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Would Humanity Be Better Off With Only One Religion?

Rabbi Rami

In the latest installment of Roadside Assistance, Rabbi Rami answers questions about morality, atheism, and enlightenment (and that Allstate commercial).

My son is taking a class called Comparative Religion. Wouldn’t humanity be better off with only one religion? Rabbi Rami: Would we be better off with only Bach and not Anoushka Shankar? Would we be better off with only Georgia O’Keeffe and not Hokusai? Religion, like music and art, is an expression of human creativity and should be studied the way we study art and music: not by comparing one religion to another, but by appreciating them all as expressions of humanity’s quest for meaning through myth, story, and ritual. Replacing a course in Comparative Religion with one called Religion Appreciation might be a move in the right direction. A friend dreamed of my deceased mother, who weighed in on an important financial decision I’m pondering. I was surprised, since Mom wasn’t at all financially astute. Should I follow her advice?  Not necessarily. If your mom wasn’t a financial wizard while alive, there’s no reason to imagine she has become one now that she is dead.  My husband says Evil is like Mayhem in the commercials for Allstate insurance: a force of nature willfully sowing cha …

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

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