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Featured Does proselytizing, over all, help, or hurt the receiver of the message, whether it be an individual

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Vinayaka, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I see here how proselytizing, by the proselytizer, is just assumed to be a good thing, advancing a community, helping an individual. I would like to question that assumption.

    No doubt each and every situation is different. For some lost souls, searching for any kind of meaning in life, getting converted can be really meaningful. For others, well, not so much. It can actually be quite harmful.

    But looking at it as an overall process, what do you think?

    I'll list a few examples of the 'bad effects'.
    In places where it is common, we have divided communities, family members against family members. Before the proselytizer arrived, people got along because they were of one mind.
    Individuals can turn into conceited religious zealots, and lose all their old friends.
    Nuclear families can be split, pitting Mom against Dad, and the kids get confused. Had that proselytizer not done that, the family might be in harmony.
    It can cause money issues. Money for food, for clothing, for schooling, may be sent to the religious institution instead.
    Psyches change. One of confidence in a belief are changed to one of fear, or confusion. The individual's subconscious mind is all rattled up, in a constant state of not really knowing what to think.

    So, members of proselytizing faiths, how can you defend this crime against humanity?
     
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  2. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    It only works if you're a true manifestation of God. And assuming you are, you won't need the internet to broadcast your message.
     
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  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Thanks. Indeed. Personally, I don't believe in true manifestations of God, so then it's never.

    Of course we also have the problem of people denying their 'sharing' is even proselytising. It's done so much harm in India.
     
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  4. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    I don't want nobody telling me "are you saved?"

    The question alone sentences everyone outside that belief system damned.

    I don't need no damn Jehovah Witness telling me I should know the actual name of God, spend 30 minutes lecturing me about A name, not about how God is with me or around me or "in my jugular vein," but spending actual time with a Bible discussing a damn name and expect me to visit their temple, no.

    Christian proselytization is bad in the U.S. and until its reformed to the point where its just a damn conversation without judgment, it will be problematic for me.
     
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  5. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    I can understand that people who proselytise are sincerely thinking they are helping others.
    But the detriments are too long to list for it to be justifiable. At least in countries where the people can’t or won’t fight back.

    In the West the “JDubs” and others who try to convert you are usually brushed off as nuisances. And that’s because there’s normally people who can and will push back against them. Either civically with rational, educated debate. Or harshly. Slamming the door or “releasing the hounds.”
    We simply do not allow them any power. And if someone wishes to join of their own violation, well, that’s their business.

    But in countries where there are different social obligations or even where education is more of a privilege, the proselytising becomes inherently more predatory. Taking advantage of hospitality or squaring against someone they know is not on the same level, for whatever reason. Sometimes even more insidious tactics are used.
    That’s when I take issue with proselytising the most. At least with an opponent who can discern the various psychological tactics, point out scriptural inconsistencies or even someone who is simply more educated on a certain subject, the person on the receiving end can fight their own battles. Someone who doesn’t have that edge, for whatever reason, I feel is being taken advantage of by those who proselytise.
     
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  6. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Though I'm not a believer, of course, I remember here one person was of one faith. I think she was raised that faith. Then she went to a secular one and then to christianity. When she got to christianity, she was more evangelizing and praise the lord [whatever switch that is I see it in many people who come to the lord]. Then, after much reflection she came back, and people here said she was much nicer before a christian than she was when she converted.

    Proselytizing leads people to divide in their faith. It's hard to self-reflect because they have a lot of bias. It is also hard to jump to non-abrahamic mindsets and/or mix the two because of the prebias and, I guess, poison passively or actively proselytize by many.

    I've had a christian preacher used his whole sermon about freemasons and catholics when someone signaled him I was catholic at the time. A resident invited me to his church; bad mistake. I would have walked out if I'd have a ride back.

    I despise proys when it's done passively. When someone says I'm interested in X church, it's like wolves coming to take one in and then when that person leaves, there is more problem for the people who brought them in than the person who was mildly interested.

    It's a terrible way to bring people to christ. And unlike other mindsets I like, the communal nature is not more for supporting each other but confirming each other's biases to share the word again.

    As you see, I really don't like it. I'm not around it thank god [ha] but I have strong opinions nonetheless.
     
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  7. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention, we've heard it all before from them. If some of us were open to every attempt, we would soon have no time to ourselves.
     
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  8. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    Show yourself to be kind and helpful. That takes more than a day. I don't see religion as exclusive, so support Jews, Muslims, or Christians. I came from a button hole Christian sect and hated it. Later I had a wonderful, and healing experience with the Mormons, who are wonderful people. Their leaders are devils.
     
  9. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    That's the big one for me. Some very gentle societies are really big on hospitality. They are so kind, yet naive, that they don't know it's wolves at the door.
     
  10. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Exactly. Though it always amused me to no end when a naive polytheistic inclined Cousin answered with, “oh, we’ve already got Jesus in our shrine” with an innocent shrug.
    The door knockers were positively scandalised lmao
     
  11. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Proselytizing also relays a clear direct admission that what one is peddling doesn't stack up on its own merits, as the proselytizer feels that the subject in question requires a degree of convincing as well as reinforcement, rather than just presenting something direct as it is without having such a need or requirement.
     
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  12. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Not entirely, it's the Great Commission run amok,

    16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:16-20 And then he bounced (literally, up to Heaven).

    I think it's obnoxious, disrespectful, offensive, condescending and patronizing (don't hold back Jai, what do you really think? :D). Hindus like to say that they don't get offended, well, this Hindu does. It's that warrior-ready-for-battle in me. I do have the warrior gene.. it's a real thing. I must've been Kshatriya in past lives. :shrug:

    Jesus did also say "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, as ye go forth out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town” Matthew 10:14-15

    I take the Sodom and Gomorrah reference as one of not being hospitable. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality and brutality towards strangers, a high crime and sin in the desert and other harsh lands. It was not about homosexuality as the 'phobes like to say.
     
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  13. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    As a liberal, I don’t see a need to proselytise because my most cherished desire is for people to lead a virtuous life, and I don’t see any religion as being uniquely situated to bring that about for all people.

    That being said, I see calling proselytising a “crime against humanity” as not being aligned with the truth. Rather it is excesses associated with proselytism such as repeated self insistence, and close mindedness that are evil.

    We found schools to teach people (which is really just a form of proselytism) as we believe as a society that people are better of educated than left to their natural states.

    With these points in mind I would like to address some of your counter-points.

    Divided communities - these come about due to the intolerance of people to differing ideas, and thus it is the intolerance, not proselytism, which is the root of the problem here.

    Families split - Once again caused by either intolerance, or the belief that believers and nonbelievers can’t intermarry. Not caused by proselytism as the root cause, just by intolerance toward differences of opinion.

    Money issues- Caused by the excesses of the devotee, not proselytism, and can occur just as easily within same Faith families as it is an addiction driven behaviour similar to gambling and other secular woes.

    Psyche changes- Caused by fear of the unknown which I see as a juvenile response on behalf of the fearer who should be actively countering their fears by educating themselves about what they are afraid of.

    So if you look more closely at the issues you have raised, they appear to have root causes in the excesses of the proselytiser or the excesses of the reactionary, but not in moderate proselytising itself.

    Also there is no religion which would exist in any numbers if it weren’t for proselytism at some stage of its existence and that includes Hinduism.

    One only needs to watch Bollywood movies to know that Hinduism is proselytised over the airwaves in India, and their are many polemics written by Hindus against other religions so I see anti-proselytising efforts as largely hypocritical anyway since certain of the Hindus are prepared to kill Christian and other religious proselytisers but never lift a finger against Hindu proselytisers anyway.
     
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  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I'm no fan of proselytizing, but I note that a lot of those bad effects you describe would be especially bad if the community/family that the convert is surrounded by has a religion that's very tribalistic and exclusionary, while the convert's new religion is generally benign... or at least better than what they were in before. In these cases, maybe it's a good thing that the convert got out.

    As an (extreme) example: if I heard of someone leaving Lev Tahor for the Jehovah's Witnesses, I'd probably be a bit relieved. I'd also probably be a bit relieved if I heard of a lifelong JW leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses for the Catholic Church. In both cases, the convert is probably better off... even though their family may very well shun them.

    On the whole, though, I don't think that proselytizing is a net benefit. It certainly shouldn't be one of the "charitable purposes" in our tax laws.
     
  15. JayaBholenath

    JayaBholenath Resident Nagini

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    Vanakkam,

    Proselytism is forbidden in hinduism. It's viewed by 99% of hindus as not respecting the choice and path of the other person. Even when you come from another religion and express a wish to "convert" to hinduism, most hindus will tell you at first to go back to your original religion just for you to be sure. Hinduism is not trying to "save" anyone, nobody needs to be "saved", everyone is threading its own path and we'll all meet at the same place in the end.
    That's it.

    Waves of "trying to convert Indians back into hinduism" that's happening in India is a sad, but predictable response to all the damages missionaries and love Jihad did. Christians bribing poor people with food/shelter/éducation, splitting families apart to pick on the weaker ones, muslims kidnapping young girls to force them into marriage for change of religion... It still happens in India. With total impunity. So there are local initiatives aiming to convince people converted to "Come back" to their original faith.


    The only "hindus" i've seen actively proselytising are the Hare Krshna. Even outside of temple and during hindu festival they are out there distributing stuff to convince other hindus to come to THEIR temple and worship THEIR way. Even in my BharataNatyam class, one of the dancer fell into Hare Krishna and went to proselytise during a class. Guru told him to leave the Books and leaflets at the door or GTFO.
    He was advertising for a "festival of indian culture" that was basically just Hare Krishna proselytising heavily and two people selling hippy crystal healing stuff.

    A damn distasteful disgrace, that's what hindus here think about this proselytising stuff.

    Aum Namah Shivaya.
     
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  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Apparently, it's not forbidden by the Hindu groups who proselytize.
     
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  17. JayaBholenath

    JayaBholenath Resident Nagini

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    Vanakkam,

    And the only one that does in the west are Hare Krshna as I said in my post, they are not kindly welcomed/ignored by hindus where I live.

    You'll never see any hindu knocking at your door/proselytising in the street where you live because hindus stance on différent religions is "to each his own". Even within hinduism we all worship a différent god/godess as "suprême" and no hindu is trying to convince another hindu that his/her god is the only true most suprême ever. That's how much we don't Care.

    The only "hindus" knocking at your door or proselytising in your street are the Hare Krshna, and they are absolutely not approved. Many hindus where I live don't even consider them into hinduism

    Édit: just to add, my message is not "hindus are perfect uwu". This is the general stance of the majority. Not excluding the existence of extremist idiots doing extrême idiotic stuff like pretty much everywhere else.

    Aum Namah Shivaya
     
    #17 JayaBholenath, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  18. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Yes, I mentioned that sometimes it can benefit people. I would never deny that, but it's the overall look I was going for. Another example is in jails. It can help in rehabilitation into a law abiding citizen.
     
  19. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    You realize that - almost in the same breath - that some Hindus proselytize and that Hindus don't proselytize? I find it hard to take what you're saying seriously.


    They're approved by the Hare Krishna organizations they belong to, I presume.

    But you consider them into Hinduism. You just gave them as an example of Hindus who proselytize.
     
  20. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I'm not so sure about what you say about jails. Personally, I see proselytizing to vulnerable populations like prisoners to be grossly unethical.
     
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