I believe freedom to choose one's religious path must be granted universally. Muslims should not expect others to become Muslim. Christians should not expect others to become Christian or criticize others for not being/becoming Christian.
Religions are like a a box of assorted chocolates. God Himself does not say, "You must take the milk chocolate one with coconut. No, do not take the one with a cherry in the middle or the dark chocolate caramel filled one…"
Jesus Christ reveals a path toward Cosmic Consciousness, as does Mohamed, Buddha and Krishna. Every religion refers to this Cosmic Consciousness which can be found within us all. It is the true path to liberation.
So lets stop expecting and forcing one another to take the chocolate WE have chosen!
"Islamist views emphasize the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law); of pan-Islamic political unity; and of the selective removal of non-Muslim, particularly Western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences in the Muslim world that they believe to be incompatible with Islam." Wikipedia
PS In The News: Children were beheaded by Islam extremists for not denying Christ. Why do these so called "religious" extremists not do unto others as they would have others do unto them? Because Islamist extremism/terrorism has nothing to do with religion. These people are simply extremists. Evil ones.
What is their problem?
http://insider.foxnews.com/2014/12/12/r … ldren-iraq
I learned a lot about you in this post, thanks for sharing that!
I think that no matter what we pick, we ought to all be able to live alongside one another, peaceably. A "live and let live" kind of thing.
Too, I think even with a relativistic type of belief system, we need to realize that in saying all are correct, no one is wrong, that THAT suggestion is also seen as "right", and others wrong. Just making an observation.
True. Religion is a personal choice of what religion and how an individual wants to practice it. We are also free to chose to be agnostic. Others may choose to be spiritual. Discover who you are and what it takes for your physical and spiritual survival.
The basic need to be right is a flaw in the human character. It instills peace a and complacency. When someone comes along and offers up anything that interrupts that we become defensive and in some cases combative. It is a flaw in our character that others play upon in creating animosity and confrontation. It does not need to be religious. It can be patriotic or racial or caste based. Once these basic beliefs are attacked we almost always resist. Why? Because we feel we are right. Not to be obtuse in this description many times we are right. What you have to ask yourself from time to time is everybody else always wrong?
On the other side of the coin, religion should not impose upon temporal governance.
A big part of the problem resides in organized religion. In the church, in other words, rather than in the religion.
All churches seek to grow, to have more members, and the easiest way to do that is to vilify all other religions as wrong. To convince a gullible public that there is only one "right" way to live - the church with the collection plate. Towards this end, then, church dogma always seems to include the requirement that all good folk push their religion on all sinners - to carry out a lifetime of proselytizing that their god requires.
The inevitable result is that "You must take the milk chocolate one with coconut." and no other. "Live and let live", or "Do unto others as you would they do unto you" is not a part of the church.
...and yet churches claim the mission of improving (fixing) human nature!
In India, temples are open often and the devout may tune into God (through prayer, meditation or religious rituals) at will. No one is preaching/indoctrinating, conniving or coercing. To me this is the ideal.
http://goindia.about.com/od/spiritualpl … -India.htm
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Hindu_temple?la … _etiquette
Excerpt from the text, a History of Far Eastern Art: The Buddha's traditional dates are c. 563- c.483 BCE. We know that he was a prince, probably from the region of Nepal and that in his lifetime he was a great teacher of Ethics. We do not know that he claimed religious leadership or attempted to form a religious order. But, his world was undergoing rapid and violent political and social change, and in the resulting instability and uncertainty the Buddha's teachings must have become a great source of strength to the people who knew him.
… among other precepts, "...he taught moral behavior kindness and love as a means of coping with worldly problems."
Religions should be a help to Life. Ordinarily, they are part of one's culture and history. But, some people might find a religion of another time and culture to be more helpful in their lives.
Each to their own. Take the chocolate covered cherry if you like!
Churches also claim to be the voice of God, while preaching diverse messages. Not surprising, then, that they all claim the mission of "improving" mankind (often by ridding the world of competing churches).
I like your Buddhist concepts - they would fit with my own. I WILL take the chocolate cherry.
The complicated thing about most religions is that each person can claim to know what the "true version" of it is. For some, freedom to choose religion is not part of the religion.
No, only you can decide what the true version is and adapt it according to your own understanding…
I would not choose a religion which does not give me this leeway. Jesus himself says, some may come onto this path early and some later. It doesn't matter when. It is all according to one's will and understanding. That is the important thing.
Religion seems to be whatever we make it to be.
If I'm able to decide what the true version is, and adapt it, then religion is not something that can act upon me (such as give me leeway, or teach a certain thing, etc.) because the reality which is religion is not separate from myself. In other words, that particular religion becomes whatever it is, to ME. If I think, for example, Buddhism does not give me that leeway and someone else thinks that it does, then which is the "true" religion or the "true" view? There is no answer to that, because the question itself isn't even logical; religion doesn't exist as a separate entity outside of ourselves. It is what we make it.
I just meant one should not feel forced.
Why do radical Islamists remain entrenched in extreme Islam?
Q.Are they forced into blind obedience?
I'm not sure I've ever met anyone that actively felt forced in their religion. Hmmm....
Extreme Islam? I don't know. I've known only one and I don't talk to them anymore. I wouldn't imagine they felt forced. I think the best that people can do regarding religion and force is to effectively brainwash someone; so I'm guessing that most people who do what we would call "radical" things, do them because they've been brainwashed into thinking it's a good idea and that that's what they actually want.
You are lucky that you have never felt forced to live according to certain religious doctrines. Many have, through Catholicism and the way they were raised: The guilt, the sins, the hell, … etc. They end up believing out of compulsion and out of blind obedience, not knowing they have a choice. Induced Guilt is very a forceful "motivator." When religion is wrongly entrenched into the psyche of a child it is damaging to his sense of free will, (i.e. self guided will.)
Radical Islamists are indoctrinating the youth with their delusional precepts.
"Islam... uses the family life, education, religion and political indoctrination to convert the youth to their beliefs, however radical they may seem to us."
http://clemente.public.iastate.edu/Indo … Youth.html
"ISIS will not stop until it is stopped by others, for its appetite is insatiable. The United States, the West, and the Kurds should not resist them alone, however. It is incumbent upon the Sunni world to stand up to the "Islamic State," which threatens not only Christians and Shiites, but the Arab states, Turkey, and the Sunni faith as well. The greatest threat to Islam is not Islamophobia or the West, but radical jihadists who wantonly murder, destroy and enslave others in the name of God and the Quran"
http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/ … islam.html
I see the perspective you are taking. In that sense people can be forced, and also in that sense I have been. My emphasis was on that person's inner thoughts and why they personally choose to follow a religion, not in those acting upon them. People can be somewhat manipulated or forced but I doubt anyone would ever think actively that they are forced, as they are partaking in radical behavior. It all boils down to whether one finally becomes aware of their brainwashing or not.
1769: "A man of great faith, a man who beat his chest with a rock and whipped himself at night because he believed it would keep him free of sin, Father Junipero Serra was a person of goodwill. He and the others did not come to California to kill the Indians; they came to save their souls. Like the other missionaries, Serra believed he was ordered by God to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and if he failed to do this his own soul was in peril. He soon learned that saving the Indians would not be an easy task." pg. 31
1834: European writers of the enlightenment- among them Voltaire, Jean Jaques Rousseau, the Baron de Montesquieu, and Denis Diderot argued that the Spanish might trade with the indians but should respect the Indian's way of life, treat them with kindness, and otherwise leave them alone. Voltaire criticized the intolerance of the Catholic Church and wrote with contempt about the forced conversion to Christianity saying the church had committed 'the monstrous error of persecuting and butchering God's people in God's name.' Rousseau emphasized the natural goodness of men and opposed forced participation in any religion…Ultimately the enlightenment writers triumphed, as the clamor against the missions finally brought them down in 1834, saving the lives of Indians who had not yet been missionized."pg. 87
Excerpts from the book, Digger, by Jerry Stanley
Jerry Stanley wrote:
Their greatest crime was to be intolerant of another culture - to believe that they were civilized and the Indians were uncivilized. Under Spanish and American rule, the California Indians were nearly exterminated because the newcomers believed there was such a thing as "civilization."
Seeing that the Indians wore little clothing, and prayed to the Great Spirit, the Spanish concluded that the natives were uncivilized and had to be changed. Because the Indians gathered their food and used sticks to dig for vegetables, the foty-niners called them "Diggers," uncivilized creatures that were to be shot on sight. Neither group understood that the culture of the California Indians was just as real to them, and just as meaningful, as cultures defining the Spanish and the Americans. Neither group recognized that all people everywhere have a right to culture and a meaning in life." pg. 85. Digger
Do the Islamic terrorists, with a culture that depends on jihad and forced conversion of the world, have a "right" to their culture? Ancient Rome, where the culture depended on conquering the world? The huns?
Things are seldom as black and white as he would present.
Jihadists: They do not have the right to force their NON-culture on others.
Their NON-culture is a murderous tyrannical unethical and lawless culture. Do they even have the right to maintain it?
...and yet they do maintain it through force.
The effects of that force are anti-life, anti-liberty and the against pursuit of happiness.
The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively: D
You do not, then, regard religion or other spiritual matters as a part of a people's culture?
Mind you, I'm not saying they have a right to it - just that not all cultures have a right to exist. We chastise others for human rights violations - violations that are sometimes deeply ingrained in their culture. Sharia law. Female circumcision. Slavery. Even cannibalism in times past. Caste systems. Do such cultures have the same right to exist as the culture we belong to?
" Sharia law. Female circumcision. Slavery. Even cannibalism in times past. Caste systems. Do such cultures have the same right to exist
as the culture we belong to?"
In my definition, cultures that include these things are NON-cultures. To be considered cultures, they need to show regard for human rights.
The original people of California were very peaceful. They were civilized more than we are with our need for guns.
It's a nifty sidestep, to define a culture as only one with which you agree. It just doesn't have much to do with reality. When you decide that a people, ANY people, that you disagree with as to how they should live have no culture doesn't make much sense. Much like we see on these forums where being Christian means believing as the speaker does or they are not Christians at all.
I am not talking about culture. I am talking about religion. The California Indians had their own religion. They believed in the Great Spirit. Father Serra should have respected their beliefs and customs which hurt no one.
Jihadists, however, believe in killing. Therefore, they do not have a true religion.
Just because you don't like it or agree with it doesn't mean it isn't a true religion. It is.
Umm...you do realize Christianity did the same thing as the Jihadist just a few short centuries ago...But yet it is still considered a true religion...
"I think even with a relativistic type of belief system, we need to realize that in saying all are correct, no one is wrong, that THAT suggestion is also seen as "right", and others wrong."
I am not saying "all are correct."
This is a discussion about freedom of choice… what is right for an individual based of what is BEST for himself.
Is it really best for a radical islamist person to chop off a child's head? Does this really make him happy?
He is not acting in accordance to what makes him happy…(peace.)
Yet, he he chops off the head of yet another child.
How can such a person even sleep at night?
Oh ok, I simply misunderstood and thought it was more of a relativistic view you held. Based I think in part on the comment about God not asking anyone to believe something in particular, like picking a chocolate, etc. Perhaps the differences lie more in the idea of what God is, if its more of a cosmic consciousness, etc.
As for your last question, I hear you. I don't get it. Now we are hearing about a possible holding of hostages in Australia, in a Lindt chocolate cafe, being forced to hold up a black flag. 13-40 people I heard, but I also heard they are waiting to confirm more details. So don't hold me to that.
From Superkev http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126122?page=6 "As I type this there is a hostage situation going on in Sydney, Australia which is by all appearances an ISIS attack. 13 people are being held hostage and two young girls were made to hold the ISIS banner in the front window of the shop by the suspects.
Thank God the Aussie's have very capable police tactical teams."
Should we submit to those who wish to tyrannize over us?
Should we allow others to tyrannize over others?
Tyranny is the bane of mankind. And that is an understatement.
I guess the question is this:
What is good and what is bad and are we allowed to define it?
Well, this might be a problem for some people. What is good for Jihadists, and radical Islamists is not the same for Muslims.
Should Muslims not fight against what they deem as bad? as corrupting?
as universally BAD?
Are we allowed to state what is UNIVERSALLY BAD? OR GOOD?
What is virtue?
Virtue (Latin: virtus, Ancient Greek: ἀρετή "arete") is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Wikipedia
Justice is giving to a man what is owed Edit: (on a non-tangible level.) What is he owed?
He is owed what we would give to ourselves.
If this is not forthcoming we can,
Which should we choose? Based on what?
"He is owed what we would give to ourselves."
Who must give it to the man? And does "give" include earn, create, build, etc.?
This is what a man is owed: Freedom from disturbance; In other words, we are owed quiet and tranquility.
(If you ask me, anyway.)
And we are allowed to protect ourselves from disturbances to our own peace.
But, we must value our own peace. And know how to maintain it.
Would a Jihadist give himself tyrannical dominance? Would he cut off his own head for whatever reason?
Justice is giving to a man what is owed Edit: (on a non-tangible level.) What is he owed?
He is owed what we would give to ourselves: peace, love, kindness, forgiveness…
If this is not forthcoming to ourselves we can choose one of the following:
Q. Which should we choose?
A. If we can ignore, that is the easiest. Running is often appropriate but, takes more effort and the need to relocate. If we comply, we must do it with our true cooperation or suffer greatly on a psychological level. If it is to fight, it is because we cannot comply, ignore or run.
Q. Based on what?
A. Physical and/or psychological survival.
So, we really need to fight against the rising tyranny of Radical Islam.
We could just ignore them… but they are not allowing that option.
Of, course, some might want to comply, but,
W H Y ?
... perhaps because they have never known true peace. How can one give or preserve what one has never known?
For Instance, a Jehovah's Witness approaches you and tries to get you to join their religion. You have the right to tell them you already have your own religion and it is fine for you…
You are happy with your own religion. You tell them this fact many times in the conversation, yet still they persist in telling you how your religion doesn't have the truth. That your religion isn't sufficient. That their religion certainly is. And who is it recruiting you? Enthusiastic youths dressed in dark slacks and white shirts, usually on bicycles or walking about in your neighborhood. They will not listen to your words of wisdom. They will not respect your peace, your joy, your religion. What is up with that? I ask.
I say you have the right to protect yourself and let them know you have nothing more to discuss. If you cannot ignore them because they persist, run.
Or shut the door.
And don't feel guilty about it.
For what its worth, I think I understood what you meant. I wasn't sure how to explain it best, considering the responses.
Its hard to literally discuss it in our PC world. I thought the word "true" would mean a set of views on their own merits, seems to negate itself to some degree possibly. Not sure if this helps, but wanted you to know I didn't at all take it in the way some did. Looking at it different ways I guess. (shrug)
Thanks oceansnsunset. I didn't take into consideration that religions are questionable. In my world religions are good and of God. I forgot that so many take a religion and misinterpret it. That is the ultimate problem: the misinterpretation of religion. And misinterpreting any religion is so easy to do. Thats why I have nothing more to say. I'm too idealistic. Its the hippie in me, I guess. Reality is so hard to handle.
Thanks to all who have shed the cold harsh light of reality on the subject of freedom of religion for the world.
Maybe Jesus really will return and answer some questions. He needs to. He really does.
Kathryn, you said (among other things...) "Maybe Jesus really will return and answer some questions. He needs to. He really does"
I don't disagree, and I think he will! In the mean time, we have what has been given in its various forms. I hope you had a nice Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thanks, Oceans n sunsets. I love those too. Here where I live, around Christmas time, if you get up high enough you can see the sun shining brightly off the ocean... from 28 miles away! A major street near me is called Oceanview. When driving toward LA on the 2 freeway we see the sun's glare on the ocean. To me it is such a magical sight. Catching sight of the ocean on Christmas day has been my gift for two years in a row.
I wandered into a Catholic church New Year's Eve. I wanted to meditate and didn't expect too much from the service, as I was house sitting in the neighborhood, and don't usually go to this church.
So there I was... relaxing, tuning into God behind a pillar, minding my own business when all of the sudden I recognized the accent of the priest: He was clearly from India. The way he said God made my heart sing. I could feel his devotion and sensed his deep sincerity and faith. Afterwards, I went to talk to him.
After a little conversation, he told me this: "Every person is a Child of God and we accept them no matter what religion they believe." This from a Catholic priest from the south of India. He told me two of his sister had become nuns.
Before I left, he said, "Pray for me!"
I asked, "Why?"
He replied, "I need prayers too!"
How wonderful Kathryn! That exchange sounds very special with that priest! When you shared that, I tried to picture how he said "God." It made me smile because I kind of can imagine it. As for a view of the ocean from far away, that kind of thing makes me smile too! I didn't know you were from that area. A bit south of there is where I lived a large portion of my life! I go back to Southern California when I can to visit my family.
How special... I am glad you went in and sought God through meditation, and wanted to talk to the priest afterward. I think it is really neat he asked you to pray for him, and that you felt free to ask him why. I think I will pray for him, how honest is that!? I am sure we can all use some prayers. This life sure is interesting.... I am thankful for it, and for all that comes along the way. Like getting to meet people like you on sites like this. Small world sometimes....
I was just informed by a salesperson from Israel who I spoke to at the Mall, (in between trying to sell me Dead Sea beauty products,) that Zionism is an atheist movement!
"I was raised Zionist by my Zionist parents!" He said Zionists are not against Jews and are not possessive over Israel. He explained that the Jews will always have Israel.
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