Monday, October 10, 2005

Quote of the Day - Other Religions

The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. - Mark Twain


Most people, raised in a religious tradition, spend no time wondering if they're in perhaps the wrong one -- it's obvious to them that all the others are silly. It's amazing that everybody is so lucky to be born into the correct one!

28 comments:

Prince Kazarelth said...

I don't know about that. Mine {I am a Hindu} has 330 Million {American Million} Gods and Goddesses. I don't think any other religion is silly. In any case Happy belated Rosh Hashanah

Eli7 said...

Not everyone believes in the religion they were born into. And nobody should believe in their religion without some amount of exploration.

Orthoprax said...

Kaushik,

You know that according to religions like, say, Christianity or Islam or even Judaism, you're pretty much screwed, right? You may want to recheck your ecumenical attitude or you could end up in a rather toasty end.

Clearly, I would say, you think that type of belief is folly, right?

eli7,

"And nobody should believe in their religion without some amount of exploration."

No, that's lame. Nobody should believe in their religion without some good justification. Knowing what else is out there doesn't tell you if your religion is true or not.

Laura said...

I think what JA meant was that many (not all, but many) people fail to look as critically at their own religion as they do the one's they profess to be "wrong". Any open minded individual would, by nature, have to consider the possibility that they're 'wrong'. This doesn't mean you can't have faith, but that one should think carefully before proclaiming religious superiority over others... When I was a child, I never questioned what they were telling me in church. It wasn't until I got older and started asking questions that they couldn't satisfactorilly answer that I found my own path.

Orthoprax said...

Why is "wrong" in quotes?

The Hedyot said...

You find the best quotes! Keep 'em coming!

Sadie Lou said...

I wasn't born into anything. I found my own way. Now that I have faith in the God of the Bible--that's what equates truth for me. I wouldn't even bother with anything else. That doesn't mean I don't KNOW what else is out there, it just means that through my own searching, I am convinced that Christ is the way to God. I attempt to share that truth with others, not because I hope to convert them but because there is so much bad information out there and so many awful examples of my faith that I want to try and share Christ in a way that maybe others haven't experienced before? I don't see anything wrong with that.

Chana said...

Can't this be expanded to anything at all? On a whole, everybody (generally) thinks they are right. You, Jewish Atheist, think you are right in deploring all religions and being an atheist. Someone else might think himself right for being agnostic, or Hindu, or following Buddhism or Taoism or Zen and so on and so forth. So why are you only looking at this through terms of religion? We can make this simpler still- like Tevye said, he's right and he's right, and he's right, too. ;)

Orthoprax said...

Chana,

When everything is speculation, as it is with metaphysics, no one can say that they are right because really they have no idea. What one can be right about is the method by which they try and obtain truth.

While we may not know which metaphyiscal theory is the right one, if any of them, the ones based solely on faith are surely not the most reliable courses.

Laura said...

'wrong' is in quotes because I believe right and wrong are a matter of perspective and not objective truth.

Being an Athiest isn't about "deploring" religion - it's about choosing not to believe in it. Not everyone deplores what they don't agree with. JA is doing nothing but professing his beliefs online, and provoking discussions, just like many religious bloggers. WOuld you say that a Christian or some other religious blogger, by professing their beliefs on their blog is automatically deploring all other belief systems? I wouldn't, but if you're going to see the world in such binary terms, then it must go both ways.

JC Masterpiece said...

When everything is speculation there can be no truth, because even the true truth can be speculated away.

When it comes down to it, speculation in itself only leads to more speculation, which leads to more speculation, an so on. In the end, speculation leads away from the truth and not to it... if that speculation does not have an outlet.

Sadie Lou said...

Good points about the blogs Laura. It goes both ways.

Jewish Atheist said...

Great comments, everybody. :) I don't have much to add. I'll just say that I don't see the quote so much as a formal argument as an interesting perspective. When I was religious, it did strike me as odd that I had happened to be born into the single "correct" one when there are so many others out there. Living in a predominantly Christian country especially, I saw how so many people took for granted a religion which I had no belief in. I think that this realization was probably one step along the way for me towards atheism.

JC Masterpiece said...

Why is it that almost every religion has the same premise? You get to heaven, reach nirvana, go to be Allah, enter stovolkor etc. by doing the right things. If you can somehow be perfect/good/pure you will have earned your way to a better afterlife. It's funny that almost every religion believes this. Here is how you earn your way.

What makes us think that we even have the ability through our actions to reach this honor. For all we know all our actions could be like someone attempting to swim across the ocean. Not even the best swimmer could do it. If God is perfect and Holy how could we ever attain that? Just something to think about.

Laura said...

When it comes down to it, speculation in itself only leads to more speculation

Exactly. That is where faith comes in. At some point you say to yourself, I have faith that this is true. Sure, I don't know for sure, but I'm willing to make that leap. For some, the leap is toward the supernatural, for others, the secular or the scientific.

Orthoprax said...

Laura,

"'wrong' is in quotes because I believe right and wrong are a matter of perspective and not objective truth."

Is this moral "right" and "wrong" or statement of reality which are "correct" or "incorrect."

In my view, things can either be correct or incorrect. There is no "incorrect" in quotes.

"WOuld you say that a Christian or some other religious blogger, by professing their beliefs on their blog is automatically deploring all other belief systems?"

Not deploring other beliefs, that doesn't necessarily follow, but their own beliefs can either be right or wrong. There is no "wrong."

Orthoprax said...

jc,

"When everything is speculation there can be no truth, because even the true truth can be speculated away."

It is _evidence_ which severely limits speculation. This is why religious metaphysical theories must be taken on faith. They have no evidence. Pure speculation.

Laura said...

Orthoprax... That is where you and I differ. You see the world in the dichotomous yes/no, right/wrong, good/bad that is typical of most Western and some Eastern thinking. I don't believe the world is that simple.

Orthoprax said...

Laura,

Can truth contradict truth? Can something be simultaneously true and not true?

If you believe those things, then the world must make zero sense to you whatsoever as you've just brought down the entire effort of logic itself.

JC Masterpiece said...

It is _evidence_ which severely limits speculation.

But even evidence is subject to speculation.

Laura said...

Ortho -- You're assuming I believe there is such a thing as objective, constant and unchanging "Truth"... and I don't.

The world is subjective - we simultaneously produce our world while it produces us. Nothing exists free from the cultural and subjective meanings we place on events, images and even words. One persons "truth" can contradict anothers, yes. Are they both valid? Yes. That's why there is no truth.

Anonymous said...

I have it on good authority from aliens that you can all be saved an enter heaven by chewing at least 400,000 pieces of orange flavored Bubblicious gum until the flavor is gone. You have to chew each piece individually. You can't cheat by doing two at once.

Laura said...

Finally! A worldview that makes SENSE! ;-p

Orthoprax said...

JC,

"But even evidence is subject to speculation."

Hardly as elastically as pure speculation.

Laura,

"You're assuming I believe there is such a thing as objective, constant and unchanging "Truth"... and I don't."

Uh huh...so if you jump off a cliff, you won't fall? Sorry, but a fact is a fact and is true regardless of your recognition of it. I assure you, you will fall.

I also suggest you look both ways before crossing the street.

JC Masterpiece said...

Hardly as elastically as pure speculation.

Clarify please, i'm having a difficult time understanding what you are saying.

Orthoprax said...

JC,

Evidence very much limits one's speculative abilities. You have to then at least account for the evidence in some way.

And if you are a reasonable person, you will speculate along lines of logic and generally proven maxims to bring all the disparate points of evidence into one coherent whole.

JC Masterpiece said...

Thank you for the clarification orthoprax.

As for evidence limiting one's speculative ability, all you have to do is go to any courtroom where high paid lawyers are battling each other to see pretty quickly how easily speculation can reduce the ability of evidence.

Now that i understand your origional comment Hardly as elastically as pure speculation. i would have to agree... at least in part.

Orthoprax said...

JC,

The job of a courtroom lawyer is not to find truth. That's the difference.