In plain straightforward terminology I want to explore why religion should move away from language that describes and purports some kind of “relationship” with unseen divine beings. For many folks who think it is appropriate to use these terms, I believe they are demonstrating some fundamental flaws about human perception and the actual knowledge that they possess.
In every other context that the word relationship is used, it is understood within physical reality toward other human beings, animals, and living things. In other words, in these contexts relationships are very much objective and not disputed by anyone.
Within the realm of religion however, this is a constant in house debate! When I say in house, I mean across the divide of religious belief. Evangelical Christianity is for the most part atheistic toward all other competing religious beliefs. At most, this form of Christianity will often cite demonic spirits as being the source of competing religious experiences.
It is this kind of assertion about reality that fails to acknowledge that religious knowledge claims are in fact rather weak in being able to create a large consensus of agreement. This utter weakness stems from a loss of objectivity pertaining to what all humans are said to experience.Within physical reality the sciences have developed various methods that confirm what is going on behind the veil of what we can see. This cannot be said of any religion.
What religion attempts to do instead is look back to isolated instances in which prophets and teachers were said to have encountered divine beings. What this becomes is a competition for authority. Which religion appears to have established a certain view of God within a collection of separate isolated incidents throughout history?
I am here to contend that an all-knowing, all-powerful God that expects present humanity to trust in one set of past isolated claims from numerous other competing strains of religion is a joke! I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I must maintain that the sheer variety of claims that have been put forth in our present day is far better explained by our previous and continued evolutionary growth as a species.
Human beings undoubtedly have a spiritual component. A longing for a deep connection with people and the universe. We are pattern seeking mammals that have to deal with the consequences of an enlarged frontal cortex. My challenge to my believing friends is this. You have to at the very least acknowledge that your religion is on the very same soil of knowledge claims as all the rest.
Judaism is just as plausible as Christianity is to Hinduism and Islam. Each of these religions is based in tradition and on the teachings of past authoritative prophets and teachers. Religion is a matter of preference. If you can do this, then maybe you can begin to see that the other component that largely shapes every religion is geography and culture.