Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Discuss literature (e.g. books, newspapers), educational studies (getting help or opinions on homework or an essay), and philosophy.

What religion do you follow?

Baha'i
0
No votes
Buddhism
8
3%
Christianity
86
36%
Hinduism
1
0%
Islam
12
5%
Judaism
1
0%
Nature-based/Pagan/Shamanistic/Indigenous Religions
4
2%
Sikhism
3
1%
Taoism
12
5%
Unitarian Universalist
2
1%
I'm agnostic
41
17%
I'm atheist
48
20%
Other (please explain)
24
10%
 
Total votes : 242

Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:36 pm

FoxWithWings wrote:Shik, it is their fault. But please don't think I'm trying to write them off. They deserve all the help we could (and should) give them. I have a friend who struggles, almost daily, with depression. I would take a bullet for her, if it would help, I actively maintain myself as a reliable shoulder she can lean on, so she doesn't do what I fear she might do.


I doubt your saying it is their fault for having a medical problem that still struggles for funding and attention and which can destroy their ability to reason that living is better then suicide so... what is their fault exactly?
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:57 pm

I doubt your saying it is their fault for having a medical problem that still struggles for funding and attention and which can destroy their ability to reason that living is better then suicide so... what is their fault exactly?


Your doubts are well. I do not think such a thing.

Their fault is taking their own lives, or seriously considering to do so, since that is their choice. But please, like I told Shik, do not think I'm writing them off or saying we ought to just let them die. They deserve every bit of understanding and help we can give them.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:17 pm

but uh, that is reading as exactly saying they are at fault for having a medical problem that destroys their ability to reason that living is better. They die becuase of their mental health problem, it is like blaming people for dying of a disease.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby James » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:47 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:Well, the point is that I'm still confused. :D

I can respect that you hold to the second position at this point, but given that we lack a common frame of reference for now when we're talking about all these different terms it seems a bit premature to begin talking about how they can apply for same-sex couples.

I'm probably still confused as well. :lol:

Maybe we'll just figure it out after some discussion.

Part of my confusion is likely a product of my belief that homosexual couples are capable of loving in the same way, being sad in the same way, sharing in intimacy in what is effectively the same way (while plumbing may vary, the physical responses and conclusions remain effectively equivalent). And that love, sadness—care, sympathy, empathy—extends not just to one another, but to their children as well. There must necessarily be some differences. Many would agree that there is a special bond between a child and the child's biological mother and to the extent that is true it is unique.* But to the extent that matters, a homosexual couple need not face a major challenge beyond that faced by an adopting couple, and in any case my experience tells me the extent to which parents are good parents matters more than any other particular (e.g. it is very easy for a good single parent to be a much better parent than lesser combined parents, or a combination where one parent is a bad parent).

While 'love' may take meaning from context, perhaps in the least it helps to know that when I use the word it is in the belief that the 'love' same-sex couples share is not different from that of heterosexual parents.

James wrote:Reasonably close. I'd just add that b) is frequently the case but must not always be so. Conversely, while for some couples it is not so, it is not realistic to expect as much of couples as an external observer. A) I agree with as written.


WeiWenDi wrote:All true. But we are looking at certain, shall we say, cultural outliers here to determine the limits of a.), so you'll notice I haven't made an issue out of b.). On which:

What cultural outliers impact a? I mean, there are some—like intolerance—but I'm just curious what comes to mind.

WeiWenDi wrote:Okay, there you're fully agreed with Dong Zhou and Shikanosuke. I think we can all agree that scenario (1) is not 'love' even though it has all the physical and external markers of a stable relationship.



WeiWenDi wrote:Like I said, that was highlighted merely to meet your condition b.) about sex being a 'primary need' above, because I wanted to interrogate your condition a.). P and R are able and willing to satisfy each other physically. The only thing I highlighted to change were the circumstances around it.

But again, as with DZ and Shikanosuke above, you are on the one hand unwilling to either claim that (2) is love, and on the other hand are unwilling to answer definitively the way you did for (1) that it is not.

That means something has changed within these conditions to admit the possibility. I want to know what that is.

Like I said, though, I think this scenario applies, more often than we might think, wherever arranged marriages are still practised.

I suppose the simplest explanation for my perspective here is that I see no reason why an arranged marriage which did not start with love (by any definition) cannot grow to become a loving relationship. Given the story above it seems comparatively unlikely that it would, nor does the later sound like love, but many relationships that begin with love settle down in their own ways. Looking in from the outside I would be surprised if that relationship could be described as one of love but there'd be know way to take a strong stance without knowing much more.

And it's probably also worth knowing that many of the relationships I see around me—it seems to me that most are no longer relationships rooted in love but rather relationships ranging from awful relationships which should be ended to those which become more a contract of stability and comfort. But some—some are clearly relationships between two people who adore and enrich one another's lives even ten years later, and boy do I admire that.

WeiWenDi wrote:One needs to have a baseline standard, though, in order to discuss the concept intelligently. Obviously, this is something better done within the realist and humanist scope of literature than in a philosophy text, but we can at least try.

Does love demand, for example, commitment or an investment of time? Or does it require only romantic emotions?

In (2), commitment is there even though the romantic emotions are not. In (3) the exact opposite holds true. These questions are important because without them I can't even start to discuss your condition a.), either to agree with it or to disagree with it! For example, when you say 'other things' do you mean money? Stability? Shared life-goals? Opening one's shared life to the possibility of offspring? Right there marked off a vast range of things to add to 'love' as a condition of a healthy relationship, and I'm just trying to understand the scope!

I'm not sure that this is a realistic means through which to approach the concept of love. This is why I mentioned, previously, that love is not something which can be broken down to a formula or checklist. For example, one person may love another romantically, enjoy their company, have fantastic sex, but come to decide that the relationship is destructive because that person is an alcoholic. That's an extreme example. Another person might be pretty materialistic, driven, ambitious, and educated, and fall in love with someone who is carefree, not concerned with material possessions, not ambitious—and decide that the relationship cannot exist long-term. Another person in the same later scenario may just have found their 'soul mate'.

So what can we do in defining love? Scientifically we can boil it down to a chemical process in the brain and that is something we can literally measure. But do we want to use it as a concept to describe something much more? I say it is worth doing so because we need language to describe it; and because society uses the word to describe it. Do we want to measure it in such a form? We cannot, because it is an abstract concept. A specific relationship we describe as loving is not so because the right boxes were checked on a form—rather, because a unique and sophisticated formula unique to that couple worked out. And that formula will certainly also be complicated, littered with spices such as acceptance of faults, shared experiences, interests in common and interests distinct...

Which really all comes back to my original position here. The extent to which an individual factor is important to one relationship varies from another, and that includes sexual intercourse. And the extent to which these individual factors are important to individuals is not something people are particularly good at changing (although we can do a fantastic job of denying and ignoring) or even being aware of going into a relationship.

And in discussing the abstract, shouldn't we accept as best we can that it is abstract?

WeiWenDi wrote:That is the point, actually.

We're all agreeing on your point b.) about sex being a 'primary need', yes?

So it's not worth making an issue out of, for now. These scenarios aren't meant to be realistic, they're philosophical fictions and thought-experiments meant to gauge where you think the boundaries of 'love' are.

An important need for most. There are definitely exceptions.

WeiWenDi wrote:Ah, so the sex needs to be done for the right reasons, yes, regardless of the resulting physical satisfaction of both parties? I agree. The question is, what are those reasons? I think it should be easy enough to guess where I fall on this question, but I am interested in your and other people's perspectives on this.

For the unsolicited James stamp of approval:
1) Intercourse should be consensual between two parties able to give competent consent.
2) Intercourse should not harm another party with cause to feel harmed (e.g. cheating, disease).

In an affectionate relationship, I see intercourse as healthy as the above applies.

Outside a relationship, and in accord with the above, I have nothing against people engaging in intercourse for pleasure. I personally would be wary of such a choice given the probability of unintended consequences (handling of which gives potential for new moral hazard) and because the more one engages, the easier it becomes to violate #2.

And building a baby in a committed, stable relationship.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:21 am

but uh, that is reading as exactly saying they are at fault for having a medical problem that destroys their ability to reason that living is better. They die becuase of their mental health problem, it is like blaming people for dying of a disease.


Not really, when it comes to mental health, it becomes very complicated.

Going by your example, it would be the fault of smallpox if the man sick with it jumped off a cliff?
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:35 am

No, as smallpox (as far as I know) doesn't destroy people's rationality. it is is the equivalent of someone dying of smallpox and blaming them for giving up.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:49 pm

FoxWithWings wrote:
Well, I think your answer is a tragic way of saying " I give up". You posit that god grants the strength to overcome any obstacle. Many obstacles, including depression and shame, are not overcome on a repetitive basis and you're retort to that is to blame those pour souls for giving up.


Blame them? I don't blame them for anything. That's just what happened. They gave up. A massive amount of strife overwhelmed them, and they gave in.

Shik, it is their fault. But please don't think I'm trying to write them off. They deserve all the help we could (and should) give them. I have a friend who struggles, almost daily, with depression. I would take a bullet for her, if it would help, I actively maintain myself as a reliable shoulder she can lean on, so she doesn't do what I fear she might do.


Well, one hand I agree with you. Despite whatever bad that was happening around them we have free will. So its ultimately a matter of choice, whatever the odds against you. I take a small issue though, specifically, with the idea though that they gave up when they had a weapon at their disposal i.e. the 'strength' god gifts them with. For one, I think anyone struggling with depression would utilize anything at their disposal to remedy their situation. A readily available an understood tool like 'strength given by god' would be handy. For another, is also rejects many situations in which the pressure of religion causes people depression. In those situations its a tad awkward to say the same thing which drives them to suicide is the same thing which should uplift them.

Basically, I think its just a nice sounding phrase that theists toss around alot. It ignores the majority of life obstacles that no amount of 'strength' provided by faith will assist us in overcoming certain obstacles. Faith, like any idea or concept that humans take motivation from, can be used to inspire or sustain us through difficult times. But to act as if faith (which i assume you'd argue is the 'strength given by god') is a cure-all for any obstacles we encounter is (to me) a foolhardy position.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:28 pm

Dong Zhou

No, as smallpox (as far as I know) doesn't destroy people's rationality. it is is the equivalent of someone dying of smallpox and blaming them for giving up.


Again, not really, and again, I am not blaming them. I only mean it is their choice and their own fault when they take their own lives.

Shika

Well, one hand I agree with you. Despite whatever bad that was happening around them we have free will. So its ultimately a matter of choice, whatever the odds against you. I take a small issue though, specifically, with the idea though that they gave up when they had a weapon at their disposal i.e. the 'strength' god gifts them with. For one, I think anyone struggling with depression would utilize anything at their disposal to remedy their situation. A readily available an understood tool like 'strength given by god' would be handy. For another, is also rejects many situations in which the pressure of religion causes people depression. In those situations its a tad awkward to say the same thing which drives them to suicide is the same thing which should uplift them.


They cannot utilize it if they do not believe they possess it.

Let's just remove religion from the equation, and say this: people have the strength to overcome the problems that they encounter throughout their lifetime.

Basically, I think its just a nice sounding phrase that theists toss around alot. It ignores the majority of life obstacles that no amount of 'strength' provided by faith will assist us in overcoming certain obstacles. Faith, like any idea or concept that humans take motivation from, can be used to inspire or sustain us through difficult times. But to act as if faith (which i assume you'd argue is the 'strength given by god') is a cure-all for any obstacles we encounter is (to me) a foolhardy position.


How, how would it not help us? I do not understand. If it grants us strength, how does it not help?

That is what Faith's main benefit is. It's basically the great sustainer that keeps us going, and it's a good fallback when life becomes overwhelming. I'm not so sure a cure-all would be an acceptable label to put on it, but I cannot picture a situation Faith would not help with.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby SunXia » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:54 pm

I agree with Shika as what works for one person does not work for another. Religion and Faith is great for a lot of people who find strength and purpose in their faith but it isn't good for those who are persecuted and forced to feel shame from a faith they have been raised under. One case would be Leelah Alcorn, look at how her family's refusal to accept her chosen identity and desires affected her. Look at what is a likely result when your family and those in your church continue to browbeat you with the idea that their God doesn't make mistakes, that you are a freak of nature and that you should just turn to their God. Being isolated from the outside world with nobody to talk to but your religious family and church "healers" contributed to making a very confused persons life seemingly unbearable. Even now, knowing how much their treatment caused Leelah to hate herself, her parents still spout religion when it was damaging to her.

Did she kill herself? Yes Leelah did kill herself, and those were the actions of someone who basically admitted that she was giving up, that her parents had won and no longer had to deal with the shame of having a transgender daughter.

Was she at fault? Well is anyone who is psychologically affected by abuse at fault for it affecting their judgement and happiness? Faith can hardly be a pillar of strength for someone who faith is being used as an excuse to try and "fix" them. She hated the life her parents were forcing her to lead, a life away from her peers, a life being forced to listen from "healers" about how wrong she was and how she should just turn to their God. She hated having arguments with her mother and family since she was 14 and she hated being isolated. Most of all, knowing she was transgender and being made to feel more like a freak by parents who loved her but didn't act lovingly towards her, she hated herself.

Leelah felt there was no hope for her, and took the permanent solution to a temporary problem. Sure, she still had to live with her parents, but she wouldn't always have had to. Away from their domination and forced "healing" therapies, she could have learnt to stand on her own two feet and learnt to love herself. But at that point, she didn't feel loved, didn't feel care for and the main reason for this wasn't being addressed, instead she was just given more and more medication and conversion therapy which only made her worse.

Leelah's thoughts were not rational but neither was the "treatment" she was undergoing. Telling someone to just trust God does not help if those who follow God refuse to accept her. She could have had faith but that type of thing can be tarnish when people around you are insisting that the God you believe in won't accept you, that he doesn't make mistakes that he doesn't make freaks etc etc.

It's easy to sit back and say that Leelah gave up but her behavior was that of an isolated, traumatized, self-hating and confused teen whose only support in life was from the friends/peers she was forced to separate from and from people who repeatedly asserted she was wrong and her feelings were wrong. the actions may been out of faith or misguided love but they were still abusive and people suffering under that do not act rationally and many times "give up" under the influence of depression.

It's not her fault that she was born Joshua, its not her fault that she was biologically a Homosexual male an its not her fault that she felt like a woman on the inside and chose to recognize herself as Leelah before she left the world. Its not her fault that her parents chose to remove her from school, its not her fault that they isolated her for half a year, its not her fault for being told repeatedly that she was freak and God doesn't make mistakes and it certainly isn't her fault for being psychologically affected by these events.

The mind is a powerful tool but it is also mentally and emotionally fragile in teenagers. We can all recognize the hardships young adulthood presented us while we tried to process the changes happening within ourselves. When these hardships are compounded by gender identity disorder and resultant abuse (emotional and mental) and neglect for a teens feelings, its easy to see why Leelah felt there was no way out. Factors in her life made her feel that way and "faith" in this case, especially the "faith" of others, made it worse.

Sure, many can find strength in God and in their faith in God, but many need to find that strength elsewhere in friends and other things. When that is denied to you then its very difficult to see that strength or to feel that strength when your self-worth is weak, when your grip on rational thought is weak from depression. Sure she would not have lived in her parents home all her life but its very difficult to see that when you are in that environment, when the pressure of self-hate and depression is building around her.

I'm glad lots of people have been able to turn to God in grief and do good things for others and such. But I don't think it should be forced on everyone as a healing measure as everyone is different and not everyone finds strength in faith, and many find hatred from those of faith so its understandable.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:40 pm

FoxWithWings wrote:
They cannot utilize it if they do not believe they possess it.


There seem to be many strings to this power.

Let's just remove religion from the equation, and say this: people have the strength to overcome the problems that they encounter throughout their lifetime.


Do all of them really? There are alot of hard obstacles out there. Many humans, regardless of their inner fortitude, are not in their control. They may not be able to control them mentally or they may not be able to control them physically (or biologically). I still think its a foolhardy position to take that we can truly handle everything thrown at us (us metaphorically).


How, how would it not help us? I do not understand. If it grants us strength, how does it not help?

That is what Faith's main benefit is. It's basically the great sustainer that keeps us going, and it's a good fallback when life becomes overwhelming. I'm not so sure a cure-all would be an acceptable label to put on it, but I cannot picture a situation Faith would not help with.


I think your latter statement sums up my reply. In my post I explicitly stated faith, like any idea or concept, can be a useful motivator or sustainer. So I obvious agree it can help. But the statement 'god never gives us anything we can't handle' isn't a statement which says 'faith can help'. Its a absolute statement that with faith anything can be overcome, i.e. faith is a cure-all.
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