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Summary of Question:Different Point Of View
Category:General Q's from Non-Sikhs
Date Posted:Thursday, 10/03/2002 1:18 AM MDT

Sat Sri Akal,

I have few questions that have been bothering for a long time. I will list them in numerical order.

1) Why do we have different religions in the world? If there is one God, then why are there so many different religions, and their beliefs are contradictory. I have heard many people say that different religions are pathways to the same God, but that answer is not sound. For example, if one is muslim, he/she has to believe that prophet Mohammed was the last prophet, so Sikhism is out of the picture because Sikhism was founded approximately 500 years ago, a prophet much later than Mohammed. So obviously, devoted Muslims will not believe in Sikhism. Same arguments can be used for other religions. Christians believe Christ was everything and every other religion that doesn't consider Christ as their savior will surely go to hell. So, why does God permit there to be many religions. They can't be all right, since if one is true, then other must be false. A and not A can't be true at the same time. Their teachings are also different. If you consider each religions teachings, then one sees they are somewhat different from each other.

2) Why is there evil in the world? If God is all good, then why is there evil in the world? The common answer is that a person doesn't know good if evil is not presented to him/her, but that is matter of opionion, not a fact.

3) Why is there so much suffering in the world? Some people suffer so much; they practically suffer all their life with no happiness. So many people in India do not have enough food to eat. Why is God letting that happen? Common answer is that it is the result of our previous lifetime actions. There are some difficulties in that answer. First, Western religions(Christianity, Judiasm, Islam(was created in West)) don't believe in reincarnation, so are they wrong? Second answer usually is, maybe God sees that as good. That surely can't be. If God is merciful, then God can't let that happen.

4) If God is all good by definition and God is in everybody, then why is that everybody is not good? That means God can't all be good. God is both good and bad, and in turn means that God is also the source of evil. So, why would someone be punished doing evil acts, since he/she is doing God's work.

5) Why is that some human populations (human races) are superior to others. For example, people of White(European) heritage have created this world to this day. Everything from airplanes, modern technology, medicince, music, movies, mathematics, philosophy, etc.. Simply all the branches of knowledge were developed by people of European origin. I am not promoting racism but simply pointing out the facts from history and my current observation. So why does God prefer some humans, giving them all the brain power, over others?

I respectfuly thank you for reading my questions, and I will be waiting anxiously for answers.

(REPLY) Wow! You are really an intellectual, aren't you? Well, here's my poor attempt to answer some of your points. First of all, you are limiting God, and some of your "facts" are premises that I don't agree with at all! People are at various stages of evolution, and so they create religions that suit them. Second, God isn't "all good." God is INFINITE. And that includes everything - both good and bad. God created all of creation with an amazing variety of people and these people have developed a variety of beliefs. So, what's the problem? If you think that some humans are "superior" to others because of technological achievements, well, you are ignoring the essential value and dignity of the human soul, which is far more permanent than the outer physical appearance.
If you would be willing to assume for a moment that this entire creation is very much like a movie which God created for His entertainment (!) then you could appreciate that some of the stories we are acting in (according to our karmas) are tragedies, some are comedies, some are dramas, some are even musicals -- the point is that everything that we see and hear on Earth is temporary, and is for us to use to rediscover our true identity, which is Divine. God is to be EXPERIENCED, not rationalized by the intellect. Have you ever read an English translation of Japji Sahib by Guru Nanak? I highly recommend it, as well as the other "banis" which explain and describe the nature of man and the universe. God may be debated till kingdom come, but the Experience of our own souls is something that goes far beyond the intellect. Please explore the SikhNet website for more information. Blessings, SP

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