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If I'm right, is everyone else wrong?

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posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 12:30 PM
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Note: this post originally appeared on the 2nd page of another thread, in the literature forum. The original topic was Stephen King's portrayal of Christian fundamentalists. This side discussion has been moved here, to continue this tangental conversation:

I'm not trying to bait you, Benevolent Heretic.

Nor am I trying to hijack this thread. I'm seriously asking these questions in an honest attitude:
quote: Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

But it's not of people living their religions. I have no problem with people living their religions.


I'm sure that's true, and what I originally posted was not really fair.

quote: Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It's of people insisting that their interpretation is right and others' are wrong


Now, I'm not trying to be argumentative; I'm serious. Don't most people who have a creed believe that "they are right" and that other people are wrong where their opinions differ? Isn't that just as true of atheism as it is of Bahai or Sikhism? Isn't that just human nature?

quote: Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
or that their religion is the best one or that the morals of their religion need to be applied to everyone, including me.


I think most people, of most religions, or even members of specific cultures, feel that way. The allies judged the Nazis at Nuermburg based on principles from our (non-Nazi) culture.

Or what about the ATSNN post about the UN asking for help in stamping out "child sacrifice and female 'circumcision'" in central Africa? Aren't we passing judgment on others when we take a stand like that. Is it OK for the UN to do it on governmental grounds, but immoral for me to oppose child sacrifice and genital mutilation on religious grounds?

I'm not holding you personally responsible for answers on these questions, Benevolent; since I certainly don't have all the answers myself. But I think our civilization has reached a crossroads, and it cuts both ways.

On the one hand, a lot of people feel (I think maybe you feel this way), that religious people have no business imposing their world-view on others.

And yet, our culture does this constantly for non-religious reasons every day, for instance the example from the UN I just gave.

From a religous person's viewpoint, it almost seems like any reason for imposing values is ok, so long as it's not religious.

If I say, the US should help stamp out child sacrifice because it is heartless and cruel, then that is considered acceptable. But if I say that the US should help end this practice because my belief in God tells me it is wicked, then somehow my logic has just become prejudice and "fanaticism."

And I'm not trying to make this a political thread either. But I think a lot of Americans have rallied to one party, not because they agree with it, but because it tells them that their religious beliefs are as valuable as anyone else's. Sure, there are a lot of posturing idiots who are holding the microphones. But the reason that religious people are tuning in, in my opinion, is because someone is willing to take their faith seriously.

I'll give you a less loaded example concerning the bias against religion. If you take a high school or college history class anywhere in western civilization, you will surely hear that the "real" motives for the crusades were lust for booty, land, rape and pillage, economic advantage, power for the church, etc. But mainstream professors will never discuss the fact that for many of the Christians (and Muslims, for that matter) who went off to almost certain death on the battlefield, religion was the overwhelming motive.

Anyway, time for me to climb down off this soapbox and let someone else vent. But I think that our society refuses to admit that religion is a motivating force in the everyday decisions of people around the world. And I agree with Amythest if she was trying to say that many portrayals of religion (any devout religion) in the media are simply charicatures of fanatics.

[Whew! The doctor says I need to keep taking the green pills; but I can think so much more clearly without them!]

a penny for your thoughts.




posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I have no problem with people living their religions.

It's of people insisting that their interpretation is right and others' are wrong.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Now, I'm not trying to be argumentative; I'm serious. Don't most people who have a creed believe that "they are right" and that other people are wrong where their opinions differ?


Yes. Most people do and I think it's a waste of energy. I prefer to embrace the idea that 'I am right for me. but he is right for him.'



Isn't that just human nature?


Perhaps. But I am human and I have no problem thinking that I am right without making someone else wrong.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
or that their religion is the best one or that the morals of their religion need to be applied to everyone, including me.


I think most people, of most religions, or even members of specific cultures, feel that way.


Yes. And I believe that causes many problems. Look at all the wars caused because of one person, state, country or culture thinks they're right and the other is wrong and must comply. I don't have too much of a problem with someone thinking I'm wrong, but when they try to 'force' me, by law or otherwise to act in the way they think is right, then it's imposing on me and I don't like it. I have a big problem with it.

And usually, the reason they think they have a right to impose it on me is that they think their thoughts, morals, beliefs are somehow superior to mine. And I'm speaking of things on a person-to-person basis, for that is all I can control, is me. One person.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Or what about the ATSNN post about the UN asking for help in stamping out "child sacrifice and female 'circumcision'" in central Africa? Aren't we passing judgment on others when we take a stand like that. Is it OK for the UN to do it on governmental grounds, but immoral for me to oppose child sacrifice and genital mutilation on religious grounds?


Yes, we are passing judgment and No, it's not wrong for you to oppose these things. I oppose those things too. I haven't read the story but from what you've said here, I think it's terrible. And different cultures have always disagreed with each other. We do things in this country that others find appalling, degrading, terrible and insane. But we aren't all going to be alike. And who's to say who's right? I'm not trying to say that these African practices are 'right', but really, I feel that each person or nation governs themselves.

I believe in autonomy for myself and others. If a person's actions don't intrude on me, I don't really feel I have a right to say, "You have to stop what you're doing because I think it's wrong"! That person has the right to govern himself.

He will face the consequences of his actions.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
On the one hand, a lot of people feel (I think maybe you feel this way), that religious people have no business imposing their world-view on others.

And yet, our culture does this constantly for non-religious reasons every day, for instance the example from the UN I just gave.

From a religous person's viewpoint, it almost seems like any reason for imposing values is ok, so long as it's not religious.


You keep switching between cultures and individuals, and I just want to make it clear, that I'm talking about the individual scenario, because that's all I have control over. Is me.


For me, it's not just religious people. I don't want anyone imposing their morals, rules, values on me, it's just that in my experience, religious people are the ones who do it the most. I have knocked back non-religious people, too.



Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
If I say, the US should help stamp out child sacrifice because it is heartless and cruel, then that is considered acceptable. But if I say that the US should help end this practice because my belief in God tells me it is wicked, then somehow my logic has just become prejudice and "fanaticism."


That's a good point. And I think the difference in response is what I mentioned in the paragraph above. Religious people (especially the evangelical type) have a long history of trying to convince others to adopt their beliefs. AND to force others' behavior to comply with theirs. And I, for one, am done with it. I've had enough of people trying to force me (by law) to behave like they think I should. Religious people (today, in this administration) are trying to use the government to impose religious beliefs on me and I do not like it. I don't mind obeying the law, but I don't want to have to obey the religion.

I also think part of it (for me) is the idea that you need an outside source to tell you that it's wrong. You know you oppose the practice. Why bring God into it? It seems like you might 'use' your religion as a sheild or as a way of weilding power. Like, "God said it wrong, so it's universally wrong"!


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
And I'm not trying to make this a political thread either. But I think a lot of Americans have rallied to one party, not because they agree with it, but because it tells them that their religious beliefs are as valuable as anyone else's. Sure, there are a lot of posturing idiots who are holding the microphones. But the reason that religious people are tuning in, in my opinion, is because someone is willing to take their faith seriously.


As long as you take your faith seriously, why should anyone else have to? Surely you don't need a political party to validate or value your religious beliefs?


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
I'll give you a less loaded example concerning the bias against religion. If you take a high school or college history class anywhere in western civilization, you will surely hear that the "real" motives for the crusades were lust for booty, land, rape and pillage, economic advantage, power for the church, etc. But mainstream professors will never discuss the fact that for many of the Christians (and Muslims, for that matter) who went off to almost certain death on the battlefield, religion was the overwhelming motive.


I'm not sure of your point here (maybe because I didn't go to high school) but are your saying that many who have died in war did so because of their belief in religion? If so, then I agree. Every person who has gone to war or died in war did so with certain motives, whether they be religious, political, to prove a point, to show courage or just because he thought it was the right thing to do.

Like I said, I have no problem with people living their religion, being motivated by it, raising their families in it, whatever. I just don't want it extended to include me. If I wanted to be religious and live a religious life, I would.

Bottom Line:
You have the mind, the heart, the soul the intelligence to decide what you believe in, what's right for you, to live your life.

All I'm asking is that you realize that I have the same faculties. I have the capacity to decide what I believe in, what's right for me, to live my life. I wouldn't dream of imposing my morals on you. I just ask for the same respect.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
But I think that our society refuses to admit that religion is a motivating force in the everyday decisions of people around the world.


I'm not sure where you get that. I think we know religion is a big motivator of some people. It's just not that to all of us by any means.

Just because you think something is 'wrong' doesn't mean you have to set about to change everyone to your way of thinking or behaving.


[edit on 2-10-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Just because you think something is 'wrong' doesn't mean you have to set about to change everyone to your way of thinking or behaving.

[edit on 2-10-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]


I think this is at the heart of the question.

Using an example from society again, because a lot of this type of coercion happens at the societal level. We are much more aware of what the government wants from us, than what the guy who lives 3 streets down wants.

Here's an example of "forcing one's views on others:"

The abolitionist movement in the Northern U.S. In the decade before the Civil War. Slavery was illegal in the North, and the pro-slavery Southern states made the argument that how they behaved in "their own states" was not the business of Yankees. If you read the debates from that period on the floor of the Senate, the south said something along the lines of "Northerners who are against slavery should not own slaves. They should stay in the north because they won't like what they see in the south.

Of course, the Nation's capitol was in the South, and there were slave auction-blocks within a mile or two of the capitol.

You probably know that the "abolitionist movement" was, in the beginning, almost exclusively led by white northern evangelical Christians. One of the incedents precipitating the war was a Northern preacher named John Brown, who crossed into southern territory to seize weapons and try to liberate slaves at gunpoint.

Were John Brown, and other abolitionists, forcing their views on the South? Were they justified?

Eveyone who EVER tries to boss his neighbors feels like he has the moral high ground:

"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes" -Proverbs 16:2.

:shk:



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 04:51 PM
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Just so you know, one of these times, I won't be able to answer the question based on a 'cultural' or 'societal' example, because that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about individuals.

Unfortunately, right now, a religious movement (individuals) is afoot to use the government to legislate religious morals and that is infuriating to me. Since they can't make people change, they're going to use the government to make people change.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Were John Brown, and other abolitionists, forcing their views on the South? Were they justified?


I find that, oh... roughly 100% of the time, in cases like this, we can refer to law instead of religion. And more specifically, the the Constitution and/or the Declaration of Independence, which states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

Slavery is against the founding principles of our country. Not because of religion, but because it is self-evident and the government says so. The Emancipation Proclamation was a legal declaration, based on the principle that all men are created equal. It's not necessary to bring religion into it.

Those founding fathers really had their stuff together.



Eveyone who EVER tries to boss his neighbors feels like he has the moral high ground:


Yes. And that's why I'm against it. Nobody has the key to moral superiority. We're all doing our best just to get along in this life.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

I find that, oh... roughly 100% of the time, in cases like this, we can refer to law instead of religion. And more specifically, the the Constitution and/or the Declaration of Independence, which states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...



Don't you want to finish that quote??? Here's the rest of it:



We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

www.ushistory.org...
(emphasis added by Dr. S.


The legal philosophy that Jefferson and the other creators of this document are appealing to is called "Natural Law," after the arguments made in the Declaration itself. Notice that they are saying:

1. People's rights come from "their Creator."

2. That the main reason that governments are instituted is to "secure these rights."

Alltogether, there are four appeals to belief in Deity in the constitution:




When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them . .

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. . . .

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare . . .

--And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.



You mentioned that "100% of the time" we can refer to "law instead of religion."

It's ironic that, when they were writing our founding documents, the framers refered to religion instead of law as the ultimate source for their republic.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 10:45 PM
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I certainly wasn't trying to hide the rest of that quote. I was focused on the 'all men are created equal' part as regards slavery.

Regardless where the laws came from, religion, natural law or the tooth fairy, the laws stand on their own. The founding fathers made sure that whatever religion we are (or aren't), the laws would take care of things. We don't have to be religious or look to religion. We have the law. That was my point.



It's ironic that, when they were writing our founding documents, the framers refered to religion instead of law as the ultimate source for their republic.


Yes, they did look to their religion. And they made sure that we wouldn't have to. Thet even if we weren't religious, we could look to the law to know what is fair and just in this country.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 01:58 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Yes, they did look to their religion. And they made sure that we wouldn't have to. Thet even if we weren't religious, we could look to the law to know what is fair and just in this country.



Some of us don't feel that looking to religion as a moral guide is some kind of a burden. You say "and they made sure that we wouldn't have to." As if it were a distasteful task to consider religious principles; or at least like it isn't the preferred mode of existence.

Why was it OK for the first generation of Americans to be guided by religious principles, but somehow it is no longer appropriate to do so?

What did the rest of us do wrong, so that it's no longer lauditory to act or vote based upon religious conviction?





posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 02:30 AM
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If I'm right, is everyone else wrong?


Only if no one else believes you are right, and we are all having a rougher time at this experiment called life.

Then, yes. You would obviously be right, and the rest of us would be wrong.

But, even if all of our views are different (which they all are), does that necessarily mean only one of us can be totally right?



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 09:07 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Some of us don't feel that looking to religion as a moral guide is some kind of a burden. You say "and they made sure that we wouldn't have to." As if it were a distasteful task to consider religious principles;


Not at all. You're putting meaning in my words that simply isn't there. I said nothing about a burden or anything distasteful. What I meant is that non-religious people wouldn't have a need to consult religious text or go to church (all the things religious people choose to do) to know how to live in this country.

We can all refer to the law, regardless of our religious beliefs, because even religious beliefs differ from one religion to the next. And even in the same religion. They made it so there would be one reference, no confusion.

I said have to in the context of:
- I don't have to take a map because I know how to get there.
- I don't have to take Jeremy to school today because his coach is picking him up.
- I don't have to rent the DVD because Sally is dropping off her copy.

I don't hate the map, taking a boy to school or renting a DVD.



or at least like it isn't the preferred mode of existence.


For me, it isn't the preferred mode of existence. There's nothing 'wrong' or 'distasteful' about it at all, I just don't prefer it. Just because I choose one thing doesn't mean I detest the other. Just because I'm right, doesn't mean I think you're wrong.

That's what this thread is about, remember?
The paradox of two opposing opinions or beliefs - both being right.



Why was it OK for the first generation of Americans to be guided by religious principles, but somehow it is no longer appropriate to do so?


For the same reason that it's ok for you and not for me. It's not that religion isn't appropriate. It is very appropriate for some. I think it's great for people who desire and choose it. You apparently prefer it. I'm not offended that you don't choose my path.



What did the rest of us do wrong, so that it's no longer lauditory to act or vote based upon religious conviction?


Check out the title of this thread. You have used the word 'wrong', assuming that because I think one way that I must think your way is 'wrong' (or distasteful or a burden - negative). See how much trouble that mindsrt can get us into? That's why I deny it.

I don't think you're wrong! You act and vote based on any factors you wish. I do that too! I don't know why I should congratulate you on your method of choosing, but I certainly don't disapprove or think you're 'wrong'. That's your life and you make the choices for it.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 06:53 PM
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If everything is relative, then, while no one is really right, they are never really wrong, either.

And the trouble with relativism is that you are never in a position morally to "correct" anyone else: A relativist can never really say that an absolutist is wrong, since absolutism might be "right" for him..

Consternation though it is, moral relativists cannot really be in the position of saying that an absolutist is wrong, without slipping into moral absolutism:

"I think it's all relative, except for you Christians, who are definitely always wrong!"

On the other hand, an absolutist can logically critique a relativist, because the absolutist's logical categories include the possibility that only some people are wrong.

I must confess that I just don't make a very convincing relativist. I'm just wacky enough to believe that ideas or principles are just or unjust regardless of the number of people who subscribe to them.

Of course the goal of relativism is to end exclusivism; to say that no one is more correct than anyone else. But of course, such a stance means that we can no longer critique any supposition from the outside, without covertly switching to exclusivism.



[edit on 3-10-2005 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
And the trouble with relativism is that you are never in a position morally to "correct" anyone else: A relativist can never really say that an absolutist is wrong, since absolutism might be "right" for him..


Yes! And what freedom that brings to me! To be the observer instead of the judge! It's very liberating!




Consternation though it is, moral relativists cannot really be in the position of saying that an absolutist is wrong, without slipping into moral absolutism:


Exactly. And that's why I don't tell you you're wrong for your beliefs. Only when you impose something on me will I get upset about your beliefs. Than I have a right to tell you to back off.



"I think it's all relative, except for you Christians, who are definitely always wrong!"


I don't do that.



On the other hand, an absolutist can logically critique a relativist, because the absolutist's logical categories include the possibility that only some people are wrong.


'critique' or judge. An absolutist can judge a relativist, yes. And they do. And I defend myself and tell them to leave me alone, my life is none of their business. Then they think I'm mad at them because they're a Christian.


And, just to interject a wrench into the works, even though I am a relativist, there is a middle ground, a gray area. Ah, yes, it ain't so black and white...

For example, child molestation, in my mind, is wrong. If I knew about someone who was molesting a child, I would take whatever action I could to make it stop. There are some universal 'wrongs' that 99% of the people agree on.

But when you're talking about some of the other beliefs that people fight over every day, homosexuality, religion, recreational drug use, abortion, politics, there's clearly no universal right or wrong. If there was. we'd all agree on it. There's right for you and right for me. Which all works out fine until we start telling the other what should be right for them.

Relativism is a choice. Even the bible tells people not to judge. But in my experience (something I've observed in my relativistc state) Christians are THE most judgmental group of people on the planet.

I often wonder why they just disregard that basic teaching ("Judge not, lest ye be judged") so easily. Do you know?



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
But when you're talking about some of the other beliefs that people fight over every day, homosexuality, religion, recreational drug use, abortion, politics, there's clearly no universal right or wrong. If there was. we'd all agree on it.


Really? That's just amazing!!!

Do you really believe that ALL humans have an equal capacity for perceiving right and wrong? From someone with an ethics Ph.D., to the mentally ill and incapacitated, to a newborn baby, none of us can see what is good or bad, any more than any other human being? Do you believe that you have no more ability to differentiate between right and wrong that say, Hitler or Jack the Ripper????




. . . there's clearly no universal right or wrong. If there was. we'd all agree on it.


That truly amazes me.

So, slavery wasn't wrong until we all reached agreement about it?? Those first abolitionists, who protested slavery and tried to help runaway slaves, they were against something that wasn't even "wrong" yet? How horrible of them to boss those nice southerners around, telling them what to do with their own slaves!

See, we have a fundamental difference in our outlook. I guess further conversation is pointless. I'm pig-headed enough to believe that some things are wrong, regardless of how many people agree with me. And other things are right in and of themselves, without needing to take an opinion poll to see if my opinions are popular.

I can see why you think people like me believe everything is black or white.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 09:56 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Do you really believe that ALL humans have an equal capacity for perceiving right and wrong?


I'm saying there rarely IS a right and wrong. Perception is just that. It's the way YOU see things. And I'm talking about mentally healthy adults. Not babies or serial killers, but me and a ethic's PhD? Yeah. I don't have anything on him.


But I'm not interested in saying what people do is right or wrong. It's not my job. It only causes arguments.



So, slavery wasn't wrong until we all reached agreement about it?? Those first abolitionists, who protested slavery and tried to help runaway slaves, they were against something that wasn't even "wrong" yet? How horrible of them to boss those nice southerners around, telling them what to do with their own slaves!


It would take weeks to explain my stance on things such as slavery, but I'll just say that slavery isn't 'wrong'. It happened, we learned from it, we realize that people are created equal and we've decided to give black people the respect that we ask for ourselves.



See, we have a fundamental difference in our outlook. I guess further conversation is pointless. I'm pig-headed enough to believe that some things are wrong, regardless of how many people agree with me. And other things are right in and of themselves, without needing to take an opinion poll to see if my opinions are popular.


We do have some basic differences of outlook, yes.
I often wonder why they just disregard that basic teaching ("Judge not, lest ye be judged") so easily. Do you know?



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
For example, child molestation, in my mind, is wrong. If I knew about someone who was molesting a child, I would take whatever action I could to make it stop. There are some universal 'wrongs' that 99% of the people agree on.

But when you're talking about some of the other beliefs that people fight over every day, homosexuality, religion, recreational drug use, abortion, politics, there's clearly no universal right or wrong. If there was. we'd all agree on it. There's right for you and right for me. Which all works out fine until we start telling the other what should be right for them.


Disclaimer: I do NOT support child molestation.

When you take action about a child being molested by inhibiting the molester's free will, you are in fact forcing your moral beliefs on another human being. When we use the logic that since more people agree with my belief structure, it is morally superior to yours, we are falling once again into forcing a mental position into another person, and not at all different in my mind, than forcing your religious beliefs on another person.

The number of people who follow a belief structure, is not in direct correlation to its moral superiority.

[edit on 3/10/2005 by AkashicWanderer]



posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 07:52 AM
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Why are Christians more "judgmental" than other people? Maybe because they spend more time trying to figure out what is acceptable and what is not. Or maybe they're just bigoted. Of course reaching a conclusion either way makes you judgmental about them, doesn't it?

A lot of people hide behind that verse of scripture to say "no one can point my shortcomings, because if they do so, that person is judging me." There are other places where Jesus clearly says not to associate with people who are wrong and don't plan on changing. Of course to know if they are wrong, you sort of have to do a bit of judging, don't you?

Maybe he means judging in the sense of reaching a conclusion so that you can "give up" one someone. As in, "I know you're evil and wicked, so you don't deserve any mercy or help." One of the things I hear Jesus say in the Sermon on the mount (which actually started back in Matthew 5) is that we aren't supposed to give up on people.

They way I try to live this out is by extending a hand to people in need without "judging" their worthiness of my assistance, or their right to a better life in the future if they will change.

Two examples:

I think that illegal immigration from Mexico is tearing apart the fabric of our society. With a million illegals a year coming in, my state (TX) is 10% illegal aliens! Yet, I still donate my time at my church to load up blankets and food to be shipped to the border this winter, knowing that it is going to illegal aliens. Why? Because even if they are wrong to be breaking the law, they have no idea how cold Texas winters are. And people freezing is a worse crime than violating an imaginary line on the map.

Here's my second example: I volunteer at a community outreach center that serves mostly drug addicts. I deplore their lifestyle and the fact that they are a major source of crime and general suffering in my city. I also know that our efforts wont help more than about 5%; 10% if they are lucky. So why do I help? Because I used to be an addict myself, and someone helped me.

If you read in the context of Matthew, Jesus clearly says clean up your own life "before" trying to help someone else. He says not to give up on people. Why don't more Christians live that out?

Because they (we) are sinners, I guess. I dunno. What's your judgment of the issue?

I see another question that goes unanswered. Maybe you can help me with it:

"Why do liberal preach inclusiveness and tolerance; but that tolerance is never extended to Christians or conservatives generally?"



posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 08:04 AM
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I believe that it is possible for someone to be right and, still, allow for others "not to be wrong". There are many times when there is no one correct answer to a problem or a dilemma. That is to say, there often is no one "right" answer to a question. As one gets older, one soon realizes that the world is not always black and white. There exists a huge area of grey .... and, I might add, that this "grey" area can easily be likened to a gradient. There are no absolutes.



posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 08:16 AM
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One of the pitfalls of liberalism is its inability to differentiate between good and evil effectively.

Most liberal explanations of evil focus on "institutional" causes like poverty, ignorance or disease.

You can see this in cases like the 9-11 attacks on America. When asked why this happened, liberals want to blame america, holding the USA responsible for the poverty in the muslim world. Some will say that it is because the terrorists are wrapped up in a destructive world-view, and don't see any real alternatives. Others will point to disease, in this case mental illness.

But you know, British Colonial India in the 1930's was suffering in abject misery far worse than what most muslims world-wide are facing today. And yet Ghandhi led India to independence without using any terrorism at all. So it's not about poverty.

Most of the 9-11 attackers were college educated. they lived in America for more than a year, before attacking it. So it wasn't about the terrorists' ignorance.

As far as being crazy, the attackers were able to lay intricate plans, and conceal them from all different levels of international law enforcement in both the USA, England, and Germany. Premeditation and the ability to cover your tracks are signs of sanity, or at least coherent thinking.

As we've discussed in another thread, the liberal response is always to focus on us. On what we've done to deserve this, rather on people who are, for their part, moral monsters.

But again, nobody is ever "really" wrong in the liberal world-view.

Except Christian. And republicans. And the US government. and anyone else who might actually try to do something about evil and suffering in the world.



posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by AkashicWanderer
When you take action about a child being molested by inhibiting the molester's free will, you are in fact forcing your moral beliefs on another human being.


I agree 100%. That's why I said there's a gray area. That even though there are relativists on one end of the scale and absolutists on the other end, there also exists those of us wandering around in the center, even if closer to one extreme.



The number of people who follow a belief structure, is not in direct correlation to its moral superiority.


Again, I agree. I didn't say that it was any more superior, just that more people agree on it, and therefore fewer arguments about whether it's right or wrong. We argue about whether abortion is right or wrong. Rarely do we see threads about the glory of child molestation. (although I have counseled child molesters in prison and heard some radical points of view.)


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Why are Christians more "judgmental" than other people? ... Of course reaching a conclusion either way makes you judgmental about them, doesn't it?


That's why I'm asking you (a Christian) instead of reaching a conclusion. You seem to be willing to talk about your faith and your mindset regarding your faith, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask about something I've wondered about for a while now. Thanks for your explanation.



Why don't more Christians live that out?

Because they (we) are sinners, I guess. I dunno. What's your judgment of the issue?


I think people (not just Christians) find it a lot harder to look at ourselves and our own faults than to see the faults of others. I also think this applies to positive qualities and talents, not just faults. It's harder to say "I'm talented"!, than it is to say, "You're talented"! Even though both may be completely true. I guess because we're sensitive to self-judgment. When we judge others as good or bad, we don't have to have a reaction. When we judge ourselves, we either feel bad (for a negative judgment) or guilty, embarrassed or boastful (for a positive judgment). Maybe?


On judgement, I don't mean to say that judgment is wrong (there's that word again!) We all judge things a million times a day. I guess I feel that when I take that judgment and impose it on someone, in an attempt to hurt, manipulate or with other ill-intent, that action takes away from the goodwill that exists in the world.



I see another question that goes unanswered. Maybe you can help me with it:

"Why do liberal preach inclusiveness and tolerance; but that tolerance is never extended to Christians or conservatives generally?"


Jees. I feel that personally, I am inclusive and accepting and I believe that we are all one. So, I'm not sure I can answer for 'liberals'. But I can guess.

It probably has to do with the very title of this thread. In my experience, most people (liberal or otherwise) also have very structured ideas of what's right and wrong for everyone.

But I do find it's easier or 'safer' to tell my liberal friends that I would like the government to tighten up the borders or that I strongly believe in the right to keep and bear arms, or that I supported the war in Afghanistan and Iraq (in the beginning) - than it is to tell my conservative friends that I am pro-choice or that I think gays should be allowed to legally marry.

My liberal friends are likely to say, "Oh, really? That surprises me." and move along. Whereas I've nearly lost the friendships of my conservative friends and family members for my 'outlandish liberal beliefs'.

I don't think that answers your question, but it's really the best I have right now.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
One of the pitfalls of liberalism is its inability to differentiate between good and evil effectively.


That is an opinion I disagree with. You're generalizing and stating things in black and white terms (good and evil). And while I fully support your right to believe and say that, I don't agree with it.

I'm not going to go into my beliefs on responsibility and guilt because I don't want to argue or try to change your views.

Suffice it to say that I believe (and maybe it's that darn 'liberal' in me) that whenever I have a problem, the first place I look is within. When ever I'm not happy, I'm upset, angry, bored, frustrated, hurt, whatever, I ask myself, "what's going on with me that I'm feeling this way"?

If people treat me badly, yell at me, if my husband is disant, if a friend is ignoring me, I ask myself, "What has my behavior been that may be contributing to this situation? Am I being distant? Have I been rude? Have I reached out and let my loved ones know that I love them? What is my part in this?"

98% of the time, I'll either find that I'm doing something (or not doing something) to contribute to the negative situation or a simple act of goodwill corrects the problem. The other 2%, it's something outside my control.

That's why I look in the mirror first and that's why I think the US should look at herself first as regards her current problems in the world.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
But again, nobody is ever "really" wrong in the liberal world-view.

Except Christian. And republicans. And the US government. and anyone else who might actually try to do something about evil and suffering in the world.


Just an observation... I suspect that your steadfastness this position might be getting in your way of truly understanding those who may disagree with you - And also may be keeping people from embracing and accepting you and your faith, beliefs and political opinions. The tighter you hold onto this position of 'us' vs. 'them' and right vs. wrong the wider and stronger the gap between the two.

And yes, that is my judgment. I don't intend to hurt, manipulate or disrespect you, but to put forth an idea that perhaps you haven't considered.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 10:10 AM
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dr_strangecraft, This thread may hold a clue to why 'liberals' seem to be unwilling to embrace the average Christian. Here (potentially) we have a morality being imposed BY LAW onto other productive, deserving, law-abiding members of our society, just because one group (no doubt with Christian objectives) thinks what the other is doing is 'wrong'. How dare they?

politics.abovetopsecret.com...



[edit on 5-10-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]




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