One Way or All Ways?

Religion is something that deeply fascinates me. Whether it is organized religion, new age spiritual views, or people who simply believe in fate or circumstance, it intrigues me. I personally find it amazing that certain religious traditions have lasted centuries, while others have withered away. And also the fact that new religions pop up daily worldwide!

It seems however, no matter the religion, there is one question that always persists.

What is truth? And can truth be achieved only through one avenue (True Religion X) or all possible religious avenues?

My personal belief is that all religions (or even non-religious views) bring some kind of benefit and truth to each individual.

The definition of religion is a working one, and seems to differ with each person.

Some people view religion traditionally, with requirements such as weekly worship, special diet, an almighty God(s) and a holy scripture.

Others look at religion as a personal relationship with a God/Goddess/Gods or Goddesses.

Others may look at religion as connecting with the universe or some transcendent non-personal force.

Others completely negate religion, and believe that the laws of science, physics, and the cosmos rule our lives.

Whatever you think religion is, it seems almost impossible that one group of people on this Earth have the patent on Religious Truth.

Another thing that I’ve found conflicting is that people who do profess belief in a God often claim that this God is omnipotent, all-knowing, and wants the best for us. If this God is so understanding, wouldn’t he/she/it be able to see the good in people’s hearts without judging their religious prerogative?

So what do you think? Is it one way or all ways? And what are your reasons for believing so?

I know that this is a heated topic, so I ask that those who comment do so in a respectful manner. Comments that are disrespectful will not be published. People can argue their points in an intelligent manner. Everyone will also benefit from reading others’ opinions even if they do not agree with them. The point isn’t to convert others, rather help them understand why you think the way that you do.

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6 Responses to One Way or All Ways?

  1. david says:

    I’m agnostic, so it’s hard for me to give a whole lot of input on this. It’s always seemed like a sad proposition — that any God that exists would organize a religion geared toward a limited group of people. So much of organized religion at some point seems like a way to benefit specific people, rather than some broader sense of humanity.

    My earlier comment about the transcendence of a good song or a good joke — I suppose there is something spiritual about those things, but sometimes they feel like a bit of a miracle unto itself, in a universe where they might be a triumph for just existing. I also sometimes think there’s too much pain the world to believe in an all all-knowing God, but all that pain is part of why you want to believe that there’s a God who at least cares.

    If there is a God for whom caring about more than a particular group of people is integral, then more than one way to such seems likely. I’m not necessarily sure that a lot new age-y stuff has much to do with anything other than (particularly) wishful thinking — a constant re-branding of the simple idea that one should live in the moment. I also wonder how much wishful thinking and what we’d like to believe is in play when we think about the possibility that there’s nothing after this life. .

    • Hey David, thanks for stopping by again.

      I’ve met people before who have also identified as “agnostic”, but it seems like such a broad term and everyone has different ideas. Do you mind explaining to me why you identify as agnostic? For example: I’ve met some people who say that they are agnostic because they didn’t want to say that they are atheist.

      I agree with you in that it’s difficult for me to fathom a God who would “cherry-pick” certain groups of people.

      Also, when you use the word “spiritual”, do you take that term to relate only to divine things (out of this world) or do you believe that it can also be related to earthly tangible things? And I agree with you that for many people, the belief in God is a comforting thing.

      I’m not sure what is after this life. If I could conjure up a ghost and get some answers I’d tell you hahaha. I’d like to believe that there is a place after this world. If I was to go strictly by Catholic doctrine, there would be 3 places actually (Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell). I used to contemplate sometimes that there may be different niches or places in the afterlife for people of different faiths. That way everyone would get their Jesus/Ganesha/Buddha…. I don’t know too much about the afterlife beliefs of other faiths, so you have to forgive me on that. The notion powering the idea was that each faith would probably want to see its own “holy people” or Gods.

      • david says:

        It’s hard to believe in the God as relayed by a lot of doctrine. I’ve never been sure how one gives themselves up to religion in the way that most want without losing some sense of self-awareness. It’s the same sensibility that tries to sort out how much wishful thinking plays into what we want to believe, when instead some combination of intellect along with heart feels most ideal. Because as irrational as some forms of spirituality may seem for some people, to say that there’s no possibility of God at all in the entire universe — well, that’s just cynical.

        Maybe someone who is agnostic generally wants to believe in something that makes more sense to them than what a lot of doctrine presents, although there’s certainly the component of being able to consistently sense something.

        I’ve never thought of anything spiritual as being within the realm of tangible things so much, but I suppose the term can relate to things within the realm of human existence.

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