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Feedback Q&A on Religion

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 218 comments and questions on Religion issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of most recent 10 letters

Topic

Title

Country

Buddhism Four Noble Truths Getting rid of chronic pain Canada
 
Soul or Body Viewing life from a soul perspective UK
 
Do Humans Have a Soul We have a universal soul USA
 
General Astronomy in the Quran USA
 
General Why do some religions believe in punishment? USA
 
General Do scientists believe in God? Ghana
 
General About religious dialogues Nigeria
 
General Should I join a local church? Kenya
 
Do Humans Have a Soul Explain the nature of the soul Canada
 
General Biblical interpretations of constellations USA
 

Next 10

 





Getting rid of chronic pain

Topic: Buddhism Four Noble Truths

Question

June 4, 2017

Can you please explain what the 8 attitudes or paths really mean? What is meant by right view, right speech, right intention, etc.etc. I would also like to know how cessation of desires would end chronic physical pain.As an example someone who is born with a painful condition who is still too young to have formed any desires or attachments in life?

Joe - Canada

28073

Answer

You can see explanations of the items in Noble Eightfold Path in Buddhism. They provide the recommended attitudes and conduct for a good life.

Desires and attachments in life seem to concern the mental and emotional conditions. For example, a person with chronic pain should not be envious of those without the pain. Some meditation practices can help a person alleviate pain. However, medication practices still are usually required.

Best wishes for both physical and spiritual health.

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Viewing life from a soul perspective

Topic: Soul or Body

Question

March 30, 2017

I have been having more experiences to indicate I would benefit from viewing this life from my soul persective. When I do its amazing, but then resist and feel tired. It feels a bit of a battle with myself. I was happier feeling I was a body and having occassional spiritual experiences. Now I feel I need to just focus on the soul perspective which I am sure would feel good but how to release my resistance? I guess my ego is fighting to keep the illusion going. I am practicing surrender but any other help would be useful.
Sally

Sally - UK

27973

Answer

One viewpoint I like is that we are spirits having a human experience.

Take a look at our Spiritual Health area. There are only a few articles, but they may give you some insight.

Also see Sensing Spirits for more insight. In sensing the unknown, it seems that the harder you try, the less it seems to work. This is similar to your experiences.

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We have a universal soul

Topic: Do Humans Have a Soul

Question

January 3, 2017

My belief on "Do humans have a soul" is that all humans are born into one shared soul or spirit, and our behavior may be from our genetics and learned behavior combined. You can also teach yourself new behavior with concentration of your brain when and if our brain is mature enough.

Amorita - USA

27781

Answer

There are a number of religions that believe there is a universal soul that everyone is part of. In such a case, that spirit or soul is having many human experiences.

Yes, behavior comes from genetics and learning. That could explain bad behavior independent of the soul.

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Astronomy in the Quran

Topic: General

Question

December 10, 2016

Greetings, I immensely thank you for your wonderful physics website, it is very helpful. I want your opinion about scientific and astronomical facts that I have found in a book dating back to more than 1400 years, check some of them:
--------------------
Creation of the Universe, "Big Bang"
“Do not the Unbelievers see That the heavens and the earth Were joined together (as one Unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder?”
[Al-Qur’aan 21:30]
----------------------
That there was a huge gaseous matter or clouds were present before the formation of the galaxies.
“Moreover, He Comprehended In His design the sky, And it had been (as) smoke: He said to it And to the earth: ‘Come ye together, Willingly or unwillingly.’ They said: ‘We do come (Together), in willing obedience.’”
[Al-Qur’aan 41:11]
----------------------
The Light of the Moon is reflected light.
“Blessed is He Who made Constellations in the skies, And placed therein a Lamp And a Moon giving light.” [Al-Qur’aan 25:61]
The Arabic word for the sun in the Qur’aan, is shams. It is referred to as
siraaj, which means a ‘torch’ or as wahhaaj which means ‘a blazing lamp’ or as diya which means ‘shining glory’. All three descriptions are appropriate to the sun, since it generates intense heat and light by its internal combustion.
The Arabic word for the moon is qamar and it is described in the Qur’aan as muneer, which is a body that gives nur i.e. light. Again, the Qur’aanic description matches perfectly with the true nature of the moon, which does not give off light itself and is an inert body that reflects the light of the sun.
Not once in the Qur’aan, is the moon mentioned as siraaj, wahhaaj or diya or the sun as nur or muneer. This implies that the Qur’aan recognizes the difference between the nature of sunlight and moonlight.
--------------------------
The Sun Rotates
“It is He Who created The Night and the Day, And the sun and the moon: All (the celestial bodies) Swim along, each in its Rounded course.”
[Al-Qur’aan 21:33]
The Arabic word used in the above verse is yasbahûn. The word yasbahûn is derived from the word sabaha. It carries with it the idea of motion that comes from any moving body. If you use the word for a man on the ground, it would not mean that he is rolling but would mean he is walking or running. If you use the word for a man in water it would not mean that he is floating but would mean that he is swimming.
Similarly, if you use the word yasbah for a celestial body such as the sun it would not mean that it is only flying through space but would mean that it is also rotating as it goes through space. Most of the school textbooks have
incorporated the fact that the sun rotates about its axis. The rotation of the sun about its own axis can be proved with the help of an equipment that projects the image of the sun on the table top so that one can examine the image of the sun without being blinded. It is noticed that the sun has spots which complete a circular motion once every 25 days i.e. the sun takes approximately 25 days to rotate around its axis.
In fact, the sun travels through space at roughly 150 miles per second, and takes about 200 million years to complete one revolution around the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.
-----------------------------
“It is not permitted To the Sun to catch up The Moon, nor can The Night outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along In (its own) orbit (According to Law).”
[Al-Qur’aan 36:40]
This verse mentions an essential fact discovered by modern astronomy, i.e. the existence of the individual orbits of the Sun and the Moon, and their journey through space with their own motion. The ‘fixed place’ towards, which the sun travels, carrying with it the solar system, has been located exactly by modern astronomy. It has been given a name, the Solar Apex. The
solar system is indeed moving in space towards a point situated in the constellation of Hercules (alpha Layer) whose exact location is firmly established.
The moon rotates around its axis in the same duration that it takes to revolve around the earth. It takes approximately 29½ days to complete one rotation.
-------------------------------
The Sun will extinguish after a certain period
“And the Sun Runs its course For a period determined For it; that is The decree of (Him) The exalted in Might, The All-Knowing.”
[Al-Qur’aan 36:38]
The Arabic word used here is mustaqarr, which means a place or time that is determined. Thus the Qur’aan says that the sun runs towards a determined place, and will do so only up to a pre-determined period of time – meaning
that it will end or extinguish.
-------------------------------
The Book's name is "Quran", as mentioned it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.
Muhammad, the prophet of Islam was an unlettered man, he could not write nor read his own name. Islam in Arabic means: Total submission to God's will (not a follower of Muhammad).
It is a monotheistic religion, and it obligates it followers to believe in all the previous prophets such as Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham etc, and not worship any of them, rather, worship their Creator.
There are chapters entitled by the names of some of them, in addition to a chapter name called "Maryam" translated "Marry" in the honor of the mother of Jesus.
Regardless of these scientific facts, there are still many that I did not mention (such as the Universe expanding and many others!),
please care to read them if your interested, there are books that lists the scientific miracles in the Quran, one of the best:
"The Quran and Modern Science Compatible or Incompatible ?"
Please if you have any questions ask me, thank you. Again.

Mozhar - USA

27556

Answer

Thank you for your insight on scientific and astronomy references in the Quran. These were written in the "glory days of Islam" in about 800, where Islam was the world leader in scientific studies.

I do have a article on Big Bang Theory and Religion that references mention in the Quran.

Best wishes for success in your studies.

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Why do some religions believe in punishment?

Topic: General

Question

December 6, 2015

I'm having trouble believing that God will punish us for not believing that Jesus Christ is God. I believe that God is Goodness, period. Whey the emphasis on punishment in Christian religion?
I believe that we are a soul, not that we HAVE a soul. I believe that when we die, that's it.

I appreciate your comments.

Marge - USA

26594

Answer

Just as some parents believe they should be strict with their children and punish them if they do wrong, other parents believe that giving love is the best way to correct wrongs. Likewise, do some people believe that God punishes, while others believe that God is Goodness.

Some Christian denominations are very strict, while there are others that are more liberal in their beliefs. This is also true of other non-Christian religions, where the fundamentalists believe in harsh punishment. I'd prefer to believe in a loving God.

As far as believing that we are a soul, I think of the saying that "we are spirits having a human experience." Thus, when the human body dies, the spirit lives on.

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Do scientists believe in God?

Topic: General

Question

July 20, 2015

Do scientists believe in God or not?

Abubakar - Ghana

26182

Answer

Many scientists from all religions believe in God or some form of Supreme Being.

However, there are scientists that only accept facts that can be proven through experiments. Those people usually do not believe in God or things spiritual, since they cannot be directly proven and simply require faith.

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About religious dialogues

Topic: General

Question

March 3, 2015

Kindly answer these questions for me:
i.what are the theories on religious dialogue?
ii. what are the scholarly objections to religious dialogue?

Adewale - Nigeria

25806

Answer

Most religions are based on faith in what is written in their own holy books, as well as what is taught by their religious leaders. A religious or inter-religious dialogue is usually a discussion between people of different faiths. At the very least, you can learn what others believe in.

Scholars look at the philosophical and historical basis of various religious. Unfortunately, since religions are very personal and many aspects cannot be proven with hard facts, scholarly discussions may not lead to any conclusions.

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Should I join a local church?

Topic: General

Question

September 20, 2014

Mr.Ron Kurtus, I am Glad That Your Advice About Trusting In God Really Helped Me. However ,a Very Intriguing Question Is Boiling My Head Off Me "will Joining An Established Religion Really Help Me In My Spiritual Journey?? Because I Really Want To Join A Local Church??

Please Respond As Soon As Possible

Thank You

Peter - Kenya

25369

Answer

Joining an established religion can help in your spiritual journey. Another benefit is that you can meet other like-minded people and feel like you belong to a community.

It is a good idea to visit several churches in your area to see if their beliefs are close to yours, as well as how friendly the people seem.

God bless you in your journey and in finding the right church to join.

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Explain the nature of the soul

Topic: Do Humans Have a Soul

Question

September 14, 2014

I have read your article on the soul, very interesting but it does not explain the nature of the soul and its connection, (if any) with spirit.
What is the nature of the soul and what is it made of? It seems likely to me that he soul and spirit are the same. Anyway thank you for your consideration.

Chris - Canada

25351

Answer

Ancient Greeks, such as Aristotle, separated the soul and spirit (or life-spirit). Many did not believe humans ever had a soul.

However, most modern people who believe in some religion also believe that humans have souls that exist beyond death.

The biggest problem concerning describing a soul or spirit is that it is purely theory or speculation. No one knows for sure, except through belief in a holy book, such as the Bible.

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Biblical interpretations of constellations

Topic: General

Question

September 10, 2014

I was born and raised up in west Texas where you can see the stars very clearly due to the reduction of big city lights. The Bible has several scriptures telling us to look to the stars.

Gen.1:14, says "the stars shall be for signs..."! What does any sign we look at beside our roads give us? They give us information that we can understand. So, God put the stars in special patterns that we could easily recognize.

One important pattern is the Northern Cross which is close to the North Star. If you google, the Northern Cross in color, you should be able to make out the shadowy figure of a man nailed to this cross. This shape of the cross in the same shape of the ancient Hebrew hieroglyphic letter, "tav", which means, "sign".

If you write the most ancient shape in Chinese for a tree, you first draw the shape of a cross. The Bible says, "cursed is he that hangeth upon a tree". Jesus took our curse of sins upon himself being nailed to the cross or tree that formed the cross.

The ancient Karahunj stones were seen by many ancient cultures as an entry into the heavens after their death. Many of these stones have holes in them that point to Cygnus which is actually meant by God to be seen by us as the cross of Christ. This was all planned from the beginning.

Psalms 19;1-4, says, "the heavens declare the glory of God". So, the Bible has many scriptures about the importance of constellations as a proof sent to us by God as signs. Check out Isa. Chapter 40. If you want to see more on this subject then google, Aquilla Fleetwood, Night Signs. These patterns of constellations have only moved slightly since creation. Thanks

Aquilla - USA

25349

Answer

Thank you for sharing your information on the religious interpretation of the constellations of stars in the sky.

Although many constellations were names by ancient Greeks, from your information, there are Biblical interpretations too.

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