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Author Topic: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?  (Read 3214 times)

mlr52

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Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« on: October 19, 2012, 09:57:31 pm »
Not sure where to put this. I understand the question to be a philosophical one. Not one of practicing religion.

from http://www.arcamax.com/religionandspirituality/religiousnews/s-1219082-727701

Oct 17, 2012 The Kansas City Star

VOICES OF FAITH: IS IT CORRECT TO SAY THAT ALL RELIGIONS HAVE THE SAME GOAL?

ALL PATHS LEAD TO A SUPREME BEING

A.M. Bhattacharyya, an active member of the Hindu community: From the perspective of Hindu faith, the answer is "yes." Let us explore the purpose of a religion in our lives.
(snip)
The real purpose of religion is to raise our spiritual awareness, which helps build compassion, kindness, purity, self-control and a sense of service to fellow humans, and it takes us to a higher and higher level of spiritual wisdom, ultimately to the realization of divinity within.
(snip).

Thoughts, comments?
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Shine

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 10:51:52 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;77276
Not sure where to put this. I understand the question to be a philosophical one. Not one of practicing religion.

from http://www.arcamax.com/religionandspirituality/religiousnews/s-1219082-727701

Oct 17, 2012 The Kansas City Star

VOICES OF FAITH: IS IT CORRECT TO SAY THAT ALL RELIGIONS HAVE THE SAME GOAL?

ALL PATHS LEAD TO A SUPREME BEING

A.M. Bhattacharyya, an active member of the Hindu community: From the perspective of Hindu faith, the answer is "yes." Let us explore the purpose of a religion in our lives.
(snip)
The real purpose of religion is to raise our spiritual awareness, which helps build compassion, kindness, purity, self-control and a sense of service to fellow humans, and it takes us to a higher and higher level of spiritual wisdom, ultimately to the realization of divinity within.
(snip).

Thoughts, comments?

 
I agree with the snippet, except I think this interpretation of all the religions is a bit more succinct: "Don't be a d-k and have yourself a meaningful life."
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 11:50:06 pm »
Quote from: Shine;77283
"Don't be a d-k and have yourself a meaningful life."

 
Ha! I am tempted to put that as my religion on my Facebook page.

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 12:57:33 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;77276

Thoughts, comments?

 
It seems to me that the only way to have all religions have the same goal is to remove all specifics from the purported goal.  (My problems with the concept of "goal" in religion aside, here.)

I'm not a big fan of vague generalities.  If the "goal" thing is stated as something like, "Have a good and meaningful life for yourself and your people", something as simple as "does 'your people' mean your family/clan/tribe/nation, or does 'your people' mean 'all of humanity', or does 'your people' mean 'all living things of this planet'?" is still a huge difference.

And that's not going into the complicated range of things, like "what is a good life?", "what is a meaningful life?", "what is an appropriate way to behave in order to have a meaningful life?"

I'm just not willing to suggest that a religion that considers asceticism and/or self-denial is the path to godliness to have the same goal as a religion that considers full and enthusiastic engagement with the material world as critical to reaching the divine, even if they might both be summarised as having the "goal" to approach the godhead or infuse life with deeper meaning or whatever.  What the goal actually is in real, practical terms matters.
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Starglade

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 01:12:45 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;77276


ALL PATHS LEAD TO A SUPREME BEING

A.M. Bhattacharyya, an active member of the Hindu community: From the perspective of Hindu faith, the answer is "yes." Let us explore the purpose of a religion in our lives.
(snip)
The real purpose of religion is to raise our spiritual awareness, which helps build compassion, kindness, purity, self-control and a sense of service to fellow humans, and it takes us to a higher and higher level of spiritual wisdom, ultimately to the realization of divinity within.
(snip).

Thoughts, comments?


Buddhism has no supreme being, therefore from that perspective I would say the answer must be "no." However, as related to the last paragraph in the quoted text above, the answer is "yes."

So . . . no, and yes.
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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 06:38:07 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;77343
It seems to me that the only way to have all religions have the same goal is to remove all specifics from the purported goal.  (My problems with the concept of "goal" in religion aside, here.)

I'm not a big fan of vague generalities.  If the "goal" thing is stated as something like, "Have a good and meaningful life for yourself and your people", something as simple as "does 'your people' mean your family/clan/tribe/nation, or does 'your people' mean 'all of humanity', or does 'your people' mean 'all living things of this planet'?" is still a huge difference.

And that's not going into the complicated range of things, like "what is a good life?", "what is a meaningful life?", "what is an appropriate way to behave in order to have a meaningful life?"

I'm just not willing to suggest that a religion that considers asceticism and/or self-denial is the path to godliness to have the same goal as a religion that considers full and enthusiastic engagement with the material world as critical to reaching the divine, even if they might both be summarised as having the "goal" to approach the godhead or infuse life with deeper meaning or whatever.  What the goal actually is in real, practical terms matters.

 
I'll just go stand over here beside Darkhawk.  (Fancy that:).)

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Sage

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 06:59:27 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;77276

The real purpose of religion is to raise our spiritual awareness, which helps build compassion, kindness, purity, self-control and a sense of service to fellow humans, and it takes us to a higher and higher level of spiritual wisdom, ultimately to the realization of divinity within.

 
Gonna have to go with a nooooope nope nope on that. Don't you (generic you, not mir52) tell me why I do religion any more than tell me why I do art and music. I can come up with those explanations myself, thanks kindly.

I especially have kneejerk reactions against "spiritual awareness," "purity," "spiritual wisdom" and "divinity within." Sounds awfully... upper class? Stuck in the clouds? Exchanging the realities of earth for warm fuzzy thoughts of heaven?
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mlr52

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 09:48:41 pm »
Quote from: Sage;77373
Gonna have to go with a nooooope nope nope on that. Don't you (generic you, not mir52) tell me why I do religion any more than tell me why I do art and music. I can come up with those explanations myself, thanks kindly.



I understand that English is not a precise language with pronouns.

Quote

I especially have kneejerk reactions against "spiritual awareness," "purity," "spiritual wisdom" and "divinity within." Sounds awfully... upper class? Stuck in the clouds? Exchanging the realities of earth for warm fuzzy thoughts of heaven?

 
Warm fuzzy thoughts of heaven?  I always imaged it to be a cold, sterile, and lifeless place.   I have been to hell it was/is a cold lifeless place. Purgatory is more my speed.
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RandallS

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 10:06:55 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;77276
ALL PATHS LEAD TO A SUPREME BEING

That statement is an example of why all religions probably do not really have the same goal. Some religions lack a supreme being and have a number of less than supreme beings as deities. Some religion lack a deity (let alone a "supreme being" deity) at all, Buddhism for example.
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Shine

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 11:11:09 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;77406
That statement is an example of why all religions probably do not really have the same goal. Some religions lack a supreme being and have a number of less than supreme beings as deities. Some religion lack a deity (let alone a "supreme being" deity) at all, Buddhism for example.

 
I guess if you twisted the term "supreme being" to be more general, it could work. But at some point, a term gets too generalized so as to be useless.

If we were looking for a "unifying theory of religious goals", I think it would probably be better to focus on more mundane, social things. Or even deeply personal things. Human things. Even then, a unified theory would still look a bit, say, disheveled? Pieces and fragments jutting out everywhere for the exceptions.
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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 11:15:14 pm »
Quote from: Sage;77373
I especially have kneejerk reactions against "spiritual awareness," "purity," "spiritual wisdom" and "divinity within." Sounds awfully... upper class? Stuck in the clouds? Exchanging the realities of earth for warm fuzzy thoughts of heaven?

 
I agree that those terms are often big signs saying SPIRITUAL WOO SAILOR MOON GOOOOOO, but they can be very. . . earthly.

But heck, it is awfully easy to forget that "spiritual awareness" includes the mundane human crap we have to deal with in life as well as the heavenly woo. I'll admit ya got me with the "purity" and "spiritual wisdom". "Divinity within" is a bit more obvious. :\

Of course, it doesn't sound like the person from the article meant any of that. :whis:
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 11:31:40 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;77276

VOICES OF FAITH: IS IT CORRECT TO SAY THAT ALL RELIGIONS HAVE THE SAME GOAL?

ALL PATHS LEAD TO A SUPREME BEING

Thoughts, comments?

 

I do not know where all paths lead and am a bit wary of those that purport to know.

Even if the "supreme being" in the end is the higher self, who is to say when that is reached, and if it is, then what?

Some have it that we are closest to being perfect supreme beings when we are born and it goes downhill fairly quickly after that. When I think of this I know I have on my WTF face. I can feel it. Who would do that to someone? So mean. And I have friends who talk of ascended masters and I imagine it being the most boring dinner party ever if they were all to get together. I further imagine a game of Risk being played and it all ends in sketch comedy.

Some concepts are so broad and vague that if they must be used for something, I think it should be comedy. All paths lead to a supreme being, hit the head before you set out, there's not another exit for 50 miles at least. Mind the gap.

So far, with religions, I think they might be a red herring if one is seeking beings of supreme natures inside or out. They seem to have other great purposes, but I do not think they are necessary for everyone in order to reach a supreme being or a higher self.

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 09:15:24 am »
Quote from: mlr52;77276
IS IT CORRECT TO SAY THAT ALL RELIGIONS HAVE THE SAME GOAL?

ALL PATHS LEAD TO A SUPREME BEING


This thread brings to mind my favorite book on spirituality, Essential Spirituality, by Roger Walsh. He states the seven practices found in most religions are: Transform Your Motivation (happiness), Cultivate Emotional Wisdom (love), Live Ethically (ethics), Concentrate and Calm Your Mind (meditation), Awaken Your Spiritual Vision (the sacred), Cultivate Spiritual Intelligence (wisdom), Express Spirit in Action (service).

He quotes from Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 11:50:36 am »
Quote from: mlr52;77276
IS IT CORRECT TO SAY THAT ALL RELIGIONS HAVE THE SAME GOAL?

ALL PATHS LEAD TO A SUPREME BEING

No.
And hell, no.

Next.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 11:51:03 am by cigfran »

RandallS

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Re: Is it correct to say that all religions have the same goal?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 02:29:22 pm »
Quote from: Morphidae;77638
This thread brings to mind my favorite book on spirituality, Essential Spirituality, by Roger Walsh. He states the seven practices found in most religions are: Transform Your Motivation (happiness), Cultivate Emotional Wisdom (love), Live Ethically (ethics), Concentrate and Calm Your Mind (meditation), Awaken Your Spiritual Vision (the sacred), Cultivate Spiritual Intelligence (wisdom), Express Spirit in Action (service).

So long as you leave things at this level of "vague generality", Many religions do appear to have common goals.  However, when you drill down a bit and see what the religion is specifically saying about happiness, love, ethics, meditation, the sacred, wisdom, and service you begin to find the goals actually differ, sometimes greatly.
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