Isn't All Truth Equally Valid?
A common perception in society today is that "there is no truth". In other words, all views are relative and equally valid. Taking this approach, the view that there is no God is just as valid as the view that there is a God.
However, once we start to ask hard questions we discover that this argument is not as valid as it seems at first sight. For example, the statement that "there is no universal truth" is itself a universal statement. This amounts to accepting the truth of universal statements at one moment, only to deny it in the next! Consider also this question:"Is the view that the earth rotates around the sun as equally valid as the view that the sun rotates around the earth? Both views are held, even today, since some primitive cultures which have not been exposed to Western science hold the alternative view. To state that both of these views are equally valid implies that science is a waste of time.
Consider this other question. Was Hitler right in his belief that Jews, Gypsies and Homosexuals should be destroyed in gas chambers? If you concede he was not right, then it must therefore be concluded that all views are not equally valid. This discussion leads on to another question -do all spiritual paths lead to God? See below.
Do all roads lead to God?
Some religions do not in fact believe that a God exists - Buddhism, for example. It's founder, Siddhartha Gautama, refused to speculate upon the existence of deities, with the result that in many Buddhist countries today no word exists for a supreme, divine being.
Confucianism is an ethical system, rather than a religion and is wholly concerned with man's present well-being within earthly society. It has been said "Had Confucius lived in the 21st century, he would surely have been the patron saint of humanists".
Conversely, Hinduism is a religion which accommodates many gods. It has been said of Hinduism "there are as many gods as there are Indians".
The Christian faith believes there is only one God, who is knowable and hence personal.
In the 19th century, scholars made a determined effort to discover a common essence in all religions. This led to the now well-known metaphor which sees them as so many different paths up a mountain in a variety of ways, but all eventually reaching the summit of God's presence. However this simplistic approach fails to address the fact that some religions believe in one God, some in many gods and some religions believe in no god at all. This raises the following problems:
Can God exist and yet not exist? Can there be a personal god who is not personal? Can it be true at one and the same time that there are many deities but only one? Prince Charles announced in England in 1996 that should he eventually ascend to the British throne he would envisage himself as "defender of faith", rather than "defender of the faith". As journalist Janet Daley pointed out in the newspaper The Daily Telegraph, "You cannot defend all faiths - at least not at the same time - because each has beliefs that render the others false".
The simple fact is that all religions cannot be the same. To be so, they would need to be united on the very issue where they are most widely divided: the existence and nature of God. Theoretically, all religions may be wrong. Logically, they cannot all be right.
Footnote: Christians believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is alive today. The leaders of all other religious movements throughout history are still in their graves. Question: if you come to a road junction and there are two men lying by the side of the road - one is living and the other is dead - which one would you ask for directions?
BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "But Don't All Religions Lead To God?" by Michael Green: from Amazon UK or if in USA from Amazon.com
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