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Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
01-31-2010, 03:49 PM (This post was last modified: 01-31-2010 10:27 PM by Venedi Sporoi.)
Post: #1
Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
Religious inclusionism is the belief that other religions contain at least some glimpse at the truth, or are fundamentally true, even if one clings to the belief of one's own religion first and foremost. While some are bound to think you are new-age if you start going on about a vague "higher power" or Gods as "energies" that fit like puzzle pieces into the supreme Godhead (like my girlfriend does) I think it eases up a lot of the conflict and disparity between the many religions, and I do think it plausible to a degree. For hard polytheists, the answer was that other people knew different Gods, or even the same by other names. To me, neither is wholly true; I am I, and you are you, no matter what single essence permeates all beings. Individuality persists, and must be recognized- if for you and me, then even moreso for Gods.

What's more, the concept of all worship running into the same stream like tributaries is not as new-age as some would believe. To most, it has an "eastern" ring to it; as the Rig Veda says, "The truth is one though sages call it by many names." Yet following the dawn of philosophy, even our western forebearers considered such notions.

Maximus of Tyre, in about 200 B.C., wrote;

"God himself- the father and fashioner of all things, that is, older than the sun or the sky, greater than time or eternity, etc... is unnameable...- but we, being unable to apprehend his essence use the help of sounds and names and pictures, of beaten gold and ivory and silver, of plants and rivers, mountain peaks and torrents, yearning for knowledge of him, and in our weakness naming all that is beautiful in this world after his nature- just as happens to earthly lovers. To them, the most beautiful sight will be the actual form of the beloved, but for rememberance' sake they will be happy with the sight of...- anything in the world that awakens the memory of the beloved. Why should I further examine and pass judgment upon images? Let men know what is divine, let them know; that is all. If a Greek is stirred to remember of God by the art of Pheidias, or an Egyptian by paying worship to animals, another man by a river, another by fire- I have no anger for their divergences; only let them know, let them love, let them remember."

Where do you draw your circle of inclusion, if at all? Around the abrahamic faiths? The abrahamic faiths plus Zoroastrianism? Or are you as inclusive as Maximus? When, if ever, does it go too far? What gap is there between linking religions in theory, and actually doing so in practice?
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01-31-2010, 06:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
(01-31-2010 03:49 PM)Venedi Sporoi Wrote:  Religious inclusionism is the belief that other religions contain at least some glimpse at the truth, or are fundamentally true, even if one clings to the belief of one's own religion first and foremost. While some are bound to think you are new-age if you start going on about a vague "higher power" or Gods as "energies" that fit like puzzle pieces into the supreme Godhead (like my girlfriend does) I think it eases up a lot of the conflict and disparity between the many religions, and I do think it plausible to a degree. For hard polytheists, the answer was that other people knew different Gods, or even the same by other names. To me, neither is wholly true; I am I, and you are you, no matter what pantheistic God we dwell inside of. Individuality persists, and must be recognized- if for you and me, then even moreso for Gods.

What's more, the concept of all worship running into the same stream like tributaries is not as new-age as some would believe. To most, it as an "eastern" ring to it; as the Rig Veda says, "The truth is one though sages call it by many names." Yet following the dawn of philosophy, even our Western forebearers considered such notions.

Maximus of Tyre, in about 200 B.C., wrote;

"God himself- the father and fashioner of all things, that is, older than the sun or the sky, greater than time or eternity, etc... is unnameable...- but we, being unable to apprehend his essence use the help of sounds and names and pictures, of beaten gold and ivory and silver, of plants and rivers, mountain peaks and torrents, yearning for knowledge of him, and in our weakness naming all that is beautiful in this world after his nature- just as happens to earthly lovers. To them, the most beautiful sight will be the actual form of the beloved, but for rememberance' sake they will be happy with the sight of...- anything in the world that awakens the memory of the beloved. Why should I further examine and pass judgment upon images? Let men know what is divine, let them know; that is all. If a Greek is stirred to remember of God by the art of Pheidias, or an Egyptian by paying worship to animals, another man by a river, another by fire- I have no anger for their divergences; only let them know, let them love, let them remember."

Where do you draw your circle of inclusion, if at all? Around the abrahamic faiths? The abrahamic faiths plus Zoroastrianism? Or are you as inclusive as Maximus? When, if ever, does it go too far? What gap is there between linking religions in theory, and actually doing so in practice?

What is being called "inclusionism" here or ecumenicalism or religious tolerance is not true to the way human beings think about their spiritual relationships with God. The human mind is biologically locked into the trial by combat mode for determining who leads the social pack and who doesn't. Abrahamic religions have been at war with every other religious way humans interact with the spiritual realm since the Torah was written and it is the same situation today where we see Jews and Christians lining up against Muslims and Muslims lining up against Muslims with slightly differing beliefs. Christians were at this stage themselves not many centuries ago. I don't think it's possible for Abrahamic believers to mellow out enough to let slide their religious warfare commandments that push them into battling each other and non-Abrahamics. I think the old fashion trial by fire is the only way the problems of religious warfare will ever stop. Someone has to establish leadership of all religions to unite them together and that means someone, someone willing to challenge the old bulls has to step into the Arena and fight to overthrow the existing authorities. For us Christians Jesus did that by deliberately challenging the Alpha rulers of his day, the Roman Empire's man in Jerusalem and the Jewish Sanhedrin. He was tried and convicted and to all intents and purposes seemed to lose the confrontation with these established old bulls but God pulled a fast one and Jesus establishes a new precedent: Don't fight. God will see to justice in the end. And it worked! Took about three hundred years but lowly Christianity overthrew that ancient world's super power, the Roman Empire.
Jesus wasn't interested in "many ways to God" but only one way to the Father, through him, a spiritual/humanitarian wisdom that can be learned through the Biomystical interpretation of Jesus' sacrifice because only Jesus taught men how to "win" in the Arena of hard men by deliberately "losing" or not playing the vicious animal alpha male territorial battling war games.
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01-31-2010, 11:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2010 01:56 AM by Venedi Sporoi.)
Post: #3
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
Inclusivism, then, if one wants the name of the wikipedia page. Yes, if there's one thing that put a bullet between the eyes of what had been budding in the heads of thinkers like Maximus up to the height of the Roman Empire, it was Christianity. One can see it in direct opposition to Christianity in Celsus' True Doctrine.

I wouldn't contrast it with the Roman Empire it conquered though; in many ways the spread of Christianity through Europe was just a continuation of the Roman conquests, and a logical conclusion of romanization in the sense that it was spread politically, militarily, or otherwise arrived with other Roman ideas (This alphabet, for instance). An exclusive religion like Christianity is very good one to take authority from, or to unite people, which is easily demonstrated by the holy empires of Europe. I think that stigma of the aggression in exclusivism is getting strong enough that more and more people might not want to gravitate towards any one truth. I think over time, for better or for worse, people will get less specific about where their religious allegiance lies, just because it seems a much neater theology overall to reconcile them.
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02-07-2010, 03:42 PM
Post: #4
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
yes , it is good
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02-07-2010, 04:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
(01-31-2010 11:10 PM)Venedi Sporoi Wrote:  Inclusivism, then, if one wants the name of the wikipedia page. Yes, if there's one thing that put a bullet between the eyes of what had been budding in the heads of thinkers like Maximus up to the height of the Roman Empire, it was Christianity. One can see it in direct opposition to Christianity in Celsus' True Doctrine.

I wouldn't contrast it with the Roman Empire it conquered though; in many ways the spread of Christianity through Europe was just a continuation of the Roman conquests, and a logical conclusion of romanization in the sense that it was spread politically, militarily, or otherwise arrived with other Roman ideas (This alphabet, for instance). An exclusive religion like Christianity is very good one to take authority from, or to unite people, which is easily demonstrated by the holy empires of Europe. I think that stigma of the aggression in exclusivism is getting strong enough that more and more people might not want to gravitate towards any one truth. I think over time, for better or for worse, people will get less specific about where their religious allegiance lies, just because it seems a much neater theology overall to reconcile them.

Golden Rules are found in most major religions yet followers still commit acts of violence. Only when the "satanic verses", i.e., the verses in religious doctrines that historically have inspired great violence in believers, are ignored because they are recognized as primitive responses of ancient men to threats to their territorial control, will there be peace and goodwill between all.

However, there is a reason why one cannot make a blanket judgment that all religions are for the good of society because historically one can see that they are not at all. Old Testament Judaism's Mosaic Law teaches a level of violence towards backsliders that cannot be tolerated in modern society which protects human rights. Same for Islamic Sharia Law. And as a Christian, I know that only Jesus Christ taught the spiritual truth found in the Son of Man tradition as well as the "biomystic" way of overcoming male territorial conquest and control behavior that underlies most all social violence being done in the world. This why "One way" to the Father of wisdom and compassion through Jesus Christ is true for me. No other spiritual avatar gives this knowledge as did Jesus Christ. I can nod in appreciation of other religionists conforming to their Golden Rules but for deep knowledge of who and what God is, why we are here and where we are going, I have learned to rely on the teachings of Jesus who alone seems to have been given the deeper knowledge of God and God's relationship to humanity that is needed to change the world.
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02-08-2010, 02:38 PM
Post: #6
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
The issue of inclusion or exclusion is related to the issue of revelation. Cetainly Christians accept God's revelation to the Hebrew people, though we interpret it differently, and of course we cherish own own New Testament. Beyond that, Christians generally admit that all truth is God's truth, and we are happy to find elements of truth in faith traditions other than our own. I haven't read much of the Hindu sacred texts, but the few I have read remind me of Aesop's Fables, and I find similar degrees of truth and literary merit in both. There are also some aspects of Buddhist philosophy that demonstrate wisdom. On the other hand, I have tried very hard to find at least something of worth in the Islamic writings, but so far that search has been elusive.

http://www.biblicaltraining.org/ --- http://www.ntwrightpage.com/
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02-08-2010, 06:07 PM
Post: #7
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
(02-08-2010 02:38 PM)Stereophonic Wrote:  The issue of inclusion or exclusion is related to the issue of revelation. Cetainly Christians accept God's revelation to the Hebrew people, though we interpret it differently, and of course we cherish own own New Testament. Beyond that, Christians generally admit that all truth is God's truth, and we are happy to find elements of truth in faith traditions other than our own. I haven't read much of the Hindu sacred texts, but the few I have read remind me of Aesop's Fables, and I find similar degrees of truth and literary merit in both. There are also some aspects of Buddhist philosophy that demonstrate wisdom. On the other hand, I have tried very hard to find at least something of worth in the Islamic writings, but so far that search has been elusive.

Gnostic Christians never did accept the Hebrew revelations of God and rightly so as these "revelations" turn out to be tribal myths, much of which is borrowed from ancient pagan sources reworked and pawned off as Hebrew history. Gullible Christians accept these Hebrew tales as true history but not we Gnostics.
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02-08-2010, 07:41 PM
Post: #8
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
(02-08-2010 06:07 PM)biomystic Wrote:  ...Gullible Christians accept these Hebrew tales as true history...

On the Reliability of the Old Testament

http://www.biblicaltraining.org/ --- http://www.ntwrightpage.com/
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02-08-2010, 10:53 PM
Post: #9
RE: Inclusionism- Good or Bad?
(02-08-2010 07:41 PM)Stereophonic Wrote:  
(02-08-2010 06:07 PM)biomystic Wrote:  ...Gullible Christians accept these Hebrew tales as true history...

On the Reliability of the Old Testament

I will stick to professional archeologists and historians who do not come to their research with an Evangelical Christian bias as does the author of the linked book. I mean, really, are we to believe the earth is 7,000 years old or Adam and Eve are the progenitors of all human beings or the world was covered with a flood and Babylonian Utnapishtim, oops, Hebrew "Noah" saved all the animals? Or the Egyptian pyramids and monuments were built by Hebrew slaves? Or that over a million escaped Hebrews could feed themselves in the desert for 40 years and evade Egyptian patrols all that while? Or Abraham moving from Iraq supposedly around 1800 to 2200 BC leaves Ur of the Chaldeans when the Chaldean Dynasty was a thousand years later?

Gullible Christians and Muslims too, take the Bible's tall tales as real history. But few of the people whose ancestors wrote these myths do. They've learned better.
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