Originally Posted by blossomingtree
I don't agree with this:
a) Lumping all religions into one type of modus operandi
b) Ascribing negative and limiting repercussions to people of all faiths in religions across the world
c) Not recognizing the reality and greys of a situation - who are you or I to say what works best for each person and what door will lead them to which path?
Often posts like these - including the huge trend of anti-guru "you don't have to do a thing and you are enlightened already" posts on this forum - have another implicit baseline - that is, that the poster's view and "spiritual religion" (of no religion or no path or no teacher) is the superior one.
i.e. they cannot posit inferiority of a sect/religion without trying to imply that their "freewheeling" "free thinking" "unguided" path is the better - i.e a newer better mousetrap or religion.
You say that things could happen again. Yes they could, and yes they do. This is life. All patterns re-engage and re-emerge, including in this latest fad of "you don't have to do a thing or follow anyone else but my own thoughts" thing.
Speaking to some traditions I am familiar with e.g. Buddhism, Sufism, some Christians, there is wide and immense range of freedom of thought so again, please do not cast all your stones in one direction, when you have no realistic understanding or experience of how they actually operate.
Well, religions do all have the same basic structure, and they can be lumped together in that regard.
Indeed there is all grey areas, so we take the good with the bad in that sense.
We can't be free thinkers and religious believers at the same time, but that's not to say free thought is unguided. It's requires honesty rather than obedience.
I think we get led into the 'superior path' mentality, where self-determined discernment is the only 'way', so if people want a guru or a religious sect, then they needn't overlook their ability to discern honestly what actually motivates that direction, rather than be persuaded by others that it is the 'one true direction'. Self discernment is a primary essential freedom that enables any number of life directions, and freely discerned changes to such directions.
In the humanities there is a principle of informed consent, and consent only applies in the absence of coercion, so attempts to persuade others into conversions and so forth contravene the principle. I don't think religious orders can be sustained without coercion...