Is it wrong to mock religion? | INFJ Forum

Is it wrong to mock religion?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by TinyBubbles, Apr 16, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Clearly religion is held in high regard by many; for some it forms the basis for their very lives, their every choice depends on what they believe their God wants them to do. Is it therefore wrong to make light of such important and intrinsic beliefs, even if they don't make sense to you?

    I'm reminded of what someone said in another thread, about how ideas should be scrutinized to test for their robustness, but when the beliefs are so close to the person who holds them, then how can you do this without hurting them? It would be similar to someone saying someone from your family isn't actually the great and wonderful person you think they are. That they are actually a terrible person. Even if it's true, even if the evidence when properly regarded, pointed to them being correct, it would still be disillusioning and painful to hear that about someone you love. That is, if you were open to listening to them at all.

    People hold religious beliefs to a similar standard; that they're above scrutiny, above being mocked, and since we -as of yet- can't prove one way or another if there is a God or ever was, then any statements for or against the existence of God are bound to be at least partially subjective. If your subjective judgments are causing you to hurt another person, even if you are doing it in jest, then is that wrong?



    Maybe there should not be a limit to what we can make fun of, maybe humor is always a good thing. Maybe it's BECAUSE we take our beliefs, particularly religious beliefs, so seriously, that we are vulnerable to when they are mocked. Besides, shouldn't beliefs, regardless of how dear they are you, be able to withstand such mocking, if they have their basis in reality? If they're not just illusions, then what is the harm in teasing them?

    (Btw, I don't actually believe in God. Well, to tell you the truth, I am not sure. Like so many things in life, I feel I don't know enough to make a solid commitment. Both sides seem equally plausible, at times :/)

    Please share your thoughts. (and excuse yet another thread by me! I have alot of thoughts.. and this forum is the only place I've found where people are receptive to them. I appreciate that so much. Thanks guys :mlove2:)

     
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  2. Jack

    Jack Community Member

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    "Withstanding" mocking is more about the committment of the individual than the viability of the belief. The religion would rise or fall on its own merit. All mocking really does is piss people off or hurt their feelings.

    Not that I am one for respecting those that I feel are pigheadedly ignorant and judgemental, (because I don't) but again that's more about the person than the religion.

    An intellectual challenge is one thing, straight up mocking is another.
     
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  3. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    mocking th religion is fine by me, mocking the religious is not
     
  4. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Mockery is the lack of argument.

    I used to be like that, but by now I think there's more than enough evidence how any of the influential belief systems have originated. Some people say, okay all known religions are false, but the notion of God... - but the notion of God wouldn't have existed without them. We are essentially still chasing a hypothesis, which didn't have a solid basis to be considered, in the first place.

    It is not logically incorrect, to continue abstract reasoning about this hypothesis, even forever. But since the hypothesis actually was not based on meaningful natural phenomena, there's zero conditional expectation to get applicable knowledge from it - and even if we ever do, it would have happened without it too.

    I think the abstract notion remains as a form of psychological self-communication. However, in that case there's no real need for one unified entity, which language allows people to pretend they are thinking about. When in fact they are thinking only about world reflections within their own brain and character.
     
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    #4 enfp can be shy, Apr 16, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
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  5. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Good point, but you'd think the belief would be somewhat viable for the person to commit to it. Why else would they believe it?

    Could you elaborate on this, please?

    It also makes people laugh, with the hurt (often) being an unintended consequence.

    Fine line, IMO. thanks though
     
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  6. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    But how can you separate the two? What you believe is basically who you are -it defines you, it forms the basis for your actions and choices. And religious beliefs especially, they act like a compass in the sea of possible directions- mocking a person's religious beliefs is very close to mocking their sensibilities.
     
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  7. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    religion is based on believe not logic. Trying to proof religion is therefor doomed to fail

    you can scrutinized ideas to test for their robustness but you can only go this far and behound that, believe takes over.
     
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  8. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    "Religion" and "Belief" should be distinguished: religion is the practical consequence of belief. For example, if one believes that a perfect God created and continually sustains everything that exists, for no benefit to himself, but for the sole purpose of sharing/extending his goodness; then it is reasonable to make some sort of act of gratitude (religion).

    Beliefs are a matter of choice: the choice to hold as true something which can in no way be either proved or disproved by empirical evidence. For example, that there are three persons in one God (Trinity).

    Differing beliefs is a fact - and discussion about motives for, beliefs, non-belief, etc is usually interesting. But calling someone silly or stupid or up themselves because they choose to believe or not believe is as offensive as telling someone that any significant life-choice they make is stupid. Imagine saying to a newly engaged man: "you want to marry that retard... you must be even more stupid than she is."

    Differing religious practice is probably more open to debate, for example, two people who believe in the one God may have diverse opinions as how to venerate him. One might think that singing is more important, another may think that burning incense is more important. Both have merit and both fall short of fully expressing religious devotion. Again this entirely parrallels what is reasonably debateable in any other aspect of life.

    Rejecting another's beliefs is acceptable. Rejection of another person's beliefs, that differ from your own, is implied by not choosing to hold them, this is unavoidable and should not offend. But to set one's beliefs as the standard by which another person's beliefs should be tested/measured for robustness is fundamentally disrespectful: whether it be a theist telling an athiest that he is doomed to eternal punishment; or whether it be an athiest telling a theist that there is not scientific proof for God, therefore belief is stupid.

    In Brief, I think the two following approaches are fundamentally disrespectful:

    1. Insulting people for making the choice they have. (Whatever belief or atheism they hold).
    2. Using one's own beliefs as the benchmark to evaluate and criticise another's beliefs. (Which is different from stating how they diverge).
     
    #8 Flavus Aquila, Apr 16, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  9. Jack

    Jack Community Member

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    This is true, but there are other ways to find out if the person is committed.

    Well, I am talking about rationality and social action mainly. What a religion is and does.

    Sometimes. Once in a while can be a joke. Incessent mocking would seem spiteful.
     
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  10. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    Faith is by nature illogical. Therefore, challenging someone's faith with logic is kinda stupid, actually.
     
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  11. Wyst

    Wyst Are you there?

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    My pastor mocks religion on a weekly basis - and I approve.

    Many people mistake being a Christian for being religious. However, according to the bible, people who are 'merely religious' are just playing church and don't truly know God.

    Jesus warned these people frequently to stop being outwardly religious and pleaded with them to change from the inside out. Not the other way around. The bible calls these people pharisees and the church today is full of them.
     
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    #11 Wyst, Apr 16, 2010
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  12. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    Or, let me elaborate in a way that might be a little better suited to Ti users...

    Fe is a philosophical system of thought that focuses on how it feels things should be. There's not a whole lot of room for 'logic' in Fe. It's interesting that so many Ti dominant users can't seem to grasp and accept this. You guys believe in logic because your inferior Fe supports your Ti. We understand what we believe because our Ti supports our Fe.

    Your ability to change what we believe through a logical appeal is the same as our ability to change what you understand through an appeal that defies logic.

    The only thing you're going to do by mocking religion, or any beliefs that someone's Fe is tied to, is upset that person, and risk alienating that person against you. Fe will not react to antagonism by suddenly agreeing with your point. It will bolster itself by deciding to feel that it is even less open to any 'logical' debate.

    In other words, mocking any beliefs is entirely counter constructive to the cause of challenging them.
     
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    #12 VH, Apr 16, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
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  13. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    The biggest issue I find is that mocking religion, for those engaged in that world, comes off somewhat as mocking beauty itself. That, and most of the mocking is based on limited understanding. For all the crazy and stupid episodes that have come to pass in the name of religion, religion itself is really about a quest for personal enlightenment, wholeness, and connection to the world of the Divine (and hence to all else). And this does really happen...in fact, it happens quite a lot. Some of the most alive persons to ever walk the planet have done so within the world of religion...and to mock that is somewhat silly. We forget the good and focus on a distorted characature.

    Another item....religion is not generally all about "proofs", not about the intellect alone. It is about an integration of our whole selves: our spiritual awareness, our egos/will, and our minds. Often our fixation with hard logic and proof gets in the way of the spiritual sense and inner intuition we are also gifted with....and the mind generally does not like that stuff (at first), not at all! Religion does require us to reach beyond a certain attachment to rigid logic to access our more spiritual intellect. There are many nuances and much paradox here. People on the outside may think religion is based purely on smoke and mirrors, but no, it is based on significant fragments of our own and other people's real-life experience, clues we pick up in the natural world, our inner sense, even history and science. At some point all these inputs begin to make noticable connections...it's like a connect-the-dots picture (it seems designed to be this way) and at some point the dots snap into focus and we suddenly can see the image. We may not have a complete photographic representation before us, but we have enough to connect the dots.....and to believe. Religion is kind of this way....but the leap of faith is based on some substantial input and references. We just use additional parts of our human insight to connect what we see.

    In general I find those who mock religion are (sadly) usually making a mockery of nothing but their own selves. It seems meaningless to mock something good in this world, given all the bad and dysfunction we see around us. That, and the misunderstandings and limited perspective is quite clear.

    Now, having said all this, I must admit that church culture and the pop expression of religion can seem somewhat odd.....heck, I even think so. But to me that is a seperate (and unfortunate) tangent. It is not the real deal. The real deal is unimaginably deep and beautiful beyond compare....and one finds in time that every bit of that beauty and depth is within us, within others, and within all our world. Overall nothing to mock. Those who poke fun probably do not see this, but it is there and so mockery looks very different from the inside.....rather pathetic and uncalled for.

    I would hope the INFJs (and others) among us could at least give this some consideration in directing their comments. Things may not be as they appear. In fact, I think the deeper dynamics of religious thought, the expansive, integrated truths that connect to our deep human longings and intuitions, may actually save us some day. That is ironic, yes, but something to consider.
     
    #13 randomsomeone, Apr 16, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  14. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    This isn't ironic. This is the simple truth. Unfortunately, this is a concept that is much easier for Fe to grasp than Ti, but then again, Ti is notorious for not being able to see outside of its own 'logical' box. I think it's ironic that Ti users are so adamant about logic and reason that they believe in it as much as F types believe in the 'illogical' things that they believe in, despite logic and reason constantly being revised and proven incorrect.

    In a way, logic is a religion.
     
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  15. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    The greek word for religion, means superstious. just thought you might like that bit of info.
     
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  16. Riven

    Riven Regular Poster

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    You're church is full of win! Now if only I could find a place like that near me.

    But for my take on the issue no you should not mock, to mock is to humilitate, embarrass, or to tease. You shouldn't mock people for anything not religion, sexuality, culture, race etc. Now if you want to debate by all means go ahead but flinging mud is not cool. Speaking from rl experience I have never had anyone mock my religion, they always end up attacking me for believing in my religion. I bring this up because it's very difficult for most people to separate whatever they're attacking from the subject but if you think you can go for it.
     
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  17. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I am not in favor of anyone mocking "religion." Some people try to make distinctions between the religious and the "real" believers but, while such a distinction can rightly be made among levels of engagement, using that particular word is a big mistake, imo....even (or especially) for a pastor. I see their point....but it is not a wise path, imo, especially if mockery is involved. I do not trust people who do this.

    However.............I was in a session once with a well-known bishop from India. He was giving some lectures on spirituality. At the end of the session, he was asked to continue speaking to the audience and proceeded to go on for a solid half-an-hour telling Catholic jokes...and the crowd was literally in stitches!! I think they may have actually enjoyed the comedy as much as the lectures. Of course, the jokes were all inside jokes and not mockery, but it just points up the fact that that one can definitely retain a seriously humorous outlook while also respecting the significance of the dynamics of religion. After all, people are involved so there's plenty to chuckle over.
     
  18. Stu

    Stu Constipated
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    Yes
     
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  19. Rakawi

    Rakawi Community Member

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    Nothing and no one is unassailable. That said, mocking and condescending are the poorest ways to disagree with an idea or an individual. It doesn't facilitate understanding.
     
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  20. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    I believe the government doesn't read my mail. I could be wrong, they might, but mocking my belief doesn't hurt me... Nor does my belief define me.
     
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