I recently saw a question posted with a side note: for believers only. I know there are a variety of religious people on the hub, and I do not have a problem with it. It is your right to believe how you want. But isn't hubpages a forum that is open to all members? Personally, I find it very offensive when I am judged as 'not a good person' by a religious follower, just because I do not adhere to your beliefs. If someone were to post a question that said, 'whites only' or 'no gays' there would be an outrage. So please, believe all you want, but your belief does not make you in any way better, or more righteous than any other hubber.
But, that is how believers operate, they believe you are evil, angry, a bully and will burn for an eternity, why should they then want you to say anything or consider your opinions valid in any way. They are taught to be intolerant of others, bigoted of others way of life and disrespectful for you and anything you understand. That is why their religions cause so much conflict in the world, it only teaches good people to do bad things.
Try posting a question with this side note: for atheists and agnostics only. Let's see how that goes over. Hahah! I agree with you, Wayne, but I'm an unbeliever so my thoughts probably don't matter in the grand scheme of things.
Liz, you make cookies...so your opinion means more to me than anyone's! : )
We have already had a thread about this and a person start a thread for atheists only. And then few days later it was all gone. And here we are again.
People will post whatever they want. If other people want to ignore their requests and comment anyway, they can.
Wayne I do not "believe" you are speaking of a side note. There is forum and the title starts "For Believers Only" and it finishes with "imagine we are all God's children" a clear suggestion that believers in what ever should not view others as less than them. Using the word "Imagine" was a not-so-obvious yet subtle reference to Lenin's "Imagine". "Believers" is not a Christian or religious term unless you want it to be and a good example of that is the 2007 film "The Believers" which is about a cult of basically atheists. The first definitions in most dictionaries make no reference to a deity or religion. Examples are like "I believe he is a good man". Someone who claims to be an unbeliever is not understanding the term. We believe the sun will rise tomorrow and that the bank will not fail ;-) and that the road will not end in 400 ft.
If somehow fringe groups think they have redefined the word or atheists find it offensive so be it.
But I as the author of that Title did not mean to exclude anyone, for I know of no one who does not believe in something, like themselves or hard work or legitimacy of gravity or that there is air unseen or that Pluto is or is not a planet.
But I am sure those looking for offense can find it anywhere. Like I could with Radcliff or ATM, but I choose not to.
Eric, it was not anything by you that I was referring to. I'm not even aware of the hub you just used as an example. What I am referring to in particular is a question asked by, 'ladyfiddler'. A few people questioned her note about excluding non-believers and she was very nasty to them.
Eric, I have many friends, including you, who are of varying beliefs, and though I may not agree with them, I respect them. I generally keep mum on the issue, but when a line has been crossed, I am not shy about defending my stance or that of my fellow friends. I would respond the same way if it were someone who believed the same way I do but attacked you because of your beliefs. I am here to read, to write, and to correspond with friends; but I will not be ridiculed, judged, or harassed. And if anyone gets between me, and Racliffs baking, you are in for a severe verbal abusing! : )
Very funny. And I actually am glad I have taken heat for that title. It was meant to get rid of what Radcliff says below. No one group has a right to claim the title of "believers". It was meant and worked as a wake up call to Christians to stop acting like their "beliefs" made them better.
(that stance is reserved just for my beliefs ;-)
When I was a Bible college student, the term "unbeliever" was used on a daily basis to refer to a person who didn't trust in the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Semantics has little to do with it. Of course, everyone has a laundry lists of beliefs as long as they have a pulse.
Wayne, you're too funny!
Was the before or after he started the revolution?
You mean, if the offense actually exists or if you choose to deny it exists.
I can't help feeling you're being deliberately provocative here.
If you truly think everyone believes in something, then there's no point in prefacing your post with "For Believers Only", because you've just said that includes everyone - so who are you trying to exclude? Aliens from another planet?
The problem is that the verb "belief" has more than one meaning - it can mean "having faith" and it can mean "having a view" . Ask any atheist and they'll tell you they don't believe in anything in the first meaning of the word (i.e. having faith without evidence) but that they do believe in certain theories (i.e. they have a view, based on logic, that something exists).
I have seen many Christians trying to pretend they can't see the difference between these two meanings of believe, but I think you are too intelligent for that, so I assume you're just "stirring the pot".
Exactly my friend you have my idea down to a nuance. Absolutely accurate. However it was meant and indeed did "stir it up and provoke" but it was aimed at Christians not atheists. Christians fall into the wild idea that their beliefs are the only good or noble or right ones. They need to be reminded that "believers" are of all shapes and sizes and beliefs. Christians do not own belief. As you point out belief is everyone's right and in fact truth.
I don't think it's necessarily unethical, although it might be unrealistic on an open forum. I mean there are certainly times in my life that I want opinions just from one type of person. Like if I'm asking for help making a meatloaf I certainly would be less open to a vegan's opinion. If I'm asking for advice on breastfeeding, I'm not very likely to ask a man with no children.
So no there's nothing unethical from only wanting to hear opinions from people who share a particular ideology when you are talking about that specific ideology... and to be honest I'm not sure there's anything wrong, ethically, with excluding anyone's opinion you wish...as long as the results of that conversation don't affect them personally.
I can accept that. But if you were asking about breastfeeding, would you really have to point out that you wanted mothers advice? And like you said, it is an open forum, so whether you point out a certain audience or not, anyone can pipe in. What caught my attention about an example I ran across, was how nasty the questioner was to others who responded. I guess she takes her own risks in taking that stance.
LOL, I was just commenting on the ethics... not necessarily the wisdom or realistic expectations. Personally, I would think adding the caveat "For Believers Only" on an open forum would be like pasting a big ole bullseye on your forehead. Not unethical, but certainly naive.
And you would be surprised how many times a man has offered me advice on breastfeeding... it usually starts with "My wife...."
Even though, that vegan is a five star, world renowned chef?
Even though, that man is a physician?
I haven't seen the question you have described but it sounds like a mute question. Like aware said, they're looking for agreement and some of the forums and questions I have seen that don't explicitly say "believers only" end up closing them out to begin with. Spouting scripture and religious phrases that make no sense in the context of the conversation.
I won't say it's unethical but it can certainly anger people. I'm used to it as a person with no standard form of religion to back me up. You just learn to deal and not let them bother you. Now if they personally attacking my beliefs then yes I would be mad and argue my point. But that's all I can do. No one can really stop people from doing what they want online.
Like you, I usually avoid the subject like the plague, but I'm human; I get my feathers ruffled like anyone else. The 'Christian' context always seems to receive some kind of reverence and respect as if it is righteous and holy and therefore above any other; whereas an atheist or agnostic view is sneered upon as if it is the ignorant...the lost...the possessed who doesn't know any better. I find that to be offensive.
As another poster commented, the questioner more than likely wanted agreement rather than discussion. As far as being offended, why not be relieved that you have the option to ignore such immaturity? It's impossible to discuss or reason with those who have no interest in an opposing viewpoint.
The depths of shallowness are very clear here. I am now convinced not one person looked further than the incorrect statement that 3 words were a side note. Incredible what you have shown here Wayne.
The next one should be "for people who look deeper than three improperly assigned quotes only"
I'm fairly certain that we got it. She didn't want responses from people other than people who believed in God.
It wasn't really that deep of a statement, so if the answers appear shallow that's likely because her statement and intent were pretty clear.
Eric, you are a little vague on your comment, so maybe I'm missing something as you did with me when you originally responded to this thread, but I'm assuming you are referring to my comment about a side note excluding non-believers. First of all, you should never misquote someone about misquoting. If you will take a second look, you will notice there are no quotation marks around my statement. It was not my intent to directly quote an individual; it was my intent, which I'm still wondering if you understand, to question whether it is proper or not for anyone to attempt to exclude any group from their question or forum. Melissa made a very good point to my question, and I agree with her. As far as the other forum that you referred to, and the apologies; I was not there and have no idea what you are talking about, so in my humble attempt at being un-shallow, I will stay away from that one.
Wayne the point is that no one is a non-believer. To my knowledge that is basically impossible. So for anyone thinking at all they would get that point. It would be like excluding all purple people that live on one square foot in Indiana. There just aren't any and so the point was to make it clear no one excluded..
I think Bertrand Russell would disagree with you. He would say that belief may be a psychological need for some people but it is not necessary in order to function. He would say that no-one 'believes' they have a wart on their nose if they 'know' they have one. They only believe where knowledge is impossible. For example, the virgin birth. Some choose to believe it; some choose to deny it. But the third option is to find out as much as you genuinely can and reserve judgement beyond that point (but keep investigating). By that third option, there is no need for belief.
So we cannot have belief in ourselves? No one can guarantee the sun will rise tomorrow yet even the greatest skeptics of all believe that it will. Why gather food if you do not believe you will be around to eat it? We need no belief in the empirical. But we have no empirical truth that the freeway we are driving on will not collapse and kill us, yet we drive. That is belief. All these things I mention have no proof. Merely the fact that "before" they have happened and they will continue to happen but that is based on belief in the future --- which we have no proof will come to pass.
I don't see that as belief, rather as pragmatism. I organise my life on the basis that the future will probably resemble the recent past, because that is the only pragmatic way to live. But I don't pretend to know the future. David Hume kicked that firmly into touch with his Problem of Induction. And since I can't know the future, I see no point in pretending I can (i.e. believing). The problem with belief is that it closes the open questions. It is only by keeping such questions open that we can ever get closer to answering them.
Sounds like you say po ta to and I say pa tat o, or however that saying goes. "basis that the future will probably resemble the recent past" sure sounds like belief to me. But if you say it is not. Then I accept your belief.
The point I'm trying to get to is that while we have to act pragmatically, we don't have to get into shouting matches about having 'the truth' in fields where all knowledge is conjectural.
A scientific hypothesis can be falsified and replaced with a better one. It cannot be verified. There is no such thing as proof except in tautological fields like arithmetic.
A non-scientific hypothesis cannot even be falsified. Do you see the distinction?
Sure I do. And I have to believe what you say is what you think or believe.
That's just it though, you don't have to - you are welcome to doubt me. In any situation, we decide what to do, based on many factors. Belief isn't a necessary factor. In fact I'd suggest it is often unhelpful. If you've adopted a belief which is overturned by events, coping with the change can be much tougher than if you've always acknowledged room for doubt, i.e. if you have kept the open question open.
Very true, my belief is always agnostic. (I am sure that buzz [agnostic] word will worry people - but I would be untruthful if I said that nothing can change my mind about anything) But I think the original point was valid. "believers only" is only exclusionary if someone wants it to be. You could easily consider your self included there in.
'Believers only' is confrontational, but I didn't really get interested in the thread until the OP was fairly well buried! Goodnight (from Qatar).
Exactly Paraglider! That was why it was written. But if you read it and even the rest of the title ---- It clearly is meant to be "confrontational" of and for Christians. Too many Christians fall prey to the notions that they are the only believers. That those they label as "non-believers" just plain and simple are also God's children and their beliefs should be OK.
The problem is that you have to follow the two forums and actually read it rather than doing a drive by assessment based on two words.
Thank you Paraglider that was the issue and still is on that forum. I would not venture who is or is not "prodigal". Perhaps I could say that I am.
But 100% that was the point. If you breathe and are alive and therefor understand or believe, as you wish, for an honest Christian view you are "God's Children". I do not really go in for "equality" but certainly no less equal due to your belief or understanding. My goodness if Christ would have suggested that we love our neighbor "if they are Christian" who would his disciples of loved as there obviously were no Christians yet.
In fact in my view he who questions is far more equal than someone who just gets to believe. (I know that is wrong but I see struggle as more Christ like)
Those who understand things don't operate from belief systems, nor do the operate on the concept of absolute proof, such as the freeway not collapsing. We base our understanding on evidence and facts and the possibilities and probabilities of events occurring, no matter how unlikely those events may occur, like a collapsing freeway. We understand the engineers have designed and built a freeway that will not collapse under normal circumstances, but may indeed collapse in the event of an earthquake, for example. These are not beliefs, Eric.
But, you don't understand. Huge difference.
ATM you might say there is a big difference but Thesaurus' and Dictionaries and synonyms do not. Is there a separate ATM Language I should learn? Look it up. And even if I am partially wrong that just proves the point that it is a choice to be offended by being called a believer. Do you want me to call you an understander? Tiny difference.
I have looked it up and didn't find the word "believe" in the lengthy list of synonyms for 'understand', but did find it used in a remote version of understanding, but it was not used in the same way believe and understanding are being used in this discussion.
Please do call me that, it would be a compliment.
I think it's the right of the person starting a conversation to include or exclude whomever they want. I can start a thread about Jamaica only, will you be offended because you are not from Jamaica?
I think there is a reason why people want closed group discussions. Have you seen previous religious forums here?
The person posting may have bad experience but genuinely need some answers from believers only. Why take offense to that rather than just ignoring it?
Wayne . you have a point there..people that ask questions for believers only. are not really asking for answers . they are looking for agreement. . at least that's my take on it. whats the point of asking someone that believes like you what they believe? i mean seriously? who does that?
Just interested. Do you consider yourself someone who does not believe in anything?
If you do I would like to know more about this concept. I am serious. And sincere. How does one function not believing in a tomorrow? Future events are not empirically based in thought. So how does one do it?
Exactly Eric, indoctrinated believers are unable to literally "understand" things, since they operate entirely on belief systems, even when the belief has to do with an understanding others possess. We understand there will be tomorrow, we understand the sun will rise, we understand evolution, we understand facts and evidence, we don't believe in all those things, because understanding precludes and replaces beliefs.
Interesting notion. Where I just did a brief check "understand" and "believe" were synonyms...... go figure!
Surely not synonyms. I understand that a car is propelled by it's engine via the transmission. My friend Charlie believes it is blown along by the exhaust gases from the pipe.
Spot the difference?
Fascinating; you are correct. Google lists "believe" as a synonym for "understand". I wonder if they believe they understand what the words mean?
Of course, I also note that the word "understand" means: "assume to be the case; take for granted" (and I would never equate "assumption" with "understanding") and that's where the synonym is listed.
Yes I saw that and scratched my head. I am afraid we are going to have to move "understanding" to a list of words that may cause the sensitive to have an overreaction. Pretty soon we will need to carry an Epipen just to help those we speak with deal with how they interpret us.
Maybe our human balloons are being so puffed up that the skin is too thin and will burst at anything.
Yes, go figure. Of course, they are only slightly synonymous, and in the real world, not the fantasy world of religious "beliefs".
Certainly you may place your own values on the words and perhaps they have been illogically co-opted by Christians. But that is the danged point. They should not that off. Everyone believes in something (or you can say understands) and Christians have no right to claim other beliefs are less than theirs. Hence the second Lenin like portion of that title "Imagine we are all God's children".
Lenin or Lennon?
I understand Christians will fight for their right to believe in nonsense and fantasies and refuse to understand facts and reality, they are free to do so, but certainly not at the expense of society and individuals, and reality itself.
I usually avoid discussions where religion or politics are involved as they often get out of control and become heated with neither side wanting to give ground.
I do think you have a good point that these are open forums and no one's comment or point of view should be excluded. Just as there are 'radical' Muslims, there are also 'radical' Christian, and 'radical' atheists out there who like to impose their beliefs on others.
I believe everyone should be free to express their views on any subject without being condemned or belittled for their personal beliefs or point of view. After all open discussion is a healthy form of communication, or supposed to be.
If the person who started the forum your refer to was rude to any of the people who posted comments, then that person was in the wrong. Even if they didn't agree with the comments they should have been polite and civil in their reply.
Thanks, Jodah. There was some rudeness involved...maybe a little from both sides, as so commonly happens once the match is lit, but that was an aside to what really bothered me; it was the comment to exclude those who were non christian. And I could understand if it was not the intent to offend anyone and was done in innocence, but when it was pointed out, the person was very nasty.
Hey Wayne this one just got put up -- some question about wrath and then the statement: "Only answers by those who believe in God please."
I think that was the kind of thing you were objecting too. Not my use of believer to wake up Christians.
I would like to think any forum is open and inclusive, religious or otherwise, not closed and exclusive, rudeness and vile comment notwithstanding.
You will find a few here who pose questions for the sole purpose of hearing themselves talk and getting feedback from others that have the same views - like that old saying "preaching to the choir." Then, when others who have a different view chime in, things get nasty real quick. I have been avoiding these questions (and the individuals that post them) in hopes that their topics die out sooner than later. Sometimes I really want to give them a piece of my mind but fight that urge and just stay away.
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