If every religion claims to be the right one, then how can we know which religion is right?

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Answered by: Joey, An Expert in the Religious Skepticism Category
Which religion is right? What one person (Person A) believes god to be might differ completely from what another person (Person B) believes god to be. In fact, the very word “god” has had all kinds of meanings in it thanks to our philosophical timeline; most notably postmodern philosophy: a worldview which proclaims that no absolutes in fact exist, (which is in itself an absolute statement, but go figure).



Nonetheless, which one of the two examples is correct? Person A’s god, or Person B’s? If they are both right, then truth is relative. If Person A’s religion is just as true as Person B’s, then what is “True” would be confined within his or her own religion, and would therefore have no effect on any other religion, (unless these religions tried to enforce their worldviews on each other, which, come to think of it, sounds really familiar).But, this is not the case, religions aren’t into sharing the Truth, for each religion claims exclusivity; each religion claims to be the right one. What they want to share is their version of the truth, which is an idea that needs further investigation.

     



If each religion is right, that is, if truth is relative, then there can be no Absolute Truth, (which is an idea that has postmodernists jumping for joy). Let’s stay focused. If there is no Absolute Truth, then truth wouldn’t exist at all. In order for truth to exist at all an Absolutely Pure form of it must exist to serve as a standard. Without that standard there is no way to measure anything as being true or not true; it just is. The same applies if the Absolute form of truth is not accessible, and all religions claim to have this special access, (whether through ritual, liturgical structure, or just plain old-fashioned belief, each religion offers a way to earn the reward).

So, although there are many religions, many denominations within religions, and many beliefs within as well as without the many religions, there can be only one right answer, only one Truth. And, this “Truth” is what every religion claims to offer. What this whole argument points to is this: no human is capable of accessing the one Truth, (if it even exists at all) and since religions are all made up of humans, religions are also incapable of accessing this one Truth. Humans are finite.

In order, for Truth to exist it must be eternal and unchanging, that is, infinite, (which is a similar, yet convenient argument used in Theist apologetics). Finite things cannot understand infinite things. So, interpretation, perception, understanding, knowledge, and even faith are all euphemisms for that one, overused, and dirty characteristic of the finite: they are all contingent upon belief, and belief is just another word for opinion. The problem arises when a group claims to have special knowledge; knowledge which lends itself utility in choosing the right religion. We must keep in mind, however, that knowledge is not Truth because it is also subjective. For, knowledge can be both certainty as well as ignorance; it is contingent on the individual, not the absolute.

In short, opinion is the disease which hinders humanity, but it also separates us from our primate ancestors, for it is our voice; it is one of the things that makes us human. We form ideas about reality that neatly fit into and cover up actual Reality itself. In other words, our ideas about the truth become the “Truth” itself. So, which religion is right? All and none. Of course this whole rant could just be my opinion. But, then again, how would we know? In very short, we can all be dead wrong, but only one can be dead right, which we won’t know until we’re, well, dead. Again, go figure.

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