Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:10 PM
All of the above; the way I figure it, the differences are on humanity's end, not God's. We're the ones with the limited perspective and incomplete understanding, obviously where there are errors or differences of interpretation it would be due to cultural and linguistic differences or individual differentiation in humanity. When you get down to it, the various faiths are actually startlingly similar, the differences are mostly on the surface and don't go to the heart of the matter. There's a school of thought in Hinduism called Vedanta which really gets to the heart of these argument.
I think religion is still well ahead of science when it comes to the search for truth and understanding. Religion has thousands of years on science, for one thing, and also science tends to focus more on practical advances, it moves by small increments, and of course it is much more rigorous about testing and falsifiability. That's not a criticism; I believe that science will eventually prove that much of what religion says is accurate, but we don't have the technology to make most religious claims testable at present. I've been doing lots of reading about physics lately, and I think our current understanding is remarkably close to what Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, and if you don't want to take my word for it, Schrodinger and Opperman thought so too.
When people go criticizing religion, some of the high profile academics who are stridently anti-religious like to point to all the wars and violence where religion or religious difference have been invoked, but that's not what these wars are really about. Humanity has always had violence and conflict, with religion or otherwise. Where religion is a major force or organizing principle in society, it gets invoked when there's conflict. When religion is less prominent, people find some other justification or some other ideology. It's not religion that's the problem, it's human nature, indeed the nature of life is to struggle and come in conflict with other life, that's not going to change if we stop being religious.
Despite all this, they say that one naturally gravitates towards the beliefs one was raised on. I grew up christian, Mennonite to be specific, and it's an appealing worldview and belief system that I like and feel comfortable with. I definitely have the distrust of technology! But I also find a lot of good things in hinduism, buddhism, paganism. Some of the other denominations and abrahamic faiths seem a little strident to me, and some don't, but I find that generally religious people are good people, kind and charitable and understanding, and more open-minded than the internet gives us credit for.
Ceterum censeo Chicaginem delendam esse