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Paranoid Android

Tolerance amongst different beliefs

48 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hey all, I was in the middle of posting a response in another thread and suddenly my post began veering to a totally different subject to what I originally intended. Instead of posting in that thread, I thought I'd begin a new idea. So anyway, thinking mostly of Christians and atheists, but I think this general discussion can move to any religious or non-religious person, I was looking at how some people can get offended by what a person says or does depending on their religious outlook. On one side, someone was suggesting that not capitalising the word "God" or "Jesus" might be offensive to Christians, if the person writing is normally perfect when it comes to grammatical acumen. The word "god" is generic and can refer to any deity, but in the context of a Christian discussion a proper noun seems appropriate in terms of "God", and some Christians announced their view that it was insulting. People I had read in that thread then concluded that no offence should be read into it because none was intended.

In another totally different thread, I saw some Christians (myself included) suggest that telling someone that you will pray for them is not offensive, despite some atheists who voiced differing opinions. My initial thoughts about this are that it wasn't intended as an insult, so none was intended and therefore no offence should be taken. But nonetheless people are offended anyway.

So, the point of this thread - in these two situations I notice two distinct points:

1- Both atheists and Christians appear self-justified in their ideas about stating their views on what is or is not offensive, and

2- Both atheists and Christians appear confused as to why someone might feel disrespected because of their resultant actions and beliefs.

I just thought I'd open this up for further discussion. Is one side or the other really going over the top in their confusion? Is one side being unreasonable, or are both sides guilty of not respecting others? Or is there actually nothing to be offended about and maybe some people are just a little too sensitive? As said, the premise seems based around the atheist/Christian dynamic but the thread really goes for any question in which people from different religious backgrounds might differ on an answer.

Anyway, just thought I'd open this up for debate. I'm looking forward to discussion on this topic. Going by both concurrent discussion there might be some polarisation in views here. Thanks for sharing :tu:

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Posted (edited)

I am not atheist but I have been through a lot of what you mention in the OP..Please note I have no interest in debating this.. I cannot commit, I am due soon and well I think you can understand.... So I'll just posts things I come to see and observe....

A couple of times ( and I mean just a couple ) I have had two angry Christians have an argument with me and the second they see they cannot get anywhere, they have yelled at me for not typing God with a capital G... they still post.. but it has happened... I put it down to anger on their behalf...

One time someone got p***y with me because I never typed the word Christian with a capital C... I thought that was weird.. again just an angry perosn ... I see anger from people if they see they cannot win or get you to accept their side and agree with them.. And This is not just Christians.. this is just about ANYONE. IE - Atheists, Muslims, Pagans, others you name it.. now and again you see the same sort of anger .....

Pray for you....

To be fair about this part - Usually when a Christians says - I'll pray for you.. it can be out of goodness and usually it is.. .BUT I have to be honest and say- A number of times some will use it as a masked way to insult you.... I have had a number of Christians in the last 7 years say it in a spiteful manner.... Like if again in an argument they cannot seem to win or get me to accept their posts.... The anger sneaks in and it is insulting time., they will put down your post and . they end their insults with - I'll pity you, i'll pray for you original.gif Or just - I'll pray for you original.gif <-- the added fake smilie to make it looks as though they meant it as nice.... You can see right through it all.... Sometimes some really cockey ones will say AFTER they have only gone and caused some conflict.. they go -> I hope you find peace happy.gif... I just find it all childish and ironic....I also sometimes feel that their faith is not doing them any real favours.. Not if they are so angry all the time and use their faith like a weapon to argue and fight with...

The only times it is full of goodness and caring thoughts.. Is when I read threads that speak of a tragic loss.. .Some one is ill... or you are having problems... I have seen some Christians just say - I am so sorry to hear this and that - I'll pray for you.. OR You will be in my prayers... That is the only time I can see it as good ..and it fits with all they have said before hand.... But not when some try and fit it with their multi snide remarks... it never fits

What both Christians and Atheists seem to be confused about........

SIN - I have to agree there is usually confusion on both ends... Normally the term - SIN.. We know this is a chrisitans belief and the way most of us Non Christians will see it is only for Christians.. Many of us do not beleive in sin, therefore we do not call ourselves sinners ....I think this can and has raised some issues of confusion

Condemning - This is a bit of a problem ... Condemning, telling someone they are doomed and going to hell..( done by some not all Christians ) . This will always cause some sort of argument ..The Christians does see it as offensive.. but they also fail to see it from our end... Like on the outside looking in.. I think they forget that there is another angle to look at.... Some will find the Atheist or Non Christi offended and not care.... They just say -But its my beliefs.. <- Like that excuses it all ?

Beliefs V's Facts - More confusion on both sides... I feel Some Christiana cannot comprehend what the term - Belief and Faith really means... I also can safely say some Atheists cannot tell what those two words Belief and Faith mean either... I have seen a few Atheists really get mixed up on these terms it is not funny.

. All I see from so many of them is - Your god is not fact, I do not see evidence of this God.. OR... You are so deluded. you present no facts .. I have said so often - What part of the words Belief and Faith do you not understand..? But then again you have some Christians that post it as fact...Not all but some have...but when they do it can be annoying and no wonder the confusion continues ..........The confusion of these two words is unbelievable !!

I just want to say - It's..........A..........Belief / Faith.............facts ............are............not...........required............IF they.....were....then............it is........Not a belief... Get.....it Now ? <-- Condescending I know.. But there are times I feel like saying it like that...

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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I think you'll find that offense comes on a more personal level, rather than whichever religion someone may or may not profess a belief in.

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I think this can be divided into two things since they're two scenarios.

First is the prey for you thing. The thing that gets to me here (and that I see causes offence) is that you can prey for anyone with no problems. The problem is telling them you prey for them. Why do religious people feel the need to tell the person that they're preying for them, especially when that person is an atheist? It might be seen as a positive thing from the person giving doing the preying, but they can go around it in a much more diplomatic way (or simply not say they're preying for the person to begin with, thus avoiding the issue).

Personally, I don't want anyone 'preying for me' but I can't stop them from doing so.

As to the god part, I am wondering something. The Christian god has a name: Yahweh. Why do they not just use it? That is their god's name and it does a better distinction than simply capitalising a word. Personally I find it rather odd that people who know an entity's name would rather not use it. I would not call my dog Dog. I would not refer to one of my friend's as Human instead of their name. So why is this acceptable?

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I think you'll find that offense comes on a more personal level, rather than whichever religion someone may or may not profess a belief in.

This

As to the god part, I am wondering something. The Christian god has a name: Yahweh. Why do they not just use it? That is their god's name and it does a better distinction than simply capitalising a word. Personally I find it rather odd that people who know an entity's name would rather not use it. I would not call my dog Dog. I would not refer to one of my friend's as Human instead of their name. So why is this acceptable?

Specifically "LORD" is Yahweh and "God"is Elohim, the plural version of El, but yes the god of the Hebrew Bible is named Yahweh. There are a couple reason I would guess they do not use it...first, saying "God" makes it sound like the god of the Deists where Yahweh just sounds like another storm god or something...but more importantly in Jewish culture the name Yahweh was too sacred to be said. They even spelled it YHWH. So once again it comes down to a respect thing. In most of my classes we use the term Yahweh, just as we use the term negro or African American in other classes. Outside of class I use the terms "God" and "black," respectively.

You are always going to offend someone even if someone if you mean well. I just do my best to try not to offend the majority and respect them. I know that not capitalizing God will offend more people that just capitalizing it, so I use the extra key stroke to do so...I use the word "black" because it seems to be the least offensive and best logical word to describe black Americans (if anyone wants me to explain more I can. Either ask in here or PM me.) I have said offensive things and I can be real blunt but for the most part in my everyday life I try to "be nice" or not upset people. I mean is it a big deal to let a car merge in traffic? Is it that hard to capitalize God? Just do it...

Just my opinion...

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Hey all, I was in the middle of posting a response in another thread and suddenly my post began veering to a totally different subject to what I originally intended. Instead of posting in that thread, I thought I'd begin a new idea. So anyway, thinking mostly of Christians and atheists, but I think this general discussion can move to any religious or non-religious person, I was looking at how some people can get offended by what a person says or does depending on their religious outlook. On one side, someone was suggesting that not capitalising the word "God" or "Jesus" might be offensive to Christians, if the person writing is normally perfect when it comes to grammatical acumen. The word "god" is generic and can refer to any deity, but in the context of a Christian discussion a proper noun seems appropriate in terms of "God", and some Christians announced their view that it was insulting. People I had read in that thread then concluded that no offence should be read into it because none was intended.

If a Christian and an Atheist are in a discussion why do you consider it a Christian discussion? What about the Atheist?

Writing "god" is just the way I spell it. If someone wants to take offense, that is their prerogative. No man/woman should dictate how another thinks, acts or writes. You either except it or you don't. Getting angry is just silly.

In another totally different thread, I saw some Christians (myself included) suggest that telling someone that you will pray for them is not offensive, despite some atheists who voiced differing opinions. My initial thoughts about this are that it wasn't intended as an insult, so none was intended and therefore no offence should be taken. But nonetheless people are offended anyway.

So, the point of this thread - in these two situations I notice two distinct points:

1- Both atheists and Christians appear self-justified in their ideas about stating their views on what is or is not offensive, and

2- Both atheists and Christians appear confused as to why someone might feel disrespected because of their resultant actions and beliefs.

I just thought I'd open this up for further discussion. Is one side or the other really going over the top in their confusion? Is one side being unreasonable, or are both sides guilty of not respecting others? Or is there actually nothing to be offended about and maybe some people are just a little too sensitive? As said, the premise seems based around the atheist/Christian dynamic but the thread really goes for any question in which people from different religious backgrounds might differ on an answer.

Anyway, just thought I'd open this up for debate. I'm looking forward to discussion on this topic. Going by both concurrent discussion there might be some polarisation in views here. Thanks for sharing :tu:

~ Regards, PA

If someone wants to ask to pray for me that's OK. I will say no and if they respect that then I would be fine with that. If they go ahead and pray for me anyway, especially doing it behind my back I would be offended by that. Kind of like the Mormons baptizing dead people that are not Christians or Mormons.

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Hey all, I was in the middle of posting a response in another thread and suddenly my post began veering to a totally different subject to what I originally intended. Instead of posting in that thread, I thought I'd begin a new idea. So anyway, thinking mostly of Christians and atheists, but I think this general discussion can move to any religious or non-religious person, I was looking at how some people can get offended by what a person says or does depending on their religious outlook. On one side, someone was suggesting that not capitalising the word "God" or "Jesus" might be offensive to Christians, if the person writing is normally perfect when it comes to grammatical acumen. The word "god" is generic and can refer to any deity, but in the context of a Christian discussion a proper noun seems appropriate in terms of "God", and some Christians announced their view that it was insulting. People I had read in that thread then concluded that no offence should be read into it because none was intended.

Personally, I cannot see why someone would get so offended over a capitalization issue, but then again I am not a Christian. It is hard for me to see this from their point of view. I feel like if they are happy in their beliefs and fine with others having their own beliefs, then what does it matter? Then again, as someone who likes to follow the rules of the English language, I could understand why it may irk some people if "God" was not capitalized. As far as the respect issue goes, I think as long as they aren't calling said god by an offensive or derogatory name, just let it slide.

In another totally different thread, I saw some Christians (myself included) suggest that telling someone that you will pray for them is not offensive, despite some atheists who voiced differing opinions. My initial thoughts about this are that it wasn't intended as an insult, so none was intended and therefore no offence should be taken. But nonetheless people are offended anyway.

As an atheist, I don't take offense when someone tells me they will pray for me for a few reasons. One, they usually don't know that I'm an atheist and probably assume I'm christian, so the thought wouldn't cross their mind. Two, they mean well (usually). It would be like me saying to them, "I'll keep you in my thoughts." Now, just because I don't take offense doesn't mean I like it or am comfortable with it. I would prefer that people don't say it to me, but I'm not going to get my panties in a wad about it. However, I have had a few people say it just to get under my skin. Not in the nice and sincere way, but the malicious and offensive way. Now THAT really irks me.

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Specifically "LORD" is Yahweh and "God"is Elohim, the plural version of El, but yes the god of the Hebrew Bible is named Yahweh. There are a couple reason I would guess they do not use it...first, saying "God" makes it sound like the god of the Deists where Yahweh just sounds like another storm god or something...but more importantly in Jewish culture the name Yahweh was too sacred to be said. They even spelled it YHWH. So once again it comes down to a respect thing. In most of my classes we use the term Yahweh, just as we use the term negro or African American in other classes. Outside of class I use the terms "God" and "black," respectively.

You are always going to offend someone even if someone if you mean well. I just do my best to try not to offend the majority and respect them. I know that not capitalizing God will offend more people that just capitalizing it, so I use the extra key stroke to do so...I use the word "black" because it seems to be the least offensive and best logical word to describe black Americans (if anyone wants me to explain more I can. Either ask in here or PM me.) I have said offensive things and I can be real blunt but for the most part in my everyday life I try to "be nice" or not upset people. I mean is it a big deal to let a car merge in traffic? Is it that hard to capitalize God? Just do it...

Just my opinion...

See that still doesn't make sense. I get them not wanting to use the name because it's sacred, but what I don't get is why they take two more general words (god and lord) and use those instead. Why not create something else? To me it seems quite the opposite of what they were trying to achieve (at least in the case of god). Calling a person whose name you know as Human is much less respectful than using their actual name. God, like human is what the entity is not it's name. Now lord strikes me as different because it's a title and that is much more respectful (certainly there are many cases were a person's title is just as acceptable to use as their name, if not more so).

I make a point never to use the 'extra keystroke' to capitalise god unless it's the start of a sentance. It's not about respect to me. In general any 'real' god is an unknown entity (at least to me). If I had evidence that a: a certain god was real and b: that god was ok being refered to as 'God' then sure, I'd use it. If I am refering to a specific deity I'd use the name (Isis, Thor etc) or the religion that god belongs to (ie the christian god). That's the best way, for me, to refer to such entities. Until now, I've not seen anyone have a problem with capitalisation. I've even seen believers that don't capitalise god. So to me it's pretty much a non-issue.

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See that still doesn't make sense. I get them not wanting to use the name because it's sacred, but what I don't get is why they take two more general words (god and lord) and use those instead. Why not create something else? To me it seems quite the opposite of what they were trying to achieve (at least in the case of god). Calling a person whose name you know as Human is much less respectful than using their actual name. God, like human is what the entity is not it's name. Now lord strikes me as different because it's a title and that is much more respectful (certainly there are many cases were a person's title is just as acceptable to use as their name, if not more so).

I make a point never to use the 'extra keystroke' to capitalise god unless it's the start of a sentance. It's not about respect to me. In general any 'real' god is an unknown entity (at least to me). If I had evidence that a: a certain god was real and b: that god was ok being refered to as 'God' then sure, I'd use it. If I am refering to a specific deity I'd use the name (Isis, Thor etc) or the religion that god belongs to (ie the christian god). That's the best way, for me, to refer to such entities. Until now, I've not seen anyone have a problem with capitalisation. I've even seen believers that don't capitalise god. So to me it's pretty much a non-issue.

Well I am not an ancient Israelite or Judahite so I cannot tell you the logic behind it...but they must have had some reasoning behind it...

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It's very difficult to have a productive discussion over the internet with strangers with whom we have no history, no understanding of their life's experiences, or influences, or major events & people that shaped their lives. Nuances are lost, body language hidden, good will invisible, so it all sort of remains at the intellectual level, when the conversation is really about beliefs, emotions, feelings, etc. Semantics becomes a major issue, because on this forum words are all we have to communicate with. No one can see a smile, a head nod or shake, can look a person in the eye, those things that communicate so much without words.

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I have to admit that if the word god with or without a capital G doesn’t bother me at all, the word lord has a condescending aspect which can twitched my nerves. But same could be said when someone attempts to make me eat kosher or halal.

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I don't think either of the examples is offensive.

If an atheist does not use capital letters when referring to a specific deity and someone takes offence, I think that someone needs to understand that you can't deliberately disrespect what you don't believe in. It may show disrespect for another's belief but that comes with the territory. It's not the same as disrespecting the person.

If a christian offered to pray for me I would accept this as a token of their affection / respect / care for me.

If people take offence I think it shows a lack of understanding of the motives of the other. And that's just tough. Life's too short to go around walking on eggshells for fear of upsetting the oversensitive.

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Posted (edited)

Oh, for God's sake, nobody was offended! :rolleyes: When I said "I'm sure Christians will be offended by your refusal to capitalize Jesus" I was being sarcastic. Nobody in the thread was offended. I was pointing out how childish and petty radical atheists can be when they try to insult Christians. No one refuses to capitalize the names of fictional characters. Only radical atheists refuse to capitalize God and other Christian words.

As for praying for me, I have no problem with it. If it doesn't accomplish anything, no harm done. If someone innocently says they'll pray for me, it would be immoral to lash out at them.

Edited by Parsip

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I teach my students that when you pray for someone what you're doing is asking God to help that person in a certain specified area because they think that that person needs help. But, this is the important part, you pray for them you don't tell them so - you don't have to tell people, it's an act of kindness that should be faceless because it's about the person you're praying for not the person doing the prayer.

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I think this can be divided into two things since they're two scenarios.

First is the prey for you thing. The thing that gets to me here (and that I see causes offence) is that you can prey for anyone with no problems. The problem is telling them you prey for them. Why do religious people feel the need to tell the person that they're preying for them, especially when that person is an atheist? It might be seen as a positive thing from the person giving doing the preying, but they can go around it in a much more diplomatic way (or simply not say they're preying for the person to begin with, thus avoiding the issue).

Personally, I don't want anyone 'preying for me' but I can't stop them from doing so.

As to the god part, I am wondering something. The Christian god has a name: Yahweh. Why do they not just use it? That is their god's name and it does a better distinction than simply capitalising a word. Personally I find it rather odd that people who know an entity's name would rather not use it. I would not call my dog Dog. I would not refer to one of my friend's as Human instead of their name. So why is this acceptable?

Hi Shadowhive,

I understand what you mean. Even as a believer, I have a different understanding than my brother for instance. I have lost track in our lives, after heated debates, of the amount of times he has insisted on having the last word by saying "I always pray for you", gah! Translation, "I pray one day you will see things my way":w00t: .

On the other hand, sometimes people, atheists or people of different faiths speak about their personal problems and health of themselves or loved ones. It is inate for a believer to offer that they will "pray for them" .As much as another might just say, "I hope the best for you" I find it automatic to say "my thoughts and prayers are with you". Fact is, I don't expect an atheist to see this as a prayer to God, what I imagine is that they know my heart is reaching out and wishing the very best with my thoughts in the way I know how.

As to the God v god. I don't get offended and don't much care, I am as likely as any other to write it one way or the other. I really don't like speaking too directly about "God" if that makes sense. I tend to consider discussions a matter of opining and intellectualising rather than speak for him/her or speaking words that are somehow construed to be sacred or "gospel" - they simply are not. That is a little harder to quantify, I suppose, I just hope it makes sense. A degree of distance is very apparent to me in the discussions between people's and that which is actually divine or sacred may be a better way of putting it.

As to using his name - a God of everything - the God, so to speak, encompasses all things and is just that in absolute totality I guess - God.

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If someone wants to pray for me, they're more than welcome to do so, just don't tell me about it, unless you really are an attention whore. On a lighter side though, if someone tells me they're going to pray for me, I usually have 2 responses. I either ignore the statement, or I tell them "while you're at it, let the big guy know I want a Dodge Viper." :devil:

As long as they don't tell me, I'm fine. Out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. :yes:

As for capitalizing the name of deities, I really don't care about such things. I'm a literary genius, but sometimes I don't proofread my posts. I'm not being paid to do so, so why would I do so for the posts of others. About the only thing I ask when people type, is for it to be at least indicative of an adult. If someone composes like a 5 year old, I question their intelligence. If their intelligence is lacking, then my responses have to adapt so as not to lose them to confusion. I get that kind of thing with my brothers/sisters since they're all dumb hillbilly hicks who are also religious fanatics. The way I speak to them has to adjust so they don't look at me saying "duh".

Incidentally, my family is the kind that will use "pray for you" in the derogatory manner. Of my 4 brothers and 2 sisters, only me(the baby), and my oldest brother(first child) are the only ones not religious, and the smartest of the lot. I don't consider myself really having a family since I've nothing in common with them anymore. I've not spoken to them in 10 years, though I get updates every great now and then on facebook from them. They want to see me, I don't want to see them.

Didn't mean to ramble a there. :blush:

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In another totally different thread, I saw some Christians (myself included) suggest that telling someone that you will pray for them is not offensive, despite some atheists who voiced differing opinions. My initial thoughts about this are that it wasn't intended as an insult, so none was intended and therefore no offence should be taken. But nonetheless people are offended anyway.

Personally, I think the capitalisation issue is a non-issue and is more the result of over-sensitivity than someone trying to be antagonistic.

However, the 'praying' issue is more complex.

I am reminded of my discussions with Christians about missionary works. In my world-view, if the beliefs of a group of people do not make them unhappy, or cause conflict with others, then there is no need to effect a change in their beliefs. But that is not the Christian mind-set. Because the Christian believes that only in their belief is true 'safety' found, they will seek to impose their beliefs for the sake of the other's perceived 'well-being'.

I'm of the opinion that Christian prayer is linked with the same thought-processes, and there is always an element of "I'll wish you Christian" in it - even if it is subconscious. While I don't believe that makes praying for someone who is not Christian offensive, it is a form of imposition and I can see why some might take offence at it.

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Basically i can (and must) do what ever I think is right. It is not up to me to second guess others responses, only to act with love and "right" ie do what i thnk is ethically right.I never get angry at others. That is my choice. i am only repsonsible for my own responses (And i am entirely responsible for them) not for anothers.

And no one else can blame me for how they react . That is their choice and responsibility. If they havent yet learned to control their emotional responses, then i think they need to do so.

However, i choose not o pray for another without their permission, because prayer is powerful and has real outcomes, and i dont have a right to impose those outcomes on another just because I think they would be good for them.

As to the capitalisation of god, I would like ot say that people should stick to english grammar rules, but as i do not, I can't say that either.

Otherwise the original point remains. One must do as one must do and leave others to their own choice of response. Its been a long time since i met people in real life who try to bait an emotional response from me, but it still happens on occasion in UM. Usually, however, it is just people geting emotional and thinking with their hearts instead of their heads. I think thats a dangerous failing in adult humans, but i see a lot of it.

I had a lengthy discussion with a class of14/ 15 year olds today, who respond badly to one girl who baits them. They insist she makes them angry and makes them respond to her .

I explained that i did not accept this. They are responsible for their reactions/responses, and they will be held accountable for them. Too many of them still believe that it is someone else's fault if they get angry and act innappropriately out of anger.

You still hear adult males justify hitting a female partner because, "She made me angry, and i couldnt help myself " You stil hear parents explain their striking a child, with the same rationale. It is pathetic.

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Personally, I think the capitalisation issue is a non-issue and is more the result of over-sensitivity than someone trying to be antagonistic.

However, the 'praying' issue is more complex.

I am reminded of my discussions with Christians about missionary works. In my world-view, if the beliefs of a group of people do not make them unhappy, or cause conflict with others, then there is no need to effect a change in their beliefs. But that is not the Christian mind-set. Because the Christian believes that only in their belief is true 'safety' found, they will seek to impose their beliefs for the sake of the other's perceived 'well-being'.

I'm of the opinion that Christian prayer is linked with the same thought-processes, and there is always an element of "I'll wish you Christian" in it - even if it is subconscious. While I don't believe that makes praying for someone who is not Christian offensive, it is a form of imposition and I can see why some might take offence at it.

Its not only christians who think and act like this of course .So do governments and ordinary people on issues like smoking, drinking, drug taking, food consumption, health/vaccinations, child raising, and on and on.

When peole perceive a hrm the yoften insist that everyone be protected from tha tharm Whether everyone wants to be protected or not. In my mind,it depends a bit on who bears the cost of not preventing harm. Christians might argue that a failure of society to live by basic christian principles causes harm to all, including them.

Govts and social groups use this same argument on many issues including provision of health care and the efects of things like obesity on community health costs eg people who are obese or smoke and drink too much, cause great costs to all taxpayers. Thus all tax payers (via the govt) have a right to have a say in how such people are treated, and how much their personal habits will be tolerated.

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Ok, thanks guys for the response/s. For the most part people several people are posting similar ideas, and for the most part I agree with them. Some people do use "I'll pray for you" in an insulting manner (though I have only ever experienced this on the internet, never in real life). And as BM states, some only get angry because they have nothing better to respond with. I wasn't really thinking of these types of people when I posted the thread, but those who genuinely pray for someone, or someone who has impeccable grammatical acumen but intentionally leaves reference to the Christian God without capitals. I mean, I'm among the group who thinks that if no offence is intended then none should be taken, but some people don't agree, they think that praying for someone is inherently insulting, or they think that intentionally decapitalising a reference to the Christian God is insulting.

Should we draw a line in the sand? In order to ensure no one is insulted, keep our thoughts to ourselves? Don't offer to pray for someone on the off-chance that they might get offended. Always capitalise "God" whether we think it warranted or not, just in case not doing so causes insult?

In a broader sense, this can apply to any religious issue. Saying "Bless you", or even "God bless you" after someone sneezes (not that I say either thing). Or if a Muslim says "May the peace of Allah be upon you" as a parting statement. There's no malice intended (not usually, at least) but some people of differing faith/non-faith see insult there and take offence.

Anyway, thanks again for the responses :tu:

~ PA

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I teach my students that when you pray for someone what you're doing is asking God to help that person in a certain specified area because they think that that person needs help. But, this is the important part, you pray for them you don't tell them so - you don't have to tell people, it's an act of kindness that should be faceless because it's about the person you're praying for not the person doing the prayer.

I agree with this. I suspect that the reason many will verbalize the act is to offer the comfort that it brings among others of faith but I can see how it would appear phony or self seeking by announcing the intent, especially for those who think that it is ineffective. I pray for people who I would want to have divine help with no ulterior motives. As to the CAPS issue, I capitalize the words God, Jesus and the pronouns associated with His name as a sign of respect. But it never offends me that others do not. I act on my beliefs and they are free to do the same and no harm done.

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NOTHING is offensive if no one chooses to take offense to it.

People seem too ready and eager to find offense in things that don't affect them whatsoever.

God vs. god? If you don't believe in one, who cares? If you do believe in one, does the quality of your god suffer somehow if it is not capitalized?

"I'll pray for you." If you do not believe in prayer, a god, or anything, why is this any different than someone saying, "I'll think of you" or "Best wishes" or... in some cases... "I pity you or feel sorry for you." You might decide the last person's a bit of a jerk, but it's hardly something to get all offended at.

I think people get too wrapped up in expectations that everyone will be like them, or cater to their whims. Selfish people get offended at everything if it's not their way. Nice people will try to make others around them comfortable, whether by capitalizing God when talking about the Christian God, or by silently praying for someone instead of making an announcement, if they feel prayer a good idea. Mean people will act like jerks. It's like that for any topic, and getting offended cause someone is a jerk is just silly.

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I have nothing truly insightful to add, just a random thought or two...

I am an atheist, and have no idea how anyone could possibly take offense to a christian who wishes to pray for them. That is like getting offended when someone says "Bless you" when you sneeze!

And as for capitalizing god, I do not see a problem either way. To an atheist, there is no "God", only "god(s)". A christian should not take offense to lower case god, since there is nothing grammatically incorrect or offensive about it.

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NOTHING is offensive if no one chooses to take offense to it.

People seem too ready and eager to find offense in things that don't affect them whatsoever.

God vs. god? If you don't believe in one, who cares? If you do believe in one, does the quality of your god suffer somehow if it is not capitalized?

"I'll pray for you." If you do not believe in prayer, a god, or anything, why is this any different than someone saying, "I'll think of you" or "Best wishes" or... in some cases... "I pity you or feel sorry for you." You might decide the last person's a bit of a jerk, but it's hardly something to get all offended at.

I think people get too wrapped up in expectations that everyone will be like them, or cater to their whims. Selfish people get offended at everything if it's not their way. Nice people will try to make others around them comfortable, whether by capitalizing God when talking about the Christian God, or by silently praying for someone instead of making an announcement, if they feel prayer a good idea. Mean people will act like jerks. It's like that for any topic, and getting offended cause someone is a jerk is just silly.

Had I seen your post, I would not have bothered posting my own! Agree 100%

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I have nothing truly insightful to add, just a random thought or two...

I am an atheist, and have no idea how anyone could possibly take offense to a christian who wishes to pray for them. That is like getting offended when someone says "Bless you" when you sneeze!

And as for capitalizing god, I do not see a problem either way. To an atheist, there is no "God", only "god(s)". A christian should not take offense to lower case god, since there is nothing grammatically incorrect or offensive about it.

If God is being used as a proper noun it is grammatically incorrect for it to be in the lower case. If we are talking about gods or a god it is not grammatically incorrect, but in the majority of cases God is being talked about, not gods or a god.

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