I had a discussion (at least it started out that way) with a christian woman the other day, we were talking about the nature of the concept of God. I posed this simple question "Is it likely, that another see's your God/gods as lower?". She replied with the typical, scriptural interpretation. I said "If we went to the same church and learned from the same bible, our respective versions of Gog/god would still be different". She got angry and said "There is but one God". I said "How can you be certain, that those of another faith, don't feel the same way"?
Having been asked such a simple and direct question, being utterly defeated, the conversation came to an abrupt hault. She stood and left the room, she had nothing more she could say. I walked in after her and appologized for insulting her religion, then left. Even though I didn't realy insult her religion, I was mindful of her feelings.
Obviously, she was not mindful of your feelings and insulted you. At the very least, you took the high road and showed her just how much her beliefs have not taught her any morals.
Personally, I have no problem people asking such questions, as I have done a lot of soul-searching and research to come to my own conclusions.
To me, for (a) god to qualify as A TRUE GOD (cap's for emphasis only) he/she/it would need to meet certain criteria. Too many for me to list here. But suffice it to say, it is illogical that there be more than one. I am totally against polytheism for that reason.
The "possibility" of there being NO god is as remote to me as the opposite is for the hardest Atheists.
I have come to terms with this (minuscule) possibility, as being too remote to be probable.
In the event I am wrong, I loose nothing.
As for the lady in question, I agree with you, that it was a question that challenged her self worth/identity, as well as ger lack of a reasonable answer. She probably had none, other than the one she gave you.
I also applaud you for the gracious way you handled it. (not sure you need it, but I thought I'd say it anyway!)
I just wanted to see if she were able to accept, whether or not all Gods/gods, Were as important as the one she knows. Is there One person on earth, that does not see it this way?
The common theme seems to be the "I'm right, you're wrong argument". Can't everyone be right or is there no room for middleground? Is it because the need to be right, outweighs common courtesy and better judgement? I would never get angry about my beliefs, I just don't see them as being that important.
AKAWinston made a statement on another thread, in regards to "reality vs spiritual".
He said, there is a duality, or binary situation in the world.
There's the stuff we can see, and touch, that which exists, and that which is imaginary,
That is pretty well true, but, applied to what you said about multiple God/gods being right.
I see it as, if given that there IS a spirit world, and God/gods, then either one i right, and the others are wrong, and vice versa.
There can't be both.
It's always going to be that way, on an individual basis. I'm right because I think I am and that sort of nonsense...
After pondering on this more, I would think that for her to admit that maybe her god/belief is wrong, is admitting that a majority of her life is wrong. Even if she just admits its a possibility -- and that might be too much for one person to handle.
It's hard to let go of attachments, something we westerners have a hard time dealing with. If we must give up status, we must adopt new social strategies and that's the hardest thing of all. One believes they must start over, which is rarely the case, since we almost always adapt.
I agree. And I would take a hunch and suggest that her beliefs in god define who she is, and again -- too much to handle if she even admits the slightest possibility she is wrong. Perhaps she is blinded by her own faith?
On the contrary, you've lost everything; honesty, integrity, intelligence, morality, ethics, sincerity, trust, motivation, scruples, altruism and the concept of right and wrong, amongst a host of other qualities and characteristics that make up humans.
I applaud you, mischeiciousme, for being mindful-a genuine virtue. However I'm wondering if the wording of your initial question put her on the defensive due to its wording. Though a thoughtful and insightful question, "...lower" must have gotten her hackles up instantly. Extreme Christians tend to have blinders on...at least most of those I've known.
Can I ask you if you are a Christian? More importantly, why did you even ask her the question? As a trained Sociologist, I think it seems you were exercising your talent at reading people by 'poking them with a stick!' I have done similar research and was fascinated at their responses EVERY time. Validating my hypotheses, you know!
That interaction of yours, though short, was very, very telling!!!!!!
She had mentioned that all were wrong, that did not accept christ. I asked her if it were possible that others felt the same way. I think maybe it's an issue of identity, confusing one's belief for who they are. It seems that the ideals of an individual, are something to be defended...
I think there's no question you were as considerate as could be. It's too bad that she was offended by you asking a simple question that was not intended to be an insult to her faith.
I think your question is valid, or at least ponder-worthy; as I have often asked that myself -- how can there be so many religions with a different god or gods and they all think each one is the correct and only way, and any other line of thinking is ridiculous and/or insulting?
I think the reason she was offended is because to her, you were doing just that, suggesting that her religion might not be right since there are so many others out there. Again, it's a shame she was too closed-minded or self-absorbed to at least be as courteous to you as you were to her.
Not all theists behave this way, I have several theists friends, while I myself am an atheist, and while we generally don't try to convince each other otherwise, sometimes beliefs get brought up. We debate civilly for a while and ultimately walk away happy, agreeing to disagree, as it was never our goals to insult each other.
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