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socrates.junior

Atheists and Fundamentalists

294 posts in this topic

Life is imposing ST. The weather is imposing. Christianity is a belief. Its something you can reject if you don't want it. Everybody knows that. Simply saying, "Imposing" only draws up dead memories from history books that have no place in today's adaptive society. I didn't say, ST, you have to accept what I believe. I would say that you 'should.' Am I in anyway twisting your arm? No.

If, by your logic, simply offering a choice is imposing, then the world's media and advertisements should be your biggest source of frustration.

If I am living my life wrong, I actually might appreciate somebody taking the time to let me know. I won't be offended that somebody cares enough to point out my shortcomings.

Nope. You follow God's commands with a loving heart toward God and take care of his creation.

I felt compelled to reply to this as there is some "slight of hand" going on here. You say you simply offer a choice, meaning to imply that this choice is whether or not to accept Christianity. That in and of itself is not very sinister and would not amount to arm twisting. However that is not the real choice you offer, whether you realize it or not. The elephant in the room is the choice of heaven or hell. The choice of eternal salvation or eternal suffering, etc... When such a choice is offered to a person who is in need of help, who is actually suffering phyiscally and emotionally as is done on missions, it is a dishonest recruiting tactic imho. This choice plays upon people's fears of the unknown and most certainly is emotional arm twisting.

It is manipulative to suggest there is such a choice at all and then attempt to dodge what the choice you offer really is, whether you are aware of it or not, which you may not be.

Do you understand this perspective?

Thanks for reading guys!

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Posted (edited)

My guess is that the author is not far from the facts in his last paragraph quoted here, when he wrote, "The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it."

Such as Richard Dawkins, who celebrates Christmas and enjoys singing Traditional Christian Hymns?

The "New Atheists" aren't out to destroy religion. They're out to destroy fundamentalism. The kind of fundamentalism that flies planes into buildings or justifies a war because they're believing that they're doing God's work. There's a huge chasm between fact and faith and some people really don't seem to be able to distinguish the two.

Faith is pretty much impossible to argue against. Facts, however - those are pretty straight forward.

Let's take an example such as the book of Genesis. If you're a fundamentalist that believes that Genesis actually physically happened, then you're likely to get short shrift from the "New Atheists", as your belief doesn't agree with observable reality. If you believe that Genesis is essentially poetry, but have faith that God created the Universe anyway, then all that's left to discuss is the grand debate of "Does God Exist?", which everyone knows is more or less impossible for either side to win.

Nor would the vast majority of "New Atheists" probably want to actually win such a debate. Sure, it'd be fun for a moment or two to have an "I told you so" t-shirt, but for the grand debate itself to end - that would be very sad indeed. Probably the one thing that all parties agree on is that there are more things that exist in this Universe than we are aware of. The day that we know everything is the day that all mystery and wonder dies, and who would really want that?

In order to actually destroy a religion - to actually kill it's believers, to bomb temples, mosques and Buddhist statues - for that, you need true fundamentalism. Which, ironically enough, is what the "New Atheists" are trying to stop.

Edited by Tiggs

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I felt compelled to reply to this as there is some "slight of hand" going on here. You say you simply offer a choice, meaning to imply that this choice is whether or not to accept Christianity. That in and of itself is not very sinister and would not amount to arm twisting. However that is not the real choice you offer, whether you realize it or not. The elephant in the room is the choice of heaven or hell.

I don't disagree that there is an elephant in the room. There always is when it comes to beliefs, even atheism. The elephant in the room of Christianity is not that the choice is heaven or hell. The choice is worship God or yourself. To worship God means to die to yourself. This is the elephant in the room. You can make it about heaven and hell all you want, but that just shows that you are concerned about the very same thing that those you despise are. Following rules is easy. Giving your heart to someone is a more difficult thing to do.

The choice of eternal salvation or eternal suffering, etc... When such a choice is offered to a person who is in need of help, who is actually suffering phyiscally and emotionally as is done on missions, it is a dishonest recruiting tactic imho.

When was the last time you suffered physically, emotionally, and was oppressed? Would it had bothered you if a Christian showed you care and compassion? Would you not be curious why such a person leaves their lives aside to attend to yours? I don't think its dishonest at all.

There is often that offense at nothing at all. Like the song by Chronic Future says, "...this is what can happen when you're p***ed about being p***ed: You dig yourself so deep, you resist just to resist."

This choice plays upon people's fears of the unknown and most certainly is emotional arm twisting.

I disagree. Any belief requires faith. People put their entire lives into a belief, and follow it until they die. Even atheists. There is no arm twisting. People who believe something great has happened want to share the good news so that others can experience it too. That is Christianity in its most basic form: Good News.

The heaven and hell argument is overplayed and underevaluated nowadays. Its time we reexamine the arguments as are being posed and not what we want them to be. If you ask me, "What will faith in Jesus save me from," be guaranteed that it will be more than the word 'hell.'

It is manipulative to suggest there is such a choice at all and then attempt to dodge what the choice you offer really is, whether you are aware of it or not, which you may not be.

I disagree, respectfully. The hell tactic is overplayed. I don't buy it. Barely Christians buy it. The reason why is because Christianity has undergone an adaptation and evolution, as it always has, while still keeping its core tenants. When I came back to Christ after my divorce (due to religion), I would not put my faith in Jesus until I knew that God was okay with working with a screw up. I knew myself and I wanted to be sure God would have mercy. I'm a Christian, and have been since 2007. What part did hell have to do with it? I wasn't scared into following Jesus. I was loved into following Jesus.

Do you understand this perspective?

I really do. I came from Louisiana, where Hell and Brimstone were the cornerstone sermons in Christian churches. It was all about being righteous, or not blessings for you! That was the religion I fell out of when I got in a divorce. I was very by the book, rigid to the core. It was that spiritless fervor that caused me to act so incompassionately toward my unfaithful wife. We could have worked things out, but I was too much of a hypocrite to let that fly. So, yes, I understand what receiving a one-sided Gospel can do. It can close you off to the other side of the story. I wouldn't say that if I had not experienced it.

Now that I have experienced genuine Christianity, I can respectfully disagree with your above statements. Have a good weekend.

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I gave you the example - how do you feel about stamps collecting? If you do not collect them yourself, you do not feel anyhow about it! Just some strange dudes getting mad because of little pieces of dirty paper... But each of these strange dudes would be talking to you with zeal and enthusiasm, trying to place in you a spark of interest to this bizarre way to spend or invest money. Pretty much like that it is with Christianity - non-Christians think about it only when they face some Christians, not in any other time, unless they are generally interested with history of religions. You should not anyhow feel insulted because your views are not shared, at least by myself, it is pretty normal. You also do not want to share a lot of things with me, say the knowledge of Chemistry. To each his own!

I do hold to 'to each his own.' I would be interested in chemistry, actually, and biology. I just like literature and history more. Anyway, I understand the example. But we are here, talking about our beliefs. And so, as we do, I would like to clear confusion toward Christianity. For those that are interested in talking about it, they reply. Right?

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I don't disagree that there is an elephant in the room. There always is when it comes to beliefs, even atheism. The elephant in the room of Christianity is not that the choice is heaven or hell. The choice is worship God or yourself. To worship God means to die to yourself. This is the elephant in the room. You can make it about heaven and hell all you want, but that just shows that you are concerned about the very same thing that those you despise are. Following rules is easy. Giving your heart to someone is a more difficult thing to do.

When was the last time you suffered physically, emotionally, and was oppressed? Would it had bothered you if a Christian showed you care and compassion? Would you not be curious why such a person leaves their lives aside to attend to yours? I don't think its dishonest at all.

Hey Blue! thanks for the reply here man, it's truly appreciated. To further clarify my position, I do not despise anyone who would go out of their way to help me with something they deeply believe in. You mention to worship god is to die to yourself. there is a similar concept in Buddhism, although it doesn't involve a God. It's like the Bishop of the Catholic diocese I live in told me. Different script same result. Although, not all religous folks are as liberal with their thinking as he his. Heaven and hell isn't a concern for me. However, it may be a concern for those that do not already have answers via faith etc...

For someone who is in a difficult situation, it is enough to show compassion and help them, to go the extra step and bring up religion would be to take advantage of the situation imho. That being said, If they ask why you are helping them, by all means be honest then and tell them! That begs the question however is the help dependent upon the person in need accepting Christianity. If they reject it, does the missionary continue to return and help them, despite this person... or even an entire community... rejecting the faith? In my experience the answer is no, the aid stops, unfortunately.

There is often that offense at nothing at all. Like the song by Chronic Future says, "...this is what can happen when you're p***ed about being p***ed: You dig yourself so deep, you resist just to resist."

I don't feel this applies to me. It may to someone else though.

I disagree. Any belief requires faith. People put their entire lives into a belief, and follow it until they die. Even atheists. There is no arm twisting. People who believe something great has happened want to share the good news so that others can experience it too. That is Christianity in its most basic form: Good News.

In this basic form, I take absolutely no issue. However, many people already have their good news, spiritualy speaking. Will a missionary continue to help a community despite there being no chance of establishing a Christian convert? that depends on the organization whom is funding the mission obviously.

The heaven and hell argument is overplayed and underevaluated nowadays. Its time we reexamine the arguments as are being posed and not what we want them to be. If you ask me, "What will faith in Jesus save me from," be guaranteed that it will be more than the word 'hell.'

I disagree, respectfully. The hell tactic is overplayed. I don't buy it. Barely Christians buy it. The reason why is because Christianity has undergone an adaptation and evolution, as it always has, while still keeping its core tenants. When I came back to Christ after my divorce (due to religion), I would not put my faith in Jesus until I knew that God was okay with working with a screw up. I knew myself and I wanted to be sure God would have mercy. I'm a Christian, and have been since 2007. What part did hell have to do with it? I wasn't scared into following Jesus. I was loved into following Jesus.

I admire your well grounded views concerning the subject. However, not all Christians have such a mindset, indeed many are quick to tell you exactly where they think you ae going. It is not done out of compassion. It is not done out of concern for the individual. It is done in a spiteful manner in order to scare the individual. that type of behavior I cannot accept.

I really do. I came from Louisiana, where Hell and Brimstone were the cornerstone sermons in Christian churches. It was all about being righteous, or not blessings for you! That was the religion I fell out of when I got in a divorce. I was very by the book, rigid to the core. It was that spiritless fervor that caused me to act so incompassionately toward my unfaithful wife. We could have worked things out, but I was too much of a hypocrite to let that fly. So, yes, I understand what receiving a one-sided Gospel can do. It can close you off to the other side of the story. I wouldn't say that if I had not experienced it.

Now that I have experienced genuine Christianity, I can respectfully disagree with your above statements. Have a good weekend.

You sure can disagree, and I'm glad that you do. However, I think you disagee with the particular Christian view that I presented, as do I. The issue is that the fear of hell is used, particularly here in the south as you've mentioned, and is used frequently... In fact, often it is the first thing mentioned in certain situations. That, you cannot disagree with. At least we can agree to stand together and say that this point of view is indeed rediculous.

Thanks for your time man!

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I do hold to 'to each his own.' I would be interested in chemistry, actually, and biology. I just like literature and history more. Anyway, I understand the example. But we are here, talking about our beliefs. And so, as we do, I would like to clear confusion toward Christianity. For those that are interested in talking about it, they reply. Right?

We start to find the common grounds! In fact all what I find... hard.. hmm.. in You is that while you are trying to clear this their (ours?) confusion, you use such means as insults (by saying we are all sinners, = murderers, thieves, rapists etc) and intimidation (promising to the non-compliant counterparts eternal damnation and torture). If there was no such coercion component present, you would been seen exactly as benevolent as the Philatelists are! The entire issue is about the above 2 points.

Mind you, there are plenty around who also love God in their own way - Buddhists, Daoists, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Jews, and even hundreds of millions of Christians, who do not use these means to glorify their vision of God... You, however, do, and this triggers a certain type of response to your clarifications! Now, whose fault is that?

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Posted (edited)

The following paragraphs are from the article in the OP:

Only 2 percent of U.S. adults are atheists, the Trinity study found. Still, by another estimate I saw, that's three times the percentage of avowed atheists 20 years ago.

Atheists remain a tiny minority, but they're far more vocal and combative than they used to be, an approach advocated by Dawkins and others. They have every right to state their views.

The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it.

My guess is that the author is not far from the facts in his last paragraph quoted here, when he wrote, "The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it."

Just a thought. Others may differ in their views,

Karlis

Karlis. The data of Trinity study is either questionable, or outdated. Let us go straight to US Census results, processed by the respected CIA and published in the well-known World Factbook. It says:

Religions:

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

Thus CIA admits that 12.1% of the Americans do not express an affiliation with any religion at all, while 4% say they have none and 2.5% refuse to specify their religion. Together this makes a bulky 18.5% of American population, or well over 60 million people - which is 2.5-3 times greater number than the entire population of Australia.

God is great, but please try to keep your facts straight, I think the OP is against the rules and is posting misleading information (please read 2d. Accuracy). Thank you :tu:

Edited by MARAB0D

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Hey Blue! thanks for the reply here man, it's truly appreciated. To further clarify my position, I do not despise anyone who would go out of their way to help me with something they deeply believe in. You mention to worship god is to die to yourself. there is a similar concept in Buddhism, although it doesn't involve a God. It's like the Bishop of the Catholic diocese I live in told me. Different script same result. Although, not all religous folks are as liberal with their thinking as he his. Heaven and hell isn't a concern for me. However, it may be a concern for those that do not already have answers via faith etc...

I agree wholeheartedly. God has his way of dealing with things. It is Jesus' Church and Jesus is in charge (Rev.2-3, Matthew 28:20, John 15).

For someone who is in a difficult situation, it is enough to show compassion and help them, to go the extra step and bring up religion would be to take advantage of the situation imho. That being said, If they ask why you are helping them, by all means be honest then and tell them! That begs the question however is the help dependent upon the person in need accepting Christianity. If they reject it, does the missionary continue to return and help them, despite this person... or even an entire community... rejecting the faith? In my experience the answer is no, the aid stops, unfortunately.

I don't think it is taking advantage of the situation. The Gospel is about hope and peace in Christ. Suppose you take care of someone who is going through a lot of depression. Without bringing a life changing message, all you are doing is treating a bad condition while knowing that a cure is readily available, and free. People who don't take the time to advice people who how to drastically change their decisions are not being as accountable as they could to those they help.

People are dying. They need to know that there is better out there. For those that haven't suffered much, this may not mean that much to them. But to those who have gone through great struggles, it would be great for them to know that it wasn't for no reason at all. If anyone places their happiness and identity in anything in this earth that dies, that person will lose their sanity and identity too. Why do you think people commit suicide over divorces or etc? They put the entirety of their hopes into something that is not stable that when it crashed, their world fell apart beneath them.

That being said, how is not telling them the Gospel suppose to help them?

In this basic form, I take absolutely no issue. However, many people already have their good news, spiritually speaking. Will a missionary continue to help a community despite there being no chance of establishing a Christian convert? that depends on the organization whom is funding the mission obviously.

Definitely. Unless, as you stated, their mission funding organization puts them somewhere else. I can't possibly give up on people. God never gave up on me. I was hard headed, selfish and rebellious. Still am in lesser degrees. Yet He still works on me.

I admire your well grounded views concerning the subject. However, not all Christians have such a mindset, indeed many are quick to tell you exactly where they think you ae going. It is not done out of compassion. It is not done out of concern for the individual. It is done in a spiteful manner in order to scare the individual. that type of behavior I cannot accept.

Well, then I hope you will make sure they know the truth next time they come out to you or in your presence with the bullhorn. If they have that much time to spend picketing events and shouting hellish things at people, imagine what they could do with that time in comforting orphans and widows, especially of armed forces. Imagine what they could do to provide an alternative for prostitutes and pornstars. Imagine what they could do in establishing adoption channels to mothers who can't get pregnant, so that abortion isn't an issue.

They have the time, but not the compassion or interest. That is a shame and should be prayed for. And at any time I ever confront those people, I'll be sure to tell them the truth about the Gospel. This isn't something that people, if they are offended with such holy-rollers, should ever be ignorant of. Or are they just as lazy in fighting for the truth and love as the holy-rollers are?

You sure can disagree, and I'm glad that you do. However, I think you disagee with the particular Christian view that I presented, as do I. The issue is that the fear of hell is used, particularly here in the south as you've mentioned, and is used frequently... In fact, often it is the first thing mentioned in certain situations. That, you cannot disagree with. At least we can agree to stand together and say that this point of view is indeed rediculous.

Thanks for your time man!

Dude, its been a pleasure. I look forward to more discussions with you. Thanks for taking the time to see and discuss what I was saying. May the South stop using culture as a crutch for its ignoble and ignorant behavior. Take care.

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When we discuss something, we discuss what we believe. There is that rhetoric behind the discussion that promotes what we believe. Otherwise, why would we speak at all? Just to hear ourselves talk?

If you want to know what real Christianity is, you have to get to know people and find out what motivates them to follow their religion. A real Christian is absolutely in love with Jesus and wants to please God and make him proud, even if it costs him/her to forfeit his/her life. They love God more than heaven and more than happiness. That is a real Christian. There is no heaven without God. Just God, who fills heaven with His presence.

On the contrary, a fake or undeveloped Christian will worship God for gain. They want God to keep blessing them. They want to enjoy this life. Through good deeds and self-control, they believe that God can be manipulated into blessing them. When He decides to take a blessing from them, they fall from faith. God is not a god shaped by human hands.

And then there are those that worship God only to get to heaven. They don't care if there is a lost soul in a bar who is drinking himself to death because his wife cheated on him. They won't set a foot near a bar because 'that could lead them astray.' They won't compromise their good standing.

Such lack of faith can cause a person to wear a religious mask. To everyone else, they are a good Christian. But inside, they are struggling. They have to feed themselves with the next religious thing just to keep themselves convinced that they have it together. This creates a lack of accountability, which causes us to become less concerned with other peoples' struggles.

Christianity isn't just an instantaneous thing. It doesn't happen over night. Christianity is a lifelong process in which God constantly calls us to be faithful by giving us grace to carry on. He wants us to want Him, and thereby wanting to be concerned about what God is concerned about: Justice, mercy, compassion, and love.

Christians who have really put their trust in God demonstrate it with justice, mercy, compassion, and love. They aren't scared to fall because they know what they truly believe. Those are the real Christians. I recommend reading Real Christianity by William Wilberforce, the British politician who fought to end the slave trade in traditionally Christian Britain. He attacked the 'fakers' by saying that they carry on a Christian appearance, even culture (much like our right wing evangelicals), but lack the earnest conviction to know God and take up the cause of the oppressed. They are worried about their Christian culture falling apart. And in their inactivity to do what Christ wants to do, their culture will fall apart anyway.

There is a HUGE difference between real Christians and fake Christians. The difference is like night and day.

Interesting, I knew of some religious people who lived by the same ideal, they flew planes into buildings.....

Would you Blue, kill another if god commanded it?

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Interesting, I knew of some religious people who lived by the same ideal, they flew planes into buildings.....

Would you Blue, kill another if god commanded it?

Good grief man. No! Why are you so pessimistic?

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Karlis. The data of Trinity study is either questionable, or outdated. Let us go straight to US Census results, processed by the respected CIA and published in the well-known World Factbook. It says:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

Thus CIA admits that 12.1% of the Americans do not express an affiliation with any religion at all, while 4% say they have none and 2.5% refuse to specify their religion. Together this makes a bulky 18.5% of American population, or well over 60 million people - which is 2.5-3 times greater number than the entire population of Australia.

God is great, but please try to keep your facts straight, I think the OP is against the rules and is posting misleading information (please read 2d. Accuracy). Thank you :tu:

Marabod, the OP made a statement, and then asked a question:

Quote from OP:

I think this guy has an interesting point. What does everyone else think?

As I see it, there is nothing, "knowingly or intentionally false, inaccurate or misleading" in the OP.

If you feel that, "the OP is against the rules" then you should follow the following rule:

5i. Rule quoting: Do not quote the site rules to other members, if you believe the rules have been broken please hit the 'report' button.

Please keep this in mind,

Karlis

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The following paragraphs are from the article in the OP:

Only 2 percent of U.S. adults are atheists, the Trinity study found. Still, by another estimate I saw, that's three times the percentage of avowed atheists 20 years ago.

Atheists remain a tiny minority, but they're far more vocal and combative than they used to be, an approach advocated by Dawkins and others. They have every right to state their views.

The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it.

My guess is that the author is not far from the facts in his last paragraph quoted here, when he wrote, "The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it."

Just a thought. Others may differ in their views,

Karlis

With all due respect: What "facts," Karlis? The Trinity study did not delineate that 2% to the number who are "aggressive atheists." The "particular" atheists he names: Dawkins, Hitchens, and Maher; do they truly represent the 2%? And, likewise, does Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, or Mel Gibson represent all Fundamentalists? IMO, there no 'hard' facts here, only opinions. Some things apply to a few and a few things apply to some--at best.

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Good grief man. No! Why are you so pessimistic?

When religion can be twisted to fit ones own personal agenda, there is no limit to the madness. Planes do get flown into buildings and blown up in the name of god. I feel if one makes claims they have a personal relationship with god, they then can go on to justify what ever there means may be. It's a worrisome concept.

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With all due respect: What "facts," Karlis? The Trinity study did not delineate that 2% to the number who are "aggressive atheists." The "particular" atheists he names: Dawkins, Hitchens, and Maher; do they truly represent the 2%? And, likewise, does Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, or Mel Gibson represent all Fundamentalists? IMO, there no 'hard' facts here, only opinions. Some things apply to a few and a few things apply to some--at best.

Hello Mike -- the statistics could well be wrong,and as some have pointed out; are wrong. However, that was not what I was thinking about when I wrote:

My guess is that the author is not far from the facts in his last paragraph quoted here, when he wrote, "
The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it
."

What struck me here, was that it seems to me (my opinion) -- and I may well be wrong -- that "aggressive atheists" do seem to "see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it".

That is why I raised this as a "point of discussion". If I'm wrong, I will (hopefully) :) change my opinion. :tu:

Cheers,

Karlis

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Quote

"aggressive atheists" do seem to "see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it".

When religion plays a role in making law or becomes intrusive enough to say some don't live there lives right and they feel they have an obligation to step in then yes. Atheists can be aggressive in there assertions.

Most Atheists come from a religious background of some sort and through there interest in religion found the many faults associated with it. Atheists obsessed with religion, na they just can see through the cracks because they look.

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I felt compelled to reply to this as there is some "slight of hand" going on here. You say you simply offer a choice, meaning to imply that this choice is whether or not to accept Christianity. That in and of itself is not very sinister and would not amount to arm twisting. However that is not the real choice you offer, whether you realize it or not. The elephant in the room is the choice of heaven or hell. The choice of eternal salvation or eternal suffering, etc... When such a choice is offered to a person who is in need of help, who is actually suffering phyiscally and emotionally as is done on missions, it is a dishonest recruiting tactic imho. This choice plays upon people's fears of the unknown and most certainly is emotional arm twisting.

It is manipulative to suggest there is such a choice at all and then attempt to dodge what the choice you offer really is, whether you are aware of it or not, which you may not be.

Do you understand this perspective?

Thanks for reading guys!

Given that Jesus Himself said that, like a doctor, He came to heal the sick not the healthy (Matt 9:11-13) it would stand to reason that, whether in a mission field or at work, the subway, or the corner store, the ones who will respond to the message of Salvation, those who will seek it, are those who feel/realize they have a need that is not being fulfilled by anything else in their lives. To then turn around and consider it bad form or dishonest seems to me to be unfair. Would you consider it ridiculous if someone who was in pain accepted the medication they needed when it was offered to them? I've been on mission trips, met people who were living in conditions most of us would consider squalid and deplorable, exactly the kind of people one would expect would be "ripe for the picking" and yet after hearing (most of them very cordially) the message of God's gift of eternal life, decided it was not for them. There may well be people/organizations which are so dishonest and calculating in their approach, but most of us simply feel we are going where those in need of healing are.

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Given that Jesus Himself said that, like a doctor, He came to heal the sick not the healthy (Matt 9:11-13) it would stand to reason that, whether in a mission field or at work, the subway, or the corner store, the ones who will respond to the message of Salvation, those who will seek it, are those who feel/realize they have a need that is not being fulfilled by anything else in their lives. To then turn around and consider it bad form or dishonest seems to me to be unfair. Would you consider it ridiculous if someone who was in pain accepted the medication they needed when it was offered to them? I've been on mission trips, met people who were living in conditions most of us would consider squalid and deplorable, exactly the kind of people one would expect would be "ripe for the picking" and yet after hearing (most of them very cordially) the message of God's gift of eternal life, decided it was not for them. There may well be people/organizations which are so dishonest and calculating in their approach, but most of us simply feel we are going where those in need of healing are.

Does healing come with a bowl of rice in one hand and a bible in the other. If one truly wants to help leave god out of it. Heal first preach later.

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Posted (edited)

Does healing come with a bowl of rice in one hand and a bible in the other. If one truly wants to help leave god out of it. Heal first preach later.

The thing is, the people who respond to the message do so because their "hunger" their "illness" is spiritual and a bowl of rice will do nothing to answer their need. It would be like giving Zycam to someone with a gaping chest wound and thinking you healed them. Most mission work does involve some physical help, because people need that also and because even those who do not have that spiritual need will also benefit from the physical help, but it's main intent is to find the sick and bring them healing.

Edited by IamsSon

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Marabod, the OP made a statement, and then asked a question:

Quote from OP:

I think this guy has an interesting point. What does everyone else think?

As I see it, there is nothing, "knowingly or intentionally false, inaccurate or misleading" in the OP.

If you feel that, "the OP is against the rules" then you should follow the following rule:

5i. Rule quoting: Do not quote the site rules to other members, if you believe the rules have been broken please hit the 'report' button.

Please keep this in mind,

Karlis

I keep in mind, Karlis... Could you please point to the place where I quoted the rule, as you imply? I did not quote anything, I only pointed to the rule which the OP basically breaches, and which you overlooked and in your post helped to continue breaching, as you called the data from the Trinity study being "not far from the facts". Meanwhile this data is an outright lie, to put it simple! 2% versus almost 19%!!! At least one of the two must be a liar - either this Trinity organisation, or CIA, am I right? If I refer to some "study", saying that Australian population is 2 million people (while the same CIA says it is over 20 million), people would call me a a liar and my source a fake - what is the difference with the current case? Mind you, I would not be even saying this, if not you accusing instead of the OP me of breaching the rules! Did you want us to continue discussing the fake data?

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Listen bud, if you fail to see how you quoted the rule, I don't want to endanger your good health by actually arguing with you.

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Posted (edited)

Listen bud, if you fail to see how you quoted the rule, I don't want to endanger your good health by actually arguing with you.

To be fair saying only 2% of America is atheist is wrong. So when posting a said fact that contradicts another one must either admit it or retract if they are not factual. Just sayin ;)

I will quote the rule.

"2d. Accuracy: Do not post material that is knowingly or intentionally false, inaccurate or misleading."

Mara just mentioned it.

Edited by The Silver Thong

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Listen bud, if you fail to see how you quoted the rule, I don't want to endanger your good health by actually arguing with you.

What exactly in your view makes me your bud?

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Ahem.

Since there seems to be some confusion over accuracy and rule quoting within this thread, let me clarify:

Karlis specifically refers to the last paragraph when he uses the phrase "not far from the facts", the last paragraph being:

"The irony is that this current brand of aggressive atheism is just another form of fundamentalism. These particular atheists are zealots on the subject of faith who see no shadings of gray, only black and white. They're dead-set against religion but weirdly obsessed with it."

I'm not seeing any percentages in there.

Since we're talking percentages, however, the article clearly mentions 15% who claim no religion, of which 2% are atheist, which, at least, appears to be in the same ballpark as the CIA's figures. You should also note that the CIA figures are taken from 2007 and are notated as being estimates, without reference to source or methodology, whilst the ARIS figures are from a 2008 survey of 54,461 people using random-digit-dialed telephone interviews to create a nationally representative sample.

Given that the article within the OP clearly lists it's source for the figures, and the source itself has been recognized by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, I fail to see how it would fall into the category of material that is knowingly or intentionally false, inaccurate or misleading. If anyone believes that the the CIA's figures are more accurate however, and that the difference in those figures makes a material difference to any case that you may be trying to present, then please continue to make your case but refrain from calling them an outright lie or in breach of rule 2d, Accuracy.

I sense that the moderation team may have to shortly discuss the wording on rule 5i, as to whether or not it should include general accusations of rule breaking as well as the more specific case of rule quotation. In the meantime, please PM me or use the report button to report anything that you believe to be a rule violation, rather than further publicly derailing this thread.

Thanks in advance,

Tiggs

[Forum Mod Team]

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Thank you, Tiggs. It is just a bit unclear who is who now - I addressed Karlis' post as a post of a poster on topic, while he responded to me as a moderator and accused me in the breach of rules as a moderator. This causes a bit of confusion in my view. Moderation is an essential element of enforcement, but does it mean the moderators are also entitled to enforce their personal opinions?

On CIA data - the explanation of what World Factbook is can be found on CIA site. CIA works mostly with national and international statistical data, mainly with the data of Censi from different countries, including USA. When/if they say like "2007 estimate" this means they possess the data for the number of previous Censi and the dynamic graph of this data changing with time from Census to Census. I really never heard about someone casting any doubts on what CIA reports, as we are talking about the organization which supplies statistical data for the government use first of all. I mean out of the discussed two sources CIA would certainly be the only bullet-proof one, as there is no other as well handled as this.

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Thank you, Tiggs. It is just a bit unclear who is who now - I addressed Karlis' post as a post of a poster on topic, while he responded to me as a moderator and accused me in the breach of rules as a moderator. This causes a bit of confusion in my view. Moderation is an essential element of enforcement, but does it mean the moderators are also entitled to enforce their personal opinions?

On CIA data - the explanation of what World Factbook is can be found on CIA site. CIA works mostly with national and international statistical data, mainly with the data of Censi from different countries, including USA. When/if they say like "2007 estimate" this means they possess the data for the number of previous Censi and the dynamic graph of this data changing with time from Census to Census. I really never heard about someone casting any doubts on what CIA reports, as we are talking about the organization which supplies statistical data for the government use first of all. I mean out of the discussed two sources CIA would certainly be the only bullet-proof one, as there is no other as well handled as this.

In general, if you're addressing a moderator (even as a poster) and mention a rule violation, then it shouldn't be too surprising that you're likely to get a response with a moderation hat on.

Hopefully, it should be fairly obvious that moderators are not entitled to enforce their own personal opinion via moderation. The job of a moderator is to enforce the site's rules in a neutral manner. In cases where a potential conflict of interest arises, moderators generally ask for the approval of the moderation team before continuing / ask for someone else in the moderation team to moderate. I think most members would be surprised to see the amount of communication that happens within the moderation team behind the scenes. Members, of course, always have the option to PM Saru if they believe that a moderator is abusing their position.

As for the CIA Figures:

Public Law 94-521 prohibits the US Census Bureau from asking a question on religious affiliation on a mandatory basis, so the source for the CIA figures is unlikely to be from collected Census data. As previously stated, the US Census Bureau actually uses the figures from the ARIS Poll for it's religious statistics - the same poll which is referenced within the OP Article.

I've as of yet been unable to ascertain where the figures from the CIA originate from, but suspect, as you do, that they're an estimated projection from the previous figures from the US Census Bureau - which would be from ARIS.

Tiggs

[Forum Mod Team]

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