How many times have you been in an argument about whether or not all religions are essentially the same?
To say that “love” is the cornerstone of all religion does sound nice; however, how one defines love begins to muddy the water substantially–and quickly as well!
My bias will shine through here, but I believe that a general “good will toward humanity” intention is the basis of love. The idea that all of your thoughts, words and actions are all tools to help you better yourself and those around you.
The problem arises when individuals and/or religions take it upon themselves to determine exactly what it means to help. If one man believes that another man is sinning because he is committing adultery for instance, the 3rd party may take it upon himself to eliminate this temptation by eliminating the problem–quite literally.
I understand the that previous example is a bit rash, so I will tone it down in this next one.
Consider saying the word “no.” More often than not, when you tell someone “no” you are going to upset them, as they are obviously not getting what they want; however, sometimes this “no” is truly to serve a greater good for the individual making the request.
When you tell you child, “no, you cannot play in traffic,” for instance, you’re obviously looking out for the well being of your offspring; however, because of ignorance for the situation, your child may become upset because they see you as a party pooper that wants to ruin their good time.
Do you see how perspective will vary a situation? And when we put things such as morality up for interpretation, things get very slippery.
Morality may have an ultimate truth, but us humans will only ever experience conflict in morality based on the opinions of others–not facts.
The only facts that may ever serve in the discussion on morality would be centered around how the human body responds to your actions. For example, when you lie, your body will react by making you nervous or showing your “tell” as they say in poker–unless you’re trained at disguising this physical response, or you’re a complete psychopath incapable of empathy, lol.
The point is that morality has roots in all of us in one way or another, and when we believe to high extremes that “our way” is the right way and “their way” is the wrong way, we open ourselves up to acts of violence and persecution based on our own biases.
It is for these reasons that religion has been responsible for so many wars, deaths and other acts against humanity–because of human interpretation of morality.
Religions differ because their view on how to deal with morality, specifically those that don’t follow the rules, changes drastically from sect to sect.
General statements like “all religions are the same” are very dangerous, so if and when you choose to join whatever group you decide–be sure you know what you’re signing up for, as there are different religions for a reason, for better or for worse.