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Abu Nasr as-Sarraj and Ernst's take on Spirituality. Afterall everyone is brought up to believe in the faith or religion they are taught. If this was not the case, no one would have any beliefs.
Although their religions are not true religions Melissa respects their views of being true. Quite similar to Melissa's opinion, Jason feels that there is only one true religion in the world, which is Christianity. However, he recognizes that there are many other religions in the world in which their followers believe are true.
He does not believe that one should criticize others for their beliefs, and that they should respect each person's beliefs even if they are different from his. For Jason, Christianity is the true religion. It is the only religion that he believes Has the right answers for life, and the correct way to salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. So his position is that there is only one true religion in the world, but that there are other religions in the world that people follow and their followers hold their religion to be true.
Jason feels that other religions of the world are important and are held true by their followers. If this were not so, then why would anyone follow a religion that they did not believe was true. Michele believes Christianity is the one true religion. However, she recognizes that other religions exist, and they are held true by their respective adherents. She does not believe that non-Christian religions are right, but she respects other people's rights to choose whatever faith they want to follow.
Michele has been raised a Roman Catholic and is checking out other Christian religions to see what they offer. She still believes that Christianity is the one true religion, but she is curious to learn more about the other Christian denominations. Lori believes that since there are so many diverse religions today that it is impossible to say that only one religion is correct. Lori feels that if she said there was only one true religion she would be forcing her religion onto others.
For her, religion is an opinion. If you were to ask almost anyone which religion was the one true religion of the world, they would say their religion. She also feels that there are so many unanswered questions in every religion therefore, she can not justify saying there is only one that is right. She does believe that there is only one true God. Overall, she believes in one true God, while recognizing the fact that there are other religions besides the one of which she is a part.
Finally, Tony expresses his views which are quite different from the rest of the group members. A few years ago Tony was a Christian and believed that the god he worshiped was the one and only true god.
He not only had a strong faith in his relgious beliefs, but also felt that all the other religions in the world were false, and that the followers of these teachings were misfortunately misguided. He was going to heaven because he was right and they those of other faiths were wrong and unfortunately going to hell.
In the past few years Tony questined his Christian faith and the holy writings upon which they were based. Now he is an agnostic.
Although Tony does not believe or have evidence that there is any true religion or religions, he now gives equal credibility to all religions to which previously he had not.
He has concluded that those persons of the various religions show just as much fervor in their faith as do their religious counterparts of opposing faiths. It is apparent that there are many persons and just as may religious perspectives. This does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that there is a true religion and a false religion s , but that religion is an entirely subjective experience whose truth is decided by its value to its adherents. Further discussion on other aspects of religion took place as well.
For example, the topic of the Christian Bible posed conflict among two of the group members. Jason boldly stated his opinion of the Bible. He believes every word in the Bible to be true. He thinks that everything in life should be based on how the Bible tells you to live.
He feels that the Bible is the true word of God. He also feels that the Bible has told the past and fortells the future as well. According to the Bible, Israel is God's chosen nation and that any country that goes against this nation, they will be punished by God. He relates this to the recent incident of Israel's Prime Minister being assassinated. He believes that if this was a direct act of a certain nation, then there will be other events to follow.
However, Tony has different beliefs which controdict Jason's completely. Tony has no belief in Christianity, therefore, he has no belief in the Bible.
He feels there is no way the Bible can be the word of God because there is no proof and there is no foundation. Tony also questions the presence of a heaven and hell. For Tony, Christianity is nothing but brainwashing. He thinks one's beliefs are determined by the way one is raised. If one is brought up a certain way, then he will only believe a certain way.
The group came to a meeting point from this statement. We all agreed that one's religion is his or her own personal belief built from the foundation of one's upbringing. The group also discussed how we as a society are supposed to handle the problems that religious pluralism causes. There is no greater enemy to humankind than fear. It is undoubtedly the germ of hatred, contempt, disdain, resentment, disapproval and therefore all forms of discrimiantion.
When we are unable to understand or encounter the unfamiliar, we fear. The only way to understand amd become familiar with the source of our fears is through exposure. This is imperative to mutual understanding in any matter. This is especially true in religion, where those of the various faiths are adamant in the belief of the superiority of their relgious faith.
An invaluable means of coming to terms with those of differing faiths is the process of dialogue. The importance of interreligious dialogue cannot be understated.
In our discussion group of five members consisting of four Christians and one agnostic , the majority is of the opinion that their religion is the only one true religion in the world. This majority simply beleives that those of other faiths are misfortunately misguided.
Nonetheless, there is unanimous agreement that there is considerable importance in intereligious dialouge amongst the religions of the world.
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