I'm not religious, never have been, and never will be, so this query comes from that perspective.
Is there any religion that exists that genuinely accepts the validity of other religions?
Or does each of them teach that they are the right way and the others are wrong?
The reason I ask is that it seems to me that a person's choice of religion is mostly driven by the circumstances into which they were born. So, if you were born into a Christian family, you are likely to follow (if you follow anything) some kind of Christianity, similarly if you were born into a Muslim family or a Jewish family etc.
So, it seems to me, that those religious people who claim they follow the right way have probably never tried any other way because they have been taught from birth that all the other ways are wrong.
It seems like a bit of a limiting world view to me.
Or maybe I've misunderstood how religions see each other?...hence the reason for my original question.
I'd be interested to hear any viewpoints.
asked 13 Jun '10, 07:32
If we take the 3 major religions of Middle Eastern origin i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam, they are actually supposed to be continuation and reformation of each other. Christianity came about as a reformation of Judaism and Islam as a reformation of both Judaism and Christianity. Neither Christ nor Mohammad said that the other religions were wrong they were against the corruption of the religions that has taken place after their Prophets i.e. Moses and Christ were gone and the religion came under the custodianship of the religious middle men. One of the tenets of Islam is actually that you cannot be a Muslim unless you accept all the Books revealed by God to his Prophets and all Prophets. The total number of Prophets sent to mankind is said to be 124,000 starting with Adam and ending with Mohammad although the names of only a few are mentioned in the Quran. That would mean that Islam is acknowleding Moses, Christ, Ram, Krishna and Buddha but most Muslims would acknowledge only Moses and Christ but not any figures from the Hindu religion just like Christianity would not consider Mohammad, Ram, Krishna etc as prophets. I dont think that when any of these religions started their leaders said that no other religion or religious leader should be respected, this is entirely a politically motivated criteria introduced by those whose business is religion.
So why are Muslims so adamant that only Quran is the rightful book of God if they are supposed to accept all Revelations? Simply because their point of view is that the orginal text of the Bible is lost as it was written much later after Christ and then too chapters were selected by the Romans for inclusion and many were discarded.
Budhism also came about as a reformation to Hinduism. Hinduism is one of the most ancient religions still in practice. In other words if we study each religion in depth you will find the same message i.e. the Truth does not change. However what does change is the practice and the rituals of each religion. Humans through the ages have always had a clannish mentality, we have since the dawn of time lived in groups, tribes, clans and religious rituals have come about as a result of that - a means of distinguishing one from the other. And the more we are divided into these tribes, nations, religions the more those who are responsible for our staying divided profit.
answered 13 Jun '10, 23:06
I Think Therefore I Am
I agree with RPuls. Zen Bhuddism is probably the most tolerant and accepting of religions. But you don't hear much about it, because it doesn't make a big splash like some of the other religions.
People like to feel like they belong to something important.
answered 13 Jun '10, 19:06
Dear Stingray! If you define religion as certain teaching around a set of beliefs then the answer is no. They do not precieve any one else as valid in their belief system. However if you look at the Sacred-Texts of all religions the Brotherhood of man is mention. My belief is that God has revealed himself to all of Mankind. Our limited preception is the creator of religion(Illusion). Divine inspiration comes into the mind of man this inspiration (Truth) is then distort by the cultural bias of the religion. There is a movement called The International New Thought Alliance. They have a very interesting Belief Declaration. "No.5. We affirm the freedom of all persons as to beliefs, and we honor the diversity of humanity by being open and affirming of all persons, affirming the dignity of human beings as founded on the presence of God within them, and, therefore, the principle of democracy." As more people resonate with the above statement changes in intrepretation of their Sacred-Texts will evolve. I am not a member nor will I ever join them I found their site and remebered it when I saw your question.
answered 14 Jun '10, 06:49
Though Buddhism is not really a religion, yes that belief system accepts everything!
answered 28 Sep '10, 12:06
Every religion has multiple "layers". More "advanced" layers of all religions are very similar in their essence. The outer layers though are mostly collections of memes (myths, rituals etc.) The advanced layers of every religion accept that other "paths" are valid and that it all depends on your "connection" (predisposition) to this or that "form" of practice and thinking. Check out advanced Christianity (e.g. The Cloud of Unknowing), Sufism, Zen Buddhism, Dzogchen/Mahamudra, Non-Dualistic Hasidism, Advaita Vedanta etc.
The Baha'i Faith believes we have progressive revelation, every 1000 or so God sends someone with a message for that time. The Baha'i faith believes in Christianity, Islam and other religions they believe are from our God.
answered 07 Mar '13, 06:21
In a word, No. But there is no need to be too unhappy, as I will explain below. Disclaimer: What follows are entirely my personal convictions, influenced by various sources. I do not intend to impose on anyone.
It is an unfortunate thing that religions are most of the time mutually exclusive. I mean, acceptance of one excludes all others.
But this should not lead one to blaming religions completely out.
There's a story I read which goes like the following. A mother once wanted her little children to learn the values of life. So she gave Aesop's fables to them to read. The oldest of the kids was a little "advanced" in thinking and rejected these stories as rubbish. He informed his mother, what nonsense are you trying to convince us of? That lions, foxes and wolves can talk in human language? This is all obviously wrong. And he huffed off.
We might be like that boy when we criticize religion. So when we look logically at some of the things in a religion, it may appear to be rubbish. But it surely has some allegorical value, hinting at deeper things that we might not otherwise appreciate.
Indeed, it might be the case that little contradictions here and there are actually good, in that these stop the follower of the religion from taking it fully to the letter and to the extreme, and thus becoming religious fanatics.
I would say that religion has overall a positive effect. The bloodthirsty conquerors and colonialists accepted the conquered people as their own brothers and went light on the slaughter, once they accepted that "Jesus Christ is our savior", or, "There is only one God Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet". So religion has a calming effect.
I am not myself religious. Logically I find some of the religious beliefs abhorring. But I am appealed by and drawn by the humanity behind religion. For example, in times of distress, I seek solace from pious and religious people. Though I might not take what they say at 100% literal value, I still find great comfort and relief from their words. We all go and tell our troubles to ascetics and such people completely removed from the normal dredge and run of life.
Among all religions, however, I am quite partial to Christianity. This is of course mainly because I was born as a Catholic. The things I emotionally find appealing in Christianity is chiefly the Christian compassion towards suffering people and the desire to save everyone's soul. This is so human, so Christian. I don't know how else to say it. Forgiving your enemies, showing your other cheek, and all the comforts promised towards grieving souls, in the Sermon on the mount..
Among Protestantism and Catholicism, I find Catholicism more meritorious because of its advocacy of asceticism for nuns and priests. How majestic, how sublime. How they teach us to forego earthly pleasures. They even forego(in theory, that is) all sexual pleasures. This message of self-sacrifice and community service never fail to inspire me.
I was educated in Catholic schools. I am still bitter and resentful about some bigoted Catholic teachers I had. Nevertheless the whole concept appealed to me greatlly.
On the other hand, I find it distressing that Catholicism forbids an individual to interpret the bible himself. Perhaps it is done for the reasons of cohesion of belief.
Anyway, after the long diversion, coming back to the main point, it seems to be the case that people internally realize that the actual religion of a person does not matter a great deal for doing day-to-day and business stuff. It does not seem to matter beyond a point and all people realize that it is mostly a matter of how you are born. People realize that it gives you a way of life and a set of principles to base your actions on, and you better stick to it. Indeed, protestants and Catholics get together really well though they differ on many beliefs. And people do seem to have a certain contempt for zealots and extremists and religious fundamentalists and even sometimes people who changed their religion to something else.
First off, A G, great answer. I really enjoyed reading that.
To answer the question: In my world religion class we learned that Mohammed originaly accepted Christianity and Judaism as beliefs. If I remember right, Mohammed accepted religions depending on whether or not they had a written work of their belief such as the Bible or the Qur'ran.
answered 13 Jun '10, 15:46
I would say the most tolerant of all religions would be Zenism or Buddhism. In the respects that they have certain precepts that when applied you are accepting of all people, animals, religions, opinions, things, situations. etc.....It's all about transcending suffering. Now that I think about it, so is Mysticism. In The Spirit Of Happiness, I am RPULS.
Now there is a group called "The Theosophical Society" They study Theosophy. Their axiom is "There is no Higher Religion than Truth" This is Hindu in origin.
The response to your question is 'NO' because all 'religions' claim to have the answer to the question: What is TRUTH?. Two polar opposite ideas, statements, or beliefs cannot both be TRUE simultaneously. Even though some minor overlaps may exist, 'religions' will always remain distinct. Hence, since TRUTH is absolute and exclusive, there will be no doctrinal uniformity among 'religions'.
(1) Different 'Religious' Rituals
Firstly, we must understand the meaning of the term 'religion'. From the Latin 'religo', the root of the term 'religion' means 'to bind anew'. Thus, a person in a 'religion' will need to continuously and actively participate in all the requirements of that 'religion' in order to preserve membership and receive the so-called benefits of its claims. Without naming all of them, people in various 'religions' will need to perpetually observe or perform special daily, weekly, monthly, and/or yearly 'religious' demands in order to fulfill the specific requirements of their 'religion' and belong to its community. Which ritual is the TRUTH?
(2) Different 'Religious' Leadership Groups
Secondly, we must understand that all 'religions' have a man-appointed hierarchy of leadership. From this leadership, all 'religious' doctrine is determined for all of its membership. Usually, the 'religious' doctrine is a mixture of information contained within their specific texts and their man-made traditions. Which doctrine is the TRUTH?
(3) Different 'Religious' Texts
Thirdly, all 'religions' have a different text or set of writings from which they claim exclusive spiritual authority. Unfortunately, with the passage of time, there will be multiple denominations, sects, or cults associated with each text or writings. Eventually, man-made traditions will seem to be regarded in higher esteem than their own text or writings. However, as stated before, all these texts or writings cannot simultaneously claim spiritual authority because huge portions of these differ greatly in facts and doctrines. Which text is the TRUTH?
In conclusion, I personally feel that the existing distinctions among 'religions' is very profitable. These distinctions clearly demonstrate to people that there truly is a difference among belief systems. Before a person decides to join a particular 'religious' group, he will have an opportunity to research, evaluate, and judge all the distinctions and hopefully make the appropriate decision. Having FREE WILL, a person has the right to choose what he wants to believe irrespective of his cultural heritage or 'religious' background. Before making a personal decision concerning a belief, a person should always be seeking to answer questions such as: What is TRUTH? Does GOD want to have a 'religion' with me? Or does GOD want to have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with me? For myself, all my research allowed me to answer these specific questions 18 years ago with an Authorized King James 1611 Bible. I am aware that others might be at different places in their lives. However, my humble encouragement to you is to never stop searching for the TRUTH. You will find it!
Thanks for reading.
answered 13 Jun '10, 19:21
Stingray,It seams as we are on the same wavelength once again.I am not a religeous person either,however I like to think of myself as being very spiritual as I do believe in a higher power.I can offer only a limited answer due in no small part to my lack of knowlege of the various world religions.If there are any religions that accept any other as being legitimate in my view it would be Buddism as it appear to be most tolarant of other views,but I am reminded of what the Budda once told his students.He said never believe what others tell you,even if it is I, the Budda that says it.What I take from this is that what he meant was to let your heart guide you in wheather or not that which was said is truth or not.If it resonates with what one feels inside it may very well be true.If not,it may require further contemplation.I truely regret not haveing more to offer in answer to a most important question.Don V
answered 28 Sep '10, 04:06
You have made a very valid point, and you maybe right to a certain extent. But I can assure you that you maybe also wrong to a certain extent. I for one am a seeker, and I have attended, and researched many other religions. Of course I love the New Age stuff, Metaphysics, and the LOA etc. As a child I went to three different Churches on Sundays, but I belong to only one Church. Now that I know so much about this stuff, and yet I know so little about this stuff because learning is continuous. I can tell you, I have not change my mind about God and my religion; and based upon my experience, I will not change my mind now, and in the future. In life you have to believe in something, and the something that I believe in is God, and if I am wrong, then I have to accept my fate as such!
I respect you, and I respect whatever it is that you believe, or do not believe in, and I trust that the feeling is neutral. Regardless of our beliefs, no one is right, or wrong, we are all right in our own beliefs. Therefore as humans, we should all strive to accept each other respectfully, and without judgment, regardless of our religious beliefs!
answered 28 Sep '10, 06:51
Inactive User ♦♦
Religions are like scientific theories. They are all built on top of each other and their followers all think theirs is the most accurate. The others might have some things right, but are not quite as good as yours.
answered 12 Jan '13, 15:35
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