Do All Religions Basically Teach the Same Thing?
1. What do you mean by basically? The essentials of each belief contradict each others, so essentially they are different.
2. Every religion claims to be true. That is either true or it’s false. If one is true and makes claims that exclude the others, then it alone is true and all of the others are false since they conflict with the truth.
3. Every religion teaches about Heaven, Hell, God, The Devil, Morality, Origin, and Purpose. Their teachings on those topics differ. Saying they are all the same because they address the same categories is like saying all school subjects teach the same thing since they all involve a teacher, students, a rubric, and a topic. Those topics, teachers, and rubrics are all very different when examined closely.Facts: Every religion makes claims that fundamentally exclude all others apart from itself.
God: One God with a unique nature, Father, Son, and Spirit. The Son became a man in a moment of history and showed that He is a God of perfect justice and mercy by judging all sin, but offering mercy at His own expense so a relationship with man could be possible again.
The Devil: An angel of great power, but an angel nonetheless. His influence isn’t the origin of evil, but he is the original being that separated himself from the source of everything good. He will ultimately face justice, but until then is used as the living example of exactly what the alternative is from a relationship with God.
Heaven: Where God is. Very little details are given in scripture. The emphasis is on knowing Jesus.
Hell: Separation from God. A state of torment, not torture, where you are given what you want if you refuse a relationship with God. This also excludes all of His good and perfect gifts. It is eternal.
Morality: God’s nature. Sin, or to miss, is falling short of that standard and requires the sacrifice of Jesus to redeem you from and restore you, heart and mind, back to God.
Origin: God created us in His image. We are moral, personal, and relational beings and reflect His spiritual attributes. Therefore, we are intrinsically valuable at a higher level than any other creature because of that origin.
Purpose: God created us for a relationship with Him. Restoration to that relationship is the ultimate goal and priority of the God of the Bible and where our ultimate fulfillment is found.
God: One God with one essence. He can’t enter this world, eat food, or interact with man in any way apart from mediators like angels. You can’t have a relationship with Allah apart from a slave to master relationship.
The Devil: Not an angel, but a djinn/genie. He is not exclusively the enemy of all mankind, but merely one enemy to the Muslims from the truth alongside Christians, Jews, and Non-Muslims.
Heaven: A carnal paradise of wine, prostitutes, and everything else that Muslims are motivated by in the Quran and Hadith.
Hell: A carnal pit of torture that directly punishes you in specific ways for specific actions and given in explicit detail. The majority of the inhabitants of hell are women, and male Christians will be sent there for the sins of Muslims who have done enough good deeds to outweigh them.
Morality: At the beginning of your life, two angels are placed on your shoulders to record your good and bad deeds. At the end of your life, they will place their records of you on a scale and you’ll have the opportunity to climb a thread to a razor thin bridge to paradise. If your bad deeds outwiegh your good, or you fall at any time during this crossing, you will go to Hell. Good deeds aren’t based on Allah’s nature, but Muhammad’s example. This includes the morally reprehensible things he’s done. Child marriages, executing apostates and critics, and other things are justified in the Muslim world because Muhammad is their “excellent example” and the “walking Quran.”
Origin: Everything in Islam is explained by “Allah knows.” His actions and reasons for doing so simply are his own and according to the Quran, people shouldn’t ask questions about them lest they lose their faith and by extension, their lives.
Purpose: Your purpose in life is to submit to God the way Muhammad did. If you don’t, or don’t enough, you’re going to be killed by Muslims and punished by Allah.
God: There is no personal God. The universe is the eternal and ultimate essence of which everything is and will return to once you become enlightened.
The Devil: There is no personal devil. The only thing that separates you from the divine is suffering (dukha) and the lifetimes you must die and reincarnate before you are enlightened and become one with the universe.
Heaven: There is no Heaven. Only the goal of one day not living in a world of suffering or happiness anymore.
Hell: There is no Hell. The worst fate of a Buddhist is to continue to live on this earth and suffer.
Morality: There is no morality. Right and Wrong are concepts absent from Buddhism. Good and Evil in the universe must be balanced. Therefore, if good happens, Karma demands evil must happen elsewhere. And Vice versa. That’s why a Buddhist’s goal isn’t to do good or evil for anyone. The most devout Buddhists lock themselves away from the world and do nothing but meditate to keep everything in balance.
Origin: Buddhism makes no claims about your origin. It only addresses where you are and how you get out of it through practical and moral indifference.
Purpose: Your purpose is to die and come back again and again until all of the good and evil you have done is undone by Karma and you are enlightened, never to exist again.
God: There are hundreds of thousands of gods, all of which are unique and separate with their own agendas and attributes.
The Devil: There are hundreds of thousands of demons, all of which are unique and separate with their own agendas and attributes.
Heaven: Brahman is the ultimate essence and eternal nature of the universe that you eventually are assimilated into, like Buddhism, and become an impersonal part of everything and nothing.
Hell: Like Buddhism, a Hindu’s curse is to reincarnate. To live is Hell, and to stop coming back after working out all of your Karma is to escape Hell.
Morality: There is no objective morality in Hinduism. Due to the massive number of gods, good and not good are based on whichever god you choose to follow in pursuit of Brahman.
Origin: There is no origin in Hinduism. Time is a cycle that will continue forever, and never began.
Purpose: The goal of Hinduism is to escape this reality, like Buddhism, and through reincarnation accomplish this through the caste system or the favor of the god of your choice.
God: There are many gods, all of which represent a different aspect of nature.
The Devil: There is no specific devil, and at times the greatest enemy to your relationship with God is the god you are worshiping’s whims and moods.
Heaven: The Underworld, or a form of it, is where you leave the physical and become immaterial and enjoy a place where various pleasures can be enjoyed, carnal or otherwise. (depends on the cultural context of paganism. Wicca’s Summerland and the Norse realms of the Dead are carnal. Roman and Egyptian realms of the underworld are simply peaceful.)
Hell: The Underworld, depending on the whims of your god. You can be tortured forever based on the displeasure of your god on personal or legal levels.
Morality: Different gods have different standards. Therefore, since a person following one god could be deliberately violating every standard of another god, but doesn’t answer to them concerning morality, there is no objective moral standard for all people at all times.
Origin: It varies, but the common cultural assumption is that Chaos became conscious and started having kids with his wife. We just sort of happened along the way as the result of either battles between these superpowered kids or accidents that are no less explainable than they are.
Purpose: Since every pagan god is essentially just a bad habit with a name on it, the pursuit of pleasure.
God: There is none.
The Devil: The people who believe there is a God are the reason for everything they call wrong.
Heaven: There is none. Good deeds have no reward.
Hell: There is none. Justice for evil is a delusion.
Morality: There is none apart from the individual’s opinion.
Origin: In the beginning there was nothing, and it blew up.
God: Your organization determines what is right or wrong for you on his/her behalf.
The Devil: Anyone who isn’t a part of your organization.
Heaven: Continued membership in your organization and community.
Hell: Separation and disassociation from your community in this life and the next.
Morality: Your organization determines what is right in God’s eyes.
Origin: Your organization affirms or denies the origin claims of other religions.
Purpose: To support and build up the influence of your organization.