1. Standard memberCalJust
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    24 Aug '15 07:492 edits
    The issue of how anybody knows that he or she is RIGHT has been discussed here many times

    For people like dasa and rjh there is no problem: it is absolutely obvious that they, and they alone, are RIGHT and everybody else is WRONG!

    For some of us who think a bit further, it is not that simple. I cannot deny somebody else the same right that I demand for myself, which is to believe what I believe. But more fundamentally, there remains often a nagging doubt that maybe they are also right?

    For me the answer has not been to find a common denominator between faiths, but rather to seek the Bigger Picture which encompasses all.

    The following quote comes from a Franciscon Monk, Fr Richard Rohr, in his e-mailed daily meditation, and the question I ask is: is anybody else also seeking this Bigger Picture?

    Orthopraxy, right practice, is usually distinguished from orthodoxy, doctrinal correctness. It was taught very early in world history by much of Buddhism and Hinduism.

    St. Vincent of Lerin, in the year 434, was the first to define the word "catholic." His definition, called the "Vincentian Canon," was used by scholars for much of the first millennium of Christianity. It became a way to discern the true belief of the Church.

    Vincent's in-house principle was amazingly simple and clear and yet almost shockingly impossible: "Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly 'catholic,' as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally." In other words, if it is true, then it has to be true everywhere and all the time, or it is not true!

    Most of history has been content with cultural truth, denominational truth, national truth, scientific truth, rational truth, factual truth, personal truth, etc. These are all needed and helpful, but the job of true religion is to detach from them, use them in the largest possible synthesis, and find the Big Truth that is beyond any of these smaller tribal truths.

    Jesus' metaphor for this Big Truth beyond our little truths was the "Reign of God" or the "Kingdom of God." Or we might say "in the light of eternity" or "in the final analysis" or "in the eyes of God." But these are all ways of moving away from tribal thinking and looking out at life from eyes other than and larger than our own. It is hard work. This larger and constantly recurring wisdom has been called the Perennial Tradition or the Perennial Philosophy. No one group owns this content, but most of us own parts of it, and for me the goal is to honor and include as many parts as I can, so that I can be truly catholic.

    We see this same inclusivity in Jesus to an amazing degree. I see this as the clearest indication that one practices "the true religion." A true religion is precisely one that can teach you how to recognize and honor God everywhere, and not just inside your own group symbols.
  2. Standard memberRJHinds
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    24 Aug '15 08:03
    Originally posted by CalJust
    The issue of how anybody knows that he or she is RIGHT has been discussed here many times

    For people like dasa and rjh there is no problem: it is absolutely obvious that they, and they alone, are RIGHT!

    For some of us who think a bit further, it is not that simple. I cannot deny somebody else the same right that I demand for myself, which is to believe ...[text shortened]... u how to recognize and honor God everywhere, and not just inside your own group symbols.[/quote]
    Are you Roman Catholic?
  3. Standard memberCalJust
    It is what it is
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    24 Aug '15 08:05
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Are you Roman Catholic?
    I will not give you the satisfaction of letting you put me in a box of your own making.
    😠
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    24 Aug '15 08:06
    Originally posted by CalJust
    For me the answer has not been to find a common denominator between faiths, but rather to seek the Bigger Picture which encompasses all.
    And in doing so, all you actually achieve is to create yet another 'faith'. Quite often two different beliefs are incompatible with each other. The belief that they are compatible is incompatible with neither.
    Far from solving the problem of who is right and who is wrong, you are just another person who thinks he is right that everyone else thinks is wrong.
  5. Cape Town
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    24 Aug '15 08:071 edit
    Originally posted by CalJust
    I will not give you the satisfaction of letting you put me in a box of your own making.
    😠
    The outside of my box, is also a box.

    As is my box of people who don't like boxes.
  6. Standard memberCalJust
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    24 Aug '15 08:191 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    .... you are just another person who thinks he is right that everyone else thinks is wrong.
    And you are, of course, not?

    This is obviously a question that you are not asking, so you are also welcome to your box.

    PS and Edit: I was actually hoping to attract some non-atheists to respond. (Vistesd? Wulebgr? Dive?) The atheist pov is well known - ALL kinds of religious boxes are wrong. So please give this thread a miss, if you don't mind.
  7. Standard memberCalJust
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    24 Aug '15 08:444 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Quite often two different beliefs are incompatible with each other. The belief that they are compatible is incompatible with neither.
    Subsequent to my previous post, I must comment on this bit, lest it be allowed to stand by default:

    I suppose you mean "...incompatible with both"

    But this statement is demonstrably false, because ecumenical initiatives (of which I have been privileged to have been a part) have shown that several faiths can harmoniously meet together and celebrate their oneness with Being. Sediba, in Pretoria, is one such place where all faiths are welcome.

    Of course, extremists and fundamentalists in every camp condemn such practices.

    And, by the way, we do not start another faith as you claim, but are quite happy to let everybody that is happy and fulfilled in their own system go in peace. Including you.
  8. Cape Town
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    24 Aug '15 08:56
    Originally posted by CalJust
    And you are, of course, not?
    Of course I am.

    This is obviously a question that you are not asking, so you are also welcome to your box.
    I do ask it and have even started threads on the subject in the past. And nothing I have said in this thread suggests otherwise.
  9. Standard memberCalJust
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    24 Aug '15 09:012 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead

    I do ask it and have even started threads on the subject in the past. And nothing I have said in this thread suggests otherwise.
    Then I am misundrstanding you, and I apologise.

    It appeared to me that you were saying there is no point in trying to find common ground, because it would just start another "Faith"?

    And that common ground was in fact incompatible with the "exclusivity" teaching of many faiths? (Typically dasa and RJH)
  10. Cape Town
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    24 Aug '15 09:07
    Originally posted by CalJust
    I suppose you mean "...incompatible with both"
    Yes.

    But this statement is demonstrably false, because ecumenical initiatives (of which I have been privileged to have been a part) have shown that several faiths can harmoniously meet together and celebrate their oneness with Being.
    Sure, people can readily live with their differences. That doesn't mean they are compatible. It just means they don't necessarily pull out their knives every time someone disagrees with them.

    Sediba, in Pretoria, is one such place where all faiths are welcome.
    And do all faiths actually go there? Do they agree with everything that is taught there?

    And, by the way, we do not start another faith as you claim, but are quite happy to let everybody that is happy and fulfilled in their own system go in peace.
    You may not call it another faith and try to avoid the label, but it remains the case that you have your own unique faith that is incompatible with all the others you hope to include.
    Do you believe that the Angel Gabriel dictated the Quran to Mohammed? If yes, then you cannot claim to be Christian. If no, then you cannot claim to be Muslim. Claiming you don't know also wont really make you a member of both religions. Claiming it is not important also wont make you too many friends in either religion.

    I can't always know when I am right, but when people get irrational trying to defend their beliefs it suggests to me that they are probably wrong.
  11. Cape Town
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    24 Aug '15 09:10
    Originally posted by CalJust
    It appeared to me that you were saying there is no point in trying to find common ground, because it would just start another "Faith"?
    There is nothing wrong with finding common ground. In fact I applaud it. But finding common ground does not remove any incompatibilities nor make the question of who is right and who is wrong go away. It just means you are willing to live with your differences of opinion and focus on where you agree.
    Interesting that you have such difficulty with that when it comes to me. You are usually so antagonistic that you attribute to me extreme positions that I have never expressed.
  12. Standard memberRJHinds
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    24 Aug '15 09:43
    Originally posted by CalJust
    Then I am misundrstanding you, and I apologise.

    It appeared to me that you were saying there is no point in trying to find common ground, because it would just start another "Faith"?

    And that common ground was in fact incompatible with the "exclusivity" teaching of many faiths? (Typically dasa and RJH)
    At least, I am glad you recognize that I am right. 😏
  13. Standard memberCalJust
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    24 Aug '15 10:221 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    But finding common ground does not remove any incompatibilities nor make the question of who is right and who is wrong go away.

    Actually, it does. Insisting that I am right and you are wrong is the first thing that you relinquish (on both sides) when you agree to make such an approach. It is no longer important, since we are both aware of our own limitations, and we have nothing to prove.

    Also, one of the first doctrines to get jettisoned is the one that at least one of the parties will get eternally punished. Without this, I agree there can be no mutual understanding.

    It just means you are willing to live with your differences of opinion and focus on where you agree.

    Exactly. But with the added caveat that it is IMPOSSIBLE to determine which of our various opinions is actually suspect and which not.

    Interesting that you have such difficulty with that when it comes to me. You are usually so antagonistic that you attribute to me extreme positions that I have never expressed.

    I agree that this has been the case. I believe it may have something to do with the limitations of the written word. (You do know that the actual words are only 7% of any face-to-face conversation) Sometimes there are things that you say (for example, our discourse on BEE in the Debates thread come to mind) that have been possibly needlessly controversial and confrontational. If you and I should sit together over a beer or two, I can quite imagine that we would have some useful and interesting conversations.
  14. Subscribersonhouse
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    24 Aug '15 10:50
    Originally posted by CalJust
    Subsequent to my previous post, I must comment on this bit, lest it be allowed to stand by default:

    I suppose you mean "...incompatible with both"

    But this statement is demonstrably false, because ecumenical initiatives (of which I have been privileged to have been a part) have shown that several faiths can harmoniously meet together and celebra ...[text shortened]... ppy to let everybody that is happy and fulfilled in their own system go in peace. Including you.
    But you wouldn't invite us to dinner......
  15. Standard memberCalJust
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    24 Aug '15 11:17
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    But you wouldn't invite us to dinner......
    Sonhouse, you would be more than welcome - my wife makes a mean oxtail stew!
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