All those religions throughout the world, there are countless examples. The vast majority might best be described as local, to a specific group of people. Most religions have no written texts and are beliefs that are passed down from generation to generation.
There are countless belief systems, some based on history or events, others based on myth. Yet others are created, not to draw people to God, but to control them.
How to separate truth from fiction is difficult, especially on a post-truth society, where the loudest lie on the television or internet becomes a fact. Therefore you don’t need believe anything in this blog, but please research it for yourself.
Which religion is true?
The question becomes “which one is the truth?” You have to become a detective. Like any good detective story, you have to assemble information, follow the clues and make conclusions.
Sometimes you get sidetracked or you discover that your conclusions were wrong. But don’t despair. We all learn from our mistakes.
This leads us to an important starting point. Be inquisitive. Don’t go into your investigation with preconceived ideas. Keep an open mind and collect data. An essential fact to consider is that two people can look at the same evidence and arrive at completely different conclusions.
It’s not that one is stupid or sloppy in their research. They just see it differently. Think of this in terms of scientists trying to find a cue for a disease. There’s trial and error and studies to be done. It’s a process.
Therefore, it is important to gather solid information. Studying God is no different. Ask questions and question answers. Ask God. Maybe you are unsure if there even is a God and that’s okay. Then you might ask, “if you’re out there, help me see who you are.”
Your must have a plan for seeking the truth
You need a plan. Let’s put three elements in place to establish a framework for seeking truth. For starters, is the religion logical and consistent? Look for contradictions and flaws in logic.
One religion, for example, calls for a person to rid themselves of all desire. But to do that, they first have to have a desire and then try to rid themselves of it? What desire? Eating? Sleeping? Happiness? It’s illogical. Humans have desires.
Next, you have to have some data to support or findings. You need proof. If you make a claim, be prepared to back it up. If you can’t, you’re probably on the wrong path. EXCEPTION: You cannot prove the existence of God. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t very strong evidence.
Religion should answer big questions
Any religion has to answer some big questions. Where did I come from? How should I live? What purpose is there for my life? Where am I going? From these questions come hundreds more. It’s like pealing an onion.
Is there absolute truth?
Another key question; is there absolute truth, something that in all times and places is always true? Or does truth vary depending on circumstance or which country your in? If there is no such thing as “absolute truth?” We will never know anything for sure. It can become an endless litany of asking more questions because you cannot arrive at a conclusion.
Some people believe that all truth is relative. If that is the case, then is it universally true that there is no absolute truth? If your answer is yes, then there is an absolute truth; that there are no absolutes.
Absolute truth eliminates the alternatives. No other view can be real. Absolute truth is narrow and our emotional feeling and desires, no matter how sincere, are either true or false. In comparing religions you might see beliefs that are similar. But we cannot change truth.
People can be manipulated into believing a lie, but something that is true cannot be made false. Remember that the next time someone tells you want to think.
To be continued on next blog: All Those Religions… Which One is True? Part Two.