(Original post by James Stewart)
First of all, with respect to religion, some (many) people do ACT on the basis of decisions made within their psychology and their physiology, on faith in the truth of their religious ideology. But if the ideas are not correct or based themselves on 'non-facts,' the consequences can be somewhat damaging to the innocent.
So, at least we should mostly all be able to agree that to approach matters of god we ought to proceed with care and not be cavalier. Even though there is a paradoxic concept contained in many religious systems: that it is, on the one hand difficult to approach the truly divine or even to 'see' god, and yet on the other hand god is always very near...
'Men of old, less sophisticated than we are today, were content to hear the truth, if even from a tree(!), so long as it were in fact true, unlike us who wish to have pomp and extravagant places to have as temples.' Plato.
The first religion is that of a word, unable to be qualified to hold its own essence: we can speak of true love, but there is no such thing as false truth; such a thing is merely false. The first religion of Man, is the religion of truth. And it ought cause no fear to anyone, to confront truth about anything within their own customs and practices of religion. Time itself is very aged. It is certain that many things taken to be certainties inherited to us from the distant past, are full of error, sometimes made that way by the wildly tyranical - despotic rulers who were well aware of the effects of knowledge in the hands of large numbers of the public.
One thing when looked at in one light appears as one thing, and when rotated appears as another. Today, we have inherited not several major religions, but several POLITICAL complexions of ancient religion that are CONNECTED by a single political struggle.
I take the people here to be responsible, motivated by desire for knowledge and truth, and not fanatical or blind followers of slogans and propaganda. Before you proceed further, you should 'google' (or whatever!) the following, to see the DEPTH of political intrigue and emotional violence, that is the the background of much of today's religious dynamic. You can even go into how far Sanskrit is involved with Semitic culture, and so Sanskrit Vedantic or Zend theology is not disconnected here either. However, the following in particular:
Pali Prophecy on the Human Race
All these will give a dimensionality to understanding why politicial intrigue enters into all modern religious arguments. And that's just a beginning.
It is further, virtually impossible to trawl through all the so-called authorities on ancient writing, to discover who does and who doesn't have an ideological agenda.
But whatever the outcome of these investigations by people here - is there anyone here who wishes to stand outside the circle of truth, to promote his or her understandings about the divine? Would you rather be a Jew a Muslim a Christian a Hindu a Shaman a Sikh a Buddhist FIRST, before you wish to be a supporter of truth?
What does your god tell you in this regard?