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    Can Religions Coexist?

    created by annabrigitte 332 days 20 hours 49 minutes ago

    Category: Religion

    Can Religions Coexist?

    Hey CNet!

    Do you think religions that believe different fundamental truths can coexist with one another?

    I'm non-religious, so I kind of want to stay in my lane with this one. I'm really just legitimately curious as to what those who have grown up religious or who have strong religious beliefs have to say about this. I want people to be able to get along and I want to learn from those different from myself!

    This goes without saying, but please be respectful in this discussion!

    - Anna

    Re: Can Religions Coexist?

    Hey Anna!

    Religions CAN coexist, but not peacefully. One word can sum up the reason why religions cannot coexist peacefully: sin. Because sin affects all men, the tendency to fight can rise up even in religious contexts. While different religions may have similar positive benefits to society, all religions are not equal. Only Christianity addresses the sin problem by changing the heart of man.

    - Kyle

    Re: Can Religions Coexist?


    It really depends on which religion we're talking about. Certain sects of Hinduism claim that there is no single path to religious enlightenment, and that the other religions (Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, etc.) are just different flavors of the same ultimate spirituality. Not all Hindus believe this, mind you, just a specific subsection.

    Buddhism (typically) rejects the immortal soul/ego, which is critical to Abrahamic (Christian/Jewish/Islamic) tradition. It argues that there is no true one central "self", which obviously can't be reconciled under the Abrahamic religions.

    And then there is the issue of infighting. Most of us are painfully aware of the Sunni/Shiite split in Islam, as it has caused many violent events in the past few decades, including civil wars and religious pogroms. And then take the Catholic/Protestant dispute; although now it seems small, it caused significant problems in our own country a hundred and two hundred years ago. And ever hear of the Troubles? Warfare in the streets of Ireland between Catholics and Protestants.

    Frankly, religions theoretically could coexist. In Islam, the most important prophet is Muhammad. The second most? Jesus. All three Abrahamic religions share much of the Old Testament. As we've seen, tiny differences in belief have lead to massive conflicts. But also, these differences have been somewhat reconciled. None of us claim that different forms of Christianity can't coexist under current society, and many are willing to coexist with Jews peacefully (even if they don't share religions). There is no armed conflict between Christians and Buddhists in the modern day, or Sikhs and Shintos. Theoretically, we could find a way to allow religions to coexist. But we aren't going to do that, because we're more concerned about being right and superior than finding a way to coexist. Historical conflicts still run deep, such as in Syria, or India/Pakistan, or Iran/Iraq. The issue with religions is not contradictory text, although that certainly helps to exacerbate the problems. No, the issue is historical ethnic conflict that has been codified, repeated, and upheld. It's leaders of each religion telling their followers that everybody else is horrible and nasty and mean. They could coexist, but they aren't going to. Not as long as we keep thinking our own beliefs have primacy beyond all else and stop taking the necessary big picture step to consider our human race as a whole.

    All the best,

    Re: Can Religions Coexist?

    Hi Anna!

    I think that if everyone was nice and respectful to one another, religions could coexist peacefully. I have had many friends of different faiths who could all come together and talk about each other's religions with nothing but curiosity coming from each other. I think people just need to be more kind and open minded. That doesn't just apply with religion, but everything. We need to love each, people!

    Have a nice day :)


    Re: Can Religions Coexist?


    I think about your question often and frankly, I am afraid for younger people. What happens to me doesn't matter, I have already lived a full life. Some CNET folk are so young they could conceivably outlive the 21st century as long as they have a planet to live on. I am a Christian but a leftist, liberal sort of Christian. I am a member of a leftist, liberal church but I also attend two more conservative churches. The leftist church believes other faiths are valid and there is more than one pathway to God. The other churches believe a relationship with Jesus is the only way. They appear to believe that the world will soon come to an end and that they will be raptured (taken away) just before the you-know-what hits the fan. To say that I am alarmed that such people currently have the upper hand in government would be more than a mild understatement.

    Religions have an easier time coexisting when the population density is low. Consider the case of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Joseph Smith has a vision in Palmyra NY, where he starts the Church. It offends the living daylights out of his neighbors. The friction causes the church to move west to Nauvoo IL. The same thing happens so they move to Utah. No one out there minds, happy ending. There are seven times as many humans living on this planet as there were in the days of the creation of the LDS. I would say that makes it seven times as likely we will have religious conflict. The LDS could move to what they considered unclaimed territory. We can't, there is nowhere to go.

    The only peaceful solution to the problem is through the empowerment of women. Women need something to do with their lives other than procreation. Given the choice, many of them will do so. We need a negative birthrate worldwide. And then I think as the population explosion fizzles, there will be less conflict. If you and I were the only two humans left on earth, you were an atheist and I was an evangelical, rather than argue, we'd split up. You could do your thing wherever you chose to live and I would read scripture, sing praise songs and tithe where I chose to live. But when we are all crammed together cheek by jowl as they say, you can bet there will be conflict. That friction is the kismet of the 21st century but perhaps we can leave a better world for those destined to be born into the 22nd.

    Re: Can Religions Coexist?

    Hi annabrigitte,

    I read the other peoples' responses and I agree with OSilentNightOwl to some degree. Some religions could get along with each other than others. However, I differ in that I believe that religion itself isn't the problem, it's the people who support it. A system or institution doesn't have to be a problem until people who support it become the problem.

    I agree with shellbee323, it ultimately depends on the respect for one another. On a larger scale, the individual community themselves. Can a particular community tolerate the idea that someone else believes in something completely different than them? Can they fathom the idea that children are born under this religion that they disagree with? Can they see past the other community's beliefs and connect with them on the level of humanity?

    For example, I completely disagree with HoangryKH. However, I can respect that he believes in something completely different. am fine with the fact that if he decides to have children, his children will grow up with what he believes in. Also, I can still see the humanity in him and connect with him on the level of humanity because people are complex and he is on CollegeNet and I know everyone on isn't here just for fun.

    On the level of community, I am apart of Unity and I do not believe we are inherently evil. Most of my community would be just fine with differences in Christianity and beliefs, but another Unity church around the world might not like it at all. That's where things get sticky. Not all hope is lost though.

    Personally, I think religions can coexist if we remember that we all want the same goal: Healthy and happy families, supportive and connected friendships, a place in a community, and a safe and warm place to live.



    Re: Can Religions Coexist?

    I think that religions can coexist when people in a religion are respectful to the people in other religions. If everyone can agree to disagree on their beliefs and simply hear people out on their beliefs and try to be understanding and learn from each other then we could easily have coexisting religions.

    Although I believe that religions can coexist I do not think that it will happen due to the nature of humans and the large number of religions out there. In a perfect world religions could coexist if people chose to believe what they want and allow others to do the same without interference.