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Religion, Atheism, What-Have-You
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Sojobo



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 2430

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
I'm pretty sure I've pointed out how silent participation in these cultures simply enables them to continue doing what they're doing, how contributing to them monetarily and with labor enables them to actively lobby to remove others rights. Don't give me that shitty chick-fil-a example either, buying something is nowhere near the same as donating to a "charitable" and tax exempt institution. The majority of people tithing to a church do so with the expectation it will be used to provide for the upkeep of said church, and "good works".

I'm pretty sure I've responded to that point in a post which quoted it and answered it specifically. Many, many people do not sit as silently as you imply, and you are wrong to group them by belief when your criticism is really about their oppression, not their belief.

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
Here's an interesting breakdown of donations given by churches supporting Prop 8. If you look for churches opposing Prop 8 it will bug out and show you the supporters again, because how many churches gave money to oppose removing others rights? None. None churches.

I have tried to use the search in your link to find donators opposed, with no conditions on the name, and it still bugs out. There is a good chance you are wrong about it being none churches.

Either way, I suspect your point is only overstated, not wrong. It is likely that more church folk donated to support Prop 8 than to oppose it. I agree that that is a very sad thing. You are still very wrong to include every believer in the scorn you should only hold for oppressive believers.

If you admit that you are talking about all of the people who believe in a sky friend and are also oppressive instead of all of the people who believe in a sky friend, we will have no disagreement.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
mouse wrote:
t;]so if you don't want to be considered as a religious person when you say "i'm a christian", use a modifier.

Alternately, you could simply not automatically consider them a religious person because they've called themselves Christian. Why put the burden on them? Should a feminist be required to add three adjectives when she calls herself feminist just so some assholes don't add their own preconceptions to her beliefs?


what is christianity, if it is not first a religion? if it is first a religion, am i really wrong to expect someone who calls themselves christian to have some relationship to the religion?

and if someone calls themselves a feminist, but does not adhere to the notion that women deserve to have rights equal with men, then you are abso-fucking-lutely right that i will expect them to add some adjectives because what they believe is not what the word says they believe

where does the word 'chrisitian' even come from, if not from christ and christianity? what am i supposed to understand when someone says 'i am a christian'?
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mouse



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
mouse wrote:
Sojobo wrote:
I believe my "quote use" accusing people of being Nazis meets the standards of fairness and reason.

I think you must've gotten that twisted around in the wrong way.

You do realize that you are mocking your actions and not mine, right?


well, what i'm trying to point out is the dishonest of quote-doctoring when you are arguing with someone. but yeah, you clearly have a lot more experience than i do with that sort of intellectual dishonesty, so i will bow to you as the superior practitioner.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it is pretty Goddamned stupid to assume that someone is NOT religious if they call themselves "Christian" without adding other qualifiers up-front. "Jewish" is pretty much an ethnicity, "Christian" isn't. The few people who are "Christian" (or Muslim, or...) and don't actually believe in their own god are also the ones that tend to let you know about it as soon as they say what they are.
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 5895
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
i always believed that Judaism was a religion.


and that is where you are wrong, and where your being wrong about everything else begins. Judaism is not merely a religion. it is more than that. it is just as much a culture and an ethnicity, and they and the religion are closely tied together. there's even a neat little term for it. why do Jews come from all over the world? because Jews have this history you might have heard about, where they were driven from their original homeland and spread around the world fleeing persecution and shit, and the fact that they maintained their own ethnoreligious identity amid other cultures just led to more persecution, and it never really ended until the Austrian guy with the funny mustache came along, and we all know how that went.

hence, people can not believe the Jewish religion and still claim to be part of the community that believes in that religion, and still be recognized by that community as one of their own, because that's where their families and their own histories are. being Jewish is not just a matter of believing in the Jewish religion. you are trying to treat being Jewish like Christianity and Islam, as religions that seek to transcend particular ethnic groups and their histories and cultures. well, sorry, but it's not.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wheels, i love you so very much now.

'cause what you just said? pretty much all i was trying to get across.

(i'm not entirely sure about jews even being an ethnicity, but i have to work that one through - i am used to dealing with ethnicity as hispanic/non-hispanic; at least there there is a linguistic consistency in the group. not sure what axis all jews are the same on.)
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mouse



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:


you know what? forget it. this all started with me being accused of ridiculing people because they said "i am a christian" "i am a muslim" "i am a jew". that grouping sounds to me like a religious parallel, but what do i know? clearly, no word anyone uses has any consistent meaning, so what is the point of talking?
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

with you, apparently none, since now you've refused to accept it when words don't mean what you think they mean.

so, banana pickle octopus corkscrew zimbabwe

it's weird and disappointing that someone who's usually open-minded and progressive has proven to be so stubbornly, willfully ignorant about this
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Snorri



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:

mouse wrote:
i could swear i went into all of that, but my browser was glitchy yesterday. anyway, if you don't want to automatically be assumed to be religious when you identify yourself as a member of a religion, you ought to give people the information that you aren't actually referring to religion when you are identifying yourself as a member of a religion.

or you could just not be stupid, and not use the label if it doesn't apply.

I could swear I linked to the No True Scotsman fallacy yesterday, which describes exactly what you are doing here. You don't get to define how people must use the word "Christian".

mouse wrote:
she may be using the actual definition of a jew according to orthodox judaism. she is definitely using the definition of jew according to nazis. why is it not valid to point that out?

I'm pretty sure the nazi definition of frenchman was pretty similar to your definition of frenchman. That doesn't make you a nazi. This is the part of your comments that has been craziest to me. I do not understand how you could possibly persist with such incoherence.

mouse wrote:
and i'm sorry, but if you use the name of a religion to define yourself, it is not unreasonable for someone to take that to mean that you actually believe in that religion.

And I'm sorry, but you are wrong. Religions, especially big labels like "Christian" mean all sorts of things. You do not get to pick out your favourite one and demand everyone else conform. Also, again, "actually believe in" is very vague and has all sorts of meanings, too.

I keep repeating these points because you saw fit to repeat the same errors over and over again in your post.

mouse wrote:
my definition of christian is "someone who follows the beliefs of the christian religion, including the belief that jesus christ is the son of god". and you are saying this assertion is wrong?

There are very, very many sets of "beliefs of the christian religion", all of which can validly be called Christian. Also, "son of god" has a very wide array of meanings and understandings, all of which can validly be called Christian. You have one particular model of "Christian" in mind, and are demanding that we use the word to refer only to your model, and you are wrong to do so.

mouse wrote:
seriously - if someone insisted on calling themselves a feminist, even though they denied the basis ideals of feminism, would you let them, just because they wanted to? would you accept that they can call themselves because they grew up in a country that gives women some rights, and they don't themselves actively attack women?

1) Expand your perspective here, for just a second. Pretend that people have called themselves Feminists for thousands of years, and very large groups have self-identified with that name while having all sorts of different basic ideals, often directly exclusive of the basic ideals of other groups using the same name. If such were the case, yes, I would absolutely accept that they can call themselves Feminists even if they disagree with what I think Feminism should be.

2) Even though feminism isn't milennia old in the same way, there are plenty of groups with widely different understandings of what the basic ideals of the movement are. I am not well-versed in the currents inside feminism, but I do know there are a lot of feminists who inappropriately denounce other feminists as being false (2nd/3rd Waves). They make exactly the same No True Scotsman mistake you are making.

mouse wrote:
do they get to use the label 'liberal' in any sloppy, catch-all, i'm-too-lazy-to-think-about-it way they like?

Yes. They get to use the label. Giving permission to use the label is not up to you.


Naturally, any discussion on identity and labels gets into massive, massive problems quick. I recently had a discussion over on Penny Arcade about the label "gamer" and how people wear or refuse to wear it based on anything but "i play games a lot". And it brought to my attention just how much importance people attribute to identity. People don't go "Oh well, yeah that sounds like a good descriptor of what I do" like that, each and every single person has a deep, personal justification for what they think their identity is. Shit be complex.

I think the example of 'feminist' is perhaps not the best one to illustrate this, so if I may I like to bring up a case that I think most people recognize as valid.

That case of course being: Transgender people.*

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 mean, in the case of transgender people the denial of the gender that is identified actually causes real psychological harm. We encourage people to live as the gender they identify as both because we need to know how real the problem is but also because they are legitimately happier that way. Shit, for a lot of people that's actually enough. Just the recognition of that identity makes people happy. But we go even further and provide the means for physically altering the body to fit in the with the gender identity. Hormones and surgery.

You can't hold both that "altering one's body to fit identity is ok" and "yo this my definition and I don't care about how you identify" are true statements. You can't say to people "Yo, you are not really [insert identity] because of my definition" and remain not a massive dick. Shit is important.



*I was also pondering the "Gay vs MSM" angle, but it strikes me as being a bit too complex for the discussion and is also not as accepted as transgender.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
mouse wrote:
i always believed that Judaism was a religion.


and that is where you are wrong


Technically she's correct. Judaism is the religion/philosophy of the Jewish people.

But Judaism =/= Jewishness. And one could argue that observance isn't belief so it's still technically possible to be judaist and atheist, though not very.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i misspoke there, so, granted. but she's arguing that the statement "i am a Jew" is parallel to "i am a Christian" or "i am a Muslim," in that they're all incoherent if you try to separate religiosity from them. and that isn't true; plenty of people identify as Jews, and perfectly well can, without believing in the religion.

and since she's calling people Nazis over that, well, fuck that. especially since some people identify themselves as Jews without believing in the religion precisely because of the Nazis.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:

i always believed that Judaism was a religion. and this was because yes, racist that i am, i do have jewish friends - some who have been jews all their lives, at least one who converted; and they came from a lot of different countries, and are in a lot of different colors. that, to me, says it's not a race, it's a religion, and a religion you can join or leave at will. you all seem certain that it is, in fact, a race, with no religious basis. at least, you all keep insisting that religious belief has no relevance to whether or not a person is a jew. (so where does the religion even fit in?)


Who is a Jew qualifies as the weirdest name for an entry, but whatever.

Anyway, Judaism isn't the same as Jewish. The law of return in Israel is based on ethnicity, not anyone's particular belief. The Jews are, after all, a tribe. They are the chosen people, the ones with the best god. It's why conversion is so difficult, there's no missionaries spreading the word all over earth because it is the jewish people that are special, not others.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
i misspoke there, so, granted. but she's arguing that the statement "i am a Jew" is parallel to "i am a Christian" or "i am a Muslim," in that they're all incoherent if you try to separate religiosity from them. and that isn't true; plenty of people identify as Jews, and perfectly well can, without believing in the religion.

and since she's calling people Nazis over that, well, fuck that. especially since some people identify themselves as Jews without believing in the religion precisely because of the Nazis.


Oh yes certainly. Though one should of course not forget that the Jews made such a good target because they were an ethnic group.

Also, within the question of Jewish identity there is also the idea of 'cultural' Jews. Those who lack both the religious beliefs and the matrilineal descent but who observe holidays and rites important to it. I'd wager that for a lot of people that concept is true for Christianity as well. My parents were pretty much as non-religious as you can get, but we still did christmas and easter and whatnot. Culturally I can consider myself christian, even though I don't even identify as such. It might be useful perhaps for a discussion with someone with a completely different religion/origin.


Who knows, I think "Christian" as a label is becoming a cultural more than a religion thing already.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and then we have Amstell complaining about his family's racism towards gentiles

what an asshole
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Sojobo



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Yvrani said very specifically that even if someone does not follow the tenets of the jewish faith, they are still jewish by blood

Right. And so did I. And so did Snorri. And so did Shadowcell. And now Wheels has chimed in, too.

mouse wrote:
well, sorry, guys, i'm not convinced. i am going to continue to prove what a racist i am by refusing to believe 'jew' is a race.

What are we supposed to do when half a dozen of us tell you a thing is true and you refuse to accept it? How did you react when MellowFish refused to accept a correct definition of evolution before arguing about evolution? How better should we correct you when your misunderstanding causes you to make quite vicious attacks on someone else?

mouse wrote:
and furthermore, if they don't have jewish blood, they can't become jewish)

She said converting to it is problematic and not encouraged. I think she also described it as "pretty fucking hard". I think you are altering her position to make yours feel more sane.

mouse wrote:
i always believed that Judaism was a religion.

It is an ethnicity and is also a religion.

mouse wrote:
you all keep insisting that religious belief has no relevance to whether or not a person is a jew. (so where does the religion even fit in?)

No one is insisting that there is no relevance. We are insisting that it is not the sole determinant.

mouse wrote:
what is christianity, if it is not first a religion? if it is first a religion, am i really wrong to expect someone who calls themselves christian to have some relationship to the religion?

It is fine to call it a religion. But you are phrasing the position you've held in the thread incorrectly - saying there is "some relationship" isn't the same as your consistent insistence that anyone who identifies as a Christian must believe exactly that God exists and Jesus is His Son. This is not so.

It is better to understand Christianity as a very large array of religions gathered together only because they consider Jesus important. If you want a central concept, it is "follower of Jesus", which is quite a vague phrase, because it has to be, because "Christian" has had millenia to diversify. But another key point is that even beyond that variety, it is perfectly valid to identify with a religion even if you're uncertain what you believe. Yes, you absolutely can be a Christian and not be sure God is real.

mouse wrote:
well, what i'm trying to point out is the dishonest of quote-doctoring when you are arguing with someone.

The quote-doctoring was mockery rather than arguing. It is mean to mock, not dishonest. You deserved much worse, though. I think you still haven't appreciated how awful it is that you were very seriously calling someone a nazi just because you didn't understand what they were saying.

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Yeah, it is pretty Goddamned stupid to assume that someone is NOT religious if they call themselves "Christian" without adding other qualifiers up-front.

Good thing no one was advocating that, neh? I really hope you aren't intentionally implying that the argument that we shouldn't assume someone is religious is equivalent to the positive declaration that we should assume they are not religious.

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
"Jewish" is pretty much an ethnicity, "Christian" isn't. The few people who are "Christian" (or Muslim, or...) and don't actually believe in their own god are also the ones that tend to let you know about it as soon as they say what they are.

This isn't true at all. There are a vast array of people who, when asked, call themselves Christian, and who, when asked, will answer that they don't know for sure God really exists. You cannot gerrymander your definition to exclude them because you think they don't believe hard enough.
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