The title of my blog is a quote that has been widely attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. This quote has profound implications: either there is one God worshipped by several religions, or each religion has its own Supreme Being. In latter case, these Supreme Beings might be competing with each other (eg, for our attention and worship).
That 2nd notion seems preposterous because all main religions are derivatives of older religions: Islam is a derivative of Christianity, which is a derivative of Judaism, which is a derivative of ancient Sumerian religious beliefs. Abraham was of Sumerian descent (my 2017 blog). Zoroastrianism seems to be another Sumerian derivative.
The Sumerian people did not invent religion. Their religious beliefs do suggest extraterrestrial contact. Hence, some people claim that the old (Sumerian) gods were in fact astronauts, possibly from Planet X (eg, Erich von Däniken, Zecharia Sitchin, Robert K. G. Temple, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, David Hatcher Childress).
The ideas of these writers may have been derived from the 1966 book Intelligent Life in the Universe by astrophysicists Iosif Shklovskii and Carl Sagan:
Wiki: they “devote a chapter to the argument that scientists and historians should seriously consider the possibility that extraterrestrial contact occurred during recorded history; however, [both] stressed that these ideas were speculative and unproven.”
The impact of such an extraterrestrial encounter – on already existing religious beliefs – was recently demonstrated in the excellent TV episode 12 of The Orville (IMDb, video).
The human faith in a Supreme Being – in whatever shape or form – is omnipresent throughout human history. Scientists have never even found a human society without signs of religious beliefs. Moreover, even animals show signs of religious behaviour. Wiki: “Animal faith is the study of animal behaviours that suggest proto-religious faith.”
All ancient religious beliefs seem rooted in polytheism. Nevertheless, most religions moved from polytheism to monotheism. The introduction of omnism, “the recognition and respect of all religions”, appears to be a logical next step in human religious beliefs.
To some extent, we may already have achieved omnism – albeit intellectually rather than emotionally – because I doubt that anyone would view Ahura Mazda, Allah, God, Shiva or Yahweh as different Supreme Beings. After all, God has no religion.
Losing My Religion (1991) by R.E.M.
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise