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Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?
September 1st, 2013
03:26 AM ET

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN
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(CNN) - Pope Francis surprised Israeli and Palestinian leaders last month when he invited them to a special prayer ceremony at the Vatican this Sunday - not least because religion has often been the source, not the salve, of the region's conflicts.

Still, Pope Francis offered his "home" - the Vatican - as the perfect place to plea for some divine assistance, and Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dutifully agreed to attend.

"The Pope has placed it in this perspective: Prayer is like a force for peace,” Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin told Vatican Radio.

"We hope that there, where human efforts have so far failed, the Lord offers to all the wisdom and fortitude to carry out a real peace plan."

But Sunday's special ceremony at the Vatican raises an interesting question: When Francis, Peres and Abbas bow their heads in prayer, will they be talking to the same God?

After all, Jews, Christians and Muslims all trace their faiths back to a fellow named Abraham, whom they all claim was chosen for special treatment by the Almighty.

Not academic

The “same God” question is one theologians have hammered at for as long as there have been enough religions for the query to make sense.

The question is hardly academic, though. In fact, a number of politicians, religious leaders and scholars have expressed hope in recent years that a convincing answer on the God question might dampen the violence committed in His name.

Yale Divinity School theologian Miroslav Volf recently edited a book titled “Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue.”

In the introduction, Volf explained why the title question matters:

"To ask: ‘Do we have a common God?’ is, among other things, to worry: ‘Can we live together?’ That’s why whether or not a given community worships the same god as does another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one."

On the other hand, there’s CNN Belief Blog contributor and Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero.

His book on this subject is titled “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World.”

Prothero writes:

“For more than a generation we have followed scholars and sages down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where all gods are one … In fact this naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink – has made the world more dangerous by blinding us to the clash of religions that threaten us worldwide.”

In the world of politics, President George W. Bush asserted the unity side of the argument more than once in the years after the 9/11 attacks - often as a way to deflect accusations that America was at war with Islam.

Bush told Al Arabiya television, “I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality.”

Pope Francis invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Vatican peace talks

Pope John Paul II drew from the same rhetorical well several times.

“We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection,” he first said in a speech to Muslims in Morocco in 1985.

Looking for a more recent example? Consider the plight of Vatican envoy to Malaysia.

Shortly after he arrived there last year, Archbishop Joseph Marino said that is was fine by him that Christian translations of the Bible into Malay use the word “Allah” for “God.”

“Allah” is, of course, the Arabic word for God and is found in the Quran. The Christian translators explained that since most Malaysians are Muslim, it’s the word they’re most comfortable with and therefore the best choice for the translation.

But many Muslim authorities in Malaysia were furious. They say Christians are slipping in the familiar word as a way to convert Muslims. And conversion of Muslims is all but illegal in Malaysia.

There’s a lawsuit ongoing about the translations. Marino had to apologize for pushing into Malaysian politics.

Points of disagreement

So what do the “Abrahamic” religions disagree about?

Among other things: the purpose of humanity, the relationship of God and humanity, sin, forgiveness, salvation, the afterlife, Jesus, Muhammad, the calendar, and the religious importance of Abraham himself.

Plus the nature of God.

Any summary will leave out enormous nuance. Internal divisions within religions have fueled some of the worst examples of human violence. Consider the long and frequently bloody history of troubles between Catholics and Protestants or the growing death toll of Muslim-on-Muslim attacks.

But there are common elements about God widely accepted in each tradition.

Judaism

Start with Judaism, since it came first and established roots that carried into the other two.

Jewish tradition teaches that there is one and only one God, creator of everything, and He established physical and moral laws. As Judaism’s preeminent prayer says: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

This God walks and talks directly with His creations – for a while.

Eventually, He chooses one particular nomad (Abraham) to father a mighty nation that God sets up as an example to other nations.

This God likes the smell of burning meat and demands other extremely specific physical offerings as evidence of obedience and repentance. And He gives His chosen people a particular set of laws – but doesn’t mind discussion and even argument about those laws.

A famous rabbinic saying implies that every word in Judaism’s sacred texts can be understood in 70 correct (but related) ways. And human reasoning can even trump divine intention. (No kidding. It’s in the Talmud)

This God judges His people every year. Tradition says he’s willing to accept imperfection, as long as it comes with repentance.

He’s big on obedience, not so much on faith. He’s not nearly as attentive to the behaviors of non-Jews. (There’s a famous Jewish joke with the punch line “Would you mind choosing somebody else once in a while?”)

Tradition holds that there’s a World To Come after death where moral accounts will somehow be settled. But this God is vague on details.

Christianity

The most obvious differences in the Christian God are the traditional teachings about the Trinity and Jesus. God is three separate persons who are also one. How? Christianity says the Trinity is a “mystery” of faith.

According to Christian tradition, God begets a son who is somehow also Him but not Him to atone for Original Sin. He sacrifices that son though a brutal death and thus achieves humanity's salvation.

But the son, who also is God, rises from the dead. And that sacrifice redeems eternally all who accept and believe in it. Faith, not behavior, is the essential measure of salvation.

This God is willing to vastly expand what it means to be among His “chosen people.” He’s also willing to cancel many of the laws that had applied to that chosen group for this expanded membership.

Orthodox Jews say that God prohibits them from eating a cheeseburger; Christians say God has no problem with them wolfing down Big Macs.

Unlike the Jewish God, whose instructions are almost all about this world, the Christian God is focused more on eternal salvation: heaven and hell.

Finally, for this God, much of the Jewish scriptures (which are all God’s word) are actually about foreshadowing Jesus. Including Abraham.

Islam

The Muslim God is a bit more like the Jewish God.

There is no Trinity in Muslim tradition. Jesus was a prophet, but no more divine than other prophets.

God has never has had anything like physical attributes and has no gender. (Some Muslim commentators say that the noun “Allah” is masculine, but only in the way that all nouns in some languages include gender.)

Muslim tradition holds that God wants one thing from humans: Submission. The word “Islam” is defined as “submission to the will of God.”

For Muslims, all true prophets in Jewish and Christian traditions were actually Muslim because they knew to submit correctly to God. Differences between Muslim, Jewish and Christian interpretations of God are due to errors that crept into the other two faiths, Islam teaches.

The Muslim God, like the other two, initially demanded that Abraham sacrifice a son. But the Muslim God wanted Abraham’s son Ishmael, not Isaac, who Jewish tradition holds was offered as a the sacrifice.

The Muslim God also designated, from before the world began, a perfect man to be his final prophet: Muhammad. God’s perfect truths are found only in the Quran and in the sayings of Muhammad, the hadiths.

And the Muslim God, like the Christian God but unlike the Jewish God, will welcome believers to paradise and condemn many non-Muslims - exactly which ones is a matter of much discussion - to eternal torment.

Final answer

So do Christians Muslims, and Jews, really all worship the same God?

In two major volumes on the subject recently published by scholars from various faiths and traditions, including Volf’s, the most inclusive response from these scholars is basically: Yes, and it’s our God.

This is not a new way of answering the question.

In 1076, Pope Gregory VII wrote this to a Muslim leader: “We believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way…”

But like many other religious leaders on all sides of the argument, Gregory insisted that his version of the Almighty is the one whom the others are unknowingly and incompletely worshiping.

A less exclusivist set of religions might shrug off the differences. But all three claim to have the only “True Faith.”

So do all three faiths actually worship the same deity, whether they call him God or Allah or Adonai?

God only knows.

Jeffrey Weiss is an award-winning religion reporter in Dallas.The views expressed in this column belong to Weiss. A version of this story first ran in September 2013. 

CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this article. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • History • Islam • Judaism • Muslim • Religious violence • Torah • Vatican

soundoff (7,438 Responses)
  1. Me 3

    The real quesiton is: Would the God of any of these religions condone the killing of people of other faiths? I think not.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  2. God Is Love

    I think all true Children of God believe in & will go home to our 1 and only Heavenly Father that created this wonderful world we live in. No matter your "earthly religion" it's all about your heart, your faith & your belief! As for you nonbelievers who say God isn't real please please tell me how this world we live in came about... Evolution is a crock because of all my years on this earth I've never seen a monkey turn into a man nor have I seen a man just make something from nothing! The fact is people deny Our Father because they feel as if they don't acknowledge Him then they won't have any "Rules" to follow & they are only worried about their time here on earth. When we die we will all be judged ! What will you nonbelievers do when God reads you your book of life & denies you just like you have denied him? God isn't fake, God is the only true thing we have in this life without a doubt. Who are we to try and define what religion is or isn't correct... I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died for our sins and I believe that you will know a true child of God when you meet one! God gave you the option to also believe these things & he promises us something that's far more beautiful than our earthly eyes have ever seen. For those of you who do not know The Lord I pray for you today that you will find him. Allow him into your heart & your home... It's never to late to call on him... I'd rather live my life for The Lord & die to find out that he isn't real than to just live my life & die to find him waiting in disappointment with a broken heart! Thank you Heavenly Father for allowing me to see this and be able to spread your love & your word and if 1 person opens their heart and accepts you today then today has been a blessed day. In Jesus name.... Amen

    September 1, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Just Call Me Lucifer

      Man, I can smell your fear from here. You may not have seen a monkey turn in to a man, but I just witnessed a man turn in to a monkey. There are no gods to save you, but there certainly are demons under your bed at night. Its like George Zimmer used to say... I guarantee it!

      September 1, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  3. kahnkeller

    what a load of crap article... at last count there were some 5,000 organized religions...with 10,000 major gods and many more minor gods... and this guy wants us to think that ... the god worshiped by these three religions is... what... more important that say...the BIG ROCK HEAD GOD (he lives in my back yard)... what all this tells us is: religion is the source of mankind's worst troubles... and there are no gods...good or evil....and that man will be for ever tired to religions until he/she
    are ready to take responsibility for their decisions and their lives.... alas...not much hope for that to happen.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  4. someOne

    I do not believe in the theory that religions causing blood shed, if you dig in what is really happening you will find that people greed and eager to posses power is the real motivator but sometime they will use religion as cover.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Ever been to Northern Ireland?
      The Middle East?

      September 1, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • kahnkeller

      you are a fool.... religions require or approve of killing the members of other religions.... because they want to control
      the people of the world.... how do you tie that to a persons greed or desire for power....

      September 1, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Terry Wisland

      Really? Then why did the Israeli army allow a Christian militia to massacre hundreds of Palestinian arabs in 1981 Beirut?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  5. Joe

    To say that all 3 religions worship the same god because all have (supposedly) the same roots (this is doubtful for Islam) or all call what they worship 'god' is to ignore the basic fact that a 'thing' (in this case a god) is defined and delimited by its characteristics (or those ascribed to it). Theologians have called these god's 'attributes'. If one compares the attributes of the god the three religions worship one finds they are very different. For example, Christianity believes in a god with essentially the same attributes as Judaism, but also worships Jesus as god (belief in the trinity). To Christians, this does not mean they worship a different god from Jews, but Jews would disagree, since Jews don't believe Jesus is divine. Likewise Muslims don't believe Jesus is divine. So, based on the trinitarian 'attribute' alone, Christianity's god is different from Judaism or Islam. This is just one, readily apparent example. One can call a chair 'god' but if that chair doesn't have the attributes ascribed to god (from Scripture – in this case Hebrew Bible or New Testament) such as 'omnipotence, omnipresence, omnisciense' (to name the 'big 3') that chair is obviously not the god that Christians, Jews, or even Muslims worship. It's not about 'name'; it's about characteristics.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • John M.

      But even within Christianity, the various sects/religions differ on key aspects of the nature of God. Is the Roman Catholic God really the same one as the Southern Baptist one - using your definition for determining whether people are really speaking of the same god?

      September 1, 2013 at 8:47 am |
  6. DocHollywood

    I think Christians believe in the trinity as a way to explain the fact that in Genisus, God refers to himself in the plural ('we', 'like us'). It seems like all religions make up facts to fit the situation. Religion is more about power (for certain mortals) than about faith. And it is a good excuse to kill anyone who does not believe like you do and take the land they live on and the resources that abide there. We could live with a little less religion and a little more emphaty and compassion.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  7. stevie68a

    People are brainwashed as children and carry this nonsense into adulthood. The popular ideas about god are made up.
    Religions were created by men.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  8. greekdj

    Take this post down. You've done a terrible job with your analysis of the Christian faith.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  9. whydouask

    Are all religions acceptable to God?
    Judg. 10:6, 7: “The sons of Israel again proceeded to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah, and they began to serve the Baals and the Ashtoreth images and the gods of Syria and the gods of Sidon and the gods of Moab and the gods of the sons of Ammon and the gods of the Philistines. So they left Jehovah and did not serve him. At this Jehovah’s anger blazed against Israel.” (If a person worships any thing or any person other than the true God, the Creator of heaven and earth, it is evident that his form of worship is not acceptable to Jehovah.)
    Mark 7:6, 7: “He [Jesus] said to them [the Jewish Pharisees and scribes]: ‘Isaiah aptly prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written, “This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach as doctrines commands of men.”’” (Regardless of whom a group profess to worship, if they hold to doctrines of men instead of the inspired Word of God, their worship is in vain.)
    Rom. 10:2, 3: “I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not according to accurate knowledge; for, because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” (People may have God’s written Word but lack accurate knowledge of what it contains, because they have not been taught properly. They may feel that they are zealous for God, but they may not be doing what he requires. Their worship is not going to please God, is it?)
    Is it true that there is good in all religions?
    Most religions do teach that a person should not lie or steal, and so forth. But is that sufficient? Would you be happy to drink a glass of poisoned water because someone assured you that most of what you were getting was water?
    2 Cor. 11:14, 15: “Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness.” (Here we are cautioned that not everything that originates with Satan may appear hideous. One of his chief methods of deceiving mankind has been false religion of all kinds, to some of which he gives a righteous appearance.)
    2 Tim. 3:2, 5: “Men will be . . . having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.” (Regardless of their outward professions of love for God, if those with whom you worship do not sincerely apply his Word in their own lives, the Bible urges you to break off such association

    September 1, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Robert

      Typical. Haul out the old majical spell book and quote a bunch of nonsense. Just because you believe it does not make it so. Really study your Babble and look at it for what it is. A bunch of made up nonsense complete with ghosts and goblins.

      September 1, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  10. sunnylovetts

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
    Not at all CNN, stop lying.

    The Holy Bible is the word of God.

    So many deceivers in the media.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Just Call Me Lucifer

      Can you just see this guy putting his fingers in his ears and saying "La La La" to himself to shut out the truth?

      September 1, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  11. kenrick Benjamin

    We often talk about Evolution, this is Evolution of the religious kind, all coming from a single root God and Abraham. It's that simple.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  12. Keh'Lyn

    Twenty blind people surround an elephant. They all place their right hand on the elephant. Each then describes what they feel. Each is right, for their portion. But all are wrong as none gets the whole picture. To me – that describes today's religions. For modern humans to describe god in terms and ideas set forth before the invention of running water is idiotic. That only one religion is "right" is beyond stupid. There have been great and wonderful people of every different religion, faith and sect. This need to divide is the route that has led to billions of deaths through the centuries. It is time that all humans learn to live in cooperation and peaceful coexistence or we will disappear just like the dinosaurs.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Colin

      A more accurate analogy is the dragon in Carl Sagan's garage.

      The Dragon In My Garage (an excerpt from Sagan's A Demon Haunted World)
      by Carl Sagan

      "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"

      Suppose I seriously make such a claim to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

      "Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle - but no dragon.

      "Where's the dragon?" you ask.

      "Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving va.guely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

      You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

      "Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."

      Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

      "Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."

      You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

      "Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."

      And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work. Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?

      If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, claims immune to disproof are worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder.”

      And that, my friends, is the Christian, Jewish and Muslim god.

      September 1, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  13. someOne

    The answer of this question is in fact in Quran. "Say (to them): "We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you, and your God and our God is one and the same. We are Muslims wholly submitted to Him." http://mquran.org/content/view/3386/4/

    September 1, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  14. david

    God, like love are loaded, ambiguous, and divisive. The reality is that God is a great mystery, the human mind can not fathom what God is, nor have the capacity to do so. God to quote a modern philosopher "is a lost continent in the human mind"

    September 1, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Realist

      ..... No ..... Because... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      September 1, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  15. Everyone is wrong...

    REALITY, YOU'RE TWISTED...

    September 1, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  16. Chino

    Ya know...my interpretation of the article is about how the world would be if it had people believing that the God of the major middle eastern religions are multiple Gods and not the same God. And most of y'all have been going on about if God existed in the first place.

    Lets forget that and think instead on what this Professor Stephen Prothero (I never heard of him either) fella wrote:

    “For more than a generation we have followed scholars and sages down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where all gods are one … In fact this naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink – has made the world more dangerous by blinding us to the clash of religions that threaten us worldwide.”

    If the disciples of the Big 3 believe these are indeed different Gods, would we have as much warfare as we had/have/are having?

    Would the disciples mainly just said, "Well, that's their God" or "That's just what their God says"... instead of arguing to the point of war over the minutiae in the Bible, Koran and Torah? Or would the believe that the Gods are different spur on even greater wars?

    Because of where I come from, a city/country where disciples of the the Big 3 and a dozen other religions intersperse and mingle freely in their everyday lives, because of this, I tend to think that if each God was different, people would get along better.

    Thoughts anyone?

    September 1, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  17. Reality

    And to finish the topic:

    Again for the new members:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e. the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.
    ==========================================================================

    September 1, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Realist

      ..... YES ... Because... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      September 1, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Joe

      Wow Reality. We now know IS god – YOU! Since you are omniscient and know all things without question, you MUST be god, since no human can hope to possess complete and unquestionable knowledge of all these things (I'm assuming you WERE actually PRESENT when these things didn't happen and are giving us first-hand information).

      September 1, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Another Atheist

      Look, I'm an atheist as well, but your response shows a complete misunderstanding of multiple religions. At least you're being consistent in that. For example, the existence of Abraham and Moses are "proven" by the Bible, *if* one accepts the Bible as fact. Obviously we don't, but we also aren't in a position to argue that Abraham and Moses didn't exist. Proving a negative, especially for people who putatively lived thousands of years ago is rarely achievable. As for your comments about Buddha, you should read up on him before making comments about fat vs. skinny Buddha. He explored a variety of philosophies during his lifetime, including asceticism. Your other comments are similarly misinformed, at best.

      September 1, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  18. Neale Donald Walsch

    It is, perhaps, time for A New Theology. In the over 3,000 pages of the Conversations with God body of work is a pair of books - "The New Revelations" and "Tomorrow's God" - in which it is revealed that many of the thoughts that humans hold about God are simply inaccurate and/or incomplete. I was asked by Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show what, if I had a real Conversation with God, God's message to the world was. I told Matt I could relay that message in five words: "You've got Me all wrong." People focusing on these questions might find a visit to this site interesting...

    http://www.GodsNewNews.com

    September 1, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Realist

      ..... YES. Because... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      September 1, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Just Call Me Lucifer

      He's got three names... he must know what he's talkin' about.

      September 1, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  19. Ricardo Garraton

    The truly intelligent know that the mystery of our consciousness is reason enough for all religions and all peoples to LOOK UPON ONE ANOTHER WITH LOVE. We all came from the same earth, which sprang up from stardust. It does not matter whom you worship. When people realize that true divinity is living your life to your fullest capacity and allowing others to do the same without judging what they choose to do, maybe we will be able to achieve truly great things on earth. For now it seems few men or women have the decency to look upon their brothers and sisters with a compassionate and understanding eye. Everyone has a hurt and everyone has a drama. If you want real change in the world, change yourself first.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Realist

      ..... YES ... Because... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      September 1, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Tsoho

      The mystery of our consciousness is a reason to recognize that there are a lot of things about Reality that we don't know.

      Think about it ... I can sense my consciousness, but not yours. Even though I cannot feel, see, hear, taste , or smell your consciousness, I believe that you have a consciousness and that you sense it in a similar way as I sense mine because I see the way your body behaves.

      The next obvious question is ... Does a consciousness need a body? Is it possible for a dis-embodied consciousness to exist? Unfortunately, because we cannot sense any consciousness other than our own, we don't have a "scientific" answer to that question.

      Is it possible that there is a supreme consciousness out there which we cannot sense because we are limited to 5 1/2 senses? Religion says there is.

      September 1, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Dan W

      There are many who would say that 'the self' and the work that needs to be done inside is reflected outside. When I try to change someone, am I not trying to change myself through them? The brain processes information differently when you're thinking inside and thinking out loud and saying something you should be saying to your self to someone else. Have you ever thought something a million times only to find out how ridiculous it sounds when you actually say it to someone? We need each other to finish this puzzle. Everyone has a piece, what's yours?

      September 1, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  20. Tino Rozzo

    Buddhists do not believe in God mostly. Some do, I don't. The world functions on causes and conditions and causes and effects. I have never seen anything divine. I became a Buddhist in 1983 because when it came to prayers, god let me down. And for all the misery have encountered in many lives. God doesn't need worship, he needs a psychiatrist.

    September 1, 2013 at 8:12 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.