"Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Abrahamic religions, believe in a God (but His essential nature, purpose of creation, commandments, reward and punishment all are different.) Jainism, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism do not believe in an Almighty. Hindus have a pantheon of gods. The ultimate purpose of life is different in each one of them: Islam speaks of a material heaven, Christians advocate spiritual bliss with god, Hindus desire cessation of birth-rebirth cycle, and Buddhists want Nirvana-a state where pain and joy is alike. There is no similarity in beliefs or ritual practices. The difference between the beliefs of one religion and another is more than the difference between an atheist and a theist."
I wonder if the difference is in that the mad variety of irrationalities makes such radical differences and divergences of beliefs possible. Rationality, by comparison, is downright stodgy ... and I for one can live with that!
Christianity also spoke of a material heaven but people are shying away from that today. Fundamentalism used to be the order of the day and believers knew of a resurrection of the body coz their book said so. This was a main reason that early Christians started burying their dead. Today many say it's not really like that. God is the big spark and they are lesser sparks all surrounding him. Words in the Bible have become figurative but that fundy pastor still tells them what is so. The strange thing here is that if they deny the resurrection of the body their Jesus remains as dead as a door nail. Instead, many today are opting for a soul that never dies and is alive always. The existence they believe in is in another world entirely.
...and believers knew of a resurrection of the body....
When I was a kid in Catholic schools (1936-1949), I heard nuns use this as an argument against cremation.
They tried to persuade me to fulfill their god's purpose and failed.
Since quitting C'ism, I've been fulfilling my purposes and I'm okay with being a puff of smoke coming out of a chimney.
Don't anyone ask me if I favored WW2's Holocaust!
Tom I am going to be cremated. It's a simple solution that shows you have taken care of your own last wishes. My plan is on file at a local funeral home and uses life insurance to do the deed. This is all set in advance of my death and cannot change.
You're right, James - what became canonical Christianity is really just warmed-over Platonism with all the subtlety and interest stripped away and replaced with even more inane claptrap. The Baltimore Catechism, which lays out standard Catholic beliefs, reads like an Ed Wood Jr. movie script.
I agree, Bert.
And Tim Witmarsh in his 2015 Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World says Plato became grumpier as he aged.
They're all memeplexes which use similar mind tricks.
This is quite true.
It is also why atheism will generally be an 'outside' group, Our frame of reference is quite different, so understandably people are not comfortable with us.
Intellectually quite true, jay.
The term "frame of reference" might not connote both the intellectual strengths and the also necessary emotional strengths that atheism requires.
The necessary emotional strengths include at least a greater self confidence (aka pride) than religions allow.
A hypothesis that these emotional strengths include empathy requires more support than I have the time to add just now.