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
87
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 : 243

Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:55 pm

FoxWithWings wrote:The reason my arguments have wavered is because Shik changed my mind a bit. I know recognize that the homosexual lust and impulse cannot be changed, that is a burden, according to my faith. However, it be ignored, and overridden. That is primarily the change I speak of. Something like that will cause internal strife and difficulty.


It depends what you mean by ignored and overridden. If you mean they can override it to become straight, they can't. If you mean ignored as in repress the feelings and become celibate, that is an option though it may well not be good for some.

WWD:As for the three (names would be simpler then letters), off the top of my head, 1) isn't love, 2) probably not, 3) seems like it. Complete and utter love, no but a love of sorts. Or may just be infatuation
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:03 pm

It depends what you mean by ignored and overridden. If you mean they can override it to become straight, they can't. If you mean ignored as in repress the feelings and become celibate, that is an option though it may well not be good for some.

As for the three (names would be simpler then letters), off the top of my head, 1) isn't love, 2) probably not, 3) seems like it. Complete and utter love, no but a love of sorts. Or may just be infatuation


Yes, they can't, but they can beat it down to nearly nothing if they want to.

And if it isn't good for them is fairly relative, if you look at it from an atheistic standpoint, then yes it isn't good for them. From a Christian standpoint, it would be seen as tossing off the chains of sin to reach a higher calling. To your second paragraph, I am confused.

What does that have to do with our conversation?

Based on your reply to DZ, are you suggesting that homosexual sexual relations are born of lust rather than love? If so, you're sorely and sadly mistaken. Homosexuals can love one another just as surely as any heterosexual.


I can assure you I assume nothing of the sort, I love my father, I love my brother, I love one of my friends as a brother. It is only homosexual actions that are forbidden.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:35 pm

FoxWithWings wrote:
Yes, they can't, but they can beat it down to nearly nothing if they want to.


What is this assertion, that with willpower (and I assume prayer), homosexuals can 'beat' their natural sexual desires 'into nothing' based upon ? I doubt it's personal knowledge, so I'd like to know what evidence we should accept this assertion upon?
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:44 pm

FoxWithWings wrote:Yes, they can't, but they can beat it down to nearly nothing if they want to.


I don't think they can anymore then heterosexuals can

FoxWithWings wrote:And if it isn't good for them is fairly relative, if you look at it from an atheistic standpoint, then yes it isn't good for them. From a Christian standpoint, it would be seen as tossing off the chains of sin to reach a higher calling. To your second paragraph, I am confused


Sorry second para was over WWD's post, edited for clarity. My bad

To some, celibacy is a good calling. For others, it ill-suits them and with homosexuality, may well get mixed up with more then being celibate into suppressing their personality and self

FoxWithWings wrote:I can assure you I assume nothing of the sort, I love my father, I love my brother, I love one of my friends as a brother. It is only homosexual actions that are forbidden.


I doubt any girlfriend would like a comparison to loving them the same way as loving a sister, so I doubt a boyfriend would appreciate one comparing that love to that of a brother.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:22 am

Dong Zhou wrote:WWD: As for the three (names would be simpler then letters), off the top of my head, 1) isn't love, 2) probably not, 3) seems like it. Complete and utter love, no but a love of sorts. Or may just be infatuation


Well, maybe, but then my Mr. T joke wouldn't have worked. :P

Okay, so (1) is definitely not love, while (2) is probably not love. What in particular do you think changed between those two scenarios to admit the possibility of love, however remote?

(Or - better yet, let's give a concrete example of just such a change within a betrothal / arranged marriage. Did Victoria and Albert love each other when they first married? What about when Albert died?)

And as for (3), how would you characterise the difference between love and infatuation?
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:36 am

Shik

What is this assertion, that with willpower (and I assume prayer), homosexuals can 'beat' their natural sexual desires 'into nothing' based upon ? I doubt it's personal knowledge, so I'd like to know what evidence we should accept this assertion upon?


I cannot answer this completely, it is too personal. But it is based on personal knowledge, I will say that much. And I will also say this, homosexual lust is the same as heterosexual lust, all lust can be overcome and ignored. Mind you, one doesn't always have to ignore such a thing, there are cases when lust can be acted upon in a holy fashion.

Dong Zhou

I don't think they can anymore then heterosexuals can


Oh, they can. They definitely can. If someone is given a problem (being homosexual lust) then God also gives them the strength to overcome it.

To some, celibacy is a good calling. For others, it ill-suits them and with homosexuality, may well get mixed up with more then being celibate into suppressing their personality and self


Well yeah, we all have our different quirks and weaknesses I guess. Your only reinforcing the fact that is really is based on perspective, most things are.

I doubt any girlfriend would like a comparison to loving them the same way as loving a sister, so I doubt a boyfriend would appreciate one comparing that love to that of a brother.


My apologies, I should have said more. Have you ever watched When Harry Met Sally? I'm going to use that movie as a little example. Many, including me, would say that the best of lovers and eternal partners start as good friends first, so really, two girlfriends could become, actual girlfriends, because they find, in each other, qualities that complete them. As a result, they love each other for it. That is no different from straight couples.

Which leads me to something else. All I've said before about homosexuality was strictly in the case of them just having unholy sex. What if, say, there was a lesbian couple (or two men, works either way) who were together because they loved each other so, but who were also Christian. Say they kept God's every command and loved Him, worshipping Him and accepting Him as their savior. Except they also loved each other dearly, and committed the sin of homosexual sex. What if, after they did such a thing, they prayed for forgiveness? And only worshipped Him the more?

I dearly hope and pray they would still reach Heaven, but this is something I'm unsure of. I know God loves all his children, would he be willing to overlook that one sin so he could welcome two of his daughters (or sons) into His eternal Kingdom?
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:28 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:
(1) A newly-wed couple in an arranged marriage. Wealthy Mr. and Mrs. P have betrothed their daughter, Miss P, to the son of important politician Mr. R - let's call him R, Jr. Miss P and R, Jr. were introduced to each other by their respective parents and by a matchmaker, who evaluated their maturity and anatomical compatibility and decided they were suitable for each other. But they have very different interests, to the point where Miss P's first impression of R, Jr. was that he was unfeeling and his of her that she was childish. They barely exchanged ten sentences in all before they were married. Once they were married, they had very regular sex - let's say, three to five times a week on average. Née P did it because she felt it was her duty to keep R, Jr. satisfied, and R, Jr. did it because he wanted children. Neither one felt any particular erotic closeness to the other. However, R, Jr. never abused née P and she very rarely quarreled with him and never cheated on him, though we may say for the sake of argument that these were from completely selfish motives. In fact, let's go further. Let's say R, Jr. is a sexist and an egotist, and didn't abuse her because he felt it beneath him to ill-use someone so inferior to him in every way - in intellect, in physical strength and in emotional stability. And née P seldom argued with him because she felt it would be too troublesome, and never cheated on him only because she lacked the initiative, enterprise and opportunity to do so.


No.

(2) The same couple, ten years later. R, Jr.'s edges have mellowed a bit, after having had two daughters by née P. He has a higher respect for women now generally, and for his wife in particular. After all, née P takes care of his house and kids well, and even occasionally helps him with his work. And née P has noticed that her husband maybe hasn't changed in essentials, but he's gotten more complacent and even unguarded around her. For the sake of keeping things easy for herself, she's come to notice his good qualities and ignore his bad ones. They still have sex three to five times a week, but now both of them are looking forward to it because having practiced so often on each other (and being anatomically compatible into the bargain!), he knows all her 'sweet spots' and she now knows how to keep him turned on and attentive until she's satisfied herself with an orgasm or two. Mr. R satisfies his emotional and intellectual needs by hanging out with his 'guy friends' and née P by hanging out with her 'girl friends'. They still don't share many interests and don't talk to each other very often, but they have managed to successfully cobble a fairly comfortable life together. Now, as said before, R. Jr. has a genuine and heartfelt respect for his wife, and now née P wouldn't think of cheating on her husband because she's physically satisfied with the sex, and emotionally content with the rest of her life.


This situation, minus the arraigned marriage and what not, is likely more common than we think. Or was not too long ago. I think one could argue a form of 'love' develops between the two, but I think using the word in such a way is fairly sloppy. What has developed is a sense of unity and mutual bond that exists after living with someone. Becoming content and embracing one's life circumstances despite the fact that neither would actually choose them voluntarily.

(3) A completely contrary example. Mr. S and Miss T meet in a thoroughly unplanned fashion, without the planning or knowledge of their families or friends, and immediately and completely fall for each other. Over the course of a few days or a few weeks they discover they have all of the same interests, hobbies and habits. Miss T thinks Mr. S is a perfect gentleman. Mr. S is perhaps not the villain of the set piece as Hans was in Frozen, and genuinely does have feelings for Miss T. They have sex, they enjoy the sex. But some material circumstance arises such that Mr. S can only continue the relationship with Miss T at considerable cost to his own well-being. (Maybe Miss T's brother Mr. T threatened to knock all the teeth outta his mouth if the foo' didn't stop his jibba-jabba.) Mr. S has the opportunity to continue the relationship with Miss T, but because doing so would be inconvenient, he chooses to leave her instead.


Because of the timeframe I'm hesitant to use the word 'love' with too much conviction. Likely there's just mutual attraction/infatuation and the excitement of starting a new relationship. Had the circumstances been that they coexisted for some time and still maintained such feelings I'd be more comfortable using the word.Being in love often means sacrificing one's own comfort for the greater good of what both want, and choosing to continue to the relationship at his expense would be an act of love in my eyes. But folding on the relationship would not completely limit him (though we could earnestly doubt his convictions/words) from saying he was in love. Sometimes love isn't enough to make a relationship work.

[And yes, I completely set up all these scenarios just to use that Mr. T joke.]


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FoxWithWings wrote:Shik

I cannot answer this completely, it is too personal. But it is based on personal knowledge, I will say that much. And I will also say this, homosexual lust is the same as heterosexual lust, all lust can be overcome and ignored.


So the answer to my request for proof is 'you're just gonna have to take my word on it?' I don't think that cuts it.

Mind you, one doesn't always have to ignore such a thing, there are cases when lust can be acted upon in a holy fashion.


For heterosexuals. Not homosexuals.


Oh, they can. They definitely can.


Again, proof? Something approaching an argument which could be based upon more than our personal opinion on the effectiveness of willpower/prayer in 'beating' a homosexual's natural instincts 'into nothing'?

If someone is given a problem (being homosexual lust) then God also gives them the strength to overcome it.


You should tell that to the large number of closed homosexuals or individuals who had taken their own lives because they didn't feel they had the strength to 'overcome' their 'problem'.



Which leads me to something else. All I've said before about homosexuality was strictly in the case of them just having unholy sex. What if, say, there was a lesbian couple (or two men, works either way) who were together because they loved each other so, but who were also Christian. Say they kept God's every command and loved Him, worshipping Him and accepting Him as their savior. Except they also loved each other dearly, and committed the sin of homosexual sex. What if, after they did such a thing, they prayed for forgiveness? And only worshipped Him the more?

I dearly hope and pray they would still reach Heaven, but this is something I'm unsure of. I know God loves all his children, would he be willing to overlook that one sin so he could welcome two of his daughters (or sons) into His eternal Kingdom?


I mean, I'm glad you hope so but does this really help them? Being with someone who you're naturally attracted to, being in a loving committed relationship, but having to (self) consider your expression of such love 'unholy' (abomination) and ask for forgiveness everytime you express one of the most fundamental expressions which gives us our humanity? To answer your last question, I'd hope any 'merciful' and 'loving' god would overlook minor sins and focused more on a) the moral character of the individual and b) the way in which that individual treated others.

As to one other point I should've brought up early, personally I find doing the same thing repetitively and asking for forgiveness self-defeating. If you're doing it over and over again you're not truly sorry, and asking for forgiveness is just the obligation you know you have to go through. It becomes a procedure, it isn't a genuine shame.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:43 pm

Shik

So the answer to my request for proof is 'you're just gonna have to take my word on it?' I don't think that cuts it.


Again, proof? Something approaching an argument which could be based upon more than our personal opinion on the effectiveness of willpower/prayer in 'beating' a homosexual's natural instincts 'into nothing'?


I've freaking done it, you happy now?

For heterosexuals. Not homosexuals.


Of course.

You should tell that to the large number of closed homosexuals or individuals who had taken their own lives because they didn't feel they had the strength to 'overcome' their 'problem'.


They gave in to doubt. Suicide is a tragic way of saying "I give up"

I mean, I'm glad you hope so but does this really help them? Being with someone who you're naturally attracted to, being in a loving committed relationship, but having to (self) consider your expression of such love 'unholy' (abomination) and ask for forgiveness everytime you express one of the most fundamental expressions which gives us our humanity? To answer your last question, I'd hope any 'merciful' and 'loving' god would overlook minor sins and focused more on a) the moral character of the individual and b) the way in which that individual treated others.


It wouldn't be easy. However, sex doesn't always indicate intimacy, intimacy isn't dependent on sex. To your second point, yes, I hope that is the case as well, even though the Book says the way into Heaven is narrow and small (i.e.. hard to get into).

As to one other point I should've brought up early, personally I find doing the same thing repetitively and asking for forgiveness self-defeating. If you're doing it over and over again you're not truly sorry, and asking for forgiveness is just the obligation you know you have to go through. It becomes a procedure, it isn't a genuine shame.


I agree, this same line of thought was passing through my mind when I wrote what I did.
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:25 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:
Okay, so (1) is definitely not love, while (2) is probably not love. What in particular do you think changed between those two scenarios to admit the possibility of love, however remote?


It sounds more companionable relationship then the first. Love can possibly build from that

(Or - better yet, let's give a concrete example of just such a change within a betrothal / arranged marriage. Did Victoria and Albert love each other when they first married? What about when Albert died?)


From what I recall, Victoria was very very attracted to Albert before hand anyway and they had quite an active sex life once married.

And as for (3), how would you characterise the difference between love and infatuation?


With extreme difficulty? It's hard to judge in person let alone as a written exercise as to if person A is feeling one or the other. As to the difference, infatuation can be more about physical attributes (though can turn to love) and short term

Fox:
FoxWithWings wrote:I've freaking done it, you happy now?


Why so angry? What you felt was nothing to be ashamed of.

To be honest, Shi has mostly covered my answers. I do not believe one can make oneself hetro if one is gay by force of will or prayer (in some ways, given various societies, it would be a hell of a lot easier if one could). I do believe (may be wrong here) that youngsters, as their hormones go crazy, can dabble and sway a bit on the scale but that is as far as I would go. As for getting into Heaven, like Shi, I would hope that God would look at the person and their life, not who s/he fell in love with.

I would be curios to hear more of your story but I'm guessing you would be too uncomfortable to go further?

FoxWithWings wrote:They gave in to doubt. Suicide is a tragic way of saying "I give up"


If by gave in to doubt, you mean life became intolerable and they were destroyed from the inside, each and every suicide in such circumstances a shame on the human race then yes. Otherwise, I'm not sure gave in to doubt is the right phrase
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Re: Religion: Old Thread, New Poll!

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:15 am

Shikanosuke wrote::lol: highly approve. if we had a thumbs up 'smilie' thing i'd use it.


:lol: Thankyewverymuch. I'm here till Thursday - try the veal.

With both Shikanosuke and Dong Zhou having offered their opinions on my fictional scenarios above, it looks like there's kind of a common theme emerging.

(1) is definitely not love.
(2) is probably not love, but has the potential to become so (am I reading you guys right?)
(3) could be love, but also might be confused for infatuation.

With regard to (1) and (2), though:

Dong Zhou wrote:From what I recall, Victoria was very very attracted to Albert before hand anyway and they had quite an active sex life once married.


Right, but my stipulation for all three scenarios was exactly, 'quite an active sex life'. The three relationships above are all sexually, physically satisfying on the lizard-brain level - it wouldn't be much of a thought-exercise if they weren't. And Shik is right that scenario (2) was until recently very common for many marriages, both arranged and not. But here's where we get to the interesting part with regard to scenario (2):

Shikanosuke wrote:I think one could argue a form of 'love' develops between the two, but I think using the word in such a way is fairly sloppy. What has developed is a sense of unity and mutual bond that exists after living with someone. Becoming content and embracing one's life circumstances despite the fact that neither would actually choose them voluntarily.


Dong Zhou wrote:It sounds more companionable relationship then the first. Love can possibly build from that


DZ - you have to remember that I'm deliberately being Socratic here. What do you mean when you say 'companionable'? The married Rs still don't have any mutual interests or hobbies in common. They still don't actively spend time together except for sex and housework, and maybe raising the kids. Their friendships are all 'outside the house'. What makes you say 'companionable' in this scenario?

As for what Shik is saying, I think we're getting onto something about the nature of erotic love. And don't worry, Shik - my posing these kinds of questions is precisely to avoid such a sloppy use of the word! But it was clear to you that love was absent from scenario (1) but is not in the same way from scenario (2), which means - from your view! - that the conditions which changed are relevant to satisfactorily defining love. And you identified these conditions as:

a.) 'a sense of unity'
b.) '[a] mutual bond'
c.) 'embracing one's life circumstances' (I presume, those shared with the partner / spouse?)

Now tell me: are these senses of unity, mutual bonds and embraces of circumstance something that passively happens to the couple, or do they spring from some kind of wilful action?

Now, as for (3):

Shikanosuke wrote:Because of the timeframe I'm hesitant to use the word 'love' with too much conviction. Likely there's just mutual attraction/infatuation and the excitement of starting a new relationship. Had the circumstances been that they coexisted for some time and still maintained such feelings I'd be more comfortable using the word. Being in love often means sacrificing one's own comfort for the greater good of what both want, and choosing to continue to the relationship at his expense would be an act of love in my eyes. But folding on the relationship would not completely limit him (though we could earnestly doubt his convictions/words) from saying he was in love.


Dong Zhou wrote:As to the difference, infatuation can be more about physical attributes (though can turn to love) and short term


Okay, so timeframe (long-term versus short-term) is needed for love to be distinguished from infatuation - on that you both agree? And Shik seems to want to add something like 'commitment' or 'sacrifice for the greater good' to the definition as well. He would say choosing to continue the relationship at his expense would be an act of love.

So, let's sum up. You would say that 'love' is defined at its limits by these five characteristics (the three from above, and adding two more from what you guys just said):

a.) a sense of unity (Shik)
b.) mutual bonding (Shik) or companionship (DZ)
c.) embracing life circumstances (Shik)
d.) long-term rather than short-term (Shik / DZ)
e.) personal sacrifice of self-interest for shared ones (Shik)

Would you both agree to these five defining factors?
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