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Do you suffer from Fragile Faith Syndrome?

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posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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I touched on this on another thread, but thought it deserved a thread of it's own. First let me define what I call Fragile Faith Syndrome.

It's when someone absolutely refuses to consider anything that might challenge their spiritual beliefs. The best example are Creationists. Most refuse to consider evolution, or to research the subject beyond biased sources that agree with their position, as if it would shatter their faith completely if they were proven wrong.

Now how is this a conspiracy, you might ask? Well, I think it's a conspiracy of those who directly profit from the faithful. Billions of dollars, euros, pesos, etc., are placed into the collection plate every year. While alot of the money is used to maintain the place of worship, and some is used charitably, there is a decent portion is used to support the minister/preacher/priest/rabbi/etc. Most of those on the receiving end do not drive a used car, or live in a modest home, or wear clothing from Walmart. Meanwhile their flock does, in most cases. They step up to the pulpit every Sunday and hammer in the 'views' that their flock must believe, lest they burn in the eternal fiery pits of hell. Go ask any Jew how much the tickets run for a good seat at Temple for the High Holy Days! If there were actual free thinkers in the pews, then the number of sheep would decrease dramatically. So, they make sure that the faithful tow the line and do not stray too far.

I have no problem with those of various faiths. There is no wrong way to acknowledge the Divine, or not to if that is your belief. But when it closes the mind to the infinite possibilities that exist, and is used as a battering ram to punish or restrict the rights of others, then I have a huge problem with it! Denying ignorance begins with contemplating all possibilities. Freedom is allowing others to believe what they choose, just as you have the right to believe as you do.




posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
I have no problem with those of various faiths. There is no wrong way to acknowledge the Divine, or not to if that is your belief. But when it closes the mind to the infinite possibilities that exist, and is used as a battering ram to punish or restrict the rights of others, then I have a huge problem with it! Denying ignorance begins with contemplating all possibilities. Freedom is allowing others to believe what they choose, just as you have the right to believe as you do.


THANK YOU.

I agree with this 100 percent. This is exactly how it should be, but some people get too absorbed in their faiths to understand that. Sadly at this point I don't think there's anything that can be done about it though. Just avoid the arguments and maybe eventually they'll stop trying to force it down the throat of every non-believer (or believer of a different religion) and accept "hey, it's OK for someone to not think like me"

[edit on 6-7-2009 by Heatburger]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by Heatburger
 


If you avoid the argument, it will never change. The way to effect change is to be the beacon of reason in an unreasonable world. To not do so is to concede defeat. If you look back in history, it was much worse in the past. The inquisition, the Salem Witch trials, etc. Reason is making progress, it's no time to just give up and hope it ends someday.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


That is an excellent point. But how do you reason with someone who is trying to choke you with their own beliefs?

I find it extremely difficult to even present a different viewpoint (with no intention of forcing someone to agree!) to some of the religous people here in the center of the bible belt. They're not changing their ways anytime soon, and they shouldn't honestly, as they have a right to believe however they want. The only problem here is when they begin to force their beliefs on me. I don't want or need a "witness" but they're a dime a dozen around there and it gets old when they don't accept the fact that I'm not buying their garbage.

There is a fine line of hypocracy on this subject...between them forcing their religion on non-believers, and non-believers argiing back with their reasonings for not believing...and it may seem like a cop-out but I pretty much shut up on the debates for this reason. I feel I get so into it sometimes I do the exact thing to them that I'm trying to keep them from doing to me. And so I've adopted the live and let live philosophy. I ignore them and hope they ignore me.

[edit on 6-7-2009 by Heatburger]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by Heatburger
 


You may not be able to reason with them, or get them to take you seriously, but in the case of ATS, you may be able to reach others who read your posts. Never give up and never surrender! Just keep trying, one mind at a time.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


Didn't even consider that. I was thinking real-world. I'll debate on the internet no problem, but for some reason I don't like to get frustrated in person. I feel I'm showing weakness if I can't keep a level head, you know?



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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Wow, you are totally one of my favorite people now Roberts. I mean really.

Anyway, to your OP fantastic, yes I think alot of people are this problem, yet I think you probably won't find very many who will attest to having it.

It's a slippery slope for these people to admit that they suffer from something which could prove them wrong. It's a bad deal. They'd rather throw Bibles at you and scream sin.

Then again, I could see why. It's a matter of environment as well I guess. That JW Paradise thread yesterday is a really good example of how a group of people in religion can have far more effect than one zealot on changing people's lives.

There is a pressure then, you now have a culture who expects something out of you and when they don't get it, the person in question is ostricized, driven out of said community or worse physically tormented.

In any case, I wonder how many people will say yes.

~Keeper



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by Heatburger
 


Absolutely! I stick to debating it here. In the real world, I don't bring it up unless it's shoved in my face (like the too frequent visits from the Kingdom Hall)!



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


I sincerly doubt anyone would actually admit to it. My only hope is to maybe get them to consider it. It's a start to the possibility of freeing the mind, and thus the soul.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:59 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


That's the one thing I would love to see of all religious. An open mind. I'm religous, though do not subscribe to organized religions. I do not attend church, as I think the places are awful and full of judgmental people. I can accept the fact that other religions exist, I can accept the fact that variances within denominations exist.

Perhaps that is just who I am, or maybe it's partly because I do not go to church and follow their doctrine, and have not had it shoved down my throat since I was born.

A good deal of the religous need to open their minds. Hold what they believe true, but accept differences also.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


No but I do admit to approaching things with a 'how can I debunk/defend this' reaction. For example, if someone offers me a Biblical contradiction, I won't scoff at them or call, call them a loser, and get defensive (unless I'm cranky
). Instead, I will look into but in the sense of wanting to find a reasonable answer, which ends up happening 99% of the time.

Or since you used evolution as an example. I don't plug my years and say, 'La La La,' but the controversy did make me take a closer look at it for flaws. If there weren't allegations it conflicted with the Genesis account, I probably wouldn't have given it another thought but it did make me look at the theory with a more critical eye- and I'm not even a 'creationist' as in a fundamental '6 day or no way' type of belief and I don't deny that some forms of evolution happen. But even then my beliefs did inspire me to delve deeper into the theory instead of believing it just because scientists said it was so.

However, I would like to add something to your thread and this is by no means an attempt at deflection since I answered it from my view above. But in my opinion, disbelievers in God are not immune to 'Fragile Faith Syndrome' either. It's very rare that I engage in a theological discussion with an ardent atheist who does not resort to some type of defensive action, engages in ridicule, and ANYTHING I say is automatically scoffed at or put down in the style of Oh-you-crazy-brainwashed-Christian.

So I think it is a human condition to be very 'protective' of what we believe because both theists and atheists can react negatively to their beliefs or lack of beliefs being debated or questioned. I dare say for some it is also an ego issue. If their beliefs are wrong, then 'they' are wrong, and they somehow take it personally. I used to be just like that to where it no longer became defending the faith but instead defending my own ego so I had to check my motives and get my spirit right again. There are some things with Christianity that even I don't understand or know how to answer but I no longer come undone at the seems anymore when that happens and I do try to get to the bottom of it. And when I can't, I just remember that's why they call it 'faith.'



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


Most of those on the receiving end do not drive a used car, or live in a modest home, or wear clothing from Walmart. Meanwhile their flock does, in most cases. They step up to the pulpit every Sunday and hammer in the 'views' that their flock must believe, lest they burn in the eternal fiery pits of hell.

I must disagree with you on the above. I know a great many ministers who do drived a used car or truck. They live in very modest homes. And they buy their clothes from Walmart, K-mart, and sometimes the thrift stores. They also hold down full-time jobs, take care of the family, minister to their flock, and somehow manage to keep their sanity. I wonder how many of us could do it? They don't get much in the way of tithes and offerings because the members of their church are frequently poor. If they recieve a salary from the church, it is often very small. A lot of these people are strict creationists, who beleive in a 6000 year old earth. Some are creationists who beleive the earth and the universe to be extremely old, but still insist that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.
But they aren't wealthy, as you suggest in your post.

Unfortunately, most people judge Christians by what they see on TV. That's not the real world.

Benny Hinn, Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggert. These are not men who are representative of Christianity.
Go out into your communities. See who is working with the poor, those in jail, those that are homeless. These are the real people of God.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:10 PM
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Great post! I have to agree. My best friend for about 20 years and i have COMPLETELY different religious beliefs however we are able to talk about these things without forcing each other to believe or think what each of us says is right. (wow hope that made sense) She use to be really against things I believed but now she actually asks questions as I do her. I am not very good with things on the Bible but she can quote it like no other and she explains a lot of things to me. She is one of the few people I can have a religious discussion with. I wish more people could be like this, it really is a nice way to IMO understand others and their beliefs. I will say that she in the beginning tried to "convert" me but then she realized I was me no matter what, instead we talked about what we believed and why. We have never argued over it either. We have respect for each others beliefs. I hope this is relevant to your post. S&F for you!



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


First, I would state, after several debates on spirituality with you, that you do not suffer from Fragile Faith Syndrome. You have always shown me an open mind, at least considering things before you declare your position. I also know that you do not limit your research knowledge to just the Bible or sources that are biased towards your point of view. However, I do find that you are the exception, not the rule.

As to atheists, I completly agree that there are quite a few that also suffer from this syndrome. It is not just the 'faithful' who are susceptable to this. Atheism is a belief system, just as theism is. I have had the same trouble with them as well, so I feel ya! All I ever ask is an open mind on any subject, as I try to approach subjects in that manner. You cannot deny ignorance if you intentionally remain ignorant.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by kettlebellysmith
 


That is why I said 'most'. There certainly are those who minister who live very modest lives. They are usually the ones who don't take such a hard line view and tend to be more liberal, and dare I say, more 'Christ Like'. The hard line fundamentalist, however, tend to fit the description that I gave in the OP. I have no problem with those who follow the teachings of Jesus. I feel he was a very good man, and his teachings of love and peace are indeed inspiring. But Jesus himself never used the 'Hell and Brimstone' approach when ministering to his followers.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


I look at it this way, there is no point to arguing if the sky is blue.

It's the same with some people and religion, they can see that the sky is blue, and no matter how hard you try, you will never convince them otherwise. This is their right, and none of them have to have an open mind, like some other people do.

It seems to me, that your thread, is in fact about how much money some people in a position to preach earn, and not so much the message.

As far as some not driving used cars, or wearing clothing that is from Wal-Mart, who really cares? If they are good enough to earn an awesome salary, all the power to 'em! Why shouldn't they? Are you saying they have to live like paupers to get a message across? If a person who preaches to the masses is good at it, they deserve a good salary, just like anybody else wo does a job well, no matter what it is.

Nobody is forced to go to church and tithe, so, what is your point?

People who see that their messengers live well must like what they are hearing, or they wouldn't be going to listen, and pay for the pleasure of it.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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I'll have to agree with AshleyD as well. Atheists, evolutionists etc. also suffer from what you describe. The debates on this site alone are proof of that.

While I personally have "faith" I am not boxed into any particular sect of christianity or all of their specific rules. My faith is personal to me. I am open to new ideas and possibilities whatever they may be. I am willing to accept truth where ever it may lead.

And for the record, the local church is quite modest as is the priest.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by Blanca Rose
 


It's not about the money, other that I see it as a motive to continue 'controlling' the flock. It's more about the effects of what the message is that is being conveyed. And it's not just Christianity. It's every organized religion. Islam and Judaism are just as guilty, as well as those who push the atheist agenda. What I have found since joining ATS and entering into debates regarding spirtual subject matter is that closed minds are not in short supply. This is what got me thinking and the OP is the conclusion that I came to. Thanks to AshleyD, a devout Christian who has earned my respect and friendship during such debates, I will also add the ego as a motive to this close minded approach.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by PowerSlave
And for the record, the local church is quite modest as is the priest.


Many priests live modest lives, in fact some live a life of poverty, but I have been to the Vatican, and the last word I would use to describe it is modest! Bishops, Arch Bishops and Cardinals certainly do not live modest lives. Meanwhile, the founder of Christianity's only possessions were the robes on his back.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 09:18 PM
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Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
reply to post by Blanca Rose
 


It's not about the money, other that I see it as a motive to continue 'controlling' the flock. It's more about the effects of what the message is that is being conveyed.


People do go to church, or synagog, temple, mosque to be controlled by the messages they hear there, or they wouldn't be going.

By "message," do you mean that the people preaching in any religion shouldn't be earning money over and above what you consider to be normal? I mean, how should these preachers, be living? Should they be wearing rags, be filthy dirty, and shoeless? What's wrong with them making money? Some of their congregants might be poor, but, don't forget, they must have quite a few who do tithe, in order for them to be able to live a grand lifestyle in some cases.


And it's not just Christianity. It's every organized religion. Islam and Judaism are just as guilty, as well as those who push the atheist agenda.


Guilty of what now? I apologize if I seem confused. Are you pointing out that people make money off of giving people the wrong message, or a false message?

What esle is new? Who, in any type of position of authority, like religious leaders, don't lie?

I would agree, it is wrong for people to preach lies and make a lot of money doing so, but, then again most people have a choice whether or not to believe.


What I have found since joining ATS and entering into debates regarding spirtual subject matter is that closed minds are not in short supply.


Sorry, I had to laugh at what you typed here. Have you gotten around to any other forums?

It's easy to say people are closed minded when they don't agree with you, no matter what the subject matter is!

I once again apologize if I am not quite understanding what you are trying to express here.



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