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Transverse
07-11-2013, 10:22 PM
Before I start this post, may I say that in no way am I denouncing religion. I only wish to spark discussion in an effort to possibly see other perspectives on a major problem I have had over the last few years. As such, I would hope that replies to this would be constructive rather than instructive. I would also ask that my religious views would not be questioned about in the replies, because that would lead to biased responses.

This problem is more pronounced in a hypothetical situation, yet, even though it is hypothetical, it is happening in many people's lives.
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Imagine a child of two Athiest parents. He was raised without religion. The parents never denounced religion, but at the same time, they never pushed it on the child. The parents had no preference as to whether the child observed their beliefs as an Atheist or joined a religious group. As long as the religion was in no way perverse nor preached hurtful words, the parents had no quip against it. They respected all kinds of people, and they taught this practice to the child too.

Now, at the age of 14, the child began to see the various religions around the world: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, etc. He had close friends that follow each of these religions. Over the years, the child had found fascination and interest in God and came to the conclusion that God does truly exist. He agreed with the argument that he had no concrete proof of God in the scientific sense, but he enjoyed the belief in a supernatural being. From that point, the child was determined to find the "right" religion, the "best" religion, the "true" religion.

The child realized that no religion had what could be called "scientific" proof to its veracity, but that did not stop him. he did research on countless different religions. Research that didn't merely skim the surface, but rather research that gave him an intricate understanding of the religions. He had spent 5 years on this project of his and had talked to scholars of every religion and had seen many perspectives of the good and bad of religions. He had read the holy books from the Bible to the Qu'ran to the Torah and beyond. At this point, the child reached an impasse.

From the child's perspective, there was only one cold hard truth that he could not deny: he found happiness and community in every single religion he studied. Beyond that the child realized that the years of research boiled down to a few contradictory concepts. Every religion undefiantly believed that it was the correct religion. Most religions preached that only through itself could people find some sort of satisfaction, whether it be heaven, oneness, happiness, etc. Finally, most religions also preached that those who have learned of it and chose not to follow would be forever lost, whether it be hell, loneliness, disillusioned, savagery, etc.

At that point, the choice of religion seemed mathematical. There was no easy answer. Almost all "acceptable" religions (in the child's sense those were peaceful and helpful religions) taught/ preached similar things. No religion he enjoyed taught evil, yet with the same teachings came different beliefs. It seemed the probability of him being "forever lost" was infinitely larger than he chance of achieving "satisfaction" through his search for the "true" religion. Choosing one religion equaled risking the chance that any of the other religions was the "right" or "true" religion.

He became infuriated with the decision he had to make. He believed he was asked to make an impossible choice among religion and purely relied on chance. The only one thing he truly found comfort in and the one thing that did not anger him was his undying belief in God. He knew he believed in God and he knew it would never change.

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At this point I would life to ask you, what would you do in this situation? You were raised an Athiests but chose to become religious. Sadly, you are faced with many religions saying, "if you don't follow us, you will go to a hell of some sort." With such definite words hurled your way, how do you decide the religion to follow? Should you follow the religion that brings you happiness?
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czgibson
07-11-2013, 11:50 PM
This reminds me a lot of Yann Martel's Life Of Pi, where the narrator decides to convert to every religion simultaneously.

It's a good question. What would I do in that situation? I would think about it for a bit longer and become an atheist.

:hiding:
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Iceee
07-12-2013, 12:28 AM
Salaam / Peace Be Upon You

This should be moved to the http://www.islamicboard.com/comparative-religion/ section.
This section is closed however due to Ramadan. Most of the brothers and sisters will reply after Ramadan because this thread can spark debate and this is not good, during the Month of Ramadan.
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Ali_008
07-12-2013, 01:01 AM
We all come across such points in our life where every choice we have comes with a lot of consequences, but you have to choose only one of them. Brother czgibson mentioned "Life of Pi", but even in that book, Pi's father makes a great remark about following multiple religions. He says that following everything blindly is as good as not believing in anything at all.

All religions do not preach the same thing. They all proclaim to be the only truth, and all the things that come with spirituality, but all of them are significantly different. For example, the Abrahamic religions - Islam, Christianity, and Judaism - believe in an afterlife where justice will be served, and people will either go to hell or heaven. Then there is Hinduism which doesn't believe in resurrection, but reincarnation. It proclaims that every person has to live through seven righteous lives in order to attain moksh which means liberty - liberty from worldly needs. Then there are other Agnostic faiths that beseech their believers to be good based on Philosophy without any promises of an afterlife necessarily.

There are significant differences between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism as well. The position of Eesa (Jesus) :as: itself makes all 3 of them wildly different from one another.

There are plenty of people in the world who have studied a lot of religions, and finally choose the one they find most convincing. There are others as well who just keep the knowledge, and do not necessarily follow any one religion. Every religious person regardless of his faith was also at the point of dilemma which you mentioned, but he/she is religious today, because they made a choice and were faithful to it.

One has to make a choice among the religions he has the studied or choose to be the one who can't choose, yet the words of Pi's father ring true as well.
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Transverse
07-12-2013, 02:29 AM
Originally Posted by Ali_008
We all come across such points in our life where every choice we have comes with a lot of consequences, but you have to choose only one of them. Brother czgibson mentioned "Life of Pi", but even in that book, Pi's father makes a great remark about following multiple religions. He says that following everything blindly is as good as not believing in anything at all.

All religions do not preach the same thing. They all proclaim to be the only truth, and all the things that come with spirituality, but all of them are significantly different. For example, the Abrahamic religions - Islam, Christianity, and Judaism - believe in an afterlife where justice will be served, and people will either go to hell or heaven. Then there is Hinduism which doesn't believe in resurrection, but reincarnation. It proclaims that every person has to live through seven righteous lives in order to attain moksh which means liberty - liberty from worldly needs. Then there are other Agnostic faiths that beseech their believers to be good based on Philosophy without any promises of an afterlife necessarily.

There are significant differences between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism as well. The position of Eesa (Jesus) :as: itself makes all 3 of them wildly different from one another.

There are plenty of people in the world who have studied a lot of religions, and finally choose the one they find most convincing. There are others as well who just keep the knowledge, and do not necessarily follow any one religion. Every religious person regardless of his faith was also at the point of dilemma which you mentioned, but he/she is religious today, because they made a choice and were faithful to it.

One has to make a choice among the religions he has the studied or choose to be the one who can't choose, yet the words of Pi's father ring true as well.
What I mean by saying many religions preach the same thing is in the sense that many of them have similar ways of leading life. The differences you mentioned are more focused on the historical aspects and the belief systems of the religions themselves. I guess I should say, many religions are found on the same ethical and moral grounds.
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Transverse
07-12-2013, 02:32 AM
I apologize if this is the wrong spot to post such a thread. I looked through them all and this seemed like the most reasonable one to place it in, but if it should be in comparative religions I'm fine with that.
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Transverse
07-12-2013, 02:34 AM
Originally Posted by Ali_008
There are plenty of people in the world who have studied a lot of religions, and finally choose the one they find most convincing. There are others as well who just keep the knowledge, and do not necessarily follow any one religion. Every religious person regardless of his faith was also at the point of dilemma which you mentioned, but he/she is religious today, because they made a choice and were faithful to it.

One has to make a choice among the religions he has the studied or choose to be the one who can't choose, yet the words of Pi's father ring true as well.
Now my question to this is that do you think it's right/fair that we have to make such a decision? Do you think making a decision in such a case even worth the trouble? Surely I have no problem with making the decision, but is it right that God would ask us to make such a difficult decision?
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