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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Interfaith

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  #161  
Old 08-01-2021, 02:35 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer

The problems arise when some become so convinced of the supremacy of their own beliefs that they close their minds to any others, any chance they could be mistaken, and become intolerant of those who do not believe as they do. Then even those who preach tolerance and freedom of beliefs have to question just how much tolerance of intolerance they can tolerate. The breaking point of those who champion tolerance often comes when the intolerant turn violent. Which is usually when their beliefs have become so extreme that it is now nearly impossible to reason them back into becoming peaceful.


Unfortunately, there is a lot of validity to what you have just written.

Your points are right on target.
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  #162  
Old 09-01-2021, 04:32 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
That is not obvious to me but everyone is entitled to their opinions.


It's pretty simple really. Religion is symbolic and symbolic meaning is dualistic. If I say 'I am a Christian' I have to remove myself for 'the other' who is 'not'. Indeed I would never have to say I am not a Christian if someone else didn't claim that they were. I am basically forced into the 'not position' to be used to affirm their identity. That's a force of power exerted on be through the creation of 'the other'. There is the dual identification symbol. The problem is, symbolic meaning needs extreme ends. Heaven Hell. God Devil. Jesus 'all good' and sinners etc. To maintain the meaning religions require exteme ends because they are symbolic structures, so there has to be a Queen Mary of Scotts, Jihadis, 'the troubles' in Ireland and/or the many other real life example.


For a bloke like me, who never said I am this or I am that, I didn't position anyone as 'not what I am' use them as a contrast against which I orient myself, so when other people say I am this or I am that, I understand how that necessitated then exerting power over 'the other' who is made 'not'. The religious identioty simply cannot exist without 'the not', so power exertion is inevitable, and power requires a resistance to exert against.


The nature of it is inherently volatile, and from outset it creates relational conditions which are conducive to violence.

Quote:
My sense is that there is an underlying "core teaching" at the foundation of the various religions upon which all can agree. I have spoken on that subject in various diverse groups including Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Shamans, Native Americans, etc.

Let's explore the depths and see what emerges.


I understand what I say is offensive to the ideal, but I think if people really examined what I'm trying to explain and see how the formation of religion in itself is an act of violence.
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  #163  
Old 09-01-2021, 11:47 AM
Altair Altair is offline
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It's mostly an issue of exclusivist religions. If you look at ancient Europe then different polytheisms would be able to loosely recognize one another, sharing beliefs about a god of the sky, god of war, goddess of fertility. Just different names, but wow does it help to build a bridge.

I'm critical of religion, but to do away with all religion would be really bad IMO. Spirituality is expressed in many different ways, and teachings that only talk about one practice (like meditation) can get as dogmatic as ''this god is the only one'' or ''this god is the supreme personality'' religions. Humans are diverse and express their spirituality in very diverse ways. It makes the world colourful just as is the case with the different (now old) architecture styles. Lets not make it all the same..
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  #164  
Old 09-01-2021, 01:11 PM
ketzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
It's pretty simple really. Religion is symbolic and symbolic meaning is dualistic. If I say 'I am a Christian' I have to remove myself for 'the other' who is 'not'. Indeed I would never have to say I am not a Christian if someone else didn't claim that they were. I am basically forced into the 'not position' to be used to affirm their identity. That's a force of power exerted on be through the creation of 'the other'. There is the dual identification symbol. The problem is, symbolic meaning needs extreme ends. Heaven Hell. God Devil. Jesus 'all good' and sinners etc. To maintain the meaning religions require extreme ends because they are symbolic structures, so there has to be a Queen Mary of Scotts, Jihadis, 'the troubles' in Ireland and/or the many other real life example.

For a bloke like me, who never said I am this or I am that, I didn't position anyone as 'not what I am' use them as a contrast against which I orient myself, so when other people say I am this or I am that, I understand how that necessitated then exerting power over 'the other' who is made 'not'. The religious identioty simply cannot exist without 'the not', so power exertion is inevitable, and power requires a resistance to exert against.

The nature of it is inherently volatile, and from outset it creates relational conditions which are conducive to violence.

I understand what I say is offensive to the ideal, but I think if people really examined what I'm trying to explain and see how the formation of religion in itself is an act of violence.

A rather impressively reasoned look at religion, that brought to mind a few things as I read it.
"a bloke like me, who never said I am this or I am that, I didn't position anyone as 'not what I am' use them as a contrast against which I orient myself,"
And yet, you often end up positioning yourself nonetheless. If you are not with us, then you are not one of us, regardless of what you may be, you are other. There are spikes atop some walls to prevent one from sitting there. Those spikes may have been placed by those who erected it, but nevertheless, you can only be in or out.

Whether or not the formation of a religion is an "act of violence", it certainly often leads to it. Which can lead one to ask where that violence comes from to begin with. Lions and wolves will resort to violence to protect their territory to ensure their survival. Within that territory, they are dominant and claim the resources of survival for themselves. Humans live in large societies. Those societies produce the means of our survival. Those with power and influence over that society have greater security in acquiring those means.

Do humans carve out territories within the common mind of those societies in which the alpha dictates what thought and belief will be? Do we fight like stags in rut do to determine who will dominate the herd within those territories? Is the inherent "act of violence" in creating any ideology really just an inherent act of the inherited drive to ensure survival of the human organism itself.

And to pull on a thread and start to unravel a whole other cloth, why might I have incarnated into such a world, to live a life as such a creature, to struggle for life against the other creatures? What does it say about the soul who does not recognize such boundaries? What point is there for such a soul, that does not accept the us and them paradigm, in such a world? Can it survive and thrive in such a world, or is it just prey for the predators? Must the human organism succumb to such laws of nature, or are there other, perhaps even better ways to ensure the survival of the individual without extracting the means from the whole?
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  #165  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:19 PM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
A rather impressively reasoned look at religion, that brought to mind a few things as I read it.
"a bloke like me, who never said I am this or I am that, I didn't position anyone as 'not what I am' use them as a contrast against which I orient myself,"
And yet, you often end up positioning yourself nonetheless. If you are not with us, then you are not one of us, regardless of what you may be, you are other. There are spikes atop some walls to prevent one from sitting there. Those spikes may have been placed by those who erected it, but nevertheless, you can only be in or out.

Whether or not the formation of a religion is an "act of violence", it certainly often leads to it.



Well, more like an exertion of power than an act of violence, because the 'not position' is imposed on me, and I didn't consent. The reason that it becomes increasingly violent from there violent is the following:


1) Persons A identify as a thing and force persons B into the not position so they can be used to orient the identify persons A assumed. That is done forcefully without Persons B consent.


2) Persons A need Persons B to orient their identity because without the 'others' they can't validate themselves.


3) This reliance on Persons B compels Persons A to force persons B to act in ways that validate Persons A identity.


4) That exertion of power requires resistance. There is a resistance because Persons B are pushed unwillingly.


5) Persons A become agitated because Person B don't behave in ways that validate themselves, so Persons A are compelled to exert even more power. At some point they will get the resistance they need.


6) Hence, The above escalates and leads to violence of the physical kind.


The psychological violence is enacted in step 1 if we could say psychological violence is manipulating people into a subject position they were unwilling to be in. That's why I claim the act of becoming religious is violent in nature.


Quote:
Which can lead one to ask where that violence comes from to begin with. Lions and wolves will resort to violence to protect their territory to ensure their survival. Within that territory, they are dominant and claim the resources of survival for themselves. Humans live in large societies. Those societies produce the means of our survival. Those with power and influence over that society have greater security in acquiring those means.
Do humans carve out territories within the common mind of those societies in which the alpha dictates what thought and belief will be? Do we fight like stags in rut do to determine who will dominate the herd within those territories? Is the inherent "act of violence" in creating any ideology really just an inherent act of the inherited drive to ensure survival of the human organism itself.


And to pull on a thread and start to unravel a whole other cloth, why might I have incarnated into such a world, to live a life as such a creature, to struggle for life against the other creatures? What does it say about the soul who does not recognize such boundaries? What point is there for such a soul, that does not accept the us and them paradigm, in such a world? Can it survive and thrive in such a world, or is it just prey for the predators? Must the human organism succumb to such laws of nature, or are there other, perhaps even better ways to ensure the survival of the individual without extracting the means from the whole?



Humans have ethical dilemmas (animals don't), and we are subject to the laws of nature, though there are different ways of imagining nature's law. I prefer the kamma paradigm as it relates well with our ethical dilemmas through such sayings as 'you reap what you sew' and 'do unto others...', but it is not sufficient to obey these rules. One has understand themselves more deeply rather that become 'something' which they are not.


I think I sound too harsh, but within the context of how terrible it gets, I think its fair enough.
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  #166  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:58 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
It's pretty simple really. Religion is symbolic and symbolic meaning is dualistic. If I say 'I am a Christian' I have to remove myself for 'the other' who is 'not'. Indeed I would never have to say I am not a Christian if someone else didn't claim that they were. I am basically forced into the 'not position' to be used to affirm their identity. That's a force of power exerted on be through the creation of 'the other'. There is the dual identification symbol. The problem is, symbolic meaning needs extreme ends. Heaven Hell. God Devil. Jesus 'all good' and sinners etc. To maintain the meaning religions require exteme ends because they are symbolic structures, so there has to be a Queen Mary of Scotts, Jihadis, 'the troubles' in Ireland and/or the many other real life example.


For a bloke like me, who never said I am this or I am that, I didn't position anyone as 'not what I am' use them as a contrast against which I orient myself, so when other people say I am this or I am that, I understand how that necessitated then exerting power over 'the other' who is made 'not'. The religious identioty simply cannot exist without 'the not', so power exertion is inevitable, and power requires a resistance to exert against.


The nature of it is inherently volatile, and from outset it creates relational conditions which are conducive to violence.




I understand what I say is offensive to the ideal, but I think if people really examined what I'm trying to explain and see how the formation of religion in itself is an act of violence.

Your point on "I AM <anything>" is indeed dualistic and divisive.

That is why I have specifically encouraged discovering the underlying ULTIMATE "core values" of the various faith in an attempt to establish unity.

One example would be the quote from the Jewish Psalm highly valued by the Hindu Ramana Maharshi.

"Be still and know that I AM God". (Psalm 46:10)

In stillness, there is no "I AM <anything>".

P.S. I could easily present parallel quotes from other traditions as well.
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  #167  
Old 09-01-2021, 03:03 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
A rather impressively reasoned look at religion, that brought to mind a few things as I read it.
"a bloke like me, who never said I am this or I am that, I didn't position anyone as 'not what I am' use them as a contrast against which I orient myself,"
And yet, you often end up positioning yourself nonetheless. If you are not with us, then you are not one of us, regardless of what you may be, you are other. There are spikes atop some walls to prevent one from sitting there. Those spikes may have been placed by those who erected it, but nevertheless, you can only be in or out.

Whether or not the formation of a religion is an "act of violence", it certainly often leads to it. Which can lead one to ask where that violence comes from to begin with. Lions and wolves will resort to violence to protect their territory to ensure their survival. Within that territory, they are dominant and claim the resources of survival for themselves. Humans live in large societies. Those societies produce the means of our survival. Those with power and influence over that society have greater security in acquiring those means.

Do humans carve out territories within the common mind of those societies in which the alpha dictates what thought and belief will be? Do we fight like stags in rut do to determine who will dominate the herd within those territories? Is the inherent "act of violence" in creating any ideology really just an inherent act of the inherited drive to ensure survival of the human organism itself.


Although your post was not directed towards me, I LOVE the point that you are making.
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  #168  
Old 09-01-2021, 03:41 PM
ketzer
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Who asked you anyway!! LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
Although your post was not directed towards me, I LOVE the point that you are making.
Hehe, I am glad you enjoyed it. Truth be told most of my posts, the serious ones (few? ) anyway, are not really directed at anyone in particular. One just sees things in some posts, 'thought prompts', that get the mind wandering about, and my post is really directed inward to myself, just speaking my rambling thoughts out loud. I just assume that any and all understand it is not a exclusive conversation between me and another, and all are free to butt in and don't even have to contribute a full two cents. At any rate, I am probably the biggest butterinner on SF, so I can't legitimately complain if any one else does the same....not that I won't complain....few would listen anyway....so I would just be complaining to myself....which is ok...and perfectly sane...even though I probably wouldn't listen either.

.
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  #169  
Old 09-01-2021, 05:12 PM
HITESH SHAH HITESH SHAH is offline
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interfaith

what is interfaith
Interfaith is
not random mixture of different faith
not negation of one's own faith
is an effort to find commonalities with others and promote harmony ,peace
should not be an effort to create walls , it should be an effort to create bridges
should increase faith , should promote scientific thought , discourage superstitious behavior,increase positive co-operation , energize people to activity , provide relief and hope to distressed , help create holistically better society
Need for interfaith
Many society are multi-faith and their constitutions are faith neutral . Equality of each faith/tradition before law is a wonderful thing . However in reality , it also results in absence of or neglect of faith in peoples individual lives. In many cases it does create lot other problems in relationships/professions/occupations/governance /finances etc. Interfaith in such cases help people re-discover their own faith . Of course existing mechanisms of each faith can and should continue as it is in this directions .
This forum definitely does try to fulfill this role in its unique way .

Technological progress, political revolution and economic prosperity has created an unprecedented democracy in each area of life (including spirituality / religion) . Inter-faith learnings can exhort faith leaders and practitioners to incorporate scientific / intellectual part of life in the faith's practices and rituals .

Further many a mono-religion societies do get into unscientific patterns . Inter-faith inspirations can help even these societies improve their structures and practices as well.

Finally spirituality is core part of life (as Gem told and its fact that spirit is there even when man is not thinking or aware about it .) . If anything like this help improve this core part , its definitely better. Documenting these core teachings for self and posterity is an important obligation for current generations.

Argument that religion has created problems in the past does not hold good because we do not do it logically in other areas of life . 2 world wars were fought between people of same faith (mostly excluding japan) viz Christianity . Religion was simply not the cause of it. Many a subsequent wars / recessions / conflicts /exploitation /corruptions/pandemic etc are simply not created by religions . In fact the opposite could be a reality . Absence of credible real religion may have contributed to all such issues . God simply does not need any religions. He can manage anything with extreme ease .It is for our benefit that we may need it.

Commonalities
There are many like
moral tenets expressed in religion neutral language
protection to weaker
supersoul / cosmic spirit as ultimate sovereign God in every religion
Existence of leading personalities in each religion symbolizing the abstract God in human in every religion though each faith can be free to call it son of God,messiah of God or God himself/herself .
In view of larger commonalities , the difference in symbols and terminologies are more a trivia than substance. While we can take pride in symbols of religions it does not entitle you to treat other faith as inferior as core teachings of your own faith does not permit it .

Of course we all are in a way working on this already in limited way already by being active member trying to impart and imbibe the real spirit of life through mutual peaceful posts.
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  #170  
Old 09-01-2021, 05:33 PM
Chainer Chainer is offline
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Cool

Have to say I love the act of violence comment earlier, actually got me to sign up to this forum in order to post a response..

The issue with all inter faith attempts is that the non-interfaith will turn on you as a heretic and few are brave enough to fight that.

Everyone who signs up to an organised region HAS to believe they are right, AND everyone else is wrong, otherwise you are simply not a member of the club. Left hand path is the only way forward.
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