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Published:September 5th, 2009 13:33 EST
Agnosticism and the Universal Validity of All Religions

Agnosticism and the Universal Validity of All Religions

By Sean Beelzebul

There is a Dhammapada of Buddhism which encourages the Buddha`s followers to accept truths they find in other religions, and to not cling excessively to any view. However, there are still Buddhists out there that when confronted with theology, will argue against the belief in God.

One of the reasons I support Agnosticism at this phase in my life (I say phase, as everything changes even personal beliefs) is because I personally do not doubt the existence of a pantheistic, a creator, or even a personal God. Rather, I suspend judgment on all Gods, simply because there are so many of them!

Buddhism is a religion/belief system/philosophy (depends on who you talk to) that I hold very close to my heart. The Buddha`s teachings have rescued me from many a difficulty. Yet, it is generally considered an atheistic philosophy with little concern over a God or Gods. I grew up in a family that desired I choose a religion for myself, and not have it socialized and hardwired into me. I spent most of my early years as an Agnostic, but a very skeptical one.

Since I began studying Buddhism in my early adulthood, I have found that all religions possess a thread that the great Kongzi of Confucianism identified with his own teachings. That thread is called xin " or heart and mind ". In Buddhism this is known as compassion " in Christianity this is known as brotherly love " in Islam this is submission " and the list can go on and on forever. With a few exceptions, all religions (save for maybe, the extreme end of Devil Worship which replaces this thread known as xin " with hatred) can be united by the principles of respect, love and tolerance.

The comparisons go far deeper, and there is an endless array of books on the subject. Hinduism and the Hebrew Kabala can be compared based on the belief in a primordial Godhead; the infinitely old Torah and the infinitely old primordial Aum of the Vedas, were both originally oral traditions. Christianity and Buddhism can be compared on the grounds of Karma; in Buddhism bad or good actions lead to bad or good results, while in Christianity it is indicated that every individual shall reap what they sow when the harvest comes.

Islam and Mohism can be connected on the grounds of self-defense and self-preservation. Confucianism and Taoism not only possessed similarities historically, but were fused together into a new religion with the advent of Neo-Confucianism (see Zhou Dun-yi`s diagram of the supreme ultimate). Sikhism developed to ameliorate the warring Hindu`s and Muslims in India. And there are examples of religious tolerance, comparison and even fusion all over the planet. So why do people still fight over theology?