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Featured To Those Whose Ears and Eyes and Hearts are Open

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Tumah, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    So I'm noticing a trend in proselytizing religions. It goes something like this:
    If you listen/read/pray with a pure heart and open eyes/ears/heart, then you will come to believe in the same thing I have come to believe.
    I've heard this from Christians, Muslims and Baha'i here. If I've heard you saying it, presumably you've all heard each other saying it as well. So here's the thing:
    At what point do you say to yourself, "We're all making the exact same claim as the way to find faith in the religion we already believe in. Maybe all having a pure heart and opened orifices does is reinforce a belief or intensify a leaning that we already had."​

    I mean think about it. There's a good chance that in the over one billion people in the religion you are not a part of, at least one or two of its more mild adherents was feeling terribly distraught and truly opened their hearts to whatever was out there. And came away with even deeper faith in their religion just like you did.

    Maybe it just really doesn't work unless you're already inclined to believe in the religion you're a part of?
     
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  2. Kirran

    Kirran
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    My view is that this opening can help people achieve greater faith in the Divine full stop, but the way that's conceptualised is based on your pre-existing framework, so unless it's a lot of experiencing that really cleans all the definitions and stuff out then you'll come away with a stronger conviction that said framework is true. Something like that.
     
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  3. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    The one thing that is characteristic of all religions is that they're virtually unfalsifiable. Therefore, realizing that and acting in reflection of that is probably well advised.
     
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  4. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    I think for many religious laymen, faith is almost purely emotional and cultural. Having a strong emotional attachment makes it much harder to let go of, obviously, and easier to 'feel'. Secondly, it can often be a case of 'my ancestors followed such and such, so I'm following such and such...'

    Those people who take the time out to study their faith in depth, I've noticed, do not use this 'argument' of emotion. If anything, using emotions to bring someone to your faith is, in my opinion, manipulative; some people are very easily swayed and emotions are hard to ignore. These conversions are not true. They are based on feelings.

    But feelings are so much easier than taking the time out to study, study, reflect and more study...
     
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  5. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    What I was more questioning, was the wisdom in telling someone who isn't of your religion, that if they were to truly open their hearts, they would come to believe in your religion.
     
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  6. Sultan Of Swing

    Sultan Of Swing Well-Known Member

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    I know a number of staunch atheists and non-Christians who read through a Gospel with a Christian friend and are truly captivated and convinced by the words of God, convinced by the person of Jesus, His teaching and resurrection and give their lives to Him.

    This is not to say everyone who reads will then be saved, but God saves whom He wills, the word of God is powerful and effective, and there are no barriers in terms of existing inclinations or beliefs.
     
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  7. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Well I'm sorry for bringing something else to the discussion! Hmph!

    Just for that, the name Zalman is back on the table.
     
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  8. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    And you don't think that there were ever any staunch atheists who read through the Qur'an or Baha'i writings and the same happened to them?
     
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  9. Sultan Of Swing

    Sultan Of Swing Well-Known Member

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    Oh sure it's possible, I was more rebutting the idea that these people were already inclined to believe in the first place, which with some of the more argumentative atheists really doesn't seem to be the case.
     
  10. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    At age 13, reading/listening/praying with a pure and open heart I had a born-again Christian experience. In the following years, I had a number of further experiences that kept showing me the bad things that people who claim to be of pure and open heart do: some seem to do mostly good, or at least with good intent, but more seem to do bad, or seem to have bad intent.

    So, I continued to read/listen/pray with an open heart and mind, and came to realize pretty much what the OP lays out. And I still think that I read/listen/pray(practice my religion) with an open mind and open heart...it's just not the religion I grew up with...
     
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  11. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    I see what you mean.
     
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  12. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    Many people get a warm and fuzzy feeling when they "open up" to a religion. It is a natural chemical process that is triggered by the brain. Others get the same warm and fuzzy feeling when they break free from a religion and experience "freedom" from what was shoved down their throats for so long.
     
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  13. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    What would happen if a believer read/listened/thought about, say, the Theory of Evolution, or the Big Bang Cosmology, or some other "atheistic" writing, with a pure and open heart and mind, as pure and open as when they read their holy book?

    Would they come to believe it as well?
    I'm sure that there have been lots of believers who have converted from their religions, or modified their beliefs, upon doing so...

    'Conversion' can be a two-way street, you know.:D
     
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  14. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    I'm not sure that, at least in this country, I know of anyone in general, who does not believe in evolution. Christians, atheists etc. IMO evolution, Big Bang Theory, are just scientific theories and have little to do specifically with atheism.
     
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  15. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    Sorry, but I don't remember which country you are in; here in the US of A, we have a pretty large portion of the population who are biblical literalists and who deny BB, ToE, etc, and interpret all geological, astronomical, etc., data to conform with a Young Earth Creation theory that can't be tested or gainsayed. Their arguments are constructed to make the world appears as godless atheists/devil worshippers promoting ungodly theories (like BB, ToE, gay rights, etc.) versus the righteous who believe in the Bible as literally true.

    This may not be the case elsewhere in the Western world, but it is true of this country.
     
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  16. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    UK :D

    The Vicar of a Church I used to attend had originally studied as a nuclear physicist. That is his degree.
     
    #16 Rival, Nov 28, 2016
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  17. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    I've actually always found this suggestion to be more than a bit nauseating. Many theists pretend that some atheists, for example, have not studied various religions from stem to stern and have found them wanting on many fronts. The followers of the given religions as stuck in a myopic understanding where they simply assume that non-believers are not looking at the given ideas in the "right way", which sadly means to toss critical thinking out the window.

    As I'm often given to comment, "Though it is true I was born at night, I was not born last night."
     
    #17 YmirGF, Nov 28, 2016
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  18. GodsVoice

    GodsVoice Active Member

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    When someone starts telling me, "the Bible says". I tell them I have never heard my Bible speak to me. And I know for a fact that it doesn't know what I'm going to do with those words I read, copy and paste, or memorize to try convince someone else that I'm a godly person. I could be a liar and the Bible wouldn't even know it.
     
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  19. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I agree, but isn't it also possible to overcome personal inclinations?
     
  20. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    This one really nails it.

    Well, of course. For, should I open my heart for Christianity, Islam or Baha'i when I do that? Can I become Christian if I open my heart for Islam? Or the other way round?

    And if I open my heart for all of them, where will I land? Will all other people land there? If not, why not?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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