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March Blizzard

Religion - is it actively under attack?

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It what sense though, Knocker? Sure, opinions should be based on evidence and reason, absolutely, but 'free' in any further sense is an illusion. You have no control whatsoever over the next thought that comes rising into conciousness. If you say you do, then the discussion ceases.

 

I just meant that one has freedom of thought so that you can form opinions and reject or accept evidence and other opinions. Although that can disappear out of the window when gifted orators are talking such as the Greek Orators. Or more up to date our adversarial legal system.

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your missing the point though Paul and equating holding religious beliefs that differ than yours to someone who condones murder. It's been a really enlightening social study on people's behaviour and tolerance towards deeply held religious beliefs, so,e feel threat end others outraged and some view all things in life with common sense, the latter appears rather sparse here though.

 

I didn't equate them at all, the words 'for instance' show that I was using the murder point as an example (albeit an extreme one to highlight the point that success doesn't mean something is right), not a link - as I'm sure you're aware. 

 

As I've said to you privately, the response to you isn't about your beliefs necessarily, it's about the way you communicate them - you say something which is offensive and potentially hurtful then people are going to react negatively to that. Religion doesn't come in to it at that point - if you go about saying people are 'wrong'  or 'unnatural' because they are gay then you are well aware that you're going to cause negative reactions from people. As we discussed, if for example someone said something similar based on someone's race or sex, then you agreed with me that it would be offensive, so just because you have a view about homosexuality based on your religious beliefs it doesn't make saying that sort of thing any less offensive.

 

Your lack of consideration and selfish need to express it without a thought for the offense it may cause is what's most telling - it's not about religion at all, it's about someone voicing what many people consider to be an unacceptable view in a way that was offensive and potentially hurtful. 

 

I guess this is a problem for many religions, they get a bad reputation because of people like yourself doing that type of thing in the name of their religion. That's not religion's fault at all.

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While i support gay marriage myself i do feel many of you are being far too harsh on SI. He should be allowed to hold views which do not conform to current social norms if he so wishes so long as he is not taking it to the level of either verbally or physically attacking somebody. That does not make him a bigot per say.

 The definition of a bigot: 

a person who has strong, unreasonable beliefs and who thinks that anyone who does not have the same beliefs is wrong:

 

 

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 The definition of a bigot: 

 

If that's the case I'd suggest a lot of posters in this thread could be bestowed with that unwanted moniker. The "unreasonable" part of the definition is open to interpretation. 

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If that's the case I'd suggest a lot of posters in this thread could be bestowed with that unwanted moniker. The "unreasonable" part of the definition is open to interpretation. 

 

Well for that you would surely have to your lead from society as to what is considered reasonable. We live in a tolerant, open society - a society where people cannot/should not be discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality (and a great many other things - race, age, sex etc), so I struggle to see how someone suggesting that a person is wrong or unnatural on the basis of their sexuality can be considered reasonable. 

 

In other societies this differs of course, but we're not living in or talking about those at this point in time. 

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Religion...here's a paragraph I found on a website - the Diocese in question shall remain unnamed."THE HARVEST APPEAL has been hugely successful! Thanks for all your support. Every week Emergency Food Parcels are being supplied to families who are in serious and sudden hardship and there is a continued increase in need this year.We always need tins of meat, coffee, tins of fruit, rice pudding,packets of dried milk and sugar, toothpaste, shampoo and other essentials.."One big positive, where can you go wrong with that? Apart from the fact it shouldn't really be happening. Plenty of other links pointed towards one main goal...helping others? Or perhaps those in need.So, how does this kind of influence or message it portrays - negatively effect those it could be in contact with, be it children or adults. To help and to consider others in a pretty selfish world.

 

I suppose you could argue that Christians are trying to enforce their culinary tastes on an unsuspecting public?

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But again, you're assuming that they're thoroughly unpleasant! We just go in circles Posted Image

 

... but here's the thing.

I am trans. I am also lesbian, in a loving and committed relationship with my girlfriend. How pleasant do you think it is that I should be told that I am in some way immoral, and that it is perfectly OK for people to tell their children that the unchangeable facts of my existence are to be considered in some way wrong and harmful as if doing so was the most normal thing in the world? 

 

How pleasant do you think it is that I cannot enter a discussion with supposedly reasonable and well reasoned, civil, and claimedly upstanding moral people who think it is perfectly OK to ignore the fact that the people they are talking about are actually involved in the conversation (Government uses an estimate of 3 to 8% of the population are LGBT - a further 1% have questioned their gender identity, and 0.2 to 0.4% of those have taken steps to deal with gender incongruence)

 

How pleasant might it be to realise that you are in a conversation with someone who, far from just having such thoughts (which is not a crime), feels that it's reasonable to publish them in an open forum, and then cry foul of any criticism of those beliefs... especially if you are one of the people those beliefs are about?

I would think such a person to be thoroughly unpleasant, personally speaking... and it would be less than an assumption, as such a view would be based solely on their actions and their lack of consideration for others.

 

Let's not forget here that beliefs are not the same as facts, by definition... and while a deeply held belief may be a fact to the person who holds it, we each have the mental faculties to realise that our beliefs are not hard facts as applied to the world outside of ourselves, and we each have a responsibility to consider how acting upon those beliefs may impact upon those around us, and indeed, upon society as a whole.

 

... taking that yet one step further - to attempt to form society, through your children or through attempts to influence legislation, according to such beliefs is to claim that one's beliefs are indeed hard facts, and are thus beliefs that everybody else should live by... which per the above definition of bigotry posted by Paul, is bigotry.

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If that's the case I'd suggest a lot of posters in this thread could be bestowed with that unwanted moniker. The "unreasonable" part of the definition is open to interpretation. 

 

Quite. So the bigot would consider everybody else a bigot because as far as he/she is concerned their beliefs are unreasonable.

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Religion...here's a paragraph I found on a website - the Diocese in question shall remain unnamed."THE HARVEST APPEAL has been hugely successful! Thanks for all your support. Every week Emergency Food Parcels are being supplied to families who are in serious and sudden hardship and there is a continued increase in need this year.We always need tins of meat, coffee, tins of fruit, rice pudding,packets of dried milk and sugar, toothpaste, shampoo and other essentials.."One big positive, where can you go wrong with that? Apart from the fact it shouldn't really be happening. Plenty of other links pointed towards one main goal...helping others? Or perhaps those in need.So, how does this kind of influence or message it portrays - negatively effect those it could be in contact with, be it children or adults. To help and to consider others in a pretty selfish world.

 

Lets take the Salvation Army... who in countries where they are free to practice their actual beliefs, will not offer assistance to homeless LGBT people (as a for instance). Likewise, adoption agencies who would sooner see children without families than let gay people look after them... and so the list goes on.

Edited by crimsone

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Well, Christianity and what it stands for is controversial and despised. That's how it's been going back to the beginning. People found Jesus highly offensive, they despised him - they crucified him afterall!

 

I'm sure if he walked in this world he would have got the exact same treatment as he did back then - revulsion, persecution and hatred. Why is this? Just what is it about the message of Christianity that people so find awful, back then and today? The one and only message of Christ is love. There is nothing else whatsoever to Christianity.

 

"The light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.†- John 3

 

Mention you're a Buddhist, mention you're a Sikh, mention you just believe in "God" and nobody bats an eyelid. Mention you believe in Jesus Christ and all hell breaks loose!

Edited by Bobby

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... but here's the thing.I am trans. I am also lesbian, in a loving and committed relationship with my girlfriend. How pleasant do you think it is that I should be told that I am in some way immoral, and that it is perfectly OK for people to tell their children that the unchangeable facts of my existence are to be considered in some way wrong and harmful as if doing so was the most normal thing in the world? 

 

How pleasant do you think it is that I cannot enter a discussion with supposedly reasonable and well reasoned, civil, and claimedly upstanding moral people who think it is perfectly OK to ignore the fact that the people they are talking about are actually involved in the conversation (Government uses an estimate of 3 to 8% of the population are LGBT - a further 1% have questioned their gender identity, and 0.2 to 0.4% of those have taken steps to deal with gender incongruence)

 

How pleasant might it be to realise that you are in a conversation with someone who, far from just having such thoughts (which is not a crime), feels that it's reasonable to publish them in an open forum, and then cry foul of any criticism of those beliefs... especially if you are one of the people those beliefs are about?I would think such a person to be thoroughly unpleasant, personally speaking... and it would be less than an assumption, as such a view would be based solely on their actions and their lack of consideration for others.

 

Let's not forget here that beliefs are not the same as facts, by definition... and while a deeply held belief may be a fact to the person who holds it, we each have the mental faculties to realise that our beliefs are not hard facts as applied to the world outside of ourselves, and we each have a responsibility to consider how acting upon those beliefs may impact upon those around us, and indeed, upon society as a whole.

 

... taking that yet one step further - to attempt to form society, through your children or through attempts to influence legislation, according to such beliefs is to claim that one's beliefs are indeed hard facts, and are thus beliefs that everybody else should live by... which per the above definition of bigotry posted by Paul, is bigotry.

 

I agree with all of that excellent post. A quick question. Taking the section I highlighted do you think the church, sticking to the CoE and RCC, have too much influence on many people's beliefs to the extent that rational thinking is placed on the backburner and it can even be considered promoting bigotry?

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As long as a person is nice (as in polite) then I have no problem with them, what ever the gender and race/colour/creed etc they can be who and what they want but honest and polite is a must as it should be on all.

 

 

Forget walls and stigmatism, people need and should be ...

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Mention you're a Buddhist, mention you're a Sikh, mention you just believe in "God" and nobody bats an eyelid. Mention you believe in Jesus Christ and all hell breaks loose!

 

Well they batted more than an eyelid regarding the Jews over the centuries.

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... but here's the thing.I am trans. I am also lesbian, in a loving and committed relationship with my girlfriend. How pleasant do you think it is that I should be told that I am in some way immoral, and that it is perfectly OK for people to tell their children that the unchangeable facts of my existence are to be considered in some way wrong and harmful as if doing so was the most normal thing in the world?

 

Let's look at this from a Christian perspective. How do you think that the Christ of Christianity would look at you and your situation? Do you think he'd be offended? No, he loves all unconditionally. I mean, do you think God is the slighest bit concerned about himself and whether he's offended or not? If God dislikes something we do it's not for his sake but for ours. Sin isn't harmful to God, it's harmful to us, that's why he despises it. And that's exactly how Christians should view things and how they should act.

 

A child doesn't like being told by his parents he can't have a bag of sweets. It's not because his parents hate him but because they love him.

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Lets take the Salvation Army... who in countries where they are free to practice their actual beliefs, will not offer assistance to homeless LGBT people (as a for instance). Likewise, adoption agencies who would sooner see children without families than let gay people look after them... and so the list goes on.

 

As horrible as that is does that mean that they should cease in providing assistance to everyone else? Being selective about who one chooses to help doesn't change the fact that other people in need are being helped. Yes - it's a sad situation, but if we are to condemn charities for excluding certain people are we not in danger of losing them altogether - to the detriment of everyone else?. I'm all for trying to persuade such charities/agencies to change their ways, but we'd have to be careful about how we go about it.

 

In an ideal world all charitable organisations would be all-encompassing, but one of the reasons there is such diversity in the "industry" is because a lot have specific goals on what they want to achieve; who they want to help. Most charities have their own specific "target audience" of likeminded individuals from which they draw the bulk of their donations from.

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"I am trans. I am also lesbian, in a loving and committed relationship with my girlfriend. How pleasant do you think it is that I should be told that I am in some way immoral, and that it is perfectly OK for people to tell their children that the unchangeable facts of my existence are to be considered in some way wrong and harmful as if doing so was the most normal thing in the world?"In reply to crimsone.Agree 100% - but what of those religious types, who maybe instil this in to others, including their offspring, or share the same belief.Surely tarring everyone who follows a religion or faith - can also be seen as just as destructive. Simply because people automatically assume or use stereotypes as their proof for their reason or thinking.Guess it all boils down to the individual, even if you have a whole raft of laws and legislation.

 

I don't really tar all people who follow a religion and/or faith with the same brush. I am happy to note, for example, that vast swathes of the Roman Catholic congregation have fundamental disagreements with the Roman Catholic Church on a variety of issues - including, as it happens, on LGBT matters. In so far as I have experienced the world, and in so far as others around me have relayed their experiences to me, I believe this to be the attitude of most people in our secular society. 

I agree with all of that excellent post. A quick question. Taking the section I highlighted do you think the church, sticking to the CoE and RCC, have too much influence on many people's beliefs to the extent that rational thinking is placed on the backburner and it can even be considered promoting bigotry?

 

This kind of ties in to the earlier part of this post - the answer, which may seem at first to contradict my earlier words, is yes - I think they have too much influence. That said - they do not have complete influence. While a number of UK and American RCC congregations may oppose the stance of the church on LGBT issues, contraception, sex before marriage, etc, it is also clear that the RCC does great harm in Africa, where an insistence that contraception is evil only serves to further the HIV epidemic... it actually ruins people's lives. Age old attitudes (ie, from the 80s) that come from religious views in the western world that HIV is a gay thing only go to further violence and imprisonment in respect of gay men in African nations, and corrective rapes against lesbian women.On the other side of the coin though - it is also interesting to note than now that the issue of same sex weddings has reared it's head in the CoE, the Anglican synod now finds itself having to consider whether not providing them begins to appear mean spirited - ultimately, I suspect they will accept it. the Anglican Church in Nigeria, however, has a few choice words to say about that idea, so in a different way, perhaps that influence of organised congregations can be turned to the good. 

On the whole, personally, I am against organised religion, and would take the reformist principle of the personal relationship with God to it's ultimate ends... by my own personal reasoning, I feel that if one has a personal relationship with a God, with personal beliefs, and personal understandings, then such a faith is an entirely personal thing. Churches, should they exist, ought to be organised from the ground up, by that principle, rather from on high and to the ground.

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Let's look at this from a Christian perspective. How do you think that the Christ of Christianity would look at you and your situation? Do you think he'd be offended? No, he loves all unconditionally. I mean, do you think God is the slighest bit concerned about himself and whether he's offended or not? If God dislikes something we do it's not for his sake but for ours. Sin isn't harmful to God, it's harmful to us, that's why he despises it. And that's exactly how Christians should view things and how they should act.

 

A child doesn't like being told by his parents he can't have a bag of sweets. It's not because his parents hate him but because they love him.

Which has sod all to do with me... but thank you. If I ever become Christian again I shall bear that in mind - but the chances are slim.In the mean time, I would like to point out that the Bible says nothing of whether LGBT people can choose to be who they are, and all scientific evidence points to the fact that they cannot. Christians should mind their own business as much as possible (...cast the first stone, etc), and bear in mind that if sin is harmful to us, then we have plenty of our own sins to be concerned about - other people's sins are not our concern.Christians should also be mindful of the fact that God gave us free will... so indoctrinating our children is in fact damaging God's own gift - they can, after all, make their own mind up upon their own personal first encounter with a clean slate once they are old enough to do so with reason.

 

As horrible as that is does that mean that they should cease in providing assistance to everyone else? Being selective about who one chooses to help doesn't change the fact that other people in need are being helped. Yes - it's a sad situation, but if we are to condemn charities for excluding certain people are we not in danger of losing them altogether - to the detriment of everyone else?. I'm all for trying to persuade such charities/agencies to change their ways, but we'd have to be careful about how we go about it.

 

In an ideal world all charitable organisations would be all-encompassing, but one of the reasons there is such diversity in the "industry" is because a lot have specific goals on what they want to achieve; who they want to help. Most charities have their own specific "target audience" of likeminded individuals from which they draw the bulk of their donations from.

There is absolutely no good reason for not helping the few they won't though - is there? Are you honestly saying we should ignore the harm they are doing because they also do some good? Is that how God would see it?The Sally Army doesn't have a target audience by excluding LGBT people - they attempt to force their views down the throats of the most vulnerable in order that those vulnerable people can get the help they need - and that is actually evil. Likewise, refusing a vulnerable child a family because you don't approve of a prospective parent's sexual orientation is also evil. If such attitudes hurt even one child, then such organisations need to be given over to those who care more about the children than their personal beliefs.

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And this is what reason is up against.

 

Can I ask, Bobby. Have you ever truly considered that there is no god? Surely a part of your mind knows it isn't real. Just take a step back think about it. I just want to know how your mind got to this position?

I don't mind if people believe that God absolutely exist. I only find it perplexing when people fail to consider that it's perfectly reasonable to know just as vehemently that God does not exist or anything between the two positions - and so act accordingly upon a common, secular basis for understanding.

 

I am personally vehement in my belief that eating fungus is just wrong... but that doesn't mean that I base all culinary thought from that position, and could only talk about food with that in mind. It's wrong for me - other people have other tastes and ideas, and my position is so alien to many that I could simply not hold a meaningful conversation if I used that belief as a starting point.

Edited by crimsone

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I think my social study on people's attitudes towards deeply held religious beliefs highlights how deeply divided communities are. This has been very enlightening at how people who call themselves tolerant are shown to be the exact opposite when confronted by someone with deeply held religious views. Now my study is coming to an end on here, I'll admit that I myself am not deeply religious yes I would like to think there is a God but being the sort of sceptical person I am I need physical proof.

I've been replicating this sort of argument over the last year or so on different forums and social media outlets, the overall consensus is one of intolerance towards anyone with a deeply religious viewpoint, on gay people, sex before marriage and attitudes towards other faiths. The one striking thing out of all this is that those who class themselves as atheist are the ones with most intolerant views towards those who hold the polar opposite views of theirs.

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There is absolutely no good reason for not helping the few they won't though - is there? Are you honestly saying we should ignore the harm they are doing because they also do some good? Is that how God would see it?The Sally Army doesn't have a target audience by excluding LGBT people - they attempt to force their views down the throats of the most vulnerable in order that those vulnerable people can get the help they need - and that is actually evil. Likewise, refusing a vulnerable child a family because you don't approve of a prospective parent's sexual orientation is also evil. If such attitudes hurt even one child, then such organisations need to be given over to those who care more about the children than their personal beliefs.

 

1) I can't see one, no.

2) No, charities should be subject to scrutiny and any perceived injustices (or harm caused) as a result of their practices should be flagged up and then challenged. Acknowledging any positives is not tantamount to ignoring the negatives.

3) I'm not religious and I don't believe in God - but if he does exist I'm in no position to speculate on his take.

Edited by March Blizzard

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1) I can't see one, no.

2) No, charities should be subject to scrutiny and any perceived injustices (or harm caused) as a result of their practices should be flagged up and then challenged. Acknowledging any positives is not tantamount to ignoring the negatives.

3) I'm not religious and I don't believe in God - but if he does exist I'm in no position to speculate on his take.

I 100% agree. I originally raised the point because I felt that it was not OK to see an example of where religion does pure good go unchallenged - Acknowledging negatives is also not tantamount to ignoring positives, dare I say so... I just wanted both sides of the coin to be recognised, and not just the nice stuff.

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I 100% agree. I originally raised the point because I felt that it was not OK to see an example of where religion does pure good go unchallenged - Acknowledging negatives is also not tantamount to ignoring positives, dare I say so... I just wanted both sides of the coin to be recognised, and not just the nice stuff.

 

I'm glad you did - the more perspectives the better.

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And this is what reason is up against.

 

Can I ask, Bobby. Have you ever truly considered that there is no god? Surely a part of your mind knows it isn't real. Just take a step back think about it. I just want to know how your mind got to this position?

 

Believe it or not I was a fairly militant atheist many a year ago. I'd have been on your side arguing against the position I hold, 100% certain there was no God and that believers were deluded. Science and reason were the answer and could figure everything out. But slowly I realised I was being naive and saw logical inconsistencies in my position and the truth was more mysterious than I ever thought.

 

So much for that atheistic certainty I held huh? How do you trust in your own certainty and reason? The idea that everything we believe, atheist or believer is all based on cold hard objective reason and logic is nonsense. Humans don't work that way. Our beliefs, the people we are - are shaped by external forces, we are the meeting place of a long train of events that we didn't start and cannot stop.

 

Do you believe that everything you believe and are is truly under the control of your own reason? I'd say that would be very naiive. There comes a point where you admit your limits to figure out the truth, then I think you become open to it.

Edited by Bobby

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Posted · Hidden by Bobby, February 15, 2014 - No reason given
Hidden by Bobby, February 15, 2014 - No reason given

There becomes a point where you admit your limits to figure out the truth, then I think you become open to it.

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You say that, Crimsone, but just look at the effect such a belief has in society. Take this thread, for example. Having a major discussion about gay marriage and people who are gay in general, as if it was actually an issue. This is coming from religion and iron age beliefs. So you say you don't mind, ok. But just stand back at witness what such a belief in the minds of many is doing to this world.

I'm sorry, but how does an individual finding comfort (or whatever else) in the belief that God exists in any way detrimental to wider society? I don't get it...

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