Why do religions have to convert people?

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fluffy
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by fluffy »

Wouldn't someone who is secure in their beliefs simply not feel any need to justify those beliefs to others? While hardline atheists and unshakable believers are polar opposites, they are both cut from the same cloth as far as being closed to other possibilities.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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CJSchmidtz wrote:As I said my point might not be obvious.

Some were offended when I represented atheists in a derogatory condescending manner, when I referred to them as brain washed, when I described them alongside meth manufacturers.

My point is this…. Then why do those same types of things to religious people. I was merely turning the tables, each group can hypothetically spend a lot of time throwing insults around. I myself think it is generally a waste of time. Perhaps there are times when that could be a component of real discussions but imho most of the time they just come across as childish insults. I admit that to a degree I am simply unsure of what to think of these types of diatribes but I am hoping that by doing this I could at least invite some caution.

I had said “variations of reasons like this can apply…..” I was not saying that they were my reasons I was applying, I was simply saying the same mentality expressed in posts like the one I referenced; but with the shoe on the other foot could lead to these types of statements. I did not explain “my point” at that time because I was hoping that I could better make my point after gaining the reaction which was exactly as I expected. It was a matter of how do you like your own medicine.

If you say that you are promoting something because you believe it is true or helpful, I will discuss whether it is true or helpful.

I would just add one more thing. I completely think that thinktank is correct about the reasons why some religious people may try to convert others. I simply don’t think the list is exhaustive. I also think that atheists can have negative motives for trying to convert people. Both sides could hypothetically have negative motives but we can’t see each other’s motives so I would prefer not to make this a focus.


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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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“You were born an atheist.”
Lol, in a sense you are right. I have a very real bent towards skepticism so I can often appreciate the skeptic even though I am not a skeptic. I don’t really like the views promoted by atheists but I no longer really like my own views either; I believe they are true but that is not the same as liking them. Perhaps because of this I tend to prefer being a critic and try to minimize actively promoting anything. I do sometimes really enjoy the discussions.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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The difference with the atheist viewpoint (it is not a belief) is that our current evidence backs it up as fact. In that there is no evidence supporting any sort of deity from ANY religion.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

Post by alexoliversen »

CJSchmidtz wrote:Alex I think I can use your beliefs in order to express why it is very important we try to convert you (-: and other people who believe horrible things. I am not saying you are horrible…. Please let me explain.
You said
“ there is only one God and there is no reason to convert anyone to any religion, as all is the will of God - Even man's will and religion.”
I think most theists and even most atheists would agree with what I am about to say. I believe that some beliefs and actions are wrong. Some more extreme examples are the Nazi’s final solution, the Salem Witch Trials, female genital mutilation etc. Therefore I would seek to persuade people not to promote the ideas and behaviors associated with these and many less extreme examples. A less extreme example would be promoting some kind of a Ponzi scheme.
Unless I am wrong you believe in a type of determinism which tells you that “all is the will of God.” Whatever you do, whatever you believe it is all fine, it is all the will of God. I believe this is horribly wrong. I am consciously aware of making choices and decisions, I could be wrong perhaps God is making me oppose your ideas. However this is a situation where I happily treat my self-awareness as innocent till proven guilty because If I am wrong I don’t have a choice anyways and it doesn’t matter.


CJSchmidtz, I hate to tell you this, but this is where lies come from - When you imply or infer to much you create lies, rumors, and illusions in truth. I said "IF there is one god" (IF is an important thing to remember) thus as there may not be one god, thus an argument for an one all powerful all loving god could be an lie, or that God just doesn't care, or he does care and it's just all his will. I never said whether I believe in one god or not, there might be there, might not be. I only merely stated, "If there is only one god, then what does it matter what religion or culture your from?" You could say I disagreed with the statement that you should join any religion(Though I should change the word to church as I say church not religion, as each church does not represent the entirety of any religion outright, as religion is such a hard thing to define, and each church has it's own flavor anyways) on the basis that there is only one god thus you should join.

You should be careful of what you imply because they might call you a devil. Also somehow you come to the conclusion that every other religion does not have morals or values, which they do, what they are is another question. And many value peace still! :P
As there has been peace in many countries - even extremist states and religions might have peace for a while, even if we might only call it superficial. It still means no one gets killed and the people are fed and housed, which again goes back to the original question: Why does anyone need to convert people when all power supposedly comes from one god?
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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jennylives wrote:The difference with the atheist viewpoint (it is not a belief) is that our current evidence backs it up as fact. In that there is no evidence supporting any sort of deity from ANY religion.



This is true, for the moment. There was also a time when it was widely held that the world was flat, or that the Earth was the center of the universe, but as our knowledge of the universe around us increased these ideas were replaced with more accurate versions. There's no evidence to support the existence of some unifying or controlling force at this point, but to conclude that this means there is no such force is flawed logic. It's about being open to possibilities, a concept that hardliners from both ends of the spectrum do not appear to subscribe to. It's not so much what you believe or don't believe, it's about the moral certainty of basing those positions on what at this point in time is incomplete evidence.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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The thing with science is the possibilities are always endless but what is fact is rooted in the present. Should solid evidence turn up that supports a deity I would accept it immediately. This it where atheism differs from a belief.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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Jenlives I would say that I am not aware of any evidence or reason which supports atheism but I have reasons for adhering to a theistic viewpoint. I am happy to give you some reasons why I take this stance but first I would like to ask you to give reasons for yours.

You have said that atheism is a fact. Please point out to me your reasons for believing that it is a fact. If you could please include all the criteria you are using and reference to the deductions you are making. I know that this may be lengthy because it would require you to have an exhaustive knowledge of everything but please feel free to proceed. Perhaps to start you could simply explain your reasons for dismissing all the reasons that I consider support my viewpoint.

Incidentally people use some words in different ways, when I use the term belief I consider that I am referring to an idea, conception or awareness that someone thinks reflects reality. I would be more likely to use the term viewpoint with reference to principles by which we evaluate logical, mathematical, or ethical issues. For example I would call atheism or theism a belief when used by someone who makes a related claim which is said to represent reality. In another sense I would describe atheism, theism, feminism, Marxism, philosophical naturalism, fideism or many other perspectives to be viewpoints.
Last edited by CJSchmidtz on Nov 25th, 2013, 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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The reason is very simple. There is no evidence of a deity. End of list.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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jennylives wrote:The thing with science is the possibilities are always endless but what is fact is rooted in the present.


But "fact" isn't really fact when based on incomplete information. Could one say that it was once a fact that the world was flat, or that it was merely fact that people believed it was flat?
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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So you don't believe Yahweh is God of the Israelites?

jennylives wrote:The difference with the atheist viewpoint (it is not a belief) is that our current evidence backs it up as fact. In that there is no evidence supporting any sort of deity from ANY religion.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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Perhaps you could clarify because I am trying to understand “the criteria” you are using. As it stands now it sounds like you are assuming that –

It is a fact that God does not exist because you do not have any evidence to believe that he exists. In other words in your opinion it is a fact that something does not exist unless you have a personal knowledge of that things existence. Does this only apply to God or does this apply to everything?

In other words if according to Jenny’s viewpoint or belief it doesn’t exist then it is a fact that it does not exist.

Perhaps an illustration may help. On my desk I have written down four names, two refer to people that I believe exist, two refer to people that I believe do no not exist. Right now you do not have a reason or evidence that supports the existence of any of these four people. According to the criteria you are using would you say that it is a fact that none of them exist. I am hoping that at this point you will start to clearly see my point. Perhaps if it is possible that two people can exist without you’re personally being aware of the evidence for their existence it is possible that God could exist without you simply knowing of or perhaps admitting to the evidence for his existence.

You can complain because I have not told you their names but that really doesn’t matter because I am not trying to evaluate which of these four people exists, I am trying to evaluate whether I should consider your criteria can prove to me the factual nonexistence of anything. I have reason to believe that two of them exist and I have reasons to believe that God exists. At this point in our conversation it seems to me that if your criteria cannot be considered sufficient for me to consider it is a fact that none of these four exist then your criteria is also insufficient to discount the reasons I have for believing that God exists.

After this I can tell you the names if you like, you can do some research and find reason to believe that two of them exist. This will only confirm the point I have presently made. The point is that something or someone can in fact exist without your previously having known of their existence. You could also decide you don’t want to bother, you may think it is a waste of time. In this case you would only add to the previous point. This would further confirm my suspicion that reality is not constrained by your viewpoint, it would further confirm my suspicion that sometimes people are unaware of or simply do not acknowledge evidence that they are not personally willing to pursue.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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fluffy wrote:But "fact" isn't really fact when based on incomplete information. Could one say that it was once a fact that the world was flat, or that it was merely fact that people believed it was flat?


It was a fact at the time with their then present knowledge. Science is constantly changing, if every possibility is considered as being potentially equally viable than we really have no facts at all. I think of facts as our best guess considering our now known information which is inline with the dictionary definition:

fact
fakt/Submit
noun
1.
a thing that is known or proved to be true.
"the most commonly known fact about hedgehogs is that they have fleas"
synonyms: reality, actuality, certainty, factuality, certitude; More
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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averagejoe wrote:So you don't believe Yahweh is God of the Israelites?


There is no evidence (it is not a belief) that any deity has ever existed or currently does under any name.
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Re: Why do religions have to convert people?

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CJSchmidtz wrote:Perhaps you could clarify because I am trying to understand “the criteria” you are using. As it stands now it sounds like you are assuming that –

It is a fact that God does not exist because you do not have any evidence to believe that he exists. In other words in your opinion it is a fact that something does not exist unless you have a personal knowledge of that things existence. Does this only apply to God or does this apply to everything?

In other words if according to Jenny’s viewpoint or belief it doesn’t exist then it is a fact that it does not exist.

Perhaps an illustration may help. On my desk I have written down four names, two refer to people that I believe exist, two refer to people that I believe do no not exist. Right now you do not have a reason or evidence that supports the existence of any of these four people. According to the criteria you are using would you say that it is a fact that none of them exist. I am hoping that at this point you will start to clearly see my point. Perhaps if it is possible that two people can exist without you’re personally being aware of the evidence for their existence it is possible that God could exist without you simply knowing of or perhaps admitting to the evidence for his existence.

You can complain because I have not told you their names but that really doesn’t matter because I am not trying to evaluate which of these four people exists, I am trying to evaluate whether I should consider your criteria can prove to me the factual nonexistence of anything. I have reason to believe that two of them exist and I have reasons to believe that God exists. At this point in our conversation it seems to me that if your criteria cannot be considered sufficient for me to consider it is a fact that none of these four exist then your criteria is also insufficient to discount the reasons I have for believing that God exists.

After this I can tell you the names if you like, you can do some research and find reason to believe that two of them exist. This will only confirm the point I have presently made. The point is that something or someone can in fact exist without your previously having known of their existence. You could also decide you don’t want to bother, you may think it is a waste of time. In this case you would only add to the previous point. This would further confirm my suspicion that reality is not constrained by your viewpoint, it would further confirm my suspicion that sometimes people are unaware of or simply do not acknowledge evidence that they are not personally willing to pursue.


The criteria I'm using is evidence, of any sort. There is no evidence that a deity has existed or currently does. If you have some, the rest of the world is unaware of, that is not based in philosophy I would love to hear it.
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