What is the purpose of religion...?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Bullypulpit, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Years ago, I explored the various schools of Christian though, and found them lacking. I explored Hinduism, Judaism, Islam...even sevearl pagan belief systems and I found them all wanting.

    Then I came to Buddhism. The meditation practices of shinay and shamatha allowed me to quiet myself and watch the play of the mind. As each thought arose, I watched it and followed it until it faded away. It allowed me to understand what the Buddha meant when he pointed around him said, "<i>All this is empty...</i>". This understanding of the impermanence of all objects, entities and phenomena lead to the understanding that it is our reactions to these things that shpe the world around us. As a result, we can never be absulute certain of anything. We can be reasonably certain, but not absolutely certain. It is the quest for absolute certainty that leads us to seek out an immortal, unchanging, omnipotent, omnisicent being. We crave this certainty like a hungry child craves its mother's breast. But sooner or later we must all grow up...Weaning is never easy.

    But that's just my opinion...I may be right or wrong. If I'm wrong, that's alright, I will have learned something. If I'm right, that's alright, I will have learned something.
     
  2. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    I agree with you that religion is man's attempt to find the absolute when it is realized that there is no absolute in our existence.
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I think it depends on the religion and the times. When man was able to assume the he was separate form the whole he was frightened and needed a way to explain the things that we not of him. This enabled man to begin to identify or label himself. The next dilemma after identication (and survival) was to determine his meaning and purpose. Seeing himself as being apart from the whole required a method to return to the whole. Religion and philosophy are methods or guidelines that provide a man, who still assumes that he is not one with the universe, various methods of doing this.

    Oddly enough--people disagree on the methods. ;)
     
  4. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    Well put about identification and the inherit problems man faced with that realization. We would probably be better off had we never been able to ask how we need to live in order to be happy.
     
  5. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I think that's why some religions promise us "a better place" if we act right while we are alive. I like existing-the known and the unknown are a great mystery which really doesn't need solving--just enjoyed.
     
  6. HGROKIT
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    HGROKIT Active Member

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    Whatever belief system brings you peace and serenity is the one that matters.

    However, if you examint the teachings of Jesus, as expressed in the Bible, you will note He represents the same thoughts you express above. It is the "cult" teachings the churches use to pervert the meaning and advance their own agendas tha muddy the waters.

    His teachings are not found in the cannons of organized religion, they are found in the scriptures.
     
  7. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    If you go back some 500 years earlier, these ideas were expressed by the Buddha. Ultimately, it's all about different paths to the same goal.
     
  8. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    While I respect your right to form opinions, I do have a couple of points:

    First, the impermanence of objects, thoughts, etc. does not negate the reality of their existence, nor does it allow for someone to simply wish it away.

    Second, the lack of acknowledgement of absolute truth does not make it so. There are absolute truths in this universe, whether you want to admit it or not. In fact, the statement "we can never be absulute(sic) certain of anything" is a self-defeating proposition; it cannot be true.

    Third, (ok, three points) your last paragraph isn't quite the whole story. If you're wrong about your religion, and someone else is right, then you will obviously suffer the consequences of disbelieving in the right religion.
     
  9. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Assuming there IS a right religion of course.
     
  10. deaddude
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    deaddude Senior Member

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    First impermanence does negate the reality of anything as such in any time reference other than the Absolute Present and the Deffinite Past.

    Second give me an example of an absolute truth. "We can never be absolutely certain of anything" is paradoxical because it uses two mutualy exclucive absolutes paradoxical. Omnipotent entities like the Chistian God are paradoxical be cause unlimited power cannot surpass its self and is therefore limited, so if paradoxical situations cannot be true, as you stipulate in your second point, than the existence of and omnipotent being cannot be true.

    Third the probability of any one religion being absolutely correct is infintessimal.
     
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