Religion or not

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klewlis
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Re:Religion or not

Post by klewlis » Mon Sep 01, 2003 6:01 am

At times debating religion can be interesting, but most religious debates break down into emotional tirades against the opposing view, threats, and ad hominem attacks.<br /><br />I wouldn't say most... some, depending on the participants.<br /><br />For the theists, their beliefs are important to them and permeate their world view; they often tend to be emotionally connected to their beliefs as well -- a fact that is immediately apparent to anyone who has debated religious views.<br /><br />This is true of all people, theists or not. Non-theism permeates a worldview just as strongly as theism does and is just as emotionally connected... though that's not always so apparent because it also permeates the surrounding culture (in western culture, anyway).<br />

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Re:Religion or not

Post by Nihil » Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:20 am

Well, I'm not looking to start a long, distracting debate, but just clarify myself. The last post was written in haste. :)<br /><br />I wouldn't say most... some, depending on the participants.<br /><br />I was speaking more of online debating as William was. However, even some formal debates can't completely rise above such attacks, a notable one being Cooke-Aijaz (2002).<br /><br />This is true of all people, theists or not. Non-theism permeates a worldview just as strongly as theism does and is just as emotionally connected... though that's not always so apparent because it also permeates the surrounding culture (in western culture, anyway).<br /><br /><br />True overall. However, what I meant was theism (in most cases) is accompanied with a set of preconceived values one is supposed to follow, usually the religion or teachings. These values many times form the foundation of the worldview. Of course, I recognize there is the theistic alternative of deism, in which you can believe in a deity independent of a religion.<br /><br />Non-theism becomes little more slippery since someone without religion or a god-belief can take on arbitrary values. Really then it's not their lack of a belief in deity that forms their worldview, but rather whatever philosophy they adopt (e.g., Secular Humanism) or form on their own.<br /><br />Non-theism is simply a position on the existence and nature of deities that isn't theism. In my experience, whether someone is connected emotionally to that position hinges mainly on their reasons for disbelief. Some don't believe because they feel there's not enough reason to do so. If that is the case, they tend not to be emotionally connected to their position. Other non-theists may not believe in a deity or deities because their children died or something else tragic happened. That person may be emotionally connected to the position due to the tragic nature of the event that caused disbelief. But as said above, that's my opinion based on experiences I've had and the people with whom I've came in contact.<br /><br />In the case of theism, many theists have been raised on the beliefs of theism, and it's been a part of their lives for a long time. Anything that has been part of one's life for a long time usually causes one to feel a sort of attachment to it. As I said before, theists merely tend to be emotionally connected, so I know it's not universally true. ;) There are some theistic, but non-religious people in the world.
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Re:Religion or not

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:06 pm

It is my personal experience that theists are sometimes very attached to their beliefs, so much that I would call them fanatic. I suppose non-theists could be fanatics, if it is as you said, they lost some one they loved or similar. But that is not normally the case...<br /><br />I also think that if you don't bind yourself to any religion you can still become emotionally attached to the values you’ve choose for yourself, but that even if this is the case, you are still more flexible and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll start attacking people, when they say they believe in god, as that is different from if they had said that they are think the death penalty is good. <br /><br />Most theists I know don't believe in anything except that there might be a life after death, but they nearly all reject the Christian religion/ Islam as rubbish. They don't loose their head in an argument though, it's the people who really believe in Jesus, god and prophets that get really angry, when you tell them you don't share their beliefs, even if it was just a simple statement >:(. They have a totally different worldview, one that I don't quite understand, whereas people who just mildly believe there be something else, are much more open and similar to most atheists in that way.<br /><br />I’m a really bad writer, hope you can work out what I’m trying to say anyway... :-\<br />
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Re:Religion or not

Post by benissimus » Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:22 pm

Don't forget that almost any generalized statement you make is bound to have many exceptions.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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Re:Religion or not

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:31 pm

well, yes, of course. i do know that, which is why i used the words most and sometimes :)
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Re:Religion or not

Post by Nihil » Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:44 pm

Very true, Benissimus, which is one of the reasons when I have the time to discuss religion, I attempt to choose carefully my words. It has always been a good idea to avoid universial categorizations, except for self-evident ones such as "All theists believe in at least one deity." <br /><br />As for Emma_85, I can relate to much of what you said. Sometimes some of the more "fanatical" ones become quite vexed if you say you're not of their beliefs or are an atheist. Granted, most aren't fanatical -- a very good thing! When I used to argue religion often, many times it turned into fire and brimstone condemnations or came to an end on an "I'll pray for you" note. I attribute that to the fact I live in a very religious part of my town where most people are devout Christians, particularly of the Roman Catholic and Lutheran varity of Christianity. Both the condemnation of one to hell and contemptuous "I'll pray for you" are, of course, not very tactful in a mature discussion.<br /><br />However, I don't enjoy debating religion as much as I used to enjoy it, and as I said previously, hardly partake in it anymore -- not because of bad experiences in the past, but because not much comes out of it for me anymore, and it is usually futile.
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Re:Religion or not

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:59 pm

Everything I say is of course based on what I know. <br />I don't really know many die hard Christians, and none of my friends are, but one of my close friends best mate is quite fanatic. Well the thing is he is no longer her best mate... <br />He knew of course that she didn't believe in god, but just a few days ago, she was feeling quite depressed and so she phoned him to tell him about her problems. He said that she should find comfort in god, at which she replied, she would really like comfort, but she can't get it from someone she doesn't believe it. He just flipped out at that.<br />I think it's really sad, and just don't see how such behaviour has anything to do with his religion really... it doesn't say anywhere in the bible to quit being friends with atheists you've been friends with for ages. That is what I meant, when I said, that I don't understand some people view of the world. He used to be a really nice guy, before he started going to church...<br /><br />Something like this does of course change the way I think about Christians and religion, just as other events or things I’ve read lead me to think in a certain way about things.
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Re:Religion or not

Post by klewlis » Mon Sep 01, 2003 5:46 pm

It's somewhat disconcerting to hear about your various experiences with unreasonable theists (especially Christians, since I am one). It's disconcerting because while I do know a number of Christians who fit your descriptions, I know many, many more who are not at all like that (myself included). Perhaps it is simply the circles in which I run, which tend to be more educated and experienced. <br /><br />(However, don't mistake that for a lack of commitment or depth in our faith... :)

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Re:Religion or not

Post by Nihil » Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:34 am

Most of the Christians where I live don't have much formal education in their religion other than attending church and perhaps receving their schooling at a Christian school. I believe the unreasonable nature of the discussions I have come from the fact that tolerance isn't practiced much here. I'm in what some call "the mini Bible belt of Joliet." <br /><br />I know not all Christians are like that and don't believe most are. I merely know that most of the Christians whom I've met weren't very amicable toward me at the end of discussions of religious beliefs. They're good people otherwise. Some of the more levelheaded ones I know are students of philosophy, which probably explains it. Philosophy usually attracts calmer debaters.
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Re:Religion or not

Post by benissimus » Tue Sep 02, 2003 6:11 am

I have a friend whose college Comparative Religion class was less than "calm". Apparently, this class consisted of people arguing how silly non-Christian religions were. What is really frustrating about this is that almost anywhere you go, you are outnumbered, and you often cannot speak out without being alienated or even at times threatened.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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