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Speaking of famous people and religion,
September 29, 2001 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Speaking of famous people and religion, Jet Li talks about religion, and his views on them.
"...upon closer inspection, the underlying heart and central principle in every religion is the same. Every religion boils down to love, to a respect for all living things, to choosing peace over violence as a means of resolving a conflict."
posted by jcterminal (13 comments total)

 
So sayeth the man who kicks ass for a living.
Touching.
posted by Hima Otsubusu at 11:49 AM on September 29, 2001


JetLi founder of the Sacred Generalization that collapses upon close inspection.
posted by skallas at 12:18 PM on September 29, 2001


Yikes. What an astoundingly deep misunderstanding of the central principles of many religions.
posted by gd779 at 1:38 PM on September 29, 2001


gd779, how about a good example? He may just be an actor, but there's a good bit of truth to what he says. Catholics like myself may attach a specific person (Jesus, the Buddha, whathaveyou) to those principles, but the underlying similarity remains.
posted by paddy at 5:01 PM on September 29, 2001


Yikes. What an astoundingly deep misunderstanding of the central principles of many religions.

Not really. While living in NYC before and after the WTC disaster, it became clear to me that while I was being barraged with different messages of love and peace from all kinds of religions, one thing was very clear...

Before September 11, whenever I was approached by a "religious type" it was quite didatic and very aggressive. "No..." was usually not an answer that would be accepted.

After September 11, every religious "loon" was out, but none of them was as aggressive or preachy. It seemed that all simply wanted to share their understanding of love and peace as it relates to their beliefs. Meaning, they simply wanted people to be happy.

And frankly, that's pretty cool.
posted by RoyalJack at 5:13 PM on September 29, 2001


RoyalJack, so religion shows its true colors only after a disaster? I think helping each other in times of need has nothing to do with gods or spirits, but part of the natural human condition. I'm sure the loons were too overwhelmed and busy to do the everyday thing. Even the most angst ridden atheist took a few days off before blaming it all on religion.

Catholics like myself may attach a specific person (Jesus, the Buddha, whathaveyou) to those principles, but the underlying similarity remains.

Lets not forget deism, animism, nature religions, neo-paganism, polytheism, new age, zoroastrianism, and satanism. Publish your unifying theory and the Nobel peace prize is practically in the mail!

I don't mean to come off as a smart ass, but trivializing the world's beliefs so you can feel good about yourself is pretty self-deceptive and self-serving.
posted by skallas at 6:04 PM on September 29, 2001


Yikes. What an astoundingly deep misunderstanding of the central principles of many religions.

I really don't understand why you would say this, gd779. Very few religions that I have seen DON'T have love and universal brotherhood as a central concept. Most religions seem to seek the same goal, but many have strikingly different ways of getting there.
posted by DarkWood at 6:04 PM on September 29, 2001


In our next sphincter-clenching episode of Celebrity or Divinity, Jim Carrey interprets the sacred texts of the Bhagavad Gita, with wacky voices and everything!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:11 PM on September 29, 2001


paddy, darkwood, et al:

Very few religions that I have seen DON'T have love and universal brotherhood as a central concept. Most religions seem to seek the same goal, but many have strikingly different ways of getting there.

First of all: what skallas said. He pretty much explained my main point.

But also, I won't argue that peace and love are common strains in many religions. After all, it's pretty hard to argue that those are bad things. However, I cannot take the extra step of saying that those concepts are the "central" concepts or the goal of the religions. The flavor of Christianity that I practice, for example, stresses peace and love for mankind very much... but it's central concept is submission to God. The same goes for other religions.

The "all religions are the same" people are just taking a convenient theme and turning it into the "point" of all religions. It sounds nice, but it doesn't bear up under scrutiny.

Stavros: Thanks. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
posted by gd779 at 6:16 PM on September 29, 2001


The "all religions are the same" people are just taking a convenient theme and turning it into the "point" of all religions. It sounds nice, but it doesn't bear up under scrutiny.

But further than that, gd779, I think it demonstrates just how little many people understand the precepts and purpose of their own religion-of-choice. They assume that it's all about peace and love because, well, that just sounds so uplifting and religious, doesn't it?
posted by rushmc at 6:46 PM on September 29, 2001


I'll certainly agree that peace, love and brotherhood is certainly the point of most religions. The big tricky question is how do you get "there" and what does "there" look like. In addition quite a few religions are fatalistic in that the perfect utopia of peace, love and brotherhood is something that can't exist in this life.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:43 PM on September 29, 2001


KirkJobSluder: Well, a utopia not going to exist in this lifetime, or anyone's, is it? Which is not a reason to work for justice and peace, freedom and so forth, but . . . well, the meaning of utopia (as first considered by Thomas More, in the book of the same name) is both "good place" and "no place." More did this by combining the Greek prefixes "eu" and "ou." The word is a pun, in other words.
posted by raysmj at 9:35 PM on September 29, 2001


This "all religions are the same" crap only works if you ignore requirements of reason and logic.

For example, gods either do or do not exist, regardless of human beliefs. If any gods do exist, then they entertain certain properties - and our statements about those properties are either true or false.

What I'm getting at is that, even if we can't know what the facts are (what the Truth is), there are nonetheless objective facts of the matter. And different religions do have distinctly different statements about what they believe the facts of the matter to be. And, each of those statements is either true or false.
posted by yesster at 8:16 AM on October 1, 2001


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