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Al Smith

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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?

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    Sep 10 2011: All religions provide a framework through which their believers see and interpret the world. They all attempt to explain the world, the universe and human existence.
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      Sep 10 2011: Well said Debra,
      "a framework through which their believers see and interpret the world".

      I believe religions provide a framework, and believers have a choice as to how they will use their prefered religion within the framework they are offered. Many people use religion as a benificial life guide (as they probably would with or without a religion), and many people use their religion as a reason and justification for violence and abuse of other's rights (as they probably would with or without a religion). People will often use a belief, concept, theory, idea, opinion, etc., to benefit themselves, or to benefit the whole of humankind. It is not the religion, scientific theory, idea or opinion that is in question, but rather, how we use and interpret the "framework" or religion.
      • Sep 10 2011: Ok so to get away from criticisms of particular religions, let's discuss the utility of a religious framework.

        Do religious people know more about right and wrong than do non-believers?
        No they do not, and this has been repeatedly proven throughout history. So one can conclude that religion is not a necessary or even reliable source of moral principles.
        So this raises the question why is it the case that people with divine inspiration do not actually exhibit
        any greater aptitude for moral decision making?
        This comes down to your point about selective consideration and subjective interpretation. People have proven themselves incapable of interpreting religious work in a consistently beneficial way. This again undermines the usefulness of religion as a moral framework. If people are often led in the opposite direction of morality when try to utilize a religious framework, then the framework isn't serving its purpose and should be discarded for one that is more consistent and more useful (humanist philosophies for instance, which I have mentioned in previous posts in this discussion.

        Thoughts?
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          Sep 10 2011: Hi Aaron,
          I do not believe "religious people know more about right and wrong than do non-believers".
          I had two "religious" people for parents...one was unconditionally loving and kind, and the other violent and abusive.

          It is not the religion that is necessarily a reliable source of moral principles, but rather how the source is used?

          You've asked a GREAT question!!! "why is it the case that people with divine inspiration do not actually exhibit any greater aptitude for moral decision making"? Well, I have to question that "divine inspiration" reference....LOL:>)
          It is a choice. Let's go back to the "framework"...how each individual interprets and uses the framework?

          If you look at the original "framework" of most religions, they are beneficial to the whole of humankind. However, with many different interpretations, the original intent becomes skewed along the way...yes?

          Personally, I don't care one way or another about religions...I do not practice a religion. However, I see the benefits for many people. I also see the destruction that has been caused by mis-interpreting the "framework". Some people are capable of interpreting religions in a way that benefits humankind, and some people have interpreted religions in a way that threatens the whole.

          I don't agree that the "framework isn't serving its' purpose..." It is the believers choice as to how s/he will use the information provided by the framework. One thing I see happening with religions, and various other beliefs, is that people are willing to give up his/her choice, and give the power of decision to another entity.

          Thoughts?

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