Making a case for Universalism

Universalism is the other half of the religious tradition known as Unitarian Universalism. I already dealt with the first half by denying the Trinity as a self-contradicting assertion:

It is understandable that some people want to feel like they are better than others or more loved by God than others, but that is an appeal to the human ego that is destructive to human spirituality. There is nothing more vile than the idea that God would condemn anyone to eternal damnation in hell for believing in the “wrong” dogmas. Such extreme punishment could only be justified if there was some empirical way to discover the truth in religion, thus making it beyond dispute. But if that was the case, it wouldn’t even be religion at all; it would be SCIENCE.

In the late 1980s, I was a Christian and I was perfectly sincere about it. Then at the turn of this Century, I was a Baha’i and just as zealous about that. And in both cases, I have turned away from those religions because I found them to be flawed and unworthy of my allegiance, perhaps even completely false, as many do believe. But if I had died at either time, would it have been fair for God to condemn me for following a false religion?

Even if Christianity was the only true religion, the fact that it has been divided into thousands of competing sects, despite the fact that Christians are supposed to believe in one God and one savior, is enough to show that there are no “true” Christians. No matter what position you take, you are part of a minority in the world; Christians only make up about 1/4 of the population of the world. Is it logical to assume that God would condemn the vast majority of the world for not being Christian, especially when there is so much evidence that it is defended by outright fraud?

1900 years ago, Christians and Jews were a tiny minority in the world. In places like India, China, Japan, and the American continents, there was virtually no chance for people living there to hear and accept the teaching of either Bible based religion, while there were religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, or the various Pagan religions. Who could blame the people in those lands for following what they knew? It is easy to assume you have the only true faith when you have only that one faith in your community and do not know followers of other religions except through crude stereotypes. Once you get to know those followers as people, those stereotypes tend to break down. Exposure to those people breeds tolerance quite naturally.

Since there is no way to know what truth in religion is, there is no justification for the dogma that God damns anyone for what they believe or disbelieve. That claim is bigotry and thus is evil.

5 thoughts on “Making a case for Universalism

  1. I like the honesty in this post even if my conclusions would be little different. For example I have sympathy for those in the Early Church who wanted the formulation of the Trinity in that they wanted to retain the idea of God the Creator – yet they wanted to elevate the teachings of Jesus by showing that the essence of his teaching captured what to them was the personification of God… and with Jesus no longer on Earth to guide them, they wanted to show how what they felt to be the Spirit of God was continuing to guide them. However the Trinity was at best a clumsy formula and these days when Science demonstrates the extreme size and age of the Universe, the human notion of God the Father becomes increasingly inadequate. Like science itself, the concepts of faith continue to grow with increasing knowledge. I agree with your comments about bigotry but want to suggest a sociological reason for belonging to a religion with views more or less identical to your own in that it provides a supportive frameword – blessed assurance (or should that read blessed insurance)!!

    • Don’t you think this would be better placed directly on my “There is no Trinity” blog entry? Unitarianism and Universalism are TWO different concepts that were only joined at the hip by historical accident in the United States. There are Trinitarian Universalists and there are also Unitarians who are otherwise orthodox about their views on the afterlife and the nature of salvation.

  2. Pingback: Private schools be damned! | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

  3. Pingback: A critical analysis of a Muslim to Baha’i testimony | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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