A Study of Morality

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Turtle dove on Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:19 am

Gorm_Sionnach wrote:
Turtle dove wrote:What do you base this on All? I think that it is the creation myths that show the similarities between all religions.

They will certainly show the similarities between cosmogenic narratives which share similar roots: Near Middle eastern (Caananite, Babylonian, Judaic) Indo-European (Greek, Vedic, Norse). The first has similar elements involving a sky deity doing battle with a sea deity; the later with aspects of fire and water/ fire and ice, and the cosmos being formed from an act of dismemberment. There are however, distinct differences when one explores the individual cultural myths, and certainly when comparing myths from the first with the second.

All too often, people are willing to ignore the differences in favour of the similarities; at the cost of the details (and a large chunk of understanding and meaning)

Why not have a look at this site: http://www.centerforsacredsciences.org/publications/the-mystical-core-of-the-great-traditions.htm

The different religions are quoted at the website.

1. All mystics agree that Ultimate Reality whether It is called Allah, Brahman, Buddha-nature, En-sof, God, or the Tao cannot be grasped by thought or expressed in words. (In fact, the word mystic is related to the word mute, both of which derive from the Greek root mustes, meaning "close-mouthed.")
[...]
2. The reason Ultimate Reality cannot be grasped by thought or communicated in words is that thoughts and words, by definition, create distinctions and, hence, duality. Even the simple act of naming something creates duality because it distinguishes the thing that is named from all other things that are left unnamed. However, the mystics of all the great traditions agree that all distinctions are imaginary and that the Ultimate Nature of Reality is non-dual.
[...]
3. Although mystics cannot define Ultimate Reality in words, they still use words to point to That which is beyond words. For instance, all mystics agree that, while Ultimate Reality constitutes the true nature of everything, in itself It is nothing.
etc. etc. etc.

From The Secret Doctrine:

It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealizable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, "a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason."

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by gillyflower on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:15 am

LOL Any time anyone starts saying "All mystics agree" that's a big old warning light flashing right there! I do not know why it is, and it happens with amazing regularity, some people want to mash everything into one mold and "prove" all religions are really all saying the same thing.

Ah, well, my religion doesn't fall into any of those categories named and we don't think like that. Not my battle!

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Turtle dove on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:39 am

gillyflower wrote:LOL Any time anyone starts saying "All mystics agree" that's a big old warning light flashing right there! I do not know why it is, and it happens with amazing regularity, some people want to mash everything into one mold and "prove" all religions are really all saying the same thing.

Ah, well, my religion doesn't fall into any of those categories named and we don't think like that. Not my battle!

Do you think that it is better for mystics or religions to say different things? Does it make what they say more credible? Isn't it better to look for things that unite rather than for things that divide? It is the latter which caused wars and are the reasons for terrorist attacks.

The proof of what mystics say is always in the experience and that is always personal.

What is your religion?

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by gillyflower on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:44 am

I don't think that it is a belief in gods (or higher powers) that causes wars. It is the desire that everyone think and do the same thing that causes religious wars. Look at the why of terrorist attacks. They want to force everyone to believe the same thing.

I think preaching tolerance - that it is okay for everyone to believe something different - is a better way to go. There are a few basic ethics, that no matter what your religion or beliefs are, you must treat others in a decent manner. That is what is important. What people believe besides that is unimportant.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by gillyflower on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:46 am

I am Wiccan. In my religion, the reason for the religion is to develop a close personal relationship with our gods. It doesn't matter what gods you develop that relationship with, BTW.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:27 am

Turtle dove wrote:Do you think that it is better for mystics or religions to say different things? Does it make what they say more credible? Isn't it better to look for things that unite rather than for things that divide? It is the latter which caused wars and are the reasons for terrorist attacks.

The proof of what mystics say is always in the experience and that is always personal.

What is your religion?

It isn't a matter of better or worse, it is a matter of fact. If religions say different things, then they say different things. The issue only comes to a head when you get a group of people who are convinced that there faith needs to be the faith of all, and then moves to try and enforce that.

I don't think that focusing on the similarities (where they exist) makes a religionist or mystic more credible, just the opposite. By focusing only on those aspects which seeks to find unity or similarity, the differences and context are lost, and with them so much of the meaning and understanding of the individual perspective.

I do not think that diversity is something which needs to be thrown out in favour of a more unified, monoreligion. As a matter of fact, the diversity of religious experience is largely one of the reasons why I hold the particular theistic perspective I do.

I would also disagree with the notion that diversity of religion is what "caused wars and terrorist attacks". More often than not, it is a group of individuals who seek to enforce their particular perspective, and make others accept it at the end of a sword or barrel.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:34 pm

Turtle dove wrote:

What do you base this on All? I think that it is the creation myths that show the similarities between all religions.

To avoid misunderstandings: I do not belong to any religious system. Neither am I a theosophist.

Which religions are you taking into consideration?
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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Turtle dove on Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:34 pm

Gorm_Sionnach wrote:
Turtle dove wrote:Do you think that it is better for mystics or religions to say different things? Does it make what they say more credible? Isn't it better to look for things that unite rather than for things that divide? It is the latter which caused wars and are the reasons for terrorist attacks.

The proof of what mystics say is always in the experience and that is always personal.

What is your religion?

It isn't a matter of better or worse, it is a matter of fact. If religions say different things, then they say different things. The issue only comes to a head when you get a group of people who are convinced that there faith needs to be the faith of all, and then moves to try and enforce that.

I don't think that focusing on the similarities (where they exist) makes a religionist or mystic more credible, just the opposite. By focusing only on those aspects which seeks to find unity or similarity, the differences and context are lost, and with them so much of the meaning and understanding of the individual perspective.
So you think that when mystics of the seven major religions say in essence: "The Spirit supreme is immeasurable, inapprehensible, beyond conception, never-born, beyond reasoning, beyond thought. Upanishads (Hindu)" they are less credible. Strange.
What differences and what context are you talking about and why should they be lost?


I do not think that diversity is something which needs to be thrown out in favour of a more unified, monoreligion. As a matter of fact, the diversity of religious experience is largely one of the reasons why I hold the particular theistic perspective I do.
A unified, monoreligion is not what I am talking about. If I am correct, the Wicca belief system talks about one Source. The one Source which is called by many names is what the mystics talk about.
The diversity of religions and belief systems I consider necessary because human beings walk different paths.


I would also disagree with the notion that diversity of religion is what "caused wars and terrorist attacks". More often than not, it is a group of individuals who seek to enforce their particular perspective, and make others accept it at the end of a sword or barrel.

You think not? where Christians and Muslims in particular claim that their God is the true God? The Crusades were also called Holy Wars. How about the Irish war where Catholics and Protestants fought each other although it was probably the result of economic differences (another reason for wars).
The Spanish war in the 16th century where Catholic Spain fought Protestant England and Holland. The time of the inquisition. Another example.
..........

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Turtle dove on Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:05 pm

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:
Turtle dove wrote:

What do you base this on All? I think that it is the creation myths that show the similarities between all religions.

To avoid misunderstandings: I do not belong to any religious system. Neither am I a theosophist.

Which religions are you taking into consideration?

Hi All, the website to which I posted a link mentions the seven major ones: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism/Confucianism.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:30 pm


So you think that when mystics of the seven major religions say in essence: "The Spirit supreme is immeasurable, inapprehensible, beyond conception, never-born, beyond reasoning, beyond thought. Upanishads (Hindu)" they are less credible. Strange.
What differences and what context are you talking about and why should they be lost?


Monotheists (and pantheism can mesh with monotheism rather well) all thinking along similar lines, especially when three of those share much of the same mythology, isn't particularly surprising. Mind, these religions aren't the only ones about, so there is that as well.

A unified, monoreligion is not what I am talking about. If I am correct, the Wicca belief system talks about one Source. The one Source which is called by many names is what the mystics talk about.
The diversity of religions and belief systems I consider necessary because human beings walk different paths.


Well I'm not Wiccan (and actually, that'd be more of a Neo-Wiccan perspective, as opposed to a Wiccan one). Again polytheism has a considerably different perspective than monotheism.

You think not? where Christians and Muslims in particular claim that their God is the true God? The Crusades were also called Holy Wars. How about the Irish war where Catholics and Protestants fought each other although it was probably the result of economic differences (another reason for wars).
The Spanish war in the 16th century where Catholic Spain fought Protestant England and Holland. The time of the inquisition. Another example.


I addressed this, the desire to enforce a single world view is one of the roots of religious war; allowing diversity to exist would not.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by gillyflower on Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:51 pm

Yes, you are right, Gorm. A one source belief isn't part of the Wiccan belief system. We belong to the whole which is a different thing entirely.

The desire to enforce any one monolithic idea - be it one king, one country, one god or one political party is an attempt to gain peace by eliminating diversity. Again, tolerance of diversity is, in my opinion, a better way to go.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:20 am

I've been thinking about this - thank you turtle dove for bringing it up. My religion celebrates diversity and change. As an example, we celebrate the changing seasons. We believe that all seasons are necessary to the whole. We celebrate the patterns of the changing seasons, too, just as we celebrate the patterns of life. We value the bee (just an example of a part of the whole) because it is a part of the whole, just as we humans are. It has it's role just as each of us do and that role is worthy of respect. All the patterns of these individuals are in constant motion - I like to visualize it as one of those vast planetarium projections. I can't see or know all the patterns, just my part of it. I want to do my part well.

It is my belief or fancy if you will, that the gods also are part of the pattern and they see more of it than I do. They occasionally can help me by changing a part of the pattern just a bit, just enough, just as I can initiate change by something that I do or don't do.

As for whether or not the whole is sentient, I don't know. Wiccans go both ways on that question.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:31 pm

Turtle dove wrote:
Hi All, the website to which I posted a link mentions the seven major ones: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism/Confucianism.

That's really just scratching the surface. Gilly is Wiccan, I am Asatru, others can chime in, I haven't forgotten about ya, I just don't remember all the details. You're going to find more diversity here, than that website takes into account.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:18 pm

gillyflower wrote:

Wiccans go both ways….

*Snerk*

Gilly, you have just turned me into a 10 year old boy! Very Happy

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Davelaw on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:24 pm

even the Christians that frequent this site disagree-I am a low-church fundamentalist-Tmarie, is I think a high church episcopalian
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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:26 pm

Davelaw wrote:even the Christians that frequent this site disagree-I am a low-church fundamentalist-Tmarie, is I think a high church episcopalian

Tina's a Liberal Catholic. Other than that, she'll have to speak for herself. Smile

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:59 pm

Look at that. We can all believe something different and still get along.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:36 pm

gillyflower wrote:Look at that. We can all believe something different and still get along.

Yeah, think how boring it would be if we all believed the same thing!
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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Beribee on Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:23 pm

And I'm a non-fundamentalist American Baptist! You're right, All, it would be really boring if we all believed the same thing! This has been an interesting topic!

Dave, what do you mean by high-church vs. low-church?

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by tmarie64 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:36 pm

Davelaw wrote:even the Christians that frequent this site disagree-I am a low-church fundamentalist-Tmarie, is I think a high church episcopalian
Sorry, missed this or I'd have responded sooner. Anyhooo... I am Catholic, though, I can understand how you'd make this particular mistake, Dave. I think I do lean more to the Episcopalian ways than Catholic lately.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:02 am

Beribee wrote:And I'm a non-fundamentalist American Baptist! You're right, All, it would be really boring if we all believed the same thing! This has been an interesting topic!

Dave, what do you mean by high-church vs. low-church?

High Church has more ritual to it, Beri. The candles, incense, whatnot.
Low Church is the tent revival level. Songbooks and a preacher level.

Clear as mud?
Dave probably has a more technical definition, though.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Davelaw on Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:10 am

sacrificialgoddess wrote:
Beribee wrote:And I'm a non-fundamentalist American Baptist! You're right, All, it would be really boring if we all believed the same thing! This has been an interesting topic!

Dave, what do you mean by high-church vs. low-church?

High Church has more ritual to it, Beri. The candles, incense, whatnot.
Low Church is the tent revival level. Songbooks and a preacher level.

Clear as mud?
Dave probably has a more technical definition, though.
I would have probably said Apollonian vs Dionysian; but yours is more clear.
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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Beribee on Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:25 pm

Okay, so I guess I'm low-church then. We have the songbooks and preacher. Sounds like high-church is more into the pagentry and ritual. I'm not at the tent revival level, but I've been told that we have a very plain church. Thanks SG! (Dave, I would have had to go look up Apollonian vs. Dionysian! LOL)

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by tmarie64 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:07 am

I prefer the ceremony and ritual, the quiet dignity. HATE when a minister thinks he has to scream and carry on.

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Re: A Study of Morality

Post by Davelaw on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:41 am

I don't think Jesus was screaming but I think He was telling stories in a loud voice. I do think that Jesus and John the Baptist and those first generations that followed them were all anti-ritual and anti-clergy
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