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Why are the differences more important than the similarities?

I have yet to come across a religion or belief system which is completely 100% unlike any other... So why is it that we focus on the differences between us than the similarities? And why is it that it's so hard to see how alike they really are?

Every day there are questions on here like "What do Pagans/Wiccans/Buddhists/Random Religion believe" or "Why do "They" believe "this"... Why is it so hard to find the things that make us the same and so easy to find the things that make us different?

Your input??

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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 11:01 PM on Apr. 20, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I think it's because the differences "define" us, they make us who we are as "individuals" (even in a group). Beyond that I think it's because people feel the need to understand why others do things differently not because they necessarily have the drive to truly understand it (even though some do) but because, "WHAT IF what I believe in about 'xyz' isn't right?" It's fear driven, IMO, they need to prove the differences wrong in order for them to be right, or they put out feelers like that because they aren't convinced they are "right" and want to see what's what. If that makes any sense?


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:16 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • The differences is what separates us. We want to understand others. We can't understand others thinking if we only talk about what we agree on and not what we disagree about.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:41 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • Tthe first responder is absolutely correct. It is the differences that define the various religions and therefore separate them. Some of those differences are huge!For example, Christians believe in a God/Creator/Supreme Being and a savior. Buddhist do not believe in God of any kind and do not look to a supreme being to guide them. It is the job of the Buddhist to find their way to enlightenment through right living and meditation. There is no savior to take them to enlightenment.

    Answer by lori57703 at 12:45 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Because attacking whats different from ourselves is easier than opening our minds to see things from another perspective.

    Attacking has always been easier than looking at another view, about pretty much every topic not just religion/spirituality.

    People attack whats those who have mental disabilities are always seen for those rather than the beauty they bring to the world just by being in it,etc(examples like that).

    Just part of being a human being I figure.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 1:22 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I've always wondered that too. I view the different religious like cars: the fundamentals are the same, just the options are different. All cars have wheels, a motor, and a transmission. The basics of the different religions (to me) are: kindness, wisdom, and seeking to unite with something bigger than ourselves.

    To lori57703 -- a Christian still has to live right and pray, a form of meditation. Jesus gave the tools, but you still have to do the work yourself. Example: a man claims to be a Christian, goes to church on Sunday, & accepted Jesus is his personal savior. However, he drinks too much, knocks the kids around, cheats on his wife... but on Sunday his sins are wiped clean in the blood of the lamb. On Monday, it starts all over. Somehow I'm not thinking that accepting Jesus as his savior magically changed things. The man still has a lot of work to do on his part. Buddhism & Christianity are still not that different.

    Answer by kassknits at 3:16 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I agree that the differences that separates us as an individual and a group are what keeps conversations alive and well around here or anywhere for that matter, but it's the similarities that actually scare some ppl, bc it is making them wonder more outside their own comfort zone (and I am NOT saying that one can not without self assured beliefs) it's that no one wants their beliefs compared to or even categorized on the same line with Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism and etc, etc,...
    IMO... All religions have very similar facets to each other and undoubtedly leads to the same end, but for some it is just hard to accept.

    Answer by gmasboy at 9:06 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I actually believe that the similarities are what is important, and that the differences, not so much. I've found that the faiths of the world can be compatible, regardless of the differences.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:37 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I agree we should focus what we have in common, but most people like drama and get more out of being judgemental. Blessings..


    Answer by Daphna28 at 11:16 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • None of it is real, but the ego in man makes him think it is and man is emotionally attached to his beliefs. And the ego wants to continue to identify with it's beliefs. If there are contrasting beliefs, the ego wants to fight, because it's identity is being threatened.
    If we focus only on what we have in common, we are exercising ego. If we focus only on what we disagree on, we are exercising ego.
    If we become aware that we are not our thoughts/beliefs, but instead, the awareness of them, we are kin.

    Answer by Allow at 12:42 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Because they do not want to admit that there are any similarities so the focus on the differences.

    Answer by purpleducky at 12:57 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

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