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Guidelines for Discussing Religion

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

  1. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    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

    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.

    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  3. ziokhan

    ziokhan Dreamer

    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.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  4. I'll keep my mouth shut. :)
  5. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    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...
    Pup2701 and S.T. Ockenner like this.
  7. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

    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 Myth Weaver

    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.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  9. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    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 Scribe

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

    Saphirion Acolyte

    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.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  12. Tholepin

    Tholepin Dreamer

    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.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  13. Wiglaf

    Wiglaf Dreamer

    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!
    S.T. Ockenner and Reaver like this.
  14. Cady

    Cady Acolyte

    Hi All,
    I feel very strongly about my Christian faith, and I'm open to answering questions about what Christianity is and what it isn't. I often see it very poorly represented (in both good and bad ways) on TV and in books. Even if you're just interested in doing research on the Christian faith, and ways to represent it accurately, please feel free to message me with your *legitimate* questions. I'm happy to be a resource for you.

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