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Religion, Atheism, What-Have-You
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i love the way that right after i mention jews living everywhere from eastern europe to india, people think they have to tell me about the diaspora Rolling Eyes

also:
Quote:
The exact definition of Jewishness is not universally agreed upon—neither by religious scholars (especially across different denominations); nor in the context of politics (as applied to those who wish to make Aliyah); nor even in the conventional, everyday sense where "Jewishness" may be loosely understood by the casual observer as encompassing both religious and secular Jews, or religious Jews alone. This makes it especially difficult to define who is an Ashkenazi Jew. The people have been defined differently from religious, cultural, or ethnic perspectives.


but of course, you guys know better even than jewish religious scholars.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we're not the ones saying that we do, though. you are.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm saying, i've picked my definition. it appears to be consistent with what at least some jewish scholars say. you guys are just pissed because it isn't what the scholars you picked say.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no, we're pissed because you're calling people Nazis while imitating them, and being as hateful and ignorant and narrowminded as any MRA or racist we've had here.

which is particularly disappointing, coming from you.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i drew a parallel between two groups of people using what sounded like identical criteria (descent) to put people into what is ultimately a problematic category (race) - both of whom insisted that the person in question had no say in the matter.

ok, i shouldn't have called yrvani a nazi, however irritating she was. i would still like to see someone demonstrate how the logical basis for the comparison was faulty (other than the fact that it involved nazis, which apparently makes people utterly ignore anything you've actually said).

and i'm interested, still, in how refusing to pack people into a race makes me hateful and ignorant and racist. you are acting as though i am going around demanding jewish people believe they are what _i_ say they should be. i don't believe i've done that.

what i've done is try to defend why i think what i think, and not what you think, when someone defines themselves with a specific label.

let's go back, just a minute, to what started all this. it started with this image:


which pretty clearly puts 'jew' in the context of religion.

and then it actually appears that you are actually the one who started on this, accusing me of ridiculing people because i liked the image of thinking of them as children being helicopters (something i think of as innocent and playful) - and from there, you seem to be determined to find ways of hating on me.

and everyone else is trying to find ways to completely separate words that have their basis in religious belief from any form of religious activity at all. which is just ridiculous.

i'm the one who's disappointed, ShadowCell.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and you know what? i don't have to perform consistently to some image you have of my. i can get angry, and frustrated, and lose my temper, just like anyone else. but apparently you've decided i can't be allowed that; i have to act according to the way _you_ have decided i should act. i have to stay inside the box you have built for me, based on your standards, regardless of what i actually am.

wow. that's ironic.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
i knew if i stayed away from this this weekend, wheels would come along and explain what i meant much more calmly and authoritatively than i could.
Snorri wrote:

mouse, I love you to bits but what you're saying is essentially the same as saying that people are the gender they're born as and not the gender they feel they are. I'm not saying that you believe that, but to put your categorical definitions over the very real personal reasons people have for identifying as a certain gender or faith or culture or whathaveyou. Your definition is totally a good thing if I wanted to know the amount of Christians in the world, the group of people who do not believe in god/jesus but retain the label "Christian" is most likely to be statistical noise anyway. But when it comes to what a specific person identifies as it becomes limiting. Identity simply doesn't work like that. It is inherently problematic so much so that you'll for real hurt people with it.


i will answer this little bit, because this seems to be emblematic of the whole confusion. i seem to be being accused of forcing people into some definition by refusing to accept someone else's definition, when i am refusing to accept that definition because it forces people into boxes. i am at least trying to give people credit for having control over what box they are in, if they chose to jump into one.

Right except that you're actively denying the choice to jump into a specific box based on your definition. You're saying I can't be a jew because I don't believe in the religion or participate in it.

Quote:
to me, insisting that jew=race is, in fact, the same as saying that a person is the sex they are born as, not what they feel. religion is something you can choose; culture, even, is something you can choose; race, you are stuck with. to some extent, this is unavoidable, because we are a visual species and like to classify people according to what they look like. but i don't see this as something that should be expanded, and the nazis provided a very good example of why it should not be expanded. so having someone insist that yes, jew is a race, and it doesn't matter if you change your beliefs or your lifestyle or even whether you yourself believe you are a member of the "jewish race", you are still that race....yeah. i have issues. and that one, i'm not going to give in on. if you all want to think of me as a racist because of that...well, i can live with it.


Well....it is anti-semetic actually. You're still refusing to understand that it is not we saying people are Jewish because of being born such, it is Jewish people saying it. About themselves! It is self-identification! It is not " You're Jewish because your mother was one", it is " I'm Jewish because my mother was one."

This is strictly about what people identify themselves as, not what others identify them as.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure you're right about that last bit Snorri, for example the Jewish people I've talked to about the if-your-moms-jewish rule all pointed out, it doesn't matter that much if you accept it or not, it's about what other people think of you.

If you think about it, the label you slap on yourself is quite inconsequential compared to how you're perceived. How you're seen determines how you're treated etc.

Just to clarify, I think I agree with what you're saying but it should be a "we" instead of an "I"
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Michael



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And mouse! I like where you're coming from. The EU, for example, decided that race was indeterminable and therefore more or less officially decided the concept of race was not something that could be included in any of its laws
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hah! i see what you all are not getting.

_i_ am not going to tell anyone what they are - whatever they self-identify as, they can be. and they can self-identify on an basis they like. i'm not refusing to understand that people can make their own boxes and put themselves in them. i understand it perfectly. i, personally, don't agree with that system of boxes. and i don't automatically think of people in terms i don't agree with.

what i was originally attacked for was that i interpret "i am <label>" as "i believe in the precepts of <label> religion". i thought Yrvani was the one who was originally attacking me as being bigoted for daring to think such a thing, instead of assuming that someone who labeled themselves as a member of a religious group was anything _but_ a member of that group, but she seems to have a lot of followers. (by the way - what about people who _do_ have religious beliefs? won't they be offended if i immediately assume they have no particular agreement with the religion they have named? will no one think of _their_ feelings?)

if someone says 'i'm a jew' IN A CONTEXT SUCH AS AMSTELL PRESENTS my initial thought is going to be 'religion(person)=jewish'. because this is in parallel with the two other examples he gives "i'm a christian" and "i'm a muslim". AND NO ONE EVEN _THINK_ OF TALKING ABOUT HOW MUSLIM IS JUST A ETHNICITY OR ANY SHIT LIKE THAT. the thing these three things (jew, muslim, christian) have in common is that they identify religions.

but you know, it all depends on the conversation. if this person starts talking about his extensive knowledge of bagels (prefaced with "i'm jewish, i know bagels"), then i'm probably going to start thinking of him more as relating himself to jewish ethnicity (yes, i am perfectly aware that such a thing exists). i am not going to ask him to explain the basis of bagels in jewish religious thought, or insist that he has no right to claim knowledge of the jewish food 'bagels' because jews aren't actually a race so there is no such thing as jewish food, or that he cannot truly understand bagels because his mother wasn't a jewish baker, or whatever else you people seem to think i am doing to any jewish person i might encounter. once i establish that he sees 'jewish' as primarily his ethnicity, then i start thinking of him in those terms. because i actually do understand that some people do see jewish as an ethnicity.

BUT I AM NOT GOING TO START BY ASSUMING HE IS TALKING ABOUT HIS RACIAL IDENTITY UNLESS SOMETHING ELSE IN THE CONVERSATION LEADS ME TO BELIEVE THAT IS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT.

JUST AS I AM NOT GOING TO START BY ASSUMING THE SELF-IDENTIFIED CHRISTIAN IS SOME ATHEISTIC PERSON REFERRING ONLY TO THE "CHRISTIAN CULTURE" WHATEVER THE HELL THAT IS.

because to me, those labels are primarily a religious marker. that's _my_ culture. deal with it.

i don't know what the fuck you people think i am talking about any more. because i've been talking about what _i_ believe. i understand that people can actually have different beliefs than i have. i understand that various jewish thinkers see themselves as members of a race. the thing is, that concept that they are a race is based (as many of you have pointed out) ON WHAT THEY SAY GOD TOLD THEM (i've even read the bible, so i know all about the times this god called the jews his chosen ones, and then pounded them all to hell and gone because they did some trivial thing that pissed him off). i understand that this is a worldview. (a religious one, as it happens.)

but see, i don't believe in gods. i'm even having more and more trouble wrapping my mind around the whole concept of race. so i'm not suddenly going to decide that yes, there is such a thing as a jewish race because god told these people so. do you guys start to see even a glimmer of why this is a non-starter for me? do you also understand that I KNOW the people involved don't believe they way i do, nor do i expect them to. yes, i understand that people have their own beliefs and they use those beliefs to categorize themselves. i can understand these beliefs without believing them myself.

like i can understand the belief of a creationist that humans are the highest beings on the planet because they are the last and best creation of god. i accept that this person is calling himself the creation of god, but that doesn't mean _i_ believe that he is the creation of a god (what with not believing in gods).

so: i can understand a jewish person sees themselves as a member of a group, defined by a god, so unified as to call themselves a race. but i don't believe in gods, so i don't think any group of people was chosen by a god. and i do know about the diaspora, and the mixing that occurs when two groups of people (even ones that see themselves as separated by a religion) happen to find themselves living together, so i have problems seeing such groups having the biological coherence to classify them as a race (which i'm not sure i believe in any way).

you know, you guys seem to get that there are people who don't believe there is any rational basis for religion, who do not believe in any religion, who rather wonder at the rationality of people who insist on seeing the world through a religious lens, and you seem to find this acceptable. in case you haven't guessed, i'm one of those people.

on any other subject that was not grounded in testable fact, you all would not be insisting that i have to believe something just because someone else believes in it. you would applaud me for rejecting creationism, homeopathy, planet whatever-the-hell-it-is that is supposed to be exactly opposite the earth so we never see it, scientology - a whole number of things that are based solely in what someone believes. i could do that no matter what structure these people built on those beliefs.

but on this one thing, you guys are saying i have to believe whatever someone tells me, because they believe it. which is stupid.

everything you have told me that defines the jews as a race goes back to a religious belief. if i don't think the religious belief has any rational grounding, why do i then have to accept AS REAL all of the things that flow from that original viewpoint?

which is what you guys seem to be insisting. because some people insist that a god (who they may or not believe actually exists) chose their ancestors (to whom they may or may not actually be able to trace a direct lineal descent), they are now unified as a race. and because they say this, i must believe this is so. even though i don't believe in gods, and am undecided about race.

i understand that people believe these things. i even understand why they believe them. i do not believe they are correct.

why am i allowed to believe someone who says he was created by god is incorrect, but i am not allowed to believe someone who says his ancestors were chosen by god is incorrect? why must i think of someone as being in a specific type of category that i believe should be used in a restricted fashion if at all, just because he insists he must be so categorized?

if he wants to think of himself in that category, fine. he can see himself as in whatever box he likes. but i am not going to suddenly insist that we need to add the race 'jew' to the racial/ethnic categories we use in analyzing population data - black, white, asian, hispanic and other seem to be sufficiently inflamatory, among people who want to set fires.

i never said they couldn't identify as whatever they like. i never said someone couldn't say they were a jew even if they didn't follow the religion. what i _said_ was that i thought it was idiotic to categorize yourself by a term rooted in religion if you didn't believe in that religion.

and i don't think it's any more intelligent to categorize yourself by a problematic term like 'race'. but if you want to be an idiot, i'm certainly not going to stop you.

doesn't mean i have to do the same thing. as my mother always said, "if everyone else jumps off a bridge...."
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
You're saying I can't be a jew because I don't believe in the religion or participate in it.


or to be short and sweet about it - i never said any such thing. i said, if you say you're a jew, i'm going to start by assuming you _do_ believe in the religion.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
And mouse! I like where you're coming from. The EU, for example, decided that race was indeterminable and therefore more or less officially decided the concept of race was not something that could be included in any of its laws


i've always loved you best, michael.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuck, it's 4 o'clock and i haven't even eaten lunch yet and now it's too late to even get coffee. DAMN YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR IDEOLOGICAL INTOLERANCE.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't call the Jews a race, and anyone who does is wrong.

It's pretty damn near impossible to argue that Jews are not an ethnic group:

Quote:
Ethnicity or ethnic group is a socially defined category based on common culture or nationality. Ethnicity can, but does not have to, include common ancestry, appearance, cuisine, dressing style, heritage, history, language or dialect, religion, symbols, traditions, or other cultural factor. Ethnic identity is constantly reinforced through common characteristics which set the group apart from other groups.


I think the REAL issue here seems to be that somewhere along the way, the words "race" and "ethnic group" were incorrectly used interchangeably. I should've have brought this up in my last post, but I only just now thought of it, sorry about that.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
I'm not sure you're right about that last bit Snorri, for example the Jewish people I've talked to about the if-your-moms-jewish rule all pointed out, it doesn't matter that much if you accept it or not, it's about what other people think of you.

If you think about it, the label you slap on yourself is quite inconsequential compared to how you're perceived. How you're seen determines how you're treated etc.

Just to clarify, I think I agree with what you're saying but it should be a "we" instead of an "I"


Oh sure the rules are not really based on self-identification so much as just being arbitrary rules by other groups.

But for the purposes of my argument it doesn't really matter. I am not talking about how other people define others, I'm talking about how people define themselves. If you're claim to not be a Jew even though your mother was then more power to you, I support anyone's right to identify themselves as anything conceptually.

And the label you slap on yourself is not so much inconsequential as fundamentally important to the sense of being of a lot of people. Recognition is important, very much so, but it comes as secondary to the self-identification. Indeed, it explains why persecuted people are so vehement to stick to such a thing. (Recognition and acceptance influence how much they're willing to admit it.)
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