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Thread: Similarities in Religion

  1. #1 Similarities in Religion 
    Forum Freshman IAlexN's Avatar
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    I know that Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism all have different views on life, death, and the life after death. But, are there any small similarities or essential differences, other than the most obvious ones?


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    the only big similarity between all three of them is that they all believe in an afterlife. other similarities include the fact that they are all means of social control, and that excluding islam, they all support the view that certain people are more "holy" than others.

    if one compares just two or three of these religions many more similarities pop out.


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    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
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    If I can add to that, you can't really compare Buddhism with Islam or Christianity, because Buddhism is more a way of living. It doesn't really have "gods".... But, a big similarity is the fact they all say
    -love the people around you
    -Don't hurt people around you etc....
    "Be the change you want to see in the world"
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    Buddhism does not deny the existence of gods. But the gods in Buddhism are not omnipotent, omniscient, ubiquitous etc. They are also subjected to the law of nature.

    Buddhism does not support the idea that some people are holier than others because they are blessed by God. It says that people will ascend to higher level of fulfillment through learning and practice.

    From my viewpoint (a Buddhist) Buddhism is different from all other religions in that it says that wisdom is the key to happiness. It does not rely on faith.
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    sorry to the OP but i can't resist a good chance to discuss budhism with a budhist.

    in your opinion does budhism disagree with modern physics, chemistry, or biology on any level? or are the two completely compatable?

    i ask this because if budhism has a belief in gods then there must be some reason for them to have those gods, i.e. they must do something according to your relgion. are they the causes of natural events such as volcanoes and earthquakes? or are they merely governers of the afterlife?
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
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    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
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    First I must say that Buddhism has many sects with significant differences among them. I have learned of the teachings from a sect called Theravada only.

    In principle Buddhism does not contradict modern physics, chemistry or biology. It does not speculate the origin of universe or life. It may say that life consists of the four key elements i.e. earth, water, wind and fire. However, that is not the essence of the teachings. If life actually consists of a million elements it still does not make Buddhism false.

    Buddhism began in the era and the area where the Brahma religion (a precursor to Hinduism) was strongly established. People believed in gods (pantheist). Buddhism teachings were about the law of nature and how to live in harmony with the nature. So the Buddha told the people that gods may exist, but they were not above the law of nature. (It is like saying that Bill Gates may be able to buy a country, but he still have to pee). In Buddhism, gods can also be unhappy, hurt and perish just like a human being.

    Buddhism also mentions afterlife. It says that if you have done something bad you will receive the result of your deed even after you die. But the main focus is on THIS life, not the next life. However, many Buddhists cling to the belief that they have to do good deeds in this life so that they can go to heaven after they die. This is not the essence of the teachings.

    Hope this helps.
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    okay, thanks for that. it clears up one of the annoying creationist ideals i thought budhism might share, luckily it does not.

    however you state that budhism does have gods that follow natural laws. what is "godly" about these gods? christianity and islam believe that god made the world in seven days and built humanity from nothing. hinduism, i'm not really sure about but i believe somehow one of their important gods was said to have made humanity. in greek polytheism it is believed that thunder and wind comes from zeus throwing his bolts and blowing on the earth, do the gods of budhism have a similar role?
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
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    they have gods like any other polytheistic religion you can think of, very powerful beings, not a omnieverything single god. Yeah Buddhism has had its fair share o corruptions and interpolations, mostly because it has no core, its documents are quite far away from their source and the varieties are almost as numerous as Hinduism, really just a mosh of philosophy and superstitions. However, many westerners look to eastern religions for an alternative and often it is dressed up for our amusement.
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    The gods in Buddhism (of Theravada sect) are the same ones as in Hinduism. They are mentioned because people at that time believed they exist. So Buddha says, OK, I won't argue with that, but you need to know that gods are not that great. They have their own problems. Sympathize with them, for they also have not reached enlightenment.

    Ishmaelblues has just dissected Buddhism with just a few sentences. I have no intention to respond to them, as it is not the topic of this thread.
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    thanks again prasit. see, you just confirmed my problem with budhism. if therevada believes in powerful gods that do acts that are considered scientificly impossible such as flooding the earth, or making people drop dead for no reason, then i don't see it as anything more than unconfirmed beliefs.

    the philosophy on life that budha encourages is a very nice one, but the real world aspect of their gods is very ugly to me.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
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    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
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    You need to remember that Buddha was born 2,500 years ago. At that time people still thought the world was flat. If someone proposed that it was round, it would certainly be rejected as 'scientifically' impossible.

    The point I try to make is that Buddhism does not focus on magical power. It does not tell people to go worship gods in order to get something back in return, as Hinduism does. In Theravada the gods are viewed like human and animals. They are mortals. They have their ups and downs. So let them go with their own business, i.e. they are irrelevant to our journey to enlightenment.
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    If you don't mind me jumping in.

    Buddhism is less of a religion and more of a Philiosophy.
    They have no creation myths and no "magic myths".
    The whole ideal is based off of four basic truths that buddha came to realize during his journey of enlightenment.
    1. there is suffering/discontent in everyone's life.
    2. You are the cause of your own suffering/discontent.
    3. If you do not want more than you can achieve you cannot be discontent, I.E. you can solve your own suffering/discontent.
    4. follow the middle path. (if you want to much, you are miserable, if you want nothing you cannot move forward in life, find the middle path.)

    I often tell my friends thta if I were ever to become "religious" I would become a Buddhist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    You need to remember that Buddha was born 2,500 years ago. At that time people still thought the world was flat. If someone proposed that it was round, it would certainly be rejected as 'scientifically' impossible.
    Not really, science is method didn't develop until recently.

    The point I try to make is that Buddhism does not focus on magical power. It does not tell people to go worship gods in order to get something back in return, as Hinduism does. In Theravada the gods are viewed like human and animals. They are mortals. They have their ups and downs. So let them go with their own business, i.e. they are irrelevant to our journey to enlightenment.
    I have to agree Buddhism hardly even qualifies as a religion compared to the others listed. Islam and Christianity are very close--both being religions of the same "book."
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    Islam actually follows a different book than Christianity. A better example is Christianity to Judaism. They both use the old testament, though Christians tend to ignore it and focus on their addition to the bible, the "New Testament"...

    The Islamic Qu'ran was wholly written by Muhammad, and was dictated to him by Gabriel iirc. The Bible was 'inspired' by god, not dictated to man by god. There is a slight, albeit very significant, difference in that distinction. This is why Islam tends to be so much more extreme than Judaism and Christianity.

    In essence every Christian and every Muslim is a Jew. They just chose their saviors where they did, and Jews are still waiting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    the only big similarity between all three of them is that they all believe in an afterlife. other similarities include the fact that they are all means of social control, and that excluding islam, they all support the view that certain people are more "holy" than others.

    if one compares just two or three of these religions many more similarities pop out.
    Well some Judaists deny an afterlife and Christians would say that all are sinful but some are forgiven (I guess you could say that means they are holier in the end)
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    Arcane_Mathematician said:

    Islam actually follows a different book than Christianity. A better example is Christianity to Judaism. They both use the old testament, though Christians tend to ignore it and focus on their addition to the bible, the "New Testament"...

    The Islamic Qu'ran was wholly written by Muhammad, and was dictated to him by Gabriel iirc. The Bible was 'inspired' by god, not dictated to man by god. There is a slight, albeit very significant, difference in that distinction. This is why Islam tends to be so much more extreme than Judaism and Christianity.

    In essence every Christian and every Muslim is a Jew. They just chose their saviors where they did, and Jews are still waiting.


    Old Son:

    Anyone who abides by the law of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a jew. Anyone who doesn't abide by this law isn't a jew. The religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism aren't in agreement with the law of God, therefore the converts of these belief systems aren't jews.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    Anyone who abides by the law of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a jew. Anyone who doesn't abide by this law isn't a jew. The religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism aren't in agreement with the law of God, therefore the converts of these belief systems aren't jews.
    Let us hope, then, that there aren't many "jews" in the world since the "laws" established by the mythical being Yahweh/Elohim in Jewish texts are immoral and obscene by modern standards.

    Still, religious superstition is largely one that is established by the individual as a self-identification when it comes to religion. Once these individuals establish themselves among an in-group as believing members and not free-riders, they then can be considered "jewish" or "christian" or "muslim" by both themselves and the social structure of other individuals who share the superstitions.

    Since the god hypothesis fails as a scientific one (and thus not part of reality), self-identification and subsequent acceptance by the in-group is sufficient for believers to be considered "jews." The "laws" of their god are therefore man-made to begin with and not divine.
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    The God of the bible is real so I don't agree with you. I'm not like others in the forum who will dispute endlessly with you regarding the matter.

    I will clarify what I meant when I used the word law. I was referring to both testaments.

    The clarification wasn't an attempt at making the laws of God seem humane in response to your statement, I was only giving an accurate definition to the word as I used it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    The God of the bible is real so I don't agree with you. I'm not like others in the forum who will dispute endlessly with you regarding the matter.
    In your mind, sure. That's fine. In reality? Not so cut and dry, and honestly, not very likely at all. There is no evidence for a god to exist, and really, no necessity for an existential entity that conceived the entirety of the cosmos into being. So, why bother? There are mountains of evidence against the Abrahamic God, and there are mountains of evidence against the claims for gods in general. There is no sound, logical reason to believe in a deity of any type aside from amusement, so your opinion on the matter is just that; opinion, and not fact.
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    Old Son wrote:
    The God of the bible is real so I don't agree with you. I'm not like others in the forum who will dispute endlessly with you regarding the matter.

    Arcane_Mathematician responded:
    In your mind, sure. That's fine. In reality? Not so cut and dry, and honestly, not very likely at all. There is no evidence for a god to exist, and really, no necessity for an existential entity that conceived the entirety of the cosmos into being. So, why bother? There are mountains of evidence against the Abrahamic God, and there are mountains of evidence against the claims for gods in general. There is no sound, logical reason to believe in a deity of any type aside from amusement, so your opinion on the matter is just that; opinion, and not fact.



    Old Son:
    In order for me to conclude that a person is speaking factually I must first understand their judgment, for it's by perception that we draw conclusions. Your judgment is based upon the perceptions of others and is flawed. I was taught how to reason, how to think criticaly, how to be rational, how to think logically, by men who devised a system of judgment that isn't consistent with reality (I'm referring to religion) just like you. When I was young I recieved the fundaments of the school system, but my experiences spilled outside of the realm of scientific explanations (I wasn't raised believing in the bible and I veiwed it as you presently do). As a young adult I got involved with a religious group by means of a lie which I believed until a few years ago. I had teachers there who taught me how to interprete information and being brain washed after this manner I learned to see things as they do even in their absence. I also went on to devise my own theories as do those who are taught how to see things from a scientific point of veiw. So I understand your postion although i can't agree with you.

    It's funny how the mind bends toward understanding matters of importance while we are yet young adults still filled with the thoughts of adolesence. Rarely do we realize the impact our youthful minds will have upon our perception of things.
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    I just read the announcement heading Scientific Study of Religion. I hope I haven't been guilt of any misconduct and if so please forgive me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    Old Son wrote:
    The God of the bible is real so I don't agree with you. I'm not like others in the forum who will dispute endlessly with you regarding the matter.

    Arcane_Mathematician responded:
    In your mind, sure. That's fine. In reality? Not so cut and dry, and honestly, not very likely at all. There is no evidence for a god to exist, and really, no necessity for an existential entity that conceived the entirety of the cosmos into being. So, why bother? There are mountains of evidence against the Abrahamic God, and there are mountains of evidence against the claims for gods in general. There is no sound, logical reason to believe in a deity of any type aside from amusement, so your opinion on the matter is just that; opinion, and not fact.



    Old Son:
    In order for me to conclude that a person is speaking factually I must first understand their judgment, for it's by perception that we draw conclusions. Your judgment is based upon the perceptions of others and is flawed. I was taught how to reason, how to think criticaly, how to be rational, how to think logically, by men who devised a system of judgment that isn't consistent with reality (I'm referring to religion) just like you. When I was young I recieved the fundaments of the school system, but my experiences spilled outside of the realm of scientific explanations (I wasn't raised believing in the bible and I veiwed it as you presently do). As a young adult I got involved with a religious group by means of a lie which I believed until a few years ago. I had teachers there who taught me how to interprete information and being brain washed after this manner I learned to see things as they do even in their absence. I also went on to devise my own theories as do those who are taught how to see things from a scientific point of veiw. So I understand your postion although i can't agree with you.

    It's funny how the mind bends toward understanding matters of importance while we are yet young adults still filled with the thoughts of adolesence. Rarely do we realize the impact our youthful minds will have upon our perception of things.
    I really don't know what to make of that. you either were trying to be satiristic or just committed a massive logical fallacy by admitting that your entire system of logic and reason is based invariably on the teachings of liars.... That's how I initially read your post. Although, I'm sure it's really just me who's wrong, and not you, seeing as how you're logic isn't based in the realm of reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    Anyone who abides by the law of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a jew. Anyone who doesn't abide by this law isn't a jew. The religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism aren't in agreement with the law of God, therefore the converts of these belief systems aren't jews.
    Let us hope, then, that there aren't many "jews" in the world since the "laws" established by the mythical being Yahweh/Elohim in Jewish texts are immoral and obscene by modern standards.
    Whilst any number of 'gods' throughout the millenniums are mythical in full, I do not for a second count the Hebrew (not Jewish) 'Yahweh' among them. The problem for us in 2010, is we have thousands of years of a great many misunderstandings built atop previous bewilderment (and so on) to unravel - which has indeed become a complex indoctrinated web of wondrous fancies and beliefs.

    For mine, by far the main problem we have forever had with all this, is our perception, based as it is - almost exclusively upon the physical. So whenever we perceive any 'god' by whatever name; as if on auto-pilot, we habitually visualise a powerful physical entity - a lion or an elephant, or whatever takes our fancy as greater than 'me'. Generally we seem to relate best to a man, supported by Biblical terms such as 'Father' and 'He' - but always a physical being.

    However, we are told many times in (especially) the Hebrew documents that we must not seek 'Him' from among the physical, but rather as a 'spirit'/'spiritual' - but what does that even mean, given the generic and ever-increasing physical mindset of 2010, and our ongoing auto-pilot recognition of such things as cities with gold gates in the clouds, an old man sitting on a throne in a temple, and babies with harps flying around him?

    Apparently, we have all but given up on ever gaining any definitive insight into what the term 'spiritual' denotes in reality. We seem to have accepted that the spiritual realm, if it exists; is virtually unknowable. Yet the answers are much closer than we have ever recognised - via our religious auto-pilot indoctrination. So, as strange as it might sound, we really need to commence the search by turning off our individual auto-pilot - to disassociate ourselves from religion and deep-seated religious indoctrination to discover what in fact is 'spiritual'.

    Until we recognise our beliefs are entirely founded in generation after generation of pathetic childrens stories, as explained by adults who did not understand but wanted desperately to sound as if they did for their precious offspring, so made it up as they went; we will struggle to break free of the barrage of misconceptions well imprinted into our auto-pilot settings. So in an attempt to settle some of the religious auto-pilot bulldust around the place, here is one or two non-religious offerings to ponder;

    Whilst any term such as 'God' will remain virtually meaningless, Yahweh certainly is not. Being much more than just a 'name', Yah-Weh is a two part definition of the dual nature of our existence - where Weh denotes the physical (of the earth), and YAH, the spiritual (of Heaven) - but certainly NOT the entirely religious mythical setting defined above.

    Every living thing shares in this dual nature, for we all have a physical body which has come to us ENTIRELY of, and from the physical planet we inhabit. It is therefore no more or less than a part of the earth, will eventually return to the same earth, and is defined throughout scripture, as - the earth = the physical = WEH!

    We also have a greater, far superior aspect to each of us, often called the inner being/person. This aspect could well be regarded as the real 'me', yet whilst it is in no manner physical, it certainly does indwell and utilise the physical 'me' throughout 'my' entire existence. Furthermore, it is the very power source behind everything of the physical. The Hebrew writings term this part of existence - Heaven = the spiritual = YAH!

    Of course, neither our physical flesh and bone, nor our powers of intellect and reasoning are mythical - therefore nor is YAHWEH!
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    The cold hard fact is that there is no absolute indisputable proof for how the universe came into existence. Science has its theories, and these theories have some evidence like cosmic background radiation and so forth, but even if you accept the Big Bang happened, we can predict what happened right up to billionths of a second after the Big Bang. But to actually say how[ the Big Bang is possible is currently out of our grasp. And honestly, I think it'll remain so for my life time.

    But the theist side of the argument is what exactly? An ultimate creator created everything? Well I hate to be picky, but that's got exactly the same dilemma attached to it as the Big Bang: where did the ultimate creator come from? And if you except that a deity can exist before the creation of everything then how is that so much more different from suggesting that the Big Bang just happened out of nothing?

    My own personal opinion comes down to this: I do not subscribe to any currently existing faith. Lots of the dogma seems ridiculous to me. From the idea that woman were created from a mans rib? The Aboriginal Dreamtime? All religious creation stories I've read from the Germanic religions to the Greeks to the Hindus, it all strikes me as utter nonsense with an ounce of credibility to it, and it is all contradicting. What makes you think your faith is the right one? Take Pascal's Wager for instance. Even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason we should still believe in him because it's better to hedge your bets? The first thing that strikes me when I hear someone mention this is "which God or gods?" Because if you hedge your bets and pick the wrong deity you still end damned or whatever on earth depending on the religion, and on top of that you wasted your life living it by someone elses moral code, being dishonest to yourself.

    So while I don't accept any of the currently observed religions on earth are correct and feel that the quality of life would be improved without them, I accept that a deity of some variety causing the Big Bang is as good a reason as any other that currently exist. It's just a deity that since that day has taken no further role in the goings on of the universe, entirely hands off. And in that case, there is no reason to worship him.
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    I like simply saying "I don't know what made the universe, or how exactly the universe came into existence."
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moody
    And in that case, there is no reason to worship him.
    It all depends upon what you mean by ‘worship’, doesn’t it?

    We all have some idea of what the religious among us would expect, as handed down through the previous thousands of years from the pulpits on high – that stance of some variety of prostrate bootlicking towards an unknowable and highly mythical (physical) superdaddy in the sky. Yet it’s very interesting to note the rank hypocrisy of the religious individual in his suggestions towards such acquiescence; generally displaying little of the humility he demands of others. In fact, we might normally expect a buoyant display of pride and contempt, as if demanding such worship – towards himself, perhaps for his dearly beloved beliefs. Aditionally, we will most likely discover lying beneath the surface, an insidious ongoing attitude of worship (over their own 'god') to such non-spiritual commodities as money, sex, violence, leisure and of course - PRIDE!

    On the other hand, one might draw a comparison that we all, to some extent ‘worship’ our own god/s, and can do so in a very similar manner to the duplicitous religionist, with an eerily similar outcome in each case.

    The Big-Bang theorist for example, might demand the rest of us genuflect and capitulate to his conceptualisation as if it makes perfect sense, and like the religionist, expects we passively ignore the highly questionable and mythical nature of his incredible proposition. He too becomes belligerent, snarly and most contemptuous towards anyone who considers it his right - to withhold his blind subservience. Likewise, the evolutionist, who effectively relies upon his pastor friend from the Big-Bangist denomination, might be inclined to bare his truculent teeth in much religious fervor and pomposity whenever anyone suggests there to easily be millions of holes throughout the tenets of his devotion, and therefore - room for doubt.

    The common thread running through the orthodoxies above, is they all rely upon a good measure of pugnacious bluff, humanistic ego and PRIDE to support their mythical conjecture, mixed with an amazing willingness of the less-hierarchical among us, to passively succumb without question. Even so, as you rightly point out – despite the contemptuous proclamations from each of the above high-religionists, evidence (of a sort) is surely available to all, yet the proof-positive just ain’t there for any of them, and I might suggest - never will eventuate.

    Quote Originally Posted by moody
    An ultimate creator created everything? Well I hate to be picky, but that's got exactly the same dilemma attached to it as the Big Bang: where did the ultimate creator come from?
    For mine, such questions are all about laboriously seeking for unrewarding and perhaps inaccessible details, and sadly become of such vital importance to us via a rather standard level reasoning - re. PRIDE.

    Surely we can continue along the same old tired religious pathway of proudly proclaiming understanding in things that may always be just out of our scope, or we can (alternatively) make a decision or two - to get real in a similar manner expressed by Arcane Mathematician with; "I don't know what made the universe, or how exactly the universe came into existence."

    The difference clearly lies in the individual's attitude - either;

    A. A dogmatic and pride-filled arrogance towards a religious servitude, or;
    B. A get-real humility towards discovering and embracing those things that can make a difference to "who I am".

    Ultimately, it reads to me like a sad, lonely old man, who coming to the end of his time, decides to make it his business before he expires, to 'change the world - make it a better place'. Yet his true (underlying) purpose, is to continue in his life-long avoidance tactic, of refusing any recognition of his real 'worship' - (PRIDE). So he continues to disguise how painfully dysfunctional (due his pride) his own existence has become - not only to himself, but more so for all around him - via his solutions per 'global' dilemmas.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  28. #27 Indeed 
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    They all originated from ancient Egypt at some point.
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  29. #28 Re: Indeed 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilomanjaro
    They all originated from ancient Egypt at some point.
    Except the evidence doesn't support this (your post was vague and brief, so this is assuming by "all" you mean "all religions").
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  30. #29 Re: Indeed 
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilomanjaro
    They all originated from ancient Egypt at some point.
    From my understanding, a great many religions do indeed have a decided linkage back to ancient Egypt, particularly Jewish, Islam and perhaps most comprehensively - Christianity.

    On the other hand, religion as a method of dealing with the confusion over and pain of death, did not commence in Egypt but around 500 years prior in Babylon. Therefore there were other regions/peoples at that time which were also influenced in their own way by the originating 'relief' of mythical proportions.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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