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Author Topic: Putting Faith in Its Place  (Read 6034 times)

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Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #75 on: October 05, 2009, 10:59:49 AM »
I'm doing this for your own good has been used to justify quite a few things down through the years.

If you wanted to help the person, why not ask their permission first?

I'd say it depends on the nature of what you're doing.

For example, I don't ask permission before I clean the snow off of my elderly neighbor's car. I don't ask permission before I drop off a box of food in front of a friend's house who I know is in a desperate financial plight. I don't ask permission before I drop off food at the food bank.

Some random acts of kindness are just that, random acts of kindness that you don't bother to ask permission before doing, and you don't advertise that you did.  In part, because you know that the person would appreciate it. I KNOW that my neighbor almost cries in relief when she doesn't have to clean off her car. I KNOW that my friend DID cry when someone dropped off some food in front of her house.


But there are some things you do NOT do without permission, of course. I wouldn't go over to my neighbor's house and burst in and clean the house. That, naturally, crosses the line.

So, I agree with you, and I don't agree with you. I think it depends on what he's doing. If he's sending some Healing energy, for example, that's not something one need ask permission for, any more than asking permission to clean the snow off an elderly neighbor's car.

If he's manipulating them into falling in love (or thinking they are), then that crosses the line.



Hypotheticals, obviously, but you get the concept I'm trying to relay with these analogies, I hope.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #76 on: October 05, 2009, 11:56:50 AM »
I will say this, however. The problem with your "religion" (your made up one) is that it promotes megalomania and thus anti-social behavior. As a parent myself, I don't want either of those for my daughter.
So modify my fake religion such that it teaches good morals and still has a more positive, feel-good based message than any other established religion, which is entirely possible.  Then use that for my point and apply ad-naseum.

We'll have to agree to disagree. We value different things, and that's pretty typical for women versus men. I value less having a car, and have one only because it's required for the lifestyle I'm required to live; than I value being emotionally stable and feeling joy and peace. Again, as I stated earlier, if it were up to me and not my husband, I'd live a FAR simpler life than I do, without many of the trappings of science that enslave humanity (IMO).

With freedom to live as I wished, I would even give up teh intrawebs, which I happen to really, really enjoy. However, its function in my life is to help maintain the status quo.

Electricity is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My car is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My fridge is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. I could go on, but I think it's clear that you and I value different things.

I'd prefer a far simpler life, but... I can be happy where-ever I am, doing whatever I'm doing. So I suppose it could be said that I value "the placebo effect" over electricity. Which I do.
It's not like there aren't places in the world where you could toss technology aside and live a simpler life; if that's what you want, that's what you should be doing.  But we're not arguing personal preference here, we're arguing validity and manifestations of it.

You can personally value the placebo effect that faith gives you over the practical usage of science, my point is more that placebo effect in no way speaks to the validity of an idea, but real world practical, observable, empirical implications do speak to the truth of an idea (not that a lack of them means it's not true, just that having them is positive).  If you don't agree with this, you're pretty much admitting you don't believe in inductive reasoning at all, which is really a cornerstone of human thought.

People's quality of life and quality of social interaction are both better when they are happy and at peace. Therefor, the value is IN the end effect, not in the specific religion or tenet that GIVES the effect.
We're not talking about social engineering, the promotion of an idea for the benefit of mankind, etc (well you may be).  We're speaking about truth here--or at least that's what I have been discussing, and what I consider to be an indication of it.  Happy-placebo effect is not an indication of truth.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #77 on: October 05, 2009, 12:03:44 PM »
As for the function of religion, let me use an example of my own life.  I've had moments of very deep depression.  I've considered suicide more times than I really care to think about.  The only reason I didn't do it is because of my belief of what would happen to me if I did.  Wouldn't saving my life be considered a function?
You don't have to be religious to wonder what happens when you die.

I happen to find lots of peace and comfort in enjoying God's creation that we call Earth.  I love long walks in the woods.  I like to watch the bunny that lives under my back porch come out and nibble on the grass.  I find security in knowing that I have a place in this world, even if it is a small part.  When I'm feeling down just taking a walk in the grass barefoot makes me feel better.  There are a lot of bad things going on in my life, but my faith helps me get through it.
So much of what you mentioned there, again, has nothing at all to do with religion.  You can enjoy nature, feel like a part of the world, etc. without believing in any specific religious ideology.

I wouldn't call it a placebo effect since I've cast spells on other people without their knowledge and it worked.  It can't be them believing in it because to this day they still don't have a clue.  And yet, what I wanted to have happen happened.
Just because you wished for something to happen, you performed a ritual, then it occurred does not mean that you caused it to happen.  Correlation is not causation.  Your belief that you can cast spells is the placebo there, making you think that you did.

And if you were presented with clear enough evidence that proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that you did, I encourage you to make a cool million for yourself and shock the world by taking this challenge:  http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

Let us know how that turns out.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 12:05:55 PM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #78 on: October 05, 2009, 12:48:51 PM »
So, I agree with you, and I don't agree with you. I think it depends on what he's doing. If he's sending some Healing energy, for example, that's not something one need ask permission for, any more than asking permission to clean the snow off an elderly neighbor's car.

I have to disagree. Personal boundaries are important to remember in ALL cases. Even well-intentioned acts can cross personal boundaries.
Some people simply do not want their world tampered with regardless without their consent, some just don't want people to meddle, and others even begin to feel guilt that they have not done much/anything to repay the kind favors. What if there's something you don't know about the situation? What if you go to clear the ice off of their windshield, have no idea that it's cracked, and end up causing the crack to splinter and grow? (The latter has actually happened to me, and I was pretty pissed about it.)

Of course, I'm not railing against performing good deeds, but there's a pretty fine line, especially with regard to the recipient's own preferences.

Quote
So, I agree with you, and I don't agree with you. I think it depends on what he's doing. If he's sending some Healing energy, for example, that's not something one need ask permission for, any more than asking permission to clean the snow off an elderly neighbor's car.

Sending positive energy, in this manner, is not the same as clearing snow or really any physical 'good deed'. One has no visible effect whatsoever, no real tangible impact (I'm stating this from a non-religious viewpoint; some will disagree and insist that sending positive energy can result in real improvements, but for the sake of argument, I'm saying that sending good vibes -- or whatever you want to call them -- is merely a thought that is contained in your own mind), but is instead merely sentimental. The other is still crossing physical boundaries and impacting somebody in a very real, unquestionable (unlike religion) way.

For thoughts of all kinds, a person is by any means free to think what they want of others -- you shouldn't censor your own internal process, and for that, I doubt it's really necessary to seek permission, but you really have to be conscious when you act. This is where people who want to convert others really miss the train, but that's a whole different story.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #79 on: October 05, 2009, 08:42:41 PM »
Trying to convert someone, or making them fall in love would be bad, yes.  But I don't see any reason to ask someone before doing something like sending healing energy, or maybe a little something to bring them luck if they're having a hard time. 

By intention I meant; is it being done because you really want to help them, or are you hoping to get something out of it... 

What if you have a friend that's say an Atheist, but he's really ill.  If you ask permission he'll laugh in your face.  But if you believe you can help why shouldn't you?  As far as there being something you don't know about the situation, even still, when you set out to do the good deed your intention was to help.  Doing something nice for someone else without being asked is a selfless act, and in my opinion, this world would be a much better place if everyone did it. 

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #80 on: October 05, 2009, 11:43:55 PM »
I don't disagree with you on the first part. If you think directing positive thoughts at someone will truly help, I hardly think it requires permission.

Quote
As far as there being something you don't know about the situation, even still, when you set out to do the good deed your intention was to help.  Doing something nice for someone else without being asked is a selfless act, and in my opinion, this world would be a much better place if everyone did it. 

Your son is dying from cancer, but instead of taking him to a hospital, you truly think prayer will save him. He dies. But it's alright, you didn't mean any harm, right? You were only doing something 'nice'.

Wrong.

That's a little extreme, though, let's back it down and I'm going to throw my example back out again.

My windshield was cleared WITHOUT my permission and there were at least five sunken impact marks from where they chipped away at the ice, which made my car nearly undriveable. Did I think to myself, "Wow, how nice of them! I know they meant well, even though I now have to pay $200 to replace this piece of shit!" No, I said, "Wow, if those assholes would've asked me, I could've warned them about the weak spot where it's cracked, or even better, I could've politely declined!"

Even if the people who did it would've paid for the windshield, they still put my car out of commission for a few days at my inconvenience. Not really that helpful and one simple question would have evaded all of the complications.

I'm the kind of person that doesn't want people meddling in my affairs unnecessarily, especially if they don't know me well. Acts of kindness are nice, that's hard to deny, but not everybody feels the same way as you and not every act can be justified by its intention.

Offline Kotah

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #81 on: October 06, 2009, 01:30:39 PM »
I am a god basher. The same way as I can bash every other religion out there. I Have a tendency to get really rabid about disproving the 'god' question. I also have a reason why I have been doing this for the last 5 years. I was raised in a family that attended church every day. I know more about the bible then most Christians do.

It's a fact that most Atheists I know more more about the bible then the Christians.

Offline Moon and Star

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #82 on: October 06, 2009, 01:47:53 PM »
I liked this thread better when we were cracking Matrix jokes. :'(

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #83 on: October 06, 2009, 02:33:11 PM »
I am a god basher. The same way as I can bash every other religion out there. I Have a tendency to get really rabid about disproving the 'god' question.

Just remember to do it in a polite and civil manner. Everyone is entitled to their own view and beliefs.

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #84 on: October 06, 2009, 04:35:28 PM »
One nice thing about religion is the comfort factor. It's hard to get warm and fuzzy over e=mc2 or newtons 2nd law. I do but I'm weird.

We all wrestle with the fundamental questions; who are we, where is this place, where are we going. Religion offers answers, or suggests that an intelligence loves us, or is watching over existence. That the universe is not a chaotic, random phenomena. That we are special and watched over almost like a great parent taking care of us.

Whether or not its true, well who knows what truth is. Religion offers reassurance and comfort in a seemingly unfathomable and chaotic universe. It's an escape from the existential horror of living in an existance with only a fragment of identity and understanding, where being a speck of dust on the outer rim of a galaxy we look out with our primitive technology and slowly tread a path through the cosmos.

I'm not a religious person myself but I respect its place in the bigger scheme of things and where we're at in our current stage of development.

Offline Kotah

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #85 on: October 06, 2009, 04:37:33 PM »
Most Christians don't seem to think I have the right to believe what I want. O.o I just pay them back. Most of the time I just ignore the discussion. However, I would consider myself a god basher.

I also get bashed by Christians, and told all sorts of things.
I really do believe in god. I just don't want to admit it. It's cool to hate god.
I'm just an angry person, and I'll believe in god again some day.
I'm ate up with daemons, and I'll never be at peace.
I'm a bad person, so god doesn't love me anyway. It doesn't matter that I don't believe.
I just need my husband to slap me around and put me in my place, then I will see that go is there. (I couldn't believe this one)

One dude even tried to do an exorcism on me.

I only bash when I get bashed. >.>

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #86 on: October 06, 2009, 04:39:31 PM »
I got exorcised over the telephone once.  I wanted so much to put on a Linda Blair voice and say "NOT THIS TIME..."

But I was laughing too hard.

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #87 on: October 06, 2009, 04:56:24 PM »
Religious zealotry from anyone (including atheists) is annoying, unnecessary, and gives everybody else under that umbrella a bad name. I've seen pretty nasty superiority complexes from atheists who have the presence of mind to go around saying that they are more advanced, smarter, more evolved than believers, which is just as disgusting as a Christian who condescends somebody who doesn't believe in/doesn't worship their god.

Actively seeking to 'bash god' is about on the same level as actively seeking to convert/impress god into people who don't want it. You'll never change their mind, so I think the better road to take is simply to change their impression of the people you represent so we can all just coexist in relative peace. I've met good Christians and bad Christians, good Atheists and bad ones, too. Nobody's exempt, just have a little respect.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #88 on: October 06, 2009, 05:37:57 PM »
Most Christians don't seem to think I have the right to believe what I want. O.o I just pay them back. Most of the time I just ignore the discussion. However, I would consider myself a god basher.

You will find intolerance in any belief. Because, I would imagine, Christianity is the most prevalent where you are, you run into more intolerant Christians.

I also get bashed by Christians, and told all sorts of things.
I really do believe in god. I just don't want to admit it. It's cool to hate god.
I'm just an angry person, and I'll believe in god again some day.
I'm ate up with daemons, and I'll never be at peace.
I'm a bad person, so god doesn't love me anyway. It doesn't matter that I don't believe.
I just need my husband to slap me around and put me in my place, then I will see that go is there. (I couldn't believe this one)

One dude even tried to do an exorcism on me.

I've heard most of those, or varieties of them myself.

I've had my beliefs questioned as "Is that some kind of devil worship then?"

I've been told "You might think you're not still Christian, but you are", even though I stopped being christian over a decade ago.

I've been told "You were born Christian, therefore you have to stay Christian, whether you like it or not." Needless to say, that one didn't work either.

So, yes .. been there, done that.

I only bash when I get bashed. >.>

I haven't seen you getting bashed here, so I would prefer you extend equal courtesy to others.

Everyone has a right to their own beliefs and opinions. Whether you agree with them or not, whether you like them or loathe them, you will discuss them with a degree of courtesy.

That applies to everyone, in case you're feeling singled out right now.

Religion, like politics, is one of those topics that can turn nasty very easily. I prefer not to see that happening.

Offline Moon and Star

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #89 on: October 06, 2009, 06:22:50 PM »
I got exorcised over the telephone once.  I wanted so much to put on a Linda Blair voice and say "NOT THIS TIME..."

But I was laughing too hard.

Exorcised over the phone? o.o How's that work?

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2009, 06:33:22 PM »
I was in college, and had recently 'come out of the broom closet'.  One day, the hall phone rings - and it's never for me, despite the fact that everyone else has room phones.  So, I ignore it.  One of my dormmates knocks on my door and says "It's for you - and it's a guy!"

For the record, I went to an all-girls college, and was one of the few that wasn't looking for my M.R.S. degree.

So I answer the phone, and this very pleasant-sounding young man introduces himself, says that he is a 'former witch', et cetera and so forth.  And I'm sitting in the little phone booth, rolling my eyes occasionally as he rambles on.

Eventually, he says 'There's somethin' I been wantin' to say to you, but the last person I said this to ran away screamin'.'  He says this very earnestly.  I respond with something like 'I don't scare easily.'

Next thing I hear over the phone:  "In the NAYME of JESUS CHRAIST, I comMAND you Saytan to LEAVE this girl!"  (I'm not kidding, his accent really went completely televangelist on me.)

*blink*

*blinkblink*

'Um - I'm not screaming...'

'Are yew shakin'?'

'Um... No...?'

Offline Moon and Star

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #91 on: October 06, 2009, 06:45:45 PM »
I was in college, and had recently 'come out of the broom closet'.  One day, the hall phone rings - and it's never for me, despite the fact that everyone else has room phones.  So, I ignore it.  One of my dormmates knocks on my door and says "It's for you - and it's a guy!"

For the record, I went to an all-girls college, and was one of the few that wasn't looking for my M.R.S. degree.

So I answer the phone, and this very pleasant-sounding young man introduces himself, says that he is a 'former witch', et cetera and so forth.  And I'm sitting in the little phone booth, rolling my eyes occasionally as he rambles on.

Eventually, he says 'There's somethin' I been wantin' to say to you, but the last person I said this to ran away screamin'.'  He says this very earnestly.  I respond with something like 'I don't scare easily.'

Next thing I hear over the phone:  "In the NAYME of JESUS CHRAIST, I comMAND you Saytan to LEAVE this girl!"  (I'm not kidding, his accent really went completely televangelist on me.)

*blink*

*blinkblink*

'Um - I'm not screaming...'

'Are yew shakin'?'

'Um... No...?'

Bwahahahaa! That's rather funny.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #92 on: October 06, 2009, 08:29:45 PM »
You know, I'm getting rather disgusted with this thread.  Someone question the function of religion.  I gave examples and had my beliefs ripped apart by being told it was all in my head.  I don't remember trying to convert anyone...  There are reasons I believe what I do, and I don't appreciate being told over and over again no matter what I say that it's just a placebo effect.  You can't prove that, and when you can, then you can open your mouth. 

And Noelle, your windshield getting cracked was an unfortunate thing, but not something you can compare to someone getting cancer.  Whoever did it was only trying to save you the headache of doing it yourself on a cold morning.  I know what a pain in the ass it is, and I'd be thrilled to have someone do it for me.  Most good deeds are good.  You just happen to have ONE example where something bad happened. 

That's all I have to say on this topic because some of you just seem hellbent on bashing religion in general.  This thread was supposed to be about those that push their beliefs on others. 

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #93 on: October 06, 2009, 08:50:17 PM »
You know, I'm getting rather disgusted with this thread.  Someone question the function of religion.  I gave examples and had my beliefs ripped apart by being told it was all in my head.  I don't remember trying to convert anyone...  There are reasons I believe what I do, and I don't appreciate being told over and over again no matter what I say that it's just a placebo effect.  You can't prove that, and when you can, then you can open your mouth. 

And Noelle, your windshield getting cracked was an unfortunate thing, but not something you can compare to someone getting cancer.  Whoever did it was only trying to save you the headache of doing it yourself on a cold morning.  I know what a pain in the ass it is, and I'd be thrilled to have someone do it for me.  Most good deeds are good.  You just happen to have ONE example where something bad happened. 

That's all I have to say on this topic because some of you just seem hellbent on bashing religion in general.  This thread was supposed to be about those that push their beliefs on others. 


Don't let it ruffle you, friend. Evangelists are evangelists, and they're little different from each other, whichever religion they are evangelizing. Or belief. Or lack of beliefs.

Consider the source, and consider that the opening video's whole apparent purpose is to denigrate anyone who isn't a proper science-to-the-exclusion-of-all-else thumpin' Atheist. It's hard to expect much else from the thread.

______________

I was exorcised by Seventh Day Adventists when I was a kid. They don't just wave the Bible around, they speak in tongues and scream and shout and "lay on hands." Imagine being an autistic kid, with people "speaking in tongues" and putting their hands all over you while you're tied to a bed. Yeah...

______________

I always hear from Christians that, even though I was a "born again" Christian and got baptized and went to Seminary, and prided myself on being as much a Christian as anyone (and how I LOVED JESUS, HALLELUYAH!)... I was never really a Christian, because if I was, I couldn't have left.

I guess I just tortured myself by believing I was a rotten, worthless sinner all those years for s**ts and giggles??

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #94 on: October 06, 2009, 09:05:23 PM »
I was exorcised by Seventh Day Adventists when I was a kid. They don't just wave the Bible around, they speak in tongues and scream and shout and "lay on hands." Imagine being an autistic kid, with people "speaking in tongues" and putting their hands all over you while you're tied to a bed. Yeah...

There was actually a court case about something like that not too long ago, only the 'priest' actually laid on top of the child for something like four hours.  I know how badly some autists deal with even light physical contact (friend's daughter), and I had the 'experience' of sitting in on a Pentacostal meeting once (scared the heck out of me, without being autistic) so I can distinctly imagine how terrible that was for you.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #95 on: October 06, 2009, 09:21:29 PM »
I was in college, and had recently 'come out of the broom closet'.  One day, the hall phone rings - and it's never for me, despite the fact that everyone else has room phones.  So, I ignore it.  One of my dormmates knocks on my door and says "It's for you - and it's a guy!"

For the record, I went to an all-girls college, and was one of the few that wasn't looking for my M.R.S. degree.

So I answer the phone, and this very pleasant-sounding young man introduces himself, says that he is a 'former witch', et cetera and so forth.  And I'm sitting in the little phone booth, rolling my eyes occasionally as he rambles on.

Eventually, he says 'There's somethin' I been wantin' to say to you, but the last person I said this to ran away screamin'.'  He says this very earnestly.  I respond with something like 'I don't scare easily.'

Next thing I hear over the phone:  "In the NAYME of JESUS CHRAIST, I comMAND you Saytan to LEAVE this girl!"  (I'm not kidding, his accent really went completely televangelist on me.)

*blink*

*blinkblink*

'Um - I'm not screaming...'

'Are yew shakin'?'

'Um... No...?'

... that was just a joke right? Or did some one try to long distance exorcise you?

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #96 on: October 06, 2009, 09:27:04 PM »
Actually, it was a local call.  It's the sort of incident that you don't forget easily.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #97 on: October 06, 2009, 09:33:14 PM »
Wow, did you ever find out who it was? 

Offline Moonhare

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #98 on: October 06, 2009, 09:34:25 PM »
I wonder if you could have *69 to get their number from there.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #99 on: October 06, 2009, 09:42:52 PM »
It was some guy associated with the local Pentecostals (the same ones I mentioned in my response to Phoenix).  I made the mistake of accepting an invitation to 'Bible Study' (which I normally don't mind sitting through) in order to try to explain myself to him, and found myself in the middle of a full-fledged tongue-speaking extravaganza.

From the distance of several years, I can say that it was an impressive example of building energy, but at the time it was rather unsettling.