You apply this concept to sexuality, why is it not applied to religion? If your religion is personal to you, as all belief is, and if we are all equal irrespective of belief, then why do we ask and why do we tell? Why do you need to tell people about your specific belief, and why do you need to ask others about their specific belief? If belief is not a choice, as so many believers and non-believers say, then why do you need to seek validity in your belief? If belief is a natural occurance, it cannot be influenced. Unless it can be influenced, which of course it can; we can be "taught" to believe a certain thing; in other words brainwashed. By the way, I have nothing against homosexuals shouting from the rooftops about their sexual tendancies, just to avoid any doubt.
That is the first time I have heard belief is not a choice? Beliefs change. Truth changes. So do we have a choice in this or not? Do we inherit beliefs? Maybe I am not understanding you? Doesn't everything evolve through information?
Several religious and non-religions people on here have specifically stated that they cannot "choose" to believe or not to believe, they just do or don't. I believe that the same applies to sexuality, that it is not a choice but an occurance, I hope that there has been no suggestion that I am homophobic. That's why I drew the comparison.
Oh ok. Perhaps it seems like we do not have a choice. I see it differently in that what we choose today affects what we might choose in the future. What we chose in the past affects our present. Sometimes these choices are often forgotten (or made subconsciously) and then are etched deeply in the ravines of the mind but they affect everything we experience or do not experience. They also influence our decisions we make in the present. Gaining or giving new information might help one overpower that influence, or it may not. Depends.
I don't know that belief is not a choice. I'd find that hard to follow. It doesn't matter the evidence, everyone chooses. But what's the harm in talking about beliefs? If we started worrying about every delicate sensibility of every person we'd never have the right to say anything.
Your post seemed to be a very odd argument to me.
Choice is a major component in Christianity. God doesn't make you do or think anything...that is up to you, including your beliefs which are ultimately your thoughts, your conclusions based upon your experiences and knowledge.
Your sexuality is physical...derived from your chemical/hormonal make up and influenced by experiences IMHO. In other words, you can't control what 'turns you on'...but as you develop sexually, you'll be presented with new experiences that will either get your motor going, or not. But you can't change the way you are made.
It has long been the practice of Christians to try to convert others to Christianity.
I cannot speak for the hubbers here who identify themselves as "Christian." Or for those who eschew religion entirely.
I cannot imagine either "side" expects to convince the other to switch sides.
As for the parallel with gays, despite what some homophobes might believe, gays are not on the prowl for innocent heteros to "convert."
My opinion is that faith/belief is a choice.
It requires opening yourself to the possibility of God, which then becomes the certainty of God.
You can turn your back on religion, faith and God at any time. You can also decide to reengage your faith.
Homosexuality for some is preordained by nature.
For others it is a decision, but the natural inclination has to be there...
I would respectfully disagree, MM. Can you imagine yourself not believing? I don't mean "turning your back" or ignoring or disobeying God, but actually not believing in the obvious truth of God's existence? How would you accomplish that?
You might cause yourself doubt and raise some questions, but to actually change such a deep seated belief is next to impossible for most people.
It may be a choice, but if so, the choice was usually made by the parents and not the individual. Of course, the parents did not choose for themselves, either.
As much as I love what you are trying to do here, the problem with your argument is that it forgets "divine decree.
Being gay is just how you end up, and, for the sake of this argument, let's pretend it's a choice. So, let's say I "decide" to be gay, and choose to ignore all my natural attraction to boobs and curves etc. I have chosen to be this way.
And let's say you have chosen to accept a particular supernatural belief system, and adopt all the attitudes and acceptance of the magical powers and etc. that the diety of your new religion embodies, which includes a "gays are evil" clause.
So, now you and I come together with our newly adopted belief systems. You say, "Hey, you are a fag and are evil." I say, "No I'm not." You will then say, "Yes you are, the divine creator of the universe has decreed you are evil." Then I will say, "Uh, but I don't believe in that." Then you will say, "That's because you are stupid, which changes nothing. YOu are still evil."
I can go on for a long, long time about freedom, peace, mutual respect, and any number of arguments for why my ability to make decisions in the same manner you have made decisions should be equal, but, since you chose to adopt a mega-awesome magical being of invinciblity and impossible power, while I only chose to adopt a belief in my deserving to live my life the way I want, you and I will never come to an accord.
And that assumes being gay is a choice, which, if you spend two seconds looking into, is clearly not in 99.999999% of cases. Etc.
Just my two cents.
I think it's actually quite common that people stop believing in God. Their belief is tenuous to start with, perhaps. But life circumstances can, and do, cause people to give up on God.
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