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Featured Why don’t Baha’is in forums ever talk about what their religion is really all about?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Jim, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    "beating about the bush"

    While I read "Kitab-i-Iqan", I find that Bahaullah mostly was beating about the bush, and either he himself did not know the truth or he did not tell the truth purposely. If he was doing it,why should not his follower follow him? Right, please?

    Regards
     
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  2. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    "if you want a frank and honest discussion about the tenets of your faith, I'm still game."

    Our Bahai friends in the forum! Why not to accept the challenge of our friend @siti , please? Please have a sincere discussion on the tenets of your religion "Bahaism", any one of you, if it is permissible under the RF rules. It is a golden occasion to spread/propagate it. Right,please?

    Regards
     
    #82 paarsurrey, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  3. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Alas, Paarsurrey, that is not permissible in the forum. So, do not try. :(
     
  4. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Learning about anything from the Internet is certainly full of pitfalls, both concrete and potential.

    However, there is definitely a place for it. While it is easy to present all degrees of bias and untruthfulness in Internet content and we should keep that in mind, it does not follow that we should simply disregard it all, nor use some simple criteria of automatic trust and disregard.

    Biased or unreliable information is still useful, if in no other way as an indicator of how vocal, visible and extreme the spread of different views and stances will be, as well as on what exactly those views perceive as worth of discussion and of statement.

    Some subjects are very free from real controversy, either because they are by nature too technical or too free-form. A very few benefit from actual harmony of vision among all parties interested them.

    By far most subject matters do however motivate some degree of divergence and controversy, with some pretty much demanding those. It is nearly impossible for publicity and marketing to avoid controversy while still functioning, and that is even more true of politics.

    An interesting side effect is that there is a sort of negative emphasis effect available for those who are willing to look for it and to test it. Things that are often stated to be clearly true probably are not, or at least face fierce contestation from some people even if they happen to be objectively and demonstrably true; there is a perception that they might not be true, even if it may be a very unfair and biased perception.

    To use a familiar example, there is not a whole lot of discussion on whether Muhammad existed as a person, because not too many people see room for any doubt (for very good reasons). And because the claim that he might not have existed is rarely made, neither do we find frequent claims that he did in fact exist. It is a consensus, or very close to it.

    Once we learn of the contentious points, and of the frequency and intensity of the related controversies, we can learn quite a lot about the popularity, passion, and typical arguments of the clashing views. Perhaps even more significant is the opportunity to learn how willing to accept each other those views are.


    Going back to the OP, it is clear that at the most superficial levels the Bahai Faith is interested at raising its own profile; it is by no means a "secret" religion, and it definitely accepts converts. Neither is it any secret that it has a clear interest in geographical consolidation and spread; one of its most visible features are, after all, its nine-sided Temples. We are not talking about a community that hopes to go largely unnoticed like, say, the Druze.

    It is just as evident that it perceives itself as its own faith, as a religion distinct from most of the major traditional ones, while at the same time insisting on a non-accusatory stance towards them. Bahais just aren't very likely to denounce other religions as "false", although they will readily present reasons why the Bahai Faith would be a better choice.

    A bit more of familiarity shows that Bahais are very much Abrahamic in their doctrine, and brings questions about how much ability to understand non-Abrahamic perspectives it has or seeks. At this point there is already significant, if largely serene and respectful, controversy. I have seen hints that suggest that there is a significant yet perhaps localized degree of inner tension about this among Bahais. On the other hand, the decisive pursuit of ethnodiversity among Bahais is very difficult to deny. Bahais can hardly be accused of being typically ethnocentric or racist.

    From the arguments and direct discussions with Bahais, it is also clear that there is a significant degree of formal structure among Bahais. Acknowledgement of the authority of the Universal House of Justice is in practice necessary, although I do not expect much consensus on the exact reasons nor on how serious it would be to oppose it. Perhaps understandably, that does not seem to be a confortable subject matter for most Bahais.

    Beyond that, yes, it looks like that Bahais feel considerably more at ease discussing matters of goals and doctrine with their own (in practice, people who frequent the local Assemblies) than with random people. How significant that is I can not say.
     
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  5. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Aren't they already, sort of?

    Regards
     
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  6. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    "Biased or unreliable information is still useful"

    Yes, that is what I meant in the post. One gets to know the clues to research and for finding truth. Right, please?

    Regards
     
    #86 paarsurrey, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  7. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I’ve posted a hint for Baha’is in the other thread, and I want to wait one more week to see if anyone can guess what I’m thinking.
     
  8. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?
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    I went through the links as promised Adrian. Before I say any more have you been through them? My goal was to find the actual curriculum taught at the
    As promised Adrian, I went to your links. My goal being to find the actual curriculum taght at Rowhani Baha'i School . I am not sure if you have ever tried to follow that path through the maze, but as an educated doctor I hope to (***)ume you are well experienced in following links to eventually get to as much of the truth as possible. I finally ended with having to download a curriculum. ..and I did. The trail did not end in any useful information other than everyone loving everyone else and being nice and gathering others into the light. A Nobel cause but not exactly a well rounded education in science and history or anything else I have the trail in link form and it ended very quickly with little information. I also followed the links provided by the Grizzly Bear. In both cases there is much talk in mostly spiral circles with lots of loving, flowery words and suggestions for becoming a loyal and fruitful follow of Baha'I principle and a willingness to share but very little in the way of traceable evidence of what Baha'I actually teach or do. Especially what they teach at outreach posts and in developing communities. I guess I have to say I'm happy for people who truly find joy in following the Baha'I way and the words of the prophet but there are a lot of spaces in the truth of what they do and a lot of chasing circles to distractions but a lack of information about what they actually teach or do to help those communities they pilgrimage to.. I'm not saying any of what I have said to be mean. I don't really care what Baha'I believe per say as I am an atheist to the Abrahamics.

    I think if in Internet discussions more sunlight on the truth was allowed in, there probably would not be more adherents but the faith would be viewed for what it is in an honest manner. Now as it is and has been , speakers just cannot be viewed as being honest by anyone other than Baha'i. And frankly that involves a blind eye by members if they cannot be open and honest about what they do and what their real goals are. I am sorry to say but reading the messages reminds me a lot of a Hulu series entitled The Handmaid's Tale (TV series) - Wikipedia.

    I really cannot see the faith ending any different than that. We are all different. We need to accept that difference in others and be truthful in our endeavors to see peace, compassion, and equality for all humans and the planet. It starts foremost with honestly

    I am sorry for the loss at Christ's Church. The landscape is amazing and hopefully the people can find peace again with help from sincere people such as yourself.

    Best wishes for peace there.


    Edited to end on a positive note here in the land of the free as far as human dignity is conserned:

    We became the 7th state in this country to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day. It took 6 years but we got 'er done. It only takes respect and a willingness to face the reality head on. I did a dance in the forest to celebrate.
     
    #88 wandering peacefully, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  9. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    OK - that's fine - I must admit though, the longer it goes on, the more I can sense where your impatience is coming from. The writer of the Letter of James in the Bible argued that "faith without works is dead". I am sure you are correct in discerning that the relative reluctance of online Baha'is to elaborate on what it is that Baha'is are supposed to DO rather than what they supposed to believe might be related. To be fair though, I imagine that some are rather limited in terms of their abilities/opportunities/circumstances...and for them, engaging in online discussions is an outlet by which they are able to 'express their faith'. Personally, in my online 'downtime', I am more interested in critically analyzing religious claims and your online Baha'i friends are a veritable gold mine of these. Reality is a puzzle that is - I think - fun to try to unravel bit by bit.

    There is a Baha'i Centre near me so I could go and find out what they are up to by asking them - I'm absolutely sure they would not mind and that would be a better way for me to find out the answer to your question - although Fijian people are generally far more reluctant to "blow their own trumpet" than us westerners so it might take a little patient talanoa (look that one up - its about consensus-building by patient, courteous and respectful conversation...or rather storytelling...if only we could all bring ourselves to see our diverse religious traditions as talanoa dialogues with the deeper realities of human existence that can - if only we could see past the gloss and sheen of the pages - illuminate and elevate our human condition...Anyway, if your goal is to unite the human family by reaching the hearts - as well as minds - of men, women and children, I reckon that (talanoa - patient, respectful, inclusive dialogue) has to at least go hand in glove - if not replace altogether - adversarial democracy - as a means of societal decision making). OK - I have almost certainly said far too much and gone way off topic. I think I should just wait with you for the RF Baha'is to respond themselves.

    PS - I am, in all fairness, only vaguely familiar with Baha'i work in the fields of education and community socio-economic development. These are very important things for every human being to be engaged in to the extent they are able, but as a liberal/socialist humanist I would say that anyway. For me, it has far more to do with my faith in and love for humanity than any belief I may or may not express in deities and prophets.
     
    #89 siti, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  10. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    The question in my mind when I started this thread was why Baha’is who discuss the Baha’i Faith in Internet discussions never mention the activities that the House of Justice has been promoting in its messages to them for 20 years or more. Even in Baha’i forums they never mention them, and when I start discussions about those activities, they ignore them. Here are three possible reasons I can think of:
    - They don’t read messages from the House of Justice.
    - They don’t understand what the House of Justice is calling for us to do.
    - They don’t like what the House of Justice is calling for us to do.

    I’m still looking for other possible explanations of why Baha’is who discuss the Baha’i Faith in Internet discussions never mention the activities that the House of Justice has been promoting in its messages to them for 20 years or more.

    I’m also curious about why none of the people who continually debate with Baha’is about the Baha’i Faith never mention those activities either, and none of them can even tell me what they are.
     
  11. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Do you think that it is at all possible that many Bahais are simply uninterested in the specific, arguably distant considerations from the UHJ?

    It is not unheard of for people to value their adherence to a religious group while not having much interest in learning of the greater projects and goals.
     
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  12. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    Not at all. Not too much and not off topic. Right on target, and I loved every word of it. Every, every, every word. Yes, yes, yes and yes to all of it. Like an oasis in the desert.
     
  13. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    Not only possible but I think true, and generally I don’t see it as a problem. I think that there are many circumstances in which Baha’is have better ways of using their capacities than in those activities that the House of Justice has been promoting. My problem is with Baha’is who think it’s wrong for any Baha’i to ever disagree with anything the House of Justice says, and at the same time can’t tell me what the activities are that it has been promoting in its messages to them for 20 years.

    Maybe I just answered my own question.
     
  14. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Immersion in the Ocean of God's Word
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    The opposite. The Universal House of Justice has its fingers on the pulse of humanity. They offer very timely advice.

    Each community consults on these messages and decides how they, given their capacities, can best implimemt the advice.

    Regards Tony
     
  15. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    You say that, and yet you can’t tell me specifically what activities it has been promoting most of all in its messages to Baha’is for 20 years. That’s the mystery I’m trying to solve. Can you help me with that?
     
  16. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I would say that they are denouncing all religions as false. Because the teachings of all of them have been replaced (modified - progressive revelation) by the Bahai teachings. They don't accept Jesus as the son of God, they do not accept that Mohammad has the last message from Allah, they do not accept that there could be more Gods and Goddesses than one like the Hindus, they don't accept that existence or non-existence of God is immaterial in life as Buddhists do or Jains who deny the existence of God, they do not accept that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who declared his mission later than Bahaullah is the mahdi sent by Allah. The veneer of accepting all religions is as thin as a one cell membrane. Actually they are at odds with all other religions of the world. Why, then, the charade?
    Ah, that is a wonderful benefaction that you have accorded to the indigenous people after all that happened in history. ;)
    I accept it is good, but what I wonder is what remains of the indigenous people at all!
    Their greatest project and goal is to make more temples around the world. Not much unlike Hare-Krishnas or Swaminarayans.
     
    #96 Aupmanyav, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  17. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    So how did your community decide to implement the advice in the latest Ridvan Letter (for example)?
     
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  18. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Immersion in the Ocean of God's Word
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    My wife and I are remote Baha'i's and have been most of our Baha'i life. We have no Baha'i community.

    I do not think it is appropriate for me to talk much about other communities on a public forum as I do not know what they would share. The closest to us, Atherton Tablelands, is 600km away and any public sponsered event is locally advertised and they have always been well attended.

    That communities website and events page is there for all to see, thus that would be shareable.

    Events

    Regards Tony
     
  19. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    With possibly one exception, the blatant and shameless display of willfull ignorance, on all sides of debating about the Baha’i Faith, continues, further confirming my suspicion that no one in the debating cares at all about the truth or reality of anything they’re saying, in the world of experience outside of their online forum MMORPGs.
     
  20. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Why? Is their community activity a secret? Or do you simply prefer your good works to be done under the Bible principle of not letting the left hand know what the right hand doeth? (Matthew 6:3).
     
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