Is One Religion Superior to the Other?
Instructor: Thomas McKenna
First we need a working definition of the term religion. The word religion has its roots in Latin, the language of the Romans, so understanding how the Romans defined the concept should help us to understand our topic. By its wording, the original question assumes that religion is a noun applied to distinct social bodies in the world, such that you can be a member of one only if you are not a member of another. In rephrasing the original question as “Are you religious?” you are no longer treating religion has a noun, describing something you join. Instead, you are treating it as adjective, describing an attitude toward the human condition-a way of seeing, acting, and experiencing all things. In most times and places people did not think of their practices as “as a religion”-a separate reality they had to choose over and against another. Today in Japan, for instance it is possible to follow Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism at the same time. This seems odd from the monotheistic perspective of Western religions, where one can be, for instance, either a Muslim or a Jew but not both at the same time. And yet, paradoxically, Jews and Muslims claim to worship the same God. (Pg.5, 6, 7) An example of the world religion Buddhism it has no written rules. Buddhism is based on self-discovery. Does this mean that Buddhism is less superior to those who believe in Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Confucianism or any other religion? Everyone has the right to pick his/her own religion. Religions today are very diverse. Religion as a form of human experience and behavior, therefore, is not just about purely “spiritual things. Religion is not just about gods or God. People’s religiousness over the millennia and across the earth has proven to be as diverse as the forms of power they believe govern human destiny.
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