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Featured What's the point of proselytizing?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Nowhere Man, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

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    One could also say it's a form of advertising to try to convince people.

    There's the rub aside from the practice of bothering people when they're having dinner.

    What proselytizing actually does is make a statement that such and such a religion is not capable of standing on its own merits leaving people to try to convince others using various means.

    I don't see how people can be entirely comfortable with a religion that requires an active campaign akin with selling products and services.

    I would think passive promotion by example would be a much better way to go about it.
     
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  2. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    There is not much point to it, mostly in that whenever you come at someone who disagrees with you they are just reaffirmed or strengthened in their beliefs via the backfire effect.

    Essentially, you can only change someone's beliefs when they want them to change. Most of the proselytizing that is going on is actually Christians to Christians, if it's successful. It's more likely someone is converted between denominations than anything.

    I approach Satanism in this regard as well -- it's not really important for me to preach, but simply make sure proper information is out there. If people are considering to change their views then I think it's mostly important that they have the right information in front of them at the right time. :D
     
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  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I openly proselytize about non-proselytizing, openly trying to convince people to not do it. The very nature is condescending. It says`:
    I'm smarter than you.
    You need something I have.
    My religion is better than your religion or non-religion.

    So you're right. It's advertising a product that very few people need, and is a waste of time that could be better far better spent practicing your own religion.
     
    #3 Vinayaka, Sep 13, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Proselytizing just isn't akin to selling; it *is* selling. The (usually) crappy commission structure doesn't change that.

    I think that's a pretty poor way to promote a religion, actually. Even if members of Religion X all make a concerted attempt to be wonderful people, the people they're trying to convert would also see all the wonderful people in other religions and no religion at all. The overall takeaway is that religion is irrelevant to being a good person, which isn't a message that puts bums in pews.
     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "Imagine a world where love is the way."
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    The best way to "proselytize" is to fully live the principles of the religion to the point where your behavior attracts people.
     
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  6. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    I can't see much sense in it myself. Now we just need to convince the atheists and Christians on this site to stop doing it. Don't hold your breath…
     
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  7. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Like I was getting at in my reply to the OP, that only works if living by the principles of your religion attracts more people to you than to other people.

    If all it means is that you behave generally decently... well, you might avoid repelling people, but you aren't going to stand out from all the generally decent people in the world from all cultures, religions, etc.
     
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  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Agreed, which confirms common decency has little to do with faith. In fact, a case could be made for the opposite. Those who do wear their faiths on their every word are often, at the least annoying, and at the worst, not decent people.
     
  9. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Never saw the point, honestly. But some religious or anti-religious groups see it as a means to some kind of utopia or have some optimism that it will make things better.
     
  10. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Pin by Aspa Lockwood on Art

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    The only positive thing I can think about pry* is if it is to people who want to hear it like Joel Olsten or something. When people want to hear uplifting confirmation bias then its fine.

    When its its done passive or not without regards to the other person then its counterproductive and keeps the other from comprehending what's said. It's highly unnecessary. If one want to believe in say Nichiren Buddhism Nichiren Shoshu buddhist do not need to push their belief for others to follow.

    If anything LIVE your belief. Others may look at your example and may follow that way.
     
  11. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    What's the point of proselytizing? I wager any of these could be applicable:
    • We like to share what we love. Because we love it, we want to share it with others! We want them to share in our joys and experiences, so we try to encourage them to try it out. People like to express themselves in a more general sense too, even if it isn't something we are passionate about.
    • We often fixate on common ground. In relationships, many of us seek common ground as a basis for our relationships. It follows that some people would actively cultivate that common ground because they believe it is necessary to have a positive relationship with someone. We want others to be like us rather than different from us.
    • We believe we are right. Or mostly right, or more right than the other guy. Some take this a bit further and want to get everyone else on the right side too, for whatever reason. And we'll take great steps to see that realized, if it is in our character to do so. At times, quite aggressively.
     
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  12. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
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    The most effective form of active proselytizing appears (to me) to be the begging type. The proselytizer is literally going to starve unless sympathetic listeners support them. This seems to work because it forces the sympathizer to decide whether the proselytizer has evil intentions right away -- yes/no. That is usually the first thing people want to know -- "What are the real objectives of this person?" After that there are other objections to overcome such as questions about competency.
     
  13. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    I go along with the first and last of your reasons.

    The first seems entirely altruistic; and may even go to the desire of honestly wanting to save others from hell.

    The last I can see as working toward filling the coffers.

    .
     
  14. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    Nobody said it would be easy, what's a few thousand years to get that.
     
  15. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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  16. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg A World Citizen
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    Matthew 10:14 would suggest you do not preach to those that do not want to hear and leave them alone.

    There is a line and it is narrow, easy to cross where wisdom is lost.

    Regards Tony
     
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  17. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg A World Citizen
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    In most of the Messages of God one is obligated to share the Message. After all, if it is a solution to the worlds issues, that is a wise move.

    On the other hand, the Messages also say do not teach those that do not want to hear.

    It is the 2nd piece of advice, in my view, where the crossed lineis crossed in proselytizing.

    The issue we have today is that the word is used in debates where Faith is being debated. So it is used in a manner that one should not even talk about, or debate Faith to clarify a given point.

    I have found the proselytizing of views is strong from those that wish to discredit any faith or God.

    It us up to each should find the wisdom as to when the line has been crossed, as once it is crossed, the thoughts are wrong and selfish.

    Regards Tony
     
    #17 Tony Bristow-Stagg, Sep 13, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  18. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    People proselytize because they believe the message they give is strong enough on its own merits.

    The best anyone can do is share their views and let it all fall where it may and live their message.

    I honestly do think proselytizers feel their message is bigger than themselves, and they feel its their job to relay it all.

    I think most people are just speaking their hearts and minds to either vent or learn something new or both. I post on rf just to see how people react to my words, convictions, and opinions. I read more than post though, there are very interesting statements made on rf, and its fun to filter through many of them.

    Everyone is living life, might as well play the hand your dealt. See if better ways of doing things come about.
     
  19. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    you are proselytizing
     
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  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member

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    The other extreme is the pejorative use of the word proselytise where one person readily accuses another to insult or demean.
     
    #20 adrian009, Sep 13, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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