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Thread: Religious Conflicting Similarities

  1. #1

    Religious Conflicting Similarities

    My comment on the False Teachings thread that said it's more likely to have conflict with those like you than those different from you, including and especially groups, got me to thinking. Historians out there, isn't it more likely to have conflict between religions more similar than different? Off the top of my head I can think of the Crusades where the theistic Muslims and Christians fought, yet they have the same God, and there are episodes of inter-Buddhist conflict, but I can't think of hardly any conflicts between theistic and Buddhist or any version of Christian and Buddhist, for that matter. There's the Inquisition, but they didn't distinguish between much any difference at all, from what I recall about them, so that's on the extreme.

    Assuming I recall my religious historical conflict history correctly, isn't that odd? I mean, wouldn't you logically think it the other way around? What does that say about us, as a human race, I mean? Mass delusion seems the obvious answer, but...

  2. #2

    Re: Religious Conflicting Similarities

    I wouldn't really say that its more likely, at least not due to the dogmatic aspect of things. TIme frame is everything here, most of the major religions out there stem from the Abrahamic traditions. You also have to figure that war is much more likely between neighboring countries or states then with a place half way round the world. Geographically speaking, religion is territorial. Buddhism flourishes in South East Asia, China, and Japan (primarily, from a per capita standpoint). So I guess it depends on how you judge similarity. For example - the conflict between Palistine (or other various Arab nations) and Israel is both over land and religious difference, Islam and Judaism are both monotheistic religions, both Abrahamic in tradition, but there is pretty much were it stops and the differences in dogma become pronounced.

    Then there is also this that I have found - at their hearts, most religions are similar, it's really just the vocabulary and number of deities that changes.

  3. #3

    Re: Religious Conflicting Similarities

    I don't think it's enough to reduce societies to similarities in their religions. The Christians and Muslims during the crusades were very different cultures: one European, the other Middle-Eastern. The Palestinians and Israelis are also very different cultures, even if their religions have common roots, and even if they live side by side. Don't underestimate how much different languages affect such cultures as well.

  4. #4

    Re: Religious Conflicting Similarities

    Alan wrote;
    Assuming I recall my religious historical conflict history correctly, isn't that odd?
    But, are we trully speaking of religion??
    Seems to me that religion is too easily used as an excuse for conflict.
    There is an underlying absurdity in the human psyche; a number of examples of which are put forward at the following link:

    The effects of xenophobia (dislike against the genetically dissimilar out-group and nepotistic favoritism towards the genetically similar in-group) are analyzed by many sociobiological researchers. Some see it as an innate biological response on the part of the evolved human organism in inter-group competition.
    Think back on the basis of every fight you ever had as a kid :roll: ; chances are religion had no part in it.

  5. #5

    Re: Religious Conflicting Similarities

    There's a bit of truth to what Allan said...

    I never fought more bitterly with anyone about religion than my ex-girlfriend who is not only Buddhist, but basically the same sect as I. She thought I was spiritually bankrupt and I thought that her spirituality missed the point altogether.


  6. #6

    Re: Religious Conflicting Similarities

    It seems easier to argue or fight at the personal and/or societal level when you have a similar base, geographically, philosophically, spiritually, etc.. But when there are great differences there is nothing to fight over because there is so little common ground base from which to fight. Friction comes from proximity, both with physical objects and social beings and collections of social beings.

  7. #7

    Re: Religious Conflicting Similarities

    I'm gonna go overly simple here.

    As I maybe should've phrased it in the above post, proximity brings friction. I think the order of occurrence is important. That being the premise, the understanding that friction is the natural result of proximity, it thus also seems logical that we would express this friction through the poison of anger at those closest to us. Yes, family, community (sangha, neighborhood, etc.) members, and countries all fit here.

    But wait, logical result does not mean wise action. If we're mindful enough (and that's always the catch), then maybe we can catch our selves before we spew that anger, that natural result of social friction, and recognize it as a poison. That's part of the Path, as I understand it. By this logic, anger is empty. Yes?

    But wait, what are we most proximal to is our selves. So, to what degree when we have friction with others is it really friction with our selves? And if so, see above paragraph.

    Where's the fight?
    Who's fighting?
    With whom?

    Over the years of my practice, I have found that when I recite and reflect on the precept of not being angry I have increasingly found myself thinking about my self, and that is a tough and dirty fight.

    The teachings are yours, and so is the fight, in whatever forms it may take.

    Carry on...

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