T Nation

Why's Your Religion Better?

Lots of discussion in other threads about how big of a jump it is to go from acknowledging a deity, to acknowledging a specific deity.

Everybody is jumping on the fact that there is not an sound argument that supports any specific religion, but obviously the people within those religions believe that their religion has more internal credibility than the others.

So what is it that makes your religion different (and why is that difference better?)

I’ll start (Christian)

  1. The fact that the bible was written over a period of 1500 years by many different authors. What some people call contradictions (they are not contradictions at all) I believe actually adds to the credibility of the bible, because it highlights the different perspectives of the different authors. One person making up a religious book would not be able to fake that in a million years.

  2. The fact that Christianity is the only religion that has nothing hinged on mans performance. There are christians who believe that salvation is earned, but I believe the biblical perspective highlights man’s inability to reach out to be saved. Salvation is not earned, but is a free gift. I cannot think of a single human who, when making up a religion would make himself unable to do anything to merit God’s favour.

Butler, who has argued for a religion other than Christianity? I believe that among the Christians on the board, there have been theological discussions arguing for the merits of Catholicism or Protestantism, respectively. While I understand what you are asking, the word religion may be a misnomer to some readers, perhaps personal philosophy concerning the existence and nature of a deity is better? Great thread idea regardless.

Not a believer (agnostic technically leaning towards agnostic-atheist), but excited to see where the conversation goes (for reals).

Legionary, I get what your saying, and I do not have a clear view of where this thread is headed. I want it to be less heated than some of the recent threads. I think that evolutionist vs creationists, protestant vs catholic etc. threads have been derailed by the fact that people think you can conclusively prove one view. As Tribulus has pointed out many times, and I agree, any worldview required some presupposition that will not be seen as a valid argument by opposition.

The purpose of this thread is not to challenge people to defend every single tidbit of their argument scientifically…but just to see what the main “selling points” of that religion (for lack of a better word) are for the individuals on the site.

[quote]butler244 wrote:
Legionary, I get what your saying, and I do not have a clear view of where this thread is headed. I want it to be less heated than some of the recent threads. I think that evolutionist vs creationists, protestant vs catholic etc. threads have been derailed by the fact that people think you can conclusively prove one view. As Tribulus has pointed out many times, and I agree, any worldview required some presupposition that will not be seen as a valid argument by opposition.

The purpose of this thread is not to challenge people to defend every single tidbit of their argument scientifically…but just to see what the main “selling points” of that religion (for lack of a better word) are for the individuals on the site.[/quote]

I understand. Yes, it will be very interesting if we can keep the discussion civil. I’m as guilty as anyone of being an intolerant asshole on this forum and have realized that I need to incorporate a more positive outlook. Perhaps once someone has posted their “selling points,” others can ask them to elaborate in certain regards to gain a greater understanding of their beliefs. Although I don’t always act like it, I see value in all religions. While some self proclaimed followers have manipulated their teachings for personal gain, this is greatly outweighed by the good that the have done in the world. Perhaps they are all different paths to honoring the same Creator, all containing some pieces of Universal truth emanating from the Deus itself. Take the golden rule for instance. This same precept can be found in many different faiths. We all stand to learn from this discussion if it is approached in a tactful manner.

Some belief systems are accommodating of other views, while others claim to have exclusivity…Christianity for example (if the bible is the rulebook) is an exclusive religion (John 14:6 "No man comes to the father except through me). What other systems are exclusive like this? On what basis do they claim that exclusivity? At the end of the day it has to come down to something more complex than the golden rule.

From virtue theory, there is something called the golden mean which, I guess seeks out virtue. Between foolhardy and cowardice is a mean where say Courage exists…

You can be a liar, or you can be someone who only tells the honest truth, but in the middle is a guy who can let his slightly skinny or chubby girlfriend have a nice and honest compliment without a compulsion for truth. Like, imagine paying a compliment to a lady who you know has been putting in work at the gym… You say something like, “The bust and straps on your dress can get a mans heart racing, you have an amazing athletic and sultry thing going on, except for that dimple of cellulite right there on the back of your thigh…” I mean, do we tell the truth if it hurts or messes good things up if there is no consequence to not telling the full truth?

It’s trying to be a certain way in terms of being virtuous, rather than having rules set in place to make decisions for you. It’s more the position that you, the person that you are will make the decision based on your virtues and values, so you seek to improve yourself by recognizing virtue and the endeavor of being that way. So you don’t follow rules per say, you focus on being a good person and good decisions follow being a good person.

Otherwise, I like the categorical imperative when I’m really in a dilemma; Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law…

It’s basically the golden rule, but you also have to consider how the world would be if everyone did the same thing you did, would you still be able to do it in that world? I’m not the most virtuous person, I don’t know if I ever will be but that’s the endeavor. For not I try to be a good person and use the categorical imperative when I’m mindful enough to do so and in a bind.

I try to follow my own rules, I know I’m not always successful. The strength of my moral set is that I generally have the freedom to just be myself and not be constrained or worried about rules. The funny thing is, when I have a really big problem I’ll usually go back to the Categorical Imperative which is very Christian for someone like myself. What can I say? The Categorical Imperative is really powerful in terms of figuring out whether logic and fairness are part of the decision.

[quote]butler244 wrote:
Some belief systems are accommodating of other views, while others claim to have exclusivity…Christianity for example (if the bible is the rulebook) is an exclusive religion (John 14:6 "No man comes to the father except through me). What other systems are exclusive like this? On what basis do they claim that exclusivity? At the end of the day it has to come down to something more complex than the golden rule.[/quote]

All religions claim at least to a degree, exclusivity. That’s not the problem, the problem is when some people take this as a means to slam the door in other people’s faces with regards to God’s grace. “Be like me or your damned.”

Nobody really knows. But being a person of faith also requires that you trust God knows what he’s doing and his plan of salvation is for all people who want it. That even if people are practicing a different faith, that God hears them too. I cannot be so arrogant as to believe, as adamant as I am about my faith, that my counter parts who are just as adamant about theirs are wrong about what they believe. It’s irrelevant what I think, the fact is I cannot prove it.
What people don’t realize most of the time is that the core tenets of faith across religions are more the same, not different. Most people just look at the outside, but at their core there is similarity.
If you spend anytime with a person of faith who is of a different faith and you listen to them speak about it, outside the practices and traditions, the beliefs are very similar.

What I do know is that evil is forbidden and doing evil in the name of God is, well a very, very bad thing to do.

I don’t know if Christianity is the best, but I believe it to be based on my personal experience with it. What I mean is I cannot go to another person of faith and tell them they are wrong and they need to do what I do.

What I do know is there is no such thing as a person without faith, just people who deny God.

Agnostic leaning toward Deism

[quote]Legionary wrote:
Butler, who has argued for a religion other than Christianity? I believe that among the Christians on the board, there have been theological discussions arguing for the merits of Catholicism or Protestantism, respectively. While I understand what you are asking, the word religion may be a misnomer to some readers, perhaps personal philosophy concerning the existence and nature of a deity is better? Great thread idea regardless.

[/quote]

Jewbacca is obviously not a Christian. So I would definitely like to hear his take.

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Legionary wrote:
Butler, who has argued for a religion other than Christianity? I believe that among the Christians on the board, there have been theological discussions arguing for the merits of Catholicism or Protestantism, respectively. While I understand what you are asking, the word religion may be a misnomer to some readers, perhaps personal philosophy concerning the existence and nature of a deity is better? Great thread idea regardless.

[/quote]

Jewbacca is obviously not a Christian. So I would definitely like to hear his take. [/quote]

Yes that came to my mind as well.

[quote]H factor wrote:
Not a believer (agnostic technically leaning towards agnostic-atheist), but excited to see where the conversation goes (for reals). [/quote]

Why is this better?
I don’t think you should sit on the sidelines and wait to level criticism on others, you obviously think this is the way to go, why?

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]butler244 wrote:
Some belief systems are accommodating of other views, while others claim to have exclusivity…Christianity for example (if the bible is the rulebook) is an exclusive religion (John 14:6 "No man comes to the father except through me). What other systems are exclusive like this? On what basis do they claim that exclusivity? At the end of the day it has to come down to something more complex than the golden rule.[/quote]

All religions claim at least to a degree, exclusivity. That’s not the problem, the problem is when some people take this as a means to slam the door in other people’s faces with regards to God’s grace. “Be like me or your damned.”

Nobody really knows. But being a person of faith also requires that you trust God knows what he’s doing and his plan of salvation is for all people who want it. That even if people are practicing a different faith, that God hears them too. I cannot be so arrogant as to believe, as adamant as I am about my faith, that my counter parts who are just as adamant about theirs are wrong about what they believe. It’s irrelevant what I think, the fact is I cannot prove it.
What people don’t realize most of the time is that the core tenets of faith across religions are more the same, not different. Most people just look at the outside, but at their core there is similarity.
If you spend anytime with a person of faith who is of a different faith and you listen to them speak about it, outside the practices and traditions, the beliefs are very similar.

What I do know is that evil is forbidden and doing evil in the name of God is, well a very, very bad thing to do.

I don’t know if Christianity is the best, but I believe it to be based on my personal experience with it. What I mean is I cannot go to another person of faith and tell them they are wrong and they need to do what I do.

What I do know is there is no such thing as a person without faith, just people who deny God. [/quote]

But if you believe that in your experience christianity is the “best” I think there are definite differences from any other religion in terms of its view of man’s natural state of sin, and how we earn favor with God. The God of the bible is very detail oriented and says that “those that worship him must worship him in spirit and TRUTH”…so how does that leave room for other religions, if the Christian God is the true God.

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Legionary wrote:
Butler, who has argued for a religion other than Christianity? I believe that among the Christians on the board, there have been theological discussions arguing for the merits of Catholicism or Protestantism, respectively. While I understand what you are asking, the word religion may be a misnomer to some readers, perhaps personal philosophy concerning the existence and nature of a deity is better? Great thread idea regardless.

[/quote]

Jewbacca is obviously not a Christian. So I would definitely like to hear his take. [/quote]

To answer the question asked: “why is [my] religion better?”

Well, Judaism is “better” because Judaism is true and ordained from G-d for the Jewish people.

Now, of course, that answer begs the quetion: “how do I know that Judaism is true and ordained from G-d for the Jewish people?” Well, that’s a horse of a different color, and you didn’t ask that.

I would also note that Judaism is for Jewish people. It’s not for non-Jewish people.

The rest of you are subject to the Laws of Noah (as I am I, but the law of Noah is part of the overall Law).

Christianity, by most accounts, certainly comports with the laws of Noah, so it’s mostly fine for non-Jewish people, although the Chabad folks would argue that a Noahdic religion, untinged by Jewish heresey, would be better. Solid Judeo-ethics for the masses.

In short, have a merry Christmas.

[quote]Jewbacca wrote:

In short, have a merry Christmas.[/quote]

I actually laughed out loud at this.

People like to stretch the truth, the bible was not ( at least i believe ) written as a means of control, but as a means of interpretation. Christ, a healer worked wonders. Many have vouched to witness his “miracles” however we have no proof physical proof like we do with gravity, i.e ( I drop a pencil and it falls.) With science today we know a lot more, yet we still interpret. We may be wrong or we may be right; the question is who is to deem it correct? Are the Muslims correct? Maybe, maybe the Jews are or the Buddhists or maybe atheism is right and we are a scientific miracle to be existing. Todays religion is however ( I believe ) interpreted as a means of control in political interest and propaganda seriously hindering the capacity of man kind. We have limits on stem cell researched and wars over a man in a goddam robe. It needs to stop but it comes back to what I mentioned earlier right or wrong is relative. So to answer your question, my religion ( the flying spaggethi monster ) is correct and yours is wrong because your god isn’t the god of pasta; deeming you to serve a eternity in marinara sauce because you dont have faith in angle hair pasta. Duh.

[quote]Jakk1234 wrote:
People like to stretch the truth, the bible was not ( at least i believe ) written as a means of control, but as a means of interpretation. Christ, a healer worked wonders. Many have vouched to witness his “miracles” however we have no proof physical proof like we do with gravity, i.e ( I drop a pencil and it falls.) With science today we know a lot more, yet we still interpret. We may be wrong or we may be right; the question is who is to deem it correct? Are the Muslims correct? Maybe, maybe the Jews are or the Buddhists or maybe atheism is right and we are a scientific miracle to be existing. Todays religion is however ( I believe ) interpreted as a means of control in political interest and propaganda seriously hindering the capacity of man kind. We have limits on stem cell researched and wars over a man in a goddam robe. It needs to stop but it comes back to what I mentioned earlier right or wrong is relative. So to answer your question, my religion ( the flying spaggethi monster ) is correct and yours is wrong because your god isn’t the god of pasta; deeming you to serve a eternity in marinara sauce because you dont have faith in angle hair pasta. Duh. [/quote]

How refreshingly original.

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:

[quote]Jakk1234 wrote:
People like to stretch the truth, the bible was not ( at least i believe ) written as a means of control, but as a means of interpretation. Christ, a healer worked wonders. Many have vouched to witness his “miracles” however we have no proof physical proof like we do with gravity, i.e ( I drop a pencil and it falls.) With science today we know a lot more, yet we still interpret. We may be wrong or we may be right; the question is who is to deem it correct? Are the Muslims correct? Maybe, maybe the Jews are or the Buddhists or maybe atheism is right and we are a scientific miracle to be existing. Todays religion is however ( I believe ) interpreted as a means of control in political interest and propaganda seriously hindering the capacity of man kind. We have limits on stem cell researched and wars over a man in a goddam robe. It needs to stop but it comes back to what I mentioned earlier right or wrong is relative. So to answer your question, my religion ( the flying spaggethi monster ) is correct and yours is wrong because your god isn’t the god of pasta; deeming you to serve a eternity in marinara sauce because you dont have faith in angle hair pasta. Duh. [/quote]

How refreshingly original.

[/quote]
Thanks ?

[quote]Jakk1234 wrote:
( the flying spaggethi monster ) [/quote]

flying spaghetti monster… YUM! Nom nom nom nom! You just had to bring up spaghetti while I’m trying to lose some fat didn’t you!? Why!? WHY??? I bet the spaghetti monster even has a delicious meat sauce HUH!?

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]Jakk1234 wrote:
( the flying spaggethi monster ) [/quote]

flying spaghetti monster… YUM! Nom nom nom nom! You just had to bring up spaghetti while I’m trying to lose some fat didn’t you!? Why!? WHY??? I bet the spaghetti monster even has a delicious meat sauce HUH!?
[/quote]Sprinkled with grated parmesan and homemade steaming garlic breed smothered in real butter. =D