Are All Religions Correct? Discussions with a 10 Year Old

 

Moshe Ben-Chaim


 

 

Introduction

I wrote this article in very basic English, and quite quickly, as a needed and timely response to someone's opinions. I apologize for the base language used, but the ideas, I feel, are relevant to us all, especially those uninitiated with Judaism's tenets. This paper was written for a specific, young person. He needed to be spoken to in this simple and repetitive manner, in order to drive home very basic points. I start this article writing in response to my last discussed point...

 

 

We discussed whether all religions are "correct". Meaning: Is it correct for a Christian to follow the Christian religion? Is it correct for a Muslim that he follows the Muslim religion? This would also mean that it is not correct for a Christian to follow the Muslim religion. (A problem for a person who converts.)

 

Let us make our words clear: What makes a person a "Christian" or a "Muslim"? Being born to parents who follow the Christian religion does not make a person Christian. Because, if the child learns of another religion and then chooses to convert, he will not be Christian. Our ideas and our actions after we are born, change us. A person chooses his religion, and being born in his religion can be changed. Religions say it is OK to convert. This means that all religions say how you are born, is not what makes you that religion. We have proved that a person is not born as a "Christian" or as a "Muslim", but he is born as a man or woman. Religion comes later. How a person chooses to live is what makes him, either Christian, Muslim, or any religion. To say, "Who is born Christian should follow Christianity" is not a correct statement. So how should we choose which religion to follow? I will answer this later on.

 

Another problem is that every religion believes that their religion is the "RIGHT" religion. This means that every person in Christianity believes that Muslim is a wrong religion. Every person of the Muslim religion feels a Christian is wrong for being Christian. This means that each religion says there is only one "RIGHT" religion. If we explain this statement, it means that each religion believes that they have the true religion that G-d wants all people to follow.

 

Belief is Not Proof.  Proof is Superior to Belief.
What explanation do the religions use to prove their positions? Religions, other than the Jewish religion, believe the words of a single man, saying that G-d spoke to a single man. For example, Christianity says that Jesus told many other people that G-d said to follow his new religion. Other people say, "what proof do you have that G-d came to you?" Jesus has no proof of his story that G-d spoke to him, so he tells the others, "You must believe me. I have no proof, but believe me that I have heard the word of G-d." So people will believe him, or they won't believe him, as they have no proof to decide not to. This is the story of all other religions - they are created from the words of a single person. Other people who like this new religion follow this person. After many years, this religion grows, until they have millions of followers. This is how Christianity and Muslim and all other religions grew. We see from this example that a religion can become very popular and have millions of followers, even though it is not based on any proof. Does it make sense to follow a religion without any proof? Well, the same question may be asked differently: Shall I trust my body to a doctor if there is no proof for his medicine? This makes no sense.  So too, I will not trust my soul to a religion, when the religion has no proof that G-d made it.

 

Numbers of "Followers" Later on, is No Proof. But Numbers at an "Event" IS a Proof.
It does not matter how many people follow a religion. Numbers of followers later on cannot prove if a religion is true. A "true" religion means that system that G-d really wants people to follow. There must be proof that G-d gave that system. But be clear on this point: Even though numbers of followers is not a proof for the truth of an "idea", numbers can prove an "event" happened. If I see one million people who today are following the Christian religion, this does not prove that original Christian "ideas" are really correct and made by G-d. All it means is that many people find Christianity appealing. However, if we find an event in history that had many witnesses, then we know 100% that this event really happened. It is impossible that a story with millions of witnesses is false. Any story in history where there were thousands and certainly millions of witnesses AT THAT EVENT, is 100% proof that this event really happened, no matter how long ago it was. Understand this point clearly: Numbers of "followers" later on is not a proof that what they follow really took place. But numbers of people at the original "event" is a proof that that event happened.

 

As an example, thousands of people met Julius Caesar, so we know for sure that he really existed. A story of Caesar would not have become accepted if he never lived. Nobody would accept or transmit such a story. An additional proof is that there is no other story about the Roman Empire for this time period. This rule is true for all other events in history: any intelligible event attended by masses proves this event happened, beyond doubt.

 

We Cannot Judge Judaism as False with no Torah Knowledge.
How does a person know if the Jewish religion and the Torah is right or wrong for all people, unless this person studies and comes to a clear understanding? The truth is that without much study, a person cannot know this. Maybe after much study, a person will see that Judaism is the only religion given by G-d. This would mean that G-d wants man to have only one religion, Judaism. But how do we arrive at a proof that one religion is G-d's choice for all people? We already showed that all religions feel that all others are false. So all religions are not all right. Only one can be correct, only one is the real religion that G-d gave man. How do we prove which one it is?

 
Can we use "proof" to select a religion, or are we not to use proof? Are we just to "feel" what is in our heart, and follow these feelings? Do we always follow what our fathers teach us? Can our fathers be wrong? What if two people feel two different things in their heart, are they both right? If your father tells you to be free, and my father tells me to follow the Jewish religion, they cannot both be right. Who is right? How do we decide? How do we prove which religion, if any, G-d wants man to follow?

 

If we say that simple belief is an acceptable way of following G-d - with no proof - then any person can do this. For example, I can tell other people that G-d came to me in a dream and that I have a new religion. Am I any different than Jesus? Why should my religion be any less important than Christianity? Jesus had his religion, and I have mine! So you might say that Jesus made miracles, and I did not. Well, there is no proof for his miracles; there were not hundreds of people that saw any of hi supposed miracles. Also, there is no proof that Mohammed flew up to the sky. You see, we need to "prove" which religion is true.

 

Religion is not a matter of simple belief. It is a matter which like any other story in history, requires a proof if we are to accept it as "100% true". How do we "know" truth? How do we prove which religion G-d gave to man? Also, how do we know that G-d wants one religion to be followed by all people?

 

Go did not make many types of people, we are all he same. We all have 2 eyes, 1 nose, 1 head, 2 arms and 2 legs. Just like we are all the same in our body, we are also the same in our minds, and in our feelings. All people love, hate, and feel pain when our family members die. We all feel anger when someone lies to us, and most of all, we are all looking for happiness in life. Since all people are of the same design, this means what is good for one person, is good for all of us. All of our bodies, emotions and mentalities are the same.

 

We know that G-d made all people. Then G-d is the best One to ask direction for what we should do to be happy. If G-d tells us to follow one religion, He certainly knows best, and we would be foolish not to follow Him.

 

The Proof for Judaism and the Torah.
This is where we come to the proof that G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish nation on Mount Sinai. This event is the only time in all of world history when G-d made miracles in front of millions of people and told us there is one G-d and one religion - Judaism. It is a very simple and clear proof that we know 100% that G-d wants all people to follow the Torah. The story of the miracles G-d did on Mount Sinai in front of millions of Jews is not only believed by Jews, but all Christians also believe this story. Do you know why?  Only because so many Jews were telling so many other people, this is why the true story of G-d giving the Torah spread over the whole world. Everybody knows that if the whole world agrees that something in history happened, then, it must be true. It is impossible to make up a story that a mountain was on fire and a voice came from the mountain. If this story were false, no one would believe it! But the story really happened, so this is why everyone there told their children, and they told their grandchildren, and they told theirs, until today! Because so many people were there and saw all of G-d's miracles. G-d made the mountain on fire. The world believes this history happened because the story says so many people were there. This is different from Christianity, which says, "believe" in Jesus. Christianity does not have an event where so many people were there. They have no proof. No other religion has proof.

 

Now that we know that G-d really gave us His Torah, we must look into it to see what He says will make us happy.

 

G-d also tells us in His Torah that all other religions are false. G-d says that praying to trees, praying to man, praying to animals, believing in magic, miracles or witchcraft is all false. G-d tells us that anyone who teaches something against Torah is false, and his religion is false. Well, Christians and Muslims teach against G-d's Torah. They must be false. We are not to follow any religion except Judaism and Torah. Why did G-d tell us not to follow other religions? G-d said this because G-d knows that He made only one religion. That is all we need forever. G-d knows all of the future, so G-d knows that Torah is good always. One religion called Judaism and Torah has all the right ideas. If someone tells us something different than Torah, then we know he is wrong, because G-d is always right. There is no proof that G-d made the Christian religion or the Muslim religion. Since there is no proof, we do not follow them. But we must know that if G-d made one religion, then only one religion is needed. G-d knows how to put all the important ideas into one religion. G-d does not need more than one religion.

 

 

What does it mean to be "good"to other people?

I agree with your idea. It is very important that we are "good" to other people. This is an idea, which the Torah agrees with. The most important thing is that we try to do what is good for other people. We must be interested in the happiness of others, and we are not just interested in ourselves. We are not to be doing always for me, me, me. This is wrong. We must be generous and kind to other people too. We are nice to people no matter what religion they are.

But we must think about this: What does it mean to be "Good"? What does "Good" mean? The reason I say this, is because I read of many people doing different things in their life - but they all feel they are doing what is "Good". But I ask myself, "How can so many people do different things, but all these different things are Good? This does not make sense to me."

 

For example, many years ago, the Christians killed innocent people during the Crusades. They thought it was good and important and was based on the laws of their Christian religion. But the people they killed did not think it was a good. So who has the "right" idea of what is good? Are the Christians right or are the families of the dead right? Who can make such a decision? If we say that killing is evil, then I have another question: If for example, a man named "Thomas" is being killed by a man named "Jon", is it right for Thomas to kill Jon to protect himself? These questions make us think that there must be some rules that tell us when killing is bad, and when killing is good. Without rules and a way to decide, we cannot say if Christians are good when they kill, or if they are evil. This is a question not just on Christians, but on any people who kill. We must have some way to know if killing is evil or good for every situation.

 

Are we to make up our own laws about when it is right to kill, and when it is wrong? This cannot work, because you will come up with one idea and I will come up with a different idea. It is for this reason that we can not just live by a simple rule, "just to be good to everyone." We must first think and learn about what is good.

 

The truth is, that a man or woman cannot come up with a law for what is "Good". This decision is not possible for us to make. In a discussion of "good and evil", no one person can ever be "more right" than another, and there can never be an end to this question. But now that we proved that G-d exists, and that G-d made every man and woman, and G-d also made the Torah, we have an answer. G-d tells us in His Torah what is good and what is evil. We have a clear explanation. Without the Torah, we cannot know what is good and what is evil. Since G-d made every man and every woman, G-d is the only one with the right to decide when killing is a good, and when it is a bad. If someone wants to kill me, then he is evil, and I can kill him to protect myself. My killing is a good, because G-d said that man could protect himself. When the Christians killed so many people, they were evil, because G-d did not say that to be Christian is good. G-d said that to be Christian is evil, because a Christian will kill innocent people. The Christian religion has evil in it.

 

Just Being Good to Everyone is an Evil Thing to do.
Judaism and the Torah say we cannot kill anyone. But if a man wants to kill me and I am not evil, G-d says in the Torah that I can kill him to save my life. When I save my life, I am killing, but it is good to kill him so I can save myself. G-d also teaches us in the Torah that there are people who are so bad, that we must kill them. If we let them live, then they will kill others. So we must kill the bad people to save the good people.

 

But today, the world says we should not follow the Torah. Today, the world says we cannot kill the Palestinian people. But G-d says that we should, because they kill babies, and little children. So who do we follow? Do we follow the world, and just be nice to people? And then more Jewish babies will die, or do we listen to G-d?

 

There is a clear set of rules that G-d made and gave to man and woman. G-d calls these rules the Torah. G-d wants man to be able to make a decision that is best for everybody. But man cannot just think for himself what is best. Man needs G-d to teach us what is the real "good." This is why I tell you that we cannot be simple, and think we have all the answers. We do not. We need the Torah that G-d wrote. With the Torah, we know what is good and what is evil. If we do not learn the Torah, we will make very big mistakes, and we will let people live who must really die. And when we let people live who are evil, they will kill, maybe even our own children. So we must follow what G-d says because He knows what is best for all people.

 

Some nations free evil people for political reasons. But if we would follow what G-d says in the Torah, we would not let evil people free. When evil people are free, they will kill more Jewish children. Why do evil men go free? Because of politics. This is evil. G-d knows better than leaders, and G-d's Torah says to kill the evil men. But if Sharon wants money from the United States, and he listens to Bush and lets evil people free, Sharon would be evil.

 

We see that in politics, if we do not listen to G-d, our politics will kill Jewish children. So even in politics, we cannot do anything if we do not use the Torah as our teacher. If we do not follow G-d's Torah, we will cause evil to ourselves. Even politics makes no sense with out G-d's Torah.

 

The Torah is to help us in every area of our lives.

 

G-d did not say, "just be nice and good to everyone". Torah is not that simple. Only if we learn the Torah, slowly and with our heart, then we will learn what is true. We will never know the whole Torah! This is not our job. This is too big for us to do. But if we learn a little each week, and even each day, then we will slowly learn what makes sense in every place in our lives. But if we don't listen to G-d's wisdom, then we will live a life with much hurt, and we will not be happy. This is what G-d says in His Torah.