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Explaining v preaching v prostlyzing

preaching prosstlyzing

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#1    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

What is the difference between explaining one's religion and preaching it?  When does it become proselytizing and when does that become trying to "shove one's religion down someone's throat?"

At what age should children be taught religion and is it fair to a child for the parents to insist the child go to their church?


#2    ealdwita

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

In my opinion......

Explaining.........."My personal beliefs are........."
Proselytizing......"You really ought to give it a try......."
Throat shoving.."You're going to burn in eternal hellfire if you don't fall on your knees and worship my loving, merciful God!"

Children should be made aware of religion at an age appropriate to the child's ability to comprehend, and accompany their family to religious services if that's a normal part of family life, but they should not forcibly be made to adhere to any religion at any age.

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
(The Yeoman of the Guard ~ Gilbert and Sullivan)

#3    ouija ouija

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:27 PM

I suppose 'explaining' means putting your emotions to one side and just giving the 'bare bones' .... the facts as you understand them.

As for 'shoving your religion down another's throat', that's a tricky one because so much depends on how the recipient views what you've told them. If you bang on about your religion regardless of what the topic of conversation is, then that would be regarded as 'shoving', I'm sure. I think the main difficulty is that, for the ones who have no religion, it's very difficult to talk to someone who is always coming from the standpoint of 'faith'. 'Faith' translates as 'based on a lie/fantasy' to many people and if you don't share the lie/fantasy it's as bad as talking to someone who's drunk! There's no common ground to work from.

Children should never be taught religion, and no, they should not be made to attend the parent's church.

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#4    Hasina

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:13 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 February 2013 - 03:58 PM, said:

At what age should children be taught religion and is it fair to a child for the parents to insist the child go to their church?
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#5    BiffSplitkins

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:22 PM

View Postealdwita, on 12 February 2013 - 05:26 PM, said:

Throat shoving.."You're going to burn in eternal hellfire if you don't fall on your knees and worship my loving, merciful God!"

Just ran into one of them about a week ago. He was standing outside the Landmark Theater in Syracuse, NY with his sign and megaphone. There was a large group of people pouring into the Landmark (Blueman Group was performing).
The throat shover started ranting about how what a huge sin it is to have sex before marriage. I looked him dead in the eye and proclaimed quite loudly "Heeey, I've done that many times and I'm still here and doing okay!"
Everyone around me laughed which set this guy off on a rampage. He started comparing me to a dog and saying something that I'm no better than an animal.

I looked him dead in the eye again and said, "No, I'm a bit better than my dog, I haven't tried humping the cat yet anyway."

The laughter from the crowd of people was tremendous. The look on his face was priceless.

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#6    Jor-el

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 February 2013 - 03:58 PM, said:

What is the difference between explaining one's religion and preaching it?  When does it become proselytizing and when does that become trying to "shove one's religion down someone's throat?"

At what age should children be taught religion and is it fair to a child for the parents to insist the child go to their church?

The difference is simple actually. Explanations and debate are rooted in a give and take, where both are in essence teaching and learning, even if that takes the form of intense disagreement.

Preaching, is speaking regardless of who is actually listening, in other words an imposotion of ideas from without. This can be done with or without your consent. If one consents, one learns what the other person thinks but can give no input... without your consent, is easily handled... walk away.

Proselytizing, means that you are willing to entertain the ideas that someone is "preaching" to you.

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#7    GreenmansGod

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

View PostJor-el, on 18 February 2013 - 07:00 PM, said:

Proselytizing, means that you are willing to entertain the ideas that someone is "preaching" to you.



Quote


proselytize
1
: to induce someone to convert to one's faith


2
: to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause
http://www.merriam-w...ary/proselytize


The way I see it is when you are speaking to a large audience then you are preaching.  When you come to my door and try to convince me your way is the only way  you are proselytizing. I am just the victim.    My point of view or how I feel about it has nothing to do with what is being proselytized by you.

Pagans for the most part don't proselytize. If people come and ask us about our religion we will be happy to tell you all about.  If you want to join us, most groups make you think about it for an year and a day.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Salman Rushdie

#8    Jor-el

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 19 February 2013 - 06:23 PM, said:

The way I see it is when you are speaking to a large audience then you are preaching.  When you come to my door and try to convince me your way is the only way  you are proselytizing. I am just the victim. My point of view or how I feel about it has nothing to do with what is being proselytized by you.

Pagans for the most part don't proselytize. If people come and ask us about our religion we will be happy to tell you all about.  If you want to join us, most groups make you think about it for an year and a day.

My opinion differs from yours in that I don't consider you to be a victim of any kind. Victims have no choice, in regards to hearing others on religious views you at this moment in time in this society always have a choice, it has not been taken from you. You can refuse to hear those people, you can refuse to allow them into your home and you can always walk away when you have no interest in what they have to say.

I consider preaching and what you call proselytizing in the same way I consider commercials on TV. If it doesn't interest you, change the channel, no one is forcing you to watch the commercial., The remote is right by your hand I wager. In the same way, no one forces you to hear what others have to say regarding their religion. In ages past, news and commercials were proclaimed by Heralds and and Town Criers, nothing has changed over the centuries. Except now people tend to become irritated when they sense their "liberties" being impinged upon. The problem is in that very concept.

People tend to forget that my liberty ends where yours begins, but yours ends where mine begins...

Contrary to public assumptions all religions preach and all religions proselytize, no matter what they call themselves, if they didn't they would fade away after the 1st generation died. They simply choose methods that are original and creative when doing so. Historically, proselytizing is the most effective method ALL religions had of ensuring their religion lived on after they died away.

People may feel like they are being intruded upon when they hear preaching or evangelizing at their front door or in the street, but as I said, if you can handle commercials, you can handle that as well. If not there is ALWAYS a choice left to you.

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"Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake."

-C. S. Lewis


#9    J. K.

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

There are some who preach their religion in order to share the good things of the religion with others.

There are some who preach their religion in order to exert control over people.

I'm not going to try to quantify those.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#10    GreenmansGod

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:34 AM

View PostJor-el, on 19 February 2013 - 06:43 PM, said:

My opinion differs from yours in that I don't consider you to be a victim of any kind. Victims have no choice, in regards to hearing others on religious views you at this moment in time in this society always have a choice, it has not been taken from you. You can refuse to hear those people, you can refuse to allow them into your home and you can always walk away when you have no interest in what they have to say.

I consider preaching and what you call proselytizing in the same way I consider commercials on TV. If it doesn't interest you, change the channel, no one is forcing you to watch the commercial., The remote is right by your hand I wager. In the same way, no one forces you to hear what others have to say regarding their religion. In ages past, news and commercials were proclaimed by Heralds and and Town Criers, nothing has changed over the centuries. Except now people tend to become irritated when they sense their "liberties" being impinged upon. The problem is in that very concept.

People tend to forget that my liberty ends where yours begins, but yours ends where mine begins...

Contrary to public assumptions all religions preach and all religions proselytize, no matter what they call themselves, if they didn't they would fade away after the 1st generation died. They simply choose methods that are original and creative when doing so. Historically, proselytizing is the most effective method ALL religions had of ensuring their religion lived on after they died away.

People may feel like they are being intruded upon when they hear preaching or evangelizing at their front door or in the street, but as I said, if you can handle commercials, you can handle that as well. If not there is ALWAYS a choice left to you.

The only religions that die after the 1st generation are the ones who force everyone to be celibate. Pagans don't proselytize, we have no need, people come to us. You will never find a Pagan at your door at full moon asking if you have found Cernunno as your horned lord and savior. We are growing just fine as a religion we have no need to bother people with it.  

When y'all  come to my door you're not telling me anything I don't already know.  Christianity is all over the place and touted as the only true religion. There is no need for y'all to be on my porch waking me up from my nap after a long night of frolicking under the full moon. The TV stations provide a service, commercials pay for it.  The Baptist proselytizing on my porch are just being annoying and wasting my time and theirs.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Salman Rushdie

#11    eight bits

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

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Contrary to public assumptions all religions preach and all religions proselytize, no matter what they call themselves, if they didn't they would fade away after the 1st generation died.

Euclidean geometry neither preaches nor proselytizes, and it has been around longer than most of the world religions, except possibly Buddhism, which also neither preaches nor proselytizes.

Geometry and Buddhism have something in common, which is an invitation to potential believers that they should determine for themselves whether the teachings of the discipline are true and useful. In both cases, we're into our third millennium of people trying it out and finding it so.

So, it is simply not the case that evangelization is required for survival. Since Jor-el brought up commercials, ...

I would like to counterpropose. It seems to me that Christian preaching and proselytizing are not  primarily directed at bringing never-Christians into the churches for the first time. That is a specialized activity, often called "missionary work." No Westerner would see much of that, unless they traveled to mission territory, which these days would be very isolated places indeed.

No, most of the recruiting messages appear to be directed at people who are already familiar with the contents of Christianity, and to some extent, with the varieties available. The main object of the activity is to recruit people into one brand of Jesus-worship rather than another.

The object is, then, like MacDonald's goal. No doubt, their ads do persuade some people that eating meat is a good idea, or remind people who are already familiar with meat that it's been a while since they chowed down on a dead cow. But mostly, the point of the ads is to persuade economy-minded carnivores to fill up under the Golden Arches, rather than at Wendy's.

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#12    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:33 AM

I don't know that it can properly be said that Buddhists don't proselytize.  You have to pay to get them to teach you Buddhism, so they don't seem all that eager, but there are plenty of books available (but come to think of it you have to buy them -- they don't give them away).

I might say that Buddhists perpetuate themselves the way most religions do -- by having babies, except there is no teaching in a Temple, just some chants and rituals.  Nor do the parents teach their children, except that they go to Temple (some of them do at least).   The plain fact is most Buddhists know damn little about Buddhism except a few fables and myths, and if you ask one a deeper question he will tell you to ask a monk (who will freely answer a few questions and then suggest a donation).

(By the way, lest the wrong impression be left, the monasteries are entirely mendicant and extra money goes into charitable stuff).  I have found one good way to get my Buddhist questions answered -- volunteer to hold English classes.  The trouble I find is when I do that and the young monks are explaining to me in English, that they each have a different idea on what the Buddha actually taught, or at least it comes across that way.


#13    Yamato

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 February 2013 - 03:58 PM, said:

What is the difference between explaining one's religion and preaching it?  When does it become proselytizing and when does that become trying to "shove one's religion down someone's throat?"

At what age should children be taught religion and is it fair to a child for the parents to insist the child go to their church?
Since these questions have already been answered I'll submit some corollaries.

If you take your kids to church, is that preaching to your kids?   If a parent or poster shoves his irreligion down someone's throat, should that be anymore tolerated?

"There is no Santa Claus.  There is no Easter Bunny.   There is no Tooth Fairy and there is no God.   Death is permanent, college too expensive, and all you've got is the rest of this stinking life that I brought you into.   Now before you resume your belief-bereft life mainly spent staring into a 4.2" pixelated screen, eat the rest of your Ramen and don't talk back to me, boy."

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#14    eight bits

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

Frank

Quote

I don't know that it can properly be said that Buddhists don't proselytize.  You have to pay to get them to teach you Buddhism, so they don't seem all that eager, but there are plenty of books available (but come to think of it you have to buy them -- they don't give them away).

But we're discussing the English language, as your topic title suggests (What are the distinctions among three thematically related English words?), rather than trying to define Buddhism.

In English, few native speakers would describe the mechanism of intergenerational transmission of the contents of Euclid's Elements as proselytizing. Teachers of geometry are indeed paid, and there are plenty of geometry books available. Nowadays you can get many of them free on the web, but if you want hardopy, or something protected by copyright, then you pay.

The claim I was examining, to reject it, was that proselytizing in any usual sense was somehow essential to survival of a thought-packet beyond a human lifetime. It isn't, and Buddhism is more like geometry than a Christian evangelical sect in how it gets its message through time and space.

Quote

I might say that Buddhists perpetuate themselves the way most religions do -- by having babies,

Geometers have babies, too. There's nothing peculiar to religion about that.

Quote

The trouble I find is when I do that and the young monks are explaining to me in English, that they each have a different idea on what the Buddha actually taught, or at least it comes across that way.

Then again, Buddhism isn't a creedal religion, so there would be no reason to expect a gathering of experts to agree in all particulars. There are many ideas about how best to express and teach Euclidean geometry, too. Although the two-fold path (compass and unmarked straight-edge) is fairly robust, even the number, to say nothing of the precise statement, of the many noble truths (the axioms and definitions) can be varied as the instructor thinks best.

And of course there are mystical branches of geometry, too, where parallel lines intersect in eternity, or specialized spiritual disciples where only shape and its continuous deformations have any reality. A coffee cup and the doughnut beside it are "the same." But that's for adepts.

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#15    Silver Surfer

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

Does it really matter your either preaching complete nonsense or explaining complete nonsense.... really all you have to go by is an old book re-written over 2000 years in which most of that time they thought thunder was god farting.

Edited by Silver Surfer, 20 February 2013 - 12:10 PM.





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