Lada 🏡 Prkic

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Exclusivity of Truth

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Over many centuries scholars have argued on matters of truth. For some, there is a certain body of knowledge that is absolutely true and not subject to interpretation or consideration of context. For others, all truth is relative and subject to change. There are many philosophical theories and definitions of truth. Each of them gives rise to specific issues and, more often, new theories.

As for religious truths, they are considered infallible and eternal. Many different religions claim to hold the absolute truth, to be the only right religion. A religion that sees itself as absolute takes other religions to be false.

Religious exclusivists believe that only one religion or belief system is true and that one true religion is their own. In more extreme form, they believe that only members of their religion will reach heaven, while others will be doomed to eternal damnation. Exclusivism is expressed in the Roman Catholic dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus (“outside the church no salvation”). Exclusivism is found in all religions and belief groups. 

Since we live in a world of thousands of religions, such exclusionist rhetoric is not rational. And yet, a survey conducted in the US in 2016 found that 84% of those who hold evangelicals beliefs say „a hell is a place of eternal judgment, where God sends all people who do not personally trust in Jesus Christ.“ 

If the followers of each religion hold that their religion is the true one, then how many true religions are there? Accordingly, how many truths are there? Can we say that truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder? 

Today, due to dogmatic abuses of the term, truth has become a questionable term. The essence of organized and institutionalized religion lies in the unquestionable acceptance of a priori truths inherent in religious beliefs that are typically shaped by dogmas imposed by the authority. Dogmas are not limited to religion alone. The basic premise of any dogmatism is; who isn't with us is against us! For if there is only one Truth, then there can be no other and different truth. Dogmatism is, therefore, in its essence exclusive and totalitarian, both in spiritual and political realms. 

In ancient Greek, the meaning of dogma was "something that seems true" or “that which one thinks is true.” Etymologically speaking, a word that once meant a thought or opinion became later a term for infallible truth. 

All genuine Christian dogma can lay no claim to infallibility because it is not the absolute, unadulterated truth of God; rather is it the truth refracted and coloured by the human media of reflection, reason, elaboration, through which it passes. (Samuel MacComb)

I would also add that people who wrote them used the knowledge, beliefs, and philosophies of their time. 

Religions have continually evolved throughout history. Religions are born, grow and die. Some beliefs which were once held to be true are now considered false, and some for which truth is now claimed may be considered false in the future. Dogmas also have been influenced by history and the ongoing development of science.

If I ask some of my beBee friends which religion is the true one (for them), this could be their answers:

@Mohammed Abdul Jawad will say, Islam.

@Fay Vietmeier and @Greg Rolfe will say, Christianity.

Sara Jacobovici (who is no longer on beBee) will say, Judaism.

@Ian Weinberg would most likely say, philosophy and practice of Buddhism. 

@Pascal Derrien will say, none of them.

@Ken Boddie would possibly say that the existence of an all-encompassing hierarchal entity is not known with certainty and with the current level of human knowledge.

I don't know of any beBee friend who is an omnist (one that believes in all religions). :)

Can my friends all be right? If every religion is true, then no one is false. And if no one is false, then it would also be true to say all are false. 


These are only my musings and perhaps biased. I'm comfortable saying: 

I don't know the answer to something that lies beyond the limits of human experience or understanding. 

The existence and nature of the supreme reality are unknowable. How then can humanly formulated truths/claims be applied to this reality as infallible? There is no way to know if they are true or completely mistaken. If you believe in rigid truth claims that it is known what cannot be known, remember that you might be wrong. 

Keep your mind open to reevaluating your ideas about everything. We all have to become aware of the possibility that what we truly believe in may be wrong. It opens doors to new perceptions. 

We'll never have empirical knowledge of religious truths because they promise something that can be fulfilled only in the supernatural life to come. We should challenge our beliefs and have the desire for more knowledge to understand the things around us. It is the eternal path.

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The eternal path to knowledge (Credit: shutterstock.com)

Title image source: https://luvnotestodaughters.wordpress.com/

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Comments
Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

1 day ago #35

always fascinating to read your fascinating buzz @Lada 🏡 Prkic ! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

1 week ago #34

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

1 week ago #33

Whatever one's faith or belief, let him respect that of others, whether he believes in something or not !

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

1 week ago #32

The Oxford dictionaries defines an omnist as "a person who believes in all faiths or creeds; a person who believes in a single transcendent purpose or cause uniting all things or people, or the members of a particular group of people".

Omnism is the recognition and respect of all religions or lack thereof; those who hold this belief are called omnists, sometimes written as omniest. In recent years, the term has been resurfacing due to the interest of modern-day self-described omnists who have rediscovered and begun to redefine the term. Omnism is similar to syncretism. However, it can also be seen as a way to accept the existence of various religions without believing in all that they profess to teach. Many omnists say that all religions contain truths, but that no one religion offers all that is truth. 

🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

1 week ago #31

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

2 weeks ago #30

I never heard of omnist before Lara  now I have :) , I have not heard from Sara J for a few years I have sent personal messages and mails to no avail I hope she is safe and sound

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

2 weeks ago #29

@John Rylance 

I happened upon a quote by you that fits here - I shared it on LI

What is truth? What is right?

The Source of both is found in Light

“I am the Light of men” – Jesus Christ

                                                                                        

“This is the verdict:

Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." - John 3

"The truth only angers .. hurts .. when it challenges a lie you are living." – John Rylance

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

2 weeks ago #28

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 weeks ago #27

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

2 weeks ago #26

#25 @Lada 🏡 Prkic 

Thank you Lada .. for letting me know .. I plan on sharing your fine post.

You know of my faith .. and how I will respond to your excellent post. 

I appreciate very much your deep thinking .. and high attention to detail.💛💛

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 weeks ago #25

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 weeks ago #24

John Rylance

John Rylance

2 weeks ago #23

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 weeks ago #22

John Rylance

John Rylance

2 weeks ago #21

This statement made by Obi-Wan Kenobi in a Star Wars Movie sums up my feelings about truth.

Luke you are going to find the many truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. The truth is often what we make of it. You heard what you wanted to hear, and believed what you wanted to belief.

Another thought regarding truth is deciding whether however convincing someone is they are being economical with the truth (a euphemism often used when they are thought to be lying.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 weeks ago #20

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

I have no connection with a particular religion. I don't feel one has to have religion to have faith. Wonderful post, Lada. 

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

2 weeks ago #18

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

2 weeks ago #17

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

2 weeks ago #16

Greg Rolfe

Greg Rolfe

2 weeks ago #15

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 weeks ago #14

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 weeks ago #13

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 weeks ago #12

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

3 weeks ago #11

@Lada 🏡 Prkic 

First Lada .. how very well you present this great matter “Exclusivity of Truth”

Worthy of an equally thoughtful response.

I will share that @Jim Murray  recently wrote a thought – provoking post “The Trouble with God”

.. I have been in prayerful thought to respond.

Being recently invited to BizCat - will share both here & there “The Trouble with Man” 

.. I mention this because some of your thoughts here echo there .. 

 

This is my (for now) “musing” .. I am biased ..  I, too, am comfortable saying:

In my life journey I have found this Truth:

“It is in Christ that we find out who we are & what we are living for. 

Long before we heard of Him .. he had his eye on us .. designs on us for glorious living.

It is part of the overall purpose that He is working out in everything & everyone.” Ephesians 1 

 

My spiritual-journey .. nor spiritual-journey have been a straight path. 

But looking back I can say with absolute clarity that spiritual rebirth is a supernatural CATALYST in the life journey.

“In His Light .. we have light”

Without that Light .. there is darkness 

But darkness always .. resists the Light  

His Light illuminates understanding .. provides Wisdom that leads to knowledge. 

The worlds concept of “knowledge” .. is much confused by information. Increasingly MIS-information.

 

I say with frequency:

I do not have the answers to many questions .. but I know the ONE who does.

There ARE many things that “lies beyond the limits of human experience & understanding.”

That is both honest & true.

 

I have expressed before

.. there are many truths

.. there is only One Truth 

That One Truth is exclusive.

That One Truth becomes self-evident

.. if only when we have taken our last earthly breath ..

 

God is Truth        

I guess the greater question is about God.

Who is God?

How can the finite .. understand the Infinite?                                                 

Does the clay .. instruct the Potter? 

(when I share this excellent post on LI - I'll let you know)

Greg Rolfe

Greg Rolfe

3 weeks ago #10

Lada, this is a very well presented post.  While the Pope declared that all roads lead to heaven, I must agree with the statement made here, “if all religions are true then none are true.”  The unfortunate truth is that all religions are wrong.  The greatest threat to Christians was the moment Christianity became a religion.  I actually have a couple of sermons on the subject.  You and a couple of the great comments made here touch on the very issue that is created by religion.  Exclusivity.  Yes, each belief system has its own set of foundational beliefs.  And again yes, each has an exclusive “dogma”.  But it is a religion that is the excuse we use to belittle another.  This is of course my personal opinion, but I believe it is upheld by many years of observation.  Keep up the great work!!!!!

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 weeks ago #9

As well as exclusive truths there are sets of Universal Truths.

You name it the Internet will bring up a list of Universal Truths about it.

Here's an example about people.

People want to be respected

People like to be asked not told

People want to know why?

People want options not threats

People want a second chance

 

My opinion is truth can neither be exclusive or Universal. 

A frequently quoted Universal truth is that each day the sun always rises in the east and always sets in the west, yet areas of earth dependant on the time of the year either see or don't see the sun all day.

Let's not forget the truth/belief in Victorian Times that the sun never set on the British Empire.

Any truth is always there to be challenged.

Neil Smith

Neil Smith

3 weeks ago #8

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 weeks ago #7

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 weeks ago #6

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 weeks ago #5

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

3 weeks ago #4

I come from a traditional Spanish family of the Catholic Church, and in Spain baptisms, communions, weddings and funerals are still generally celebrated following the Catholic rite. I am not practicing, I am agnostic, I am very scientific, I am not driven by faith but by the realities that are scientifically probable. But I see religious customs in Spain more as something cultural, as I say baptisms, communions and weddings are celebrated as a family event in which the family gets together and enjoys that day and little else.

Of course, it goes without saying that I respect any belief, as long as it respects my own. When there are people who do not respect yours, their belief becomes not respectable.

Neil Smith

Neil Smith

3 weeks ago #3

This is a difficult subject for some people to talk about because the nature of most belief systems is to actively discourage, sometimes terminally, any questioning of the dominant belief. 

We seem to live in ia time of increasing fear and autocracy in thought and deed. I suspect it will be a long time before public dissent about Islam will be tolerated in Kabul, for example. 

As Portuguese and Spanish historians would tell us though, we have been here before. When the tribunal of the Holy office of the inquisition had unrestricted powers, they used them to stifle dissent and close down any conversation about the church and Spanish Crown that might have even seemed slightly negative. 

I also am an atheist and completely agree that if all faiths are true then none are. 

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

3 weeks ago #2

I gave up arguing about religion many tears ago, Lada. If I were to believe those who follow any of the routine ‘follow my leader‘ dogmas or ‘truths’, then I’m doomed to rot in hell. Well at least I won’t be cold and I’ll be too busy catching up with all my old mates to be lonely or bored. 

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

3 weeks ago #1

@Sara Jacobovici 

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