Truly religious people can't discuss/debate religion

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Wolverine18:

Cakes:

bells:
Because, a truly religious person must live in faith. Doubt in god is not an option. That is stated clearly in the Holy books of all major religions... You must give yourself fully and without regret. Accept god as it's whole and only then you'll be by his side.

I would just love for you to back this up.

BTW, I know for a fact this is false as regards Judaism. Doubt in G-d is not at all a bad thing. Arguing with Him is encouraged (even Abraham and Moses did it).

Is it true that the hebrew name for jewish people is based on the words for fighting with god?

Israel means something like "struggles with G-d", yeah.

Sure they can. As an example, say someone believes 100% in the possibility of miracles. There can still be discussion as to whether a particular event happened to be a miracle. I mean, what is theology if not religious people debating about religion.

Well it's already been said I think but your premise is flawed. If you accept your premise that to be religious is to conclusively believe, 100% in the dogma of your religion then your argument that a debate can't be had by a truly religious person on the concept of religion is reasonably sound.

The premise that you're working from however is so specifically informed by such a narrow set of religious traditions that your argument is functionally useless if we apply it to the real world. The notion that doubt is not allowed for a person to be religious has already been rightfully proven false by other posters in this thread. You claim that every holy book requires complete faith in God with no room for doubt except I'm not aware of any religious text where this is the case. Certainly belief in God is a central requirement of Christianity and Islam which can be found in the Qur'an and the Bible but in both texts there are stories of people who struggled with doubt. They are not irreligious as a result of this doubt, rather they prove their worthiness by overcoming their doubt and maintaining their faith.

Additionally, the number of people in this world who completely with no hesitation believe 100% in every dogmatic principle of their religion would be a very small group indeed. If we were to use your definition of religious we would be able to, at most, speak of a few individuals within a few specific branches of Christianity, Islam and perhaps Judaism (among the ultra-Orthodox? I'm not positive on this point). Such a restrictive use of the word would render it meaningless and thus we would be better served by simply speaking of the specific groups in question.

To conclude, while it is true that a religious person, as you have described them, would be unable to have a reasonable discussion about religion of any kind the type of person you describe as being religious is such a specific type of person and the category of religion itself is so broad that speaking in such terms is not useful when evaluating or speaking of religion and faith.

EDIT: Actually the person above me makes a valid point. Religious people as you describe them could certainly debate or discuss parts of their religion if the discussion didn't involve the central dogmas described or concerned the application of the dogmas as sometimes found in theology. I still think it's a bad use of the word religious but even within the context of the parameters you provided the conclusion is wrong.

I for one think Bells taught us somethin' very valuable about community today.

TWRule:
While I agree with you that devout religious people shouldn't try to *use principles of logical reasoning* to try and convert others to their viewpoint (because they would then be trying to appeal to an authority that isn't Him (i.e. human reason) to influence decisions about Him, as that could definitely be interpreted as blasphemous from certain perspectives, and certainly I don't consider going into an engagement with no intention of *listening* to the other side as an actual dialogue, it doesn't follow from that that a religious person can neither debate nor have an 'open-minded' discussion about their faith with someone of a differing worldview.

Firstly, one doesn't have to put their entire worldview on trial each time they open themselves to discussion; people can have strong convictions that they are unlikely to change their mind about and still hear their interlocutor out sincerely; part of the reason for that is because one's convictions are often particular responses to a certain deeper concern, and that concern may be shared by one's interlocutor - by the end of the discussion, the same conviction might be reformed, not losing any of its strength, but being differently understood. Everything I'm saying about conviction here applies equally to faith - most religious people I've ever met are willing to admit that faith comes in different forms, and requires the accompaniment of understanding.

Secondly, and this comes back to why religious people shouldn't obsess about trying to use standard logic to justify their views, not every debate or discussion between a believer and a non-believer, for example, has to be epistemological in nature (i.e. Does He exist and how can we know?). Obviously any evidence that meets empirical criteria will fail, and other forms of evidence that only a religious person might perceive (being moved by His grace, etc.) will only be valid by different criteria, so it is an empty debate as traditionally waged. In order to progress, we need to look toward new forms of evidence that both sides can perceive. Furthermore, the debate can shift to revolve around why we should or should not believe, or other such modes.

And as a final side-note, let's distinguish between debate and 'open-minded conversation'. Anyone can absolutely participate in a debate, because the only goal in a (at least formal) debate is indeed winning; that means swaying the audience. You don't need logic or even to be willing to have a genuine conversation (as you define it) for that. However, a real conversation (I prefer the term 'dialogue'), is completely different, and can be fruitful, even if no one ends up changing their minds at the end.

Thanks for a honest ad clean response. Some of the things you mention does make sense, and yes, perhaps "debate" is not the proper term. Dialogue seems to serve it better.

The central point, however, is doubt. There is a clear divide between a Man of Religion and a Man of Faith, i already mentioned that. And of course i can't cover all faiths (i'm not versed in Buddhism nor Rastafarian for example...) but, for argument sake, if we can narrow down the examples to the biggest ones you have Islam and Christianity. That combined cover more ground than all the others added up.

For a clear example, there is a passage in the Bible that says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding;" in proverbs 3-5. Clearly an example of Dogmatic Faith. One that does not allow doubt or partial truths. It is an absolute. And then we add the first 3 commandments...

A man can have their own faith, that much is clear and not the point being argued. What i personally find curious is the amount of people who bend their faith to their own will, ignore the Dogmas they claim to follow and the try to "spread the word".

If you are a person of Faith, your faith is your own. You're bulletproof. But the upside of that is that your faith is YOUR own. You can't impose or expect it of others, for they are your own rules.

However, if you are a Religious person... one who prays their Dogma in a Outward fashion, then you must follow the dogmas of your practice, or you're just faking it to win. Specially since being a part of those Dogmas the fact that you can't doubt it's absolute truth...

ClockworkPenguin:
Sure they can. As an example, say someone believes 100% in the possibility of miracles. There can still be discussion as to whether a particular event happened to be a miracle. I mean, what is theology if not religious people debating about religion.

That would be flawed on the basis that Individual events can be analyzed... the Pope does that all the time with the miracle of all saints as they are reported, there is a entire process and procedure for that fact... but they cannot allow the possibility of miracles not being possible, for that would break their dogma.

And once you open up that "All Miracles are Truth" (under the banner that the Miracles are recognized by the major Authority of a particular church) that conversation gets thick real fast...

Also notice that there isn't a Leader of a "Faith" there are leaders of a "Church of a faith", further empowering that separation of religious man and man of faith.

Allar:
Well it's already been said I think but your premise is flawed. If you accept your premise that to be religious is to conclusively believe, 100% in the dogma of your religion then your argument that a debate can't be had by a truly religious person on the concept of religion is reasonably sound.

The premise that you're working from however is so specifically informed by such a narrow set of religious traditions that your argument is functionally useless if we apply it to the real world. The notion that doubt is not allowed for a person to be religious has already been rightfully proven false by other posters in this thread. You claim that every holy book requires complete faith in God with no room for doubt except I'm not aware of any religious text where this is the case. Certainly belief in God is a central requirement of Christianity and Islam which can be found in the Qur'an and the Bible but in both texts there are stories of people who struggled with doubt. They are not irreligious as a result of this doubt, rather they prove their worthiness by overcoming their doubt and maintaining their faith.

Additionally, the number of people in this world who completely with no hesitation believe 100% in every dogmatic principle of their religion would be a very small group indeed. If we were to use your definition of religious we would be able to, at most, speak of a few individuals within a few specific branches of Christianity, Islam and perhaps Judaism (among the ultra-Orthodox? I'm not positive on this point). Such a restrictive use of the word would render it meaningless and thus we would be better served by simply speaking of the specific groups in question.

To conclude, while it is true that a religious person, as you have described them, would be unable to have a reasonable discussion about religion of any kind the type of person you describe as being religious is such a specific type of person and the category of religion itself is so broad that speaking in such terms is not useful when evaluating or speaking of religion and faith.

EDIT: Actually the person above me makes a valid point. Religious people as you describe them could certainly debate or discuss parts of their religion if the discussion didn't involve the central dogmas described or concerned the application of the dogmas as sometimes found in theology. I still think it's a bad use of the word religious but even within the context of the parameters you provided the conclusion is wrong.

The entire point of struggling with oneself's faith is that in the end they must Believe undeniably in it. Being that, the only possibility of salvation and redemption. And Islam and Christianity cover most ground of all religious groups on this earth and most of history... so, consistent data.

And again, there is a divide between "Discuss" and "Doubt". You can discuss it... all you want. But to doubt the dogma is to break the dogma. And as long as you doubt it, your faith can't be complete. Cause absolute belief is deemed necessary to reach that ascension the religious person seek in the end of their life or mission on this earth...

point being that, as long as someone has doubt, they can openly discuss anything they desire, but if they claim to be religious and not just faithful, as long as the doubt remain, they will not fulfill their dogma. On the other hand, if their belief is complete and absolute, reasoning is not possible. Because doing so would require doubting the Dogma....

bells:
If you are a truly religious person, you cannot debate religion.

False.

By doing so you automatically doubt your own faith or try to manipulate others into accepting your belief system.

False.

Some go further... They state their proof "When i have proof that X is real, then i'll allow myself to believe." Evidence. Proven fact.

A Religious person, cannot allow themselves that.

False.

Because, a truly religious person must live in faith.

False.

Doubt in god is not an option.

False.

That is stated clearly in the Holy books of all major religions...

False.

I don't think I've ever seen so many nonsensical claims about religion in one post before. It's impressive, in it's own way. I mean, in this forum we have to repeat time and time again that not all religions function like a stereotype of Christianity, not all religions are even concerned about issues like faith (most actually aren't). So to miss all that and make the stereotype again itself is a pretty impressive fail, but to make your stereotype such an absurd caricature that it doesn't even apply to most interpretations of Christianity... that's really something. To do so while being intentionally inflammatory... that's deserves a gold medal for... something.

If I weren't sick to death of repeating over and over again exactly why all the things you claim apply to religion as a whole don't actually apply to anything more than a tiny subset of religions, I might do so. But the fact is, your claim doesn't describe reality. Truly religious people do discuss and debate religion all the time. Therefore your claim is wrong. Since you claim to support science, you have to drop it. In science, someone proposing a theory that defies what is directly observable gets laughed out of the room. There are interfaith debates and dialogues between religious people all the time, therefore your claim defies what is directly observable. Back to the drawing board, please.

bells:

The entire point of struggling with oneself's faith is that in the end they must Believe undeniably in it. Being that, the only possibility of salvation and redemption. And Islam and Christianity cover most ground of all religious groups on this earth and most of history... so, consistent data.

And again, there is a divide between "Discuss" and "Doubt". You can discuss it... all you want. But to doubt the dogma is to break the dogma. And as long as you doubt it, your faith can't be complete. Cause absolute belief is deemed necessary to reach that ascension the religious person seek in the end of their life or mission on this earth...

point being that, as long as someone has doubt, they can openly discuss anything they desire, but if they claim to be religious and not just faithful, as long as the doubt remain, they will not fulfill their dogma. On the other hand, if their belief is complete and absolute, reasoning is not possible. Because doing so would require doubting the Dogma....

Hmm. Alright perhaps bringing up individuals who doubted their faith in the Bible and Qur'an was a bad decision since, as you point out, the point is that they come out on the other side of the struggle with continued belief. My other points still stand however. The way that you define religious is heavily informed by a narrow view of a specific group of Christian sects. The sects in question don't even account for most of Christianity and certainly not Islam but even if they did the fact is that Islam and Christianity together have, generously, 3.8 billion adherents. That's out of a total of 7 billion people on this Earth, it's over half but it is in no way representative of the totality of religious traditions that exist now or in the past and thus even if the aforementioned sects were representative of the greater whole it would still be an insufficient tool for looking at religious people in a global context.

The fact is that people who would reasonably be called religious by most individuals (that is they associate with a religious group and actively participate in that group either via worship or other ritual and social expressions of the religion) do in fact debate with others regarding dogma or the application of that dogma in the world. Oftentimes people will affiliate with a religious tradition that they identify with heavily but have trouble with certain dogmas and debate the validity of those dogmas with other members of the faith. Sometimes it changes and sometimes it doesn't but I think it's disingenuous to suggest that people who affiliate with a tradition and doubt one or more dogmas within that faith are not religious. As I said, if we used your metric for determining who was religious we would be speaking about such a small group of people who would be exclusively confined to a few sects of Christianity and Islam that the term religious would be useless.

bells:
If you argue Religion, if you want to discuss it, if you want to debate it... there are 2 camps where you must reside... you either can accept the possibility of God not being real, and therefore your faith is flawed. Because you are not 100% Committed to your own god (you doubt him, even if it's 0,01%) and therefore... you can't be saved, cause you never 100% truly believed...

Sorry, but most religions (I should specify most Christians and Muslims, since most other religions don't even have such a thing as "salvation," let alone "salvation through faith.") don't think like that. There are a lot of Christians and Muslims who either think the evidence is on their side (evidence-based arguments for religion are usually called "apologetics") or don't think 100% complete faith all the time is necessary to go to Heaven.

Ha! This thread is awesome because all of the surly atheists are defending religious folks.

I'm book marking it for later.

Yeah, I mean, I get where the OP is going... I've encountered people like he's described who can't be debated because they've adopted this sort of belief system. But that said, the point is over generalized... even to that specific segment I've admitted that I've interacted with. I feel like Kent Hovind or Ray Comfort probably have doubted God or the truth of their views at some point. They probably experience crisis of faith about as often as anyone else.

They just might not show it mid-debate.

bells:

The central point, however, is doubt. There is a clear divide between a Man of Religion and a Man of Faith, i already mentioned that. And of course i can't cover all faiths (i'm not versed in Buddhism nor Rastafarian for example...) but, for argument sake, if we can narrow down the examples to the biggest ones you have Islam and Christianity. That combined cover more ground than all the others added up.

That's fine to narrow it down, just don't say "the religious" and "all major religions" then.

For a clear example, there is a passage in the Bible that says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding;" in proverbs 3-5. Clearly an example of Dogmatic Faith. One that does not allow doubt or partial truths. It is an absolute. And then we add the first 3 commandments...

No, that's an example of you not understanding what you are reading. Notice that it is called "proverbs", not laws. Note that it is in the Jewish book of "writings", not prophets. Not that if you read from the beginning of that book you will see these are words from a father (one we know is imperfect, like all Jewish patriarchs) to his son, it is NOT an order from god.

So, there is no requirement in the religion, that's just what what one guy thought.

However, if you are a Religious person... one who prays their Dogma in a Outward fashion, then you must follow the dogmas of your practice, or you're just faking it to win. Specially since being a part of those Dogmas the fact that you can't doubt it's absolute truth...

See that's not what either Islam or Christianity say. Both say that faked prayer is invalid.

Your entire understanding or religion seems warped.

Katatori-kun:

I don't think I've ever seen so many nonsensical claims about religion in one post before. It's impressive, in it's own way. I mean, in this forum we have to repeat time and time again that not all religions function like a stereotype of Christianity, not all religions are even concerned about issues like faith (most actually aren't). So to miss all that and make the stereotype again itself is a pretty impressive fail, but to make your stereotype such an absurd caricature that it doesn't even apply to most interpretations of Christianity... that's really something. To do so while being intentionally inflammatory... that's deserves a gold medal for... something.

If I weren't sick to death of repeating over and over again exactly why all the things you claim apply to religion as a whole don't actually apply to anything more than a tiny subset of religions, I might do so. But the fact is, your claim doesn't describe reality. Truly religious people do discuss and debate religion all the time. Therefore your claim is wrong. Since you claim to support science, you have to drop it. In science, someone proposing a theory that defies what is directly observable gets laughed out of the room. There are interfaith debates and dialogues between religious people all the time, therefore your claim defies what is directly observable. Back to the drawing board, please.

False.

I mean, if you can be condescending and claim something is "false" just "cause it is" then why should i bother with it more than you care to make an effort, right?

Allar:

Hmm. Alright perhaps bringing up individuals who doubted their faith in the Bible and Qur'an was a bad decision since, as you point out, the point is that they come out on the other side of the struggle with continued belief. My other points still stand however. The way that you define religious is heavily informed by a narrow view of a specific group of Christian sects. The sects in question don't even account for most of Christianity and certainly not Islam but even if they did the fact is that Islam and Christianity together have, generously, 3.8 billion adherents. That's out of a total of 7 billion people on this Earth, it's over half but it is in no way representative of the totality of religious traditions that exist now or in the past and thus even if the aforementioned sects were representative of the greater whole it would still be an insufficient tool for looking at religious people in a global context.

The fact is that people who would reasonably be called religious by most individuals (that is they associate with a religious group and actively participate in that group either via worship or other ritual and social expressions of the religion) do in fact debate with others regarding dogma or the application of that dogma in the world. Oftentimes people will affiliate with a religious tradition that they identify with heavily but have trouble with certain dogmas and debate the validity of those dogmas with other members of the faith. Sometimes it changes and sometimes it doesn't but I think it's disingenuous to suggest that people who affiliate with a tradition and doubt one or more dogmas within that faith are not religious. As I said, if we used your metric for determining who was religious we would be speaking about such a small group of people who would be exclusively confined to a few sects of Christianity and Islam that the term religious would be useless.

Well, as i said in the very first post... i wrote in broad strokes on purpose.

That being said, you touch the crux of what i'm saying... there are people who claim to be, and yet are not. Wishing doesn't make it so when we talk about a system. Faith is faith, it doesn't require an institution. But claiming to be a member of that institution and yet, not following it's basic premise... it's simply self-deceit.

Now, i'm actually curious about this, cause you mentioned more than once and my knowledge of that topic is not all that deep... you mention that Islam does not mirror that view. Even though their holy scriptures mirror that of the christian old testament... so, can you shed some light on what you mean when you set those apart?

Godavari:

bells:
If you argue Religion, if you want to discuss it, if you want to debate it... there are 2 camps where you must reside... you either can accept the possibility of God not being real, and therefore your faith is flawed. Because you are not 100% Committed to your own god (you doubt him, even if it's 0,01%) and therefore... you can't be saved, cause you never 100% truly believed...

Sorry, but most religions (I should specify most Christians and Muslims, since most other religions don't even have such a thing as "salvation," let alone "salvation through faith.") don't think like that. There are a lot of Christians and Muslims who either think the evidence is on their side (evidence-based arguments for religion are usually called "apologetics") or don't think 100% complete faith all the time is necessary to go to Heaven.

Yep... that's pretty much what i said. As i pointed out... there is men of faith and Men of religion. You just pointed exactly that out...

Uszi:
Ha! This thread is awesome because all of the surly atheists are defending religious folks.

I'm book marking it for later.

Yeah, I mean, I get where the OP is going... I've encountered people like he's described who can't be debated because they've adopted this sort of belief system. But that said, the point is over generalized... even to that specific segment I've admitted that I've interacted with. I feel like Kent Hovind or Ray Comfort probably have doubted God or the truth of their views at some point. They probably experience crisis of faith about as often as anyone else.

They just might not show it mid-debate.

You probably noticed on the very first post... that was by design. There are just too many variables in the subject to discuss it without accepting some sort of "broadstroking", buf if you care to wage in your thoughts, you're more than welcome

Kendarik:

No, that's an example of you not understanding what you are reading. Notice that it is called "proverbs", not laws. Note that it is in the Jewish book of "writings", not prophets. Not that if you read from the beginning of that book you will see these are words from a father (one we know is imperfect, like all Jewish patriarchs) to his son, it is NOT an order from god.

So, there is no requirement in the religion, that's just what what one guy thought.

That was just an example of the mentality of someone who practices the Dogma they pray on, not really meant as "word of god to men"

See that's not what either Islam or Christianity say. Both say that faked prayer is invalid.

Your entire understanding or religion seems warped.

that one i honestly think you misunderstood me.

bells:

A man can have their own faith, that much is clear and not the point being argued. What i personally find curious is the amount of people who bend their faith to their own will, ignore the Dogmas they claim to follow and the try to "spread the word".

If you are a person of Faith, your faith is your own. You're bulletproof. But the upside of that is that your faith is YOUR own. You can't impose or expect it of others, for they are your own rules.

However, if you are a Religious person... one who prays their Dogma in a Outward fashion, then you must follow the dogmas of your practice, or you're just faking it to win. Specially since being a part of those Dogmas the fact that you can't doubt it's absolute truth...

bells:

That being said, you touch the crux of what i'm saying... there are people who claim to be, and yet are not. Wishing doesn't make it so when we talk about a system. Faith is faith, it doesn't require an institution. But claiming to be a member of that institution and yet, not following it's basic premise... it's simply self-deceit.

I think this is the core of where a lot of the disagreements with your post originate. You are assuming that there is automatically a dogma assigned to a specific religion, say, Christianity. You correctly changed that afterwards into religious institutions. The thing is: neither does a religion itself have a specific dogma nor one of it's institutions. Or rather, there are practically as many dogmas as there are local religious groups or sects. Even if you would contest that the Abrahamic religions do have books where a dogma can be derived from and catholics have the church - it still comes down to cherry picking. Theological meanings have changed significantly over time and to presume there to be some intransigent dogma inherent to it, stands in stark contrast to that.

Therefore, I came to the conclusion myself that most people basically don't use religion because of some actual claim about the nature of reality, but merely because they feel that they like it. Maybe because of the ritualistic social aspect, maybe because of the meaning it has for them or maybe because they indeed feel some higher presence has to be there. I don't know. But it exemplifies that your idea of a dogma is far less rigid than you'd like it to be, making your whole argument pretty much a moot point - except if you stripped that down to the core aspects that make up faith. However that makes your conception of faith indistinguishable from any other form of faith or trust in secular institutions as well.

In fact, there are even religious groups who advocate exactly what I have tried to communicate here. Citing the latest issue of the The Economist which has a 12 page report about Judaism and the Jews:

The Economist - A buffet to suit all tastes:

"We're living in an age of pick-and-choose," says Amichai Lau-Lavie, a young Israeli teacher and actor who devised this storytelling technique. "The Orthodox say Judaism's not a buffet. Well guess what: Judaism is a buffet. But most people are not informed enough customers to make choices. My job as a guide is to provide a really great buffet. Then the next step is how to move from 'I want to' to 'I feel obliged to'". Mr lau-Lavie, who lives in new York, is preparing to return to his homeland - as Israel's first openly gay rabbi. [...]

bells:

The central point, however, is doubt. There is a clear divide between a Man of Religion and a Man of Faith, i already mentioned that.

Right - I would make that distinction too, but maybe not quite along the same lines you are. If you are using "Man of Religion" to denote the average church-goer, who experiences their faith entirely through the medium of a social institution (i.e. the church), identifies with anyone who calls themselves, say, Christian, and relies solely upon the interpretation of scripture their pastor (or the Vatican, etc.) impart to them, while the "Man of Faith" is someone who might still believe in a similar deity but interprets that relationship in their own way...then I can see where you are coming from. If you're speaking of a different sort of religiousity with the "Man of Faith" then that's a separate issue, but I don't think these two sorts are much different in that neither can rely on reasoned argumentation to convert others. It's obvious that someone who can only regurgitate the specific interpretation of the dogma they have been fed isn't going to be able to engage in true dialogue, but that needn't be true for someone who interprets the scriptures in their own way.

For a clear example, there is a passage in the Bible that says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding;" in proverbs 3-5. Clearly an example of Dogmatic Faith. One that does not allow doubt or partial truths. It is an absolute. And then we add the first 3 commandments...

Well, that's the thing about language; by nature, it's not possible to have an 'absolute' interpretation. You can have an interpretation done for you by the church authority which is then passed on as the absolute meaning, but clearly it isn't the final word (or we might not even have the multiple denominations or sects of the major religions that we do today); especially because even people listening to the same interpretation will understand it in their subjective individual ways. Anyone who attempts to put some understanding to their faith will be able to actively take part in the interpretive process, and so can dialogue with both others in their religious community, or even non-believers.

A man can have their own faith, that much is clear and not the point being argued. What i personally find curious is the amount of people who bend their faith to their own will, ignore the Dogmas they claim to follow and the try to "spread the word".

Well, I certainly don't intend to defend everyone who calls themselves "religious" who give no thought to the strength or nature of their own faith. Differing interpretations will happen, but that doesn't mean we have to accept them all as equally valid, and we should distinguish true believers from those who only half-heartedly cling to their faith while leveraging the label for their own nefarious purposes...

bells:
I mean, if you can be condescending and claim something is "false" just "cause it is".

I didn't claim it was false "because it is." I claimed it was false because you're characterizing all of religion with an absurdly simplistic stereotype that don't reflect what actually happens in the real world. Inter-faith dialogs by truly religious people exist. Therefore your claim is false.

I mean, it's fun and all to make up a grand unified theory, but when your theory doesn't describe the real world all you've really ended up doing is engaged in mental masturbation.

Did you learn about religion from Warhammer 40K, Bells? Because every time I read your posts I start hearing Thoughts for the Day.

"Blessed is the mind too small for doubt!"

In case you weren't aware, 40K isn't a documentary.

PrinceOfShapeir:
Did you learn about religion from Warhammer 40K, Bells? Because every time I read your posts I start hearing Thoughts for the Day.

"Blessed is the mind too small for doubt!"

In case you weren't aware, 40K isn't a documentary.

Of course, discussing anything in that universe besides "Praise the God Emperor," "Tradition is unquestionable," and "oh god, the TYRANIDS ARE DIGESTING ME," quickly leads to demonic mind rape.

And the later is only exempt because you will be dead before Chaos can consume your mind.

bells:
The entire point of struggling with oneself's faith is that in the end they must Believe undeniably in it. Being that, the only possibility of salvation and redemption. And Islam and Christianity cover most ground of all religious groups on this earth and most of history... so, consistent data.

You keep saying this and ignoring everyone who has pointed out you are wrong. Islam and Christianity do not reflect "most ground of all religious groups on this earth and most of history". You are also attributing a motive to why people struggle and discuss that is drawn completely from your head and is not based in fact.

And again, there is a divide between "Discuss" and "Doubt". You can discuss it... all you want. But to doubt the dogma is to break the dogma.

You keep saying that word too and I don't think you know what it means. You do realize that dogma, by definition, can and does change. It's doctrine that's hard to change. There is nothing wrong with doubting dogma, its been a part of every religion that we know anything about.

And as long as you doubt it, your faith can't be complete.

"faith" is not needed to be religious.

Cause absolute belief is deemed necessary to reach that ascension the religious person seek in the end of their life or mission on this earth...

Once again, that's just you saying that, it isn't based on reality.

point being that, as long as someone has doubt, they can openly discuss anything they desire, but if they claim to be religious and not just faithful, as long as the doubt remain, they will not fulfill their dogma. On the other hand, if their belief is complete and absolute, reasoning is not possible. Because doing so would require doubting the Dogma....

Only the Sith speak in absolutes. So you might have some argument with those Jedi in the UK, but otherwise you are speaking out of your rear orifice.

bells:

Well, as i said in the very first post... i wrote in broad strokes on purpose.

That being said, you touch the crux of what i'm saying... there are people who claim to be, and yet are not. Wishing doesn't make it so when we talk about a system. Faith is faith, it doesn't require an institution. But claiming to be a member of that institution and yet, not following it's basic premise... it's simply self-deceit.

Now, i'm actually curious about this, cause you mentioned more than once and my knowledge of that topic is not all that deep... you mention that Islam does not mirror that view. Even though their holy scriptures mirror that of the christian old testament... so, can you shed some light on what you mean when you set those apart?

To start with, I realize you said that you intentionally wrote in broad strokes but my point is that in writing in those broad strokes you've removed your argument so far from reality that I don't think it's especially useful or applicable to the real world. If you intended this only as a thought experiment then that might be different but the impression I've been getting from your responses is that you're trying to make a reality claim with this argument.

Also let's be clear, I didn't say your knowledge wasn't deep, I said that your definition of religious was heavily informed by a specific Christian and sometimes Islamic context because you're talking of defined dogmas and strict beliefs that are required to be part of a religion. As Katatori mentioned earlier there are a number of religious traditions where faith is not seen as being particularly integral to being part of the tradition, bearing that in mind the notion of belief in specific dogmas being a requirement for membership in a specific religious group would be looked on as strange by people from a more orthopraxic faith.

I don't really think it's the place of anybody on the outside of religious traditions to define who is and who is not a member of those communities. If individuals mostly identify with a certain religious tradition despite some reservations about some beliefs and the community as a whole accepts them as members despite that dissent then I think it would be arrogant for outsiders to make claims regarding the validity of their membership. Quite simply, who is and who is not a member of a religious tradition is, I believe, entirely up to the judgment of the community in question using whatever metrics they see fit for determining membership. Some may indeed require belief in all of the group's dogmas, some may not, that's not our call to make.

I take some issue with your statement about people disregarding the basic premise of the religious tradition, I never said the basic premise I said dogma and they are not necessarily the same thing. Dogma can be far more encompassing than just the basics, I would consider a Christian who believes in the divinity and salvatory resurrection of Christ but not the Virgin Birth to still be a Christian for instance. In my mind the former belief is the basic idea of Christianity but the latter is still a dogma.

I'm not certain what you mean on your bit about Islam. What did I say Islam doesn't mirror? Additionally, just superficially, the Qur'an does indeed share a lot of commonalities with the Old Testament in terms of shared stories and the like but the message is not always identical in these stories even if the players are the same. So while they certainly draw from a shared tradition it's not enough to make claims regarding Muslim beliefs especially since the Qur'an encompasses much more than just stories shared with the Old Testament.

Helmholtz Watson:

bells:
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So a real long no-true-Scotsman? Congrats but as Nikolaz72 pointed out, religious people are more than capable of doing the things that you assumed they can't.

His main point was that anyone going into a conversation without being willing to accept that they might be wrong during the course of it is not really having a conversation, they're just there to state their opinion.

Do you remember when you were insisting that atheism can be misinterpreted to incite mass murder? Do you remember how you kept doing that even after several people pointed out that there is nothing to atheism except not believing in God, and therefore nothing to misinterpret in such a way? That's the kind of closemindedness he's talking about. You weren't having a conversation, you were just stating your opinion over and over without giving any thought to the facts that refuted it.

I think he's somewhat right, though he shoots himself in the foot a few times with his generalizations and fallacies. It is far more uncommon than it should be to find people in any online discussion who can be persuaded by facts or evidence. I've been guilty of it as well, and the changes in my opinions during my time on this forum are more due to the long-term, cumulative influence of ideas posted here than any one post or thread.

In a strictly literal sense, I think there is a bit of truth to the idea that some faiths will demand absolute adherence, and any deviation or doubt is regarded as unacceptable. But I don't think that followers of those faiths are anywhere near a majority. I would expect the vast majority of a given faith to be much more flexible in their beliefs, and willing to change them if the facts conflict. Of course, you don't hear from many of them, probably because unlike us they're well-adjusted and secure enough about their opinions to just live life instead of wasting time posting in R&P forums.

McMullen:

Helmholtz Watson:

bells:
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image
So a real long no-true-Scotsman? Congrats but as Nikolaz72 pointed out, religious people are more than capable of doing the things that you assumed they can't.

His main point was that anyone going into a conversation without being willing to accept that they might be wrong during the course of it is not really having a conversation, they're just there to state their opinion.

Which is ironic, because he seems to have created an entire thread so that he could present his opinion as fact.

McMullen:

Do you remember when you were insisting that atheism can be misinterpreted to incite mass murder? Do you remember how you kept doing that even after several people pointed out that there is nothing to atheism except not believing in God, and therefore nothing to misinterpret in such a way? That's the kind of closemindedness he's talking about. You weren't having a conversation, you were just stating your opinion over and over without giving any thought to the facts that refuted it.

What I remember is that I pointed out that a person can distort atheism to cause violence, and some people agreed while other people refused to even consider it. From the beginning of the discussion they were never willing to consider what I had to say, while I fully acknowledged that I was referring to a person that had a distorted view of atheism.
That is what I remember, that and IIRC you were one of those people who refused to even consider that atheism could be distorted. You weren't trying to have a conversation with me, you just wanted to "win".

McMullen:

I think he's somewhat right, though he shoots himself in the foot a few times with his generalizations and fallacies. It is far more uncommon than it should be to find people in any online discussion who can be persuaded by facts or evidence. I've been guilty of it as well, and the changes in my opinions during my time on this forum are more due to the long-term, cumulative influence of ideas posted here than any one post or thread.

In a strictly literal sense, I think there is a bit of truth to the idea that some faiths will demand absolute adherence, and any deviation or doubt is regarded as unacceptable. But I don't think that followers of those faiths are anywhere near a majority. I would expect the vast majority of a given faith to be much more flexible in their beliefs, and willing to change them if the facts conflict. Of course, you don't hear from many of them, probably because unlike us they're well-adjusted and secure enough about their opinions to just live life instead of wasting time posting in R&P forums.

I don't doubt that there are people like that, but as you pointed out, they are hardly the majority of religious people. As Katatori-kun has repeated over and over again, religious people are not Zerg or Tyranid[1]. Being religious doesn't mean that you are part of some hive mind and that you can't have individual thoughts. The Protestant section of Christianity is proof that a person can be religious and yet not follow everything "the Church" says.

[1] I'm paraphrasing, he didn't actually use that example

McMullen:
His main point was that anyone going into a conversation without being willing to accept that they might be wrong during the course of it is not really having a conversation, they're just there to state their opinion.

You mean like insisting that all truly religious people must follow a shallow stereotype of unquestioning faith in dogma despite what we see in the real world?

There was a valid point buried in all of his needless aggression- the thoroughly conventional truism that "people who are unwilling to even consider the possibility that they are wrong aren't suitable for discussions where it's helpful to consider the possibility that they're wrong." Unfortunately, the point is undermined by his unwillingness to consider that his claims about religion are wrong.

That he is unwilling to consider that his claims about religion are wrong when they defy observable reality in the same post where he lauds science, a discipline that can only function by describing observable reality, well, there's so much irony there that it may have affected the global price of iron.

In a strictly literal sense, I think there is a bit of truth to the idea that some faiths will demand absolute adherence, and any deviation or doubt is regarded as unacceptable.

Some faiths, yes. But that's not a factor of faith itself, but rather a factor of the orthodoxy-based community that a faith may be a part of.

i love how people keep insisting on how i "presented" something as fact or how i keep "insisting" on such and such when my first post was almost half about how it was not that...

And let's not even bring the fact that i, as well as others, are already talking and sharing views on how it's a divide more close to a rigid structure or a Religions institution and more of a slice of faith than a core concept itself...

And oh boy, let's not bother recalling the fact that i presented a broad view actually stating that it derives from my own but it's not a full representation and judge it on these terms anyway...

i mean, talk about close minded, amirite?

Back to the grown up conversation....

i'm not exactly sure you can draw that division in pure clear colors, but Religion is an institution. While Faith is a concept. They are each their own, although they coexist in the same circle... But Religion (as a classical concept at least) is an Institution, one that is set on rules, rules that come from holy scripture and analysis from a top rank in a Hierarchy.

The thing is... think of the world that surround us. That is a pretty self evident thing that we all know or know of someone who claims to be religious and yet acts contrary to the Dogma they claim to follow. Meanwhile, in the same page, you can find a person that call itself faithful and lives without any specific dogmas, just their own set of rules for salvation (from ignorance to selective memory being their reasoning)... and still expect to impose those on others or expect it from others.

Still, you can have people who fully follow the Dogma they choose, and try to spread it (which depending on the religion is, in itself, a part of the dogma) while others have their faith and their own self-imposed rules and restrictions and have no issue expecting it from others or imposing on others.

Those are 4 distinct examples, that are all very real and possible. in fact, it's probably not too hard to find people who know all 4.

Come back again into the issue of doubt and discussion... Can you fully believe in God and your faith and at the same time Doubt it? Think of it as a finite point not on a ongoing pursuit. Anything is possible while still ongoing... but in the end, is it possible?

Again i sustain that if you walk into a conversation with absolute no possibility of accepting being wrong, you're not there to have a conversation, just to impose your view... on that note, if you enter a conversation about the possibilities of Godhood and all that it entails, if you claim to be a dogmatic person, a person that follows the institution of your church... doubting your god, would break your dogma.

I still find it hard to believe that one could truly have faith in something they truly doubt... but then again, my lack of understating over a personal feeling of others doesn't make it so...

bells:
i love how people keep insisting on how i "presented" something as fact or how i keep "insisting" on such and such when my first post was almost half about how it was not that...

And let's not even bring the fact that i, as well as others, are already talking and sharing views on how it's a divide more close to a rigid structure or a Religions institution and more of a slice of faith than a core concept itself...

And oh boy, let's not bother recalling the fact that i presented a broad view actually stating that it derives from my own but it's not a full representation and judge it on these terms anyway...

i mean, talk about close minded, amirite?

Back to the grown up conversation....

i'm not exactly sure you can draw that division in pure clear colors, but Religion is an institution. While Faith is a concept.

See first you claim that you aren't claiming your own feelings as fact, and then you immediately go on to claim your feelings as fact.

"Religion" does not meet the definition of an institution. There can be religious institutions, but religion isn't an institution, nor does it require one.

if you enter a conversation about the possibilities of Godhood and all that it entails, if you claim to be a dogmatic person, a person that follows the institution of your church... doubting your god, would break your dogma.

You still dont seem to understand the differnece between dogma and doctorine. Dogma changes all the time and is not required to be fixed in most religions.

Also you seem to think that one needs to follow "the institituion of your church" to be religious, and you are trying to shift the discussion from religious to "dogmatic" and you are still not understanding that doubting the existance of god doesn't break doctorine or dogma in all religions.

I still find it hard to believe that one could truly have faith in something they truly doubt... but then again, my lack of understating over a personal feeling of others doesn't make it so...

Only the Sith speak in absolutes.

bells:
i love how people keep insisting on how i "presented" something as fact or how i keep "insisting" on such and such when my first post was almost half about how it was not that...

And let's not even bring the fact that i, as well as others, are already talking and sharing views on how it's a divide more close to a rigid structure or a Religions institution and more of a slice of faith than a core concept itself...

And oh boy, let's not bother recalling the fact that i presented a broad view actually stating that it derives from my own but it's not a full representation and judge it on these terms anyway...

i mean, talk about close minded, amirite?

Back to the grown up conversation....

i'm not exactly sure you can draw that division in pure clear colors, but Religion is an institution. While Faith is a concept.

See first you claim that you aren't claiming your own feelings as fact, and then you immediately go on to claim your feelings as fact.

"Religion" does not meet the definition of an institution. There can be religious institutions, but religion isn't an institution, nor does it require one.

if you enter a conversation about the possibilities of Godhood and all that it entails, if you claim to be a dogmatic person, a person that follows the institution of your church... doubting your god, would break your dogma.

You still dont seem to understand the differnece between dogma and doctorine. Dogma changes all the time and is not required to be fixed in most religions.

Also you seem to think that one needs to follow "the institituion of your church" to be religious, and you are trying to shift the discussion from religious to "dogmatic" and you are still not understanding that doubting the existance of god doesn't break doctorine or dogma in all religions.

I still find it hard to believe that one could truly have faith in something they truly doubt... but then again, my lack of understating over a personal feeling of others doesn't make it so...

Only the Sith speak in absolutes.

Wolverine18:

bells:
i love how people keep insisting on how i "presented" something as fact or how i keep "insisting" on such and such when my first post was almost half about how it was not that...

And let's not even bring the fact that i, as well as others, are already talking and sharing views on how it's a divide more close to a rigid structure or a Religions institution and more of a slice of faith than a core concept itself...

And oh boy, let's not bother recalling the fact that i presented a broad view actually stating that it derives from my own but it's not a full representation and judge it on these terms anyway...

i mean, talk about close minded, amirite?

Back to the grown up conversation....

i'm not exactly sure you can draw that division in pure clear colors, but Religion is an institution. While Faith is a concept.

See first you claim that you aren't claiming your own feelings as fact, and then you immediately go on to claim your feelings as fact.

"Religion" does not meet the definition of an institution. There can be religious institutions, but religion isn't an institution, nor does it require one.

if you enter a conversation about the possibilities of Godhood and all that it entails, if you claim to be a dogmatic person, a person that follows the institution of your church... doubting your god, would break your dogma.

You still dont seem to understand the differnece between dogma and doctorine. Dogma changes all the time and is not required to be fixed in most religions.

Also you seem to think that one needs to follow "the institituion of your church" to be religious, and you are trying to shift the discussion from religious to "dogmatic" and you are still not understanding that doubting the existance of god doesn't break doctorine or dogma in all religions.

I still find it hard to believe that one could truly have faith in something they truly doubt... but then again, my lack of understating over a personal feeling of others doesn't make it so...

Only the Sith speak in absolutes.

Two things...

1- Of course my thought are fact TO ME, what i never claimed is that they are truths for OTHERS. I never stated, and actually opposed the notion that "if i think X you think X". So, no, you're wrong.

2- DOGMA DOESN'T CHANGE. It can't be disputed, doubted, or diverged. If it does, it's not Dogma. Doctrine is just Belief. Belief is the Basis of Faith... so still, Dogma is not the same as Faith. Religion is a system based on a Dogma, a Dogmatic person is a Religions person. a Person of Doctrine is a Person of Faith... you're saying i don't understand the exact same thing i've been saying for 2 pages in a roll now...

bells:
1- Of course my thought are fact TO ME, what i never claimed is that they are truths for OTHERS.

If they're relative, they're not facts. They're opinions.

2- DOGMA DOESN'T CHANGE.

Bollocks it doesn't. We can watch it change through history. Just a basic scholarly reading of the OT will show the dogma of YHWH's role to the Israelites changing from a single deity out of many to the sole deity in existence. With the NT we can see the dogma transitioning again from a sole deity with an often human-like demeanor and a special relationship with the Jews to a more abstract deity with more of a relationship with all of humanity. Dogmas change all the time- if they couldn't, we would never have new religions.

For all your bluster you're still refusing to look at the real world. You might try some time a basic study in this stuff rather than just making it up as you go along and declaring whatever you come up with to be fact.

Yep... you have no idea of what Dogma actually is.

bells:
Yep... you have no idea of what Dogma actually is.

I think you accidentally typed "you" instead of "I".

[spoiler=No where in the definition of dogma (except in your head) is dogma unchangable]
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dogma
1 a: something held as an established opinion; especially: a definite authoritative tenet b: a code of such tenets [pedagogical dogma] c: a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds

2: a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dogma
noun, plural dog·mas or ( Rare ) dog·ma·ta  [dawg-muh-tuh] Show IPA.
1. an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church. Synonyms: doctrine, teachings, set of beliefs, philosophy.
2. a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption; the recently defined dogma of papal infallibility. Synonyms: tenet, canon, law.
3. prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group: the difficulty of resisting political dogma.
4. a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle: the classic dogma of objectivity in scientific observation. Synonyms: conviction, certainty. [/quote]

No where in there does it say "unchangable". Dogma can and does change. The only way you can define dogma as unchanable is if you define it as a word that has no meaning because it never applies to anything.

You can look at any set of religious or non religious beliefs over centuries and you will see that they can and do shift.

Your whole argument is in fact silly considering you have defined religious as something pretty much no one on the planet is either. You have a corrupted understanding of religion.

Katatori-kun:
Truly religious people do discuss and debate religion all the time. Therefore your claim is wrong. Since you claim to support science, you have to drop it. In science, someone proposing a theory that defies what is directly observable gets laughed out of the room. There are interfaith debates and dialogues between religious people all the time, therefore your claim defies what is directly observable. Back to the drawing board, please.

I dont always see eye to eye with you but DAAAAAMN. Nice use of the scientific method. I like what you wrote here today.

While doubt in a religion is discouraged sometimes by some sects usually doubt is accepted and explored by those who arnt crazy or fanatical. Doubt is a very common human emotion. A religion that denies it alienates a LOT of people.

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