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Switch to Forum Live View Is Bahai a monotheistic religion? Or is it atheist?
3 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2011 - 8:51PM #1
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

title says it all.  Do Bahais have a god as wikipedia suggests (monotheism)?
 
Or are they atheists, as a bahai member told many of us? 

I would prefer answers be backed by your scripture so I know it is actually what Bahai teaches instead of what someone has possibly twisted it into, thanks in advance. 

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 2:24AM #2
Aka_me
Posts: 12,325

All praise, O my God, be to Thee Who art the Source of all glory and majesty, of greatness and honor, of sovereignty and dominion, of loftiness and grace, of awe and power.  Whomsoever Thou willest Thou causest to draw nigh unto the Most Great Ocean, and on whomsoever Thou desirest Thou conferrest the honor of recognizing Thy Most Ancient Name. Of all who are in heaven and on earth, none can withstand the operation of Thy sovereign Will. From all eternity Thou didst rule the entire creation, and Thou wilt continue for evermore to exercise Thy dominion over all created things. There is none other God but Thee, the Almighty, The Most Exalted, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise.


Illumine, O Lord, the faces of Thy servants, that they may behold Thee; and cleanse their hearts that they may turn unto the court of Thy heavenly favors, and recognize Him Who is the Manifestation of Thy Self and the Dayspring of Thine Essence. Verily, Thou art the Lord of all worlds. There is no God but Thee, the Unconstrained, the All-Subduing.


Baha'u'llah



In the Name of God, the Most High!  Lauded and glorified art Thou, Lord, God Omnipotent!  Thou before Whose wisdom the wise falleth short and faileth, before Whose knowledge the learned confesseth his ignorance, before Whose might the strong waxeth weak, before Whose wealth the rich testifieth to his poverty, before Whose light the enlightened is lost in darkness, toward the shrine of Whose knowledge turneth the essence of all understanding and around the sanctuary of Whose presence circle the souls of all mankind.


How then can I sing and tell of Thine Essence, which the wisdom of the wise and the learning of the learned have failed to comprehend, inasmuch as no man can sing that which he understandeth not, nor recount that unto which he cannot attain, whilst Thou hast been from everlasting the Inaccessible, the Unsearchable.  Powerless though I be to rise to the heavens of Thy glory and soar in the realms of Thy knowledge, I can but recount Thy tokens that tell of Thy glorious handiwork.


By Thy Glory!  O Beloved of all hearts, Thou that alone canst still the pangs of yearning for Thee!  Though all the dwellers of heaven and earth unite to glorify the least of Thy signs, wherein and whereby Thou hast revealed Thyself, yet would they fail, how much more to praise Thy holy Word, the creator of all Thy tokens.


All praise and glory be to Thee, Thou of Whom all things have testified that Thou art one and there is none other God but Thee, Who hast been from everlasting exalted above all peer or likeness and to everlasting shalt remain the same.  All kings are but Thy servants and all beings, visible and invisible, as naught before Thee.  There is none other God but Thee, the Gracious, the Powerful, the Most High.


Baha'u'llah


IF, and when...


we find it possible to stick to the context of superman figurines...


such as zeus, and odin, and ra, and LDS corporeal heavenly father


I reject the belief in human figure deities, therefore in that context I am an atheist.



Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.


Deities are depicted in a variety of forms, but are also frequently expressed as having human form.



Absolute Reality has no form, and cannot be depicted in any variety of anything.



I am also a Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jew, Christian, Muslim, culminating in the sum total of Baha'i.


if this causes consternation... then I'm sorry for your dismay and bewilderment.


but I have no problem with it.



and why not slander the prophet's name in this forum?

happy will be the day that my tax dollars are not killing innocent women and children in war crimes and crimes against humanity as we shove our head up each other's WhoHa thinking our ends justifies our means while demonizing the enemy for doing the same, when it is we who are the original terrorists. and have an active role creating today's turmoil.
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 2:30AM #3
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

HI AKA, I asked for something not twisted.  So that requires the word "atheist" itself, not your interpretation of it.  The whole Bahai article on wiki never mentions the word. 


So for you-no evidence other than the word in question in your scriptures or in official interpretations of your scriptures (ie not by you lol) would be accepted.


however, if other bahais come in and agree with your seemingly strange and uneducated interpretation-that too would be good enough.  


But clearly this thread is intended for OTHER Bahais, I already have heard plenty about the issue from you-thus the thread.  But thank you for the useless info.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 2:32AM #4
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Ah-and if you read my OP-it is clearly presented such to not sway an answer, but rather to get honesty from other Bahais.  As usual, you attempt to selfishly wreck and derail every thread you come near... such anger.


Anyway, run along and give some other Bahais a chance please, I want to learn from a bahai OTHER THAN YOU-you are not worthy to teach.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 9:33AM #5
Kalzera
Posts: 260

It's kind of complicated. On the one hand we think the "God" essensce is improvable and completely unknowable outside of God's manifestation. It's one of the major reasons for the existence of the station of a Manifestation. So we do believe in a "spiritual reality" beyond the physical that has a sort of "will" that isn't like that of a human; but we don't believe in a human-like or animal-like "God" or a god with physical limits. I've heard us described as "true Agnosticism."


For example, this passage is one of many that clearly attests to our belief in a "spiriual" existence, as well as illustrating the station of the Manifestation: "The first duty prescribed by God for his servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day-Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation" (Kitab-I-Aqdas, 1)


I know my answer is quite general, but there are too many verses that illustrate what "God" is and the Manifestation's role within creation and relationship to the Divine. I'd suggest looking at those sections of Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláhKitab-I-Iqan, and even Esslemont's Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era.

However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 9:35AM #6
Kalzera
Posts: 260

I think, in my personal opinion, if a Bahá'í wished to say they were an agnostic who simply adopts Bahá'í culture, they'd be as much a Bahá'í as a Bahá'í who is deeply spiritual, obsessed with prayer, and describes him/herself as a "Lover of Bahá'u'lláh."


But for someone to claim they are an atheist is a bit of a stretch unless they define atheism as the mere rejection of other religious conceptions of "god." I would never describe myself as an atheist because I believe all religions have some understanding of divinity that is genuine, and thus I can't say I entirely reject all other religious notions of "god," or any for that matter.

However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 11:15AM #7
world citizen
Posts: 5,549

Welcome to the Baha'i forum, Bob!


In response to the actual questions of your thread - Is Bahai a monotheistic religion? Or is it atheist? - the Baha'i Faith is a monotheistic religion, believing in only one God, the Creator.  I see nothing complicated about it.  An atheist believes in the existence of NO God, which is a complete reversal of thought.  To even hint that a Baha'i can also be an atheist is convoluted and, imho, subversive to the Faith's teachings.


"People are so markedly lacking in spirituality these days that the Bahá'ís should consciously guard themselves against being caught in what one might call the undertow of materialism and atheism, sweeping the world these days. Skepticism, cynicism, disbelief, immorality and hard-heartedness are rife, and as friends are those who stand for the antithesis of all these things they should beware lest the atmosphere of the present world affects them without their being conscious of it."
(~Shoghi Effendi [1945], "Lights of Guidance," p. 542)

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 11:36AM #8
Aka_me
Posts: 12,325

Nov 30, 2011 -- 9:33AM, Kalzera wrote:


It's kind of complicated. On the one hand we think the "God" essensce is improvable and completely unknowable outside of God's manifestation. It's one of the major reasons for the existence of the station of a Manifestation. So we do believe in a "spiritual reality" beyond the physical that has a sort of "will" that isn't like that of a human; but we don't believe in a human-like or animal-like "God" or a god with physical limits. I've heard us described as "true Agnosticism."


For example, this passage is one of many that clearly attests to our belief in a "spiriual" existence, as well as illustrating the station of the Manifestation: "The first duty prescribed by God for his servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day-Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation" (Kitab-I-Aqdas, 1)


I know my answer is quite general, but there are too many verses that illustrate what "God" is and the Manifestation's role within creation and relationship to the Divine. I'd suggest looking at those sections of Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláhKitab-I-Iqan, and even Esslemont's Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era.



there are 2 separate issues


one is the similarity with the epistemological atheist:


Epistemological atheism argues that people cannot know a God or determine the existence of a God.


However, the Baha'i God is a distant, unknowable God.


disregarding the word "distant" because the writings also indicate God is closer to us than our life vein


the second issue is with corporeal deities. within the context of discussing corporeal deities, you could say that you are "without belief".


ps: deity and vein... had to go to the dictionary for spell check, whatever happened to "i" before "e"?

happy will be the day that my tax dollars are not killing innocent women and children in war crimes and crimes against humanity as we shove our head up each other's WhoHa thinking our ends justifies our means while demonizing the enemy for doing the same, when it is we who are the original terrorists. and have an active role creating today's turmoil.
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 11:56AM #9
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Nov 30, 2011 -- 11:15AM, world citizen wrote:


Welcome to the Baha'i forum, Bob!


In response to the actual questions of your thread - Is Bahai a monotheistic religion? Or is it atheist? - the Baha'i Faith is a monotheistic religion, believing in only one God, the Creator.  I see nothing complicated about it.  An atheist believes in the existence of NO God, which is a complete reversal of thought.  To even hint that a Baha'i can also be an atheist is convoluted and, imho, subversive to the Faith's teachings.


"People are so markedly lacking in spirituality these days that the Bahá'ís should consciously guard themselves against being caught in what one might call the undertow of materialism and atheism, sweeping the world these days. Skepticism, cynicism, disbelief, immorality and hard-heartedness are rife, and as friends are those who stand for the antithesis of all these things they should beware lest the atmosphere of the present world affects them without their being conscious of it."
(~Shoghi Effendi [1945], "Lights of Guidance," p. 542)




thank you for taking the time to respond, your post indicates what I had suspected.  Atheism seemed to run perfectly contrary to Baha'i which clearly has a Creator God.  

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2011 - 11:59AM #10
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Nov 30, 2011 -- 9:35AM, Kalzera wrote:


I think, in my personal opinion, if a Bahá'í wished to say they were an agnostic who simply adopts Bahá'í culture, they'd be as much a Bahá'í as a Bahá'í who is deeply spiritual, obsessed with prayer, and describes him/herself as a "Lover of Bahá'u'lláh."


But for someone to claim they are an atheist is a bit of a stretch unless they define atheism as the mere rejection of other religious conceptions of "god." I would never describe myself as an atheist because I believe all religions have some understanding of divinity that is genuine, and thus I can't say I entirely reject all other religious notions of "god," or any for that matter.




I'd agree, they'd have to redefine atheism and ignore all of what I read about Baha'is view of atheism and atheists.  One has to reject all gods to be an atheist.  Rejecting all gods BUT one just makes one a monotheist.  Otherwise, by the lame, false definition (rejecting one or more gods)-everyone on the planet is "atheist" which then of course takes any meaning out of the word.


Either way, I appreciate your thoughtful and considerate posts on this issue.  

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