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Old 02-06-2018, 10:58 AM   #1
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Why do all the world religions contradict themselves?

It seems to me that the religions of the world are not only contradictory to one another but are also extremely detailed in their contradictions TO one another. If God sent Manifestations to humanity and ultimately, religions formed around each one, why were the contradictions allowed to exist? Why didn't God just set it all right from the get go?
 
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:59 PM   #2
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Many different factors contribute to the whole answer. As a result, each answer will raise new questions. I will try to answer the question and all the questions that answer will raise in a general sense. Though if you want more specific answers you will need to specify an example you have in mind.

There are roughly two types of revealed divine knowledge: Law and Metaphysics. Law is advice on how to live. Metaphysics are basic facts about how the world works. We'll need to examine both contradictory Law and contradictory Metaphysics in order to fully answer this question.

Contradictions in Law are the easiest to answer for. A property of our world is Change. Things are in motion, not static. Seeing as this is the case, and the world and its conditions are constantly in a state of change, the only thing that makes sense in terms of a divine Law is a Law that is updated periodically to account for the changes in the world.

Like, say you have a thing that is toxic for humans to eat. It makes sense, then, to give a Law telling them not to eat it. But lets say humans then develop a technology that would make it safe to eat. Then logically the purpose of the Law is gone and it should be updated assuming God is a rational actor.

For this reason, it wasn't really possible for "God (to) just set it all right from the get go", because doing so would necessitate writing a law something like "You are forbidden from eating (X) until such a time as you have developed (a technology that does not exist yet), which is (description of the technology that humans don't understand yet)". If you did such a thing, the law would read as complete nonsense to any person who did not have knowledge of the future. So that won't work. The only thing that would work is if you have an easily readable Law that you update as necessary.

You can realize further examples where Laws would be nonsense without certain technology and thus could not be revealed until that technology existed. How on earth would you communicate the idea of setting aside a fixed sum of your wealth for charity before mankind has come up with the idea currency??

For metaphysical contradictions, I'd say it boils mostly down to problems of communication. The reason for such contradictions, I think, boils down to the game of "telephone", where each person repeats a phrase to another person down the line, and the phrase at the end will be vastly different from the one at the beginning.

That's why, religiously, you can have the Proto-Indo Europeans spreading across the earth and have the Avatar of God Krishna in India become one of two Twin Divine Horsemen in Latvia, despite both figures originating from the same original ancient mythos. Stories change as they are repeated, and religion only really becomes solid when literacy is developed and propagated.

For other historical examples, this is what a European historian imagined a Walrus should look like based on the descriptions that spread via word-of-mouth:


With the walrus we have objective proof that a story even spread a short distance through Europe can warp a walrus into... some sort of scaly sea-boar/lizard thing...

These are the base reasons why religions will fundamentally contradict. Word of mouth distorts stories and facts. In addition to that, due to the fundamental nature of Change, it is necessary that Law must be revised over time.

Revisions + Distortions = Contradictions

This, I think leads to two questions:

1) Why are human communication errors allowed by God?

2) Why is Change a fundamental aspect of our world?

Annnd... I'm out of time for today, and can't elaborate on those questions now. I'll try to tackle them tomorrow.
 
Old 02-07-2018, 06:24 AM   #3
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To what you said must be added that the original scripture is interpreted and the scripture is in figurative language. The people that follow the Manifestation have always interpreted it wrong, usually by being literal. Also the scripture is revealed in a way that relates to the culture involved and addresses their concerns, and the concerns of each culture is somewhat different.

Last edited by Duane; 02-07-2018 at 06:28 AM.
 
Old 02-09-2018, 12:13 PM   #4
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In Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, section 87, Baha'u'llah addresses the differences in various cultures about the age and origin of the earth. He openly acknowledges the contradictions, and then says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baha'u'llah
Please God thou wilt turn thine eyes towards the Most Great Revelation, and entirely disregard these conflicting tales and traditions.
So while he didn't explain away everything in detail, he did encourage us to focus on God's message for us in this day, the Baha'i revelation.

I'm not sure if that's good enough for you, but Baha'u'llah did address the subject.
 
Old 02-10-2018, 01:01 AM   #5
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Eternal truth doesn't change e.g. "love thy neighbor as thyself".

Social laws change e.g. the legality or acceptable conditions of divorce or prohibition of some foods etc.

It's said that in science you must compare (find similarities) as well as contrast (find differences). The excessively proud only contrast too greatly to promote their sense of self importance, or to justify undue suffering or other reasons based upon a world view that doesn't see with equanimity.

To only compare has the opposite failing of appearing as too Pollyanna, blind optimism without understanding.

Therefore Jesus was to have said "be wise as serpents but harmless as doves" likewise did Baha'u'llah write the like of "The best beloved thing in my sight is Justice, by its aid you shall see with your own eyes and not the eyes of your neighbor..."
 
Old 02-16-2018, 08:59 AM   #6
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You said it yourself. Religions genuinely contradict each other, they make competing truth claims that cannot be reconciled.
 
Old 02-16-2018, 09:15 AM   #7
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May be the followers contradict each other, inter faith and also Intra faith ( various sects).
 
Old 02-16-2018, 02:01 PM   #8
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If the scriptures of a faith appear to contradict, there is almost always an alternate way to interpret it. Do not take everything at face value, essentially That is the reason why people say so many religions contradict. People really seem to like having literal interpretations as opposed to symbolic ones that make them think. Most contradictions are not really contradictions, just misinterpretations. Or maybe I'm insane from doing little aside from almost exclusively just studying religion for a couple years, haha. Either way, I hope I could help with your question
 
Old 02-16-2018, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
If the scriptures of a faith appear to contradict, there is almost always an alternate way to interpret it. Do not take everything at face value, essentially That is the reason why people say so many religions contradict. People really seem to like having literal interpretations as opposed to symbolic ones that make them think. Most contradictions are not really contradictions, just misinterpretations. Or maybe I'm insane from doing little aside from almost exclusively just studying religion for a couple years, haha. Either way, I hope I could help with your question
Where both the literal and Symbolic interpretation of two respective traditions contradict each other, you have a genuine contradiction which cannot be resolved.

Jesus encouraged celibacy for instance. Muhammad discouraged it. A genuine contradiction both spiritually and literally.
 
Old 02-16-2018, 10:13 PM   #10
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"Knowledge is a single point but the ignorant hath multiplied it."
 
Old 02-17-2018, 12:07 AM   #11
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"O CHILDREN OF VAINGLORY! For a fleeting sovereignty ye have abandoned My imperishable dominion, and have adorned yourselves with the gay livery of the world and made of it your boast. By My beauty! All will I gather beneath the one-colored covering of the dust and efface all these diverse colors save them that choose My own, and that is purging from every color." Hidden Word Baha'u'llah.

Regards Tony

Last edited by tonyfish58; 02-17-2018 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Page Number removed
 
Old 02-17-2018, 12:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
Where both the literal and Symbolic interpretation of two respective traditions contradict each other, you have a genuine contradiction which cannot be resolved.

Jesus encouraged celibacy for instance. Muhammad discouraged it. A genuine contradiction both spiritually and literally.
Dispensational laws.

Edit:
Also, there's probably hundreds of ways to interpret verses, not just one symbolic and one literal.

We have to keep in mind the age in which the messages were brought, and the societies they were brought to in those ages. Various things may have applied to a previous dispensation that no longer apply.

Last edited by Saveyist; 02-17-2018 at 12:50 PM.
 
Old 02-17-2018, 03:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
Dispensational laws.

Edit:
Also, there's probably hundreds of ways to interpret verses, not just one symbolic and one literal.

We have to keep in mind the age in which the messages were brought, and the societies they were brought to in those ages. Various things may have applied to a previous dispensation that no longer apply.
"Thus it is recorded: "Every knowledge hath seventy meanings, of which one only is known amongst the people. And when the Q'im shall arise, He shall reveal unto men all that which remaineth." He also saith: "We speak one word, and by it we intend one and seventy meanings; each one of these meanings we can explain." (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 254)

Regards Tony
 
Old 02-17-2018, 04:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
...a genuine contradiction which cannot be resolved...
you're absolutely right, you really have discovered a lot of contradictions all over the place --rejoice because this is not a wall you've run into, it's an open door to a freeway onramp!

Reality is full of contradictions --love is pain and love is pleasure. Light is a wave and light is a particle --let's go w/ the science bit because that's where contradictions leading to understanding can be a lot of fun.

Matter and energy are different because energy is a flow but matter has a known place in time right? Except that an electron (matter) is also a wave --imagine you were on a nano scale & had a basket ball sized electron. It would also be a wave 20 MILES LONG! If you threw the basket ball thru a hoop there may be another hoop billions of miles away that the same ball is also going thru --that's what happens when u toss an electron thru a two-slit interference ( http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/images/interference.gif )

Reality is really a kick --we can't understand it all but we still have to deal with it.
 
Old 02-17-2018, 08:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
Dispensational laws.

Edit:
Also, there's probably hundreds of ways to interpret verses, not just one symbolic and one literal.

We have to keep in mind the age in which the messages were brought, and the societies they were brought to in those ages. Various things may have applied to a previous dispensation that no longer apply.
A post-modernist who believes in no limit to interpretation can interpret any statement however they want I suppose. You can interpret my words to be the exact opposite if you wish, but it wouldn't count for much to the obvious reading of them and how I am actually contradicting you.

As for dispensations, I don't buy that reasoning. Did human Kind's lust become so uncontrollable by the time Muhammad came along that God had to discourage celibacy which till that point he celebrated and was honoured the in the Church? Perhaps it only displays that the Muslim revelation was not capable of giving people self control.
 
Old 02-18-2018, 05:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
Where both the literal and Symbolic interpretation of two respective traditions contradict each other, you have a genuine contradiction which cannot be resolved.

Jesus encouraged celibacy for instance. Muhammad discouraged it. A genuine contradiction both spiritually and literally.
Where did Jesus encourage celibacy? If He did, I don't know about it.
 
Old 02-18-2018, 06:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Where did Jesus encourage celibacy? If He did, I don't know about it.
Yeah, I was wondering about that one too. All I was able to find was in Matthew 19:1-12 where He said "hey, if you can do it then GO FOR IT!".

Or words to that affect....
 
Old 02-18-2018, 10:19 AM   #18
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3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female"

5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?

6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

7“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

10The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.

12For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”




Therefore he clearly expressed that faithfulness is the requirement, not celibacy. Celibacy being an acceptable remedy for the difficulty of marriage union being too hard for some. Likewise celibacy is preferred elsewhere in examples where the marriage prevents one from coming to God through Christ. If one can be faithful to their spouse and God both, then celibacy separating those married partners is not encouraged.

Last edited by EphemeralVapor; 02-18-2018 at 12:31 PM.
 
Old 02-18-2018, 11:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
A post-modernist who believes in no limit to interpretation can interpret any statement however they want I suppose. You can interpret my words to be the exact opposite if you wish, but it wouldn't count for much to the obvious reading of them and how I am actually contradicting you.

As for dispensations, I don't buy that reasoning. Did human Kind's lust become so uncontrollable by the time Muhammad came along that God had to discourage celibacy which till that point he celebrated and was honoured the in the Church? Perhaps it only displays that the Muslim revelation was not capable of giving people self control.
Maybe the society was less advanced. Or the opposite where they outgrew the use of such a law. Dunno, just spit balling. Keep in mind the society that Muhammad preached to. He didn't travel the world preaching to all corners of the globe, he gave a message in a specific age to the people around him, particularly around Mecca. So what were they like, not humankind as a whole? It's not that the Qur'an isn't for all humankind, but it's that the message was founded in a certain society with certain ideals. Think kinda like the old Testament VS the New.


I really don't know what to tell you if you don't think that the laws change as time goes on, adapting to the needs of the society, lol.

Last edited by Saveyist; 02-18-2018 at 12:01 PM.
 
Old 02-18-2018, 10:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Where did Jesus encourage celibacy? If He did, I don't know about it.
Matthew 19 and the words of Paul in 1 Cor 7. To remain unmarried is good for Paul though he allows marriage as a concession to natural human weakness. Point is Christianity took the idea of consecrated virginity very seriously and did not disparage it as Islam and Bahai later did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
Maybe the society was less advanced. Or the opposite where they outgrew the use of such a law. Dunno, just spit balling. Keep in mind the society that Muhammad preached to. He didn't travel the world preaching to all corners of the globe, he gave a message in a specific age to the people around him, particularly around Mecca. So what were they like, not humankind as a whole? It's not that the Qur'an isn't for all humankind, but it's that the message was founded in a certain society with certain ideals. Think kinda like the old Testament VS the New.


I really don't know what to tell you if you don't think that the laws change as time goes on, adapting to the needs of the society, lol.
We know of Arab Christians quite capable of living the celibate life (John of Damascus) so even if the teachings of Muhammad were limited only to Arabs (certainty Muslims never thought that) that calls into question the notion that the teachings of the New Testament could not be observed by the Arabs. There were Arabic Christian tribes after all before Islam.

Still, the point is there are real contradictions that exist between religions and explaining away the difference of morals by saying times change or that certain revelations are given to certain people, doesn't make much sense when we see that Islam and Christianity both claim to be universal instead of Just local (like we see in the Torah with the Jews).

Islam and Christianity present two competing views of the world in their moral outlook which cannot be explained away by the passage of time or relative morality.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 12:48 AM   #21
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Have not divers opinions and commentary come through the ages on the same words of scripture? Shall believers remain true to the Founders intent 100% of the time for 100% of individuals a thousand or 2 thousand years hence?

What merits could come of such indistinct conformity when no grace is allotted?

Surely it's possible for the Founders to agree in relation to Themselves while the following crowds clamor about disputing Their intent and purpose.

Know of a certainty that whatever creed of faith, or lack thereof, a person calls themselves by, whether atheist, agnostic, deist, theist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian etc. their worth is proven by their humility, wisdom, devotion, promotion of knowledge and loving kindness to their fellows in words and deed.

The audible and written names people adhere to are merely a label and not the essence, value or purpose of a thing ... Muslim means believer, Christians are believers as are Jews, Jains, Hindus, Buddhists etc each according to what they are aquatinted with modified by their own nature, history, memory, customs, actions, comprehension etc. Each has excellencies and weaknesses according to the virtues and limits inherited by the variance of natural conditions throughout time.

Eliminate time and space, is not all of the something that is existence One? Should all information be placed into the light of the universe and be compressed (that is sanctified from the concept of distance and separation) into a single point and amplified to infinite energy, both the phase where the peaks and troughs of those energy waves overlapping due to the closeness, would it not appear as the Potential of all things and yet be sanctified from all conception of light and dark, near and far, past and future?

Consider then what is meant by that single Message which must needs be various in appearances in this conditional realm where everything is known by its own distinction in time and place and the apparent reality of many worlds. The soul has appeared in each of those worlds and in each has its own station that is ever in that one Unseen reality.

In each and every one of those realms you will not escape your station whether you reduce self to a sorry germ or become for a time praised by all the outward conditions of that particular appearance of the soul, unless and until you conform to the Lord of that Domain and enter the presence of your Lord, the Unseen ... When that Domain appears full and complete that Domain of the Lord gives way to the new Appearance for a new fullness to be fostered in the next Domain, which in this world is called a new Earth.

Such is the way of things in my estimation.

Blessings upon you and your kindred.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 07:57 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
Islam and Christianity present two competing views of the world in their moral outlook which cannot be explained away by the passage of time or relative morality.
I want to focus on that one phrase I underlined above, "which cannot be explained away by the passage of time".

Oh??

Because in only three hundred years after being established by Jesus, Christianity itself presented two competing views of the world. Two radically divergent views. On one side you had Trinitarian Christians who preached that Jesus was Literally God, on the other hand the Arian Christians who preached that Jesus and God were plainly and evidently separate beings.

If a mere three hundred years was sufficient for at least half of Christianity to become fundamentally wrong about the identity of Jesus himself, to the point where a heated council and persecutions against the Arians were necessary to resolve this difference in worldview, then I think history has shown it is fairly easy for the passage time to create vast differences between a religion and the message of its founder.

After all, three hundred years was sufficient to cause confusion within Christianity about the identity of the founding figure himself.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 08:58 AM   #23
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I want to focus on that one phrase I underlined above, "which cannot be explained away by the passage of time".

Oh??

Because in only three hundred years after being established by Jesus, Christianity itself presented two competing views of the world. Two radically divergent views. On one side you had Trinitarian Christians who preached that Jesus was Literally God, on the other hand the Arian Christians who preached that Jesus and God were plainly and evidently separate beings.

If a mere three hundred years was sufficient for at least half of Christianity to become fundamentally wrong about the identity of Jesus himself, to the point where a heated council and persecutions against the Arians were necessary to resolve this difference in worldview, then I think history has shown it is fairly easy for the passage time to create vast differences between a religion and the message of its founder.

After all, three hundred years was sufficient to cause confusion within Christianity about the identity of the founding figure himself.
The Arians and Nicenes represent two sides of a debate happening within the Church since Jesus asked Peter who he was. It was crucial this question be answered especially in order to deal with the strange reality that Christians in both the liturgies of those whom were Arian and Nicene were singing hymns unto Christ.

We can actually trace the development of Nicene theology and I won't deny that the Apostles didn't speak as Athanasius of Augustine might have but that is not the same as saying those later authors contradicted the earlier message. Rather the necessity of solving a theological problem forced the definition of the issue of the Trinity to be brought to bare and the irreconcilable contradiction lead to the exclusion of the other from the Church. Those who held a middle position of Homoiousious could please neither side and consequently had no lasting influence (at least the arians managed to convert some Germanic tribes like the Visigoths).

Besides I didn't bring up a Christological example, i brought up a moral example of just how divergent two traditions can be. I can be more specific and suggest that since Islam never distinguished between the state and the religion it was essentially necessary Islam would spread as it did, by conquest and the right of Muslims to subjugate and bring the world into the Islamic Ummah. Christianity while it did accept the state eventually, was never dependant on it for it's existence, as the first three hundreds and the existence of Christian communities under non Christian political authorities show.

I find it still a weak attempt to appeal to the passage of time to explain why religions contradict each other, as if in their original hypothetical pure forms they all blend together and don't really contradict. The point is, at their earliest points the character of Islam and Christianity is markedly different. Paul speaks a lot about freedom from the law in Christ, it is clear there is a new covenant a new way of doing things. Islam seems like a retrogression on the other hand, almost like a second Torah with it's many rules and ignoring of what we received in Jesus Christ.

I would also correct you that the Nicene party was subject to numerous persecutions, especially before Theodosius, Athanasius being a prime example of what happened to a Bishop who refused the Arian line.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 10:37 AM   #24
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God giving Moses a like message to that of Mohammed proves that God couldn't have given it to Mohammed because one came first in time and the latter had a much wider spread?

God giving Paul through the power of Christ to speak of the fruits of the Spirit as being above the (former} law proves that God can not have his message fit for the hearer?

Having cleansed oneself by humility and the grace of God of their former dictates one is indeed free from the outer vessel in favor of the pure living waters within except as to not appear as to sin before men as Paul taught.

Therefore if Paul taut that the outer conditions need to not appear as sin to others for the sake of their guidance, how more so for the inner meanings thereof that speak of those living waters, fire and the holy spirit! Or do you try and read Galatians and ignore his other works where he says that if to eat meat or drink were to cause his friends of the faith to be unsettled from that faith he would refrain from them for their sake?

Likewise for their sake has God prescribed ordinances to protect from the appearances sin within and without the vessel of mankind and you may judge the value thereof but should you denounce the Source, you do so at your own peril.

May you be preserved and truly understand universally the meaning of the beatitudes - a generous truth that falls upon all who accept it without judgement toward others as being unworthy because their mind varies from yours, though all are of the same dust and spirit.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 11:53 AM   #25
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Let me sum this up for you...

Round 1:
-A property of our world is change, laws are updated to account for that change
-Further, setting all the laws from the very beginning is not feasible because it would confuse people much more than it would help them
-Stories are revised and distorted, leading to contradictions in ideas
-Scriptures are interpreted, not set in stone, and it relates to the culture it came from.

Response:
-Religions contradict

Round 2:
-The followers contradict each other
-There are numerous ways to interpret scripture, most contradictions are misinterpretations and not genuine contradictions.

Response:
-There's contradictions though even with symbolism

Round 3:
-Laws change specifically with each renewed dispensation
-Reality itself is contradicting
-Messages are founded in distinct ages and cultures

Response:
-Limitless interpretations are incorrect (Also, congrats, cause that's not even what I said)
-I don't believe that laws change through time
-Does humanity just suck at self control? (The answer is yes)
-People before those ages were pretty good already at following the laws
-Therefore, because people were there first there's no need for new laws, as a result they must be right because there's contradictions in religion
-The contradictions can't be explained by time

Round 4:
-The condition of the world when a message is delivered is important in realizing why laws change
-The passage of time quite easily splinter a religious group like the Christians, being the group prior to the one being discussed


Response:
-The splinters happened because of an important question
-There isn't a contradiction in later (non-divine) authors with earlier scripture, trying to answer a question made them splinter into contradicting sides
-Islam spread through conquest
-I don't really think change through time is valid
-The Qur'an's not like the Bible so it probably isn't right

I'm not sure if you're really this stubborn, or just trolling at this point. First... of course the content of the Qur'an will differ from the New Testament. Just like the Baha'i writings differ from the Qur'an. Like we've been saying this whole time:
Different times, different needs.

I think this is /thread

Last edited by Saveyist; 02-19-2018 at 11:55 AM.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 05:08 PM   #26
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I'm not sure if you're really this stubborn, or just trolling at this point. First... of course the content of the Qur'an will differ from the New Testament. Just like the Baha'i writings differ from the Qur'an. Like we've been saying this whole time:
Different times, different needs.

I think this is /thread
I am entirely sincere. The bold words simply need to be proved, especially with respect to the examples given.

As for you summerizing my argument as the statement "religion contradicts," I thank you but you have missed the points I have made in establishing such a premise. The Bahai have explained away the contradictions by appealing to a post-modern interpretation (there are many interpretations as we want) and by suggesting a moral relatively dependant on the age and the people receiving it. These seem to me unconvincing especially when we place the claims of Christianity at it's earliest point with the claims of Islam at it's earliest point as see the dissimilarities which cannot be resolved by either the appeal to evolving morals (which will be discarded upon the next manifestations arrival so they aren't all that valuable) or the appeal to multiple interpretations (which means in reality there is no real interpretation we can make of anything).

Why not respond to my actual points? Let's consider one example. You believe in an evolving moral relativity. Times change, God's morality changes with the desires and abilities of the people. God with the advent of Christianity encouraged monogamy and Celibacy. Muhammad comes and God does away with Celibacy and gives Muhammad permission to marry as many women as he wants, allows Islamic men to have up to four wives and as many servants as a man's right hand might possess. Mirza Hussain comes, does away with Polygamy, excoriates Christian Celibacy and institutes Mongamy again.

To me these are simply different religions making different and contradictory claims about the nature of human sexuality and how best to deal with it. Christianity above all encouraging restraint but giving allowance for human weakness (so much so that even a wife has sexual rights over her husband). Islam though not limitless in it's sexual freedom allows a Muslim man to have as many sexual partners as he might desire and up to four wives, seemingly to appease a man's generally great sexual desire. Bahai seems to not believe in the human capacity for celibacy and would encourage every man and woman to marry but also returns to the older Christian ethic of monogamy instead of the Polygamous Muslim one. I don't find it convincing to explain these substantially difference answers on what we are to do with our sex drives as being subject to different needs at different times. There was no contradiction in Christianity's sexual ethic that should have allowed men to marry up to four wives and allow intercourse with as many women servants as a man can possess. Muhammad being a product of his Arabic culture simply followed what his ancestors had done, not what God expects us to do. If this offends then so be it but it makes more sense than suggesting this is how God actually operates.

I have not misrepresented the respective traditions, so I am wondering how you are going to harmonise them.

Last edited by Iconodule; 02-19-2018 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Clarification
 
Old 02-19-2018, 06:59 PM   #27
Jcc
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Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
I am entirely sincere. The bold words simply need to be proved, especially with respect to the examples given.

As for you summerizing my argument as the statement "religion contradicts," I thank you but you have missed the points I have made in establishing such a premise. The Bahai have explained away the contradictions by appealing to a post-modern interpretation (there are many interpretations as we want) and by suggesting a moral relatively dependant on the age and the people receiving it. These seem to me unconvincing especially when we place the claims of Christianity at it's earliest point with the claims of Islam at it's earliest point as see the dissimilarities which cannot be resolved by either the appeal to evolving morals (which will be discarded upon the next manifestations arrival so they aren't all that valuable) or the appeal to multiple interpretations (which means in reality there is no real interpretation we can make of anything).

Why not respond to my actual points? Let's consider one example. You believe in an evolving moral relativity. Times change, God's morality changes with the desires and abilities of the people. God with the advent of Christianity encouraged monogamy and Celibacy. Muhammad comes and God does away with Celibacy and gives Muhammad permission to marry as many women as he wants, allows Islamic men to have up to four wives and as many servants as a man's right hand might possess. Mirza Hussain comes, does away with Polygamy, excoriates Christian Celibacy and institutes Mongamy again.

To me these are simply different religions making different and contradictory claims about the nature of human sexuality and how best to deal with it. Christianity above all encouraging restraint but giving allowance for human weakness (so much so that even a wife has sexual rights over her husband). Islam though not limitless in it's sexual freedom allows a Muslim man to have as many sexual partners as he might desire and up to four wives, seemingly to appease a man's generally great sexual desire. Bahai seems to not believe in the human capacity for celibacy and would encourage every man and woman to marry but also returns to the older Christian ethic of monogamy instead of the Polygamous Muslim one. I don't find it convincing to explain these substantially difference answers on what we are to do with our sex drives as being subject to different needs at different times. There was no contradiction in Christianity's sexual ethic that should have allowed men to marry up to four wives and allow intercourse with as many women servants as a man can possess. Muhammad being a product of his Arabic culture simply followed what his ancestors had done, not what God expects us to do. If this offends then so be it but it makes more sense than suggesting this is how God actually operates.

I have not misrepresented the respective traditions, so I am wondering how you are going to harmonise them.

I think the correct way to see this is to not just focus on the differences between Christianity and Islam with respect to marriage and sexual relations. You clearly do not recognize Divine authority in Islam, but do you recognize Divine authority in the Laws of Moses? Yet, there were clear differences between the laws of Moses and those of Jesus (yes, Jesus did ordain laws). In particular, the laws which God revealed to mankind through Moses permitted polygamy, divorce and concubines. You state above that it was because of the "hardness of the hearts" of the Israelites. Whatever the reason, God permitted it. Then, with the coming of Jesus those practices were forbidden. And then with Muhammad they were permitted again. It's fair to wonder why these things could be permitted after Jesus abolished them, perhaps it is because of the hardness of the hearts of the Arabs.

You use the term moral relativity, which could be applied when comparing the Old Testament and New Testament. That is not the same as moral relativism which some people use to define their own personal morality. You should understand clearly that Baha'is do not believe in moral relativism. We are clear that the source of morality is God, we don't get to make up our own standards.

One example of where God has moved beyond the teachings of the New Testament is slavery. Slavery was permitted by every religion, including Christianity, but is strictly forbidden by Baha'u'llah. Of course, Christians these days all agree that slavery is evil and should be forbidden, but the Bible does not forbid slavery, neither did the Church, and for 1800 years Christians practiced it. How could they have practiced such a patent evil if they were the followers of Christ? I guess you could call it moral relativity.

Last edited by Jcc; 02-19-2018 at 07:04 PM.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 10:47 PM   #28
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Joined: Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
I think the correct way to see this is to not just focus on the differences between Christianity and Islam with respect to marriage and sexual relations. You clearly do not recognize Divine authority in Islam, but do you recognize Divine authority in the Laws of Moses? Yet, there were clear differences between the laws of Moses and those of Jesus (yes, Jesus did ordain laws). In particular, the laws which God revealed to mankind through Moses permitted polygamy, divorce and concubines. You state above that it was because of the "hardness of the hearts" of the Israelites. Whatever the reason, God permitted it. Then, with the coming of Jesus those practices were forbidden. And then with Muhammad they were permitted again. It's fair to wonder why these things could be permitted after Jesus abolished them, perhaps it is because of the hardness of the hearts of the Arabs.

You use the term moral relativity, which could be applied when comparing the Old Testament and New Testament. That is not the same as moral relativism which some people use to define their own personal morality. You should understand clearly that Baha'is do not believe in moral relativism. We are clear that the source of morality is God, we don't get to make up our own standards.

One example of where God has moved beyond the teachings of the New Testament is slavery. Slavery was permitted by every religion, including Christianity, but is strictly forbidden by Baha'u'llah. Of course, Christians these days all agree that slavery is evil and should be forbidden, but the Bible does not forbid slavery, neither did the Church, and for 1800 years Christians practiced it. How could they have practiced such a patent evil if they were the followers of Christ? I guess you could call it moral relativity.
A good and interesting response but I will challenge it nonetheless. The law of Moses was not given to mankind but to the Jews who showed themselves incapable of following the strictures of the law and failed to be beacons to the rest of mankind. The Torah's permission of polygamy while it did exist is also balanced by the Torah's depiction of Polygamy as something not all that good. Wherever it was practised in the lives of the Patriarchs it lead to human discord, unnecessary competition between wives competing for the affection of their husband and a great deal of misery. Yes the law changed between the revelation of Moses and Jesus but we see a development here which is positive and explanatory, a return to first principles in Christianity's insistence on Monogamy which was something God intended from the beginning. The law of Christ was something substantially different than the Torah of the Jews, it was not a set of legal codes one must abide by but primarily driven through faith, as Paul demonstrates in Galatians. But what constituted the need for strict shariah or the various Islamic principles I've discussed in Christianity? Can we not agree Christian Monogamy was better than Islamic Polygamy? Did God have to do away with the freedom he had given us in Christ and bind us in Shariah?

To then introduce Islam as a true religion, makes no sense to me given what Christianity actually accomplished. You want to criticise Christianity for it's allowance of slavery yet by the end of the middle ages slavery in Europe was virtually non-existent, only becoming prominent in the colonies. It was the fourth century Christian Gregory of Nazianzus who wrote one of the harshest criticisms of slavery as something contradicting the very core of the faith. It was Christian Britain who bought slaves their freedom and abolished it within the empire. In Islam, slavery is something which can never be done away with, since the Quran assumes it and is a problem even in today's Islamic world. Given the bahai premise of evolving religion or progressing religion, how is it the Islamic world falls behind what the older revelation Christendom received? To me the answer is simple, the Islamic God is not the God of Christendom.

Finally with regards to moral relativity I don't know what else to call it. Morals change I am told depending on the age and the people receiving them. They seemingly shift back and forth between wildly different schemas for how people ought to operate. Jewish Torah. Buddhist Self denial. Christian freedom, then strict Islamic Shariah follow by a less strict (and less violent) Bahai faith. What is the end if it is not a moral relativity not determined by an ultimate goal but by the expediencies of the time?

Last edited by Iconodule; 02-19-2018 at 10:50 PM.
 
Old 02-19-2018, 11:47 PM   #29
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Posts: 28
Have you taken the meanings of the Quran from Wikipedia and the diverse sectarian views contained within?

Deuteronomy speaks of a Prophet like unto Moses that would come later.

You do know that even in the interpretation of making concubines of slaves mentioned ... Even that assumed interpretation was conditioned upon the wife's approval elsewhere? In fact sex outside marriage was considered forbidden, chastity was enjoined outside of marriage. When a person of age was found to have sex before marriage they were lashed ... and then given the funds out of the state coffers to pay for marriage if they didn't have the means. Mohammed said no more than 4 wives, yes, but He conditioned that on treating them equally ... Then saying that they could not treat all the wives equally ... Logically following that polygamy was not enjoined if the believer were true.

Slavery was given many ways to be ended in the Quran, slaves freed, but only the basest of people can read into it "eisegesis" ways to enjoin it.

Mohammed only had children with 2 women, his first wife died before his second marriage ... All the other were a woman from each tribe of the Arabs that their tribal feuding would end because all were made one family. Political marriages without sex, when one wife was found with another man she was brought before Muhammad ... Did he condemn her or stone her? No, he simply said that women should be humble and cover their heads... How is that so different than Christ saying "let him who is without sin cast the first stone!", the woman the being freed from the mob Christ said "Go on your way and sin no more."?

Did you know that Muhammad Himself said to the effect of "If you divide into sects you will become known as the worst people of the earth." to his own followers? Sectarian violence was cemented into place 666 years after the star of Christendom appeared by someone who crowned themselves king in Jerusalem. Perhaps you've heard of the Umayyad Caliphate? By force he took the throne neither abiding the ecumenical leaders chosen by the people nor the lineage of Imams chosen by the Prophet\God.

This after Mohammed had upon conquering his enemies which chased and attacked him and the companions through the dessert after they went into exile peaceably for more than a decade before he consented to holy war, had told his followers the like of "The lesser jihad (physical warfare) is over, now you must fight the greater jihad (the war against the evil within yourselves)".

You see unreconciled differences only because you want to believe calumnies and caviling of unjust and corrupt wolves both with and without the name Islam and there are indeed many such sources to pull from. If you search for things reprehensible spoken of about Muhammad for his claimants and detractors words and actions you could not exhaust the limits thereof if you search every waking hour of every day of the remainder of your life.

An abundance of calumnies in no wise makes them true.

For a more meaning full discourse see things like this:
The Promulgation of Universal Peace | Bahမ Reference Library

If these things are acceptable to you go in, if not there's no ill will if you continue to turn away.

Last edited by EphemeralVapor; 02-20-2018 at 12:01 AM.
 
Old 02-20-2018, 01:03 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EphemeralVapor View Post
Have you taken the meanings of the Quran from Wikipedia and the diverse sectarian views contained within?

Deuteronomy speaks of a Prophet like unto Moses that would come later.

You do know that even in the interpretation of making concubines of slaves mentioned ... Even that assumed interpretation was conditioned upon the wife's approval elsewhere? In fact sex outside marriage was considered forbidden, chastity was enjoined outside of marriage. When a person of age was found to have sex before marriage they were lashed ... and then given the funds out of the state coffers to pay for marriage if they didn't have the means. Mohammed said no more than 4 wives, yes, but He conditioned that on treating them equally ... Then saying that they could not treat all the wives equally ... Logically following that polygamy was not enjoined if the believer were true.

Slavery was given many ways to be ended in the Quran, slaves freed, but only the basest of people can read into it "eisegesis" ways to enjoin it.

Mohammed only had children with 2 women, his first wife died before his second marriage ... All the other were a woman from each tribe of the Arabs that their tribal feuding would end because all were made one family. Political marriages without sex, when one wife was found with another man she was brought before Muhammad ... Did he condemn her or stone her? No, he simply said that women should be humble and cover their heads... How is that so different than Christ saying "let him who is without sin cast the first stone!", the woman the being freed from the mob Christ said "Go on your way and sin no more."?

Did you know that Muhammad Himself said to the effect of "If you divide into sects you will become known as the worst people of the earth." to his own followers? Sectarian violence was cemented into place 666 years after the star of Christendom appeared by someone who crowned themselves king in Jerusalem. Perhaps you've heard of the Umayyad Caliphate? By force he took the throne neither abiding the ecumenical leaders chosen by the people nor the lineage of Imams chosen by the Prophet\God.

This after Mohammed had upon conquering his enemies which chased and attacked him and the companions through the dessert after they went into exile peaceably for more than a decade before he consented to holy war, had told his followers the like of "The lesser jihad (physical warfare) is over, now you must fight the greater jihad (the war against the evil within yourselves)".

You see unreconciled differences only because you want to believe calumnies and caviling of unjust and corrupt wolves both with and without the name Islam and there are indeed many such sources to pull from. If you search for things reprehensible spoken of about Muhammad for his claimants and detractors words and actions you could not exhaust the limits thereof if you search every waking hour of every day of the remainder of your life.

An abundance of calumnies in no wise makes them true.

For a more meaning full discourse see things like this:
The Promulgation of Universal Peace | Bahá’ Reference Library

If these things are acceptable to you go in, if not there's no ill will if you continue to turn away.

Well the verse I am appealing to in my understanding of Islam's treatment of women captives seems fairly obvious from the Sahih translation.

The Quran seems quite explicit that married captives are permitted to Muslim men here. The Specific phrase from Sahih translation being "And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess." 4:24

Given that later on it forbids sexual liaison with married women I take this to mean those women whom the Muslim captures in warfare who are married to non Muslims. Muslim women are protected to the extent they should be married but not non Islamic captives of war. Certainly Islamic commentators aren't shy on this point, especially ancient ones like Al Jalalayn.

"And forbidden to you are wedded women those with spouses that you should marry them before they have left their spouses be they Muslim free women or not; save what your right hands own of captured slave girls whom you may have sexual intercourse with even if they should have spouses among the enemy camp but only after they have been absolved of the possibility of pregnancy after the completion of one menstrual cycle;"

Certainty this wasn't something the later Islamic world objected, such as in Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem where the violation of women was celebrated by Muslim sources.

Also, what is your source that Muhammad did not have relations with his wives? Many Muslims seem proud of their Prophet's sexual vitality and even boast if it. The Quran tells Muhammad that they were lawful to him in Surah 33:50 which consequently also re-affirms 4:24 that those captured in warfare. You yourself admit Muhammad had children with two wives and if polygamy only in the sense of sexual relations with more than one woman is implicitly forbidden in Islam, why did Muhammad violate this implicit implication? I think you want to read into Islam a Moral standard which does not exist, since the moral foundations are so completely different.

I doubt we are going to agree on Islam so I would only ask, given that morality is fluid, changing from one generation to the next, or in the case of Bahai one Manifestation to the next, what does it matter if my telling is true? Hypothetically if I am correct regarding Islam's essential character, that shouldn't pose a problem to the Bahai conception of the world should it?
 
Old 02-20-2018, 04:08 AM   #31
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Joined: Feb 2018
From: Arizona-but earth is one homeland ;)
Posts: 28
So if a Christian marries, a partner dies, the remaining partner remarries later that is polygamy? That is what you accuse of Mohammed now...

Even the Mathew 19 you yourself refer to as foundational to your supposed proof of the difference between Christian and Muslim theology refutes your presumption.

From the beginning of creation they were made one flesh yet does Moses who comes later from that beginning of Genesis where monogamy is prescribed with no divorce as Jesus Himself attests, bring divorce and other seemingly adulterous laws from the standard from the beginning due to the hardness of their hearts... and yet you insist that what Jesus said Himself happened in your very foundational reference, that Moses coming later gave laws that were backwards as compared to the beginning could happen ever at all..?

All that notwithstanding, the fact that Muhammad having by the commonly purported standard by you and the like the right to every wife and slave, being able to have children, only ever had children with two women one wife after the first wife's death and therefore sequential and not concurrent\polygamous...

It is frankly shameful that someone so well written needs so much explained in the most explicit step by step terms... It is only because you seek to dispute idly.

Now go on your way and be content and self satisfied as any pearls cast before you are as the Gospels speak of you.

Last edited by EphemeralVapor; 02-20-2018 at 04:47 AM.
 
Old 02-20-2018, 05:00 AM   #32
Jcc
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Originally Posted by Iconodule View Post
A good and interesting response but I will challenge it nonetheless. The law of Moses was not given to mankind but to the Jews who showed themselves incapable of following the strictures of the law and failed to be beacons to the rest of mankind. The Torah's permission of polygamy while it did exist is also balanced by the Torah's depiction of Polygamy as something not all that good. Wherever it was practised in the lives of the Patriarchs it lead to human discord, unnecessary competition between wives competing for the affection of their husband and a great deal of misery. Yes the law changed between the revelation of Moses and Jesus but we see a development here which is positive and explanatory, a return to first principles in Christianity's insistence on Monogamy which was something God intended from the beginning. The law of Christ was something substantially different than the Torah of the Jews, it was not a set of legal codes one must abide by but primarily driven through faith, as Paul demonstrates in Galatians. But what constituted the need for strict shariah or the various Islamic principles I've discussed in Christianity? Can we not agree Christian Monogamy was better than Islamic Polygamy? Did God have to do away with the freedom he had given us in Christ and bind us in Shariah?

To then introduce Islam as a true religion, makes no sense to me given what Christianity actually accomplished. You want to criticise Christianity for it's allowance of slavery yet by the end of the middle ages slavery in Europe was virtually non-existent, only becoming prominent in the colonies. It was the fourth century Christian Gregory of Nazianzus who wrote one of the harshest criticisms of slavery as something contradicting the very core of the faith. It was Christian Britain who bought slaves their freedom and abolished it within the empire. In Islam, slavery is something which can never be done away with, since the Quran assumes it and is a problem even in today's Islamic world. Given the bahai premise of evolving religion or progressing religion, how is it the Islamic world falls behind what the older revelation Christendom received? To me the answer is simple, the Islamic God is not the God of Christendom.

Finally with regards to moral relativity I don't know what else to call it. Morals change I am told depending on the age and the people receiving them. They seemingly shift back and forth between wildly different schemas for how people ought to operate. Jewish Torah. Buddhist Self denial. Christian freedom, then strict Islamic Shariah follow by a less strict (and less violent) Bahai faith. What is the end if it is not a moral relativity not determined by an ultimate goal but by the expediencies of the time?
Just because mankind can't see what the ultimate goal is of the series of religious systems that have appeared over the millennia, doesn't mean that God doesn't have an ultimate goal. Every one of the religions shows an ultimate goal, and they appear to be divergent, or at least different. The resolution of these differences can be found in the Bible, as well as in other scriptures. The key is to know that the Word of God revealed through the Prophets describes spiritual realities and is intended for the spiritual growth and development of mankind. Growth is a continual process, and just as in our own lives we know that it involves ups and downs, we encounter dilemmas, and ambiguity, we fall down and get up again. This is the lesson from the Old Testament. The road to Caanan is not a straight line, neither for Abraham, nor Moses.

So, what's your opinion of slavery and why Christians practiced it for 1800 years?
 
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