Originally Posted by Thao
Can you give me an example? Does Islam say this?
I can't remember if there are Christian scriptures that explicitly say this. I do remember studying it and being convinced that a literal reading of the New Testament demanded that one believe that non-Christians are going to Hell (the main reason why I am no longer a fundamentalist Christian) but I also spent several years in another denomination afterwards that interpreted those scriptures very differently.
If it is an explicit doctrine, not something based on scriptures that can be interpreted various ways, then I guess that's where my belief that all religions get some things wrong comes in.
Yeah, it occurred to me after I commented that with regard to specific doctrine I could only comment on that which I follow myself.
Still, broadly, if it's interpretation ... then what? People who interpret the Christian view in a more exclusive way can not be said to speak for all Christians, but they certainly can be said to speak for their own Christianity. (I'm really interested in what the exclusive view is based upon, why, and whether or not the interpretations that lead to the view can be demonstrated to not just have alternatives but to be outright poor ones in and of themselves?)
Insofar as Islam is concerned ... there are certain things mentioned as illegitimate means of worship -- polytheism and idolatry, specifically. It is possible to believe in god and to also worship in illegitimate ways, but it is not possible to worship in illegitimate ways as a means to god. In the story of the golden calf, for example, as it is told in the Qur'an, it is pretty explicit that the people did not fully know they were wrong until after it was done, and that the error was in making an idol in the first place.
I suppose it would help to understand that Islam arose in a community of polytheistic idol-worshippers who the founders of Islam deemed to be unforgivably corrupt in the way of both beliefs and practices. Islam is heavily a rejection of the ways of the community. That said, the Qur'an is not really worded in any way that would support interpreting much of that rejection as relating only to that time and place -- as supporting the idea that perhaps those people were wrong, but if I worship idols here and now it might be a way to god which suits my own needs and personality. The Islamic view is that there is one way, and while divergence from that way does not equal "damned," divergences which contradict that way are flatly not of god.