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Does proselyzing hurt or harm people?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Vinayaka, May 23, 2011.

  1. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I believe that there are many ways that proseltysing hurts. When the hoped for outcome (conversion) happens, it causes so much disharmony in families. Brothers won't speak to each other , cousins can't enjoy get-togethers. and much much more.

    Then there is just the annoyance factor. With the advent of the internet and libraries, every single faith system is available to anyone on the planet.

    Historically, although today is somewhat better, it has caused disappearances of entire gentle cultures. Extinction. Loss of knowledge (ancient herbology, to mention one)

    I have nothing at all against ethical conversion, where there is no sneakiness or proseltysing tied to things like food and weakness on deathbeds.

    Thoughts?
     
    #1 Vinayaka, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  2. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    I don't see any problem with licit proselytism......other than being annoying in some cases.
     
  3. St Giordano Bruno

    St Giordano Bruno Well-Known Member

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    It can hurt if there is a millitary agenda to it, such as lobbying forces to "fight in God's name"
     
  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    After I posted, I googled. I should have googled first. It is illegal in Israel, (at least very well defined) almost all Islamic countries, China, several Indian states, and Greece. (Probably more ... I couldn't find a definitive list.) There is much debate, and I found too many links to post. I hope this discussion can stick to the topic. For me proselytising itself is just annoying and rude, unless its done i a very sneaky manner, and then I really question the ethics and morals of the people doing it, Its the potential outcome that is really harmful.
     
  5. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    yep its how cults get started
     
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  6. darkendless

    darkendless Guardian of Asgaard

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    It hurts because we get to see the horiffic arrogance that humanity is capable of.
     
  7. 3Cheers4Lilith

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    I wish that I could say that it depends on the place that the p-tizing comes from. In all reality, it doesn't. no matter who it is, or why they are doing it, I'm always offended. I've had my own brother-in-law call my UU fellowship a "crazy cult" in his attempt to "save my soul because he loves me". Which may entirely be true, but I was just so beyond offended by his choice of words, and him thinking that my choice of faith is wrong.
     
  8. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    look at camping and his new prediction.

    I find him a low life piece of trash that should be jailed
     
  9. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    I don't believe that proselytizer can hurt anyone, the worst it can do is annoy someone to death. ;)
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Certainly making false promises, like Camping did, hurts. That will come out in the days ahead when more people testify as to what they lost. Similarly, in third world countries, things like fake job offers, supposed increased status, etc. can hurt.

    I would hope that would - be missionaries would give a really deep thought as to their real purpose.
     
  11. Vendetta

    Vendetta "Oscar the grouch"

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    Well it is my understanding that people who proseltyze have a genuine belief that they are being sincere. I hate it in every single of the word, a religious folks ask me "are you saved?" Then they begin to talk about why I should join their faith. Or receiving "Watch Tower" booklets if I pass by a Jehovahs witness. I would rather discuss religion than being invited into it.
     
  12. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I wish children under the age of twelve were not proselytized. I also wish children under the age of twelve were not advertised to or sold to for any purpose. I think it takes advantage of their youth and lack of mental and emotional development to pitch them that young.
     
  13. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    It should be noted that proselytizing--defined as telling anyone else what to believe or not believe--is strictly forbidden in the Baha'i Faith!

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  14. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Can hurt, can help, too. Depends on circumstances and how it's done.

    IMHO one should not shy away from discussing their religion if asked about it, and accepting converts who wish to convert, and at the same time they should not go and harass people into their religion, by appeals to emotion, force, threats, or anything. Even door to door missionary stuff shouldn't be practised, and neither should picking on the vulnerable.

    My $0.02.
     
  15. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Ah, if only that was limited to those under the age of twelve.
     
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  16. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    the freedom of religion has given certain religious practices a right, as it were, even though it goes against common decency..
    can it hurt, not physically...but emotionally yes..to some who are grappling with certain issues...only to be subjected to a religious bias.
     
  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Apparently some Bahais break the rule then.

    Iran arrests Bahais for proselytizing - Jihad Watch
     
  18. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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  19. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Baha'is are severely persecuted in Iran and I would not trust any report from Iranian sources saying that they were doing something unlawful. Often charges are trumped up against Baha'i in Iran, homes and property confiscated, leaders thrown in jail, and students not allowed to be enrolled unless they renounce their faith. "Proselytizing" in this case could likely be simply telling someone else that they are Baha'is.
     
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  20. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    My point was not really about Iran or Bahai's. I'm just trying to point out that there are two sides to proselytysing, the guys doing it, and the guys taking it. Both sides Have some validity, but I would generally rather go with a victim impact statement that a definition by the bully. There is debate as to what it is. In my opinion, it doesn't have to be 'in your face'.

    One of the factors that had my 15 year old daughter drop out of school and later go to another one was the overzealousness of the 'Christian club' and scorn towards the nonbelievers. The staff just turned a blind eye to it. A public school BTW.

    So some people who don't feel they are proeseltysing at all, by most other people's standards, are. An open invitation or imploring me to read some of 'my good material' here on RF for example, I consider proseletysing. Others may not.

    But surely the pastor inside his own building preaching to the already converted isn't proseletysing at all. I had a problem once with a woman who came to our Hindu temple, and an invited swami was speaking about the greatness of Hinduism, and she considered it proseletysing. I though she was dead wrong.
     
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