Religions have a common content

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Keywords: God, Religion, Common[ edit ].


  • All religions advance the same moral truths.
  • All religions propose different paths to reach the same goal (at the bottom of the mountain, there are a multitude of paths, and there is only one summit).
  • Religions differ from the "exoteric" (outer) point of view (dogmas, rituals etc.) but all reflect the same metaphysics from the "esoteric" (inner) point of view (Fritjof Schuon, René Guénon).
  • Mystics all say the same thing.


“In what claims to the title of revelation, we find an article common to Western religions (although it is not taught in all branches of Judaism): it is the doctrine of an afterlife. (This doctrine is also taught by Eastern religions, but many of them do not teach that God is an important aspect of this life). We men will live again, and the kind of life we have will depend on how we live in this world. If we seek to be good and to know God, we will thereby be called candidates for God's vision in the world to come; and God will give us that vision. If, on the other hand, we decide to seek neither goodness nor God, God too will respect our decision and give us a life from which he is absent; this doctrine seems to me implicitly implausible - from a perfectly good God, we might expect that in the end he will respect our decision about the kind of person we choose to be and the kind of life we choose to lead. And, although there are great goods in earthly life, it would be strange if God had not provided something more magnificent and lasting for human beings who desire it. The fact that this doctrine is taught by each of the major Western religions seems a clue in favor of each of them, and therefore of their common content.”

Richard Swinburne, Is there a God?, p.120-121, Ithaca, Paris, 2009.


Arguments forJustifications

Arguments againstObjections

  • Argument againstIf religions had a common content, there would never have been any religious wars.
  • Argument againstListing only the points of convergence and ignoring the divergences is a fallacious argument.
  • Argument againstThere are theological reasons for religious conflict
  • Argument againstIf all religions said the same thing, there would be no point in having multiple religions.