Can multiple contradicting religions all be true? An imaginary discussion between two people

Cast:
Rex, a philosopher.
Fanatic, a religious fanatic who believes all other religions are false.

Rex: Do you believe in God?
Fanatic: Yes.

Rex: Do you believe God can do anything?
Fanatic: Yes.

Rex: Is God above human sciences, logic and reasoning?
Fanatic: Yes.

Rex: Can God do something that we humans can not understand or that we find impossible or contradictory?
Fanatic: Yes.

Rex: For example, can God make two plus two equal five?
Fanatic: Yes.

Rex: How about this: Can God make two plus two equal five and at the same time also have two plus two equal four?
Fanatic: Yes.

Rex: And, how about this: Can God have multiple religions which all seem contradictory to us by logic and reasoning, but still have them all ultimately true?
Fanatic: Hmm… Yes.

Lessons from martial arts that apply to life

Interacting with and helping other people

  • Some encounters are not worth the experience. If you spar with Mike Tyson, you will get hurt and have a headache afterwards.
  • Your vulnerabilities get exposed when you do certain things. It is ok to be vulnerable while you are doing what you believe is the right thing. Do remember to always guard your vital points, however.
  • Do not assume you have understood someone fully based on their past actions. Don’t wish for surprises, but be prepared for them.
  • Bow to the other person with sincere respect, but watch them and be on your guard even as you do that.
  • Be good, not evil. Analyze and improve your character with every experience. Be good and wise, not good and foolish.
  • Pick the right fundamentals and stick by them. Change your interface to suit the situation, but don’t let anything change your core self.
  • No matter how good you are, there will be times when the other person wins. Don’t allow a loss to crush you, and you will not be defeated. Look at the positive side. You put in a sincere effort and learnt things. Don’t have bitter feelings afterwards.
  • The most important lesson isn’t learning how to fall. It is learning to be able to get up.
  • True victory is when you win others, rather than defeat them.
  • Use logic to override emotion. Your brain is your most important shield and weapon. Use it to its fullest, but only for good.
  • Do not give up easily, even when things don’t seem to be working right. Have faith. Put in a sincere, hardworking, and good effort without thinking of results. Do the right things and the right results will follow. If they don’t, you are still a better person.
  • Some games are best not continued, even when the match appears exciting. When you find that, end the game. However, don’t suddenly turn your back without first telling what you are doing.

On Relationships, Romance & Love

Q. How long does it take to build a lasting relationship? 6 months? 1 Year? 2 Years? 5 Years? 10 years?

A. None of the above. It takes a lifetime of commitment.

It is easy, perhaps, to start a romantic relationship. What takes effort, though, is to keep improving it while at the same time, not letting it fall.

You may have gone out with someone for years and may think you have them figured out. That is unwise thinking. In the first place, you can’t know another person’s mind that well. In the second place, people change, situations change. You are never “done” building your relationship. To make it last a lifetime, you have to work on it a lifetime. However, work does not mean a burden. True, it takes effort to do any work, but work can be satisfying and pleasurable. Seemingly tedious work done in building a relationship can lead to a lot of long term peace of mind, happiness, and even great pleasures. A lasting relationship that gives pleasure throughout life and lets you have peace of mind is much better for your life than short term relationship that gives only pleasure on the short term.

Q. How does one find the right person?

A. When you look for the right person, don’t look for someone with all the qualities you desire. The probability of finding such a person is low, unless you commit a major part of your life to the search. (If you do that, other aspects of your life may suffer, making you a less desirable person.)

Look for someone who shows the potential of someone willing and able to build a lasting, happy relationship. Look for someone who has commitment. If you are both the types who will and continue to work hard to make it work, the chances are that you won’t have to work too hard.

Plan your life around long term goals. Before you start seriously dating someone, think if they are the right person for you in the long term.

Q. Is it ok to live with someone before marriage?

A. I’m not an authority on religious ethics, so that’s something you should first check with your belief structure. I will give some practical reasons why I believe that it is often not a wise idea. By living together unmarried, you build barriers between the two of you that don’t disappear after marriage. For example, you get used to separating your certain key finances that (in my opinion) a husband and wife should share. You get used to living without the special commitment to each other that is required of a marriage.

What ends up happening often is that not much changes after marriage. Now if you were a special committed couple and were already sharing all aspects of your life that a couple should (certain finances, responsibility without keeping accounts of who did how much), you are fine. However, in many cases, the life together without marriage only looks like a marriage from the outside, but isn’t anything like marriage on the inside. There is major and fundamental difference between almost married and married. Marriage is not defined by sex. Marriage is not defined by a close friendship. Marriage is not even defined by having children. Marriage is defined by an unfailing commitment to another human being. Your spouse is the relative that you choose, not a relative by birth. You should chose well, but then you should stick with what you choose. (This does apply to a marriage, but it may not apply to other things in life like a job. They are different things.)

Pleasure isn’t something you should have to seek. Pleasure comes automatically when things go well, when good things happen

Is There God? A discussion between two people

Cast:

A. Atheist / Agnostic
B. Philosopher

A: Can you logically prove that god exists?

B: Yes. Proof in any system requires Axioms. For example in Euclidean Geometry 5 axioms are taken to be true by their virtue. Proofs for other theorems are based on these. In a system, god’s existence can be taken as an axiom and used to build an explanation for the universe or can be proved using appropriate axioms.

A: In the same way, I can also prove that there is no god.

B: In the same way, I can prove that you do not exist. In fact, did you know that you are just a dinosaur’s dream? But you say you exist. Why do you say so? How do you know you exist? Codigo ergo sum?

A: Because I know I exist. I feel myself with my senses.

B: But it could be a “maya“, an illusion.

A: It could be. but I believe it is not.

B: Similarly people know, feel and believe god to exist.

A. But you could not prove god’s existence.

B: I just “proved” that a challenge such as prove god exists is illogical.

A: But that leaves us where we were. I am still not convinced god exists.

B: That’s how it is. It is a matter of faith. Not everything can be explained by logic.

Love should be a Decision, not an Emotion

Love should be a decision, not an emotion. People should not fall in love, they should make a conscious decision about it. Falling in love is not bad in itself, but falling out of love is bad.

I’m not talking about casual love. This piece deals with the mate-seeking love between a man and a woman. There are other kinds of love and relationships. Some of the principles here may or may not apply there.

If there are worldly reasons for your loving someone, those reasons can one day go away. One day, you can meet another person who has those qualities, things, or even feelings for you more than this person you love today. As you grow and change as a person, and as your position in life and in society changes, your likes and dislikes change. What you were satisfied with once may not satisfy you anymore. You may even get bored of someone.

These reasons cause two people in love to fall apart. That is sad.

Love and marriage is a very important decision. It should be a very firm decision. You should stick by it because you made that decision. If you believe in God, it should be a decision you make in front of God.

We all make mistakes. There are often times when we do something that breaks another person’s trust in us. That shouldn’t be an issue in a relationship and especially not one in a marriage. A person’s mistakes should not be able to break love because love should not be based on emotions or worldly things as I mentioned. It should be just a decision that both parties have firmly made in front of themselves, and if they believe in God, then in front of God.

Question. Decisions in life are often taken back, sometimes wisely. What about this one?

There are some decisions that you make in life not because of the consequences but because those decisions are based on your principles, your beliefs. They are based on who and what you are. If you go back on those decisions you upset the very fiber of your being. Love, the kind of love this essay deals with, should be such a decision. Remember, it should be a decision both of you make. The ideas in this writing are meant to be considered by both of you. One hand may clap, but it takes two to shake hands.

Question. Do you say that divorce is wrong?

No. If the relationship is not based on a firm decision to be for one another, then the chances of separating are higher.