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Not all religions can be correct

 
 
Exebeche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 08:10 am
@dawoel,
dawoel;75868 wrote:
I think what is causing such controversy here is that we are getting confused about what "truth" really means.

Philosophy has a whole bunch of different concepts of truth, which are more or less complex.
However i see two kinds of truth that people tend to mean when they use the word 'truth', something we could call a common sense in other words.
First there is a truth that can be spoken. Meaning somebody can e.g. say he swears to god that he saw person A kill person B.
If he is not a liar he tells the truth believing his own words.
After all if it turns out that person A has a twin brother person C who killed B, then the man who spoke the truth was wrong.
Which leads us to the second kind of truth which is considered to be existent:
A reality that exists independently from any perception and delusion. It affects everybody and everything in the same way and nobody can evade it. Perception can be manipulated, however the truth can not.
Several branches of philosophies are about why truth is not like that.
This doesn't change however the fact that the vast majority of people all over the world believe in such ultimate truth.

Back to the role of truth in religion.
As DidymosThomas showed there are religions that have a relativy tolerant attitude towards truth concepts.
However we can see as a fact, that also the vast majority of religions have this demand of holding the ultimate truth.
This is simply the reason why Christians and Muslims started smashing their skulls about thousand years ago. And the skullsmashing by the way has never really ended, if you listen precisely to the news.
Not every religion is so agressive, sure. But almost every religion has this demand of being owner of the ultimate truth.
Maybe the agressiveness is not so violent in these days anymore, but i can personally still feel it.
The mentioned creationists who work so intensely on getting the Darwinian theory of evolution out of schools practise a religious imperialism that even starts leaking on the european side of the ocean.
These people have zero tolerance for other concepts.
Honestly i find it extremely annoying and my tolerance for it is kind of limitted.
0 Replies
 
dawoel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 08:33 am
@richrf,
richrf;75902 wrote:
Hi,

There are many ways to approach this question. Let me try this way:

Suppose two people are approaching a traffic light, and one person yells out and says, Stop it is red! while the other person keeps walking and says, Why should I, it is green? What color is the stoplight?

Rich


Either red or green (or amber if its that kind of light), I don't know which because you havn't told me, but rest assured it can only be one of those options provided the lights are actually working. A belief and a fact are two completely different things, does this really need saying? Truth is or it is not regardless of our beliefs of it, or anyone's beliefs of it for that matter. I am very curious to know what arguments exist from these "other philosophies" that claim otherwise because I have no idea how you could possibly argue with this. Seriously if your going to argue that black can also be white simultaenously you might as well try to argue that 3=5 or that one can build a circle with straight edges because your going down a similar path. It is this path that drives me up the wall where religions are concerned, where people say "I believe x therefore it is true", then someone else says "but I believe ~x so am I wrong?", and they say "no no, that's true for you..." Argh! Please! The type of truth I am referring to does not work like that, one is completely missing the point of truth when one does this! Truth is not subjective...

Subjective: Depends on a persons point of view
Objective: True or false regardless of any point of view
True: Impossible to be false
False: Impossible to be true
Opinion: One's feelings towards a fact (Subjective)
Belief: One's impression that a fact is true (Objective)
Knowledge: A Belief that has been backed up by evidence and proven beyond all reasonable doubt and is thus unlikely to be false (Objective)
Certainty: Knowledge that is proven such that is 100% Likely to be true. (True)
Contradiction: An objective claim that claims to be both true and false at the same time in some regard. (False)

If this is even remotely possible to argue please explain...
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 08:56 am
@dawoel,
dawoel;75905 wrote:
Either red or green (or amber if its that kind of light), I don't know which because you havn't told me, but rest assured it can only be one of those options provided the lights are actually working.


Hi,

The question is whether there exists something separate and distinct from the observer, or is the event entangled between what light illuminates and the observer.

Lately, I have been pondering the notion of a holographic universe.

A hologram looks like a mess of lines with one kind of observation and when light beam illuminate the hologram they take on this 3 D view. That is, things change depending upon how they are being observed.

This, it seems, is the cornerstone of modern physics. Things change upon observation. You cannot, it appears, disentangle the observer from the observed. The famous double-slit and delayed-choice experiments highlight these quantum phenomenon.

As I see it, we are witnessing events not objects. When light illuminates a hologram, it creates something new - a new event. Now, can this be the fundamental nature of the universe? The intersection of waves, such as it occurs in a hologram, or metaphorically, the intersection of waves in the ocean? Only in this case, the waves are quantum waves and the observer makes of it as consciousness (the mind) sees it?

With only witnesses to the event (observers), how do you know if the traffic light is red or green? You must trust one or the other, or neither. You can make your choice. It is a free choice. Smile



Rich
0 Replies
 
dawoel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 09:16 am
@dawoel,
Grrr, don't you smile at me!

Well firstly don't get me started on whether it is a "free" choice or not for that is a different topic, one that I know very well. Suffice to say I am as close to certain that it is not a free choice as I can be. But anyway, as regards not being able to "disentagle the observer from the observed", I'm not sure you really need to to get my point across. In a way, there are no individual entities except for the elementary particals like quarks and leptons and the like, everything else is in fact not an entitiy but a set of entities. Since one can apply a set to pretty much anything (even an empty set) one can apply a universal set and call it set god (i.e. the pantheistic view) and so on and so forth. Also I remember a bit from my physics class that observing something changes something slightly.

That is irrelevant to the matter at hand however. Set me, is not identical to set traffic light, why? Because I am not a traffic light, just because we both belong to the same universal set does not mean we are the same thing! As a result, the reality of the traffic light is not entirely dependant on me, why? Because other things besides me exist! & For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so there are all the causes flying about the place, and I am only liable for a very few of them.

Say a red light = R and a green light = G...what you are saying is that R = G, despite having different properties. This contradicts Leibniz's Law which states that if x has but a single property that is not also a property of y, then ~(x=y). You are essentially saying that two things with alterior properties are identical, this is of course impossible, i.e. False.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 09:45 am
@dawoel,
dawoel;75917 wrote:
Grrr, don't you smile at me!

Well firstly don't get me started on whether it is a "free" choice or not for that is a different topic, one that I know very well. Suffice to say I am as close to certain that it is not a free choice as I can be. But anyway, as regards not being able to "disentagle the observer from the observed", I'm not sure you really need to to get my point across. In a way, there are no individual entities except for the elementary particals like quarks and leptons and the like, everything else is in fact not an entitiy but a set of entities. Since one can apply a set to pretty much anything (even an empty set) one can apply a universal set and call it set god (i.e. the pantheistic view) and so on and so forth. Also I remember a bit from my physics class that observing something changes something slightly.

That is irrelevant to the matter at hand however. Set me, is not identical to set traffic light, why? Because I am not a traffic light, just because we both belong to the same universal set does not mean we are the same thing! As a result, the reality of the traffic light is not entirely dependant on me, why? Because other things besides me exist! & For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so there are all the causes flying about the place, and I am only liable for a very few of them.

Say a red light = R and a green light = G...what you are saying is that R = G, despite having different properties. This contradicts Leibniz's Law which states that if x has but a single property that is not also a property of y, then ~(x=y). You are essentially saying that two things with alterior properties are identical, this is of course impossible, i.e. False.


It seems like you are pretty certain of everything, so why are you asking the question? Are you certain or not? Do you know what is true or not?

If you are certain you know the truth then you do not need to ask the question. If you are not certain, then why are you not certain and how do you propose to learn what is true? By using your own senses and mind? By someone else observing and telling you? I think this is the first question. Because if you are going to use your mind then ....

However, if you do not have any free choice, then it really doesn't matter anyway does it? But as you said, you are not certain. So how do you proceed?

As for your relationship to the traffic light. Everything you perceive about the traffic light is a result of your senses and the image it might make within your mind (consciousness). How do you propose to disentangle yourself?

There are alternative ways to view the universe. For example as an entangled set of waves, such as a hologram. This may help in resolving them issues. But, maybe not.

Rich
0 Replies
 
dawoel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 04:04 am
@dawoel,
I am not talking about "my perception of the traffic light" nor "my knowledge or certainty of the traffic light", I am not talking about "me" at all. This is the heart of the issue, I am only talking about the traffic light, "me" has nothing to do with it. All I am saying, is that (if the lights are working that is) the light can either be Red, Or Green, it cannot be neither, it cannot be both at the same time, Red, or Green. If it is red, it is not green, if it is green, it is not red. Forget "you" or "me", forget the obersever all togethar! For universal reality, and universal truth does not revolve around what you know, or don't know, in fact it really does not care what you know or don't know; beliefs are merely our impression of the truth, they are not always accurate to what the universal truth is, and without certainty we cannot tell the difference between the lie and the truth...but that's not to say that makes a difference to what the real truth is.

My origional point was that not all religions can be correct, this is so based on the assumption of my new point which is that there is a universal, real truth that applies to everyone regardless of whether they are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether their beliefs coincide with it...and it is this universal, real truth that religions claim to represent, thus, as there is only one real truth, not all of them can be true! & Since there is no more evidence for any one over another, there is little point assuming any are the truth.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 08:01 am
@dawoel,
dawoel;76042 wrote:
I am not talking about "my perception of the traffic light" nor "my knowledge or certainty of the traffic light", I am not talking about "me" at all. This is the heart of the issue, I am only talking about the traffic light, "me" has nothing to do with it. All I am saying, is that (if the lights are working that is) the light can either be Red, Or Green, it cannot be neither, it cannot be both at the same time, Red, or Green. If it is red, it is not green, if it is green, it is not red. Forget "you" or "me", forget the obersever all togethar! For universal reality, and universal truth does not revolve around what you know, or don't know, in fact it really does not care what you know or don't know; beliefs are merely our impression of the truth, they are not always accurate to what the universal truth is, and without certainty we cannot tell the difference between the lie and the truth...but that's not to say that makes a difference to what the real truth is.

My origional point was that not all religions can be correct, this is so based on the assumption of my new point which is that there is a universal, real truth that applies to everyone regardless of whether they are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether their beliefs coincide with it...and it is this universal, real truth that religions claim to represent, thus, as there is only one real truth, not all of them can be true! & Since there is no more evidence for any one over another, there is little point assuming any are the truth.


It is fine to take your point of view - i.e. that there is a truth, only there is no evidence that one religion is more true than another.

However, there are certainly people who believe that there is a truth and they have figured out how to perceive it - e.g. direct relations with God, meditation, the Bible, Koran, etc. Once you embrace the idea that there is a truth, then of course there will be different approaches by different people and religions on how to know it. Knowing the truth is a big business.


Rich
Exebeche
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 03:35 pm
@richrf,
richrf;76086 wrote:
It is fine to take your point of view - i.e. that there is a truth, only there is no evidence that one religion is more true than another.

However, there are certainly people who believe that there is a truth and they have figured out how to perceive it


Wait, wait!
Dawoels statement never had anything to do with one religion being more true than another.
This is not the first attempt of leading his thought into a logical contradiction that really does not exist.
His statement is:
"Not all religions can be true."

If someone sais "Not all humans can be kings", you may feel a need to argue about some kings being more mighty than others, but this corrupts the statement.
The statement "Not all humans can be kings" can not be turned into "All kings are human" can not be turned into "All humans are kings". (Logically speaking).
Don't twist it.
The same to truth:
If there is one truth (if you really subscribe to it) than it is subject to logics.
Dawoel has been analyzing on a merely logical level, this has nothing to do with how to perceive it.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 03:52 pm
@Exebeche,
Exebeche;76140 wrote:
The same to truth:
If there is one truth (if you really subscribe to it) than it is subject to logics.
Dawoel has been analyzing on a merely logical level, this has nothing to do with how to perceive it.


Well, as I said, that is fine. I just wanted to let him know that I know of tons of people who a) believe that there is a truth as he does and what's more b) their religion has the truth or knows the path to the truth. If you have one you have the other. It simply becomes a matter of opinion and belief. No logic at all when it comes to believing that one knows the truth.

Personally, I think that this whole logic thing is a nice game, but if someone disagrees with the basic proposition, as there always is, then poof! Logic gone and shouting match begins.

Rich
0 Replies
 
grasshopper
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 03:54 pm
@dawoel,
Unfortunately definition of religion has changed by people who pulled it to another side. That's why when people ask me about my religion, i try to cut the conversation off if there is no time to explain it. I've learned since the day i was born(not just meaning 16 years ago but the first time when 'I' existed) that i have to create my own religion and there are things that guide my way such as experiences, my inner happiness/satisfaction etc.. Like a pen to write and light and a paper to write on etc.. There is no wrong or right, same thing can cause/affect something in a very different way, depending at when it happens and it all depends on the point of view.
We just need to respect and accept that we are not the center of the world, in the end it is round.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 03:58 pm
@grasshopper,
grasshopper;76148 wrote:
We just need to respect and accept that we are not the center of the world, in the end it is round.


This is pretty much the way I see it. I prefer the idea of equals, each person finding their own path in their own life. Though, I do understand that humans are attracted to pyramidal hierarchies for a number of reasons.

Rich
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 04:45 pm
@grasshopper,
Exebeche;75767 wrote:
Ok.
There is a strong movement in the USA who work on removing the Darwinian theory of evolution from schools education - successfully.
How many of those christians might have read the book you mentioned?


I have no idea how many such people have read the two books I mentioned.

KaseiJin;75784 wrote:
Only, . . . only if the total sum of the tenets of the individual belief-systems can be shown to not naturally contradict themsleves--as two things held to be truths cannot contradict.


I disagree.

Religion is not pure logic; there is an art in setting down religious and spiritual beliefs.

Religion often contradicts on purpose. Consider Zen koans, for example.

KaseiJin;75784 wrote:
Is something (like wording, or presenation) getting in the way here? I'd be interested in seeing a fuller lay out of this, unless I can take the above to be saying that there is this natural fact, a truth, that the H. sapien is of some condition which is naturally (as by nature in whole) incorrect as measured against some natural scale.


It is true that homo sapiens have a natural tendency to be self-centered, egotistical, often times violent and hateful. We can call this sinful, unethical, immoral, whatever term you like.

richrf;75825 wrote:

So, the way I would read it is that the Baha'i Faith believes that the Messengers all come from the same source - God. But they are not saying that they are all correct, as far as I can make out.


Because they come from the same source, each has truth; the difference in the delivery of that truth is due to environmental conditions. They are saying that each is valid, and has the possibility of helping humans get to heaven, attain enlightenment, or whatever other term one might prefer.

richrf;75825 wrote:
Also, any religion that does not fit within their framework for God, is .... well, not recognized as a religion.


Considering that they recognize Buddhism, an atheist religion, I'm not convinced that this is a serious issue.

Exebeche;75904 wrote:
.
However we can see as a fact, that also the vast majority of religions have this demand of holding the ultimate truth.


This is simply not the case. We have to be careful when making such broad strokes.

It is true that in every religion, there are some who claim to have the one and only true path, the ultimate truth. But it is also true that in each of those same religions there are some who are not only tolerant of other faiths, but some who accept the validity of other faiths.
Exebeche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 02:30 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;76165 wrote:

It is true that in every religion, there are some who claim to have the one and only true path, the ultimate truth. But it is also true that in each of those same religions there are some who are not only tolerant of other faiths, but some who accept the validity of other faiths.

Ok, i know people who are relegious and tolerant. I know Christians and Muslims and Buddhists who are tolerant.
That's right.
The problem however is often not the the people but the religion itself:
The idea of truth in its classical sense does not allow more than one truth.
So if you really respect the word (which ever), you have to stick to it.
If the word does not allow women to be priests, then you can simply not have female priests for reasons of tolerance.
Because if you put tolerance over the word, who decides how far one can go?
Nobody has the right to make such a decision, only the word has ultimate truth.
The other way could of course be to practise complete tolerance.
The result however is a self destruction for a religion.
If you allow people to adjust the word till it fits their purpose you will soon have all the different ideas you can think of. And at the same time you will lose unity.
Loss of unity is a disaster for any religion.
We have such a situation today, people believe in Christ, Krishna reincarnation, Tarot and everything that fits their purpose.
As a result they experiment with a lot of hocuspocus but do not really have a religion they can hold on to.
"Somehow i do believe that there is more...", that's the typical sentence (at least from my pespective in Europe. In fact America is not the same).
The problem is that the diversity goes on cost of truth.
One sais: "I believe in god and reincarnation, but please stay away with this aura-crab.", while the other one sais "You must be kidding me, aura and reincarnation are proven facts, but this old-man-in-the-sky idea is ridiculous".
The number of intersections and contradictions between believes is huge.
From a logical perspective they can not all be right.
They are bound to be wrong.
At least most of them.
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 02:49 pm
@dawoel,
Rich, in answer to the question you posed:

I guess you would have to ask Mr. Green if he made it through the crosswalk alive.

Not all religions can be right, I suppose, but it is perfectly possible that they're all wrong.

---------- Post added 07-10-2009 at 01:55 PM ----------

I guess what you're saying Exebeche is that the truth of "the word" really doesn't matter. What counts is your belief in the truth of the word and your willingness to accept it as a rule for defining or limiting tolerance. That sounds astonishingly manipulative to me.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 03:07 pm
@RDRDRD1,
Exebeche;76406 wrote:

The problem however is often not the the people but the religion itself:
The idea of truth in its classical sense does not allow more than one truth.


But truth in the classical sense does allow for more than one acceptable expression of that same truth. That's the point I'm trying to make: that it is possible for these religions to be expressing the same truths only in different ways.

The example of beauty may work here. Beauty is beauty, but when we take any given culture, we find vastly different aesthetic preferences.

Exebeche;76406 wrote:
So if you really respect the word (which ever), you have to stick to it.
If the word does not allow women to be priests, then you can simply not have female priests for reasons of tolerance.
Because if you put tolerance over the word, who decides how far one can go?
Nobody has the right to make such a decision, only the word has ultimate truth.


I think I understand you. And there most certainly are, especially in the heavily organized manifestations of religion, aspects that are suspect.

I would not try to argue that all religions and religious beliefs are valid; I only want to make the point that it is possible to have multiple valid religions existing.

Exebeche;76406 wrote:
The other way could of course be to practise complete tolerance.
The result however is a self destruction for a religion.


Unless the word is tolerance, of course.

Exebeche;76406 wrote:
We have such a situation today, people believe in Christ, Krishna reincarnation, Tarot and everything that fits their purpose.
As a result they experiment with a lot of hocuspocus but do not really have a religion they can hold on to.


You seem to be describing what some have called 'spiritual materialism'. Perhaps you've heard of the notion. If not, you may be interested in reading up on it:
Spiritual materialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Exebeche;76406 wrote:
The problem is that the diversity goes on cost of truth.
One sais: "I believe in god and reincarnation, but please stay away with this aura-crab.", while the other one sais "You must be kidding me, aura and reincarnation are proven facts, but this old-man-in-the-sky idea is ridiculous".
The number of intersections and contradictions between believes is huge.
From a logical perspective they can not all be right.
They are bound to be wrong.
At least most of them.


Again, though, religion and the expression of religious/spiritual truths is not an exercise in pure logic. We did that in the west (Scholasticism) and soon realized that the practice has a great many flaws.

I think the old Buddhist aphorism about not mistaking the finger for the moon is useful to consider. Here is an interesting article that covers the saying and the larger topic of logic's limits:
The Catuskoti and the Limits of Language and Logic
0 Replies
 
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 05:20 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;76165 wrote:
Considering that they recognize Buddhism, an atheist religion, I'm not convinced that this is a serious issue.


It is my understanding that they recognize the Buddha as coming from the same God source. I do not know if they have any standing on Buddhism, nor do I know whether Buddhism should be labeled as an atheist religion. By guess is that there are Buddhists would disagree with this label.

And here is what they have to say about other religions in general, FWIW:

Quote:
The foundation of all the divine religions is one. All are based upon reality. Reality does not admit plurality, yet amongst mankind there have arisen differences concerning the manifestations of God. Some have been Zoroastrians, some are Buddhists, some Jews, Christians, Mohammedans and so on. This has become a source of divergence whereas the teachings of the holy souls who founded the divine religions are one in essence and reality All these have served the world of humanity.... All have guided souls to the attainment of perfections, but among the nations certain imitations of ancestral forms of worship have arisen. These imitations are not the foundation and essence of the divine religions. Inasmuch as they differ from the reality and the essential teachings of the Manifestations of God, dissensions have arisen and prejudice has developed. Religious prejudice thus becomes the cause of warfare and battle. If we abandon these time-worn imitations and investigate reality all of us will be unified. No discord will remain; antagonism will disappear. All will associate in fellowship. All will enjoy the cordial bonds of friendship. The world of creation will then attain composure. The dark and gloomy clouds of blind imitations and dogmatic variances will be scattered and dispelled; the Sun of Reality will shine most gloriously.
Rich
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 05:27 pm
@richrf,
Labeling Buddhism is difficult. While most scholars would call it a religion, Robert Thurman argues that this is a mistake.
0 Replies
 
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 05:33 pm
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;76414 wrote:
I guess you would have to ask Mr. Green if he made it through the crosswalk alive.


As a former New Yorker, I can tell you it can go both ways, as random as the quantum particle wave collapse.
Smiley451
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 01:44 am
@richrf,
One of my teachers (probably the wisest and most interesting person I've ever met) told me to frequently ask the question "Then what?"
If you ask a question, come to a conclusion, then ask "then what?", things usually get more and more interesting.
I understand and agree with you; only one religion can claim to be "The Truth". They all (from the list of religions I'm aware of, at least) claim to have The Truth, but all of these supposed Truths are different. So naturally, only one of them can be right. This isn't isolated within religions, either. Atheists should be put into this whole ordeal, as well.

So one worldview is right... then what?
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 06:11 am
@dawoel,
Westerners have a long historical tradition which conditions everything they think about all such matters. The European religious wars and the Inquisition have thrown a long shadow. Most of what people think of as 'religion' is deeply affected by this. Also the very foundations of the three 'Abrahamic' religions, the circumstances under which the Christian faith was created, combined with certain characteristics of Western logic, have generated these very deep attitudes about what religion is and isn't. And these are just as strong amongst those who deny religion as those who believe in it, which is why many atheists sound kind of religious in their denial of God.

So it pays to be critically self-aware in this area. It might also be noted that Dharma is not religion, and that the characteristically Indian view of the matter is completely different (and in my opinion, preferable) to the characteristic Western view.
0 Replies
 
 

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