Any religion like this?

Are there any religions or groups that prefer to learn the lessons taught by Christianity, Budhism, Islam, etc. however take an agnostic view on their origins and god?

I like that certain religions out there teach lessons and morals from readings in their book of choice but do any have the view of
“here are some possible good standards to live by, eg. do not kill, do not steal, the golden rule, love thy neighbor, don’t cast a stone unless you’re without fault, etc. however, the source of these lessons in unimportant, and the exsistance of their supported gods is neither proven nor unproven.”

I think that certain people who identify as Unitarians would probably fit that description.

Not exactly what you’re asking for, but I think Buddhism is a religion that is close to those ideals. I am not knowledgable about Buddhism’s fine points, but my understanding is that it’s teachings are largely a collection of guiding philosophical/moral precepts.

I also understand that Buddhism does not recognize divine figures. The Buddha himself is venerated, but not considered divine.

I think Budhism already covers this.

Asking for a bit of freelance ignorance-slaying from the gallery:

I thought Unitarians were Christians?

Paganism would cover this.

Of course, paganism would cover pretty much anything you wanted to believe, too. It’s cool like that.

Unitarians are Christians, who reject the three-in-one “holy trinity” concept; to them, God is One.

Universalists are also Christians, who believe that all are saved.

Unitarian Universalists (properly abbreviated as “UU,” but often shortened incorrectly to simply “Unitarians”) fit the OP’s description pretty darn well, as shown by our Seven Principles and the Sources of our Living Tradition.

Hope that slays your ignorance - I can certainly give you the longer explanation if you’d like. :slight_smile:

Some Unitarians are Christian, some are atheists, some are members of other religions. It’s a “catch all” liberal church with a major skeptical leaning. A Unitarian Fundamentalist would be one who vehemently defends the literal nature of the statement “Worship service begins at 10:00 a.m.” against those who say “10-ish is okay”.

Some branches of Buddhism do recognize and worship gods, but some others don’t.

UUism is probably as close to what the OP wants as you’ll get. Note that the seven principles linked to by SisterCoyote are pretty much the only thing that all UUs agree on.

Again. Unitarians are Christian. There are Christian UUs, and others who fit your other categories, but Unitarians are Christian.

And not all UUs agree on them, either. Or on their interpretation. We UUs can be a contentious lot. :wink:

I think Secular Humanism is similar in spirit (if not by word) to what you’re referring to. See here:

Also, check out books by Anthony DeMello-- he also embodies a philosophy similar to what you speak of, but certainly of a more spiritual bent. Now, I must say here that although DeMello was Catholic (Jesuit, actually), he was-- as he wrote-- “painfully aware” of the limitations of the Catholic Church. His teachings rebelled against the structure and methods of mainstream religion, and shockingly, he was eventually excommunicated from the Catholic church for his kindhearted and all-embracing teachings. DeMello is not agnostic in the sense of not being sure about God, but rather, his teachings do not emphasize the existence or the particular identity of God. You could easily follow him even while being an atheist or agnostic, because “God” (in the traditional sense) is not important to the teachings. If I were to condense his philosophy, I’d say that he believes “God” to be the compassion and kindness of the human heart brought to its fullest capacity. I would recommend Heart of the Enlightened and Taking Flight, quite possibly my two favorite books, filled with wonderful short stories, parables, and jokes that come from a wide array of philosophies, religions, and traditionals. Very inspiring, funny, and moving stuff.

Not to get into a debate here (what did you say about us being a contentious lot? :wink: ), I know many UUs who definitely do not consider themselves Christian. It’s true that our origins are Christian, and many individuals (indeed, many congregations) remain true to that heritage, for many others it’s just not the case. The principles say nothing about Jesus Christ.

Of course, as folks have mentioned, it doesn’t mean you can’t be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, athiest, deist, or whatever. Pretty much as the OP asks, the UU faith takes an agnostic-ish approach to specific devine existance. Not that individuals who are UU don’t have more concrete beliefs about god(s), but that you are charged with finding your own truth (a free and responsible search for truth and meaning), and your faith community isn’t going to tell you that you’re right or wrong about god whatever you believe.

Despite our favored shorthand, Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists are two different groups. A member of the former is Christian, and one of the latter is generally not.

Though, most UUs I know, Christian or not, consider themselves UU, and not a U or a U :wink:

And, I think the fact that we can’t even seem to agree on what we are is one of the more telling and great things about the religion.

You, um, might want to read what I said again.

Unitarians are Christans who believe God is One and not a Trinity. Unitarian != Unitarian Universalist.

UUs can be Christians, but can also be buddhist, wiccan, secular humanist, pagan, athiest, agnostic, confused or a whole bundle of other spiritual possibilities.


Gotcha now. :slight_smile:

In my neck of the woods there doesn’t often seem to be a parsing out of UU; we’re either UU or Unitarian, but only Unitarian in the sense that it’s the first word of UU, and so is like a short-hand of Unitarian Universalism.

So, I just wasn’t used to the language and; my bad. :slight_smile:

No blood, no foul, and it’s not UUs communicating if there isn’t debate. :stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile: