I have always marveled that so many religions exact such revenge against dissenters. It only weakens the appeal of their faith and contradicts any claims they might have made that 'all religions are basically the same.' If all religions were indeed the same, why not let someone be 'converted' to another religion?
After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that (1) all religions are true; (2) all religions have some error in them; (3) all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one's own close relatives.
The way of presentation is different according to each religion. In theistic religions like Buddhism, Buddhist values are incorporated. In nontheistic religions, like some types of ancient Indian thought, the law of karma applies. If you do something good, you get a good result. Now, what we need is a way to educate nonbelievers. These nonbelievers may be critical of all religions, but they should be decent at heart.
We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.' Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against nonbelievers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.
If we live in our oneness-heart, we will feel the essence of all religions, which is love of God. But if we live in the mind, we will only try to separate one religion from another and see how their ideologies differ. It is the heart that can have a true intuitive understanding of the height and breadth of all religions. It is the heart that sees and feels the inner harmony and oneness of all religions.
All religions are equal to me. And all castes and creeds are dear to me. But though I appreciate all 'isms,' religions and political parties for the many good things they seek to achieve, I do not and cannot belong to any of these 'isms,' religions or political parties, for the Absolute Truth, while equally including them, transcends all of them and leaves no room for separative divisions which are all equally false.
All who have actually attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed. They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he or she does not speak in the same tongue.
True religion has a universal quality. It does not find fault with other religions. False religions will find fault with other religions; they will say that theirs is the only valid religion and their prophet is the only saviour. But a true religion will feel that all the prophets are saviours of mankind.
I do believe that the original sources of all religions should be taught, because with that we will find our similarities, not just our differences. I believe that if Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus, and Moses all got together they would be best of friends because the spiritual basis of all religions is something that builds unity.
An important advance in the life of a people is the transformation of the religion of fear into the moral religion. But one must avoid the prejudice that regards the religions of primitive peoples as pure fear religions and those of the civilized races as pure moral religions. All are mixed forms, though the moral element predominates in the higher levels of social life. Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of the idea of God.
You are human, whether your ancestors come from Europe, Asia, Africa, or wherever, shamanism once existed there. We are just attempting to go home to our spiritual roots before the state religions, the agrarian centralized religions rose up with autocratic government and said, 'This is what you're going to believe, these are the official revelations, take it from us, you can trust us, we got it.'
I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God- given and I believe that they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoints of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they were at bottom all one and were all helpful to one another.
The word religion literally means, in Latin, to link or bind together; and despite the vast variation in the world's religions, Wilson shows that religions always serve to coordinate and orient people's behavior toward each other and toward the group as a whole, sometimes for the purpose of competing with other groups.
If the believers of the present-day religions would earnestly try to think and act in the spirit of the founders of these religions then no hostility on the basis of religion would exist among the followers of the different faiths. Even the conflicts and the realm of religion would be exposed as insignificant.
Of the hundreds of religions and philosophies ever entertained by the mind of man, each considered by the convinced holder to be the only valid one, only at the very most one can be accurate... Just as obvious should be the possibility, if not likelihood, if not certainty, that none of those hundreds of religions accurately depicts How Life Works.
Thomas Daniel Nehrer
I'm a strong opponent of all religious belief... And supposedly 95% of Americans say they believe in God - that's worrying... Religions are Trojan horses which conceal profoundly strange psychopathy strains. There's no other explanation for them. The sheer fear of death has been the main engine of religions for a very long time.
Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree (for all forbid us to steal, murder, plunder, or bear false witness), and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, and which are totally unconnected with morality.
RELIGION is one's opinion and belief in some ethical truth. To be a Christian is to have the religion of Christ, and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be a Mohammedan but there are so many religions that every man seems to be a religion unto himself. No two persons think alike, even if they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have believers.
I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity...
You have noticed that the human being is a curiosity. In times past he has had (and worn out and flung away) hundreds and hundreds of religions; today he has hundreds and hundreds of religions, and launches not fewer than three new ones every year. I could enlarge on that number and still be within the facts.
A truly religious man should think that other religions also have many paths leading to the truth. One should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. Dispute not, as you rest firmly on your own faith and opinion, allow others also equal liberty to stand by their own faith and opinion.
The world's major religions in the end all want the same thing, even though they were born in different places and circumstances on this planet. What the world needs today is a convergence of the different religions in the search for and definition of the cosmic or divine laws which ought to regulate our behavior on this planet.
Most of the founding fathers, sympathetic with and influenced by the European Enlightenment, saw religion - natural religion, that is - as a potential good, but with equal clarity they saw the religions of existing institutions and religions based on a fixed scriptural revelation as meddlesome, wrong-headed and hopelessly obsolete.
All Christian religions are outer-directed. "Who can I convert?" "Let's go to this country and make them Christians." "Wear this." "Do that." "No, don't worship that way. Worship this way or I'll kill you - for the good of your soul, of course." Meanwhile, followers of Eastern religions are sitting in the middle of their minds, experiencing a bliss and a level of consciousness that Western man can't begin to approach.
Yet rather than calling the earliest religions, which embraced such an open acceptance of all human sexuality, 'fertility cults,' we might consider the religions of today as strange in that they seem to associate shame and even sin with the very process of conceiving new human life. Perhaps centuries from now scholars and historians will be classifying them as 'sterility cults.
Languages, symbols and universals do not change, they cannot by virtue of what they - thus, with the passing of the Ages, Tradition does not change, but the form in which it decides to manifest does - thus some religions succeed whilst others fail and become extinct. Tradition itself can never cease to exist, but the religions which are its voice perish with the rise and fall of civilizations
I clenched my teeth and fists to stop them biting and scratching these clever men who want no care for the helpless sick small, who use religions and politics to stay comfortably superior to all that pain: who make religions and politics, excuses to spread misery with fire and sword and how could I stop all this? I did not know what to do.
Western liberal humanism is not something that comes naturally to us: like an appreciation of art or poetry, it has to be cultivated. Humanism is itself a religion without God-not all religions, of course, are theistic. Our ethical secular ideal has it's own disciplines of mind and heart and gives people the means of finding faith in the ultimate meaning of human life that were once provided by the more conventional religions.
I am thankful that the church exists, thankful that it has done such great things, giving us laws, for instance - 'thou shalt' and 'thou shalt not', and established Goodness and Evil. That's what all religions do, and as soon as we try to replace them, worldly religions like fascism and communism take over.
Before Christianity became the Roman Empire's official religion in the 4th Century, 'mystery religions,' organized around a central canon of secret knowledge, were widespread. Membership in such religions was limited to people who had passed through secret initiation rituals and had begun to learn a body of hidden knowledge.
The history of religions reaches down and makes contact with that which is essentially human: the relation of man to the sacred. The history of religions can play an extremely important role in the crisis we are living through. The crises of modern man are to a large extent religious ones, insofar as they are an awakening of his awareness to an absence of meaning.
In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen. While the different religions in their historic forms bind us to limited groups and militate against the development of loyalty to the world community, the mystics have already stood for the fellowship of humanity in harmony with the spirit of the mystics of ages gone by.
The universe contains many planets which make it what it is - a unified system. In addition, our bodies contain many organs, and each part is congruent to a planet in our solar system. The universe we see out our eyes is a mirror of what is within us. This is what God meant by making man in his image. We are all made as a reflection of God and that reflection of him is within us. Furthermore, not only are all religions connected to the same Truth, or Cosmic Heart, but this concept is also mirrored in the pantheons of ancient religions, where each of the many gods simply represented one set of characteristics of the ONE. And in all cases, these many gods symbolized the planets, therefore mimicking the different parts of the universe and the ONE God's many mirrors (He Who is All). The structure behind all polytheistic religions of the past and present is one and the same. They are all built on the same foundation as Nature.
For a time it seemed inevitable that the surging tide of agnosticism and materialism would sweep all before it. There were those who did not dare utter what they thought. Many thought the case hopeless and the cause of religion lost once and for ever. But the tide has turned and to the rescue has come - what? The study of comparative religions. By the study of different religions we find that in essence they are one.
It is this subtle dimension of understanding that marks the southwestern Indian peoples from other religions and separates tribal peoples from the world's religions. Somewhere in the planetary history religious expression changed from participation in the sound, color and rhythm of nature to the abstractions of man outside this context pleading for temporary respite and hoping in the next life to return to the Garden.
Vine Deloria Jr.
All religions, at one point or another in their evolution tried to proclaim their single, inerrant consistency. All religions even the most liberal, were tempted by the reactionary impulse to freeze faith in place. Because as Jesus teaches, it's easy to be threatened by the reality of the complicated, messy, syncretic, God-bearing truth that becomes incarnate among us and makes things new. We'd rather have a dead religion than a living God
In his numerous works, especially in The Idealist View of Life and Eastern Religions and Western Thought, the great Eastern Philosopher, Professor Radhakrishnan, advocates the necessity for the revival of the deeply spiritual mystical experience which is the basis of all religions and which is expressed in a pure form in Hinduism. He says: 'In spite of all appearances to the contrary, we discern in the present unrest the gradual dawning of a great light, a converging life-endeavour, a growing realisation that there is a secret spirit in which we are all one, and of which humanity is the highest vehicle on earth, and an increasing desire to live out this knowledge and establish a kingdom of spirit on earth.' (Eastern Religions and Western Thought, p. 33). 'The different religions have now come together, and if they are not to continue in a state of conflict or competition, they must develop a spirit of comprehension which will break down prejudice and misunderstanding and bind them together as varied expressions of a single truth. Such a spirit characterised the development of Hinduism, which has not been interrupted for nearly fifty centuries.
Tirupattur Ramaseshayyer Venkatachala Murti
It's not another treatment of a day in the life of LDS missionaries. This time, it's LDS missionaries who are part of a much larger story. It's more of an ensemble film that has characters from different religions, and no religions, and how their lives intertwine in present-day Santa Monica. . . . It's very much designed not to just be accessible to Mormon Christianity, but hopefully embraced by all Christians.
If you're following the news, you know that the major religions differ in their interpretation of the holy books. For example, one way to interpret God's will is that you should love your neighbor. An alternate reading of the holy books might lead you to rig a donkey cart with small mortar rockets and aim it at a hotel full of infidels. In summary, po-tay-to, poh-tah-to. Religions are very flexible.
It should not be strange that the values cherished by all the three major religions are the same, since they originate from a common source. For example, Islam, the predominant religion in the Middle East, accepts as an integral part of its religious teachings both the Old and the New Testaments. If this commonality of moral traditions among the world's major religions does not say something about the universality of religion, it does say something about the universality of mankind...
King Hussein I
There is yet another class that, having found that their own religion not only prevents free thinking but that some of its philosophies are also against some basic social, economic and scientific concepts of life as required by the progressive society, comes to the illogical conclusion that all religions similarly thwart the growth of progressive societies... Such people fall easy prey to materialism and denounce all religions without having any definite idea of any religion at all.
Mohammed Ali Muhiyaddin
Under any religion, the preestablished impersonal code transcends the right of the individual to explore, experience, and marvel at the mysteries of his own life and death. Religions introduce us not to God but to slavery. They deprive us of our freedom to explore our own souls and to discover the endless and wondrous possibilities presented to us by an infinite universe. And most often the method of religions is fear, not love. They demand blind obedience and often obedience to dreadful dogma.
For people raised and programmed on the patriarchal religions of today, religions that affect even the most secular aspects of our society, perhaps there remains a lingering, almost innate memory of sacred shrines and temples tended by priestesses who served in the religion of the original supreme deity. In the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman. Do you remember?
The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal -- God is the Omnipotent Father -- hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates.
Hatred and conflict are often rooted in differences between people of different races and religions. We all need to respect people of different races as well as people of different faiths and religions. We need to unite by recognizing our common desire and need for a harmonious society- a society in which we and our children and families and friends and communities can all live our lives in peace and harmony. Regardless of our race or religion, we all want and need such social harmony.
Jagad Guru Chris Butler
Colonization of the world, more often than not by robbery and warfare, spread Christianity into the Americas and other corners of the earth, just as Islam was spread throughout Asia and Africa. lt is not a coincidence that the two most widespread religions in the world today are the most warlike and intolerant religions in history. Before the rise of Christianity, religious tolerance, including a large degree of religious freedom, was not only custom but in many ways law under the Roman and Persian empires. They conquered for greed and power, rarely for any declared religious reasons, and actually sought to integrate foreign religions into their civilization, rather than seeking to destroy them. People were generally not killed because they practiced a different religion. Indeed, the Christians were persecuted for denying that the popular gods existed - not for following a different religion. In other words, Christians were persecuted for being intolerant.
I came to the conclusion long ago that all religions were true and that also that all had some error in them, and while I hold by my own religion, I should hold other religions as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we were Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu; but our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should become a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, and a Christian a better Christian.
Many people entertain the idea that Christianity,like almost any other religion,is basically a system of beliefs-you know, a set of doctrines or a code of behavior, a philosophy, an ideology. But that's a myth. Christianity is not at all like Buddhism or Islam or Confucianism. The founders of those religions said (in effect), 'Here is what I teach. Believe my teachings. Follow my philosophy.' Jesus said, 'Follow me'(Matthew 9:9). Leaders of the world's religions said, 'What do you think about what I teach?' Jesus said, 'Who do you say I am?'(Luke 9:20)
Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you-even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.
In the early twelfth century century the Virgin had been the supreme protectress of civilisation. She had taught a race of tough and ruthless barbarians the virtues of tenderness and compassion. The great cathedrals of the Middle Ages were her dwelling places upon earth. In the Renaissance, while remaining the Queen of Heaven, she became also the human mother in whom everyone could recognise qualities of warmth and love and approachability... The stabilising, comprehensive religions of the world, the religions which penetrate to every part of a man's being-in Egypt, India or China-gave the female principle of creation at least as much importance as the male, and wouldn't have taken seriously a philosophy that failed to include them both... It's a curious fact that the all-male religions have produced no religious imagery-in most cases have positively forbidden it. The great religious art of the world is deeply involved with the female principle.
Religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. Instead of bringing about an ending of violence and hatred through a realization of the fundamental oneness of all life, they brought more violence and hatred, more divisions between people as well as between different religions and even within the same religion. They became ideologies; belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them they could make themselves 'right' and others 'wrong' and thus define their identity through their enemies, the 'others', the 'nonbelievers' or 'wrong believers' who not infrequently they saw themselves justified in the killing.
There is one element in Christianity which was not borrowed from Paganism - religious intolerance. Referring to Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, a writer on China says: 'Between the followers of the three national religions there is not only a total absence of persecution and bitter feeling, but a very great indifference as to which of them a man may belong... Among the politer classes, when strangers meet, the question is asked: 'To what sublime religion do you belong, ' and each one pronounces a eulogium, not on his own religion, but on that professed by the others, and concludes with the oft-repeated formula 'Religions are many; reason is one; we are all brothers.
All religions, plainly and simply, cannot be true. Some beliefs are false, and we know them to be false. So it does no good to put a halo on the notion of tolerance as if everything could be equally true. To deem all beliefs equally true is sheer nonsense for the simple reason that to deny that statement would also, then, be true. But if the denial of the statement is also true, then all religions are not true.
The predisposition to religious belief is an ineradicable part of human behavior. Mankind has produced 100, 000 religions. It is an illusion to think that scientific humanism and learning will dispel religious belief. Men would rather believe than know... A kind of Darwinistic survival of the fittest has occurred with religions... The ecological principle called Gause's law holds that competition is maximal between species with identical needs... Even submission to secular religions such as Communism and guru cults involve willing subordination of the individual to the group. Religious practices confer biological advantage. The mechanisms of religion include (1) objectification (the reduction of reality to images and definitions that are easily understood and cannot be refuted), (2) commitment through faith (a kind of tribalism enacted through self-surrender), (3) and myth (the narratives that explain the tribe's favored position on the earth, often incorporating supernatural forces struggling for control, apocalypse, and millennium).
Edward O. Wilson
The problem with people today, is, they have religions but they have no spirituality. They go to church but they cannot even manage the condition of their own souls. They take pride to state the name of their religions and broadcast these things on facebook and everywhere, thinking that the nature of their religion represents the nature of their spirit. It's just the same as how they present their cars, houses, and degrees to the world- to stand as a representation of what they are. That's not spirituality; that's still materialism. Yes, perhaps your car, house and degree represents what you've achieved (or what your status in society is); but your religion does not represent what your spirit is like. You cannot go to a certain church or belong to a certain group of people and have that be a replica of your spirit.
C. JoyBell C.
Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me - the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love - He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us - nature did it all - not the gods of the religions. [October 2, 1910, interview in the NY Times Magazine]
Thomas A. Edison
All religions worthy of the name are now making great efforts to purify their doctrines and return to their original standpoint, - all except Christianity! You surely know that the nineteenth century Christianity is not the religion taught by Christ. Christ's religion has been changed and corrupted. But Christian clergymen are well aware that if they were to attempt to purify Christianity and bring it back to the religion of Christ, the result would be to reform it out of existence. Christianity stands to-day completely explained. Every step in its development is laid bare and shown to be due to purely natural causes, and it is easy to see how much Christianity adopted from other and older religions.
Of all the great and minor faiths as religions that have evolved over the ages with humanity. Many had their birth at the death or near death of another religious faith. One day the anthropological phenomena of our predominant faiths may become naturally forgotten, demonized, if not morph into another religious tradition altogether. What we historically call as mythology is for Ancient Greece, Persia, or Mayan cultures were the Almighty religions of their age. So it will be again with our Epoch from today our renowned and accomplished heirs of thousands of years into our combined futures. That will have regarded our present day Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as mythologies of their own future anthropological understanding.
Ivan Alexander Pozo-Illas
Let's say that the God the Christians pray to is real. He actually exists. But this God is the same as the one that the Jews pray to and the same as the one that the Muslims pray to and whatever other religions are praying to a God, He is the one. One God with many faces. Most of these religions contain the myth of the Anti-Christ, a being who will come one day and lead the world astray, lead the world to a place of sin and evil. Who could this Anti-Christ be... Consider the God with many faces. How many wars have been fought in His Name? How many people have been beaten, jailed, and maimed to prove His points. Think of the Inquisition, the Holocaust, Salem, and the Sudan. All of these tragedies carried out in His name. Why is it accepted that He is a force for good? If we were to look for the Anti-Christ just by his accomplishments, wouldn't we clearly suspect the being who is the cause of so much woe?