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Dalia Rubin

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Religious Bridge

It seems that the debate between the 3 major religions centers on the differences between them, instead of the similarities. Each one is based on the belief that it alone knows divinity on all its aspects.
It would be wiser to understand that one person - even a prophet or messiah - can learn only a narrow angle of the divinity, and build a bridge over these differences rather than sustain the theological battleground.
Further more: the evolution of each of these religions shows a huge gap between it's historical foundation and the way it is practiced today. Going back to these foundations will emphasize the similarities and reveal their mutual source - a fertile starting point for a change.

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    Dec 14 2011: I don't think we should bother with this.
    Children should not be taught that myths are true. Period.

    It seems easier, and safer, to educate little atheists than to bend existing belief systems.
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      Dec 15 2011: Gerald, people are not only logical, and some of them need some kind of belief. One can not dismiss that need for the simple reason that it's out there, and for a very long time: the question of exixtance is as ancient as the spoken word.

      Let me tell you about me. I'm an artist and an amateur scientist, and from time to time I find myself looking around, wondring - not HOW this beauty was created, that I know (geology, astronomy, physics). As an artist I find myself thinking of a creator - an artist, just like me - not the kind of god that tells you what to do. This beauty - a smile, a flower, landscape - moves me in an unlogical way.

      People believe in what they learn, mostly at home. Some reach out and look for a religion thay can belong to. It happens all over the world, even to highly educated people, scientist, former skeptics. We can't dismiss their need to believe because we believe in something else, like science.
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        Dec 15 2011: I wasn't refering to scholar education. I know a lot of doctors who believe in homeopathy, even though they've been students for over two decades.
        I was thinking of something that, sadly, is missing in our schools. The right and the duty to say I don't know. Most teachers are uneasy with this, and would rather seem confident than doubtful. This is authority. And pupils are taught to yield their minds to it.

        I know that people think they need their beliefs. But I don't think they would if they had been taught about rational ways of investigating reality.

        And science is not a belief system.
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          Dec 16 2011: True, science is not a belief system, but some see the scientific method as the other side of the coin.

          I agree with you about authority and the confidence of teachers (and alsoo parents). Luckily, I had some teachers that addmied they didn't know everything. One of them, a high school tacher, used to say so, and then suggested to explore the isuue with us in the library. We learned more from his "don't know" answers than from all the others, and so did he. What a way to learn... Most teachers Suffocate curiosity, but that teacher preserved my natural curiosity. I'm 52 and still learning :)
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      Dec 15 2011: Gerald your right . I always found it much easier to train someone in my field of work with no previous experience of the subject , rather than someone who had the slightest idea of what my work entailed or involved. People have been trying to train and retrain people over religion for centuries. examples Judaism to Christianity to Islam , to Reformation to Evangelical it is not like we haven`t been down this road before .Is it not time to stop beating this dead horse and move on. Just let it die a natural death and be done with it.Maybe we can start off with a Pokemon mythical theme or something , or take a census put up some options and let people vote and whichever one wins then that will be our next mythical belief.I think this would be more productive and certainly more fertile than the Suggested option.
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      Dec 16 2011: What kind of compass or guide do athiests have to lead their lives. This is a serious question . Do they have a creed ?
      • Dec 16 2011: Do they have a creed ?
        Survival of the fittest, I guess :)
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        Dec 17 2011: "What kind of compass or guide do atheists have to lead their lives?"

        Glad you asked, Helen.
        The same guide that religious people have: The mores that have been developed and been passed down through the tens of thousands of years of human social existence.

        Religious people often think - perhaps encouraged by their priests - that morality and ethics are grounded in religion or in commandments of God. They are not. Something as useful as the "Golden Rule" was written by Confucius 1500 years before Jesus quoted it, and it was not based on religion or any god's words, but on already-long experience with the best way to live together.

        In the distant past, priests - who served both ruler and society by promulgating and enforcing rules of behavior - found it very useful to give such rules the authority of deity. Thus ten laws coming from God were easier to enforce than the same from the ruler. But their inspiration was entirely worldly, long pre-dating their publication in stone.

        I think you will find that those of us who don't use the concept of gods in our daily lives are just as ethical, just as moral as those who believe they should follow ethical and moral rules because someone above tells them to. We follow them because the history of humanity has shown them to be useful and in tune with our species' innate sense of conscience. The rules for living can perhaps best be summed up in Confucius' (secular) Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

        I recommend Karen Armstrong's TED talk on the Golden Rule, at:
        http://www.ted.com/talks/karen_armstrong_let_s_revive_the_golden_rule.html
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          Dec 17 2011: I am an admirer of Karen Armstrong......Read several of her books. Signed the Charter of Compassion
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        Dec 17 2011: The trouble with monotheists is that they will commit the bloodiest deeds in His name, acts they would never commit in their own name.

        As an atheist, agnostic or polytheist, you have to assume full personal liability for all your deeds: there is no way to pass the buck by kicking it upstairs and claiming you were "just following orders."
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          Dec 17 2011: I am an admirer of Karen Armstrong.
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          Dec 18 2011: "God" is in business for Himself -- likely HERself, actually: if we attribute to such a being the power to both give and take life, then woman is the better analogy for women can be taught to kill and, I'm told, make better hitmen than men because, in some situations, a man will break down and abort whereas a woman won't.
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        Dec 18 2011: From what I gather, Ms. Armstrong seems to focus on the monotheisms. Personally, I like having lots of divinities on my altar, always leaving space to add in more. Otherwise it's like having a box of 64 crayons, all the same color.

        Just an opinion.
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          Dec 18 2011: I would hope to live life to the fullest without hurting anyone else. (:>)

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