Why We Should Respect Other Religions

Updated on December 25, 2017
Marisa Wright profile image

I'm a widely travelled Scottish-Australian dancer-writer based in Sydney. I practised transcendental meditation for 17 years.

I once heard a guru who was asked which religion was correct. I found his response very wise.

He said religion is like trying to get to an island in the middle of the sea. There are many boats available. You select the skipper in whom you have the most trust, and the boat which seems most seaworthy. You may laugh at your neighbour who chooses the rowing boat - but then, how do you know your engine won't break down, and you'll be left adrift while he reaches the island safely?

You can't be sure, but you have to choose one boat or the other. You can't "hedge your bets" by travelling with one foot in your boat and the other in his -- you'll end up in the water.

The important thing is that we choose our boat and commit ourselves 100% to our own journey. And we should respect the choice of others who choose the other boat.

We must all choose our own boat
We must all choose our own boat

All religions are trying to reach the same God, but different cultures choose different methods to reach Him.

Some of you will immediately say, "But my God is NOT the same as the Gods of other religions".

My question is, how do you know?

All you know is that the believers of other religions describe Him differently. That description is based on their perception of God, as described by their religion's founder.

That founder would have interpreted His words in the context of his education and the culture at the time. Maybe he got it wrong. Or, for all we know, God may have been clever enough to present Himself differently to different cultures, to help them understand His message.

Every major religion (and most sects within those religions) has arisen from a charismatic teacher - whether it be a prophet claiming divine inspiration, or a messiah claiming divine origin. If we claim there is only one "right religion", then we are saying all the other prophets or messiahs were insane, and their revelations mere hallucinations. The problem is, how can we be 100% sure they were all mad, and the founder of our religion was the only sane one? The more reasonable explanation is that they were all genuine -- they just saw things differently.

You cannot rely on scriptures. Scriptures are not historical documents. Even those that were written by the teacher himself are full of ambiguities and contradictions, and have to be interpreted, not read literally. You only have to look at the number of sects that arise within each religion, each disagreeing with each other on the interpretation of their Holy Book.

In the case of Christianity, the Bible was not even written down until many years after Jesus had ceased preaching. If it were any other text, we would agree such a delay must lead to distortion and inaccuracy. The teachings were passed on by mere human beings: we cannot pretend that they, unlike every other human being on the planet, were magically infallible.

So, what logic can we use to judge which religion is right?

The answer is, that we cannot use logic. We can only use faith. For that reason, we shouldn't condemn others whose faith leads them to a different conclusion.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

        Kate Swanson 

        9 months ago from Sydney

        Absolutely.

      • profile image

        Jean Harris 

        9 months ago

        In my opinion we should respect people, even those who do not feel a need to practice any religion.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        9 months ago from U.S.A.

        Excellent. We should respect any religion with the foundational principles of love, unity, tolerance, and kindness. I remember reading a powerful quotation: "Kindness is the lodestone of the hearts of men."-Abdul-Baha. This is applicable even for those who prefer to reject any belief in a deity or gods.

        Most religions I've researched over my life, however, include the principles above. Thank you for a well written article, but simply stated: if love was easy to get to in this life, He wouldn't send us such wise prophets.

        I love your boat story. Bravo, my friend in Australia. You offer us wisdom as well.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)