Your opinion on my religion essay (short)

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by DT Strain, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    I just started writing this, and it's only a rough, but I was curious as to your thoughts - thanks much! :)

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    A Choice
    As travel becomes more common and communication more frequent, people of vastly different religions, and those of no religion, will find themselves pushed closer and closer together. This is inevitable.
    As this happens, pressure will continue to rise, and conflict between groups will be ever more tempting. This too is inevitable.

    It is time for we humans to make a choice – not only as a people but as individuals. You, the reader, must make a choice.

    On the one hand you can persist in the attitude that, if everyone were just more like yourself, the world would be fine. You can insult, defame, or preach doom to those of other beliefs, driving them away or making enemies of them with your aggressive or dismissive stance. You can assault them with snide comments, roll your eyes at their words, and disparage their motives.

    You can insist on showing them the light, even as they tell you "no thanks". You can smother them in your "love" and "kindness" as you speak to them condescendingly and insult everything they hold dear.

    Once those methods fail (and we both know they will), you can just attack them politically or violently - cast them out from your realm, even as more and more of these uncomfortable reminders of other views enter it.

    You could choose this path. But this path leads to one place which is neither cooperation nor conversion. Eventually, no matter what corner of the world you are in today, you or your descendants will find themselves surrounded by those who believe differently than themselves. As these pressures build, this approach can lead to only one place, and that is complete or continual destruction and death.

    So, knowing the coming pressures of our global situation, why would you choose this path? It is not rational to ever speak one word or take one action against those of another faith out of anger, disrespect, ridicule, or despise unless you are prepared to take these deeds to their logical conclusion and butcher these people yourself with sword in hand.

    Do you find this extreme? Perhaps you yourself will not wield the sword, but what difference does it make if you are willing to mine the ore and craft the sword to be used by another in the slaughter?

    A man who wishes to advance in his career does not slap his boss in the face, and a man who wishes peaceful coexistence does not stoke disrespect and animosity with his words or deeds.


    On the other hand, you can take a different approach. You needn’t give up your beliefs or your rights. You needn’t refrain from telling others about your views. But you can use a different approach.

    Regardless of where you are or what you believe, you can choose today, right now, to commit to a new ethic – an ethic which is absolutely essential for humanity.

    A New Ethic
    The new ethic is beyond mere tolerance, but it is not capitulation or subjugation. Even if you believe that all those of other beliefs are taking a path of ignorance or doom, you can still maintain that belief, and voice it openly - even as you take on this new ethic.
    The new ethic consists of seven parts and is as follows...


    1) I will be honest and open about all of my beliefs, defending my rights - even if I believe others or their beliefs to be wrong and even if they could be offended by my beliefs.


    2) I will always phrase my statements with sincere care to be sensitive to the feelings of others – not to belittle or offend for its own sake.

    3) When others attempt to be respectful to me in stating their beliefs, I will refuse to take offense, no matter how they compare to my own. I will look only at intent to be offensive, rather than the content of the message.

    4) I will be open to working and interacting with those of other beliefs in a cordial manner. I will consider them my equals and give them the human and friendly treatment I would anyone else. I will never advocate isolationism or segregation.

    5) I will not only tolerate, but support the rights of others to voice their beliefs by the same standards and rules I am allowed to voice mine.

    6) I will never attempt to use the power of the state to give unequal advantage to my religious beliefs or institutions over those of others.

    7) I will seek out unbiased knowledge about the religious beliefs of others, and not merely learn about them through those of my own belief system. I will try to truly understand what others believe from their own words, even if I do not share those beliefs.


     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    It is a wonderful idea DT. There is only one very tiny problem with it. The attempt to de-humanize humans.

    We grow from our mistakes, learn to be unbiased because of our bias. We need to live falsely in order to see the relevence of the truth. Why? Because in the end we will appreciate what God originally gave us, and we threw away. It is how we mature, and conversly, become more child like in our awe for God and the Universe.

    But then, what do I know.

    Good luck on your book.

    v/r

    Q
     
  3. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    Thanks for your comments :)

    It's not a book really, just some ramblings, haha. But I'm curious...

    You say we learn from our mistakes, but I'm not sure how this relates. Can you elaborate on that?

    Also, I'm not sure it's inhuman to hold these values. I believe I hold them, perhaps imperfectly, but I'm not abnormal. It seems to me more people could without issue of their humanity coming into play. Perhaps I misunderstand what you mean here?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Member

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    I agree DTS.

    I was most impressed with your personal thinking here.

    There is certainly nothing of "The attempt to de-humanize humans", as Quahom said, implicit in your material so far as I could see.
    In fact what you have stated seems to me emininently humanistic and reasonable.

    They were honest and rationally presented views that chime with my own.

    In accord with the values you present, I have to point out that a prejudgement was made by Quahom when he wrote:
    "We need to live falsely in order to see the relevence of the truth. Why? Because in the end we will appreciate what God originally gave us, and we threw away."
    This is proselytising and asserting a 'God' aspect to your ethical principles when none was stated.
    This I cannot agree with... the concept, of having something that God originally gave and we threw away, seems to me just not relevant at all to your outline, DTS.
    It is simply Quahom's personal way of validating a particular faith view of his own... which is fine, but in no way can we foresee the results of adopting such an 'ethical set of principles', which you present, DTS, as of necessity having anything to do with a universal concept of 'God' that assumes 'He' gave something, which we have thrown away.

    As you pointed out, DTS:
    "On the other hand, you can take a different approach. You needn’t give up your beliefs or your rights. You needn’t refrain from telling others about your views. But you can use a different approach." which I thought was indeed the main thrust of your thinking.

    My thoughts then to summarise are that
    a) your thinking seems to me excellent in tone and reason, and
    b) Quahom's indicates a predisposition to see what you propose as contrary to your call for a "different approach", being firmly wedded to a montheistic universal concept of 'God', which in fact you, DTS, illustrate has room for personally validated beliefs of any kind, within a set of behaviouristic ethical statements that could be universally applicable.

    I do hope you will let us know how your ideas introduced here develop, DTS.
     
  5. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    Thanks very much for your encouraging words Blue,

    I think we must be patient with various types of believers out there. We have similar issues to consider with some Eastern religious people who insist on interjecting cryptic sayings with a "know it all" attitude, some nonbelievers who insist on interjecting the "stupidity of belief" at every opportunity. And this spills into political areas like some homosexuals who would ban the free speech rights of anyone who preaches that it is wrong in their view.

    Of course, many eastern religious folk are not like that, many atheists are not insulting and abrasive, and many homosexuals simply want equal rights, but I'm indicating that Christians and monotheists are not alone in having their share of a few offenders of my new ethic. I know you weren't suggesting otherwise, I just thought it would be helpful to add that acknowledgement to our discussion.

    But I think, one of the elements to this concept, which may be helpful, is an attitude of patience with those who have not yet grasped it. Many traditions and faiths point out that to repay harm with harm canbe counter productive. Perhaps a number 8 should indicate something about a proper response to those not acting by the ethic?

    Thanks for your input :)
     
  6. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    They are good ethics. I think they are learned but it is nice to see them layed out this way. Some may see it at age 20. Others wont get it until age 60. Some will never see it.

    Code of conduct in a work place for example. Most will abide by it but we will always have some who want to go against the code and despise those who abide by the code. This where the fight begins.

    I also see an effort in the world to unite such ethics and beliefs. The hardest part will be when someones beliefs are taken from them or they are not allowed to openly defend themselves (as in ethic 1). I say this because there are too many divisions based on different books and ideas of how it should be. It seems a new belief pops up every day.
    Quite often I see the peacemaker getting the raw end of the deal such as in court of law. The offender walks free. This is where the fight begins or starts up again.

    Tolerate in ethic 5 is very important. Some may have much truth in a belief but absolutely refuse to see what anyone else is trying to say wether it be true or false. This is where the fight begins.

    We almost need an ethic for what to do when the fight breaks out. LOL. I am not sure it is possible with some humans. The smarter man will walk away? or in some case the smarter man may need to STOP what the ignorant one is doing to others. I think there is an appropriate ethic for it but it will be different in every situation.

    There are some who can only see the code of ethics as an opportunity to take advantage of them who abide in it. It is weird.

    What do you think?:)
     
  7. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    4) I will be open to working and interacting with those of other beliefs in a cordial manner. I will consider them my equals and give them the human and friendly treatment I would anyone else. I will never advocate isolationism or segregation.

    Would you consider this one, part or in part the ability we have to reason together?
    Some simply do not have this ability or have not learned it at all. So we see these little dying religions all over. Kind of like a wall (many little walls) of China.
     
  8. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    Yes, I think that one of the problems of the popular conception of tolerance is the idea that we can't say anything that might be offensive to others. But this sort of stiffling effect is far worse than the most strict dogma.

    That's why I made number 1 be the right to voice one's beliefs - all of them.

    But this can only work if #2 is followed (being sensitive in the phrasing and presentation of those beliefs) and #3 (the refusal to take offense when others voice their beliefs, if done so without intention to offend for its own sake).

    So 1, 2, and 3 act as a triad and the system won't work without all of them.

    Quite true. I'm thinking of adding another, which has to do with how to react when others aren't following the ethic.

    What do you do when you follow #1 (speaking beliefs), and #2 (being sensitive), but the listener isn't following #3 (not being offended by beliefs if presented sensitively)? That's a tough one.

    If we drop the ethic because the other person isn't following it, thus freeing ourselves to fire back, then we're stuck in that spiral of conflict the ethic warns of.

    But if we maintain the ethic, even when others aren't, then we can lead by example, and perhaps show them a better way.

    One exception would be if our rights are infringed upon, at which point we draw a line and fight for them. But in doing so, there's still never a reason to not uphold #2. We can be sensitive even to the insensitive because this will not hinder our ability to speak out for our rights but it will hinder our ability to get through to them.
     
  9. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    I'd say there are shared values that would be productive for people of different beliefs to work together on. But another reason for #4 is that seperation breeds ignorance, and that leads to fear, which leads to hatred and violence. The cure for groups that don't like each other is to mingle more, not less. Seperating them may seem to avoid conflict, but it is only running from a deeper problem with their perspectives about diversity, and it will only result in a much greater conflict later on, in my view.
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hello DT, et al

    I'm sorry I didn't get back sooner, I was out of state on "business". I had to chuckle when I read your "conditions" or declarations, because they reminded me of a character in a Science fiction tv show (Star Trek). I was reminded of LCDR Data, who holds all of these values absolutely, and without error. But, he, is an android. And, he would gladly give up his "superiority" over humans, to become one.

    I value your declaration of values as well, believe you me. In order for me to appreciate them, and strive for them, I must acknowledge that I have at one time or another, broke them, or that I break them on a day to day basis. I must also accept the fact that being human, I will never keep these values perfectly. I should strive to, but not be crushed if I don't.

    Utopia is not something to be achieved, but rather a state of mind to strive for, and keep striving for.

    I guess I was suggesting that you provide a similar caveat for the readers of your book (article), so that we did not feel the task impossible. That was all.

    I really do like your idea, and hope you follow through.

    v/r

    Q
     
  11. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    Thanks Quahom1, that's very valuable input. I agree with you 100% that we should have goals to strive for when it comes to principles, but that none of us are perfect, and we should look at it as a process - not being crushed or demoralized if we have failings or shortcomings. It's the continual effort to improve that matters.

    I will definitely look into some way to incorporate that concept - thanks again :)
     
  12. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    I would like to add that every child is perfect when it arrives eventhough the soul knows there is some soul purification to do along the journey. I use this analogy a lot with clients 'when one is born the child of innocence, imagine a brand new piece of blue tac, then I scrunch up the blue tac into a ball, and explain this is what we allow life to do to us' our job in self development and self healing is to unravel this ball, so that we can be the perfect goodness and our original nature once more.

    What impacts of on our development? Nature, nurture and the environment.

    I loved this quote from Archangel Michael

    "Parents are the guardians of the soul, a precious gem born to shine. It is the guardians responsibility to ensure that the gem is not reshaped but allowed to BE its natural state. The problem with education is due to its existing nature of reality, it is based upon engrained judgement. This stops people engaging with the flow of the divine self and the universe'.

    So are we perfect ?

    Yes we are even with our human weaknesses we are perfect when we see all through GOD's eyes of love, mercy and compassion.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  13. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    How does any of this relate to the topic of this thread? Not criticizing, just seeking to understand - thanks Sacredstar :)
     
  14. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    Dear DT

    I was inspired to respond to your quote:

    "but that none of us are perfect"

    Keep up the great work DT

    Blessings in abundance

    Sacredstar
     
  15. DT Strain

    DT Strain Spiritual Naturalist

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    Oh! I understand now - thanks for clarifying to me. :)
     

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