Philosophy Dialogue Religion can be described as a belief in and the adoration of a supernatural being with controlling powers. Most of the followers call the supernatural being God or god. Since religion is a belief, every person has the freedom to choose the one belief those best suits his/her needs. However, the traditions behind the belief can be viewed as a continuum (Vaughn 198). Parents and close relatives instill the belief in children and continue to reinforce it throughout life to adulthood. Therefore, one’s parents play a crucial role in the religion one adopts as an adult. Despite this notion, some people will defect from their original religion as they mature. Defection depends on the forces surrounding you as an adult. I have retained Christianity, which is my original religion. Most of my peers have not been able to challenge my belief in Christianity.
Besides, the doctrines and traditions taught in the religion are realistic and offer comprehensive guidance to all followers through the person of Jesus Christ. Summary of the Dialogue Although sometimes I find myself doubting the existence of God, the scriptures in the holy book (Bible) reassure my belief. In an exclusive interview with Gursimran Mahal, a Jain acquaintance, I learned that every religion has an origin and a founder. For instance, Mahavira among the Jains founded Jainism. He rejected the good life in his family and wandered in search of salvation(Vaughn 134). Gursimran likened the life of Mahavira to that of Buddha, the Buddhism founder in that both renounced comfort in search of salvation. However, the issue of the founder in Christianity is not revealed. Some argue that Jesus founded Christianity; others claim that it was Paul. Neither the Old nor the New Testament has revealed the mystery of the origin of Christianity. For this reason, it is in line for any people who vow allegiance to any religion to question its origin and authenticity. Besides, the Jains do not have a common that is used universally across the religion. Rather, they are guided by traditions and treatise. The traditions and doctrines of the religion are taught by jinas (conqueror). The understanding of Jainism depends on the extent to which an individual grasps the notion of jiva (soul) which is the essence of all living beings(Vaughn 136). When a Jain person dies, jiva, which is regarded as being eternal and conscious, regains the capability of controlling the body.
A perfected state of the soul is said to be pure, omniscient, infinitely blissful, and bright. Analysis of Religious Experience My interview with Gursimran Mahal focused on supernatural powers as well as myths surrounding worship in Jainism as studied in class. The dialogue revealed that Jainism involves the practice many forms of worship that include the devotion to gods, jinas, and tirthankaras. Besides, they utter praise, sing hymns, and consecrate statues. Some of the statues are small and can fit in home shrines while others are towering works of stone. Their traditions do not contain any reference to gods. However, they exhibit the pessimistic Jain outlook on life. The Jains are atheistic, and thus they do not acknowledge the existence of God. Nevertheless, they acknowledge the existence of lesser gods whom they do not elevate as supernatural beings to honored places of worship in the belief system. The ethics and moral observances in Jainism include the respect for life that calls people to shun from practices that may cause harm to creatures(Vaughn 137). The Book of Good Conduct urges all followers of Jainism to adhere to the eternal law of nonviolence.
I find the nonviolence meaningful as violence has engulfed the entire world. If human beings are governed by the law of nonviolence, then related challenges are likely to be evaded. In most cases, people tend to err in challenging times. However, the adoption of the nonviolence doctrine would help during such times. Reflection In my view on religions, every follower has a rationale of adhering to the doctrines and traditions of his/her belief. For instance, the Jains claim that being governed by the traditions and treatise help them in the quest for salvation. Christians too believe that Jesus is the light of the world that shines and guides them in all their undertakings. I appreciate the diversity in religions and beliefs. However, I concur with the Jains in that violence is sinning against the earth. The Christian teaching holds that humans were given dominion over all creatures on earth. However, the power does give the mandate to harm the creatures.