Motivation .. The love of God or Need of humanity?

Sep 2017
303
Earth
#21
That depends upon how you look at it. Even if we believe that God benefits us, what personal benefits do we really get until after we die, compared to what we have to sacrifice?

I think that was the entire point of Abdu'l-Baha's quote. It all boils down to the next life, a life we are told hardly anything about. We are just supposed to believe it is going to be so much better than this life. :rolleyes:

For self-love is kneaded into the very clay of man, and it is not possible that, without any hope of a substantial reward, he should neglect his own present material good. That individual, however, who puts his faith in God and believes in the words of God—because he is promised and certain of a plentiful reward in the next life, and because worldly benefits as compared to the abiding joy and glory of future planes of existence are nothing to him—will for the sake of God abandon his own peace and profit and will freely consecrate his heart and soul to the common good. - Abdul Baha

For me , what I do is because it is the right thing to do according to Baha'u'llah, not for any reward. I do not even want to live forever in some strange realm. :confused: But I think most people do, so it is my duty to help them attain that if possible.
Been Thinking about what you have been saying in all your posts, what’s your thoughts on ..

Why do most Bahá’í families who have kids become Bahá’í? For instance a family I know has 5 kids and all are devoted Bahá’í ? What’s the chances of them being devoted Bahá’í if they were not raised in that family? How many people in the world will reject Bahá’u’lláh but would have accepted him if they were born in a Bahá’í family ?
 
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#22
Been Thinking about what you have been saying in all your posts, what’s your thoughts on ..

Why do most Bahá’í families who have kids become Bahá’í? For instance a family I know has 5 kids and all are devoted Bahá’í ? What’s the chances of them being devoted Bahá’í if they were not raised in that family? How many people in the world will reject Bahá’u’lláh but would have accepted him if they were born in a Bahá’í family ?
Why do most Christian families who have kids who become Christians? I think most children are going to believe in the religion they were raised with unless they decide to drop out of religion altogether and become a nonbeliever. There are a few exceptions, people who are not happy with the religion they were raised with, so they go looking for another religion.

Unless they are idealists and are looking for a new and different religion that teaches unity and world peace, most people will reject Baha’u’llah and the Baha’i Faith because it is so new and so different from the older religionsand it sounds dreamy to many people, too good to be true. At least that is the way it is now. I am sure that will change in the future.
 
Sep 2017
303
Earth
#23
Why do most Christian families who have kids who become Christians? I think most children are going to believe in the religion they were raised with unless they decide to drop out of religion altogether and become a nonbeliever. There are a few exceptions, people who are not happy with the religion they were raised with, so they go looking for another religion.

Unless they are idealists and are looking for a new and different religion that teaches unity and world peace, most people will reject Baha’u’llah and the Baha’i Faith because it is so new and so different from the older religionsand it sounds dreamy to many people, too good to be true. At least that is the way it is now. I am sure that will change in the future.
Well then if there are people out there who reject Bahá’u’lláh but would be his devoted followers if they were born into a Bahá’í family it seems unjust for them to be accountable.
 
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#24
Well then if there are people out there who reject Bahá’u’lláh but would be his devoted followers if they were born into a Bahá’í family it seems unjust for them to be accountable.
I do not see it that way. The way I see it is that those who were born into a Baha'i family would have an easier time accepting Baha'u'llah for obvious reasons, but most people who become Baha'is were not born into a Baha'i family so that is the exception.

So basically, most people are on a level playing field and they have to do the same searching and overcome the same obstacles in order to find and recognize Baha'u'llah.

One way to look at it is that those who were not born into a Baha'i family had to put forth more effort so they are going to appreciate what they worked for whereas those who were born into a Baha'i family might take the Faith for granted and not appreciate it as much.
 
Sep 2017
303
Earth
#25
I do not see it that way. The way I see it is that those who were born into a Baha'i family would have an easier time accepting Baha'u'llah for obvious reasons, but most people who become Baha'is were not born into a Baha'i family so that is the exception.

So basically, most people are on a level playing field and they have to do the same searching and overcome the same obstacles in order to find and recognize Baha'u'llah.

One way to look at it is that those who were not born into a Baha'i family had to put forth more effort so they are going to appreciate what they worked for whereas those who were born into a Baha'i family might take the Faith for granted and not appreciate it as much.
You believe we have free will to accept Bahá’u’lláh ? Even Bahá’u’lláh in writings says this to a degree but then I am confused at this passage by Abdul Baha which seems to say a child is forced into ignorance and can die that way and it’s the parents fault

It is for this reason that, in this New Cycle, education and training are recorded in the Book of God as obligatory and not voluntary. That is, it is enjoined upon the father and mother, as a duty, to strive with all effort to train the daughter and the son, to nurse them from the breast of knowledge and to rear them in the bosom of sciences and arts. Should they neglect this matter, they shall be held responsible and worthy of reproach in the presence of the stern Lord.
This is a sin unpardonable, for they have made that poor babe a wanderer in the Sahara of ignorance, unfortunate and tormented; to remain during a lifetime a captive of ignorance and pride, negligent and without discernment. Verily, if that babe depart from this world at the age of infancy, it is sweeter and better. In this sense, death is better than life; deprivation than salvation; non-existence lovelier than existence; the grave better than the palace; and the narrow, dingy tomb better than the spacious, regal home; for in the sight of mankind that child is abased and degraded and in the sight of God weak and defective. In gatherings it is ashamed and humiliated and in the arena of examination subdued and defeated by young and old. What a mistake is this! What an everlasting humiliation!

Therefore, the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must train their children with life and heart and teach them in the school of virtue and perfection. They must not be lax in this matter; they must not be inefficient. Truly, if a babe didnot live at all it were better than to let it grow ignorant, for that innocent babe, in later life, would become afflicted with innumerable defects, responsible to and questioned by God, reproached and rejected by the people. What a sin this would be and what an omission!

What’s even more confusing to me is a long with the (apparent) contradiction is Abdul Baha agrees the child is innocent in this matter but still says will be accountable to God. I hate coming across things which are contradictory in the faith I’m trying to understand.

Seems as if the passage is agreeing some people cannot recognise Bahá’u’lláh through their own free will
 
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#26
Click to expand...
You believe we have free will to accept Bahá’u’lláh ? Even Bahá’u’lláh in writings says this to a degree.....
Yes, I think we have free will to accept Baha’u’llah, but that does not that everyone will be “able” to accept Baha’u’llah. Free will is constrained by many factors such as childhood upbringing, heredity, education, adult experiences, and present life circumstances. How “free”we are to accept Baha’u’llah depends upon all those constraining factors.
but then I am confused at this passage by Abdul Baha which seems to say a child is forced into ignorance and can die that way and it’s the parents fault

It is for this reason that, in this New Cycle, education and training are recorded in the Book of God as obligatory and not voluntary. That is, it is enjoined upon the father and mother, as a duty, to strive with all effort to train the daughter and the son, to nurse them from the breast of knowledge and to rear them in the bosom of sciences and arts. Should they neglect this matter, they shall be held responsible and worthy of reproach in the presence of the stern Lord.
This is a sin unpardonable, for they have made that poor babe a wanderer in the Sahara of ignorance, unfortunate and tormented; to remain during a lifetime a captive of ignorance and pride, negligent and without discernment. Verily, if that babe depart from this world at the age of infancy, it is sweeter and better. In this sense, death is better than life; deprivation than salvation; non-existence lovelier than existence; the grave better than the palace; and the narrow, dingy tomb better than the spacious, regal home; for in the sight of mankind that child is abased and degraded and in the sight of God weak and defective. In gatherings it is ashamed and humiliated and in the arena of examination subdued and defeated by young and old. What a mistake is this! What an everlasting humiliation!

Therefore, the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must train their children with life and heart and teach them in the school of virtue and perfection. They must not be lax in this matter; they must not be inefficient. Truly, if a babe did not live at all it were better than to let it grow ignorant, for that innocent babe, in later life, would become afflicted with innumerable defects, responsible to and questioned by God, reproached and rejected by the people. What a sin this would be and what an omission!
In that passage, Abdu’l-Bah a was not referring to a child accepting Baha’u’llah. He was referring to rearing the child in the bosom of sciences and arts. Frankly, I find the passage offensive because it implies that if a child is not reared in the sciences and arts that child would have been better off if it had never been born.Abdu’l-Baha could have found a better way to say that education is important; but besides that, some children who are not educated still end up leading a good life and contributing to society and they can still know and love God and be spiritual. A street sweeper or a janitor might be more spiritual than a physician and or an attorney. The people who should not have be born are evil people who never do anything but harm to others.

I do not think that Baha’u’llah would write such a thing and that presents a problem for me. I think it also presents a problem for the Baha’i Faith. Baha’u’llah gave Abdu’l-Baha a lot of authority and Abdu’l-Baha gave Shoghi Effendi a lot of authority, but they are just humans, and not inerrant or infallible; yet as Baha’is we are supposed to consider their Writings the same as the Writings of Baha’u’llah?
What’s even more confusing to me is a long with the (apparent) contradiction is Abdul Baha agrees the child is innocent in this matter but still says will be accountable to God. I hate coming across things which are contradictory in the faith I’m trying to understand.
It says if a child is not taught virtues and perfections the child will be responsible to and questioned by God and reproached and rejected by the people when he becomes an adult. Whereas that might be true, I do not think that God would hold the adult who was not raised properly fully accountable for the deficit in character. Moreover, anyone can change as an adult and acquire virtues and perfections, although it is not easy.
Seems as if the passage is agreeing some people cannot recognise Bahá’u’lláh through their own free will.
No, I do not think this passage has anything to do with people recognizing Baha’u’llah.
 
Jul 2017
229
Kettering, Ohio USA
#27
It is for this reason that, in this New Cycle, education and training are recorded in the Book of God as obligatory and not voluntary. That is, it is enjoined upon the father and mother, as a duty, to strive with all effort to train the daughter and the son, to nurse them from the breast of knowledge and to rear them in the bosom of sciences and arts. Should they neglect this matter, they shall be held responsible and worthy of reproach in the presence of the stern Lord.
This is a sin unpardonable, for they have made that poor babe a wanderer in the Sahara of ignorance, unfortunate and tormented; to remain during a lifetime a captive of ignorance and pride, negligent and without discernment. Verily, if that babe depart from this world at the age of infancy, it is sweeter and better. In this sense, death is better than life; deprivation than salvation; non-existence lovelier than existence; the grave better than the palace; and the narrow, dingy tomb better than the spacious, regal home; for in the sight of mankind that child is abased and degraded and in the sight of God weak and defective. In gatherings it is ashamed and humiliated and in the arena of examination subdued and defeated by young and old. What a mistake is this! What an everlasting humiliation!
Therefore, the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must train their children with life and heart and teach them in the school of virtue and perfection. They must not be lax in this matter; they must not be inefficient. Truly, if a babe did not live at all it were better than to let it grow ignorant, for that innocent babe, in later life, would become afflicted with innumerable defects, responsible to and questioned by God, reproached and rejected by the people. What a sin this would be and what an omission!
In that passage, Abdu’l-Baha was not referring to a child accepting Baha’u’llah. He was referring to rearing the child in the bosom of sciences and arts. Frankly, I find the passage offensive because it implies that if a child is not reared in the sciences and arts that child would have been better off if it had never been born. Abdu’l-Baha could have found a better way to say that education is important; but besides that, some children who are not educated still end up leading a good life and contributing to society and they can still know and love God and be spiritual. A street sweeper or a janitor might be more spiritual than a physician and or an attorney. The people who should not have be born are evil people who never do anything but harm to others.

I do not think that Baha’u’llah would write such a thing and that presents a problem for me. I think it also presents a problem for the Baha’i Faith. Baha’u’llah gave Abdu’l-Baha a lot of authority and Abdu’l-Baha gave Shoghi Effendi a lot of authority, but they are just humans, and not inerrant or infallible; yet as Baha’is we are supposed to consider their Writings the same as the Writings of Baha’u’llah?
Abdu'l-Baha also said to nurse them from the breast of knowledge. Later He said to teach them in the school of virtue and perfection. Therefore it was not just science and arts that the child was to be educated in.
 
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