Posted by Elaine on August 02, 2000 at 20:55:26:
In Reply to: Re: For all those who ponder...About Charities Elaine posted by Bill R on August 02, 2000 at 18:05:47:
Thank you for replying. However, as I feared, you were offended by what I said & I think that is a pity. Let me try to clarify what you misread.
: Well, a lot said there. Gonna have to mull it and think upon it and answer, but the short answers are.......
>>> Yes, a lot said because you evoked pondering of particular issues. Thanks ... that's a good thing.
: I am too much a pragmatist and a cynic to ascribe to Utopia as a possibility.
>>> And I knew this was true of you, which is why I found a bit of irony in your thoughts. Yet, what you hope for would be Utopia.
: I never advocated giving up our differences, religions etc. I said that we should stress the commonalities. As long as we stress the differences and take sinful pride in them, we will continue to get into trouble.
>>> No, you didn't advocate giving up our differences but you found fault with one believing his religion to be true. This is a point I can not agree on. Now, to say one believes in a true religion is not to say one is stressing ANY differences at all. I
believe what I believe & it has not caused me to shun, avoid, neglect, or harm anyone. Neither has it disenfranchised anyone. It hasn't caused me to refrain from befriending anyone - or assisting anyone. I simply believe what I believe.
Regarding commonalities; My point is that we DO find commonalities among many people of many viewpoints, yet ... the desire to STRESS commonalities often, almost naturally, leads us to associate more closely with people of similar background and/or beliefs, be it religious, political, economical, etc. What you suggest, I think, has the opposite desired effect. Now, did I advocate polarization? Or did I present it as a natural trait of humans? If I was advocating this (which you've somehow read as the point of my post) then why would I engage in these discussions or maintain what I thought were friendships among people of varied beliefs - mostly not shared by me? I thought I was interracting in a positive way among fellow humans.
: I do not want one world order or one great society. I do want the world to work together on world problems. What will it take for that? Invasion from without the planet by not-of-this-earth
>>> I didn't think for a moment you wanted one world order, Bill. I was pretty sure you would reject such a notion. Work together on world problems? I'm sorry, but excepting brief periods of crises or temporarily shared objectives, I don't think it will ever happen.
: And ah, don't get me started on Catholicism.
>>> Was that the message you got? It wasn't about Catholicism, Bill - it was about polarization & believers truly believing what they say they believe - WHATEVER the religion. Since I am Catholic, wasn't it appropriate to reference my own beliefs?
In my search for a belief system I did take the catechism and instruction. I was told that anybody who was not Catholic (capital C) either went to hell or was doomed to purgatory.
>>> So you'll make this an attack upon Catholicism? My referencing of my own faith gave you this direction? Guess what? What you've just stated is incorrect.
: Purgatory if unaware of the True Church, and hell if aware but believing otherwise. I walked away. That kind of bullcrap elitism is what allows folks to commit the things they do to each other. It is one of THE polar issues.
>>> Firstly, Bill, I'm sorry you were so poorly instructed. I'd like to explain a few things regarding Church teaching, however, that'd soon become a lengthy dissertation on the Doctrines of the Church. Do I have your permission to do so privately? I'm also sorry you so easily state your opinion of the Church as bullcrap elitism. I'm sure you noted that I've not made any disparaging comments upon any other religions. As for POLAR issues, Jesus Christ himself was a polar issue, was he not? Some things will always be polarizing issues, yet they need not be cause of anger, hatred, or separation.
: For the record, differences need not be polar issues.
>>> Of course not. They need not be but sometimes will be. We have many differences & yet we've found lots of common ground.
The idea of MY difference being better than YOUR difference creates the polarity.
>>> Bill, aren't you fairly certain your political beliefs are BETTER & more sensible than another's? Isn't that why you hold those political beliefs? Don't you believe your opinion to be correct? Isn't that why you hold that opinion? Why would it be different with religion?
And in my view, the Catholic church epitomizes that concept.
>>> That's fine. Yes, a Catholic believes himself to be correct in his religious tenets. As does a Muslim, a Jew, A Bhuddist, a Protestant, a Pagan, a Deitist, a Sophist, a Hindu, a Delaware, a Copt, and so on. Based upon your comments, I'd say you, too, believe your religion to be better than, at least, Catholicism. Isn't that my point???
: I am more than willing to accept that a good Catholic Christian has as much chance of sitting with God one day as I do.
>>> Bill, do you really believe that? Your statement, "That kind of bullcrap elitism is what allows folks to commit the things they do to each other" was a rather strong indictment of Catholics. If this is true, perhaps a Catholic hasn't such a good chance to sit with God as you do.
: What creates the polarity is that the Catholic Church states I will never sit with God because I do not believe in THEIR dogma.
>>> No. This is NOT true. The Church states no such thing. Perhaps the EXCESSIVE polarity is created by those who continue to misrepresent Church teaching, history, & traditions. Perhaps EXCESSIVE polarity is further empowered by Catholics who silently
sit by & say nothing when their faith is so misrepresented.
: And now, I think I will retire for a bit, as you have successfully made of a pretty decent discussion a POLAR issue of it.
>>> How so, Bill? By taking up the issue of polarization and religious conviction as I see it? Do you believe my thoughts & perspectives on this should have been tempered or censored? I elaborated upon the idea of human polarization and why it is so. I disagreed with your idea that one should not believe there could be a true religion and the suggestion that this rejection would somehow improve man's lot. At no time did I attack, vilify, or comment negatively upon ANY other belief. Despite your willingness to do it, I'm still not going that route. So, I've made this a polar issue?
:And why? Because religion was mentioned.
>>> Bill, you ought to give me a bit more credit than that. Religion, specifically Catholicism, has been mentioned LOTS of times on this board. Many times it has been spoken of negatively or has been falsely appraised. Do I reply with a sermon? Ever? In this case, I took up the point of 'true religion' made by you because I DISAGREE with your position. How was that polarizing? I also took up the issue of why polarization occurs. How was that polarizing? The rest of your post I agreed with. I think you need to rethink what I've said.
: However it does illustrate what I was trying to say. Some folks will never give up the idea that their religion is the right one and everybody else is wrong.
>>> Right. On this we agree ... there will always be those among us who believe their beliefs to be believable. In so doing, they aren't exactly terrorists, just people of convictions, right or wrong.
: And therefore we will never have peace in the world.
>>> Is this what it'd take for world peace? The total abandonment of one's conviction that his religion is truthful? Am I required by the peace police to embrace all belief systems as equal? If not, I'm a menace to society?
: Even if all the other factors for conflict were resolved but that one, conflict will go on.
>>> There's quite a difference between one's conviction & the idea that one should harm another who holds to a different belief. I don't think I've advocated the latter.
:I wasn't asking for anybody to give up the Catholic religion.
>>> No, not outright, but you were suggesting that it'd be noble to abandon its doctrines, in which case, out goes the religion.
:I WAS asking that the catholics and islamics and jews and christians at least agree that all have a valid way of coming to God.
>>> Without going into the difficulties presented to each group, I will say this - the Church teaches each of these groups IS valid. Also, Bill, Catholics ARE Christian. You separated them in your statement.
: And quite nicely, I think, we have seen an illustration of why that will never be.
: So conflict will go on.
>>> Conflict will go on because too many people either don't listen or are too quick to react in anger. Bill, try to revisit my post & understand what my points were. They were not a reaction to the mentioning of religion, nor were they a presentation on Catholicism; they weren't even a defense of my beliefs, but rather, a reasoned explanation on the inherent need to believe whatever your religion holds or the uselessness of holding it. (I didn't even take offense at the angered stabs at Catholicism ... a good start, no?)
>>> The pity would be that you continue to misread what I've said to the point of anger. The pity would be that you fail to understand the point of view I've expressed. The pity would be that I would feel a need to refrain from honest discussion within this DECENT thread because one shouldn't say such things in the 21st century.
I'd appreciate being able to discuss & reply to such provocative thoughts raised here without being so indicted or seeming to be offensive. Yes, Bill? As I said earlier, I really enjoyed your post!
Post a Followup