Is Theism An Excuse To Embrace Judgmental Behavior?

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Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 09:20 am
I am opening this thread in response to the thread on atheism. Quite simply, I am somewhat tired of Theist having their nose turned up at Atheists.

Now, let me say this... I am NOT saying that all Theists are this way and I am certainly not trying to generalize. I am speaking of those which I and many others on this forum have interacted with in the past.

It seems to me that Theists have this concept that God gave them an innate right to judge the actions of others by a certain set of rules which they hold dear. It seems that a good majority of the Theists which I have interacted with have forgotten the teachings of forgiveness, love and understanding only to embrace judgment, prejudice and superiority complexes.

This makes me wonder, often, if religion, God and other forms of theism are nothing more than an excuse to adopt immoral behavior under the guise of a one true set of rules.

"Judgment is reserved for the one true god."
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 09:33 am
@Icon,
I had beter not join in because i get carried away with certain faiths and the impact they have.I must say you can generalise about certain facts written and certain followers who use those facts but not all the followers or all faiths..
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 09:46 am
@xris,
Yea, good idea.

But no, I don't think it's an 'excuse' per say, I'll leave that to those who like to proclaim they know why others believe what they do. I think that in some cases, a god-mindset could spur judgmentalism, but it'd be unfair to say it does.

What I do think is vastly-interesting, is the 'tone' and 'nature' of the judgmentalism I do encounter. Generally, and it's not that often, the kind of dripping hate I catch as an atheist seems very personalized, as if by my existence I've insulted someone deeply. To be sure, such mean-spiritness exhibits a lack of compassion. It also - and I see this as most likely - speaks to a limited breadth of experience with atheists (which are people too, and as such, are just as likely to be charming as monstrous).

If I had to say where I thought this came from (and this is only at first-blush), I'd say it's likely a result of those atheists that are rude, narrow and argumentative. They do atheism a deep disservice when they berate or even engage unnecessarily. I think its great to debate (or even tell someone you think they're wrong, but this is a very thin wire we walk where we run the risk of alienating the very people we need so much). Theists are people; our brothers and sisters, we ought treat them this way. I can't profess to being sinless, but I can lay a solid claim to always working at it.

Where does this judgmentalism come from? Any other thoughts? I'd be curious to hear

Thanks
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 09:46 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
I had beter not join in because i get carried away with certain faiths and the impact they have.I must say you can generalise about certain facts written and certain followers who use those facts but not all the followers or all faiths..


This is not specific to any faith but rather ALL faiths. It seems that the mere mention of the word belief breeds intolerence.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 09:56 am
@Icon,
As I said on the other thread, I had best friends who were Christians, and still have good ones that are Christian or Muslim. Good people. If their faith helps them in being that way, fair play. I don't hold much store in their beliefs, but I'm happy they are who they are. It is perfectly possible for theists and atheists to be friends. However in both camps you find people who see the beliefs of the other as an affront. In truth, this is not a religious issue. You find people foaming at the mouth at all sorts of views that contradict theirs, especially in politics. Hell, I have a friend who's not talking to me at the moment because I strongly criticised a movie he liked. People like that struggle to play with other boys and girls; they end up keeping with people who share their own views and just get angrier and angrier and angrier... It's very easy to retaliate in kind if it doesn't tar those you love with the same brush. For me, it would, so I don't. Theists are fine. Atheists are fine. Bigots are bigots and come in all colours. You're heading down a slippery slope here, Icon.
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 11:31 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O! wrote:
Theists are fine. Atheists are fine. Bigots are bigots and come in all colours. You're heading down a slippery slope here, Icon.


That's true Bones, I am heading down a slippery slope but I am doing this on purpose. Sometimes, the best way to learn a lesson is to slip and fall a few times.

No one rides a horse their whole life without getting bucked. (Texas phrase, hope you get it)
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 11:36 am
@Icon,
Icon, I appreciate what you're doing as a sort of reciprocal discussion.

At the same time, while I know you recognize the irony, the TRUE conversation we should be having is whether or not it is even possible to draw any kind of generalization about the terms "theist" and "atheist" other than their specific definitions.
 
gre107
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 11:59 am
@Icon,
I would agree with the original argument posted.

To me religion is an act based on feeling and emotion not reason.

With that said, it seems that the religious subscribe to beliefs that are not their own in order to put "order" to things that they "do not" or "wish not" to learn or analyze.

They shun their responsibility to critically think about the argument at hand. And in turn use/adopt the pre-fabricated views of their religion to make judgments.
Logic, I might add, that in no other situation would be valid.

So, is it an excuse to embrace Judgmental Behavior? I would say possibly, but think it is more likely an excuse to be mentally lazy, hide behind ones fears of not knowing or to sound like you know what you are talking about.

Peace
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:21 pm
@gre107,
gre107 wrote:
I would agree with the original argument posted.

To me religion is an act based on feeling and emotion not reason.

With that said, it seems that the religious subscribe to beliefs that are not their own in order to put "order" to things that they "do not" or "wish not" to learn or analyze.

They shun their responsibility to critically think about the argument at hand. And in turn use/adopt the pre-fabricated views of their religion to make judgments.
Logic, I might add, that in no other situation would be valid.

So, is it an excuse to embrace Judgmental Behavior? I would say possibly, but think it is more likely an excuse to be mentally lazy, hide behind ones fears of not knowing or to sound like you know what you are talking about.

Peace

So theists have given up their strive for knowledge to embrace ignorance is what you are saying. I can see this on a certain level but disagree at the same time. If theists were truly that dedicated to their cause, they would knwo the same things that I know about their religious texts. They would expecially not shun those who do not believe and would live as an example of the glory of God's compassion and forgiveness.

It just seems to me that anyone trying to pass judgment outside of God's grace (which no one has who is passing judgment) is really denying the teachings of their religion and even insulting the word of the God that they worship. Using only one portion of a holy text and omitting others is the same as modifying the word of God.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:31 pm
@Icon,
What is a theist?
And what is not a theist?
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:34 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
What is a theist?
And what is not a theist?

One who believes in the existence of a god or gods ; specifically : One who believes in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 01:02 pm
@Icon,
I agree with those definitions.

So is your original question about ALL theism, or just theism in some particular instances? And if it's the latter, should we pick a word other than theism? Political theism, for instance? Smile
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 01:05 pm
@Icon,
I am more of a general person. I prefer to keeps things at a high level and let them delegate down until we reach a root.

So for the sake of my argument, let us talk on All Theism.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 01:35 pm
@Icon,
As an agnostic atheist im totally confused but i cant stand a dogmatic approach from any angle..I honestly cant stand faiths who advocate any form of hate and i cant stand atheist who because of their intellect think they have all the answers.I come from a working class background with very little basic education .I was bred for the shop floor and although i think my mind is sharp enough, i struggle to debate with ease. The faithful i have found on this forum are less critical and dont use their education as a tool against me.So we all have lessons to learn about our opinions and approach to each other..does that make sense.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 02:58 pm
@Aedes,
There have been a few theist mystics and ministers who taught that one must/should act immorally in order to approach God. Then again, there have also been insanely hedonistic atheists.

Icon, just as the Atheism thread inappropriately assaults and generalizes atheism, so to does this discussion. Like Aedes, I appreciate the intent, but taking the most negative examples of some phenomenon, atheism or theism, and focusing on said examples typically leads to unnecessary derogatory claims against a population.

You say that the word belief "seems to breed intolerance". Enough "seems", enough nonsensical personal perspective: let's think about some history. Did Dr. ML King's belief breed intolerance? What of Gandhi, ect? You should know better.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 03:20 pm
@Icon,
I think both theism and atheism are used as an excuse to embrace judgmental behavior, but that does not mean that it is justified behavior. When one individual believes something that another does not, judgment enters because of the tendency to think "I am right you are wrong."

I think the flip of the topic "Is atheism an excuse to embrace immoral behavior?" is "Is theism an excuse to embrace immoral behavior?" Look throughout the history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and you will see many examples of what would generally be called immoral behavior.
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 07:23 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
There have been a few theist mystics and ministers who taught that one must/should act immorally in order to approach God. Then again, there have also been insanely hedonistic atheists.

Icon, just as the Atheism thread inappropriately assaults and generalizes atheism, so to does this discussion. Like Aedes, I appreciate the intent, but taking the most negative examples of some phenomenon, atheism or theism, and focusing on said examples typically leads to unnecessary derogatory claims against a population.

You say that the word belief "seems to breed intolerance". Enough "seems", enough nonsensical personal perspective: let's think about some history. Did Dr. ML King's belief breed intolerance? What of Gandhi, ect? You should know better.


I understand what you are trying to say and I can appreciate it but you have made a miscalculation.

Yes, MLK Jr. DID produce intolerance which is why he spent many a night in jail and why he was repeatedly attacked and assaulted in public.

Yes, Ghandi DID produce intolerance which is why his path of passive protest was such an amazing one.

Just because it is a part of history in which man was not at our finest does not give us the right to ignore it. It was the resistance that these two men faced which made them heroes. A man who does not struggle, does not succeed in becoming a hero.

Again, my point is proven that belief breeds intolerance and ignorance.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 07:38 pm
@Icon,
You are attempting to argue that Dr. King and Gandhi each promoted intolerance due to their spiritual beliefs? I'm sorry, but that is simply absurd.

King spent a night in jail while fighting intolerance. The intolerance of those who had him arrested was not the result of Dr. King: people hated blacks long before the man was born.
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 09:51 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
You are attempting to argue that Dr. King and Gandhi each promoted intolerance due to their spiritual beliefs? I'm sorry, but that is simply absurd.

King spent a night in jail while fighting intolerance. The intolerance of those who had him arrested was not the result of Dr. King: people hated blacks long before the man was born.

That's true. They did. Still, his actions were a catalyst to many other acts of hate. When King would not fight back, he was attacked even harder. Same with Gandhi.

You are only looking at one side of the equation. You cannot consider the success of these men without considering the failure of their opposition.

This is the point I am trying to get to. Some people hate, some people love, some people do both. Some people are immoral, some are moral and some walk the line that we each walk everyday.

The entire point of this thread was to show how ridiculous it is to say that theism or atheism dictate morality. Morality is a choice that comes from experience and other life choices. Period. Believing or not believing has no bearing on morality. Look at these jihad groups in the middle east. They are suicide bombing for God. Look at the Christian Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition. Horrors all in the name of God. The only truth behind theism or atheism is whether or not you believe in something unverifiable. Morality does not enter the picture.

This thread was meant to be a joke. It is funny how some people can take everything so serious that it blinds them to the obvious redundancy and superfluous nature of something. (No one in particular. This is an observation of mankind in general)
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 09:57 pm
@Icon,
Icon;46359 wrote:
Still, his actions were a catalyst to many other acts of hate. When King would not fight back, he was attacked even harder. Same with Gandhi.
That's like saying the deer was a catalyst for the arrow because it didn't run.

Neither King, nor Gandhi, nor Mandela was an agent of any downstream hate or violence -- neither as an actor nor as an inciter. It's taking a huge liberty with history to portray them as such.
 
 

 
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