If you live in a major city, then you don't need to turn on the news to know that violence among urban youth has dramatically increased in recent years. In my neck of the woods, for example, Washington, D.C., it seems as if everyday someone's son, father, nephew, or brother is brutally killed and the value of a human life is deteriorating. A teacher and friend commented that she believes America's collective hostility toward religion, and the morals and values that it generally promotes, is responsible for the rise in youth violence and self-destructive/suicidal behavior. She feels that when we take "God out of lives, we put the Devil in charge of everything else." What are your thoughts? Is our attitudes toward religion/spirituality compromising our values and negatively affecting our relationships to one another?
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Original Post
I can understand a religious person claiming the decline of morals in this country being the result of less religion but I don't think it is as simplistic as that. Remember when this country was more religious it was also more racist.

I picked #3 because I am not religious; I don't hate religion, and I sometimes see it as a challenge when someone attempts to impose their religion upon me

Kevin
Thanks Keven! for participating in the poll and sharing your views. I'm somewhere in the middle of answer choices #1 and #2 and #3, but leaning more towards #2. Like you, I don't have a problem with someone having beliefs, until they impose their beliefs on me. For example, if you believe that a God, an omniscient being, single-handedly created everything in the universe ALL by him or herself, then you certainly have a right to accept that belief into your consciousness, but don't impose that belief on my consciousness, because I may believe that life is the product of evolution.

And as far as God being taken out of schools is concerned, rather than instill values in children, I think authoritatively teaching children to obey and "follow the rules of religion" without question only suppresses their INTERNAL will to do what is right. When we use fear to teach children to do what is in their best interest, they will only do what is in their best interest because they fear judgement, disapproval, or punishment, which only leads to temporary positive behavior rather than long-term positive behavior.
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quote:
Originally posted by Kevin:
I can understand a religious person claiming the decline of morals in this country being the result of less religion but I don't think it is as simplistic as that. Remember when this country was more religious it was also more racist.


What do you think is contributing to this country's moral decline in terms of the increasing level of violence among our youth, particularly urban Black youth? Are they lacking a spiritual "path" or orientation? Do they need more churches in their communities? More sin-based codes of coduct?
How do you frame morality outside of a structured framework that is usually non-rational in nature?

BTW I voted for the last one.

In other words right or wrong outside of some sense of objective truth is relative and contextual. You say morality, I say 'what is that'?

When I say non-rational I mean that at some point all objective thought takes an irrational leap of faith, but I don't consider irrationality necessarily bad. When we talk about moral values, the majority of what we consider 'moral decline' is based in some form or another off of a religious ethos. In America it is Judeo/Christian/Islamic based in nature, which some say are simply derivatives of older moral codes that were religious based.

Morality is morality because it is a defined set of behavior that when violated or gone against it contradicts what is deemed to be right.

So the real question is this, how can you legitimately argue that me going out and selling drugs, and blowing someones head off to protect my industry is 'immoral' if my moral value places as supreme my ability to create income through selling drugs?
First of all, how can you really blame a man-made structure such as religion (a portal to God) due to the actions of a few "bad apples"? People should not be pointing their fingers at the religion, but those individuals who commited the heinous acts against society? This is typical of the ignorant masses to find some one or some thing to blame. (i.e Just because there are Extermist Muslims going around killing people does not make mainstream Islam evil).

With any religion that believes in a benvolent higher power (God), that is what moralilty was based off of. Sure you have those Pagan religons that had a belief in many Gods such as the Greeks, Norsemen, and others who sacrificed humans, but in those other religions who believed in one God, that is a big no-no. Sure there were animal sacrifices in the Abramic religions, but those were food sacrifices though.

With Hinduism, those deities are no more than just gate ways to Brahman (God + Heaven). In other words, they are not Gods. The best way to understand this is, you think of Catholism; a person goes in and confesses to the priest. Hinduism is just like that in away.
quote:
Originally posted by Dell Gines:
In other words right or wrong outside of some sense of objective truth is relative and contextual. You say morality, I say 'what is that'?


For the purposes of this discussion, the word morals is defined as accepted standards of right and wrong that are usually applied to personal behavior.

quote:
When we talk about moral values, the majority of what we consider 'moral decline' is based in some form or another off of a religious ethos.


Brother Dell, thanks for responding, but this topic is not concerned with whether or not the word morals should be associated with religion. You seem to be getting distracted here. If you think it is, then that's OK (I'm not arguing against that). This topic asks a very simple question. Put another way: Do you think America's anti-religious and/or anti-spiritual disposition is responsible for its moral decline? Evidence of America's moral decline is the obvious increased violence among innercity youth, increased suicide deaths, declining mental and physical health, a high divorce rate, and consequently, a increasing number of single-parent headed homes, a preoccupation with material wealth and accumulation and individual accomplishment versus group accomplishment, and a general sense of hopelessness, constant fear, and devastation felt by the general American public.

To further elaborate, we know that the constitution states that the government should maintain a separation between Church and State. And in recent years, a growing segment of America's population has sought to reinforce this law by removing any and every vestige of God from public establishments. For example, proponents of the separation law have persistently fought to have "In God We Trust" removed from U.S. currency, extracting "God Bless America" from the pledge, prohibiting teachers from discussing and/or promoting their religious beliefs in public school settings, etc. Of course some would argue that Americans lacked an authentic spiritual awareness from the outset, but do you think that these actions have or will negatively impact American society in the long run or do you believe that it will make America a more tolerant society?
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quote:
Originally posted by Willywill3:
First of all, how can you really blame a man-made structure such as religion (a portal to God) due to the actions of a few "bad apples"?


Are you asking me this question or Brother Dell?
Full disclosure: At this point in my life, I'm identifying more with pantheism (god & nature are one) or panentheism (all is within god) than with any specific organized "religious" doctrine -- I voted #3. IMHO, God isn't good. God isn't bad. God simply is.

That said, I can see how religion's continually diminishing importance in our societies may be contributing to increasing lawlessness (eg. violence), self-centerdness and general ugliness in our (U.S.) culture. The fear of divine retribution (or the promise of eternal life) that kept folks in check for centuries no longer governs our collective behavior as it once did. The fabric of fear has begun to unravel, and we may be seeing the impact of that. Righteousness. Virtue. Piety. These words that were once the bedrock of religious thought have a distinctly anachronistic ring to them nowadays in many parts of the country. Fortunately not everyone needs religion (with its accompanying threats and promises) to lead prosocial lives. Perhaps a great many of us do.
quote:
Originally posted by Toria_SF:
I can see how religion's continually diminishing importance in our societies may be contributing to increasing lawlessness (eg. violence), self-centerdness and general ugliness in our (U.S.) culture. The fear of divine retribution (or the promise of eternal life) that kept folks in check for centuries no longer governs our collective behavior as it once did. The fabric of fear has begun to unravel, and we may be seeing the impact of that. Righteousness. Virtue. Piety. These words that were once the bedrock of religious thought have a distinctly anachronistic ring to them nowadays in many parts of the country. Fortunately not everyone needs religion (with its accompanying threats and promises) to lead prosocial lives. Perhaps a great many of us do.


Thanks for sharing your honest opinion. Like you, I feel that some of our society's deterioration can be attributed to a weakened and/or bankrupt spiritual orientation. Most people don't even know what it means to be "spiritual." At best, we tend to associate spirituality with astrology, horoscope readings, or seeing "ghosts" in horror movies. However, I think because our society is becoming more and more diverse, the time has come for us to find a balance between promoting universal values and establishing a more tolerant and pluralistic society. Rather than letting one religion (usually Christainity) take precedence as the beacon of moral leadership, we need to be receptive to a variety of spiritual perspectives, and we need to organize a universal belief system with which everyone can identify. In other words, just because the remanants of Christianity can't be in the halls of every government institution and on every piece of U.S. currency, does not mean that we should toss out spirituality altogether.

Finally, we don't have to drive fear in the hearts and minds of these kids, but the youth do need lots of guidance and leadership. They need to know that the adults who are responsible for their livelihood and personal development are adhering to some kind of agreed upon standard of behavior, that they are not just out here doing whatever they want to do instead of being accountable for their actions. Does a child's moral instruction have to take place inside of a church?, not necessarily. Research has shown that most adults learn their most impressionable lessons through life experiences, not by listening to judgement-based sermons and lectures. And so, I think as adults, we simply need to spend less time focusing on ourselves and our own accomplishments, and invest more time in the development of these children.
I think, with the advent of anti-religous interest, society has bit off more than it can chew. The idea is that we can function better without religion. For millenia we have thrived under the auspices of religion. But now religion is being deliberately cast away because we feel we have 'outgrown' religion. We have outgrown the 'mythical' and supernatural doctrinal burdens.

You know, to be honest, I'm annoyed with people spouting things like 'universal morals'. We know good and darn well, THERE IS NO SUCH THING. From now on, if someone asks for a proof of the existence of God, I will answer by questioning the proof of the existence of 'universal morals'.

If there are 'universal morals', why is it that we feel like billions of people will agree to these morals, without feeling oppressed??? I mean, if there is an OPTION to adhere to these universal morals, then, well, they are not so UNIVERSAL. Not as long as there is free-will.

So the growing animosity towards religion is a platform, for people to manipulate morality. Without accountability, our 'morals' are left to how much integrity we have as individuals. If the world were that beautiful to begin with, then we wouldn't need religion.

*end rant*
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
You're way too important to yourself. I made a general comment.


Dude,

I'm just asking question, that's all.
flowers
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I think, with the advent of anti-religous interest, society has bit off more than it can chew. The idea is that we can function better without religion. For millenia we have thrived under the auspices of religion. But now religion is being deliberately cast away because we feel we have 'outgrown' religion. We have outgrown the 'mythical' and supernatural doctrinal burdens.

You know, to be honest, I'm annoyed with people spouting things like 'universal morals'. We know good and darn well, THERE IS NO SUCH THING. From now on, if someone asks for a proof of the existence of God, I will answer by questioning the proof of the existence of 'universal morals'.

If there are 'universal morals', why is it that we feel like billions of people will agree to these morals, without feeling oppressed???


Great question Brother Heru! And thanks for having the courage to share an honest opinion. The fact of the matter is, America has always been a diverse country, yes?, but in the very near future, America will be more diverse than it ever has been. From an educational standpoint, as a teacher, I teach and reinforce when needed, what I call "universal values" to children everyday. Some school districts call it "Character Education." On the first day of school, we tell children to treat each other with respect and kindness, to share, to listen when others are speaking, to respect one another's personal property, and to take care of their classroom community and school. Some teachers are very democratic, and so they let the students come up with rules for the classroom, but I would venture to say that these rules are applicable to any group setting where children are gathered and are expected to interact with one another for an extended period of time. I do not view these rules as oppressive, because rather than benefitting a single child; these rules and values benefit the entire group. People are oppressed when they have absolutely no say in a matter AND the rules of the matter do not benefit the masses, but only a few.

But you're right, I don't know how we would get an entire society to agree upon a set of universal values. Certainly, a school classroom cannot be compared to an entire society. I suppose my argument is that we should just promote general values, rather than specific ones thwarted by one particular religion.
Raptor,

You know what you're right. I imagined it. No one on the face of the earth, has every come close to asking anything remotely similar to such a question, which holds absolutely no relevance to anyone breathing btw.

As a matter of fact, the only people that exist, are people inside of this forum, everyone else is apart of the matrix, of our imaginative minds.

piss off cool
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Willywill3:
First of all, how can you really blame a man-made structure such as religion (a portal to God) due to the actions of a few "bad apples"?


Are you asking me this question or Brother Dell?


Brother Dell I was referring to. But any one is welcome to answer it though.
Rowe asks:

(quote)
"What do you think is contributing to this country's moral decline in terms of the increasing level of violence among our youth, particularly urban Black youth?"

(reply)
I remember when I was in my late teens I was with some of my cousins (late teens also) and they were talking about how they were going to raise their children (when they have them) different than the way they were raised. They were talking about how they weren't going to force their children to say "yes maam" "no sir" to adults, call them by their sir name; (the way we were all raised) how they were going to allow their children to make more decisions than they were allowed to make; etc.

20 years later, those same cousins each had a house full of kids, all running around buck wild and those same cousins are always complaining "kids now adays have no respect for athority" "when my parents told me to do something, I did it or else!" and they seem a little surprised that their children aren't as disciplined as they were at that age.

I don't have any children but my brother does and it appears he and his wife raised their children the way we were raised because his teenage children always say yes sir and no mam to adults and they call adults by their sir names. They don't live in the inner city so that might make it a little easier for him to have such influence over his children.

I believe there are many factors that might contribute to the decline of disipline among our youth.
*Duel incomes: If both parents are working, who is watching the kids?
*Kids who misbehaved in school used to be sent to the principals office for a "swat" now parents aren't even allowed to disipline their own children this way
*Bad behavior is often glamorized, I've seen instances where good behavior and speaking proper english is seen as acting white.

(quote)
"Are they lacking a spiritual "path" or orientation? Do they need more churches in their communities?"

(response)
I think they need more structure and guidance. Weather this structure and guidance come from religion or just parents who know how to enforce rules, I think that is what they need.

Kevin
quote:
People are oppressed when they have absolutely no say in a matter AND the rules of the matter do not benefit the masses, but only a few.


I wonder what machivellian proponents would say to something like this.

The fact is, we can't promote individualism, and at the same time contradict that by creating a universal order. At least, that is the argument from average humans with average morals, who are indeed fallible. As a teacher, and a parent, you are battling principalities. I don't feel as if fallible humanity is a great enough opponent for things like glutton, selfishness, greed... etc. There has to be a higher power; something that can achieve a conscious compliance to these universal morals.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I don't feel as if fallible humanity is a great enough opponent for things like glutton, selfishness, greed... etc. There has to be a higher power; something that can achieve a conscious compliance to these universal morals.


Well, let me ask you this: Is the fear of a "higher power" addressing the morals, which earlier in the discussion, YOU agreed was declining? And by the way, I am not opposed to people maintaining their own religions and worshipping whatever god or no god they chose, but in PUBLIC arenas, I am opposed to any one specific religion taking precedence, especicially if we are to become a more tolerant, and less bigotted society.
quote:
Is the fear of a "higher power" addressing the morals, which earlier in the discussion, YOU agreed was declining?


No, fear alone does nothing. It just establishes a platform for compliance. The doctrine addresses morals. Which brings us back the issue of universal morals. This is even more oppressive in my opinion, because with universal morals, we would need a universal God/Ideology that would compel us to comply.

I honestly hope we don't feel as though compliance to some universal values/ideology, is automatic.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin:
I believe there are many factors that might contribute to the decline of disipline among our youth.
*Duel incomes: If both parents are working, who is watching the kids? *Kids who misbehaved in school used to be sent to the principals office for a "swat" now parents aren't even allowed to disipline their own children this way *Bad behavior is often glamorized, I've seen instances where good behavior and speaking proper english is seen as acting white. I think they need more structure and guidance. Weather this structure and guidance come from religion or just parents who know how to enforce rules, I think that is what they need.


Thanks Kevin for contributing to the thread. And after deeply reflecting on what you've written here, I'm just thinking about all of the churches that I saw today in some the most distraught neighborhoods in D.C. that you can ever imagine. I'm thinking how can these churches justify their existence when so much violence, unemployment, despair, anger, and frustration surrounds them in the communities that they are responsible for serving. It can't be because the people in the community don't believe in God, because if they didn't, there would not be so many churches in existence. And it can't be because the people don't believe in a higher power, because if they hadn't, the church business would not be sucessful as it is and has been in the past.So what is it? What do the people really need? That's the question that I'm after.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Raptor,
piss off cool


Heru. Heru. There is no need for such language. The question is no less relevant than your rant. The fact that you would be agitated to the level of resorting to nasty language devalues what little credibility you have as one who feel its their responsibility to show "the lost sheep" which way to go.

td6
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin:
I believe there are many factors that might contribute to the decline of disipline among our youth.
*Duel incomes: If both parents are working, who is watching the kids? *Kids who misbehaved in school used to be sent to the principals office for a "swat" now parents aren't even allowed to disipline their own children this way *Bad behavior is often glamorized, I've seen instances where good behavior and speaking proper english is seen as acting white. I think they need more structure and guidance. Weather this structure and guidance come from religion or just parents who know how to enforce rules, I think that is what they need.


Thanks Kevin for contributing to the thread. And after deeply reflecting on what you've written here, I'm just thinking about all of the churches that I saw today in some the most distraught neighborhoods in D.C. that you can ever imagine. I'm thinking how can these churches justify their existence when so much violence, unemployment, despair, anger, and frustration surrounds them in the communities that they are responsible for serving. It can't be because the people in the community don't believe in God, because if they didn't, there would not be so many churches in existence. And it can't be because the people don't believe in a higher power, because if they hadn't, the church business would not be sucessful as it is and has been in the past.So what is it? What do the people really need? That's the question that I'm after.


The people need morals...this is why society is falling apart. That faith in God is keeping the churches there. Just because a few people stop believing in God or never did will not stop others from expressing their love for God. For those who don't care for God, their lost. I am sure sitting at home on Sunday mornings is fine with them, but even that gets boring after awhile. If you believe in God, you will go worship in the lords name in a church, temple or wherever your holy place may be. Morals are all based on a higher benvolent power (God).
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
quote:
Is the fear of a "higher power" addressing the morals, which earlier in the discussion, YOU agreed was declining?


No, fear alone does nothing. It just establishes a platform for compliance. The doctrine addresses morals. Which brings us back the issue of universal morals. This is even more oppressive in my opinion, because with universal morals, we would need a universal God/Ideology that would compel us to comply.


Can you explain why we would need to create a universal God for the purposes of promoting universal values? Don't most people already believe in a universal God? That is, a God that is responsible for creating and sustaining the universe? Anyway, I have already said that in personal settings, people can continue to worship their Gods, but in PUBLIC settings, no one religion should take precedence. That's my arugment.

Let's remove the idea of establishing universally-accepted values for a moment (even though I believe they already exist)and then I want to ask you this question: Can people coexist in a religously-pluralistic society without thinking that their religion has to take precedence? Can we eventually and finally make this advancement in our thinking?
quote:
So what is it? What do the people really need? That's the question that I'm after.


I hate to sound like Bill Cosby butt...

We need to take responsibility for the part that we contribute to our declining condition. We need to take responsibility for things that are within our grasp that we can change.

Reminds me of the old skool rap song music'Self-destruction, you're headed for self-destruction' music

The Con-feeds and Michael's promoted loaded agendas like 'self-reliance'. I lean more towards, 'self-responsibility'.
quote:
Do you believe that it is possible to have both a religiously- tolerant society and a society that is religious?


Absolutely. Because America is a melting pot of cultures. There are many entities that thrive on their own social flare. I think we are at least culturally mature enough to accept one anothers religions. I think the most oppressive society would be a strictly secular society. People should have a right to train and exercise their spiritual freedom.
quote:
Can you explain why we would need to create? universal God for the purposes of promoting universal values?


Sorry, just noticed that this question wasn't rhetorical.

Compliance. The same reason we need politics. The very same reason that we need to make laws, that make it MANDATORY to go to school.

For instance, you say that school can be a good avenue to promote universal ideals. I agree. But what about the people who scream foul, and want to home-school their children? Will they not feel oppressed if we say, NO to home-schooling? And if we do say yes to home-schooling, how do these children function under the universal set of rules that may or may not have been taught to them?
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Do you believe that it is possible to have both a religiously- tolerant society and a society that is religious?


For this to take place, there must be mutual levels of understanding shared by those on both sides of the equation.

Personally, it think it will be tough. Especially when you have some religious ideology which suggest, this faith is the true faith, while the other faiths are myths, pagan and supposition. Or, in order to connect with the creative forces in the universe, you must be on my team and except me as your lord a savior, and if you don't, better have lots of suntan lotion.
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Do you believe that it is possible to have both a religiously- tolerant society and a society that is religious?


For this to take place, there must be mutual levels of understanding shared by those on both sides of the equation.

Personally, it think it will be tough. Especially when you have some religious ideology which suggest, this faith is the true faith, while the other faiths are myths, pagan and supposition. Or, in order to connect with the creative forces in the universe, you must be on my team and except me as your lord a savior, and if you don't, better have lots of suntan lotion.



In other words, people will have to agree on what is true. I wonder...is it the religion or the belief in God that is more important?
quote:
Originally posted by Willywill3:

I wonder...is it the religion or the belief in God that is more important?


That is a damn good question, brotha' Willywill3.
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quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
For instance, you say that school can be a good avenue to promote universal ideals. I agree. But what about the people who scream foul, and want to home-school their children? Will they not feel oppressed if we say, NO to home-schooling?


Parents have the option to home school, but if Johnny comes to school, then Johnny is going to treat his school friends with respect and kindness, keep his hands and feet to himself, and respect his classroom and the school. If Johnny can't do that, then Johnny can stay home.
You guys are tripping.

I don't see any religous zealots going around holding a gun to peoples heads threatening them to believe in an ideology that they are uncomfortable with.

Bunch of flippin' whiners.
If you don't want to believe in their God... then Don't!!! You DO have a choice.

Sick of people putting this 'oppression' tag on matters in which they have a personal right, or CHOICE.

Get a grip, and grow some thicker skin please!!!

Not you Rowe,

That's for those, with there little side remarks.
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor:
quote:
Originally posted by Willywill3:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Raptor:
I wonder...is it the religion or the belief in God that is more important?


That is a damn question, brotha' Willywill3.


I would see that a belief in God is way important than a man made insitution that is religion. Religion provides as a way to worship the lord. Some people will go as far and forget what the purpose of religion itself is (worshipping God) and begin to focus on the religion itself (worshipping the religion). If you are a really balanced individual, you can use religion to worship God, but knowing that is all it is for and learning the morals that is needed to get along with others as much as possible in this world. After all, there are those who may not be considerate as me and you.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
You guys are tripping.

I don't see any religous zealots going around holding a gun to peoples heads threatening them to believe in an ideology that they are uncomfortable with.

Bunch of flippin' whiners.
If you don't want to believe in their God... then Don't!!! You DO have a choice.

Sick of people putting this 'oppression' tag on matters in which they have a personal right, or CHOICE.

Get a grip, and grow some thicker skin please!!!

Not you Rowe,

That's for those, with there little side remarks.


Religion is a good thing to have, but as long as we remember the purpose of it; that of course being for God and living by the law that God put forth.
quote:
there are those who may not be considerate as me and you.


Exactly, THERE IS NO UNIVERSAL CONSIDERATION.

In America however, last time I checked, we do have what is called a religous tolerance.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
quote:
there are those who may not be considerate as me and you.


Exactly, THERE IS NO UNIVERSAL CONSIDERATION.

In America however, last time I checked, we do have what is called a religous tolerance.


It would be nice for everyone to come to an agreement. But this is why people have a choice to chose to believe in God or not. Free will is a bitch, but a nice gift at the same time.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
You guys are tripping.

I don't see any religous zealots going around holding a gun to peoples heads threatening them to believe in an ideology that they are uncomfortable with.

Bunch of flippin' whiners.
If you don't want to believe in their God... then Don't!!! You DO have a choice.



Most people in the world do not "choose" their religion. They are born into them and it is apart of who they are. That is why this issue is not just about making religious "choices." It is about encouraging our society to be more tolerant and receptive to people's diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. And remember, some of us have no relationship to our original religions (African religions) because we were denied the opportunity to make our own "choices", which would have been to keep our spiritual identities in tact.

In any event, we live in a very race and religion-conscious society. And the question is, how can Americans show tolerance to other people's cultures and religions without compromising their own beliefs. Does the religion claimed by most Americans teach intolerance, racism, AND sexism? Are Americans being instructed to view their religion, culture, and way of life as superior to foreign cultures? Do you think non-White and/or non-Americans are receiving the same instruction? In other words, are Buddhists in Asia being encouraged to convert Americans in the U.S. into their culture and religion? If not, why? Why is religious conversion and acculteration SO much encouraged in Western religions, and not in other religions? And how has religious imperialism and expansion helped to secure Western leader's power and wealth? That's an important question to ask and analyze.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
You guys are tripping.

I don't see any religous zealots going around holding a gun to peoples heads threatening them to believe in an ideology that they are uncomfortable with.

Bunch of flippin' whiners.
If you don't want to believe in their God... then Don't!!! You DO have a choice.



Most people in the world do not "choose" their religion. They are born into them and it is apart of who they are. That is why this issue is not just about making religious "choices" Heru. It is about encouraging our society to be more tolerant and receptive to people's diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. We live in a very race and religion-conscious society. And the question is, how can Americans show tolerance to other people's cultures and religions without compromising their own beliefs. Does the religion claimed by most Americans teach intolerance, racism, AND sexism? Are Americans being instructed to view their religion, culture, and way of life as superior to foreign cultures? Do you think non-White and/or non-Americans are receiving the same instruction? In other words, are Buddhists in Asia being encouraged to convert Americans in the U.S. into their culture and religion? If not, why? Why is religious conversion and acculteration SO much encouraged in Western religions, and not in other religions?



People are born into religions, even with that they have to choice to accept it or go to another. With Americans, it is not a religious idea being forced onto some one else...it is rather cultural ideas. America really have no original inhabitants except for the Aboriginals. Everyone else is an immigrant. Religious conversation is encouraged due to the fact that it is interesting on both sides, let you be a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Zoroastrain, Atheist, etc. America could be more open and accepting of others for their beliefs. Since America is considered a "super power" than the other countries, the most dominant culture will of course rub off on others. No one really forces people to accept a certain style of living. It only makes sense if you are some one from the U.S and go to live in Japan, it is required for you to learn the language to survive there. At the same time, that American person will not abanndon their "American culture" for the Japanese one. (i.e a white guy dresses up in a rice harvester hat and carries a sword. That is a sterotype and no they do not dress up like that. I am just providing an example though.)

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