A guest post by Jordan Esmay

A friend of mine who was visiting this weekend told me about a conversation she was having with her coworkers about religions/philosophies.  The conversation was basically the same as many that I have had before.  Once into a conversation on religion or philosophy and how truth is tied into it, someone usually makes a comment such as, “How can you claim to know everything”  or “there are many paths up the same mountain” or “everyone looks to the same god, but with a different perspective” or retell the story about four blind philosophers wandering into the field, touching an elephant, and each stating it is something different.  These statements are supposed by the person stating them, that they are not only arguments but good ones.  Of course, these are not always the responses to the Christian, but they have been extremely common to me; coming from junior high students to college professors and “pastors”.

The problem that lies in these arguments is that the person making them is appealing to objective reality to say that they know that we cannot know.  No one is claiming to know everything, just something.  There are not many paths up the same mountain; people make extremely polar statements that cannot be reconciled anywhere or ever and most definitely can not go up the same mountain of truth…claims will either go up that mountain or fall to their death.  To state that everyone religion is worshiping the same god is downright offensive to everyone on the planet (and astronauts).  The claims of religions are separate and distinct at their core, albeit may have some superficial similarities.

If you haven’t guessed yet, I am more of a “discuss in the comments section”.  That’s why my posts are fairly loose.

With Love,
Jordan

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2 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. “To state that everyone religion is worshipping the same god is downright offensive to everyone on the planet (and astronauts)”…

    OK… So let’s suppose I don’t know what you mean there… Suppose I am a little thick and I take everything literally. If in reality everyone is not worshipping the same god, does that mean there are many gods ? More than one in any case ?… Hum !!! (Smile).
    I know what you mean though. It’s the multiple perceptions of the same god that cannot always cohabit. We cannot be right in believing that God is all about love and forgiveness if we have to believe as well that the same god would want to eliminate those who disagree with us. It’s a contradiction of sorts. And if God cannot be one thing, it’s less than perfect. So He cannot be a mountain of contradictions. He would not require of us one thing and its exact opposite. So somewhere out there, some of us have difficulty perceiving the true essence of God. To put it bluntly, some are right, and others, well, a little off the right track. Some have eyes to see, and ears to hear, while others hallucinate. Not very politically correct, is it ?
    I suppose it is important to not be arrogant with a superior attitude otherwise, preaching by example would give a totally wrong, patronizing impression to those who are waiting at the foot of the mountain, away from any given track, just waiting for someone to beckon and invite them on the right path….
    Regards,

  2. Catherine, hi,

    Are you making an argument of some kind? I ask because I don’t know.

    I’m a rambler most of the time, so if I’m not getting what you’re saying please let me know.
    “It’s the multiple perceptions of the same god”
    Not exactly what I was saying. The quote that you took out of my post is exactly against that statement. The reason I did not capitilize “god” in my post is because I was being general and not referring to the creator of the universe, but instead a group of things that pretend to be gods or things that people try to make into gods. Actually, the idea that we all perceive the same God in different ways is what is wrong…not the claims of each religion themselves per se, but the idea that all the claims are parts of a whole. They are not parts, they are distinct wholes. I am claiming that the God of everything has shown himself in nature, through history, and in the Bible. Islam for example makes extremely different claims. For someone to tell a Muslim that he is really worshipping my God is an insult to his intellect. The insult is an intellectual one.

    You seem to be asking two different questions, “If in reality everyone is not worshipping the same god, does that mean there are many gods?”
    Yes, everyone (in groups that is) is NOT worshipping God, let alone the same gods. No, that does not mean there are multiple gods…just multiple people not worshipping the only God.

    As to being patronizing and arrogant, well, I try to give leway when having conversations because I can be patronizing and arrogant. But, just like I’m not going let myself continue being patronizing or arrogant I’m also not going to let other get away with being patronizing and arrogant. Making a claim or an arguement is not patronizing and arrogant…otherwise the person stating that it is patronizing and arrogant is also making a claim/argument and being patronizing and arrogant also.

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