Here are my thoughts on the current religion discussion going on. This is sort of a response to the discussion going on over at Dave's blog on the following posts:
It's Not an I'm Right and You're Wrong Debate
Thoughts on the Divine
Respecting Other Religions
The bottom line to me is that yes, we could all be wrong on the God/Religion question.
I could be wrong.
Dave could be wrong.
Red could be wrong.
Jim could be wrong.
The Muslims could be wrong.
The Jews could be wrong.
The Buddhists could be wrong.
and so on.
The problem is that none of us, with the exception of Dave maybe, can't really wrap our heads around the fact that we could, in fact, be wrong.
As for me (I won't speak for the others, I'm not a mind reader), I don't think I'm wrong. If I thought I were wrong, I could not be following the beliefs that I do. I could be wrong. But I don't think I am wrong.
You see, I have studied many world religions quite thoroughly.I have exposed myself to several different worldly belief systems. And I found them lacking. And I did this with an open mind because I did it well before I held any specific beliefs to begin with. Well before I came to the conclusions that I now have.
The beliefs I hold I found after much study and reasoning and more study. I found it to make the most sense to me. The others in some way shape or form did not make sense to me. While some of those religions do in fact espouse some of the same ideas as the belief system that I follow, they just did not make sense to me in the grand scheme of things.
I have faith that the belief system I practice is the "right" one. I believe that the others, while having good intentions, are not the "right" paths to heaven.
That being said. I respect the followers of those religions. My God tells me to love everyone, friend and foe alike.
I respect the right of those people to follow their beliefs. My God created mankind with free will.
With that free will they can either choose to accept Him and love Him. Or they can use that free will to reject Him. It is their choice.
I think those others are wrong, but I don't reach hell fire and brimstone to them. That is not my style. I try to talk to them with respect. I try to understand where they are coming from and try to get them to understand where I am coming from. I try to reason with them. I try to talk logically to them (try being the operative term).
I try to teach mostly by actions instead of words. In my opinion, words rarely do sway a person to your point of view.
Anyway, I believe what I believe and I believe that what I believe is right.
I don't tell people that they are wrong. That is, I am not that blunt about it. I try (again, using the word try) to treat people with respect whether I agree with their religious beliefs or not.
My God instructs me to go out into the world and preacher His word to all people. But he never said specifically how to do it. I have my methods and the fundamentalist evangelists have theirs.
In any case, I do not feel like I am a better person than they are because of my methods. But I can almost guarantee you that I am more respectful.
Okay, I think that is all I have for now.