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Author Topic: Confederate Statues
JanitorBlade
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I'm sure we've all been reading in the news about Charlottsville and our President's response to the violence and terrorism committed there.

In my own home of Bentonville which I am coming to love there is a monument to the confederate soldier erected in 1908. I believe in part because of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement. There's a petition to move it to the Pea Ridge Military Museum nearby which I can support because people should know that monuments were erected to glorify the confederacy.

But the statue presently sits right in the middle of town square, and I've decided to start participating in movements that seek to move it and replace it with something else.

I've written more about my thoughts elsewhere, but I've decided I'm done letting these monuments sit and act as wedges. When I tried discussing the issue in my community pages without even offering my own opinion I was met with strong support for their removal, but also very strong resistance. I was called an outsider trying to bully my beliefs on others. That experience only convinced me of the poison these statues inject into the community. Racists rally around them, and minorities derive only ill from them. They can't inspire us as a united community, and do not belong at the center of our city.

I encourage you all to look at your own communities and see if you too have these monuments to racism. I'm not stopping until mine is moved.

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scifibum
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Looks like the statue and the park it's in are deeded to a Daughters of the Confederacy organization. It seems like an uphill battle to get them to cede their ground - I wish you luck.

I have some sympathy* for the many bereaved families in the South who may not have owned slaves or even been pro-slavery whose family members died fighting for the Confederacy. Their effort to build monuments to their lost family members was very understandable. I'm sure that collectively their motivations were not pure - particularly when you include the people who provided the funding - but they included a sincere grief for and admiration of the fallen soldiers.

But those bereaved are all, every one of them, long since dead. Whatever comfort they got from these monuments is fully expired. The question of whether they deserved that comfort - more than the freed slaves and other black people in the South deserved to be free of such monuments to their oppression - is moot.

The heritage these monuments represent is too corrupt to be worth continued public approbation.

I do wonder how it would work if monuments to the suffering and emancipation of slaves were erected around these other monuments. Dwarfing them, perhaps. Is it possible to preserve the memory of the soldiers who fought in the context of the atrocities they were defending? The existing monuments are a whitewash of this context. (In fact the DotC organization likes to downplay slavery as a factor in the war.) Would filling out the context achieve the same benefit without removing what's there?

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Dogbreath
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Hey BlackBlade,

If you remember, about a year ago we had a lengthy conversation about why statements like "White lives matter" are problematic, and you had a lot of questions along the lines of "why is okay to say Black lives matter but not White lives matter" and "why is okay to celebrate Black culture but not White culture". This is the last post in that discussion (between us, it went on with Stone_Wolf_ for a little while afterwards), but it sort of just dropped without resolution.

Given the events of the past week, I was wondering if you would be willing to discuss your beliefs regarding the need to celebrate White culture in further detail here. Specifically, one of the defenses of Confederate statues I've seen, and in general, one of the main defenses I've seen of White Nationalism, is the need to celebrate and/or defend "White culture" and save it from destruction. I was hoping to be able to compare/contrast your own beliefs on celebrating White culture with this. Obviously they don't intersect, which makes me think there is a wide spectrum of "White culture celebration", but I confess I don't really understand the more subtle details of the differences.

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JanitorBlade
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I'm probably going to disappoint you then. I've determined that for me white culture isn't useful as a term. There's no shared culture to whiteness seeing as you can find white skin in the US, Iran, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, etc. One could make a similar argument about black culture and America, Caribbean, African but I'm not interested in defining for other people what culture can/should mean.

Since there is no shared culture to whiteness, is there something intrinsically worth celebrating about whiteness? No, there isn't. If there is I can't think of it. Would there be if we were singled out for unfair treatment by others for being white? Probably, but we're not. I hope we never are.

I think many of us who are white see that people celebrate being Asian, or black, and we want to be able to do that. I *really* understand that, particularly in light of the fact we have to admit guilt as a race for racism, so we want to find optimism in being white. One can healthily celebrate one's ancestry (European, English, Scottish, etc) but it's not going to be analogous to a white celebration event, even if it might be majority white, and that's good thing.

I think what's helped me better understand this is recognizing that racism is what gives rise to racial divisions in the first place. If we could somehow wind back the clock and say America had formed as a place where literally everybody was welcome and treated equally, there would still be a Africa American identity or Italian American identity, or Mexican American, but there would be a much greater intersection between them all. Like a big Venn Diagram. We'd all belong all over many places because we'd have a truly shared heritage. There'd still be new immigrants with only say German ancestry, and some would celebrate that shared German culture with them, but if they wanted just certain Germans at their parties, that doesn't fit in very well with what Americans think German means.

But we live in the US as it is. And vigorous institutional racism has driven us apart from each other in many ways.

So tl;dr I can't find a reason to celebrate white culture, as I don't think that exists really. But I can find reasons to celebrate many things that happen to involve a lot of white people.

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Dogbreath
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Why would that disappoint me? That's literally a paraphrase of the post I made last year that I linked to above.
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JanitorBlade
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Just disappointing in that I can't shed any light on what healthy appreciation for the white race might look like.
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kmbboots
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I don't find it at all disappointing that you have discovered that there isn't a healthy appreciation for the white race.

[Wink]

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Dogbreath
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^What she said. [Smile]
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Traveler
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This article lays it out the case for taking down Confederate monuments well. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/05/17/the-case-for-taking-down-confederate-monuments/?utm_term=.29a941bcbf13

"No one claims that we should erase the Confederacy and its leaders from the historical record. Far from it. We should certainly remember them and continue to study their history. We just should not honor them."

"The goal is not to literally remove all signs of the Confederacy, but to stop publicly honoring it and its leaders."

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Just disappointing in that I can't shed any light on what healthy appreciation for the white race might look like.

A healthy appreciation for the 'white race':

1. Set aside notions that there is a 'white race' or 'white culture'.
2. Identify your own particular ethnic background. Perhaps it's French, German, Irish, or maybe just good old American mutt.
3. Celebrate your background's particular festivals and such, and learn more about its history.
4. Don't regard appreciation of and recognition that other cultures have gotten the shaft as an attack and detriment to your own.

That's about all it takes, to my mind. (This was just playing off your post, BB, not directed at you.)

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Traveler:
This article lays it out the case for taking down Confederate monuments well. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/05/17/the-case-for-taking-down-confederate-monuments/?utm_term=.29a941bcbf13

"No one claims that we should erase the Confederacy and its leaders from the historical record. Far from it. We should certainly remember them and continue to study their history. We just should not honor them."

"The goal is not to literally remove all signs of the Confederacy, but to stop publicly honoring it and its leaders."

Heck, if they wanna keep `em, match the Confederacy monuments with those memorializing slaves and abolitionists. And for that matter throw in some matching monuments for Native Americans and slaves and women when it comes to Founding Father monuments.
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Wingracer
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Man I'm torn on this issue. While I don't live there anymore, I was born and raised in Richmond, VA where you can't throw a rock without hitting something related to the confederacy. Monument Ave is lined with statues of civil war generals and leaders. My high school is named after an author best known for his biography of Robert E. Lee and named their sports teams "The Rebels." Almost every road is Jeff Davis this or Lee that. It's kinda crazy. I am quite sensitive to the racist implications of all this but at the same time, it's my home. I imagine it would be like telling St Louis they have to tear down the arch or New York to remove the statue of liberty. A part of me feels they need to go in an effort to move on and advance, a part of me feels they are part of my history for better or worse.

That being said, lifelong Redskins fan here and that name needs to go. Right effing NOW! I'm so sick of Dan Snyder and his BS.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by Traveler:
This article lays it out the case for taking down Confederate monuments well. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/05/17/the-case-for-taking-down-confederate-monuments/?utm_term=.29a941bcbf13

"No one claims that we should erase the Confederacy and its leaders from the historical record. Far from it. We should certainly remember them and continue to study their history. We just should not honor them."

"The goal is not to literally remove all signs of the Confederacy, but to stop publicly honoring it and its leaders."

Heck, if they wanna keep `em, match the Confederacy monuments with those memorializing slaves and abolitionists. And for that matter throw in some matching monuments for Native Americans and slaves and women when it comes to Founding Father monuments.
Richmond has made one small step in that direction by adding a statue of Arthur Ashe to Monument Ave.
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ClaudiaTherese
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BlackBlade, you continue to impress me.
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JanitorBlade
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You folks are too kind. I'm just some guy who thought he was right about something and now thinks he's right about something. [Wink]
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
Man I'm torn on this issue. While I don't live there anymore, I was born and raised in Richmond, VA where you can't throw a rock without hitting something related to the confederacy. Monument Ave is lined with statues of civil war generals and leaders. My high school is named after an author best known for his biography of Robert E. Lee and named their sports teams "The Rebels." Almost every road is Jeff Davis this or Lee that. It's kinda crazy. I am quite sensitive to the racist implications of all this but at the same time, it's my home. I imagine it would be like telling St Louis they have to tear down the arch or New York to remove the statue of liberty. A part of me feels they need to go in an effort to move on and advance, a part of me feels they are part of my history for better or worse.

That being said, lifelong Redskins fan here and that name needs to go. Right effing NOW! I'm so sick of Dan Snyder and his BS.

I feel you on this, though I admit I never felt any sort of reverence for any Confederate leaders past 'they were willing to sacrifice for their homes and what they felt was a good cause'. And having said that, it's difficult for me to imagine being, say, an African-American and growing up walking past a statue of Robert E Lee everyday. Still less to a school. Or a Native American and George Washington, for that matter. I mean, it's their home too, isn't it? Why is our nostalgia worth that? (Not saying you're arguing it is, just asking)
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NobleHunter
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I would not want someone to walk into my home and think, "a racist lives here."
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JanitorBlade
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From a charming lady in my local ward.

"Well this is scary Bentonville city is now owner of the soldier statue. We need to bombard them on not what it used to mean, but what it means now.
Which is the South still doesn't take orders from outsiders mainly the North.
Lol"

Anybody else see the irony?

I'm going to bombard that same city that we understand loud and clear what that statue used to mean and what it still means now. Blacks not welcome. It's actually awesome our chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy disbanded just a few years ago thus ceding the statue to the city. That makes it *far* easier to remove.

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scifibum
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Oh, that's good about the change in ownership.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
From a charming lady in my local ward.

"Well this is scary Bentonville city is now owner of the soldier statue. We need to bombard them on not what it used to mean, but what it means now.
Which is the South still doesn't take orders from outsiders mainly the North.
Lol"

Anybody else see the irony?

A woman I know shared this song on Facebook along with "Heritage not Hate!!!"

I replied that the song is literally about hate. She replied "well thats just your opinion".

Meh.

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JanitorBlade
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I'd never heard that song. I don't think there's a single lyric in there that doesn't suggest hate.

Like there are words in the lyrics and they have meanings I'm not sure how it could ever be a matter of opinion. It's not like the writer was trying to strike a conciliatory tone.

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Rakeesh
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Listening half a minute the word 'hate' is used at least half a dozen times. She's full of shit, and knows it's full of hate but it's a 'good' hate so you're not supposed to call her on it.
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Rakeesh
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As for 'not taking orders', when confronted with that I often want to ask 'yeah tough guy, how many states in the United States? 50? Guess you take at least some orders.'
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JanitorBlade
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Increasingly I'm convinced that's in so many things we have drawn a conclusion and work very hard to emphasize evidence that supports it while ignoring and devaluing evidence against it.

One possible explanation for that behavior would be a byproduct of religious thinking. We are frequently taught to have faith in X and to not let counter-arguments or evidence against it kill it. I don't want to be misunderstood because I do think there is a lot of value in that exercise. But I also think there's a lot of value in evidenced-based thinking and being open to rejecting false ideas as soon as we are aware of them.

So for example in the Jon McNaughton thread I think he's hypocritical for calling out Obama's golfing habit. And while this is speculation I suspect he already has concluded that Obama is terrible and the golf helps support that conclusion whereas I doubt he's even spent a moment considering Donald Trump's golfing because he already considers him a Messianic character.

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Rakeesh
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It's a broader discussion, but I admit I don't see any value at all in the notion of 'this is true, so I won't let things shake my belief'. I think that sort of thinking is at best lazy and at worst seriously dangerous, and at all levels simply bad thinking. I also can't see the value of faith on its own terms if one decides to simply ignore given challenges to it.

Furthermore, on its own terms I'm not sure what I'm meant to think about a religious figure, much less a deity, that *wants* followers to ignore challenges to faith.

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JanitorBlade
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Consider, that ideas *often* have a net positive or net negative impact and contain varying levels of truth. I find the idea "This is what I choose to believe and I won't let anything shake that belief" to be one of those net negative ideas.

I once got into a discussion with King of Men about this principle. Essentially he was arguing that I can't prove that God isn't in fact maliciously lying to everybody and is actually an evil entity. I agreed, that I could not. But if I was pressed to choose to trust that God is good or that God is evil, both possibilities being equal, I would *choose* to trust that God is good because I'd rather trust in the possibility of a loving God than the possibility of an evil one.

There were several very deeply spiritual experiences that led me to meeting/marrying Katherine. But I cannot prove for anybody else that they were not the product of my own mind. I can't even logically explain why it couldn't have happened some other way if God's running the show.

I think (ironically) that is as it should be. I think there's a useful truth that sometimes we have to make a choice to believe in something though we can never fully defend choosing that idea from criticisms, counter-evidence, etc.

I live a life of indescribable happiness with Katherine and our kids. I see that reality constantly before me. But I am fully aware that I could have completely deluded myself. That belief crops up into my mind from time to time. Maybe I'll never be able to put it to rest. But I chose to have faith and listen to those experiences and act on them, and I'm happy.

Now, had I had a decidedly unhappy experience, say Katherine was trying to cash in on my life insurance policy all along and tried to murder me after we got married, might I have changed my story and conveniently removed God so as to not to cast his existence into question. Maybe? Like I said, I think people draw conclusions and then cling to evidence that supports it, while ignoring evidence that does not.

I'm trying consciously not to do that. I try to allow challenges to my faith to wash over me. I breath it in, let it settle. I admit to myself that I feel discomfort as an idea is battered by new information. That process helped me discard my opposition to gay marriage. It helped me see that I was racist and sexist in my conduct towards others even though I would have never wanted to believe that about myself.

I'm having a hard time wrapping this all together, and I'm out of time. But I'm excited to see where this faith experiment that lead me to Katherine leads. Knowing what I know now, I have no regrets coming this far (Almost 3 years now). But I can't prove it was objectively the correct thing to do. I believe it is.

edit: But I wouldn't say I wouldn't let anything shake it.

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Dogbreath
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Your thoughts on this pretty closely reflect mine, BB.

Specifically, I've had a number of experiences where I very clearly felt God's presence, and/or felt He was speaking to me and guiding me through some difficult parts of my life. I wouldn't go so far as to say I feel like He's shown any sort of plan to me, but rather that the relationship I have with Him (or Her/It I guess) is an absolutely essential, fundamental part of who I am. I suppose I would say I've felt that relationship become much more distant and impersonal over the past few years, and that has in itself caused some anxiety and depression on my part. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact I don't go to church any more, and my schedule is too chaotic right now to regularly set aside time to pray/meditate/worship on my own, but it's kind of sad that doing so isn't as much of a priority for me as it used to be.

What I struggle with is that there are also people out there who likewise feel that God speaks to them, but tells them to do things like blow up buildings or murder family members who have dishonored Him. And there are a lot more who don't believe in God at all but still live happy, fulfilled lives.

I suppose that's why I've always been disturbed by the story in Genesis where God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Of course, it's just a test of Abraham's faith and he doesn't actually go through with it, but I'm not sure if I can really accept a God who commands people to do fundamentally immoral things. Not that I've ever felt led by God to do anything immoral, mind you, but I think that if that ever did happen (where I felt led to do something I know is wrong), I would conclude that it wasn't really God speaking and ignore it. But, as I've discussed here, I think that the entire reason we have a conscience and the ability to understand morality is so we can be held accountable for our own actions - so even if God does lead people to do things (which I'm not sure of), I think we're still entirely responsible for the actions we take, and that it's perfectly okay to question that.

It's also why I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of telling anyone else "this is what God wants you to do" based on personal revelation. I suppose if I were a minister and other people willingly accepted that spiritual authority, I might be, but I've also seen people very hurt, and have been hurt, by unsolicited declarations like that. (specifically people who say "God gave me a special message for you" or some such nonsense) But if we both believe in the same scriptures and/or doctrine I'm a lot more comfortable saying "this is what I think God wants, based on blah blah blah." But then again, I think all revelation should be well tempered with scripture, logic, and preferably discussion with someone you trust.

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JanitorBlade
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Dogbreath:
quote:
I would say I've felt that relationship become much more distant and impersonal over the past few years, and that has in itself caused some anxiety and depression on my part.
I know what you mean. I would say from about the age of 21 - 32 I felt myself becoming more mature as a person, but I could not describe my relationship with God as joyful though it existed. Then I went through a divorce and a period of peaking spirituality that went on for about 6 months, before slowly coming back down a little. I think spirituality being peaks and valleys is OK. After all, even Jesus on the cross asked God why he'd been forsaken. It seems like Jesus too had spiritual development that involved challenge and lack of understanding.

quote:
What I struggle with is that there are also people out there who likewise feel that God speaks to them, but tells them to do things like blow up buildings or murder family members who have dishonored Him. And there are a lot more who don't believe in God at all but still live happy, fulfilled lives.
For the former, I'll leave that for them and God to sort out. I can't even fully judge how well I'm doing, and I know myself better than any other human. But my memory fails me, I was reading my missionary journal the other day and there were experiences, insights, and principles I'd completely forgotten, save a vague recollection of the event.

No. I think the surest measure of how I'm doing is my present state of mind. Do I live according to the truth I presently hold within. If I do, even if that truth does not include God at present, I'll be happy. If I don't, I'll have guilt and the effects of sin to grapple with. The Book of Mormon hints at this,

quote:
O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.

Wherefore, we shall have a perfect bknowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.

And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.

When we are restored to a full knowledge of ourselves and our doings, we will see clearly and be able to judge how we have lived our lives.

I think that is also why daily scriptures study, prayer, and church attendance have been so vital for me. It keeps these important truths inside my mind, and keeps me grappling with what they mean to me.

quote:
I suppose that's why I've always been disturbed by the story in Genesis where God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Of course, it's just a test of Abraham's faith and he doesn't actually go through with it, but I'm not sure if I can really accept a God who commands people to do fundamentally immoral things.
Absolutely. In the Mormon scripture The Pearl of Great Price it details an event where Abraham's father attempts to sacrifice *him* on an alter to idols, and an angel saves him. Making the story of Isaac later more incredibly traumatic (And impossible for me to fully comprehend).

quote:
I think that the entire reason we have a conscience and the ability to understand morality is so we can be held accountable for our own actions - so even if God does lead people to do things (which I'm not sure of), I think we're still entirely responsible for the actions we take, and that it's perfectly okay to question that.
*nod* I've stopped believing our getting into heaven involves so much checking of boxes labled, "Believed in the right God." or "Had the correct understanding about X" and instead is entirely based on "Why did you make the choices you did? What was your intent?"

quote:
It's also why I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of telling anyone else "this is what God wants you to do" based on personal revelation. I suppose if I were a minister and other people willingly accepted that spiritual authority, I might be, but I've also seen people very hurt, and have been hurt, by unsolicited declarations like that. (specifically people who say "God gave me a special message for you" or some such nonsense) But if we both believe in the same scriptures and/or doctrine I'm a lot more comfortable saying "this is what I think God wants, based on blah blah blah." But then again, I think all revelation should be well tempered with scripture, logic, and preferably discussion with someone you trust.
Yes, this exactly. [Smile]
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Rakeesh
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JB,

quote:
I think (ironically) that is as it should be. I think there's a useful truth that sometimes we have to make a choice to believe in something though we can never fully defend choosing that idea from criticisms, counter-evidence, etc.
To an extent I can agree with this. The difficulty I have with seeing that as good or useful is that such a way of thinking necessarily starts out as a headfake, as a bit of self-deception. A conscious choice 'I will believe this thing is true while also aware that I don't actually know it's true for certain...well, isn't 'fake it until you make it' only as good as the goal? Assuming that goal is reached at all?

quote:
I'm trying consciously not to do that. I try to allow challenges to my faith to wash over me. I breath it in, let it settle. I admit to myself that I feel discomfort as an idea is battered by new information. That process helped me discard my opposition to gay marriage. It helped me see that I was racist and sexist in my conduct towards others even though I would have never wanted to believe that about myself.
The thing I would take from this post of yours-and I acknowledge how difficult and how much willingness to ask tough questions it takes to come to the conclusions you have on these issues-is that what you're describing sounds like something that happened when you weren't adopting the idea of 'I won't let doubt x undermine belief y'.

(Not that you were necessarily arguing that that's a bad thing.)

quote:
*nod* I've stopped believing our getting into heaven involves so much checking of boxes labled, "Believed in the right God." or "Had the correct understanding about X" and instead is entirely based on "Why did you make the choices you did? What was your intent?"
That's really the only sort of deity I could believe in, I think. Or rather, could believe in and also believe in my heart was also a valid moral authority.

-------------

DB,

quote:

I suppose that's why I've always been disturbed by the story in Genesis where God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Of course, it's just a test of Abraham's faith and he doesn't actually go through with it, but I'm not sure if I can really accept a God who commands people to do fundamentally immoral things. Not that I've ever felt led by God to do anything immoral, mind you, but I think that if that ever did happen (where I felt led to do something I know is wrong), I would conclude that it wasn't really God speaking and ignore it. But, as I've discussed here, I think that the entire reason we have a conscience and the ability to understand morality is so we can be held accountable for our own actions - so even if God does lead people to do things (which I'm not sure of), I think we're still entirely responsible for the actions we take, and that it's perfectly okay to question that.

I share your discomfort with that story, and would describe my own objections to it (if I believed it to be true) even more intensely. There are so many problems with it, and most of them to my way of thinking are incompatible with the idea that God if God exists is both good and has any right to authority over our affairs.

Assuming God had the right to command Abraham to do that, well that means we're simply slaves. Or that the story is meant to say we should behave as slaves. There can't really be a greater show of submission to total authority than saying 'yes' to 'go murder your child', can there? And if God exists, and God wants literally slavish devotion, then God isn't good. Or if the universe is such that God decides what is good and isn't, then I don't want to be good.

Whether or not God actually wanted Abraham to be so obedient to his commands, if it's a test just to prove to God (who would in some ways of thinking know already) or to Abraham himself his devotion...not a fan of trick tests of that sort. Fast forward several thousand years, and that sort of psychological test (aside from the whole murdered child thing) would be deemed seriously unethical...which itself doesn't do much for me in terms of the morality of God as told in that story.

It's also a terrible story in what it means for the rights of children. Not that the Ten Commandments says anything about parents being good to their children, of course, but it's disturbing that a child is, according to that story, in many ways a chattel to their parents. Or rather their father, really. If a mortal life has any worthiness, by what right does God claim it by proxy? Or if as so often happens in these stories, this mortal life is so much trash compared to the next one, why does God have so much to say about how we live this one?

quote:
It's also why I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of telling anyone else "this is what God wants you to do" based on personal revelation. I suppose if I were a minister and other people willingly accepted that spiritual authority, I might be, but I've also seen people very hurt, and have been hurt, by unsolicited declarations like that. (specifically people who say "God gave me a special message for you" or some such nonsense) But if we both believe in the same scriptures and/or doctrine I'm a lot more comfortable saying "this is what I think God wants, based on blah blah blah." But then again, I think all revelation should be well tempered with scripture, logic, and preferably discussion with someone you trust.
I agree, and would also take it a step further: revelation that doesn't rely on itself being so persuasive that 'God says so' isn't required for someone to believe it's a good idea isn't worth a damn. There's also the inherent arrogance involved when someone claims that the creator of reality has communicated to them what you should do.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
To an extent I can agree with this. The difficulty I have with seeing that as good or useful is that such a way of thinking necessarily starts out as a headfake, as a bit of self-deception. A conscious choice 'I will believe this thing is true while also aware that I don't actually know it's true for certain...well, isn't 'fake it until you make it' only as good as the goal? Assuming that goal is reached at all?
Could you help me understand this a bit better? It sounds like you are saying it must always begin with self-deception and that beliefs you intend to hold even in the face of challenges need to be worthy ones, otherwise you could be in dangerous territory.

quote:
The thing I would take from this post of yours-and I acknowledge how difficult and how much willingness to ask tough questions it takes to come to the conclusions you have on these issues-is that what you're describing sounds like something that happened when you weren't adopting the idea of 'I won't let doubt x undermine belief y'.

(Not that you were necessarily arguing that that's a bad thing.)

I can see how it sounds that way. What I'm trying to express is that we can hold onto beliefs without shutting our eyes to the counter-evidence. There's actually quite a bit more room inside of us than we might think. Say, the belief in there is or is not a God. Many people hold that possibility inside them while refusing to discount that maybe there isn't. In that way, I think agnostics have gotten something right.

I don't have to close my eyes to the evidence there is no God, I should make room for it, and let that evidence settle. Often I'm surprised by how with time and effort my understanding helps me sort that evidence out into a better view of things.

quote:
That's really the only sort of deity I could believe in, I think. Or rather, could believe in and also believe in my heart was also a valid moral authority.
Agreed.
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kmbboots
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http://www.sah.org/publications-and-research/sah-blog/sah-blog/2017/09/13/confederate-monuments-and-civic-values-in-the-wake-of-charlottesville
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