U. Nebraska student panel addresses different aspects of faith
Publication date: 2000-11-15
Arrival time: 2000-11-16
By Toby Manthey
Daily Nebraskan ( U. Nebraska )
(U-WIRE) LINCOLN, Neb. -- Mikhaila Schneider compared God's relationship with man to a painter's relationship with his work.
"A painter can understand his painting, but a painting can't understand its creator," said Schneider, a sophomore French and international relations major.
Schneider and seven other University of Nebraska-Lincoln students presented the views of eight faiths Tuesday night in the Nebraska Union Auditorium.
The students discussed their faiths' rituals, views of life after death and the relationship of God to humans.
Many panelists acknowledged the similarity between all religions' conceptions of God.
"A rose can be called different things in different places, but it still smells the same," said Ajay Yagnamurty, a graduate mechanical engineering student who represented the Hindu religion.
Other religions discussed were Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, the Baha'i religion, atheism and the Native American traditional religion, which was explained by Misty Thomas.
Thomas, a senior family and consumer science major, said her religion was difficult to explain because it had become intertwined with Christianity.
"Since there was so much assimilation, we've just recently been getting back to our traditional ways," she said.
Yagnamurty read parts of a Hindu scripture, or Veda, in its original language.
"It may not mean anything to you, but it means a whole lot to me," he said.
Muna Al-mugotir, a junior pre-dentistry and biology major, spoke about Islam.
Al-mugotir said there were similarities between Christian and Islamic views of the afterlife.
Followers of Islam, she said, believe in ideas of heaven and hell. Man's final end is handed down in the form of God's judgment, she said.
Shannon Culek, a sophomore international studies and philosophy major, talked about atheism.
Unlike the other panelists, Culek said man has no intrinsic purpose. She compared this to the life of a plant.
"A plant exists just because it exists," Culek said.
Because of this, she said, people must design their own purposes in life.
Some of the panelists admitted the difficulty humans have in knowing God.
"All human thought," Yagnamurty said, "is just a droplet in the whole ocean of the universe."
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