Guidelines for Discussing Religion

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Black Dragon, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    While we welcome discussions on religion, all exchanges must be carried out in a spirit of mutual respect and genuine inquiry.

    The cardinal rule is this: treat all religions with respect.


    A) When engaging in a discussion, look for what is good and true in all religions, even those that you may disagree with.

    B) If you don't understand another person's belief, politely ask them to explain it, emphasizing that you want to understand where they are coming from.

    C) If you strongly disagree with another person's belief, don't even bring it up. If your mind is already made up that they are wrong, there's no point in starting a discussion.

    D) If you initially disagree with another person's belief, but are open to the possibility that they may be correct, then it's appropriate to engage them in a discussion. If you are legitimately interested in learning where they are coming from, then it's also fine to ask questions.

    E) However, if you KNOW that you're right and that someone else is wrong, and your objective is to prove how right you are, then having a discussion is pointless.

    F) Finally, attempting to deconstruct and prove as false another person's deeply held beliefs is not a respectful exchange.


    In general, don't discuss religion unless:


    1) You are legitimately open to other points of view.

    2) You sincerely want to learn about other religious beliefs.
     
  2. Keku

    Keku Acolyte

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    I am so happy to read your post on Discussing Religion.
    All of my work stems from a unified spiritual outlook, as relating to lore and writing style.

    Warmly,
    Keku
     
  3. ziokhan

    ziokhan Apprentice

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    Love this post! I truly enjoy seeing tolerant, intelligent discussion. This kind of discussion leads to great conflict that I like to add to my writing.
     
  4. Benjamin Clayborne

    Benjamin Clayborne Dark Lord

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    I'll keep my mouth shut. :)
     
  5. Ravana

    Ravana Istari

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    I'd just say "LOL!" here, but that would be fewer than ten characters, so.…
     
  6. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Valar Lord

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    Black Dragon
    I agree with all your points, especially C and E. I have family in Northern Ireland and back in the 70s and 80s, even the flavour of Ice cream you choose could lead to a fight... don't ever order the "mint" in front of your ex B-Special uncles!!!
    I've tried creating religions from scratch and I usually end up with pre-reform Catholic Christian, Wahhabi Islam or native American mysticism... [and falling for cliché but my baddies too often end up as Inquisition style Catholics or Jihadi Wahhabist and my goodies as fluffy earth loving pagans - I'm a fluffy earth loving pagan in case you haven't guessed:)]
    I have read the Bible, the Quran and some of the Vedas and many pagan texts but still find myself needed to talk to someone about how their religion really works day to day [such as how do diabetics fast for Ramadan?]. being at a university works for me. A couple of years back the building cleaner was a Chinese Law student and we had nice conversations about the differences between western Christianity, neo-paganism and post communist Confucianism...
    I'd love to learn more about Judaism and Hinduism for a start...
     
  7. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Scribal Lord

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    Personally I am an athethist but If someone wants to believe in a religion then that is their business, whether I agree with their doctrine or not. So as they accept my lack of religion I will accept their faith.

    Many bad things are done in the name of religion - but usually it is people who are bad, misinterpret or just believe they are right no matter what. Religion itself is fine.

    Then again many good works are done in the name of religion as well so I suppose that just goes to show people can be nice as well as mean:)

    In my world they are polythesists- but it is more a vague belief for most- the gods are there in the back ground but don't both me. The usual nature spirits and gods, getting praised at harvest time, local gods/goddesses being honoured.

    My humans are somewhat indifferent usually, the trolls are faithful to the Sky Goddess and local deities in general and the elves pretty much the same with the forest deities.

    :)
     
  8. Ireth

    Ireth Mythic Scribe

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    My college has a whole course on Judaism, which I took a couple semesters ago. It was really interesting. One of our assignments involved attending a Sabbath service at a synagogue, which was a lot of fun. Especially since it wasn't a normal service, but a special one for Remembrance Day.
     
  9. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Valar Lord

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    That sounds great.
    A couple of weeks ago the Islamic Society at work had an open Friday service/prayer meeting that was a pleasure to attend. To hear the prayers spoken/sung so beautifully was a pleasure to behold.
     
  10. Sherman

    Sherman Journeyman

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    Thank you--I do have deeply held beliefs which I am sure will color what I write.
     
  11. Saphirion

    Saphirion Acolyte

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    Same here, Sherman. That's been one of the unexpected aspects of my writing - realizing how my religion affects the stories I write (lends toward happy endings/bigger purposes) AND the aspect of writing characters with extremely different religious beliefs. It's surprisingly fun.
     
  12. Tholepin

    Tholepin Acolyte

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    Every enclave, if sufficiently cut-off from other societies, must and will construct a "God," or "Supreme Being(s)." Organisms "need" that component in their journey. It is important to write a collective conscience of the peoples you imagine to give a logic for their actions. This balances the wonderful chaos each writer contrives.

    Count the "religions" found in Star Wars, 2001,2002 and 2003. Wookies to granfalloons, each and every one needs and must have their wampeter.
     
  13. Wiglaf

    Wiglaf Apprentice

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    Great, common-sense guidelines! Let's stand up for tolerance and open-mindedness. Perhaps one day they'll be accepted universally ... then we'll really be onto something!
     

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