For people that claim to be worshiping the same god, those following the religions of Abraham certainly have a lot of conflict and animosity between them. From pogroms against the Jews, to the Crusades or suicide bombers, there is no telling how many lives have been lostthroughout history. While most of the conflict between these religions now is more verbal in nature, even verbal attacks say something about both the religions and the god they are worshiping.
Before even looking at the attacks different religions make on each other, one has to wonder why there is any doubt at all. It is impossible to rationalize how a being with the power to create the universe could not find a way to communicate his word that left no doubt. Be it in miracles or something less dramatic, if one religion is the right one, why not tell everyone in a way that no sane person could deny?
Why cannot people just get along?
Human nature being what it is, the fact that nobody can offer clear, objective divine proof of what religion god favors has led to all kinds of conflict. Why would a god let his creations fight in his name when he could easily clear up any confusion? It can be argued that some wars fought in the name of religion were not actually about it, but many certainly were.
The problem with criticizing the religions of Abraham
Leaving those questions aside, even when conflict over religion is limited entirely to words, it is saying troubling things about the faith of those criticizing and the god of Abraham. First, let’s look at two perspectives.
Christians will criticize Islam for its violent passages that are discussed some in is Islam peaceful. Other times, they will attack the Quran’s accuracy since Islam claims it is the perfect, inerrant word of a god.
Muslims will point out what appear to be real logical absurdities in such biblical ideas to include Jesus’ sacrifice or bringing to light some very unsavory versus in the Old Testament that raise serious questions about the bible and morality.
While these criticisms will not be argued here, at least some of the must be right. For example, if Christianity is divine truth, then Islam, with its teachings that Jesus was only a prophet but not the son of god, has to be wrong. The Quran must be a flawed book and not perfect, divine truth.
On the other hand, if Islam is divine word, then at least part of the Bible has to be wrong. Somewhere, the Bible was corrupted (although Muslims never explain exactly where and how nor offer a reason why Allah would allow it) and is now misleading people in a religion that is not the Abrahamic god’s preferred choice.
This is a problem for those pointing out the flaws in an opposing Abrahamic religion because they are admitting their god sits by and lets people be misled. For example, let’s say the Muslims are correct in pointing out the flaws in the Bible and Torah, and there are certainly some parts of the Old Testament that are very shocking. Why would a god let billions of his creations over thousands of years, to this very day, believe what is flawed and evil (as Muslims see it) to be followed as his word? That would be a very careless being at best and an evil one at worst. Surely, a god could find a way to prevent such mistaken beliefs from ever taking root in the first place.
If Christians are correct, then their god also has let billions of people to be misled. Why would god, after going through the whole drama of Jesus’ sacrifice, afterwards let so many people be led astray? If he is all knowing, he certainly should have seen what would come. This includes both the huge number of people that have been misled as well as the religious conflicts that have arisen between Islam and Christianity.
What makes things even more baffling is the fact that the penalties for getting things wrong are so high. Until this day, most Christians and Muslims believe that torture for all eternity is the penalty for choosing the wrong religion. With the stakes so high, there should be a high amount of divine proof to make sure as many people as possible get it right.
What was best before?
When people criticize an Abrahamic religion that came before theirs, they are not considering the question of what religion people were to follow before their prophet. For example, if a Muslim is correct in pointing out the flaws in Christianity or Judaism, were not those flaws there from well before Muhammad? What religion did the god of Abraham want people to follow, let’s say, 200 years before Muhammad started preaching? Why was it ok for people to follow a religion that says some horrible things then but not afterwards? Wouldn’t Christianity have been the word of their god to humanity at that time and what they should have followed if born then?
While this question is not as troubling for Christians, fundamentalists Christians should think about their belief that their god is sending people to burn for all eternity for following a religion (Judaism) that was preferred by him for centuries!
Perhaps if people considered these facts before attacking another religion, they would be more humble and the world more peaceful.