Got religion? Here, let me shove some down your throat...

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Got religion? Here, let me shove some down your throat...

Unread postby James » Mon Oct 07, 2002 6:13 am

I went to download a software add-on for a p2p program I am using called KDX. It is supposed to feature some icons and some themes of “popular design”. I open the file and I am greeted by...

<i><link offline> (Yes, I know this makes the topic unusual.)</i>

I have incredible tolerance for all the various religions that swirl about me on a regular basis. There are several members of various faiths that I meet and debate with regularly just for fun and to better understand their beliefs. I love the incredible diversity of religion around me and I wouldn’t want to denounce a single one of them as long as people aren’t getting hurt.

There is one thing that never fails to bother me, one thing that never fails to make me angry with a religious follower and gives me an interest to contest the integrity of their faith and honor openly. That is when they take it upon themselves to attack others for their beliefs (or a lack thereof), or they waltz around throwing religious propaganda in your face as if they were recruiting for their own business. I think this is an insult to the very principles most religions hope to instill.

Sometimes it degenerates into a business using the currency of fear.

I digress, the person that has me ranting today is not guilty of such a hostile attack, but instead they have chosen a new way to promote their faith and recruit new members. They have created a software addition that is full only of religious paraphernalia and the long message shown above.

The place from which I found this download encourages people to clearly label their contributions. People will post something like “<Christian sect> Icon Set” and as a result people will be overjoyed. Instead I get a document to “stimulate my mind and change my life” along with a collection of truly ugly icons.

I stop to ask this. When did religion become a business?

Maybe I am out of line, and maybe I am annoyed by something that doesn’t matter at all. This thing just bothers me for some reason, and it has nothing to do with the featured religion – I would be very sad if someone I knew of my faith were to do the same thing. What do you guys think about this? What do you think about a person that shows up at your doorstep to explain why your beliefs (or lack thereof) are hellishly messed up, and can only lead to disaster? I know that there isn’t a single faith on earth that is exempt from this.
Last edited by James on Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Maria » Mon Oct 07, 2002 9:01 am

Propaganda like this would actually result in disagreement, fight, flames, bashing, and even war. It's good to know that he has aa faith, but when you use that faith for your own accord only, that's bad. It's clear that he wants to please Jesus by recruting people with propaganda, saying that "This is right, this is wrong." "Look here, he's done the most good things from all other religions!"

I hate that, seriously. My mum is a Catholic, and I'm a Moslem, but never has she asked me to go & join Christianity. Let people believe in whatever they want to believe. Religions do not need propaganda. What they need is proves. I know that the Bible contains a whole lot of advices (as I don't believe in the religious notes on that), but so does Dao De Jing, so does the Qur'an, and many other holy books.

I might go as far as saying that, don't go around promoting religion if you have no proof that it's the correct one. How could you say that us, humans can think for ourselves when we have these people shoving their promotion up your nose and (softly) force you to believe in them?
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Unread postby Starscream » Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:14 pm

I had my share of lousy experiences with people who attempted to convert me. I attended an Anglican school during my secondary school days and we had compulsory bible classes. The pastor is a bit too insensitive when he started questioning why buddhists or taoists burn incense and he asked what's the point of burning incense etc? It's certainly none of his business I think.

Another thing I hate most is religious propanganda when believers stuck pieces of pamphlet at the doors like window grill adverts, hoping to "sell" their faiths to us. If not, they also resort to stopping pedestrians at the road side and start preaching...arrrgghhh...
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Unread postby Zhou Gongjin » Mon Oct 07, 2002 7:06 pm

*shudder*
I hate it when people do this.
When I was in high school, we went on a trip to London UK. When I was there, I met dozens of "street preachers" who kept offering books to unsuspecting teenage foreign students. I wouldn't be bad if it were nice and all, but these people practically grabbed you, shoved the books in your hands and then ask you for money.
I also encountered some people that were writing all these "dooms-day" letters after a terrorist attack, trying to convince people that they should basically donate all their money to some weird firm (which later turned out to be a front of another larger corporation. Needless to say these people were punished by the police.
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Re: Got religion? Here, let me shove some down your throat.

Unread postby NCC81701 » Tue Oct 08, 2002 1:31 am

Zhuge Kongming wrote:I stop to ask this. When did religion become a business?


From my point of view, religion has always been very much like a business. There are those who go from door to door to introduce their religion and often explain why one should follow their religion. Very much like a door to door salesman. Also Religious institutions often try to "get them while they are young" meaning they attempt to inject their form of religion into the edcuation of children. Very much like Tobacco companies from the way I see it. Of course, I am not saying all religious institutions are like that, just some of the ones I have come in contact with.

Going back to the original Topic of this thread. I am annoyed when people try to sell their beliefs on to me, and I do get angry if they attempt to force it on to me. Stuff like pamphlets, posters, and verious other forms of advertisment for their beliefs, I've learn to ignore it. Other times I pick one up to read just what kind of Propaganda they are putting on these things, and sometimes I can't help but laugh at how desprite they are to sell their religion, they resort to quoting completely out of context just to prove an logical point.
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I don't like pushy religiong either

Unread postby Justin » Tue Oct 08, 2002 1:43 am

I really don't care for the pushy religious types myself. I am being a kind of devils adovact here so please avoid the flames.

Say you learned something new and wonderful that could literally give people every ounce of happiness they could want. Would you tell people about it? I know I would. IMO that is what overly zealous religious people do, they sincerely believe what they think will benefit you. So they go out of their way to promote their religous views.

That doesn't mean I like what they do, but I would like to think I know where they're coming from so I am a bit more tolerant of it. So that's my stand on this kind of person. If I'm interested I say ok I would like to learn more, otherwise I would tell them to shut the hell up.
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Unread postby Wen Choung » Tue Oct 08, 2002 5:24 am

I totally understand what you are saying Zhuge Kongming, but let's all try to understand that person's own point of view for a little bit.

To me, this person seems to be committed with his/her religion and in Christianity, it is a follower's duty to spread the "Good Word" and make it known to the various people. To some people, they may seem like they are shoving their beliefs down one's throat, but to others, it is an act of faith or virtue. Can you blame someone for having too much faith and virtue? I don't think so.

You had the choice to continue reading or to stop reading. If you did not agree with or did not feel comfortable with reading it, then you could have stopped. Anyone has that choice, at least where I come from.

And another point, it was not uncommon to have people, whether they be priests, missionaries, nuns, brothers, or just various people to go about converting others to a different religion. Imagine what the world would be like today if say the Romans were not converted to Christianity or if the Anglo-Saxons weren't. Or if the Middle East were not predominantly Islamic or if no religion existed in the entire world because no one ever bothered to tell other people what was right and what was wrongand what was the right way of life. Would the world be better? Worse?
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Unread postby Iznoach, Legendary Dragon » Tue Oct 08, 2002 5:43 am

I personally hate it when a religeon forces their ideas down my throat. I like to think of myself as open-minded, but at the same time I don't like to feel coerced, either. I think it's the way these people go about it usually that pisses me off. I mean, if I want to go to a particular church, I'm gonna go; but a sure way to get me to not go is to have people constantly bombarding me with propoganda about it's merits, and other's (religeons) faults. I'd like to be able to make up my own mind, thank you...

Also, to the people who are defending this type of action by saying that it's just them trying to be a good faithful follower, etc., well I don't agree. Maybe if they did it differently, but is disguising some religious rhetoric inside a computer program really what religeon is all about? Well maybe, if you're talking about religious fanatacism...
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Unread postby James » Tue Oct 08, 2002 6:05 am

Wen Choung wrote:To me, this person seems to be committed with his/her religion and in Christianity, it is a follower's duty to spread the "Good Word" and make it known to the various people. To some people, they may seem like they are shoving their beliefs down one's throat, but to others, it is an act of faith or virtue. Can you blame someone for having too much faith and virtue? I don't think so.

This person firmly believes that all other faiths besides his own are lies. Just because someone is virtuous or faithful in relation to his or her religion does not justify this sort of action in my mind. I am very faithful to my beliefs, and I find myself to be a virtuous man, but I would never dream of sitting someone down to explain why their own beliefs are incorrect and why mine are true (besides, that goes against my faith anyway).

I strongly disagree with you about your opinion that it is a religious follower's duty to "spread the world of God" in this sense. I agree that people should educate others about their own beliefs, but when you try to explain to others, over any form of media, that your beliefs are true and theirs are false you cross the line. This is the same thing as the people that go to schools and pass out free bibles. It is an attempt to exert influence over impressionable youths. I think it is very unethical, and it turns religion into a business.

Wen Choung wrote:You had the choice to continue reading or to stop reading. If you did not agree with or did not feel comfortable with reading it, then you could have stopped. Anyone has that choice, at least where I come from.

I only read the whole article because I planned to present it here. Otherwise I would have deleted the whole file after the first few paragraphs. The part of this that I find offensive is not his faith in his religion, but the objectives he holds in presenting this message. He doesn't want to educate me about his religion; he wants to convert me.

Wen Choung wrote:And another point, it was not uncommon to have people, whether they be priests, missionaries, nuns, brothers, or just various people to go about converting others to a different religion. Imagine what the world would be like today if say the Romans were not converted to Christianity or if the Anglo-Saxons weren't. Or if the Middle East were not predominantly Islamic or if no religion existed in the entire world because no one ever bothered to tell other people what was right and what was wrongand what was the right way of life. Would the world be better? Worse?

To me it sounds as if you are implying that if the current major religions had not come into authority by conversion the world would be a cold, dark, evil, and dangerous place. I strongly disagree with this. The concepts of right and wrong do not come from religion as many people try to explain, they come from your own ethics and views on the world. Religion may try to define them, but most people don't need religion to figure out that murder, theft, and rape are wrong.

If Christianity (the most wide spread religion on earth, in all its forms) did not exist I submit that the world could still survive and even thrive. Humanity does not need a book, beliefs, and fears to be "good". They just need to avoid actions that harm others. Religion is a normal way of life though, people seek to answer the questions that cannot be answered, and it is the logical result. If Christianity did not exist something else would evolve to take its place.

And also never forget the "evil" that was involved in most of these religious conversions. In many places people did not choose a specific faith because they had a choice, their life was the gambling chip. Today we are largely away from much of this violence (e.g. most religious followers don't kill members of other religions if they wont convert) but it still exists.
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Unread postby Sam Da Man » Mon Oct 21, 2002 7:33 pm

That is why I don't believe in organized religion. I believe the relationship between me and god is a personal one.
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