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Author Topic: Religion- Oh no not that again  (Read 24651 times)

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Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #400 on: June 21, 2012, 09:22:35 PM »
Thanks for the cool-headed and frank responses.

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What if, hypothetically, a different deity were to 'create and design' a person for a purpose?  ... Other than a different name to the deity in question, does that differ substantially from what you've put forth?

If I understand your question correctly, Oniya, it seems like you're asking about the logical plausibility of Christianity, whether Christianity is any more or less plausible than another religion or worldview.  (If I'm misinterpreting you, please correct me.)  As you probably have heard many times, Christianity claims that there is only one deity, so if one considers Christianity to be true, then Epona can't be a real deity, and the poor mustangs will have to fend for themselves, I guess.  :)  (Speaking of logic, shouldn't mustangs produce mustang meat rather than dog meat?  Heh.)

More seriously, I think that the following is precisely the relevant issue with regard to your question:

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'Being right' in this case may be beyond definition.

I would put it this way:  before one goes any farther in considering the claims of any religion, each person has to decide whether or not it's possible for any person to determine the truth ('right'-ness) about anything.  Many smart people think that everything in life is relative, so there is no "truth" or rightness to be found, or put another way, the truth about anything is up to each individual to determine.  Christianity claims otherwise ... So does science, I think, and many other worldviews or philosophies.  Nevertheless, from what I can tell, relativism seems to be the most popular perspective in the modern Western world; many if not most people live their lives based upon assumptions of the relativism of everything, regardless of what religion or worldview they personally espouse.

If the rightness or wrongness of any perspective on reality is indeterminable, then Epona is free to rule alongside Yahweh and the Noodle God and all the rest.  (In many ways, I wish I could believe that, so much.  I don't believe it, though.)  (Do you?  Just curious.)

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Having real trouble with the wording there Rick - mainly because it really comes across that you are trying to shove your belief down everyone else’s throats.

I'm sorry that I gave you that impression, Iniquitous Opheliac; that was not my intention, and I very much hope I didn't upset you personally. 

Honestly and frankly, I think that the part of my perspective that gives you that impression is my belief that Christianity is true, and exclusively and absolutely true, not merely one of many equally-valid perspectives.  I think that claim is contained within Christianity, it's one of the most basic parts, maybe the most basic.  That claim is also the single most offensive and disagreeable thing about the religion I choose to believe, and if it offends you, then I think you're having a normal and sensible reaction to it.  I have the same reaction to it, I think, but I still choose to believe it.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #401 on: June 21, 2012, 09:31:03 PM »
But you did not explain the men that I listed. None of them were Christian and yet I cannot see how they could have been ‘better’ men. You stand on the belief that Christianity is what makes a person better - defines them becoming what they were meant to be - but your belief is flawed simply because some of the greatest people were not Christian.

As for being offensive, I am of the belief that you shouldn’t go through life proclaiming offensive beliefs to all and sundry. Such behavior does tend to leave a person isolated in the end.

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #402 on: June 21, 2012, 09:47:57 PM »
I would put it this way:  before one goes any farther in considering the claims of any religion, each person has to decide whether or not it's possible for any person to determine the truth ('right'-ness) about anything.  Many smart people think that everything in life is relative, so there is no "truth" or rightness to be found, or put another way, the truth about anything is up to each individual to determine.  Christianity claims otherwise ... So does science, I think, and many other worldviews or philosophies.  Nevertheless, from what I can tell, relativism seems to be the most popular perspective in the modern Western world; many if not most people live their lives based upon assumptions of the relativism of everything, regardless of what religion or worldview they personally espouse.

If the rightness or wrongness of any perspective on reality is indeterminable, then Epona is free to rule alongside Yahweh and the Noodle God and all the rest.  (In many ways, I wish I could believe that, so much.  I don't believe it, though.)  (Do you?  Just curious.)

More or less.  Like your views on Christianity, my views are also vaguely 'offset' from a lot of religions, even the most loosely 'organized' (although Discordians are likely to just nod, say 'That's cool', and offer a hot dog.)  As I see it, like the elephant in the story, the Divine could appear differently to different people, yet still be a thing-in-itself that is not exactly what any one of them sees.  At the risk of sounding off-topic, have you ever read Edwin Abbott's 'Flatland'?  While often used as a primer in higher-dimensional mathematics, it was also written as an allegory of the Victorian era in which it was composed, touching on social customs, classism, and religion.

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #403 on: June 21, 2012, 11:08:14 PM »
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But you did not explain the men that I listed. None of them were Christian and yet I cannot see how they could have been ‘better’ men. You stand on the belief that Christianity is what makes a person better - defines them becoming what they were meant to be - but your belief is flawed simply because some of the greatest people were not Christian.

Just to clarify, I have enormous respect, admiration, and even affection for many people who are not Christians, and I think many non-Christians (including Gandhi and Buddha of course) are "good" or even "great" people ... while many Christians are not very good at all, according to anyone's standards.  (I've studied Gandhi a good bit, long ago, and Buddha some, and studied certain historical religious precursors of the Baha'i Faith, but not the religion itself or the third person you mentioned.)

It sounds like you consider my beliefs to be somewhat illogical, perhaps?  Or at least, your objections sound like logical objections to me.  What one person considers logical is not always the same as what another person does.  For example, I think it was illogical for you to suggest (earlier) that I would be "more at peace" if I accepted that my "beliefs do not need to apply to everyone else."  Logically speaking, if you believe that one's beliefs do not need to apply to anyone else, then it is illogical for you to encourage anyone else to believe that one's beliefs do not need to apply to anyone else.  I assume that the logical objection I am pointing out there does not seem all that illogical to you, though, because what one person considers logical is not always the same as what another person does. 

I do think there are legitimate logical objections to be made against Christianity, and I think your objections point in the direction of some of those.  I believe Christianity is not strictly reconcilable with human logic, and there are certain, somewhat-complicated reasons for that, which I've tried to describe in some of my previous posts to this thread.

I still think that your problem with my stated beliefs comes down to the question of exclusive truth versus relativism, as I tried to explain before.  But I also think that it's not at all likely that you and I will end up seeing eye to eye about that.  I appreciate that you responded honestly and openly to the things I said, regardless, and I have a lot of respect for many points you have made in your posts in this thread.

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As for being offensive, I am of the belief that you shouldn’t go through life proclaiming offensive beliefs to all and sundry. Such behavior does tend to leave a person isolated in the end.

That's a good point, and I don't disagree.

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More or less.  Like your views on Christianity, my views are also vaguely 'offset' from a lot of religions, even the most loosely 'organized' (although Discordians are likely to just nod, say 'That's cool', and offer a hot dog.)  As I see it, like the elephant in the story, the Divine could appear differently to different people, yet still be a thing-in-itself that is not exactly what any one of them sees.

Thanks for the details, Oniya.  FWIW, I very much believe that no person can grasp very much about God -- not even the wisest or most enlightened people -- and I don't consider myself to be either, BTW, not in any significant sense.  I also believe that much wisdom and knowledge of all kinds (even knowledge about God) can be found in non-Christians as much if not more than in Christians.  All the significant things that I think I know about God are things which I believe God chose to reveal to all people -- specifically, the core beliefs contained within Christianity.

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At the risk of sounding off-topic, have you ever read Edwin Abbott's 'Flatland'?  While often used as a primer in higher-dimensional mathematics, it was also written as an allegory of the Victorian era in which it was composed, touching on social customs, classism, and religion.

I have not, but I'll keep an eye out for it, if it's something you would recommend.  I'd love to hear more details about it, though, and especially about why you brought it up, if you feel like going into further detail.  *sneaks off*  Out of curiosity, I just read Wikipedia's article on Abbott and their plot summary for Flatland -- it sounds very interesting and amusing. 

Generally speaking, I think it's consistent with Christianity to recognize that humans have very limited information about God, and all of it is revealed by his choice, and all the important info is readily available (in the Bible) and understandable by any sensible adult.  I think there's way way way more to know about God than any living person knows, and I want to know so much more, so many particular things ... and I learn things all the time, I'm far from finished learning ... and I'm sure I have some incorrect notions too.  But I also believe that we know everything we really really need to know, because he decided to tell us that much.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 11:20:13 PM by rick957 »

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #404 on: June 22, 2012, 12:52:08 AM »
Well, it's a fairly quick read.  I think my copy is the size of four CD cases, stacked two-by-two.  The majority of the book consists of the interaction between A. Square and a Sphere, that is trying to tell him about the third dimension.  Now, the sphere, in and of itself, isn't terribly interesting to this analogy, as A. Square sees the sphere as a circle (incidentally, the 'priest caste' of the planar world), no matter how far the sphere makes its presence known.  A cube, on the other hand can present in many ways: a point (the lowest of the low), a line segment (a woman), a triangle. a square, a hexagon, or even an irregular shape (the outcast).  It's still the same cube, though, and virtually incomprehensible in its true form to the planar inhabitants (as is the sphere).

In a similar way (at least in my mind), the Divine, when interacting with worshipers/believers/etc., could present in many different forms to different people.  'Whatsoever you did to the least of these', would be the example from the Bible.  The Divine could even present in multiple forms simultaneously (think of your hand going through a CAT scan - five oval-ish regions appear, then eventually fuse together).  Communication would be clumsy - not through any fault of the Divine, but due to our own ability to comprehend, or even from applicability to a given situation (Christ rejected many of the Mosaic traditions and created the New Covenant - in a historical sense, that occurred as the move was made from nomadic tribes to town/city dwellers). 

Offline Elias

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #405 on: June 22, 2012, 10:21:24 AM »
Its easy to blame religion as a way to war and destruction, but quite frankly that view sounds just as ignorant as anything that comes from the mouth of the fanatical faithful. People forget it was the faithful who stood against slavery, it wasn't an atheist or scientist. It was monks who roamed battlefields aiding the injured long before doctors. Did some kill? Yes but people are imperfect as stated many times.

Religion at its core once you get past the books written by man and the rituals created by man is a positive thing. I myself don't practice but that's because I consider myself spiritual I dont need an organized faith, but many people do and from what I have seen they make a great many people better. Some would just rather pick the worst of them but I can do that to?

How good would the atheist movement be if  we framed it with Chairman Mao and Lenin and Stalin?

When I hear people are without faith without belief in anything I wonder if its because they're scared of having an omnipotent being looking over their shoulder. They are happier because why they may think and probably are good people they dont want to regret it when they go into the grey or worse the black with a decision.

 

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #406 on: June 22, 2012, 02:34:19 PM »
Its easy to blame religion as a way to war and destruction, but quite frankly that view sounds just as ignorant as anything that comes from the mouth of the fanatical faithful.

Certainly, people are rarely at pains, with or without religion, to find reasons to slaughter each other. Regrettably, though, religion has all too often provided the casus belli. The examples are so abundant, so well known, and many so recent, it would be trite to offer a list. 

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People forget it was the faithful who stood against slavery, it wasn't an atheist or scientist.

Yes, church-goers contributed to the ranks of the abolitionist movement. So, too, did they own slaves, preach in favor of slavery, and don the grey in our Civil War. This should not be all that surprising, since the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is full of references to the institution without much in the way of  condemnation.   

Here is some of what Lincoln had to say on the subject of divine revelation of the iniquities of slavery (from his Second Inaugural Address):

"Both [sides of the Civil War] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes."

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Religion at its core once you get past the books written by man and the rituals created by man is a positive thing. I myself don't practice but that's because I consider myself spiritual I dont need an organized faith, but many people do and from what I have seen they make a great many people better. Some would just rather pick the worst of them but I can do that to?

Which books were written by man, and which not? Which rituals were created by man, and which not? Which parts of religious dogma got god right, and which did not? Which people need religion, and which are sufficiently "spiritual" without it? How do you tell the difference? And, with respect to those you believe have been made better by religion, how do you know how good or bad they would have been without it?

On a personal note, I am an agnostic who leans rather strongly toward atheism. I like to think, though, that I have a conscience, and tend to bridle at the suggestion that, because I am not "spiritual," I am less moral than those who are.

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How good would the atheist movement be if  we framed it with Chairman Mao and Lenin and Stalin?

What exactly is the "atheist movement"?

Among the characteristics which generally distinguish atheists from the faithful is that the former tend not to proselytize, much less to coerce ideological conformity. Though Mao, Lenin and Stalin were atheists, they sought to eradicate all ideologies and institutions which competed with Communism. It was their commitment to Communism -- an ideology that bears certain strong similarities to religion, not to atheism, that lay at the root of the carnage they wrought.

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When I hear people are without faith without belief in anything I wonder if its because they're scared of having an omnipotent being looking over their shoulder. They are happier because why they may think and probably are good people they dont want to regret it when they go into the grey or worse the black with a decision.

Really?

I've heard the expression, "god-fearing" applied to the faithful, but never before to the faithless. Isn't it the religious who tend to obsess over tales of afterlife terror?

And, if there is a god, given the vastness of this universe, which may be only one of many, what makes you think that he/she/it gives much of a damn whether human beings butcher each other?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 03:56:49 PM by vtboy »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #407 on: June 22, 2012, 03:17:11 PM »
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The following two statements seem so obviously true to everyone that not many people ever think to question them:

A) each person has at least one definite limit, which is that his or her life comes to an end; and

No transhumanist is going to accept this.

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B) life is unfair, at least sometimes for everyone, and quite often for certain less-fortunate individuals.

I believe the purpose of Humanity is to correct this error in reality.

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However preposterous it seems, Christianity claims the exact opposite of both those things; that

C) in the grand scheme of things, each individual has no limits of significant consequence -- not even death.

How about overcoming your notion of 'God'?

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D) the apparent unfairness of human suffering is just an extremely-convincing illusion; for in fact all of life is fair, governed by an all-powerful and all-just God.

This is a mockery. Children with harlequin ichthyosis have life just as fair as a billionaire's?

This is the sort of logic that hypocrites use to justify the worst they do to other humans, and the best they do not do for the least among them. On top of the 'neo-faith-alone' movement where not only do these people believe that they are saved by faith alone, but that, when they injure another, they only need to seek forgiveness from 'God', we have ideas like this which profess that those who suffer will be made whole by God.

And these evangelical groups wonder why they have a 4% retention rate and that many of the people leaving them turn to atheism.

It's because of sentences like this - those that turn people into disgusting mockeries of humanity - that I rejected Christianity in the first place.

I believe there is wrong in the world.

I believe we can right it.

I am responsible for my own sins.

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Furthermore, Christianity asserts the following:

E) A and B will usually seem true for everyone, Christian or non-Christian, throughout their lives, even though they are in fact false.  And similarly,

F) C and D will usually seem false, though they are in fact true.

E is what makes it so hard to really believe Christianity.  Hard, but still possible, and possible for anyone.

Here you insult those who have rejected Christianity. You don't bother seriously inquiring into why - you make your own assumptions.

The ultimate cause of why I rejected Christianity was beliefs such as your point D).

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F is what makes it so good to believe Christianity, even if it doesn't always feel good (and it doesn't, not always).

It making people feel good is a major part of the problem. It encourages complacency. It encourages a willingness to accept yourself and the world as it is, rather than what you can make of yourself and the world. It encourages people to seek some inner voice for validation rather than in others. 'By their fruits you shall know them.' No kidding.

Yes, I said it - we do need validation. Sociopathy is not the natural state of humanity. But even sociopaths will try to fit in. We do need human contact and approval.

And you know what?

That is fine.

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Reason Two:

Christianity claims that God has a specific, detailed purpose for each and every individual's life, and that purpose may be completely different from the direction of each person's life before becoming a Christian, or completely different from whatever direction each person previously thought he or she would go.  In fact, it's likely to be completely different, because belief in Christianity transforms each person completely, and must do so, if its claims are true.  A person who is completely transformed will probably live his or her life in a completely different way, for what else could it mean for a person to be completely transformed?

Usually, when I meet someone completely transformed by Christianity, it's either because they left the faith because those around them were hypocrites, or they go full-bore into becoming one on accepting it. It's certainly a life-altering experience, and almost always due to Evangelical Christianity. I've only seen this amongst 'faith alone' types.

For people who move from faith to faith not tainted by coercion and hypocrisy, Christianity is much like any other religion. The exception of Evangelicals does them no favors.

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #408 on: June 22, 2012, 05:41:14 PM »
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Here you insult those who have rejected Christianity. You don't bother seriously inquiring into why - you make your own assumptions.

Not too long ago, in this thread or another, I asked you very politely and sincerely to help me understand your beliefs and their reasons.  I was making a serious effort to inquire about that.  I make no assumptions about your or anyone else's reasons for rejecting Christianity, at least not until I get to know them pretty damn well, and sometimes not even then.  You ignored my serious inquiry, as I recall, and I don't know why, but I assumed you had good reasons, and I left it at that ... at least until you just accused me of insulting people. 

Now I only want to point out that you responded to at least one serious and sincere inquiry with outright silence, a refusal to explain yourself.  It seems to be something you do frequently in this section of the site, especially when you talk about issues you feel strongly about, or issues that seem to arouse strong negative feelings from you.  You behave in a provocative and confrontational manner without making any apparent effort to help anyone who doesn't already agree with you to understand your perspective. 

It's good to simply know that you don't agree with certain things, but if you don't care to explain why, in some detail, and with a cool head, then I'll never benefit from the dialog, and I don't think anyone else will either ... except those who agreed with you beforehand.  Do you post to this section simply to get ego-boosts from likeminded people, or do you actually believe in learning from the process of discussion? 

You seem to believe in communication but don't get any farther than chest-beating much of the time.

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The ultimate cause of why I rejected Christianity was beliefs such as your point D).

Tell me more.  Please.  Or don't, it's your call.  I'm not interested in reading articles from websites, nor am I willing to go look up obscure terms that you won't make any effort to even begin to explain.  Your intellect impresses me, Vekseid, but it doesn't scare me or intimidate me, and I don't "bend over" for anyone, including people much smarter than you, and I've met plenty.  (I don't know if I'm any smarter or dumber than you, but I'm fairly certain that you're nowhere near the smartest person I've encountered.  I could always be wrong, though.) 

I don't know why you think it's okay to show such open hostility towards people who don't share certain beliefs of yours.  I don't know why you don't expect more of yourself, frankly, considering how high your standards with regards to many things seem to be.

I hope my candor doesn't offend you.  If the great respect I have for you doesn't come across simply because I'm offering frank criticism, then that's my failure to communicate better, and I apologize for it.

... I'm thinking I've got about even odds here of pissing you off and getting banned or "disciplined" somehow, or actually convincing you to make more of an effort to treat those who don't share your strongly-held personal views with greater sympathy, consideration, and respect.  No, I'm more cynical than that; make it 70-30.  Heh.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #409 on: June 22, 2012, 08:33:14 PM »
Instead of telling everyone your beliefs are true and apologizing for offending them, try stating that your beliefs are true for you.

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #410 on: June 22, 2012, 10:54:50 PM »
MasterMischief -- I don't really know what to say, or what you expect me to say.  You're suggesting that I do what the vast majority of people do, so obviously, it's something I've considered previously and decided against for various reasons.  I don't get the sense that you want to hear me talk about those reasons -- do you?  If so, please say so, because I didn't get that impression from your post.  If not, though, then I don't know how else to respond either.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #411 on: June 22, 2012, 11:02:42 PM »
Here’s the blunt way of saying it.

The truth you keep talking about is only true for you. Period. End of story. It is not truth for me, it is not truth for others. By continuing to post that your beliefs is truth for each and every one of us, you are trying to force your beliefs on us.

It’s not only offensive, it’s rude.

You need to respect everyone else’s right to choose their own religion. There is nothing wrong with stating your beliefs so long as you do not make blanket statements for each and every one of us. The example is what Master said - your beliefs are true for you and you alone.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #412 on: June 22, 2012, 11:21:55 PM »
Quote from: rick957
I don't get the sense that you want to hear me talk about those reasons -- do you?

I have heard your reasons and simply disagree.  Your choice/reasoning/logic...whatever you want to call it, pretty much goes against everything I believe so I see no reason to discuss it further.  I am not trying to debate your reasons for being a Christian.  I was merely trying to demonstrate why other people were offended.  You have admitted it was offensive, yet you continue.  Have you been tasked with saving our souls?  Consider that you are doing the exact opposite of what you hope to accomplish.  You are pushing people away.  Don't tell people what is true or what to do.  Be an example.  Let others decide on their own.

Offline rick957

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #413 on: June 23, 2012, 12:25:26 AM »
Fuck it, it's my last post to this section, so I might as well make it long.  (BTW, why do people read and respond to my posts, including some people who obviously disdain many of my stated views?  Hell if I fucking know.  I even tried asking those people not to read my posts, and hiding my posts from sight.  No help I guess.)  (I like to use foul language sometimes; I assume that's okay around here, as far as I know.)

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By continuing to post that your beliefs is truth for each and every one of us, you are trying to force your beliefs on us.

This is flawed logic, again, because by telling me to not say what I actually believe, you are forcing one of your beliefs on me -- namely, your belief that each person's beliefs are true for that person and that person alone.  I don't believe that about my beliefs.  According to your logic, I would have to lie about what I believe or hide what I believe in order to "respect everyone else's right to choose their own religion."  I think it's possible to treat people with respect without lying about what I believe or hiding it; I don't ask others to do that about their beliefs, nor do I want to do that myself.

It's really not at all important to me that you improve or straighten out your logic, but since you were apparently making claims based upon logic, it seemed like a worthwhile thing to point out that the logic was flawed.  Logic has well-defined rules that can either be followed or broken.  People sometimes think they are being logical even though the rules of logic say otherwise.  Everyone does it sometimes.

It's become clear to me that minority viewpoints are not at all welcome at Elliquiy unless they're kept hidden.  I've been pleasantly surprised recently to discover that there have been a few substantive discussions in the P & R section about various topics, but I think one reason for that is because the topics in question are not ones where the majority of Elliquians have the same view.  When there is no majority view, a diversity of viewpoints can and does get expressed around here, sometimes at least.  That's great to see.  When there is a clear majority view, however, there is little support or encouragement for anyone who doesn't share it and dares to say so.

I find it highly ironic that the GBLTQA board was recently established and seems to be quite active, especially compared to many other parts of Elliquiy.  "Tolerance" or "acceptance" of people with different sexual orientations is held up at Elliquiy as an important element of the site.  I'm glad for that, partly because in the larger society, people who are not heterosexual are in the minority.  I think it's great that those people are welcomed and made to feel comfortable at Elliquiy.  But at the same time, the actual minorities within this site's membership are subjected to the same kind of discrimination and mistreatment that sexual or racial minorities often face in the larger society.

(It's not as important, of course; who cares if certain people at an RP site get discriminated against by being told to hide their views on certain things?  It's a bit unfortunate for those people, but it's hardly as significant as real-life prejudice against minorities in the real world.  I wouldn't ever claim otherwise.  That doesn't mean that it isn't still a form of prejudice.)

People with so-called "conservative" political, religious, social, or moral views are not made to feel welcome at all at Elliquiy unless they hide those minority views.  Being open about having such views is a quick and certain way to get publicly and enthusiastically and unapologetically attacked, until one learns to clam up.  It's the same fucking bullshit that makes some gay people stay in the closet in certain social settings.  Bigotry and prejudice, the majority fucking over the minorities ... an old story and very hard to get away from ... even at Elliquiy, it seems.  I think that's sad, but it can't be changed unless enough people with power over the site ever decide to change it.  There appears to be no will or desire to do that around here.  Instead people celebrate openness and acceptance and tolerance, while allowing prejudice to be openly practiced.  Some people do that in the larger society too.  It's just as hypocritical in either place; not just as important or damaging, though, of course.

That's okay, I guess.  I'll just shut the hell up about my religious views and focus on other things, like RPing, assuming that I can still find partners.  (I'm counting on the fact that not everybody reads this section of the site!  Fingers crossed.)

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I have heard your reasons and simply disagree.  Your choice/reasoning/logic...whatever you want to call it, pretty much goes against everything I believe so I see no reason to discuss it further.  I am not trying to debate your reasons for being a Christian.  I was merely trying to demonstrate why other people were offended.  You have admitted it was offensive, yet you continue.  Have you been tasked with saving our souls?  Consider that you are doing the exact opposite of what you hope to accomplish.  You are pushing people away.  Don't tell people what is true or what to do.  Be an example.  Let others decide on their own.

Et tu, MasterMischief?  When people as friendly and likable as you feel compelled to speak out against my attempts to be open about my beliefs, I know it's way past time to throw in the towel.  So be it, I won't post to this section of the site again.  Anyone else who says anything in response to anything I've written in these threads will not get a public response from me.  I wish I could say I was happy about it.  No big deal though.

Thanks for reading my posts (assuming you don't hate me or anything) and sorry if I said anything that pissed anyone off.  Yes, I just apologized again, one last time, fucking deal with it.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 12:58:48 AM by rick957 »

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #414 on: June 23, 2012, 12:28:31 AM »
I do not hate you.  I just think you are bringing it all down on yourself.

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #415 on: June 23, 2012, 03:46:51 AM »
Here’s the blunt way of saying it.

The truth you keep talking about is only true for you. Period. End of story. It is not truth for me, it is not truth for others. By continuing to post that your beliefs is truth for each and every one of us, you are trying to force your beliefs on us.

It’s not only offensive, it’s rude.

You need to respect everyone else’s right to choose their own religion. There is nothing wrong with stating your beliefs so long as you do not make blanket statements for each and every one of us. The example is what Master said - your beliefs are true for you and you alone.

"Force" and "rude" are rather strange criticisms for what Rick has written, especially on a board supposedly devoted to the airing and debating of views on controversial matters, like religion. I can't recall Rick ever having voiced anything that sounds nearly as much like lecture as your comment here. If anything, his style has generally been inoffensive to the point of being a bit milquetoasty.

I don't often find myself agreeing with the guy about anything, and certainly not with his religious convictions. But, what is the big deal about his thinking those convictions are universally true and saying so? Unless you think his statements are insincere, what else would you have him say? Or, is he correct that certain views just aren't welcome here?

I am surprised at the size of the chips on some shoulders.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 03:55:20 AM by vtboy »

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #416 on: June 23, 2012, 06:17:55 AM »
I do not think it could be said any more plain than what was stated by Master a couple of posts up.

My truths are true for me.

That is not hard to say and I firmly believe that statement. I certainly do not expect what I believe to be true for everyone else and I would not go around saying what I believe is the truth for everyone else. And in all honesty, I think that if everyone adopted that attitude right there a whole shitload of problems in this world would be solved.

I am not saying that someone has to lie - just accept that their truths are not the be all, end all to life, the world and everything. I mean, look at history. Every time someone (or a group of someones) decides that they need to have everyone believe as they do, bad shit happens. Inquisition, witch hunts, jihad, etc.

And I do find it mildly offensive to have someone making broad blanket statements that his truth is the truth for all and sundry because by making that statement he is, in effect, saying that I am not intelligent enough to know what is true for me. He has not walked in my shoes, learned what I have learned, experienced my life. He cannot truly know me and thus cannot truly say what he believes to be truth is truth for me.

Offline vtboy

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #417 on: June 23, 2012, 07:30:25 AM »
So, if I understand you correctly, the obligation "to respect everyone else's right to choose their own religion" does not extend to those who choose religions which preach the universal and absolute truth of their teachings, or, at least, not to those who admit the choice. That would seem to exclude a lot of people.

Please understand, I think all religion is arrant nonsense, and that, on balance, the notion of divinely revealed truth has done way more harm than good. But, I also think it is at least inconsistent, in a thread devoted to discussion of religious belief, to criticize others as rude for the content of their expressed beliefs.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 07:43:53 AM by vtboy »

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #418 on: June 23, 2012, 01:40:48 PM »
Just because you are arrogant enough to believe your religious beliefs are the be all, end all does not mean you should go waltzing around telling people their beliefs are wrong. Now, if you are willing to have people throw your religions transgressions back in your face every time you spout 'my religion is THE truth for everyone!!!' Without whining that you are being picked on and discriminated against then fine. But honestly, I'm sick of someone preaching that he is right and I'm too dumb to realize what I believe is a lie.

It is not that damn hard to say ' my beliefs are true for me '

Offline Tsenta

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #419 on: June 24, 2012, 05:00:45 PM »
Been avoiding this section for good reason, this all could be shortened down to this.  "You believe your beliefs are the only truth for humanity, that's fine. But could you at least acknowledge and respect my own beliefs are best for ME?" It's not so much as forcing someone as being biased, and yes, everyone is going to be biased towards their choices as it is human nature. 

The sooner humanity as a whole learns to respect and acknowledge other people's rights to believe or act different than them, the world will be a much better place.

Offline Vassus

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #420 on: September 23, 2012, 11:57:52 PM »
By Jove, what upsets me here is that the English language, not simply religious beliefs, is causing tension between everyone. I've been on, and seen both sides (if you see it like that. If you see it as having more than two sides, than I've still been around.), and I don't think any sort of compromise can happen, least of all like this. From a Abrahamic point of view, as well as most religions that say non-believers are worse off, the better intentions the person has, the less a member of a different, or non-existent, religion is going to detest him for being so. And, in the eyes of, say, an atheist, he/she may see all religion as equal, and doesn't understand, or just plain doesn't like, why the religious person is spouting his nonsense. Two different priorities, and, two different perceptions of "truth", and with the word itself as well. Despite what you may feel, when I was a Christian, there was one truth. We were right, everyone else was wrong. I came to leave my faith by myself, and then looked for things confirming my decision. Hopefully this helped... anyone. I started talking about this thread, and then it turned very general.

Offline Luna

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #421 on: September 24, 2012, 08:36:07 AM »
I am atheist/agnostic, which I suspect might be one and the same thing for the following reason-

When I think of any given religion, I ask myself whether it concerns that which cannot be proven, because it is the purpose of religion to explain those things? Or is it because religions are designed to only deal with that which can't be proven, so there is no way they can be disproven?

I have never come to a satisfactory conclusion on this, yet... I totally respect people who do believe in religion. Life is too personal a journey for me to expect everyone to approach every question the same way I do. The only time my own hackles rise, is when someone tries to force their beliefs on me and tell me I am wrong not to believe.

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #422 on: September 24, 2012, 08:48:02 AM »
On a purely linguistic level, the two are different.

Atheism = (a (not) + theos (god) + ism (belief structure))
Agnostic = (a (not) + gnosis (knowing))

Offline Luna

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #423 on: September 24, 2012, 09:03:09 AM »
Oh yes, I totally realize that.  :-)'

My point was, that since the very nature of religion is to either a)explain the unknowable or b)deliberately present facts that can't be empirically known, I have been toying with the idea that there is no true conceptual difference between the two stances.

I have always considered myself willing to consider any religion that could prove its validity, but somehow I don't think that is ever going to happen.

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #424 on: September 24, 2012, 09:34:10 AM »
I think there's a bit of a difference between saying 'there is no Higher Power' (call it what you will) and saying 'there is one, but we just can't comprehend it'.  An agnostic could theoretically address prayers 'To Whom it May Concern...', where an atheist would consider even that a waste of breath.