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Mon Feb 27, 2012, 06:44 PM

What are the various flavors of "let's all get along" theology?

These are the varieties that I can think of:


(1) What I believe is true, but my God is a nice God (or my gods are nice gods) and as long as you're a good person, you'll be OK.

(1a) What I believe is true, but my God is a nice God (or my gods are nice gods) and as long as you're a good person, you'll be OK. You won't ascend to as high a level as I do/won't be as rewarded in the afterlife/won't enjoy the full spiritual benefits I enjoy -- but you'll be OK.

(1b) What I believe is true, but my God is a nice God (or my gods are nice gods) and as long as you're a good person, you'll be OK -- as long as you believe in something. Lacking belief won't cut it.


(2) You're at a different level/stage of "spiritual development" than I am. But that's OK (great struggling and effort expended to avoid sounding condescending and/or like making a value judgement). I was once where you are now.

(2a) ...and there are other people at higher levels than me.

(2b) ...and I'm sure there are other-worldly spiritual beings advanced beyond me (but I don't know of any here on earth above my level).


(3) What I believe is true, what you believe is true... it's all true!

(3a) ...it's just "different aspects" of the truth. Let me tell you about the blind men and the elephant...

(3b) ...your truth is your truth, my truth is my truth, and, well, let's not get into thinking too deeply about how that works out in any sort of coherent epistemology.


(4) Let's just leave it at "let's all get along" and not ask any complicated questions that might mess that up.


(5) I'm right, you're wrong, but I'm going to keep quiet about that, or gloss over any possible conflicts with diplomatic language, because I want us all to get along. As far as you know, I'm "happy for you" and the comfort your beliefs bring you, and that's that.


(6) Something super-erudite and spiritual and wise that's way better than any of the above options, but I can't possibly explain it to anyone who...

(6a) ...isn't ready to understand.

(6b) ...doesn't want to understand.


Can anyone think of some more?

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply What are the various flavors of "let's all get along" theology? (Original post)
Silent3 Feb 2012 OP
snagglepuss Feb 2012 #1
Warpy Feb 2012 #2
edhopper Feb 2012 #4
Warpy Feb 2012 #7
cleanhippie Feb 2012 #10
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #12
edhopper Feb 2012 #8
Silent3 Feb 2012 #11
mr blur Feb 2012 #16
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #17
Silent3 Feb 2012 #18
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #19
Silent3 Feb 2012 #22
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #23
Silent3 Feb 2012 #26
tama Feb 2012 #27
tama Feb 2012 #24
rug Feb 2012 #3
cbayer Feb 2012 #5
Silent3 Feb 2012 #9
FarCenter Feb 2012 #6
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #13
Thats my opinion Feb 2012 #14
Silent3 Feb 2012 #15
Thats my opinion Feb 2012 #20
Silent3 Feb 2012 #21
tama Feb 2012 #25

Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:02 PM

1. Not just brilliant idea for a post but hysterical.

"it's just "different aspects" of the truth. Let me tell you about the blind men and the elephant... "


"You're at a different level/stage of "spiritual development" than I am. But that's OK"





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Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:02 PM

2. I don't believe much of anything and I don't give a shit if you do.

Quite honestly, I don't give a fiddler's fart what anyone uses to get through a dark, lonely and scary night. The most useless thing in the world is trying to convert other people to whatever it is that you use, not to mention it's really impolite. The most you can expect from bullying other people is lip service until you go away.

That applies to unbelievers as well as believers.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:06 PM

4. And if you see your country

going to shit because of the beliefs of a large segment who wish to control everything? Do keep quit and not offer your ideas in hope some might see the dangers in letting the Xtian wackos go unchallenged?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:47 PM

7. Different issue, entirely

but nice red herring.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:22 PM

10. Except its not.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:33 AM

12. The point of the thread was how people coexist, not how they disagree.

 

Challenging isn't coexistence.

You could start another thread on "What are the various flavors of 'Leave me the fuck alone' theology", but that's not the point of this thread.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:54 PM

8. Not a red herring

I must have misunderstood your intent. I take it then you are only referring to social intercourse and not the larger politics.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:43 PM

11. The very act of characterizing beliefs as "what anyone uses to get through...

...a dark, lonely and scary night" is an act of demoting those beliefs to little more than a coping mechanism, implicitly if not explicitly denying or strongly doubting the seriousness of those beliefs as any sort of deeper understanding, wisdom, or truth.

While you clearly respect the right of people to believe whatever they want, your wording makes it very doubtful you actually respect those beliefs themselves.

Does that make you guilty of bullying too? If not, where else in this thread does the issue of bullying come up?

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:06 AM

16. Sorry, but what's wrong with this, exactly?:

 

While you clearly respect the right of people to believe whatever they want, your wording makes it very doubtful you actually respect those beliefs themselves.


Of course people have the right to believe whatever they want. But why, exactly, must I respect the beliefs themselves? Unless you would argue that some beliefs are more worthy of respect than others, then one would be expeted/required to respect the most ridiculous nonsene.

Oh, wait...

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:49 AM

17. Of course it doesn't make one guilty of "bullying"

 

Bullying is overt antagonistic behaviour. Privately disrespecting someone's beliefs without doing anything about it is hardly bullying. "Bullying" would be more like posting a sneering thread about other people's attitudes towards different beliefs on a religion board. To pick a random example.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:33 AM

18. Anyone who considers that "random example" bullying doesn't get...

...the point of a discussion group like this.

While some people do apparently expect or want nothing but tea and crumpets here, it would be a pretty dull place if all of the diplomatic niceties were always in effect. If all that ever happened here was that people stated their own beliefs and then, to use a phrase that keeps coming, everyone else politely applauded and said, "Thank you for sharing!", the group wouldn't get a tenth of the traffic, and there would be far fewer learning opportunities.

I have learned things here myself. I haven't hugely switched positions, but I have modified and tempered some of my views. I think that would have been much less likely to happen if no one had tried to confront or challenge or goad me, but instead had kept their public diplomacy at full let's-not-ruin-Thanksgiving-dinner levels.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:13 PM

19. OK, so we're talking just about Internet behaviour then?

 

That wasn't clear from the OP. It's been well understood since the Usenet days that SOP on the internet was quite a bit harsher than anything one would say or even think IRL. I cut my teeth on alt.atheism in the mid-90s, and compared to the behaviour on that group everyone here is a bunch of pussies.

IRL I'm more inclined to say "Thanks for sharing". On the net I'm likely to simply take my hands off the keyboard if someone gets too pushy. One thing that's clear from internet interactions is just how broad the range of peoples' thoughts, beliefs, attachments, projections and other assorted defensive postures are. If I were to take umbrage at every post I thought was mistaken or out of line I'd run out of adrenaline in a hurry.

I try to adopt the position that others are fully entitled hold and express their own beliefs, as I am entitled to mine. I prefer not to try and shut others down, but just present my own opinions in response to theirs. I don't think "sneer 'n jeer" is effective communication - it tends just to throw gasoline on the fire, and that's not what I'm here for. On the net the expression of beliefs tends to be quite strong, but nobody is enacting legislation to limit my freedoms, so my freedom to walk away from discussions may be easier to exercise.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 02:08 PM

22. That's dancing around the point of the OP, however.

Whether or not you avoid confrontation or not, consider others fully entitled to their differing opinions or not, hasn't a thing to do with what your own opinions about those other opinions might be, nor anything to do with how you logically (or not so logically) try to reconcile what those differences in opinion mean.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 07:05 PM

23. I've generally stopped trying to reconcile others' opinions with my own.

 

It's a no-win game, and it leads straight to judgment and prejudice. I prefer not to diminish others if I can help it.

I've changed beliefs any number of times myself, including my previous belief in the value of judging others by their beliefs. Because of the changes I've seen in myself I don't regard beliefs as a permanent feature of anyone's inner landscape. Most beliefs come into a person from the outside - they are learned from other people or the general culture. Any particular belief might be more or less useful in particular circumstances, but all beliefs are useful under some conditions - if they weren't we wouldn't hold them in the first place.

I have yet to encounter a belief that was "right" or "wrong" in any absolute sense - not my own, and not anyone else's. This all makes judgement a rather pointless exercise, IMO.

To go back to the OP, not judging others' beliefs makes it much easier to get along with them.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:53 AM

26. I don't even get how that can work.

I started to write much more of a reply here, but the subject of how people try to dance around judgment seems worth of a thread of its own.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 05:55 PM

27. Deep and shallow

 

Thoughts judging other thoughts. Let the thought that has never sinned, cast the first stone...

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 07:52 PM

24. Most of the bullying

 

I have seen here, and especially on DU2, has been from those with strong materialistic convictions, who adopt their world views mostly from the pseudoskeptic propaganda sites on net and elsewhere and are sometimes referred also as "neo-atheists" etc. They have used bullying as a consciouss tactic to silence other views (by making attempts to have civil discussions unbearable) and to shovel their world view down the throat of others and are usually eager to defend such behaviour, when done by themselves. And now as DU3 jury system is less tolerant of bullying, some of them are whining about being a persecuted minority. No respect for such behaviour from me, no matter from which world view it comes from.

On the other hand, I've seen that many posters that have engaged in bullying tactics are capable of having also civil discussions, so I'm not naming names and condemning people, but just referring to a modus operandi that people can use and not use.

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Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:06 PM

3. (7) ... we disagree but don't be a dick.

 

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Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:42 PM

5. 8) We have more in common than we do differences

What's wrong with getting along?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:15 PM

9. I never suggested that anything was wrong with getting along.

The OP is about how people go about getting along.

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Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:51 PM

6. (6c) ...isn't a member of my ethnic group.

 

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Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:47 AM

13. 9. "Thank you for sharing. Have a nice day." nt

 

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Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:06 AM

14. HA HA, but I have never heard, seen or known a theologian who takes that stance.

Could you just name a few for us? Snarking down a position that no one holds may be fun, but it doesn't say much about anything.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 04:32 AM

15. You don't have to be a theologian to have a theology.

Also, I listed a bunch of stances, so talking about "that stance" and "a position" doesn't have a clear antecedent.

Option (6) probably covers a lot of ground "professional" theologians might cover.

Further, the option is provided for you, the reader, to add your own "let's all get along" versions of theology if you don't find one or more listed... so have at it.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:31 PM

20. You don't have to be a scientist to make a cogent statement about science--but it might help. nt

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 02:03 PM

21. Is that your way of diplomatically avoiding the issue that the muddled masses...

Last edited Tue Feb 28, 2012, 06:57 PM - Edit history (1)

...in pursuing the laudable goal of getting along, could well handle their own diplomatic dance in many cases as I describe?

And/or is this just an evasion from offering supposedly theologically-sound alternatives?

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Response to Silent3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 07:55 PM

25. Very good

 

Couple points ringed a bell, especially (2a) and (3a)...

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