welcome to the fest
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Religion, Atheism, What-Have-You
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 38, 39, 40 ... 43, 44, 45  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sinfest Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 12142
Location: Unknown Kaddath

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
When someone simply describes themselves as "Christian" and does not elaborate further, we can safely conclude that the believe in some form of God that isn't merely Deist.

I have known people who did not believe in God, and did not believe there was anything divine about Jesus, but who still considered his example and teaching inspiring enough that they did what they could to model their lives on him. When such people call themselves Christian, I will consider it legitimate. Perhaps this category of person is too small a percentage of the whole to be a concern when making assumptions, but if it were just a numbers game, we wouldn't need to be so careful about describing these assumptions, because we could just ignore all the outliers and have an easier task.

The outliers need to identify themselves, because "I'm a Christian" as an identity means belonging to the religion by default. It's the modifiers that alter this meaning by adding new and exceptional context. Christian Atheist, Cultural Christian, Secular Christian, Philosophical Christian, or something along those lines would tell you what you need to know about such a person. But "Christian" wouldn't, because that term by itself almost always refers to the religious beliefs and practices that include theism and a particular emphasis on Jesus as being theologically important. There are only certain contexts where it doesn't, and in those contexts it either has its own modifiers (e.g. scholarly comparisons between the Christian West and the Muslim World, etc.) or is understood as areligious but embodying similar attitudes because of the context itself ("Sara just gave the title on her car to her neighbor Clara after the flood totaled Clara's station wagon. That was a very Christian thing of her to do!").

Quote:
If instead of "maintaining trappings" we refer to devotion to and observance of religious practices, there is a use of "Christian" which is religious rather than cultural, but still does not necessitate belief. If I was immersed in Catholicism, mass every week, holidays, rituals, considered the transforming value of the tradition and community valuable, but didn't think God really existed, I would still call myself a religious Catholic rather than a cultural one, and would be very irritated with you for telling me I couldn't.

Why religious? Why not cultural? Where is the religious component to your behavior even if you're doing it alongside religious people, here? Or do you mean "religious" in the sense of "he ate pasta religiously every Tuesday?"
Either way, I'm pretty sure the Catholic church would say you've rejected Catholicism as a religion when you admit not holding the faith component. In fact, they even use the term "rejection" for this. Since Catholicism revolves entirely around the keystone of theism and specific Roman Catholic theistic beliefs, they consider those who do not accept the existence of God etc. as having rejected the faith and would balk at you calling yourself Catholic. It would be like having no ancestry except Han Chinese and being a second-generation Chinese immigrant, but calling yourself "African American."

Quote:
I think most people use it to mean something along the lines of "not sure if they believe", which is how I meant to use it here. If there is a better terminology for discussion of the strength or confidence in a belief, I would be very happy to learn it.

I believe the technical term is "smishy-squishy, squidgey-widgey faith."

Quote:
I would say that acceptance of a truth is not the same as belief in a truth, and one can accept a Christian truth without believing in it, and it is correct for such a person to call themselves a Christian.

What would that even mean? They would accept, for example, that bad people go to Hell, but don't actually believe in Hell? Then in what sense could you say that they accept the truth of it?

Quote:
So, where does your definition of Christian come from? Is it an organically built totality of ways you've heard it used? Is it a sort of sum or greatest common factor of the beliefs of all churches you've known/studied? Is it rooted in your interpretations of scripture? I feel confident that it is not a majority definition, because most people's input is based on too many misconceptions, but is it basically a compilation of ideas from the majority of opinions you've read from those you've considered well-educated about Christianity?

You could try a dictionary. They are these fairly handy things that tend to settle questions like this for most purposes. They take into account both common and technical usage and identify issues of precision or alternative uses. Because of this the definition is, almost by definition, the majority definition.

Quote:
I do not have a good definition. I think too many people have used it in too many ways, and for much too long, for any definition to be authoritative. I see little choice other than to leave it as people who self-identify as Christians.

The overwhelmingly vast majority of people who self-identify as Christians do hold certain religious beliefs in common. They believe in God as more-or-less depicted in the Old and New Testaments or other, more obscure theistic sources, and they believe that Jesus was super-great and important in understanding this God in some form or other. Historically there has been a great diversity of divergent, sometimes radically different forms of belief under this umbrella (less so for the last 1,600 years, up until very recently with newer generations of Western Christian schisms and splits along doctrinal lines), but all sharing these explicitly religious components. Thus isn't not very important to distinguish among them, for the outsider to judge whether Valentinian Gnostics or Marcionites are some sort of "true" Christians or merely pretenders to the title. If Mormons want to claim the title of Christian, we don't need to care that Roman Catholics would have a problem with this. We don't even need to separate those who think Jesus was an aspect of God Himself or merely a human being with exceptional insight. The important aspect is this belief in both a Divinity along with the central importance of Jesus in comprehending that Divinity and mankind's relation to it. (Here we might run into problems classifying Islam as Christian because of the importance of Jesus to that religion, but there is enough of an emphasis away from Jesus' teachings and towards those of Mohammed, which are significantly different and heavily revisionary, that a distinction can be made to divide the two into very different if somewhat similar religions the way we can divide Christianity from Judaism, Baha'i from Islam, etc.).

There is a concept of Christian culture and regional "Christian" traditions that non-Christians adopt or continue to adhere to despite not believing in these core theological concepts. But this is why it's important to distinguish "Christian" culture and practices from Christian beliefs when identities are involved, the latter of which is what almost everybody refers to and identifies with when they use the label on themselves. It is still the case that most people who call themselves Christian do, in fact, subscribe to these beliefs in some form. It is still the case that "Christian" refers to Christianity-the-religion. It is also the case that of those who hold the beliefs and self-identify, an increasingly small number do not engage in all the practices tradition would dictate such as attending church regularly; they are losing out on the "Christian" culture even though they maintain the beliefs. The number of self-identified Christians who hold their religious beliefs but do not engage in the traditions regularly is larger than those who identify as "Christian" and engage in the traditions but without the faith. The traditions change over time, and vary from place-to-place. Just as the specific forms of religious doctrine does within the Christian religion. But traditions and doctrines alike all depend on the theistic component, whereas phrases like "the Christian West" can be easily replaced by phrases like "Western" or "Modern European/American," etc. The use of the term "Christian" regarding the culture is largely one of convenience; a short-hand whose meaning is commonly understood in the context of societies and histories; not at the individual level. When Dawkins described himself, he used the term "cultural Christian." He didn't just say that he was a Christian, full-stop, because that term is understood in the context of individuals to describe their religious beliefs. If he had left out the modifier, it would have created an immediate conflict for the audience since Dawkins is widely known as a vocal atheist and anti-religion advocate. He had to specify.
The overwhelming combination of history, common usage, and central importance of the religious component as a defining characteristic justify using the bare term "Christian" to refer to those that are theistically religious, and using modifiers or other terms to refer to the cultural or non-religious philosophical offshoots.

If you want to argue otherwise, you have to present a case for it. Since when did most people start using "I'm a Christian" to refer to being (essentially) Western?

Descartes proved that God is a jelly donut.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3315

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sojobo



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 2440

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
The outliers need to identify themselves, because "I'm a Christian" as an identity means belonging to the religion by default.

There are two solutions to the informational problem. Your demand that the burden is on the minority to provide more information is only one of them. The other is for the majority to simply not make unnecessary assumptions. You have given no reason why the second answer is worse than the first, but simply repeated yourself that the first is correct.

What do you think of the comparison already in the thread, to transgender identity? When you ask someone's gender, do you require that a transgender man refer to themselves as transgender male rather than simply male?

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Why religious? Why not cultural? Where is the religious component to your behavior even if you're doing it alongside religious people, here?

It's religious because the practices still have deep, personal meaning to the person observing them. We don't call a person religious because they have a particular belief, we call them religious because their devotion demonstrates that the beliefs and practices are important to them. Observing traditions that might be true is in some ways more faithful than acting out of certainty.

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Either way, I'm pretty sure the Catholic church would say you've rejected Catholicism as a religion when you admit not holding the faith component.

So how about a person who is otherwise a Catholic, but does not believe that the wafer turns into Jesus? Or maybe he's fine with the wafer, but doesn't really think there's much purpose to anointing the sick? Is this person still a Catholic? How many of the sacraments of a religion do you have to believe in to be safe? If more than half of the members disbelieve in the wafers, which group has the right to call themselves Catholic?

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
It would be like having no ancestry except Han Chinese and being a second-generation Chinese immigrant, but calling yourself "African American."

What about a second-generation Chinese immigrant with 1/4 African ancestry? What about 1/8? 1/16? Where is the line? When does it flip over from being their right to self-identify as they wish to your right to tell them how they should self-identify?

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
What would that even mean? They would accept, for example, that bad people go to Hell, but don't actually believe in Hell? Then in what sense could you say that they accept the truth of it?

Acceptance of a truth to me sounds like acting as though something is true. You can do so whether or not you actually believe in a truth. For your Hell example, it would mean that they try not to be bad people. It's a lot simpler than your apparent confusion would suggest.

I have to go to work.
_________________
"To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others."
- Anne-Sophie Swetchine
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 715

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:


And yet, most of the people arguing with you aren't religious, but hey.

Keep on acting like a creationist reacts to information regarding evolution, I suppose.
_________________
"No, but evil is still being --Is having reason-- Being reasonable! Mousie understands? Is always being reason. Is punishing world for not being... Like in head. Is always reason. World should be different, is reason."
-Ed, from Digger
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Heretical Rants



Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 5344
Location: No.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"religion does a lot of bad things"

"NUH UH ONLY MOST RELIGION IS BAD SOME RELIGION IS JUST MILDLY STUPID ALSO CULTURAL HERITAGE"

"NEENER NEENER"

"NIHILGATOR"

"ALSO UR A BIGOT FOR THINKING SOME IDEAS ARE SILLY"

"NO U"

"NEENR"

"UR AS BAD AS TEH FUNDIES"



*abandons thread*
_________________
butts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 715

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heretical Rants wrote:
"religion does a lot of bad things"

"NUH UH ONLY MOST RELIGION IS BAD SOME RELIGION IS JUST MILDLY STUPID ALSO CULTURAL HERITAGE"

"NEENER NEENER"

"NIHILGATOR"

"ALSO UR A BIGOT FOR THINKING SOME IDEAS ARE SILLY"

"NO U"

"NEENR"

"UR AS BAD AS TEH FUNDIES"



Well, I'd argue that I haven't denied religious folks have done bad things.

I just think it's silly to A) Generalize that to all religious people everywhere.
B) Realize that RELIGION ITSELF hasn't done anything bad,b ecause religion is not a magical mystery fairy that worships in people's ears. Religion hasn't killed anyone anymore that communism has, unless ideas have been taking physical form and attacking people of late.
C) Have, in fact, twice offered to dig up a list of citations of a religious group that's worked pretty hard to help advance civil rights (Which I've been told couldn't be), and has in fact, often been ahead of society as a whole when it came to civil rights.

Given that this offer was not even responded to, I'm not exactly sure why it's odd for me to assume they simply don't want to hear any evidence that has the audacity to challenge their worldview?
_________________
"No, but evil is still being --Is having reason-- Being reasonable! Mousie understands? Is always being reason. Is punishing world for not being... Like in head. Is always reason. World should be different, is reason."
-Ed, from Digger
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3315

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:

B) Realize that RELIGION ITSELF hasn't done anything bad,b ecause religion is not a magical mystery fairy that worships in people's ears. Religion hasn't killed anyone anymore that communism has, unless ideas have been taking physical form and attacking people of late.


Hahahahahahahh

Oh fuck me...go join bitflipper in the corner.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3315

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HEY RANTS, RACISM HASN'T ACTUALLY DONE ANYTHING BAD BECAUSE RACISM IS NOT A MAGICAL MYSTERY FAIRY THAT BURNS CROSSES ON PEOPLES LAWNS.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3315

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HEY RANTS, SEXISM HASN'T ACTUALLY DONE ANYTHING BAD BECAUSE SEXISM IS NOT SOME MAGICAL MYSTERY SLUT SHAMING FAIRY THAT TREATS WOMEN POORLY FOR BEING SEXUALLY ACTIVE!!
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3315

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HEY RANTS THEORIES ABOUT VACCINES CAUSING AUTISM AREN'T BAD BECAUSE IT'S NOT LIKE THEY'RE SOME MAGICAL MYSTERY FAIRY THAT GOES AROUND GIVING KIDS WHOOPING COUGH....
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Snorri



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 10878
Location: hiding the decline.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
The outliers need to identify themselves, because "I'm a Christian" as an identity means belonging to the religion by default.

There are two solutions to the informational problem. Your demand that the burden is on the minority to provide more information is only one of them. The other is for the majority to simply not make unnecessary assumptions. You have given no reason why the second answer is worse than the first, but simply repeated yourself that the first is correct.

What do you think of the comparison already in the thread, to transgender identity? When you ask someone's gender, do you require that a transgender man refer to themselves as transgender male rather than simply male?


I think it's smart to point out that identity is an area where personal definition is much more important to people than general, usable definition. And that most people have no problem with explaining their identify further if given the chance. Most transgender people in my experience have no problem with admitting they are transgender but they do not identify as "transgender" and do not like to have that as the first thing people know.

It's not like that with religious labels in the same way, but it seems rather more polite and proper to let people elaborate on what exactly they mean with a certain label.

If there is no elaboration it seems that either the interaction is brief enough or the label irrelevant enough that drawing conclusions from it is probably unnecessary in the first place. If "I'm a Christian" has no bearing on discussion or talk then why bother drawing conclusions based on it about a person in the first place?
Quote:

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Why religious? Why not cultural? Where is the religious component to your behavior even if you're doing it alongside religious people, here?

It's religious because the practices still have deep, personal meaning to the person observing them. We don't call a person religious because they have a particular belief, we call them religious because their devotion demonstrates that the beliefs and practices are important to them. Observing traditions that might be true is in some ways more faithful than acting out of certainty.


Indeed we frequently use "religious" for things that have nothing to do with gods and the like. The example of "religiously watching a tv-show" and such is common. Religious seems a matter of devotion to the practice itself, rather than any associated beliefs.

Quote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Either way, I'm pretty sure the Catholic church would say you've rejected Catholicism as a religion when you admit not holding the faith component.

So how about a person who is otherwise a Catholic, but does not believe that the wafer turns into Jesus? Or maybe he's fine with the wafer, but doesn't really think there's much purpose to anointing the sick? Is this person still a Catholic? How many of the sacraments of a religion do you have to believe in to be safe? If more than half of the members disbelieve in the wafers, which group has the right to call themselves Catholic?


Well it is actually safe to say that most Catholics are incredibly un-Catholic. And the Church would be condemning that shit if they weren't fearful of their flock.

Hell, they sometimes do try to condemn it and get ignored. Over here there have recently been a few new priests who were more strict in following the rules of the Vatican and the communities just ignored them.
_________________

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 715

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
Felgraf wrote:

B) Realize that RELIGION ITSELF hasn't done anything bad,b ecause religion is not a magical mystery fairy that worships in people's ears. Religion hasn't killed anyone anymore that communism has, unless ideas have been taking physical form and attacking people of late.


Hahahahahahahh

Oh fuck me...go join bitflipper in the corner.


No.
_________________
"No, but evil is still being --Is having reason-- Being reasonable! Mousie understands? Is always being reason. Is punishing world for not being... Like in head. Is always reason. World should be different, is reason."
-Ed, from Digger
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Snorri



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 10878
Location: hiding the decline.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:
Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
Felgraf wrote:

B) Realize that RELIGION ITSELF hasn't done anything bad,b ecause religion is not a magical mystery fairy that worships in people's ears. Religion hasn't killed anyone anymore that communism has, unless ideas have been taking physical form and attacking people of late.


Hahahahahahahh

Oh fuck me...go join bitflipper in the corner.


No.


You do realize that to hold such a position you have to argue that ideas can't have influence, which would just lead you to logically to conclude that words can't have influence and eventually you'd be arguing that your position isn't something I can even understand.

I get that you're going for the "evils are done by people and it's people who are to blame!" but that is either a trivial observation or just nonsense. Obviously it's the people who are carrying out the injustice and not the idea itself but that's like saying it was gravity that killed that person and not me throwing him of the roof.
_________________

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 715

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
Felgraf wrote:
Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
Felgraf wrote:

B) Realize that RELIGION ITSELF hasn't done anything bad,b ecause religion is not a magical mystery fairy that worships in people's ears. Religion hasn't killed anyone anymore that communism has, unless ideas have been taking physical form and attacking people of late.


Hahahahahahahh

Oh fuck me...go join bitflipper in the corner.


No.


You do realize that to hold such a position you have to argue that ideas can't have influence, which would just lead you to logically to conclude that words can't have influence and eventually you'd be arguing that your position isn't something I can even understand.

I get that you're going for the "evils are done by people and it's people who are to blame!" but that is either a trivial observation or just nonsense. Obviously it's the people who are carrying out the injustice and not the idea itself but that's like saying it was gravity that killed that person and not me throwing him of the roof.


Well, no, I'm more arguing that ideas are also borne out of people. (Well, unless you believe in divine intervention or platonic ideals). And there DO seem to be people that treat religion like some... I don't know. Sort of magical evil. As though all the problems inherent in it would vanish if religion were to dissapear, and that line of thinking bothers the SHIAT out of me, because it seems really, really shortsighted. Because religion is, and was, borne of us, and most of the problems inherent in it are bits that come out of our more tribal nature, or our desire to appease authority figures (Thank you, Milgram, for one of the most goddamn terrifying psych experiment in history.)


It also bothers me when people say 'Oh it's religion's fault', because that, to an extent, *ABSOLVES THE PERSON WHO DID THE HORRIBLE THING*, and that bugs the SHIAT out of me. It wasn't their fault! It was RELIGION that made them do it!

I see you point though, and I suppose I spoke somewhat hastily in frustration. I should probably stop trying to discuss things with folks that aren't actually interested in talking or discussing in good faith. =/.

And if we're going to blame 'religion' for 'doing evil things', then relgion also has to be given credit when people do good things in the name of religion. Be it fighting for social justice, etc etc. Whiiiccch is something I think a number of people would take offense to, no? Since it's not *religion* doing those good things, it's people.

(If I were feeling somewhat sophistic, I could argue that in your analogy, religion and gravity are actually the analogous parties; Neither are what we might call 'rational actors', since they don't make decisions on their own. In both cases, it's the person who ultimately contributed to the death. But, that would be unnecessarily defensive, and I do see your point.)
_________________
"No, but evil is still being --Is having reason-- Being reasonable! Mousie understands? Is always being reason. Is punishing world for not being... Like in head. Is always reason. World should be different, is reason."
-Ed, from Digger
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3315

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually no, I'm a big believer in a lot of the tenets of christianity, i feel if we could all live our lives a little more like jesus said we should the world would be a better place. I think the spirit and intent behind most of the worlds religions can be an uplifting and worthy goal for humanity to work for. I think that the need to ascribe supernatural elements to these philosophies is a weakness of the human race because it puts an end point on what we see as the "knowable" to too much of humanity. I think the trappings and the baggage and the whole "religion" behind the very simple philosophy of "Treat each other well" that you find laced throughout damn near every major religion in existence have caused significant harm to our progress as a species.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sinfest Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 38, 39, 40 ... 43, 44, 45  Next
Page 39 of 45

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group