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Old 03-24-2014, 01:45 PM   #316
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Jeevey, this isn't first time I've seen you experience something in your life and proceed to attribute your experience to the whole. Maybe you should consider broadening your viewpoint before making blanket statements, or, at the very least, expressing first that what you're talking about is just what you've seen, instead of trying to pass it off as the behavior of a whole.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:48 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by iron yuppie View Post
The problem might be that you seem be generalizing about a movement, i.e. Christianity, that has countless manifestations and interpretations. I've been around a lot of Mormons, for example, you will talk quite openly about "good deeds" being the mark of a person rather than a perception of closeness to god.
That may be true. But American culture is still broadly Christianized, even though many people are not religious at all. I think America tends to lack much awareness and discussion about how moral systems are constructed outside of God, a hesitation to name a religious dogma both sincere and bad, a a certain discomfort with atheism/skepticism on a public level. Although there are many atheists here, there are still many contexts in which a claim to faith acts as a litmus test.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:51 PM   #318
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I have never in my life got the feeling that anyone thinks practicing a religion is a better way or something that most people should do or aspire to do. It's always just sort of felt like something some people choose to do because it helps them feel better in their lives. Just a choice made by some because they feel it benefits them. Very religious people here seem to be a minority.
That seems to be the exact opposite of the purpose of the Christian religion, though. Or at least in the way I'm interpreting your post. For a Christian, belief in Jesus is a goal that we hope for all people to eventually find their way towards in order to be saved from eternal damnation. I mean, that's the idea behind the go out and preach the gospel aspects of it. Meaning, towards your second point, there's more to it than just feeling better about oneself, it's about what happens during and after our time on Earth.

That's entirely different, however, from someone telling another person that if they're not religious they have no morals. Which, again, isn't something I've ever encountered in my life. I grew up inside of a very large Baptist family and I don't think I've ever heard one of my relatives suggest something like that. However, I have read about people saying things of that nature on the Internet. (Not just here, that wasn't sarcasm.)
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:59 PM   #319
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if one is within the group, the group behavior belief, group practice seems reasonable

if one is not in the group the same behavior and practice can appear arrogant and even condescending.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:14 PM   #320
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That seems to be the exact opposite of the purpose of the Christian religion, though. Or at least in the way I'm interpreting your post. For a Christian, belief in Jesus is a goal that we hope for all people to eventually find their way towards in order to be saved from eternal damnation. I mean, that's the idea behind the go out and preach the gospel aspects of it. Meaning, towards your second point, there's more to it than just feeling better about oneself, it's about what happens during and after our time on Earth.

That's entirely different, however, from someone telling another person that if they're not religious they have no morals. Which, again, isn't something I've ever encountered in my life. I grew up inside of a very large Baptist family and I don't think I've ever heard one of my relatives suggest something like that. However, I have read about people saying things of that nature on the Internet. (Not just here, that wasn't sarcasm.)
I agree with your post, but I'm not getting how you're relating that to mine? What you are saying in paragraph 1, I agree with as something I know Christians believed, but I haven't seen widely practiced. I mean, I never felt that a large Christian community was judging me or anyone else for not being a part of their religious community.

And I agree with your second paragraph as well. My very devout Baptist aunt has never behaved as though she or her way is better than anyone else.
(I hope my use of the word "fanatical" in relation to Baptists wasn't taken negatively. It wasn't meant that way at all.)
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:21 PM   #321
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I agree with your post, but I'm not getting how you're relating that to mine? What you are saying in paragraph 1, I agree with as something I know Christians believed, but I haven't seen widely practiced. I mean, I never felt that a large Christian community was judging me or anyone else for not being a part of their religious community.

And I agree with your second paragraph as well. My very devout Baptist aunt has never behaved as though she or her way is better than anyone else.
(I hope my use of the word "fanatical" in relation to Baptists wasn't taken negatively. It wasn't meant that way at all.)
What I was trying to say, I think () is that the idea behind Christianity is that it is a better way than not to practice, based on the impacts it has on eternity. From a Christian standpoint. I'm not saying that I think I'm better than anyone for that reason, I'm just saying that what you said and the theology behind Christianity don't exactly jive.

And no, absolutely not, I didn't take it negatively . In my experience, I haven't encountered nearly as many fanatic people in general. The people who were fanatic, however, were usually.....I'm going to leave this post exactly as it is, because I just went to go look up the church I was specifically thinking of in my area and it's Baptist, so never mind!
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:25 PM   #322
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I understand what you're saying in your first part. I think what I'm asking is I didn't think I had made any statement on Christian theology in my first post. As far as I know, at least.

Making an edit here...

Ok I went back and reread my post to try and get how you interpreted it and I think I get it now. I probably didn't articulate my idea as exactly as I wanted to. Maybe within the devout Christian community, non believers are seen as people who haven't attained that level..or morality... yet? But it has never felt that this is the norm for the United States as jeevey had described it, to me.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:29 PM   #323
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I understand what you're saying in your first part. I think what I'm asking is I didn't think I had made any statement on Christian theology in my first post. As far as I know, at least.

Making an edit here...

Ok I went back and reread my post to try and get how you interpreted it and I think I get it now. I probably didn't articulate my idea as exactly as I wanted to. Maybe within the devout Christian community, non believers are seen as people who haven't attained that level..or morality... yet? But it has never felt that this is the norm for the United States as jeevey had described it, to me.
OK, I think we're all on the same page, then. . I'm always afraid I'm not being as articulate as I'd like to be, so it wouldn't shock me if something I said was unclear.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:35 PM   #324
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Bono_212, you're right that I'm making generalizations based on observation and experience--which outside of research is all that most of us can do. I'm also using lots of qualifiers like "it seems like"; "often"; "in many contexts"; and "there is a narrative". I'm making observations about broad cultural attitudes, not making universal claims. The point in what I was saying is that when we see a bad belief or religion we often minimize the fact that the problem may originate in the doctrine itself.

The fact is that WBC is a church, is Baptist, and the gross things they do are a religious problem--it grows quite logically out of their theology. I think the urge to say that it's not about religion, that they are not a church and so on, is a mistake. It's important to acknowledge that they are and then tend to the problem from there.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:57 PM   #325
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Bono_212, you're right that I'm making generalizations based on observation and experience--which outside of research is all that most of us can do. I'm also using lots of qualifiers like "it seems like"; "often"; "in many contexts"; and "there is a narrative". I'm making observations about broad cultural attitudes, not making universal claims. The point in what I was saying is that when we see a bad belief or religion we often minimize the fact that the problem may originate in the doctrine itself.

The fact is that WBC is a church, is Baptist, and the gross things they do are a religious problem--it grows quite logically out of their theology. I think the urge to say that it's not about religion, that they are not a church and so on, is a mistake. It's important to acknowledge that they are and then tend to the problem from there.

I believe religion, faith, and spirituality is what others make of it. If someone is looking to find meaning and peace, they could find it in religion. If someone is looking to feel superior to others, they'll find it in religion. It's all about the mindset of the individual when they read a religious text or enter a house of worship. The problem isn't religion itself but how someone interprets whatever is taught. I find it condescending for anyone to say religion automatically makes good people bad when the opposite can occur.

Also, Jeevey, you may be referring to your own experiences and use non-generalizing statements, but your tone comes across as broad.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:12 PM   #326
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I'm sorry, maybe I'm misunderstanding something. Have I said that religions automatically makes good people bad? I'm not trying to be incendiary here, I honestly don't know what your comment is referring to.

Also about this:
Quote:
The problem isn't religion itself but how someone interprets whatever is taught.
Do you think it's impossible that a religious teaching be inherently bad? If for example there were a sacred scripture that said children are under the authority of their parents, do not achieve full personhood until adulthood and must categorically submit to whatever punishment their parents thought proper, thereby legitimizing all child abuse by parents, would that your statement still be true?
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:32 PM   #327
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I'm sorry, maybe I'm misunderstanding something. Have I said that religions automatically makes good people bad? I'm not trying to be incendiary here
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Do you think it's impossible that a religious teaching be inherently bad?
I don't know, it does come across like you have your mind pretty well made up.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:33 PM   #328
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I don't know, it does come across like you have your mind pretty well made up.

This. You really contradicted yourself there, Jeevey.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:38 PM   #329
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I don't often agree with jeevey, but I really don't understand what you guys (bono_212 and Pearl) are taking issue with here? I absolutely understand her point and I don't see any contradictions.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:52 PM   #330
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I don't often agree with jeevey, but I really don't understand what you guys (bono_212 and Pearl) are taking issue with here? I absolutely understand her point and I don't see any contradictions.

OK, she is saying religious teaching can be bad. Maybe I'm just thinking anytime someone points out the problem with religion (and I agree that the Bible has it's problems) that means they're saying anyone who follows such teachings is a fool and out of touch with reality. Jeevey probably isn't, and I did probably miss her whole point.

Jeevey, of course I see that teaching as horribly bad. But does that mean everything a religion teaches is bad? As in, half of the good points don't matter because of the bad half? Granted, I label my beliefs as simply faith rather than what an institution tells me. It is hard to acknowledge the lousy parts of a teaching when you can't not acknowledge the parts that you've benefitted greatly from. But then again, the Bible was written by people, and what my heart/soul/spirit/gut says is another matter.
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