Monday, 6 February 2017

By Their Seeds You Will Know Them

I had a thought the other day which surely won't be original but had not occurred to me before. It was this. If you can judge teachers or teachings by their fruits (Matthew 7:16) surely you can also judge them by their seeds as well which in the case of a religion or philosophy means their founders. By this criterion Christianity comes out best, by some distance I would say, then Buddhism then various branches of Hinduism and Judaism (Abraham and Moses were great men but not perfect) and lastly, in the matter of religion, Islam. And communism, which is the modern religion for many people even though they don't call it by that name, comes out very badly indeed.

Just a thought.


Bruce Charlton said...

It's a valid point - but the complication is that each of these founders establises a new set of rules by which they need to be judged - to judge one of them by the standards of another is, in a sense, to beg the question.

On the other hand, we can each make an evaluation of our own deepest personal response to the founders; and that response must surely indeed have at least some relationship to the validity of the religion that was founded.

William Wildblood said...

Don't you think there is an objective standard too? In other words who best reflects the reality of God and the perfection of the human being? I do.

Dean P said...

The issue with that logic is 1) the founders presented their ideas at different times and places- Islam in particular, was presented to the Arab pagans who were completely different to the people Buddha introduced his ideas to. 2) Ideas about what the founders were like, and even the original teachings, likely bear little resemblance to the reality of the situation several thousand years ago due to lack of direct personal accounts and centuries of misinformation 3) In terms of practical usability, Christianity is hardly 'the best' situation, with very little practical instructions having been directly transmitted by Jesus, as opposed to very detailed instructions handed down in the Far East. -- Just some thoughts.

William Wildblood said...

All that is quite true and yet over and above all those points I think we can form an impression of these people from their teachings as they have come down to us and the records left of them.
Regarding your point about the Indians at the time of Buddha and the Arabs I would say that the Buddha was speaking to a more spiritually aware group of people and so he needed to be correspondingly more spiritually aware himself as seems to have been the case.
I'm not saying here that Christianity Is necessarily the best religion for everyone. Maybe it's horses for courses. But if we believe in the miracles and the resurrection then it's hard to say any other human being matched up to that. And I think he did leave detailed instructions but they were on a spiritual and moral level (the two commandments etc)not that of practical technique which I would say is more psychological.

William Wildblood said...

By the way, in case of misunderstanding, let me say that I do believe all these religions are valid religions which can bring their adherents closer to God. Their history, and their saints and mystics, proves that. However in my opinion some do reveal God's purpose and being more fully than others, even when you take into consideration the fact that each may bring greater focus to a particular facet of God's being. And Christianity which values the individual more than the others would seem to me to have the greatest evolutionary truth and the fullest understanding of God's purpose for us.