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General Chat Thread, Question for religious folk in General; Originally Posted by pcstru So should I 'respect' someone's 'right' to believe that Women are inferior and should be kept ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    So should I 'respect' someone's 'right' to believe that Women are inferior and should be kept out of certain jobs. That belief, if it is a belief of any consequence will see them discriminate against women. Should I 'respect' someone who believes that black people are inferior and should be sent back to their own country. What if they are a policeman or teacher - should I respect their belief then?
    As long as their belief doesn't impact on the job they do, then yes - they may believe that, for arguments sake, women shouldn't be allowed out unaccompanied in the street (random obscure example I know, but illustration), but if they were a policeman, they should also respect the law as it is and not arrest an unaccompanied woman in the street - they may campaign for a change in law in their own time, but it should not affect the way they abide by the laws they are set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    So should I 'respect' someone's 'right' to believe that Women are inferior and should be kept out of certain jobs. That belief, if it is a belief of any consequence will see them discriminate against women. Should I 'respect' someone who believes that black people are inferior and should be sent back to their own country. What if they are a policeman or teacher - should I respect their belief then?
    This is where it starts to get hard to respect beliefs.

    At this point, I'd just say peer-review. Present both arguments and let [whoever] decide. [Majority rules.]


    In the case of things like discrimination, where the decision becomes a law EVERYONE has to follow, it should work. However, these days it's whoever has the most money that wins... And it needs to be reviewed in light of new evidence for/against the status quo.


    Plus in terms of organised religion, respecting beliefs only really works when everyone does it, otherwise you end up with a vocal minority ruining it for everyone else. "I belong to X religion. I believe Y. Therefore Y is part of X." [Think the whole "God hates gay people" thing.]

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    It is always difficult when people cherry pick parts of the bible, usually to condem and judge the actions of others, when especially with the New Testament the overall message is of love and tolerance of each other.
    Tolerance sounds great and up to a point it is, because of course we must respect and seek to live in peace with those who disagree with us. But "tolerance" becomes a problem when we think we can live our lives however we wish, because it will be "tolerated". "Tolerance" becomes a problem when potentially harmful behaviour and un-wise choices become acceptable because we must "tolerate" everyone and anything.

    Do you think Jesus was being tolerant when he condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders of his day for their hypocrisy, their pride, their false teaching and their refusal to believe in him? Do you think he was being tolerant when he commanded the woman caught in adultery to "go now and leave your life of sin"?

    The message of the New Testament is not simply love and tolerance. It is repentance - the need for us to turn away from the sinful courses of our lives and to turn to Godly ways of righteousness. It is not just religious hypocrites and adulterers in need of repentance - it's all of us, the Bible is clear that all of us have a sin problem, we've failed to live our lives as we should and we need to repent, and to receive forgiveness and new life that God offers us. He gave us the best gift that he had to save us from the consequences of our sin. He gave us his son who came into this world and lived the perfect life that we could not, and yet who bore the punishment for sin that we deserve. Through his death and suffering, God offers us not tolerance of whatever sinful choices we choose to indulge in, not a license to live our lives however we wish, but he offers love and forgiveness to those who confess their sinfulness and cast themselves upon his mercy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
    Tolerance sounds great and up to a point it is, because of course we must respect and seek to live in peace with those who disagree with us. But "tolerance" becomes a problem when we think we can live our lives however we wish, because it will be "tolerated". "Tolerance" becomes a problem when potentially harmful behaviour and un-wise choices become acceptable because we must "tolerate" everyone and anything.
    Tolerance =/= acceptance.

    Tolerance = "I don't agree with you, but whatever."
    Acceptance = "I didn't agree with you, but you're right."

    Also, you have to let people make their own decisions. Even if they're stupid.

    It gets complicated when you start involving other people...

    Do you think he was being tolerant when he commanded the woman caught in adultery to "go now and leave your life of sin"?
    Yes. Tolerating something doesn't mean liking it. He believes she was wrong, but it allowing her to make her own choice.
    Last edited by X-13; 23rd May 2013 at 11:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    This is where it starts to get hard to respect beliefs.

    At this point, I'd just say peer-review. Present both arguments and let [whoever] decide. [Majority rules.]


    In the case of things like discrimination, where the decision becomes a law EVERYONE has to follow, it should work. However, these days it's whoever has the most money that wins... And it needs to be reviewed in light of new evidence for/against the status quo.


    Plus in terms of organised religion, respecting beliefs only really works when everyone does it, otherwise you end up with a vocal minority ruining it for everyone else. "I belong to X religion. I believe Y. Therefore Y is part of X." [Think the whole "God hates gay people" thing.]
    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Tolerance =/= acceptance.

    Tolerance = "I don't agree with you, but whatever."
    Acceptance = "I didn't agree with you, but you're right."

    Also, you have to let people make their own decisions. Even if they're stupid.

    It gets complicated when you start involving other people...



    Yes. Tolerating something doesn't mean liking it. He believes she was wrong, but it allowing her to make her own choice.
    Might be worth reading the whole of the story http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...11&version=NIV and understand that Jesus did more than tolerate, he forgave her (ok that word isn't used) and simply wants her to leave her life of sin behind.

    Seems to have missed a quote out of the multi quote, the one referencing the woman.
    Last edited by E_G_R2; 23rd May 2013 at 12:02 PM. Reason: missed quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willott View Post
    they should also respect the law as it is and not arrest an unaccompanied woman in the street.
    But what is the law? The law is, loosely speaking, a collection of articles forbidding certain actions. They are the documentation of things that society as a collective has openly declared we will not tolerate.

    If society as a whole agreed with that person, and it became common law that a woman may not walk the streets unaccompanied, would it then be acceptable?

    Furthermore, if you agree with the concept of the law, then I would argue that you disagree with 'tolerate all others' as a rule. You may tolerate most others, but some people may committ an act that you do not tolerate. Murder, for example (we'll not go into tolerable-under-certain-circumstances, we'll just assume for this hypothetical situation that you decide its intolerable) Sexual assault, for example. (Changed example to an act that I feel can never be condoned so as to avoid situational mitigation.) You must have something else there. That something else is your own personal code of ethics, and you can say what you like about the 10(+) commandments, your ethical code does not come from God. I am not religious, yet I still have an opinion on what is moral and ethical.
    Last edited by Garacesh; 23rd May 2013 at 02:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    You must have something else there. That something else is your own personal code of ethics, and you can say what you like about the 10(+) commandments, your ethical code does not come from God. I am not religious, yet I still have an opinion on what is moral and ethical.
    Oh don't you just love it when certain religious folk (the morons usually!) recoil in horror at us moral-less heathens?

    If you need the threat of eternal damnation in the sulphuric pits of hell to stop you from raping, murdering and generally being evil, then it's you we should all be worried about!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    Oh don't you just love it when certain religious folk (the morons usually!) recoil in horror at us moral-less heathens?

    If you need the threat of eternal damnation in the sulphuric pits of hell to stop you from raping, murdering and generally being evil, then it's you we should all be worried about!
    Penn Jillette Quotes - The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what

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    So it was Penn that Antoine Dodson was talking about...

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    What I have a problem with is not so much religion or god, but faith. When you say you believe something in your heart and therefore you can act on it, you have completely justified the 9/11 bombers. You have justified Charlie Manson. If it's true for you, why isn't it true for them? Why are you different? If you say "I believe there's an all-powerful force of love in the universe that connects us all, and I have no evidence of that but I believe it in my heart," then it's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that Sharon Tate deserves to die. It's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that you need to fly planes into buildings for Allah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willott View Post
    As long as their belief doesn't impact on the job they do, then yes - they may believe that, for arguments sake, women shouldn't be allowed out unaccompanied in the street (random obscure example I know, but illustration), but if they were a policeman, they should also respect the law as it is and not arrest an unaccompanied woman in the street - they may campaign for a change in law in their own time, but it should not affect the way they abide by the laws they are set.
    Ok. But I think you need to give some thought to what is meant by 'belief' if actions aren't allowed to follow from that belief. It seems to me for belief to be meaningful, then it *must* influence the actions of the person who professes the belief. Belief should always result in actions - religious folks profess that their beliefs guide them in how to live their life - these beliefs aren't passive opinions of the "my favourite colour is blue" variety. They necessitate particular choices every day.

    Regardless of that, "respect the belief of others" isn't quite as simple as it (perhaps) seemed. The examples that establish the principle of this are obvious (to most) - discrimination which results in injustice. So regardless of belief, people are not entitled to do as they please. It becomes rather difficult to substantiate an unqualified "right to my opinion" or an automatic "respect" for someones "belief". It's interesting to move on a little from there and look at why discrimination and injustice negate these supposed "rights". My hunch is you will find that they revolve around arbitrary value judgements of "harm". These are sometimes quite easy to see and agree with. Other times they might be more abstract and indirect - the absence of women bishops for instance leaves the house of lords without representation from half of relevant constituency, that does have some (measurable) impact on our society. Some may think those impacts are good, others will not agree; it's an arbitrary value judgement. Some might even view those impacts as harmful. Richard Dawkins makes a reasoned argument that religion overall is detrimental (harmful) to society - essentially any religious belief is harmful as it acts as a nest from which extremism looks less irrational and there is social pressure to "accept people's right to their belief" (I may be expressing that badly - but it's close enough for government work).

    It might be tempting to suggest then (as I think you did) that arbitration should be by the law. I should 'respect' someone belief as long as that complies with the law. That is alluring, but if we look at social progress (what I believe is social progress - which is another arbitrary value judgement!) - votes for women, abolition of slavery, equal rights for ethnic minorities, etc - then those social reforms were instances where law was overturned - sometimes by 'social disobedience' (perhaps today some of that disobedience would even be characterised as 'terrorism'!) . No one would argue today that people had a right to own slaves. Even looking back you might say that a slave owner was not breaking the law, but most people (right thinking people don't-cha-know) would consider the slave owner to be morally and ethically ... retarded. Reform of the law requires disrespect of the law, which makes it questionable that the law should be our ultimate guide.

    So ... I hope that's all clear :-)! No, but I do hope it makes people think and paradoxically I hope it makes them respect my belief that we should not just sit back and respect the beliefs of others or accept views we find distasteful. You do not have any innate right to your beliefs, nor should you expect respect of those beliefs as some automatic right. Belief itself is not passive or necessarily harmless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    The problem here is the paradox of being tolerant of intolerance. You might say it's a misinterpretation of religion that X is nasty to/discriminates against Y, but that's just you! I see Christians discriminating against women (no women priests etc - which bars them from the house of lords where they influence the law of the land). I see Christians discriminating against homosexuals - quoting new testament passages to support their position, and 'demanding' that I 'respect' their views. The best claims for Christianity seem to be that it's offers a good guide to leading some kind of 'good'/'ethical' life - but it seems the churches are rather tardy to come out against discrimination or outright evil. Slavery anyone? Genocide? The struggle for individual rights, equality, access to knowledge has seen organised religion at the forefront of repressing 'progress'. How then can it be such a great guide to living a decent life and just why should I 'respect' such a thing?
    Oh, I totally agree, there is so much discrimination, most of it again from the misinterpretation of such things. Those who quote the bible to support their point of view are often quoting things out of context. A great guy and theologian that I happened to be recording a presentation of at a festival once made a great quote that I love to make use of. He was asked, in the Q&A at the end, so you believe that God made everything in the world and everything by his design, to which he replied yes, the questioner then went on to say what about homosexuals. His response was simple but genius "well, after centuries of year of prayer, God is still making them, so who am I to argue" - a lot of the "not lying with a man as you would your wife" came from the sexual immorality of the likes of the Romans who just slept with anything that moved, the same with divorce. In my mind, the bible is a set of guidelines, the only hard fast rules are to love the lord your God with your body mind and soul and to love your neighbour as yourself. Those are the 2 rules that Jesus said are the most important above any other, yet this is the section that most of the hard line evangelicals out there like to miss out.

    The problems comes from the fact that religions are full of people who have agendas, a lot of "sheep" who are willing to accept answers, and religious scriptures that can be twisted and turned to meet those first peoples own agendas. If you get back to the basics that is basically to be nice to people, then it's great, it's the centuries of crap that has come out of the internal politics from those various religions.

    This is part of the reason why I don't go proclaiming I'm a Christian, but just be and get on with living my life with respect for others, it shows God for the real God and my faith for what it is meant to be, loving God and loving one another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E_G_R2 View Post
    Might be worth reading the whole of the story John 8:1-11 NIV - but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. - Bible Gateway and understand that Jesus did more than tolerate, he forgave her (ok that word isn't used) and simply wants her to leave her life of sin behind.
    He didn't tolerate her sin though did he? He didn't say "I don't agree with you, but whatever". He gave her a command "go now and leave your life of sin." It wasn't just a desire for her to leave her life of sin behind, but it was a command for her to follow.

    You could perhaps argue that he was being tolerant in the sense of not applying the punishment that the Old Testament law called for. But Jesus tempers the law with the good news of the Gospel - in living a perfect, sinless life, he has fully satisfied the demands of the law. And in carrying our sin on the cross, he has fully satisfied God's just requirement that sin is not tolerated, but dealt with. What we see here is not tolerance, but mercy. Sin is not tolerated - it is dealt with. The question is, where will our sin be dealt with? Has it been dealt with by Jesus on the cross in our place, or will we have to face its horrific consequences ourselves in the future?

    We don't know for sure whether she was forgiven, and freed from eternal condemnation becauase we don't know whether she followed Jesus' command to leave her life of sin. Yes she might have been "let off the hook" as far the the law was concerned, but she might just have ignored what Jesus said and gone back to her old life, with no sorrow or remorse over her sin at all.

    We cannot be forgiven if we don't see our need or if we don't intend to turn from our sinful ways. But if we do, we can claim for ourslves God's mercy and grace, we can know for sure that our sin has been completely dealt with, and that "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    What I have a problem with is not so much religion or god, but faith. When you say you believe something in your heart and therefore you can act on it, you have completely justified the 9/11 bombers. You have justified Charlie Manson. If it's true for you, why isn't it true for them? Why are you different? If you say "I believe there's an all-powerful force of love in the universe that connects us all, and I have no evidence of that but I believe it in my heart," then it's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that Sharon Tate deserves to die. It's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that you need to fly planes into buildings for Allah.
    This is very true, and this is what I've been meaning in a couple of other posts I've made. It's not the religion, but the people who use that religion for their end game, so those people I am convinced believe that it's for the praise of their God that they have undertaken the horrible things they have done. Everyone's journey is different, in faith or not, but one thing that isn't the same is saying that because I believe that in 2007 I was directed by God to give up my £25K plus salary and comfortable life style to go back to my Youth Work roots and follow along a completely different path to what I was on that I justify what any of those people did. I feel sorry that they were so misguided in their approach and did really understand their religion. Yes, there might be teachings saying that if you don't believe in $deity you will burn in hell, but as I've said previously, I'm not aware of any genuine religions writings from a loving $deity that dictate you should kill these people too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
    those who are in Christ Jesus."
    The following is a joke.

    Christians say that "Christ is the way".
    Christians say they are "in Christ".

    Therefore, Christians are in the way.

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