Christianity(Gnostic) also pratice this....and that we haven't even started on Eastern and/or traditional indigenous spritual systems the world over who do not prosteletize...but then again you could say they are "spritual paths and not "religions"...


[quote] but these people need to realize that it's useless to try to force religion on someone.[quote]

People that do this find it very useful...colonization, imperialism, ect...You need to force your version of God and religion(the diefication of culture) on another people to properly control them...It brings untold wealth...And once it is done...the exploitation and ooppression you get as a result is somewhat "self-renuing"...very useful indeed.

[quote]In Islam, we SPREAD the word, not force it.


That is a new occurance...The Coptic Christians in Egypt who were damn near got wiped out would have to disagree with you...So would the African masses who had to convert or face enslavement as "infidels" during the Eastern African slave trade...Although the spread of Islam was a little(and just a little) less bloody than Western Christianity...It still was done through force to a great extent by the Arab invaders of Africa.
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quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Is this more about controlling people than teaching an appropriate religious path?

Thoughts?


It seems to me that all organized religions are designed to control and dominate. And with the kind of success rate that those religions have enjoyed for centuries now, why would any of them change their course of direction now? Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Although the spread of Islam was a little(and just a little) less bloody than Western Christianity...It still was done through force to a great extent by the Arab invaders of Africa.


I wasn't talking about how it originally got introduced I was talking about modern times, and how we are taught to deliver the word without trying to forcing a person to accept it. This is how non-Muslims in an Islamic state can live happily with freedom of religion.
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Although the spread of Islam was a little(and just a little) less bloody than Western Christianity...It still was done through force to a great extent by the Arab invaders of Africa.


I wasn't talking about how it originally got introduced I was talking about modern times, and how we are taught to deliver the word without trying to forcing a person to accept it. This is how non-Muslims in an Islamic state can live happily with freedom of religion.


O.K., than in that case I see what you mean but F.Y.I., the Egyptian Coptic persecution wasn't in "ancient times"...I have an Egyptian Coptic friend who lost most of his family.
SistahSouljah, I wouldn't give too much credence to the "religious freedom" of any Islamic State. An "Islamic State" uses Islam as the law of the land. No non-Muslim can be free, religion-wise, and for that matter neither can any Muslim, in a land where religion is actually the law. Remember that poor woman in northern Nigeria.
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:

Every religion thinks that it is the one "true" religion, and the only way to reach heaven or its equivalent is by following that religion.


I certainly agree that most do, but I believe there are a number of religions, particularly Eastern ones like Buddhism, who believe that religion is merely a path to God and that, perhaps like language, they are all equal paths.

BTW - I find it absolutely incomprehensible that God would create human beings, sons and daughters of God no less, who are "cursed" to damnation merely for the offense of worshiping in the "wrong way". In most cases, that belief system requires that the vast majority of people on Earth - innocent people - be sentenced to eternal death. Why would God do that?
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Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:

Every religion thinks that it is the one "true" religion, and the only way to reach heaven or its equivalent is by following that religion.


I certainly agree that most do, but I believe there are a number of religions, particularly Eastern ones like Buddhism, who believe that religion is merely a path to God and that, perhaps like language, they are all equal paths.


BTW - I find it absolutely incomprehensible that God would create human beings, sons and daughters of God no less, who are "cursed" to damnation merely for the offense of worshiping in the "wrong way". In most cases, that belief system requires that the vast majority of people on Earth - innocent people - be sentenced to

God doesn't do that, man does. When the majority of the planet is said to be "damned to hell" by not believing or practicing their veneration of God as you do...It sure is a convenient excuse for invading their lands to "save" them. Isn't it?
Thinking for yourself is important.

But you guys are approaching this from only one direction. You are not exploring the possibility that rather than "control", this is the equivalent of someone warning that if you continue on the path you are on, you will go off the cliff. Does this mean that the person doing the warning created the cliff, or it's just in their mind? Or they're trying to control you by warning you that there is a cliff ahead? Maybe you're not as open-minded as you believe yourselves to be.
Sheba, the problem with your position is that there is absolutely no way a person is qualified to tell you that your way is wrong, unless it is wrong according to objective, observable fact. No one who gets their belief about someone else's "path leading to a cliff" from their religion is qualified to tell me that I'm heading down the wrong path spiritually. Such an "admonition" would be inherently rejectable. We don't need to say they're out to "control" us; but they can't be seen as "right" just because they say they are.
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Originally posted by Vox:
Sheba, the problem with your position is that there is absolutely no way a person is qualified to tell you that your way is wrong, unless it is wrong according to objective, observable fact. No one who gets their belief about someone else's "path leading to a cliff" from their religion is qualified to tell me that I'm heading down the wrong path spiritually. Such an "admonition" would be inherently rejectable. We don't need to say they're out to "control" us; but they can't be seen as "right" just because they say they are.


We don't say we're right just because we say we are. We say we are right because God told us so in His Word.

Universality of application to religion is a key to deciding what is more reasonably right or wrong--within certain tolerances. A religion naturally will usually (unless it's a universalist religion) that those who don't believe don't reap the rewards. This is common sense.

However, it is not reasonable to compartmentalize religion based on one's ancestry. Why should one's ancestry or ancestors dictate whom the person should worship? This naturally excludes anyone who is not in that gene pool. This is unreasonable discrimination--especially if the religion in question is purported to be really great for social stability.

Another test is how the belief systems guide the application of study of the natural world. If the belief system has unreasonable taboos (leading to rejection of things like autopsies, for instance), science will not progress. Of all the belief systems, the most compatible with allowing discoveries in science are Atheism, Deism, Agnosticism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Animistic and shamanistic religions do not qualify because people don't want to go against the spirits or offend them in some way. The results vary with region and individual systems, but for the most part there is at least one taboo that gets in the way of scientific discovery.

Buddhism and Hinduism are in a class all their own regarding science because neither believes n tangible reality as-we-know-it--it is all an illusion (called "maya" in Hinduism). If the physical world around us is a mere illusion, then so would any experiments or experimental results be.

Most religions believe in some form of "works-righteousness" (having to dooooo something to gain the favor of the god or gods and get forgiven based on something done). Christianity believes that faith alone saves, and that forgiveness is bought with Jesus' death on the cross (which was foreshadowed by all the animal sacrifices made prior to that) and one only needs believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior (and repent of sins) to gain forgiveness. It is also believed that faith without works is dead; however the works themselves are not the means by which forgiveness or eternal life is obtained.
quote:
Originally posted by shebakoby:
Another test is how the belief systems guide the application of study of the natural world. If the belief system has unreasonable taboos (leading to rejection of things like autopsies, for instance), science will not progress. Of all the belief systems, the most compatible with allowing discoveries in science are Atheism, Deism, Agnosticism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Animistic and shamanistic religions do not qualify because people don't want to go against the spirits or offend them in some way. The results vary with region and individual systems, but for the most part there is at least one taboo that gets in the way of scientific discovery.


This from a woman/man who believes that life didn't start in Africa...that the first humans weren't African, and Black of skin...

The 'taboo' blocking you from scientific discovery must be euro-centric racist thought.
quote:
Originally posted by shebakoby:

We don't say we're right just because we say we are. We say we are right because God told us so in His Word.




No, that's wrong. The truth is that you say you are right because you BELIEVE God told you so in what you BELIEVE is His Word.

Faith in scripture and faith in religion are the faith in MAN, not faith in God. You have faith in the men who tell us that the Bible is the word of God. This is why you lack any logical or moral authority to tell us where we are going. You are not going by what God says. You are going by what men have said God says. That, to me, is spiritual folly.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
quote:
Originally posted by shebakoby:

We don't say we're right just because we say we are. We say we are right because God told us so in His Word.




No, that's wrong. The truth is that you say you are right because you BELIEVE God told you so in what you BELIEVE is His Word.

Faith in scripture and faith in religion are the faith in MAN, not faith in God. You have faith in the men who tell us that the Bible is the word of God. This is why you lack any logical or moral authority to tell us where we are going. You are not going by what God says. You are going by what men have said God says. That, to me, is spiritual folly.


You cannot prove that God didn't write the scriptures (via divine inspiraton to the people that took dictation).

In fact, there is ample evidence that God was the originator of the Hebrew (and Greek) OT/NT scriptures. Check out the work done by Ivan Panin, if you can get your hands on it. The phenomenon in question is "theomatic numbers." You may be surprised.

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