Each religion makes scores of purportedly factual assertions about everything from the creation of the universe to the afterlife. But on what grounds can believers presume to know that these assertions are true? The reasons they give are various, but the ultimate justification for most religious people’s beliefs is a simple one: we believe what we believe because our holy scriptures say so. But how, then, do we know that our holy scriptures are factually accurate? Because the scriptures themselves say so. Theologians specialize in weaving elaborate webs of verbiage to avoid saying anything quite so bluntly, but this gem of circular reasoning really is the epistemological bottom line on which all 'faith' is grounded. In the words of Pope John Paul II: 'By the authority of his absolute transcendence, God who makes himself known is also the source of the credibility of what he reveals.' It goes without saying that this begs the question of whether the texts at issue really were authored or inspired by God, and on what grounds one knows this. 'Faith' is not in fact a rejection of reason, but simply a lazy acceptance of bad reasons. 'Faith' is the pseudo-justification that some people trot out when they want to make claims without the necessary evidence.But of course we never apply these lax standards of evidence to the claims made in the other fellow’s holy scriptures: when it comes to religions other than one’s own, religious people are as rational as everyone else. Only our own religion, whatever it may be, seems to merit some special dispensation from the general standards of evidence.And here, it seems to me, is the crux of the conflict between religion and science. Not the religious rejection of specific scientific theories (be it heliocentrism in the 17th century or evolutionary biology today); over time most religions do find some way to make peace with well-established science. Rather, the scientific worldview and the religious worldview come into conflict over a far more fundamental question: namely, what constitutes evidence.Science relies on publicly reproducible sense experience (that is, experiments and observations) combined with rational reflection on those empirical observations. Religious people acknowledge the validity of that method, but then claim to be in the possession of additional methods for obtaining reliable knowledge of factual matters — methods that go beyond the mere assessment of empirical evidence — such as intuition, revelation, or the reliance on sacred texts. But the trouble is this: What good reason do we have to believe that such methods work, in the sense of steering us systematically (even if not invariably) towards true beliefs rather than towards false ones? At least in the domains where we have been able to test these methods — astronomy, geology and history, for instance — they have not proven terribly reliable. Why should we expect them to work any better when we apply them to problems that are even more difficult, such as the fundamental nature of the universe?Last but not least, these non-empirical methods suffer from an insuperable logical problem: What should we do when different people’s intuitions or revelations conflict? How can we know which of the many purportedly sacred texts — whose assertions frequently contradict one another — are in fact sacred?
We don’t exhaust the Bible even after reading it hundreds of times. Each time we read it we see it in a new light. That is the greatness of the holy scriptures. They are that way because they were created by holy prophets who experienced the truth. Each time we read these works we elevate ourselves to see a little more. (81)
Abraham Lincoln quoted the Scriptures in an 1858 speech to the Illinois Republican Convention. He said, “ A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That, I fear, is where diversity leads. If by that term we refer to love and tolerance for peoples who are different from one another, it has great validity for us. But if by diversity we mean that all of us have been given reason to resent one another. Having no common values, heritage, commitment, or hope, then we are a nation in serious trouble.
Spiritual pain is when you can’t stand another moment not knowing the real truth, and when you finally do know you can’t let go.
The argument against faith is all based upon the rigorous analysis of the scriptures, and not upon the objective observation of the actual individual sensation of faith. Historical experiences of the Kingdom of God gave rise to all the scriptures in the world, but the scriptures themselves don’t account for the actual globally prevalent psychological element of faith or divinity in the human mind. Faith is a natural evolutionary trait of the human mind, selected by Mother Nature as an internal coping-mechanism.
The moment the religious population of the world begins to see the prophets what they really were - mortal teachers of the mortal world, a great portion of the world's religious conflicts shall vanish into thin air.
The most sensitive period of their developmental age, when the kids are supposed to be taught to question everything and nourish their reasoning skills, they are taught that God created the world in seven days – that the human race did not evolve from apes through millions of years, rather it came from the amorous congress between two God-made humans, named Adam and Eve. And if you ask why? The answers of the uneducated primordial teachers would be that the scriptures say so. And now if you ask, can’t the scriptures be wrong – do I have to take these stories literally? They would lash out with rage and shout at you – how dare you question the scriptures! Every single word in it is true. There is no greater truth than the truth of these sacred texts.
Forget the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, the Granth Sahib, and all the scriptures in the world. None of them will show you the Great Eternal Truth. None of them will show you the Kingdom of God, for the real Kingdom of the Ultimate Truth is inside your mind. It was born in you when you were born. And it will cease to exist when you die. Your mind is not merely the vehicle of God, rather it is the life-force that keeps God alive. Without the Mind, there is no God. Without you, there is no God.
Your mind is not merely the vehicle of God, rather it is the life-force that keeps God alive. Without the Mind, there is no God. Without you, there is no God.
You are more likely to find three TVs inside a randomly selected house than you are to find a single book that is or was not read to pass an exam, to please God, or to be a better cook.
People fight over religion, because they don't understand religion. They think reading a few Bibles, Qurans and Vedas makes them religious. Books are not religion my friend. Real religion is realization of the Self.
Christ the man died long ago, but Christ the idea of love, still exists, not in any church, rather in the mind of humans.
Know God and let Him be known. You were saved by grace for greater works apportioned for you even before you were born. Share the good news.
Forget all the formal decency of tolerance, and simply love your fellow humans. And the Self within you shall attain the highest pedestal of greatness, way higher than all the book-learned preachers in the world.
The Bible is not religion, nor are the Vedas. The Torah is not religion, nor is the Quran, or any other scripture on earth.
The sacred texts of human history from all over the world, can never be perceived by the rational mind as texts of historical accuracy. They can only be a glaring representation of the traditions and ideals of the people. Now, it is up to the rational mind, to analyze those texts and thereafter consume the good elements from them, while discarding the rest.
Religious literature from all around the world have an abundance of philosophical teachings as well, which in fact, prove quite helpful to humanity. But a rational human being must examine every single word from the scriptures before accepting it. Otherwise, it would only lead to religious bulimia, which in turn would bring chaos down on earth.
Interspirituality is not for everyone, but, for those of us who are interested, we have never lived in a better time to explore interspiritual practices. For the first time in history, we have easy access to all of the world’s scriptures and spiritual traditions.