posted on May, 7 2009 @ 10:12 AM
I have studied a lot of religions. I have read the Bible(Judaism and Christianity), the Quran(Islam), the Guru Granth Sahib(Sikh) the Vedas(Hindu),
Buddhist Sutras(Buddhism) and many new-age religions and sects.
The criteria I have for evaulating a religion is as follows:
1) Does it contain facts that I can test either empirically or through pure reason?
2) Is it positive? Does it promote values like universal love, peace, compassion, charity, wisdom?
3) Is it spiritual i.e, does it promote independent and critical thinking, does it recognise the the spirit and its potential?
4) It is scientific? Does science contradict it or compliment it?
I instantly start by rejecting all the Abrahamic religions which are really just satanism in disguise. They fail on all counts
1) They do not contain facts, just beliefs
2) They are not positive, they preach fear and damnation and have a history of violence
3) They are not spiritual, they preach blind faith and submission to priesthood
4) They are not scientific, they are irrational
I did not have to think twice in rejecting Abrahamic religion. I then started looking at the Dharmic religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism,
Tantra and the religions closely related to them Taoism and Gnostic sects like Christian Mysticism, Kabbala, Sufism and Neoplatonism. Instantly one
can see the difference in general quality
1) They contain facts, they are not just beliefs
2) They are mostly positive, they teach love, perfection and freedom
3) They are spiritual, they teach independent thinking and self-inquiry
4) They are scientific in their approach, they encourage self-inquiry and reason
However, all these religions are corrupted, so I have to anaylse them closer and look at each sect again using the same criteria
1) It contains facts, in that it is based on life directly, but they tend to be in the form of of cryptic statements and poems.
2) It is beyond all human distinctions such as, perfection and freedom, for taoism it is the way that transcends all and harmony is what we must
strive for. This perhaps makes Taoism a bit impersonal, but not as impersonal as say Zen Buddhism.
3) It is spiritual, but too society based. There should be more focus on the individual.
4) Taoism promotes meditation and living in the now. This is very liberating. It is scientific in that it promotes observation of the world and to
understand the underlying cosmic laws of the way.
1) It is mainly beliefs - it a theistic religion. This is a turn off for me.
2) It is very positive: it promotes equality, women rights and distributes food for free. It is a very social-based religion, unfortunately that
aspect has taken over modern Sikhism It also has inherited "fear god" teachings from Islam.
3) It is spiritual in that it promotes meditation on god's name but it does in a ritualistic manner and again borrows prayer rituals from Islam.
4) It is not a very scientific religion and its followers do not tend to be intellectually orientated.
Sikhism is like the Dharmic theistic equivalent of Islam and Christianity but far more spiritual and positive.
Neoplantoism and Gnositicism
1) It is mainly beliefs, but many beleifs which are actually supported by philosophy and some which are true.(Such as the existence of the astral
2) It is positive in that is self-empowering, but has very negative attitudes towards the world which is says is created by a demon.
3) It is very spiritual in that it promotes gnosis
4) It is not a very scientific religion, because of its speculative nature
Sufism is Islamic Gnosticism only that it differs from Western Gnosticism in that it does not consider the world to be evil. Sufism is actually a very
beautiful and sublime religion. It is very positive and spiritual. The only element it lacks is logical thinking.
1) It is mainly facts, based on pure logical reasoning and observation. It is very empirical.
2) It promotes positive values, but it's mostly neutral. Too much neutrality impersonalizes it and makes it nihilistic.
3) Most schools of Buddhism reject the existence of the soul, so therefore it does not recognise ones independent essence. This is why I pefer
Mahayana Buddhism because it does not hold the dogmatic doctrine of anatman.
4) Buddhism is more philosophy than science. It is a very skeptical philosophy and sometimes it can come across as sophistry.
Hinduism, as there are a gazillion sects, I will just deal with the main ones
Dvatia Hinduism(devotional Hinduism)
1) It is all beliefs, there is no component of of reasoning. It is all sentiment based.
2) It is very positive in the sense that it promotes pure love, but it also promotes blind faith and superstititon.
3) It seems to be more aimed at ones emotional being, than spiritual being. It is far too ritualistic and involves too much worship using dance and
praying to idols. To me this is repulsive.
4) No science at all. It's all just worship.
To me Dvatia Hinduism(includes Vaishnavism, Shaktism, Shivaism, Hare Krishna) seems to be a childish and naive religion and more pitched at the
illterate and poor.
Advaita Hinduism(Scientfic Hinduism) aka Vedic religion
1) It is all facts, not a single belief. Everything has been arrived at through vigorous observation and reason
2) It is very positive but human. It promotes noble values like wisdom, compassion, charity, honesty, valour, while at the same time respecting all
3) It is totally aimed at ones spiritual being. It promotes self-analysis, experimenting and developing ones intelligence to think clearly and
acutely. If there is an element of worship it is reverence for nature and knowledge.
4) It is the most scientific religion in existence. It has created its own systems of scientific logic, metaphysics, physics, psychology, mathematics,
economy, politics. It is a knowledge-culture .
The only drawback of Vedic religion is that it is so intellectual and advanced that most people would be scared of it. One must have a very scientific
disposition to understand it.
If I were to ranks the religions in order of their value(high to low) I would say:
Buddhism and Jainism
Note: Please do not be offended by my post. I do not carry a reverential attitude to religion. I think religion can be categorised, analysed,
evaulated and ranked like anything in the world. This is all according to my opinion.
[edit on 7-5-2009 by Indigo_Child]