Who is God?? Buddhist View Muslim View Pagan View
Buddhist View • Buddhist are Agnostic; they do not recognize an all powerful God, but they do not deny there could be a God or gods. • There is a focus on self and a desire to reach enlightenment. Buddha means “One who has woken up” or “One who is enlightened”.
Buddhist View • Is their God the creator? • Buddhists do not recognize a creator. They simply believe the universe came to be and will be destroyed and then come to be again.
Islamic View • Muslims are Monotheistic; they believe there is one all powerful God they call Allah. • Allah means “The one who is God”. Muslims believe in the same God that Christians believe in; the God of Abraham. However, Muslims do not believe in The Trinity as Christian do. To Muslims, calling Jesus or any other person, place, or thing “God” is the worst sin.
Islamic View • Is their God the creator? • Yes, they believe that Allah is the Creator of all things. • Did their God always exist? • Yes, they believe that Allah always existed and always will; no beginning and no end. • Can they have a personal relationship with their God? • No, they believe that they are servants to Allah and they should do His will.
Pagan View • Pagans are Pantheistic; they worship nature. AND • Pagans are also Polytheistic; they worship many deities both gods and goddesses.
Pagan View • Are their gods responsible for creation? • Different sects of Paganism have different views of creation. Most believe in the “Big Bang” theory, but some believe in other myths that include stories that involve gods and goddess. One story being that a god carved the earth out of bones and another one about a goddess that gave birth to the earth.
Pagan View • Did their gods always exist? • Within different sects of Paganism there are varies theories about when nature came about, but they all believe that nature did not always exist. • They believe some of their deities always existed.
Pagan View • Can they have a personal relationship with their gods? • They feel connected to nature and to their gods. • Although they feel connected to and at peace with what they worship they do not believe they have a personal relationship with what they worship.
Comparisons • Buddhist View vs Pagan View • Similarities • Differences • Muslim View vs Christian View (the Abrahamic Faiths) • Similarities • Differences
Deep Thinking Questions • 1. How do you view God? Or do you not recognize a God or gods? (explain why) • 2. Do you have a personal relationship with a God or gods or nature? (explain how) • 3. Would you accept a new God or forsake your God for a loved one or a spouse? (explain why or why not)
Bibliography • Good Questions Good Answers; with Ven. S. Dhammika “Do Buddhist believe in God?” and “What does the Buddha say about the origin of the universe?” at www.buddhanet.net/ans73.htm • Connecting With The Divine; by Marilyn Adamson at www.everystudent.com/features/connecting.html • Allah-The One God; at www.islam101.com/tauheed/index.htm • Islamic Beliefs; by B. A. Robinson at www.religioustolerance.org/isl_intr.htm • What Makes A Pagan?; and About Paganism, An Introduction; by Prudence Jones at www.paganfed.org • What Do Pagans Believe In?, “Concepts Of The Divine”; at www.bbc.co.uk/religions/paganism/beliefs/index.shtml