How do you compare a world religion to other religions? We asked the people who believe why their faith is true as opposed to another.
This is going to be interesting! How do you compare various religions? How do you view the similarities or differences? The good news is that 99% of people want to live in peace and get on with their lives.
Doogle.com tries to generate more ‘light than heat’ on such subjects. The issues below are readily discussed on numerous websites elsewhere. The views below were found by asking groups from one faith why they thought their belief was ‘true’ and the other faiths were not*.
In alphabetical order:
Atheism isn’t a ‘belief’. It’s simply saying the chance of any ‘supreme being’ is so unlikely it’s almost non-existent. Since we know how we got here and that life and morality are derived from ‘survival of the fittest’ then it explains the complexity of life.
Atheism also generally believes that since there is no God then religion is a delusion.
Objections to Atheism
Most religions encourage science and agree on 99% of confirmed scientific studies. Science is great for answering ‘how’ questions but cannot answer ‘why’ questions. It should come as no surprise then that atheists conclude that life has no purpose or meaning.
Atheists often claim ‘the whole scientific community’ agrees with them which simply isn’t true. Atheism is a ‘blind faith’ since various claims to support atheism are not supported by the scientific community.
Buddhism doesn’t claim a belief in a ‘God’ as such but rather a lifestyle to liberate the mind from anguish. It emulates the life of Buddha but has origins in Hinduism. Central to a Buddhist view is to seek Dharma (insight) and not to cause suffering. Humans have free will and the law of karma operates in human existence. This force allows humans to escape the cycle of Karma (death and rebirth).
Objections to Buddhism
The lifestyle associated with the ‘Four Noble Truths’ is generally found in most religions and observed by a majority of people without the need to be Buddhist. This is also true for ‘The Noble Eightfold Path.’ With no belief in a ‘supreme being’ then Buddhism is purely a lifestyle with some merit. Since Buddhism is based on Hinduism the same objections to Buddhism apply to its authenticity. Most other religions seem to agree that Buddhism promotes a peaceful existence.
Christianity focuses on the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians claim that Jesus is the only way to God by accepting personal repentance for sins and accepting Jesus Christ into your life. The life and teachings of Jesus (such as ‘love your enemy’) have generally been a very positive influence throughout history.
Objections to Christianity
Jesus’s resurrection is contested in Islam. The Bible is generally made from collections of books which were made to ‘fit’ narratives required at the time.
Christian Leaders (particularly in the US) have played on the weak or vulnerable for personal gain. Claims for miracles or ‘personal revelation’ seem to be highly dubious.
Hinduism is firmly connected with Indian nationality based on the Rig Veda containing knowledge based on narratives about many gods. Practising Hindus pass through 4 stages of life known as ‘ashrama’.
Objections to Hinduism
Since science, evidence or reason are not necessary to become a Hindu then it is hard to compare whether Hinduism is true, rather a connection with India as being the motherland.
Hinduism claims to be the oldest religion based on religious artefacts (i.e. idols) which are not allowed in other religions. The cycle of Karma may discourage caring for the poor.
Islam claims that Muhammad was the last prophet from Allah who sent the Qur’an to fulfil all previous texts. Islam covers all areas of life in accordance with the Qur’an and Hadith. Islam believes in the ‘oneness’ of Allah and that all prophets sent before Muhammad are to be honoured.
Objections to Islam
Numerous texts written at the time of Muhammad show that if he was alive today his lifestyle would be described as that of a warmonger and a paedophile. The claim that Muhammad was ‘good’ is heavily outweighed by this.
The Qur’an seems plagiarized from other sources available at the time with numerous errors.
Islam does not permit criticism of Muhammad or the Qur’an meaning Muslims are generally scared to openly question their prophet or book.
Jews generally believe they are God’s chosen people. Central is the following of the Torah (and Talmud) but also of the restoration of Zion (Israel). The Messiah had not yet come since he would bring peace to Earth which hasn’t happened.
Judaism shares the Torah with the first 5 books of the Bible.
Objections to Judaism
Although Jews have been chosen by God for a special purpose, God does not have a favourite nation. Jews separate themselves from Muslims and Christians based on the identity of Jesus.
How the survey was conducted
We asked groups to compare what they believed with how they viewed other religions. We used their own words and ‘Collins Gem Religions of the World’ to try to see how they thought about how they were represented and how other religions were represented. We also asked for their favourite YouTube channel or website to represent their views.