TED Conversations

Al Smith

This conversation is closed.

What do religions all have in common?

Today's internet driven, knowledge seeking person has seen the rapid evolution of religious philosophies from around the world. From a past of rare encounters with foreign thoughts, comes a whirlwind of new ideas and everyone's version of "the ultimate truth." So what do these truths all have in common?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 10 2011: Yes, I will agree with you on that one! Gandhi, Mr. King and Jesus. They are all men. Gandhi, practically starved himself to death, for religion. Mr. King, (saw a PBS documentary once, he had mistresses) Jesus (still a questionable theory) He did exist, however, seems no human, can get his story straight. I will go on to point out, these humans died because of religion. There is your common ground. That is what religion has in common. Religion kills humans. Listen to the news lately? With respect to you sir! I know you must believe this? OR, you just a want a good debate?
    • thumb
      Sep 10 2011: First off, I don't think it matters what I personally believe, or what you personally believe, since my arguments are simply the flip side to your arguments in the interest of discussion. And comments like "Listen to the news lately?" and "you must believe this?..." come on now

      The point of naming those few wasn't because they were men or the fact they died, but simply to show that a multitude of different cultural backgrounds and experiences still result in a universal commitment to nonviolence. Too often, we are bewildered by the fact we give people power, and they abuse that power. Power is a natural thing to seek in the animal world, from which we are not entirely separated, and yet we act surprised when politicians are corrupt or religious leaders are going against their own words. Religion is not the cause, but merely one of the latest avenues mankind has made for themselves in order to control. When a person wants to feel safe, they will gather in tribes of people who think like they do, or have the same viewpoints as they do, it's natural. And as we encounter different ideas, we panic as if those ideas are an immediate danger to our own selves.

      When religion gets to a point where an ideology needs to fight another ideology over who is more "righteous,"; that's not religion, that's mob mentality. Even those strongly against religion should see the benefit in how it makes us all connected, even though primal tendencies still arise here and there.

      If one is really into science over religion, if there is such a distinction really, I would ask what does science look like without religion? If there were no people looking towards the heavens and imagining what could possibly be, there would be no scientists, or theologians, or philosophers in general. You can't have one without the other, because it's all just the quest for knowledge in the metaphysical sense.
      • Sep 10 2011: Many people including myself have a great deal of imagination without religion. Actually I feel like my imagination is being severely limited by stipulations, rules and ideas that religion is trying to convey.

        The same applies to ethics and morality. People commit crimes whether they are part of a religion or not. I think it is more important to educate people about why they should behave ethically regardless of their religion or culture?
        • thumb
          Sep 10 2011: I agree with you, Zdenek, on your last paragraph. But for me personally religion opens just yet another door to another world whether earthly or not. My imagination can't be limited regardless of religion after all it's my choice what to believe in.
      • Sep 10 2011: Silvia, I agree that religious people can have lots of imaginations thou I see limits to it. For example, they cannot imagine a Universe without a God? They cannot imagine a world without heaven and a world without actual purpose for human beings or even life? =)
        • Sep 10 2011: If you truly believe in religion, and take everything it tells you to be true including the etiology of the Earth and human beings, you are severely limiting your imagination. Just by believing religious facts and not doubting them, you are hampering your ability to consider other alternative explanations of existence. Imagination is only unlimited when one dares to consider all things that could possibly be true, not just a single interpretation of reality.

          You may be imaginative in other ways, in non-religious matters(even to the point of limitless creative capacity) regardless of your religious beliefs, but your imagination on existence is severely limited by belief in religion.
        • thumb
          Sep 11 2011: Well, in that last mentioned respect you may be right but then again one can choose not to believe in religion but to be guided by it. For example, my only firm belief throughout my life in a religious form would be that I should never do to others what I don't want done to myself. Otherwise I just don't see any point in believing in something that we can't accept.
      • Sep 11 2011: With respect, I have never known religion to bring humans together. (maybe in a church) It seems to me that religion has divided humans a lot more than bringing them together. Of course it matters what I believe and what you believe. If you do not think it matters, why did you ask the question? With respect to you.
      • Sep 11 2011: Silvia, I see your point now. Thank you for clarifying it for me.
    • thumb
      Sep 11 2011: Gandhiji died due to religion? your history is very much wrong buddy.. and if religion doesn't kill does that mean you will live longer? what sort of reasoning is this?
      • Sep 12 2011: I apologize, sometimes I insert foot into mouth. This Great Man died because another human killed him. I do apologize. So,, there you go bud. I will, in the future, try to curb my passion. With respect to you.
        • thumb
          Sep 12 2011: love ur response lol; made me laugh ;p
        • thumb
          Sep 12 2011: hehe i found something to oppose... was my reply harsh? If it was in anyway I am sorry but...

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.