Will we ever shed our religiocentric views

I should ask, how long before we shed our religiocentric views?

In recent years, I’ve encountered more and more people that willing to accept the validity of other religious traditions. At the very least, more people are not eagerly denouncing other religions.

Are you seeing this in your lives? Do you imagine that there will come a time when people of different religious traditions can do more than just coexist, when they actually respect each other’s faith?

God, I hope so.

Can you define ‘religocentric’? I know what that means to ME, but if you want to have a debate you should set up some yardsticks for people to have a framework to debate over.

Personally, I think that ‘we’ (I’m assuming you mean Americans, but maybe ‘we’ means the entire species, or something else) are gradually, slowly moving towards a more secular, or at least less fervently religious attitude. Unfortunately and afaik historically, that generally means the last gasp of the old religion(s) and a brief though colorful period of fundamentalism, as the old guard tries to cling to the past and bring it back to the fore.

Which God?

Presumably the one of hope…

You’re right. By religiocentric, I mean the view that God has endorsed or chosen your religious organization, people, or belief system over all others. It can be extended to mean that by the virtue of God’s endorsement of your religion, He has denounced anything that falls outside of your belief system.

By we, I mean the entire species, although it’s likely that Americans will lead the world in this area. I was born in India and moved here when I was 8, and from my perspective, there is no place better prepared for such acceptance.


As per Parminedes, the only Absolute.

So do you propose that people shouldn’t have their own god above all others? That they pay lip service to whatever commandments their deity might issue? Maybe they can believe in their god only 70 to 75%, to leave room for belief in all he other deities?

Europe is probably leading the way, actually, as I think the series of religious wars just drained the stuffing out of them, as well as much of the fervor. The US is, IMHO, moving more towards secularism, and we have a pretty open attitude wrt letting folks do their own thing. This might or might not have the effect you are asking about, i.e. shedding our religiocentric views. Personally, I think in the long term it will. Nothing gets the fervent faithfuls backs up like someone telling them they can’t worship their own personal version of God or the gods. And nothing like allowing folks to do what the like (within legal limitations) wrt having the right and ability to worship who or what they like and ALSO the responsibility of not being able to tell someone else who they can worship to make folks have to take a step back and broaden their minds.

That said, we ARE in a period (world wide I think) of the old guard fighting back and trying to reassert their various fundamentalist beliefs, and that includes here in the US (even in Europe to a lesser extent), so it’s not going to be a nice, friction free ride for anyone. I’d suggest keeping your arms and legs safely inside the car at all times, and definitely never take the safety bar off or stand up in the car when the ride goes upside down…

If you mean “Can people honestly believe that the teachings of their creed are true, but that contradictory creeds are equally true,” the answer is no.

On the other hand, we’ve long since reached the point where most Americans are de facto Unitarians, even the ones who claim to be Christians. If you DON’T take your own faith all that seriously, then it’s easy to tell yourself, “All religions are pretty much the same, since all of them teach us to be nice to each other.”

That’s increasingly where we are now.

Did you perhaps mean Parmenides?

I did. Do you want to be my assistant and spell check all my posts? I’m sure that’ll be useful.

No-I’d rather just try to figure out where you are coming from. Do you have any particular religions in mind as being more welcoming of other religions?

There is only one Absolute. It’s a logical necessity - if you believe in a deity at all. We don’t need to discuss that here, but you can read Parmenides (you know the spelling).
This is the same Absolute that every religion worships, save the narrative.

I think more people are becoming open to the idea that their narrative is not true, when it tries to condemn billions of other people to damnation.

I think the mystical traditions of all faith are open to the idea that people of any faith can arrive at the Truth. Sufis, Hindus, and Jews.
Although, I am finding in my works, and I do a great deal of outreach for my religious community, that even Christians are beginning to accept other groups. I hope that’s not too vague.

Could it be that people are learning to differentiate between the bones and the flesh of the fish. The bones were only there to hold the flesh together, but it’s really the meat that we want.

What I mean is, there’s the virtue and ethics, the meat, that the various religions profess, and then there’s the bones - the church/mosque, the historical narrative.

I’m sorry-I thought we were talking about being more accepting of other religions. Instead, you seem to be talking about having all religions adapt the partial teachings of Parmenides. I say partial, because all we have of his writings is part of a single poem-160 lines out of a reported 3000.

One of the things I’ve gradually come to accept, with a lot of reluctance and even more irritation, is that people are always going to find things to fight over. People define their beliefs in part by what they don’t believe in, which means they feel the need to fight with other people with the wrong opinions. Maybe average people are becoming more pluralistic- I’d like to think so. On the other hand that may mean the remaining portion of conservative believers becomes more and more hardcore.

There were several examples in the last couple of years where Europeans were pushing back on Muslim communities. One example that comes to mind is the Swiss bans on minarets. That’s probably examples of the old guard, as you put it, for both Muslims and Christians.

Do you think that it’s maybe the lack of education or exposure that leads people to react with fundamentalism? Could education and exposure then overcome those obstacles?

Well, I don’t think people could accept each other, without at least agreeing on some level.
I bring Parmenides into this because he describes the Absolute in a way that I’ve seen God defined in all major religions. I think that concept of God, together with the good values (brotherhood, unity, charity, etc.) that all religious groups support can be those core values that can lead to acceptance of other religious organizations.
Do you see that as a possibility?