Are religions mutually exclusive? The Arrogance of Christianity. What is your purpose for having a religion? Atheist’s Creed by Steve Turner. What if most of the world isn’t going to go to heaven?
Discussion 2/23: Religious Exclusivity
Are religions mutually exclusive?
Point: All religions are fundamentally the same but superficially different.
Counterpoint: All may be superficially the same but fundamentally different.
If certain religions believe that all are basically the same, then how can those practicing the relation get upset when one converts away to another religion?
The Arrogance of Christianity:
(from The Case for Faith)
“…isn’t it grossly arrogant for Christians to claim Jesus is the one and only way to God? Why do Christians think they’re justified in asserting that they’re right and that everybody else in the world is wrong?”
“First, it’s important to understand that Christianity is not the only religion hat claims exclusivity. For instance, Muslims radically claim exclusivity “” not just theologically, but also linguistically. Muslims believe that the sole, sufficient, and consummate miracle of Islam is the Koran and it’s only recognizable in Arabic…
As for Buddhism, it was born when Gautama Buddha rejected two fundamental assertions of Hinduism “” the ultimate authority of the Vedas, which are their scriptures, and the caste system. Hinduism itself is absolutely uncompromising on two or three issues: the law of karma, which is the law of moral cause and effect…; the authority of the Vedas; and reincarnation.”
“But I’ve heard Hindus say quite nobly that Hinduism is a very tolerant faith.”
“…What it really means is that Hinduism allows you to practice your religion so long as it buys into their notion of truth, which is syncretistic.” (Syncretism is the attempt to blend together different or even opposing beliefs.
“As for Sikhism, it came as a challenge to both Hinduism and Buddhism. Then there are the atheists -they reject the viewpoints of those who believe in God. And even Baha’ism, which claims to be a cosmic embrace of all religions, ends up excluding the exclusivists! Therefore, the statement that Christians are arrogant by claiming exclusivity ignore the reality that every other major religion also does.
We [Bah' International Community] believe that all the world’s major religions have proceeded from the same Source, worshiped alike by Bah’, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jew and Muslim… The core teachings of every religion for example, the teaching to love one’s neighbor – are essentially the same, and we submit that they reflect one universal truth.
What is your purpose for having a religion?
If truth, then truth requires exclusivity because truth and falsehood cannot coexist.
If to feel good about yourself, have a connection with others, have a way to explain complex human questions, then what you want is something that won’t impose on your (or others) current beliefs, convictions, world view, or perspective. In which case any religion likely will provide the “feel-good” feeling you desire.
The only thing that is illegitimate in America today is prejudice. If you can brand anything as prejudice that thing is then discounted. Prejudices moved from race to morality.
Atheist’s Creed by Steve Turner
We today believe in Marx Freud and Darwin. We believe everything is O.K. as long as you don’t hurt anyone to the best of your definition of hurt and to the best of your definition of knowledge. We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that taboos are taboo. We believe that everything is getting better despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated, and you can prove anything with evidence. We believe there’s something in horoscopes, UFOs and bent spoons. Jesus was a good man, just like Buddha, Muhammad and ourselves. He was a good teacher, although we think his good morals were really bad. We believe that all religions are basically the same, at least the ones we read were. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God and salvation. We believe that after death comes the nothing – because when you ask the dead what happens, they say,– nothing. If death isn’t the end, and if the dead have lied, then it’s compulsory heaven for all- except Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan… We believe in total disarmament. We believe that there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed. We believe that man is essentially good, it’s only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society; Society is the fault of conditions; and conditions are the fault of society. We believe that each man should find the truth that is right for him and reality will adapt accordingly; the universe will re-adjust, history will alter. We believe that there is no absolute truth, except for the truth that there is no absolute truth. We believe in the rejection of creeds and the flowering of individual thought.
What if most of the world isn’t going to go to heaven?
The Bible claims that many more will die and be condemned to hell than will enter heaven.
Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) – The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Luke 13:22-35 (NIV) – The Narrow Door
22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, Lord, are only a few people going to be saved? He said to them, 24 Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, “Sir, open the door for us.’
How To Be Sure of Heaven: Where will you spend Eternity if you die today?
Sermon on the Mount: Narrow is the Way
Only One Way: Jesus Is The Only Way