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Grandpa Greenman

Discussing Religion

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No matter how you do it when having a discussion about religion you are going step on someones toes when you point out the flaws and contradictions in a given religion. Does that mean such things should not be discussed? Why not examine things that play such a large roll in society? Isn't that how a society grows, changes and adapts? When people make extraordinary claims you must have extraordinary evidence. Just cause it is in a book doesn't make it so, just like internet. When you say a book written 2000-600 years ago is full of correct science or history, you have to expect there a people who will beg to differ. That is the nature of debate.

I am a member of a minority religion, according to census data Earth base Pagan religions are about 1% of the population. I think there might be a bit more than that judging from number of people showing up to festivals. One reason it is off is because Pagans can have number of work problems when they are open especially when they work with children, like teachers. So for some of us it better to keep quiet about it. Is that racist, my race is not my religion, If I fill out form and they ask for race, I don't put Pagan, I put white. I can't change my race, but I can if I so choose I can change my religion. In my country I do have that choice and it is suppose to be protected though it doesn't always work out as well as it should. But that does not protect me from someone coming to my door and telling me I am going to hell because of my wicked Pagan ways. That is ok with me I am always open to debate.

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You can pray to a tree stump if you want to. Seriously. Nobody cares. Have fun shocking the Mormons and the JWs that knock on your door.

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Have fun shocking the Mormons and the JWs that knock on your door.

See, this is the kind of ersatz racism our more sensitive fellow members complain of. Your statement is derogaotry and disrepctful of two whole religious congregations. Plus, you are encouraging your reader to "have fun" with these religious people. to mock those for how they praise God.

You can pray to a tree stump if you want to. Seriously. Nobody cares.

Maybe three whole religious congregations. Tsk, tsk. :) (And um, yes, somebody cares....

Ah! you who say to wood, “Awake!” to silent stone, “Arise!” Can any such thing give oracles?

~ Habakkuk 2: 19

Imagine, God himself being derogatory and disrespectful of an entire religious congregation.)

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Here is the thing, religion is an opinion and like a**holes a everybody has one. It is not a fact, it is not set in stone. A book is not sacred, they is ink and paper subject to revision. . Yet, we can't talk or debate religion without being called a racist or worse. People can kill and die for it, but forbid. we can't debate and discuss it. Seeing a pattern here or is it just me. A debate has two sides otherwise there is no point to the debate. I don't see anything wrong with being shown a different point of view and debating it whether it is global warming or religion. In the end we need the debate otherwise we don't grow as a society and we become complacent and subject to manipulation. That IMO is when the killing and dying starts.

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Posted (edited)

See, this is the kind of ersatz racism our more sensitive fellow members complain of. Your statement is derogaotry and disrepctful of two whole religious congregations. Plus, you are encouraging your reader to "have fun" with these religious people. to mock those for how they praise God.

Maybe three whole religious congregations. Tsk, tsk. :) (And um, yes, somebody cares....

Ah! you who say to wood, "Awake!" to silent stone, "Arise!" Can any such thing give oracles?

~ Habakkuk 2: 19

Imagine, God himself being derogatory and disrespectful of an entire religious congregation.)

Oh, come off your high horse. You mean like the whole congregation worshipping the Golden Calf at the foot of Ararat? As I recall reading, he was a little more than just "disrespectful". Edited by John Wesley Boyd

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Rigorous debate on the merits or lack thereof, of any line of thought is what the getting of wisdom is all about. Some commentary may be born of bigotry or ignorance that is best brought into the open so that it can be called for the lack of merit it has. I agree with Greenman's we owe it to ourselves to vigorously discuss beliefs and separate the wheat from the chaff (pardon the biblical reference). Denying opposing views their right to be heard is tantamount to the death of human intellect and freedom of expression.

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Posted (edited)

Oh, come off your high horse pagan king.You were "disrespectful" of every major and many minor religions in your OP. "Just cause it is in a book doesn't make it so, just like internet." Your own words, cut and pasted, read them and weep. Worthy of a fatwa calling for your head on pike in much of Islam.

I think you confused eight bits with greenmansgod. yea, eight bits said the quote you said, not the OP.

Edited by Opus Magnus

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Oh, come off your high horse pagan king.You were "disrespectful" of every major and many minor religions in your OP. "Just cause it is in a book doesn't make it so, just like internet." Your own words, cut and pasted, read them and weep. Worthy of a fatwa calling for your head on pike in much of Islam.

Eight bits is not the OP of this discussion, nor is he the pagan. Can you see how your rhetoric is inherently inflammatory?

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Drunk, John? ;)

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tumblr_m00kgshOjV1r5l326o1_5001.png

As a chaote I am the embodiment of religious blasphemy. All God's are fair game for me. So I support you Greenman. I can have faith in anything or nothing at a moments notice.

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Drunk, John? ;)

Mistook someone else for you. Sorry about that. The brandy is rather seductive.
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Must be red solo cup night on UM.

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I once wrote a story wherein a man dies and goes to Heaven and finds it utterly corrupt. Eventually he finds Jesus living in a fleabag hotel lamenting that his father, God, has abandoned him and Heaven, because Jesus went too far in forgiving sinners and letting the 'wrong kind' into Heaven.

I post my fiction in my Blog, but I've hesitated to post this story for fear of retribution. In art are all subjects permitted because it is art, and where is the line drawn between open discussion and opinion and religious intolerance?

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Eight bits is not the OP of this discussion, nor is he the pagan. Can you see how your rhetoric is inherently inflammatory?

I prefer to think of it as stimulating. I know I mistook eight bits for the OP and corrected my post. I found eight bits post concerning my first post in this thread outrageous and responded in kind. Also, there's no need to apologize for religious allusions in a thread about religion. Don't worry, there will be no further disruption from me.

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I once wrote a story wherein a man dies and goes to Heaven and finds it utterly corrupt. Eventually he finds Jesus living in a fleabag hotel lamenting that his father, God, has abandoned him and Heaven, because Jesus went too far in forgiving sinners and letting the 'wrong kind' into Heaven.

I post my fiction in my Blog, but I've hesitated to post this story for fear of retribution. In art are all subjects permitted because it is art, and where is the line drawn between open discussion and opinion and religious intolerance?

I love that storyline! Can I steal the theme for an upcoming sermon?--seriously.

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I love that storyline! Can I steal the theme for an upcoming sermon?--seriously.

Of course you can, all my thoughts are free and in the public domain. :)

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GreensmanGod, this is what I was referring to in my original post, in my inflammatory sort of way.http://billygraham.org/story/the-tree-stump-prayer-where-billy-graham-overcame-doubt/

Edited by John Wesley Boyd

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GreensmanGod, this is what I was referring to in my original post, in my inflammatory sort of way.http://billygraham.org/story/the-tree-stump-prayer-where-billy-graham-overcame-doubt/

Interesting read. I remember watching a few of Graham televised crusades. For me, the first half of his speech made sense, but then gradually he'd introduce his religion into the topic, and at that point he lost me. But, I think he was honest. I remember once he was asked what is God's plan, and why does God allow all the misery in the world. His answer was, "I don't know."

What bothers me in that link is where it states,

Billions of people across the globe are still waiting to hear the lifesaving Gospel message, and each day 93,000 of them pass into eternity–without hope. We need partners who are passionate about seeing lost men, women and children surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. We need partners who will pray fervently and give generously. We need you.

The point I'm making is that these people consider all these 93,000 people eternally without hope, and are lost forever. How can they be so arrogant to say this? I once met a Preacher who asked me if I was saved. When I said no, he just turned his back on me and walked away.

I think discussing these aspects of religion are relevant for discussion, too. What is religion but the people who believe in it? Religion is its believers, in my view. Otherwise religion is just the lifeless printed page.

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I once wrote a story wherein a man dies and goes to Heaven and finds it utterly corrupt. Eventually he finds Jesus living in a fleabag hotel lamenting that his father, God, has abandoned him and Heaven, because Jesus went too far in forgiving sinners and letting the 'wrong kind' into Heaven.

I post my fiction in my Blog, but I've hesitated to post this story for fear of retribution. In art are all subjects permitted because it is art, and where is the line drawn between open discussion and opinion and religious intolerance?

Have you read George Bernard Shaw's short story, Aerial Football? It's somewhat along those lines.

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Interesting read. I remember watching a few of Graham televised crusades. For me, the first half of his speech made sense, but then gradually he'd introduce his religion into the topic, and at that point he lost me. But, I think he was honest. I remember once he was asked what is God's plan, and why does God allow all the misery in the world. His answer was, "I don't know."

What bothers me in that link is where it states,

The point I'm making is that these people consider all these 93,000 people eternally without hope, and are lost forever. How can they be so arrogant to say this? I once met a Preacher who asked me if I was saved. When I said no, he just turned his back on me and walked away.

I think discussing these aspects of religion are relevant for discussion, too. What is religion but the people who believe in it? Religion is its believers, in my view. Otherwise religion is just the lifeless printed page.

I've never gotten those kinds of claims myself, they seem so, well, anti-Christian, bereft of compassion, kindness, a helping hand, forgiveness, all those things which as I understand it, are part of the Christian ethos. But I think some people find it impossible to imagine a deity that doesn't have the same qualities, thoughts, understandings, as humans do. Myself, I don't try to define or describe god or the divine anymore, I simply let it reveal itself in my life and hope to reach a better understanding. And I often notice dissonance between what people say they believe and the actions they actually take, so for me what matters is not an espousal of belief, but one's actions.

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Have you read George Bernard Shaw's short story, Aerial Football? It's somewhat along those lines.

No. Thanks I'll look it up.

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John

found eight bits post concerning my first post in this thread outrageous and responded in kind.

It's too bad you took it that way. I had few problems with what you wrote in your first post here. If you took it some other way, then I conjecture that it is because you are unfamiliar with the discussion in the nearby "Allah's Missile Defense" thread, which spawned this thread.

What you took as personal criticism was my ironic echoing of arguments made against others and against me there. In that other thread, criticism of a religious belief or practice was equated with racism directed at the "whole religious congregation" where the belief or practice is found. In that thread, I have argued against that, and my intention was to argue against that here.

I had thought that

- giving your post a "like,"

- qualifying the "bait" word racism with the adjective ersatz

- repetition of the distinctive key words used by complaining posters in the other thread,

- the obvious ridiculousness of the argument applied to your remarks, and

- the use of a smiley at the very height of the "argument's" absurdity

would have sufficed to clarify my intention. I estimated wrongly.

You will have no apology that I lampooned an absurd position presented in another thread by applying it to your invitation to another poster to "have fun" with people on account of their religious beliefs and practices.

I actually do have a problem with treating people poorly because of their religious beliefs and law-abiding practices, but I imagined that you were not seriously proposing that course of action. If I estimated that wrongly, too, then tlet me say tthat that would exceed "discussion" of religion, and discussing religion, not making sport of the religious, is the topic of this thread. However, it still would not be racism, as has been falsely alleged in the other thread.

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A lot of religions start off on a good premise. Love thy neighbor, do good deeds, have faith in something unknowable or meditate to reach inner peace. Not really much too it. Then you add the human element of wanting control. That's when religion become a virus. Some religions are taken from preexisting (actually all are in some way) but report that they are the "truth" or the "word" of their god. Then you get ego involved which often comes out as some type of superiority complex. Toss in a lot of "thou can't" and you have an explosive mixture. People will and do go crazy because of it. I can fully understand, don't kill, don't steal, and don't do anything sexually immoral like rape and/or messing with kids. Those things I can fully understand. Telling people they can't get drunk, or women can't be seen unless their dressed like a ninja is being a control freak. Sorry no dice. Self-control works both ways people. Of course when it get's to that point it's no longer a matter of spirituality. It's purely about dominance. And if you have to spread you religion through violence then that proves it's not a spiritual thing. From what I've come to understand God/s/ess don't really care if you pray in your best Sunday attire or butt naked. What should sum up Christianity is living by the golden rule, willful good deeds, and prayer. Nothing more, nothing less.

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See, this is the kind of ersatz racism our more sensitive fellow members complain of. Your statement is derogaotry and disrepctful of two whole religious congregations. Plus, you are encouraging your reader to "have fun" with these religious people. to mock those for how they praise God.

Maybe three whole religious congregations. Tsk, tsk. :) (And um, yes, somebody cares....

Ah! you who say to wood, “Awake!” to silent stone, “Arise!” Can any such thing give oracles?

~ Habakkuk 2: 19

Imagine, God himself being derogatory and disrespectful of an entire religious congregation.)

Well stated 8ty, if we are to ever walk in tolerance it begins with respecting all paths.

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A good principle to work by is. "Don't criticise other peoples' beliefs unless you have subjected your own to rigorous cross examination. " Even then only criticise the parts of a belief which, if acted upon, would cause harm to self or others.

One difficulty with debating beliefs (including religious beliefs) is that they are so closely connected to our sense of self and identity. What we believe (across a whole range of topics) defines who, and what, we are as human beings Thus, to criticise another's belief is a highly personal attack on the very core of that person's being. (Or at least is seen, felt and perceived to be so, even when this was not the intention)

Edited by Mr Walker
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