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Featured A person's faith should be of practical benefit to others

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by JJ50, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    The people of faith for whom I have great respect are those whose faith is of practical benefit to others. Faith should make you a better person, otherwise there is no point to it. Those who merely preach, but do nothing useful, should save their breath to cool their porridge, deeds being much more important than words.

    One example of practical help is offered by the church of which my daughter is the Anglican Priest. During the school holidays children who get free school meals, as their parents are very poor, get one meal a day prepared by our girl and other helpers. My husband and I are more than happy to donate a substantial sum of money towards these meals.

    I know of many other Christians, who let their deeds, not words do the talking.
     
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  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I'm not sure how one can reason that other people have a moral obligation to adopt beliefs on the basis of whether those beliefs benefit others. I think you can reason that we have a moral obligation to discard beliefs that unnecessarily or unfairly harm others, but not that we have a moral obligation to adopt beliefs that benefit others.
     
  3. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    'Always preach the Gospel, when necessary use words.'
     
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  4. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    It begs the question; Are we our brother's/sister's keeper?
     
  5. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Or, as we say in my own religion, "Don't talk, dance."
     
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  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Good point. However, would not requiring people to adopt beliefs on the grounds that they benefit others open up a huge can of worms? For instance, I can see such an obligation infringing on freedom of conscience. Moreover, it could make truth secondary to usefulness. Should we believe the theory of evolution because it is true, or should we believe it because believing it helps others? And so forth.
     
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  7. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    Please don't bother. If you have a faith worth considering, your deeds should spell it out.
     
  8. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    One of my favorite quotes: "Only speak if it improves the Silence"
     
    #8 stvdv, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  9. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    My thought on being another's 'keeper' has more to do with those in need having the right to a just living, not simply charitable donations that make us feel good. As for science, evolution, there is no contradiction as the Bible does not speak from science, and science does not speak from theology.
    Does it become political, it always did but I'm reminded of Amos.
    'Take away from me your noisy songs, the melodies of your harps, I will not listen to them.
    Rather let justice surge like waters, and righteousness like an unfailing stream.' For Amos offering sacrifice without justice is an abomination to the God of Israel. Jesus relates the same message; 'Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers.........'
     
  10. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Faith is belief or opinion, not deeds or behavior.
     
  11. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    This is not true IMHO.

    Suppose someone is very sick, and can only lay down in bed. And he is praying. So "his faith is of no benefit to others (in deeds)"; just a burden (money wise).
     
  12. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    I am talking about the people who preach, but are of no practical use.
     
  13. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    That was the point.
     
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  14. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    I believe we are conflating religion, faith, belief, and maybe even morality. Gets confusing.
     
  15. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I did not get that from the title and the first 2 lines. But still I do not agree.

    Once I went to a "spiritual Lama". He was not a normal Tibetan doctor, but he was a "spiritual Tibetan doctor". This Lama was very old, 96 years. His body was very weak, so he was laying down in bed I think 24/7. But people were allowed to visit him and he would give them (spiritual) advice. So he "did preach, but was not of practical use".

    This Lama was a great man, despite him not being of practical use, just sharing spiritual valuable words.
     
  16. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    What is valuable about 'spiritual' words whatever they are supposed to be?
     
  17. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    One of the major roles religion plays is to help contextualize and guide the relationships we have with others: with ourselves, with other humans, with non-humans, and with the gods (where applicable). None of these should be left out of the equation, IMO, though religions will vary on which of these they put the most emphasis on. I sometimes think of religions as divided into three types based on the relationships they focus on. Human-centered religion focuses on either the self or other humans. Otherworld-centered religion focuses on relationships with gods or spirits. Nature-centered religion focuses on the environment or non-human persons.

    My own tradition is nature-centered. In a town where there is no such thing as default curbside recycling, the only trash pickup I have is recycling. In a neighborhood where most jam non-natives in their yard, I ripped out what I could to do a small prairie restoration. Where so many focus on humans, humans, humans... I speak for the land, the sea, the sky, and all the things that dwell there to remind humans that they are not the world. I don't doubt many would criticize this as being of no practical benefit to others, because they don't consider non-human persons in the equation at all. Sometimes I remind them that if they insist on being anthropocentric, humans are impoverished as the environment is impoverished. It is all connected.
     
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  18. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    You are only speaking from the mind. The difference is that this Lama is speaking from the heart. That makes all the difference.
     
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  19. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    Funny I never knew the heart had power of speech!
     
  20. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    You seem to think that irony and belittling has power. I do not believe in these.
     
    #20 stvdv, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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