A "religion of peace"?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by wynn, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    When a religion calls itself "peaceful" or a "religion of peace" - what is actually meant by that?



    I think they mean first and foremost inner peace, and not perhaps interpersonal or international peace.


    Can there be interpersonal or international peace without there first being inner peace?
     
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure that religions call themselves anything. People purporting to speak for them say all kinds of things.

    In my mind, the phrase "religion of peace" is usually a phrase that's used in religious politics. Like the majority of political language, its content is probably more rhetorical than descriptive.

    You sometimes hear Muslims use that phrase. They usually mean something like "You're wrong to think of Islam as a threat". Or perhaps, "You shouldn't form your opinion of Islam based on the actions of Islamist terrorists".

    My feeling is that they are usually talking about international and community peace, and inner peace only gets dragged into the discussion when the supposedly peaceful ones are asked to explain and justify what they are saying.

    It had better be possible, or else we are all doomed to endless wars and conflict. Inner peace isn't always that easy to achieve.

    I guess that I'd say that the best way to proceed in these matters is by everyone allowing each other the space to follow the religious path of their choice (that includes the atheist choice to pursue no religious path at all), and by agreeing to disagree when we choose different ones. (Of course nobody should be allowed to physically threaten the others.) This would seem to mean that religions in such a community would have to become personal religions as opposed to entire-community religions.
     
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  5. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

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    Religion in and of itself is a neutral thing. It's impact in society and the world is purely dependent on its followers and their interpretation of their religion.
     
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    While there may be peaceful practitioners of every religion, tucked away in monasteries and missions, those factions never become dominant in the institution. Only the aggressive gain power - only the aggressive want power. So, whatever the original thinker wished to convey, all popular ideologies are eventually manipulated for the benefit of the most ruthless. If you want to know whether the original version was peaceful or warlike, go to the oldest available document - not the most recent or highest-profile manifestation.
     
  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Jeeves,


    So true.
    I call them hijackers. They're all about control.

    jan.
     
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Are you serious?
    Monks are hijackers and all about control?
     
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    But how could interpersonal and international peace be possible, if the parties involved don't first have inner peace?
    Can you explain?


    Indeed.


    Inner peace is probably the most scarce resource there is.
    People are even willing to kill for it, others or themselves.


    What reasons do you see for proposing that such is even theoretically possible?


    And even though when physical threats are illegal - there is, arguably, more readily available harm possible by way of various forms of manipulation (such as lying about you to the authorities, which sets off an investigation, and then you, even though you may be perfectly innocent, get into real trouble that has real consequences for you).
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Do you believe that a life of peace and harmony is ever possible for people?
    If yes, can you describe how?
     
  12. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    Strange isn't it that most religions have been at war with other religions to bring "peace" to the world.
     
  13. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I think it is the ones who aren't those peaceful practitioners that Jan meant.
     
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    In theory, yes, it's possible. How I would go about achieving it:
    1. Hand over all the keys to all the military installations to the UN, who will then destroy 100% of the nuclear missiles, decommission 90% of tanks, submarines and weapons, reassign 80% of the ships, aircraft and land vehicles for civilian use (rescue, emergency, cleanup and relief operations) and keep only a small standing army (international and fully integrated, of course) for intervention in local flare-ups.
    2. Set up international courts of arbitration for outstanding disputes between peoples - the administration of each ruling to be done by a peace-keeping committee for the first five years; the committee than reports back to the court with recommendations for amendment - when it's working, the ruling becomes final. Then the committee hands over control to the local elected governments.
    3. Disarm all repressive regimes and police forces that have a record of harming the citizens. Leave honest police forces in place, with all their crime-fighting capability, but take away their crowd-control equipment. Collect and destroy as many private weapons as can be done without riots; stop the retailing of new weapons and all ammunition.
    4. Remove all clergy from political office and influential positions near government. Take away their privileges regarding money-collection, wealth accumulation, tax-exemption and property ownership.
    5. Repeat 4. with the richest 0.01% of the world's population and the top 100 banks.
    6. Abolish compound interest; write off all current debts. Confiscate the ill-gotten gains of above groups; hand over land and stationary assets to local governments;collect the liquid assets in an international fund to be used wherever most needed.
    7. Now that governments don't have to spend most of their time waging war and serving the rich and godly, and have the wherewithal, they can get on with their proper job: taking care of the people who elect them, dealing with problems of energy and production and distribution.

    Do I think humans will become sensible before they become extinct? Not for a minute.
     
  15. IfIonlyhadabrain Registered Member

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    I think what is referred to is inner peace, which leads to outer peace.


    I agree with the first part, but I think inner peace generally tends to be reflected outwardly.


    I think there can be temporary interpersonal and/or international peace, without there first being inner peace. Lasting peace, however, I think can't happen without inner peace.
     
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Muhammad had the peace question covered - in reverse. The lesser jihad is war with another tribe; the greater jihad is waged within the individual, to subdue his carnal nature. Both were intended to achieve peace - first outside, then inside.
     
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Then what's the point of your reveries above?
     
  18. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    some believe " peace " would exist if religion did not.
     
  19. Balerion Banned Banned

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    In the case of Islam--which is, so far as I know, the only religion referred to as "the religion of peace," or "a religion of peace,"--they mean non-violent. Of course, "peace" in another context certainly refers to the "inner peace" of submitting to Allah.


    I don't think any of these concepts exist in total form. That is, I don't believe interpersonal, international, or just inner peace can be sustained over long periods.
     
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Why couldn't inner peace be sustained over long periods?
     
  21. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Point? You asked a question; i had nothing better to do in those five minutes.
     
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Because we're human beings. We get antsy, we get angry, we get tired and cranky. Our biology is as such that we experience emotions, there's no way to prevent it.
     
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Have you tried everything humanly possible, and then came to the above conclusion?
     

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