This is topic If Al Qaida were like the Mormons in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.


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Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
web page

As one who spent 1.5 years knocking on peoples doors, I found this hilarious.

[ September 29, 2006, 07:47 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]
 
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
 
Hee hee! [Razz]
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
How did those guys get the stammering, wide-eyed Mormon missionary innocent-inquiry approach down so well? I spent two years perfecting that!

I thought it was hi-larious.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Saw that a few days ago. Its always funny to see how other missionaries went about tracting. In Taiwan it just was not EXACTLY the same deal as I see in movies.

I heard one story that made me laugh where a missionary would open the screen door just alittle and balance a book of mormon on it. Ring the doorbell/knock on the door. The person opens front door and then the screen and magicaly from the sky a Book of Mormon falls into the hands of the missionary, you can imagine where it went from there [Wink]

I personally liked to integrate humor into my approach when appropriate. In Taiwan they wave their hand at you as a way to demonstrate disinterest or displeasure. So if they wave their hand at you they are basically saying, "Go Away." Unfortunately (for them) waving is also the universal symbol of salutation.

They'd wave at me, I'd get excited and wave back saying "HELLO! NI HAO!" I love the Chinese people, the stupidest things make them laugh, so they'd burst out laughing and keep waving, I'd wave even more enthusiastically cracking them up further, and then just bid them a good day as I went to the next door.

Another story I liked from my mission was I knocked on a door and an 16-18 year old girl answered the door in (not lying) her underwear. Beautiful Chinese girls really are one in several hundred I would estimate, this girl was INCREDIBLY good looking. But I had months of Missionary mind melding. She invited us in and I tried to stay professional and asked her innocently if her parents were home, hoping to acertain if it was safe to go inside. She obviously took that question the wrong way when she smiled mischievously and said "They are out of town and wont be home for 2 days, come in!"

I was quite flustered and took a bail out approach to the whole situtation. I left her holding a tract with the sister missionaries contact info(We are in the 2000's now maybe that was not a good idea either). I really was unable to do anything else, my companion somehow summoned the strength to not bust out laughing until we rounded the corner out of sight.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
Beautiful Chinese girls really are one in several hundred I would estimate
That seems a tad racist. Of course I have been accused of "having yellow fever," which is racist in it's own way.

I actually had a missionary ask me if I was bringing home a "cordless rice cooker." [Roll Eyes]

I didn't. However, my wife is Japanese (I went to Korea). We married about 6 years after my mission. I have certainly dated more girls of my own ethnicity, so that accusation always bothered me a little.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Iem its just a personal observation based on 18 years amongst Asians.

I always called it having, "The Asian Persuasion" [Wink]

I certainly don't think less of Asians for not having a high ratio of asethetically pleasing girls. I personally think that when Chinese girls are beautiful they are VERY BEAUTIFUL.

Call me racist but when I moved to Utah to go to school I was literraly blown away by the huge numbers of very beautiful girls, too bad inteligence and well read girls in Utah are one in several hundred [Wink]

I married a girl from Washington who I deeply love, but she is certainly unlike the girl I always imagine marrying in many respects.
 
Posted by Dr Strangelove (Member # 8331) on :
 
[Laugh]
quote:
too bad inteligence and well read girls in Utah are one in several hundred
*waits to see a reaction*
 
Posted by foundling (Member # 6348) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

I married a girl from Washington who I deeply love, but she is certainly unlike the girl I always imagine marrying in many respects.

She's not a handcrafted robot, then?
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
Once when I'd only been out on my mission about a month, we were tracting in a very nice neighborhood in central Oregon. We knocked on the door of a large house with an obviously custom-made gold plaque next to the door that bore the following inscription:

quote:
NO SOLICITORS
----------------------
PLEASE REMOVE SHOES
BEFORE ENTERING

After a longer than usual wait, an irate middle-aged gentleman threw open the door, pointed to the sign, and said, "Can't you people read!"

I put on my most conciliatory expression, said, "Oh, I'm sorry," and took off my right shoe.

The look on that guy's face kept me entertained for the rest of the month.

[ September 30, 2006, 10:38 PM: Message edited by: Baron Samedi ]
 
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
 
[ROFL]
 
Posted by aragorn64 (Member # 4204) on :
 
Wow, that's ironic--my seminary teacher just showed us that yesterday.
 
Posted by Shigosei (Member # 3831) on :
 
I don't have a lot of experience with door-to-door proselytizers of any kind, but it was a rather cute movie.

quote:
"cordless rice cooker."
They make cordless rice cookers?? Or is this a joke?
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
[Monkeys]
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"NO SOLICITORS
----------------------
PLEASE REMOVE SHOES
BEFORE ENTERING
After a longer than usual wait, an irate middle-aged gentleman threw open the door, pointed to the sign, and said, "Can't you people read!""

Wow. You actually tried to proselytize at a guys house who has a sign on the door saying "no solicitors?"

Thats arrogant, rude, and disrespectful. The trifecta for boorish behavior!
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
Wow. You actually tried to proselytize at a guys house who has a sign on the door saying "no solicitors?"

Thats arrogant, rude, and disrespectful. The trifecta for boorish behavior!

Yeah, looking back on it now I realize that it would have been far more polite to sit in my apartment and wait for anyone who was interested to knock on my door. But what the hell did I know, I was just a kid.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
Yes, it would have been.
Failing that, not knocking on people's doors who have already told you they don't want you knocking on the door would have at least shown some common decency.
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
As would refraining from telling someone to "bugger off" when they offer to pray for you. So I guess we're even.

We all know what you think of anyone who has any kind of religious beliefs that make it past their subconscious, so maybe you can stay out of discussions like this and we can all take it as read that you're so sickened by us you could puke.
 
Posted by Blayne Bradley (Member # 8565) on :
 
*snickers* bam chuka bam wam.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"We all know what you think of anyone who has any kind of religious beliefs that make it past their subconscious,"

Really now. I'm betting you don't have a clue on that one. Care to offer up what you think I think of religious people, and I can tell you how wrong you are?

Just as a hint: Three close family members are clergy members for three different religions.

"so maybe you can stay out of discussions like this and we can all take it as read that you're so sickened by us you could puke."

No, no... I think I'd rather point out that what you think is humor, is actually sickeningly disgusting behavior, and the only reason other people aren't jumping all over you telling you how rude you are is that you performed the disgusting behavior while performing a religious obligation.

"As would refraining from telling someone to "bugger off" when they offer to pray for you. So I guess we're even."

At best, this is rude in word choice only. If someone offers something that the receiver does not want, it is not inherently rude to reject what is offered.

On the other hand, its inherently rude to do something someone has already asked you not to do to them.
 
Posted by Brian J. Hill (Member # 5346) on :
 
Before this thread degrades into a name-calling contest, I'd like to remark that I thought the film was funny as hell. You may now go back to your pointless and hurtful epithet-hurling.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
And, just because its useful to point out deceit when it happens...

here's the thread that Baron is talking about when he says I told him to "bugger off"

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=021187;p=0&r=nfx#000000

As you'll note, I was trying to find a way NOT to say "bugger off" in the situation where someone says he'll pray for me.
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
At the risk of fanning the flames even more, I should point out that though I am a believer and have gone out and done visitation before, I do agree with Paul that if someone has a sign saying they don't want to be bothered one should respect that and not bother them.

I don't think you do your cause any favors by intentionally annoying people. I've had Christians call on me before that were courteous, kind, and didn't push or annoy me when I told them I went to church somewhere else and was happy - and I found opportunities to praise them in conversation to other people. Specifically a Baptist church sent out visitors who came to my door and when I told them I wasn't Baptist and already had a church home, they were friendly and kind. A new neighbor moved in a few weeks later, said they were Baptist and looking for a local church and guess what - I gave out the information of the church that came to see me becuase they were respectful of my time and choices.

I would never, ever suggest a Mormon church because I've missionaries at my door that were annoying and didn't want to go away after I explicitly told them I didn't want their information and was happily enrolled in a church already.

To be fair, though - I've had Mormon missionaries that were delightful, so maybe this pair just caught me when they were having a bad day. Still, the impression is there in my mind - Baptist missionaries as friendly, considerate folks and Mormon missionaries as rude inconsiderate folks. Who am I going to recommend?

Do you think that guy with the sign now has anything positive to say to others about your faith? Had you respected his wishes about no soliciting and not knocked on his door, he probably still wouldn't have had anything positive to say, but you've given him no impression now except a negative one.

Edit to change "mormons" to missionaries because I don't want to give the impression that I think all Mormons are rude - quite the contrary, most Mormons I've met have been wonderfully pleasant people. It's the typical Mormon missionary tracting that I associate with rudeness, simply because one pair left that impression.
 
Posted by Tante Shvester (Member # 8202) on :
 
The only ones who have ever knocked on my door are the J'Witnesses and the schnorrers. How come I never hear from any LDS missionaries? Do y'all not come to New Jersey, or do you just avoid the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods?

I did like the video, though.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Probably just random chance Tante, try praying for missionaries to visit you, that seems to increase the likelihood alot [Wink]

Baron: I would have knocked on the man's door and let him yell at me then innocently say, "I was simply hoping to get directions to X!"

Your tactic of taking off your shoe was moderately entertaining I must say.

I MOST likely would have avoided the house, or left a note at his doorstep with a tract saying something like "Close your door to everyone who has something to offer you, and you risk missing out on something useful."

Don't take Paul's criticism too badly he is simply expressing his opinion and its easy to see where he is coming from.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baron Samedi:
Yeah, looking back on it now I realize that it would have been far more polite to sit in my apartment and wait for anyone who was interested to knock on my door. But what the hell did I know, I was just a kid.

I don't think Paul is saying "don't witness, and don't abide by your articles of faith, conform to OUR expectations."

The point is that there are going to be people who, as indicated by the signs on their doors or any other number of outward indications, are not interested in hearing what you have to say. Period. All you're doing when you force yourself on these people in particular is casting yourself, your faith and your church in a negative light to those you are (theoretically) most interested in getting to listen to you.

The person you were attempting to speak to has obviously had enough negative experiences with solicitors (of any kind) that he feels it's necessary to put up the sign. The odds of him responding positively to your intrusion into his life or to your faith are likely nil.

Given that this is painfully obvious, all you've done is inconvenience and anger someone for completely selfish reasons.

It's like if a telemarketer calls me, and without even listening to what they have to say, I respond with "Sorry, not interested!" and hang up, and then the next day they call back again.

Granted, the person's response was very negative and unproductive, since outright aggression like that evidenced in what he said to you rarely accomplishes what you want it to, but it's way the heck more justifiable than your initial intrusion.

quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
I would never, ever suggest a Mormon church because I've missionaries at my door that were annoying and didn't want to go away after I explicitly told them I didn't want their information and was happily enrolled in a church already.

I've posted about it before, but my first experience with Mormon missionaries was very, very negative as well. I'm glad I found Hatrack for this very reason (among others!), as this community helped me remember how easy it is to incorrectly generalize about people of any demographic by countering those generalizations over and over and over again. [Smile]
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
I would not have considered that the "no solicitors" sign applied to me. I never considered myself a "solicitor", and still do not consider any religious visitors "solicitors". I know that many, many people feel differently about the term, but in my own little mind a "solicitor" is trying to sell (literal sense) something to me. In other words, a salesman, which I never was, no matter how many doors I knocked on.

If a house had a sign saying "no missionaries", or something similar, that would be different.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
I don't understand the negative reaction to TheBaron. When I was on my Mission, I was taught that "No Solicit" signs had to do with proselytizing employees of businesses and it really didn't apply to Mormons because we weren't selling anything.

*Now that I left the church, I see the irony in that sentiment. First off soliciting isn’t confined to the exchange of money, and even if it was, converts are expected to pay a lot more in tithing than any single vacuum cleaner or generic perfume would ever cost.

BlackBlade talked about this experience:
quote:
They'd wave at me, I'd get excited and wave back saying "HELLO! NI HAO!" I love the Chinese people, the stupidest things make them laugh, so they'd burst out laughing and keep waving, I'd wave even more enthusiastically cracking them up further, and then just bid them a good day as I went to the next door.

We did the same thing in Korea. Not everyone burst out laughing tho. We still found humor in the experience. TheBaron's "potential convert" saw no humor, but I am sure neither did all of BlackBlade’s contacts.

I thought it was funny. If missionaries truly respected “No Solicit” signs then they would never teach first lessons in restaurants, and they would never door knock on large apartment complexes.

I lost count of how many stories I read in the Ensign where the convert was eternally grateful the missionaries did not give up of them--regardless of how many times they initially said no.

Cut TheBaron some slack. S/he was just being a 19-23 year old Mormon with a sense of humor. S/he was certainly acting within the rules of his/her Mission.

EDIT: SilentE beat me to it. S/he perfectly summed up what I was instructed as a missionary.
quote:
I would not have considered that the "no solicitors" sign applied to me.

 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"I don't understand the negative reaction to TheBaron. When I was on my Mission, I was taught that "No Solicit" signs had to do with proselytizing employees of businesses and it really didn't apply to Mormons because we weren't selling anything."

Yeah, but what they were teaching you is wrong.
You're soliciting. Just because you aren't soliciting for money doesn't mean you aren't soliciting. The negative reaction that baron is getting is in large part due to the fact that he ignored the intent behind why the person put the sign on his door.

If the LDS church teaches that those no soliciting signs don't apply to them, then the fault doesn't lie with the baron... it lies with the church, and the CHURCH has hit the trifecta for boorish behavior.

" If missionaries truly respected “No Solicit” signs then they would never teach first lessons in restaurants, and they would never door knock on large apartment complexes."

Perhaps they shouldn't? Those signs are there for reasons. Ignoring them is pretty boorish behavior, even if you have good intentions.

"Cut TheBaron some slack. S/he was just being a 19-23 year old Mormon with a sense of humor. S/he was certainly acting within the rules of his/her Mission."

Yes, but not the rules of polite behavior.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Silent E:
I would not have considered that the "no solicitors" sign applied to me. I never considered myself a "solicitor", and still do not consider any religious visitors "solicitors". I know that many, many people feel differently about the term, but in my own little mind a "solicitor" is trying to sell (literal sense) something to me. In other words, a salesman, which I never was, no matter how many doors I knocked on.

If a house had a sign saying "no missionaries", or something similar, that would be different.

All missionaries are selling something; the only difference is the medium of exchange isn't money.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
...is actually sickeningly disgusting behavior...
The only reason I'm not calling him on it, Paul, is that I think you've gone more than a little over-the-top here, and using such hyperbolic words makes me want to disagree with you-even though I don't in fact disagree.

quote:
To be fair, though - I've had Mormon missionaries that were delightful, so maybe this pair just caught me when they were having a bad day. Still, the impression is there in my mind - Baptist missionaries as friendly, considerate folks and Mormon missionaries as rude inconsiderate folks. Who am I going to recommend?

Wait a minute, how long will this impression be in your mind? One pair of Mormon missionaries, rude jerks. Many other pairs, delightful. But your impression is still rude jerks?

Do you apply that same sort of selection process to Baptists, Belle? I only ask because I'm sure you've met some rude, jerkish Baptists in your area-on some occassions you've even posted experiences along those lines...and yet I expect your impression would not be that Baptists are rude and jerkish
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
And to be clear, since the standard around here lately is that unless you explicitly, undeniably state your disapproval of something, anything critical of the disapprovers means you must in fact approve of it...

Baron, it doesn't matter whether or not you felt you were a solicitor-you were a solicitor of your religion. Even though you have faith that it's a good thing, if you're out soliciting people to take free money (without, like, going to an advertisement seminar), you're still soliciting.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/solicit

It is undeniable that you were a solicitor in that case. The man had a sign up that expressly asked for 'No Solicitors', and you went ahead and solicited him anyway. That's pretty darn rude and disrespectful, and if it had happened to me or you, we'd both be pretty irate as well, to say the least.

That kind of presumption is irritating, especially when it comes to matters of God, the kind of presumption that simply disregards what you think and continues to advocate, even if asked to leave the person alone.

Now, it may very well be possible that you feel or have been trained that God wants you to disregard the feelings of the people you proseltyze to. I don't know, I'm unfamiliar with Church policy on that score. If you feel that it is, well then I can understand going ahead and doing it...but don't duck the blame for being rude.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"The only reason I'm not calling him on it, Paul, is that I think you've gone more than a little over-the-top here, and using such hyperbolic words makes me want to disagree with you-even though I don't in fact disagree."

I consider it pretty sickeningly disgusting when person A tells person B that behavior X from person B towards person A is unwanted, and person B continues to do it anyways. Its really friggin rude, its arrogant, and disrespectful. No, its not murder. Maybe you want me to reserve "sickeningly disgusting" for murder and rape. Well, I'm sorry, but I think it perfectly describes this sort of behavior where you completely ignore other people's wishes about how you treat them, because you think you know better.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Given the fact that many people are unaware of just how far the term 'solicitor' goes-it is by far most commonly used for commercial solicitors-it is possible, although not necessarily probable, that the full level of offense was not understood and intended.

I guess I just don't get as worked up as you about people ignoring my wishes, because it happens so often. I'm a student of the Scott R school of life in that respect, though. I agree that it is rude, arrogant, and disrespectful, though.

You think it 'perfectly describes' that behavior, I think it's hyperbolic to call it 'sickeningly disgusted' because I am neither sickened nor disgusted by it. Well, if were to continue past the one time, I would grow disgusted eventually, but probably not ever sickened.
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
I understand perfectly that some people think their "No Solicitors" sign applies to missionaries. There is no misunderstanding at all. And I still would ignore it, because 1) I don't know that this particular person feels that way, and 2) I very firmly disagree.

I would never hang around after being told, face to face, that I was not wanted. But a "No Solicitors" sign? Forget it.

(And, by the way, I was never "instructed" by anybody, official or otherwise, to take this approach. When I was a missionary, it was never mentioned, and in fact nobody in the part of world where I went ever had such a sign.)
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

quote:
To be fair, though - I've had Mormon missionaries that were delightful, so maybe this pair just caught me when they were having a bad day. Still, the impression is there in my mind - Baptist missionaries as friendly, considerate folks and Mormon missionaries as rude inconsiderate folks. Who am I going to recommend?

Wait a minute, how long will this impression be in your mind? One pair of Mormon missionaries, rude jerks. Many other pairs, delightful. But your impression is still rude jerks?

Do you apply that same sort of selection process to Baptists, Belle? I only ask because I'm sure you've met some rude, jerkish Baptists in your area-on some occassions you've even posted experiences along those lines...and yet I expect your impression would not be that Baptists are rude and jerkish

Rakeesh, it is called first impressions. An' she is very not in any kind of wrong for feeling like that. You honestly can't tell me that you have remained completely open minded of someone after the first impression you got of them was of them being rude. That's natural human nature. Yes, we strive for the open minded, and accepting, but we are not perfect beings.

I'm siding with Paul on this as well.

For the topic: I liked the video.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I think people's impressions of missionaries have a lot to do with the impression they want to have.
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Silent E:
I understand perfectly that some people think their "No Solicitors" sign applies to missionaries. There is no misunderstanding at all. And I still would ignore it, because 1) I don't know that this particular person feels that way, and 2) I very firmly disagree.

I would never hang around after being told, face to face, that I was not wanted. But a "No Solicitors" sign? Forget it.

(And, by the way, I was never "instructed" by anybody, official or otherwise, to take this approach. When I was a missionary, it was never mentioned, and in fact nobody in the part of world where I went ever had such a sign.)

You better not show up at my door then. I'm not a violent person, but then, I don't live in the safest of neighborhoods. You knock on my door and I don't know you, I won't be pleased at all. The nicest I will be is show you the way back down the stairs (I mean by pointing, not pushing).
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Silent E,

Alright, if you're the sort of person who disregards the actual meaning of word and makes up your own...

What if they had a sign that said, "No solicitors of any kind, including commercial, charity, religious, or any other," would you still say, "They can't mean me!"?

-----

Stan the Man,

Except Belle has not posted about her involuntary emotional response-not that emotional responses are involuntary, generally, in the long-term-she's stated that even though she's had many more experiences with Mormon missionaries that were good than were bad, that bad first one is still her impression.

Would this sort of thinking be acceptable if the first time she-or you, for that matter-met a black person, that black person mugged them? Of course it wouldn't, people would (correctly) point out that while it'sn understandable to have a bad first impression, it's not 'not any kind of wrong' to.
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
To have a prejudice for a reason of first impression, yes. I can't say that I blame her. She has nothing against Mormons, it's just the missionaries, and if she can't explain why she feels that way still...oh well.

Now for your example: I am prejudiced against younger black people. I am not against the older. Why? Walk the streets I have, I grew up in Detroit and then moved to Flint area. I want nothing to do with it. Now obviously, I don't act on these feelings. If I did, I wouldn't be a good LPO at work now or ever. But I feel that way.
 
Posted by MandyM (Member # 8375) on :
 
I HATE people I do not know knocking on my door. I don't care if you are selling bug service, vacuum cleaners or God. I don't need a reason but I can list a few anyway.

When my daughter was an infant, I did not want her disturbed. I have a loud barking dog and she would often wake up the baby.

I do not want ANYTHING you are selling. Period. If I want bug service, vacuum cleaners, or God I will use the Yellow Pages.

If you really want to get my attention, leave a flyer or do a mail out. I don't mind junk mail nearly as much as being disturbed at home.

As for Belle's impressions of people, I completely understand. I think Kirby vacuum salespeople are the rudest, most inconsiderate people I have ever had to deal with. This is because of just one incident. Now I am sure there are perfectly nice Kirby vacuum cleaner salespeople out there but I haven't met any of them because they can read the sign on my door and they do not bother me.

Oh, and the movie was cute.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
I've got to admit that if you've made the choice to ignore a "No Solicitors" sign, or have deliberately chosen to ignore it, being funny about it the way Baron Samedi was is probably the single best way to handle that problem. [Smile] It might not be the most effective way, but it's almost certainly the best. *grin*

FWIW, I think the shoe removal bit is hilarious.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
"The only reason I'm not calling him on it, Paul, is that I think you've gone more than a little over-the-top here, and using such hyperbolic words makes me want to disagree with you-even though I don't in fact disagree."

I consider it pretty sickeningly disgusting when person A tells person B that behavior X from person B towards person A is unwanted, and person B continues to do it anyways. Its really friggin rude, its arrogant, and disrespectful. No, its not murder. Maybe you want me to reserve "sickeningly disgusting" for murder and rape. Well, I'm sorry, but I think it perfectly describes this sort of behavior where you completely ignore other people's wishes about how you treat them, because you think you know better.

I'm inclined to agree with Jeff, here. So god forbid, no pun intended, some people interrupt your day to tell you about something they think's critically important. They might be incorrect and rude, but I can think of far worse crimes than proselytization.

Seriously, dude, you need to move to a worse neighborhood.
 
Posted by Shigosei (Member # 3831) on :
 
One of the nice things about living in the dorms is that no one knocks on my door trying to sell me anything.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"They might be incorrect and rude, but I can think of far worse crimes than proselytization."

So can I. I'm not claiming its the worst crime there is. I'm not even claiming its a crime.

I'm claiming that ignoring someone's "no solicitors" sign and pounding on their door despite the sign, is arrogant, rude, and disrespectful.

Do you disagree with that claim?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I think it depends on whether or not the people think of themselves as solicitors.

If they do consider themselves solicitors and ignore it, then it is rude.

If they don't, and the sign is meant to exclude them as well, then they are ignorant only. Not the other nasty things you said.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
I disagree, katharina, because I don't think there's any rational excuse for not being able to figure out that sign is meant to keep you from knocking on the door. If you can't figure it out, its probably because you're arrogant, rude, and disrespectful. Either that or frighteningly stupid (on the order of the girl running to play with the sharks in the vonage commercial).
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Given the way that 'solicitor' is most commonly used in our society-in my experience-Paul, I do not think one must be arrogant, rude, disrespectful, or frighteningly stupid to be unaware that the term 'solicitor' might apply to 'proseltyzer'.

Is it the duty of those who go door-knocking to know that? Arguably it is, but common terms like that are ofte the kind which aren't re-examined once they're thought to be know.

I guess I'm just not as interested in mind-reading here as you are.
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
quote:
Wait a minute, how long will this impression be in your mind? One pair of Mormon missionaries, rude jerks. Many other pairs, delightful.
You're jumping to conclusions by assuming that I've been visited many times by mormon missionaries and only one pair was rude.

The first pair that ever visited me was rude, so first impressions does apply and first impressions are often hard to overcome. Plus, there haven't been "many" visits by polite missionaries to overcome it. I've been tracted by Mormons maybe a total of 3 or 4 times in my life. So, that one rude pair represented at the best, 25% of the total, at worst more like 33%. So...it's only a very small majority that weren't rude.

Now, if you went to a bank that messed up your deposits 24-33% of the time, you probably wouldn't recommend them. I do admit it's a small sample size, but the fact remains that of the few times I've been visited, one of those times the missionaries just would not go away and annoyed me to no end. I won't apologize for having the impression that I have, because it happened and that's the way I feel.

Fact is, tracting and proselytizing of any faith tends to get on my nerves if you don't respect my own faith. If I tell you "I'm happily involved in a church, thank you" (that's my standard response) and you respond any other way other than "Oh, that's wonderful, have a nice day" or something similar, then I'm going to feel like you don't respect me. Because what you're saying, in that case, is "Oh well, you're just some poor deluded soul and my church/faith is so much better, let me tell you why." That's an extremely rude attitude. And it isn't only Mormons that have exhibited it, I've seen it from Baptists, JW's, and non-denominational Christian churches.

quote:
Given the way that 'solicitor' is most commonly used in our society-in my experience-Paul, I do not think one must be arrogant, rude, disrespectful, or frighteningly stupid to be unaware that the term 'solicitor' might apply to 'proseltyzer'.


I completely disagree. No soliciting applies to solicitation of any kind, be it sales, donations, or proselytizing. I would expect anyone who was out calling on the public to know and understand that.
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
Wow, I hate it when I go away for the day and miss everything. Interesting stuff. I have a few things to add.

1. 95% of the people whose doors I knocked on weren't interested in the church, signs on their houses or not. This is a fact of life you have to deal with if you're going to survive a mission.

2. There were many, many times in my two years of tracting that knocking on doors with "No Soliciting" signs led directly to interesting religious conversations, and occasionally follow-up appointments. At least two of my favorite investigators had such signs on their doors. In fact, although I don't think any real numbers were ever run, it was a common understanding in my mission (and never disproven in my experience) that these signs didn't really have any noticable effect on the rate of acceptance of our message.

So, regardless what you, I, or the dictionary think of the word "soliciting", clearly many of the people who put the signs on their houses don't consider the definition to include proselyting. And I think their opinion does matter a little.

3. I've never put my foot in anyone's door when they turned me away, I've never re-visited a house where I've been told people weren't interested, and I never served in an area where missionaries would have been able to visit a house more than about once every year or two. And it takes the same five seconds to say, "I'm not interested, thank you," (which is the most it ever took to get me to leave) that it takes to say, "get the %$## off my property you son of a ##$^^".

It was very rare on my mission to have someone throw open the door like that and start screaming at me. But when it did happen it seems to me that, at best, the rudeness went both ways.

4. Have you ever started a thread about, say, your favorite sci-fi authors, just to have someone come in and say that sci-fi sucks and anyone that reads it is a moron? Or what if someone came into your baseball thread for no other purpose than to say that baseball fans are pansies and you've probably never had a girlfriend?

I may not, as you said, know a great deal about your religious background. But I do know that your mother is a rabbi. Say you were sitting around at a coffee shop with Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart swapping amusing anecdotes about your shared culture. What if you just told a story about how frugal your parents are, and I piped up from the next table to say, "Yeah, I hate those greedy bastards, too. You know, they invented the holocaust, right?"

This was a fun little thread where people of a common culture were swapping (in their opinions) amusing little stories. And now it's a name-calling free-for-all. The couple comments people have been able to post about the original topic since you showed up were given quickly and quietly, and were completely ignored.

If you'd like to start a thread about how much you hate proselyting missionaries, I'm sure you'd be welcome to do so. But this is the second thread I've dealt with you in a row where your post count is the only thing that's kept me from throwing the "T" word around. I went out of my way to be extremely polite about it last time (even when the evidence you promised to back up your claim never materialised). But it's wearing a bit thin now.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
So, regardless what you, I, or the dictionary think of the word "soliciting", clearly many of the people who put the signs on their houses don't consider the definition to include proselyting.
Or else they DO, but they tolerated your presence anyway for a variety of possible reasons.
 
Posted by Brian J. Hill (Member # 5346) on :
 
One thing that we haven't discussed yet here is how all the missionaries I've met would rather do ANYTHING than door-to-door tracting. It is usually a very discouraging, ineffective use of their time and the few positive instances outweigh the bad. Imagine spending several hours A DAY, 6 days a week where your sole goal is to spread what you earnestly believe is a soul-saving message. Doing it door-to-door is by far the LEAST effective way to spread this message, yet in the absence of referrals or street corners to preach on, there isn't much else to do.

Having said this, I agree that missionaries should respect the no solicitors signs hung on people's doors. I just have a hard time buying that highly charged names like arrogant, boorish and rude automatically apply to them if they don't. In some cases, it could truly be ignorance.

I guess my main point is cut these guys a little slack. They have a tough job, and though sometimes they screw it up, I think all in all their hearts are in the right place.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

Go or the Jugular!

[Taunt]
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Having said this, I agree that missionaries should respect the no solicitors signs hung on people's doors. I just have a hard time buying that highly charged names like arrogant, boorish and rude automatically apply to them if they don't. In some cases, it could truly be ignorance.
True, and the same could be said of door-to-door salespeople, people asking for donations, political grassroots workers, etc.

quote:
I guess my main point is cut these guys a little slack. They have a tough job, and though sometimes they screw it up, I think all in all their hearts are in the right place.
Oh, if only this were true.
 
Posted by Brian J. Hill (Member # 5346) on :
 
quote:
Oh, if only this were true.
You have evidence to the contrary?
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
quote:
This was a fun little thread where people of a common culture were swapping (in their opinions) amusing little stories. And now it's a name-calling free-for-all. The couple comments people have been able to post about the original topic since you showed up were given quickly and quietly, and were completely ignored.

Baron, never ever let the fact that a thread on hatrack drifts off topic upset you. Expect it to happen. Know it will happen. Embrace the topic shift.

I believe there are other places on the 'net where you can go that are restricted to only Mormon posters, that would be the place to post this and not expect any negative comments. But at hatrack, you have so many different backgrounds and so many opinionated people, topic shifts on religious topics are inevitable.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian J. Hill:
quote:
Oh, if only this were true.
You have evidence to the contrary?
Absolutely. You're telling me you've never encountered or heard of door-to-door religious types acting more out of self-interest or the interest of their church than out of any desire to help those they're speaking to?
 
Posted by Brian J. Hill (Member # 5346) on :
 
No, but I never claimed that I've never "encountered or heard of door-to-door religious types acting more out of self-interest or the interest of their church than out of any desire to help those they're speaking to?"

I said that all in all, their hearts are in the right place. I still feel that that is an accurate description of the missionaries I've met. Oh, sure, I've met my share of ones with ulterior motives, but that doesn't make the generalization less true.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Embrace the topic shift.

Great line! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Brian J. Hill (Member # 5346) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Embrace the topic shift.

Great line! [Big Grin]
Ditto! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Belle,

I wouldn't say I was jumping to conclusions, but I will admit I should've asked for clarification.

quote:
I would never, ever suggest a Mormon church because I've missionaries at my door that were annoying and didn't want to go away after I explicitly told them I didn't want their information and was happily enrolled in a church already.

To be fair, though - I've had Mormon missionaries that were delightful, so maybe this pair just caught me when they were having a bad day. Still, the impression is there in my mind - Baptist missionaries as friendly, considerate folks and Mormon missionaries as rude inconsiderate folks. Who am I going to recommend?

You mentioned 'pair' in the second paragraph, so I (incorrectly) supposed that you had this one negative, rude, pushy experience with more than one pair of Mormon missionaries. I further imagined the number of missionaries you had a positive experience with to be greater, but that is a product of my own outlook, because if I've had an experience with such a tiny sample of a given group, I generally don't give recommendations at all based on experience. However, I do understand your point about first impressions.

There is still a part of me, however, that wonders how you would feel if someone else were posting from the opposite end, with only a small amount of experience with Baptist proseltizers (sp?), and because of the bad experiences there, refused to recommend Baptists to others. But that's an instinctive question, rather like first impressions.

quote:
I completely disagree. No soliciting applies to solicitation of any kind, be it sales, donations, or proselytizing. I would expect anyone who was out calling on the public to know and understand that.
So your response to my suggestion that maybe some people define the word differently is to reassert that it doesn't mean that, and insist on the (correct) definition? If someone (incorrectly) feels that proseltizing is not solicitation, then naturally they will not view a "No Soliciting" sign as applying to them. Judging those people, should they exist-and I think they do-as though they did understand the term and willfully ignored it seems a bit unfair.

Doesn't really seem to address what I was saying, which was not to excuse their behavior but to point out that it was perhaps not so dreadfully vile as Paul seems to think. Ignorance is no excuse, but it can be a mitigating factor-or do you disagree?
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian J. Hill
I guess my main point is cut these guys a little slack. They have a tough job, and though sometimes they screw it up, I think all in all their hearts are in the right place.

This is what you said, and it reads as: "Missionaries have a tough job, and though sometimes they screw it up, I think all in all missionaries' hearts are in the right place," not as "Missionaries have a tough job, and though sometimes they screw it up, I think most of their hearts are in the right place." There's a substantial difference between the two.

If the former isn't what you meant, sorry!
 
Posted by Brian J. Hill (Member # 5346) on :
 
The former is what I said, but your interpretation isn't what I intended. I use the term "all in all," perhaps incorrectly, to signify that I'm getting ready to make a generalization. I think we're just arguing semantics.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Baron Semedi,

quote:
1. 95% of the people whose doors I knocked on weren't interested in the church, signs on their houses or not. This is a fact of life you have to deal with if you're going to survive a mission.
This has little bearing at all, if any, on what should and shouldn't be done when faced with a 'No Soliciting' sign.

quote:
2. There were many, many times in my two years of tracting that knocking on doors with "No Soliciting" signs led directly to interesting religious conversations, and occasionally follow-up appointments. At least two of my favorite investigators had such signs on their doors. In fact, although I don't think any real numbers were ever run, it was a common understanding in my mission (and never disproven in my experience) that these signs didn't really have any noticable effect on the rate of acceptance of our message.
Then you have to ask yourself, do the ends justify the means? If you are aware that 'No Soliciting' applies to proseltizing-and it does-and also aware that ignoring that statement might lead to someone accepting and embracing your message, do those ends justify those means? Quite possibly so. That doesn't mean you should sugar coat it, either.

quote:
So, regardless what you, I, or the dictionary think of the word "soliciting", clearly many of the people who put the signs on their houses don't consider the definition to include proselyting. And I think their opinion does matter a little.

I don't think you're examining this very rigorously. Can't you imagine another reason they might not just throw you out, verbally or physically, aside from not really meaning what their signs clearly state? Many people, even when given ample justification for being rude themselves, shy away from it.

For the record, I ain't one of `em [Wink]

quote:
It was very rare on my mission to have someone throw open the door like that and start screaming at me. But when it did happen it seems to me that, at best, the rudeness went both ways.
If this happened at a home where "No Soliciting" was posted...well, play with fire, you might get burned. Throw rocks at a beehive, you might get stung. Ain't rude of the fire to burn or the bees to sting, though. Natural potential consequence and all that.

I disagree that this thread is a name-calling FFA.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"Doesn't really seem to address what I was saying, which was not to excuse their behavior but to point out that it was perhaps not so dreadfully vile as Paul seems to think. Ignorance is no excuse, but it can be a mitigating factor-or do you disagree?"

See, the thing is that, in this case, I think being ignorant is going to happen 99% of the time because of arrogance, disrespect, and general rudeness. "Well, this guy doesn't want salesmen, but of COURSE someone who doesn't want to be bothered by salesmen wants to have a missionary show up at his door."

Of course, I think its rude in general to knock on someone's door uninvited and try to "sell" them anything. I don't have much respect for door to door proselytizing, and think that we should have a "no proselytizing" list similar to the no-call list. Though, honestly, in both cases, I think it should be "opt-in" rather then "opt-out"
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
Having said this, I agree that missionaries should respect the no solicitors signs hung on people's doors.
I don't agree with this statement. America has a national do-not-call list which acts much like a no soliciting sign for the telephone. It does not apply to charitable, political, or religious groups.

It is a not ignorant, arrogant, or rude to ignore “don't solicit” signs on houses if you are not selling a product. Choosing to ignore it can be a rational and polite decision. If proselyters become a persistent problem for a citizen, there are plenty of more specific signs they could put up to clarify their position.

I don’t want perfume salesman to come to my home, but a Jehovah’s Witness every once in a while is a hoot. If I bought a don’t solicit sign, I would expect a salesman to respect it and I wouldn’t blame a religious, charitable, or political group to ignore it--much like they are exempt from the do-not-call list.

If I lived in a highly proselyted district, I would get a different sign.

At the end of the day, tho, more money goes out of your pocket from joining a religion then buying a product.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian J. Hill:
The former is what I said, but your interpretation isn't what I intended. I use the term "all in all," perhaps incorrectly, to signify that I'm getting ready to make a generalization. I think we're just arguing semantics.

We are, but they're important semantics. Regardless, you've clarified, so it's moot. [Smile]
 
Posted by Theca (Member # 1629) on :
 
Are there signs for third shift workers, so people know what hours they might be asleep? But then that would be letting people know when they aren't home, so I suppose nobody wants a sign like that.

I see so many patients who are miserable about their daytime phone calls and door knockings because they work all night, or have a baby in the house, that I'd have a very hard time ignoring a no solicitor sign, I think, for any reason.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"I don't agree with this statement. America has a national do-not-call list which acts much like a no soliciting sign for the telephone. It does not apply to charitable, political, or religious groups."

Yeah. And thats a big mistake. But its not a "do not solicit" list, either.

"It is a not ignorant, arrogant, or rude to ignore “don't solicit” signs on houses if you are not selling a product."

You are selling a product. You're selling your religion.
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
I occasionally ran into signs on my mission warning of a sleeping baby or a night-shift worker, and I never, ever knocked on those doors. I never met another missionary who did, either. I didn't ever see a sign specifically requesting that religious proselyters not knock. But if I had, I probably would have left those houses alone.

I know what you're saying about people's motives for listening to me despite a no soliciting sign. I fully grant that there may have been some people whose doors I knocked on who meant the sign to keep me away, but were too polite to immediately launch into profanity. Those were probably the people that said, "no thank you" and sent us on our way. But you have to admit that there were likely also some people who put that sign up to keep away the Amway people, but had no problem talking religion with a kid from Utah. If that weren't the case, we never would have got in the door at those houses, and we'd have soon learned to leave them alone.

The fact is, the word "solicit", as used in the common vernacular, is ambiguous at best. Heck, there might be a British person in the house who doesn't like lawyers. Seeing a car out front with a "Darwin" fish on the bumper, or a cross hanging on the front door, is probably a more telling indication that people aren't going to pick up what we're laying down. And rather than spending all my time trying to deduce the personal characteristics of the residents of each house, we found it more efficient to let them tell us themselves. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

[ October 01, 2006, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: Baron Samedi ]
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I don't answer my door unless I'm in my living room and am therefore visible through the sidelight and unable to avoid being seen. Otherwise, if you're knocking at my door, chances are, I don't really want to talk to you. Plus, the knocking and the doorbell ringing drive my dogs (one of whom thinks he's a guard dog) insane.

To my mind, No Soliciting means "If I don't know you personally, don't knock on my door." If I put a sign up like that, and you knocked on my door anyway, I would not be a happy camper. I would not send anyone off with profanity, but I certainly wouldn't be as friendly to that person as I might if I met them randomly walking around.

(That's my favorite way to encounter Mormon missionaries, btw--walking around campus. Nice talking, delimited by the amount of time it takes me to get to where I'm going.)
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Baron, never ever let the fact that a thread on hatrack drifts off topic upset you. Expect it to happen. Know it will happen. Embrace the topic shift.

I understand the concept of a topic shift. That doesn't make this type of shift any less rude. There's a big difference between a conversation growing and shifting organically and being knocked off the rails by some jackass that wasn't supposed to be involved in it to begin with.

I don't watch baseball, so I stayed out of Paul's baseball thread. I didn't go in there, demand that they recognize that I don't like baseball, and call them a bunch of idiots until they switched the topic to something I like better.

That's where the coffee shop analogy came from. If I were talking about this subject with some friends at a restaurant, I would expect that some people might be listening in. They might even start a quiet conversation at their own table about what a dummy I am. But I'd also expect that if they didn't agree with my point of view, they'd keep it to themselves and let me have a good time with my friends.

There are people who enjoy going into threads, insulting people who are minding their own business, and forcing topic shifts. There's even a word for them, although I'm taking great pains not to say it. In any case, most people can tell the difference between fun threads and threads that were started for the purpose of serious debate, and it is commonly considered good form to respect the distinction.
 
Posted by Theca (Member # 1629) on :
 
Gee Baron, I kind of thought this topic affects anyone who has a front door.
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Theca:
Gee Baron, I kind of thought this topic affects anyone who has a front door.

The topic was started by someone who used to be a missionary and wanted to share a video that might be particularly amusing to other missionaries. It evolved briefly into returned missionaries telling anecdotes about their experiences.

I don't see how that has anything to do with the archetecture of your house.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
And it evolved again when someone responded to one of those anecdotes. That's how things work here. It may not be true of other online forums, but topic drift is a way of life here. Imagine it not as a conversation between friends at a coffee shop with someone else not in the party butting in, but a REALLY LARGE party at the same coffee shop, all participating. No one here is NOT in the party.
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
I disagree. I've been here for many years. I've seen people walk into threads and start hurling insults at people who were minding their own business. And that is not the way it works here.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I don't think I mentioned insults at all. I mentioned topic drift, which is what seems to have gotten your back up. I don't think you'd be quite so upset about the topic drift, though, if everyone agreed with you.
 
Posted by Baron Samedi (Member # 9175) on :
 
That's the point. This wasn't a topic about agreeing or disagreeing. This was a topic in which people with a common cultural background were having a good time.

There are plenty of threads on this forum devoted to debate. And there's a nice, large, friendly button at the top set aside specifically for creating one of those threads. This "topic drift" occurred because someone felt that hurling insults (and yes, there were insults, and no, they weren't called for) was easier, or more his style, than pushing that button.

Anyway, this once fun thread, that actually gave me a few laughs when it started, has devolved into a meta-thread as a direct result of those uninvited insults. And I hate meta-threads. So I'm off.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Hmm, but some interesting discussion on how people view door-to-door proselytization has ensued. Some insults did occur (never said they didn't, never endorsed them), but that doesn't negate the rest of the interesting discussion. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

And, if you have more anecdotes to tell, well, heck, no one's stopping you, man.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
" This was a topic in which people with a common cultural background were having a good time."

I'm sorry, I didn't see a post at the top of the thread saying "for proselytizers only."

In fact, I don't think such a post would be respected on hatrack...
 
Posted by airmanfour (Member # 6111) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
" This was a topic in which people with a common cultural background were having a good time."

I'm sorry, I didn't see a post at the top of the thread saying "for proselytizers only."

In fact, I don't think such a post would be respected on hatrack...

I'd disrespect the hell out of it. "Common cultural background" my foot. Samedi can go fry an egg on my all-inclusive....griddle.
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
"95% of the people whose doors I knocked on weren't interested in the church, signs on their houses or not."

For me, I think this is the point. As a missionary, I already knew that 95% of the people I wanted to talk to wouldn't want to talk to me. Adding a "no solicitors" sign wouldn't give me any more information than I already had.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Wouldn't it give you the information that the person in the house didn't want you knocking on the door? Not just that they weren't interested in the church, but that they didn't want anyone coming to their door.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Silent E:
"95% of the people whose doors I knocked on weren't interested in the church, signs on their houses or not."

For me, I think this is the point. As a missionary, I already knew that 95% of the people I wanted to talk to wouldn't want to talk to me. Adding a "no solicitors" sign wouldn't give me any more information than I already had.

I find it mind boggling that you wouldn't distinguish between people who were likely unwilling to listen to you and people who had gone out of their way to tell you to stay away.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
An Apostle of the LDS church gave a promise to those that share the Gospel to others. That even those that refuse to listen, will one day thank them. If not in this life, the messages of gratitude will come in the world to come, when those that had been invited to know the Gospel come to know the truth and will understand the intentions within the heart.

A missionary should always hold that promise close to their heart to give them the proper perspective. And to those who feel it inappropriate - well... you're entitled to your opinions. But remember, those guys out there knocking on doors aren't trying to piss you off. They're saying, "Hey! I've got something important that you need to hear. I know you're busy, or tired, or irritated by the last solicitor, or trying to take a nap... whatever your issues may be. But, God loves you - I love you. Let me tell tell you this wonderful news."

If we are right, then someday - you'll appreciate the candor and the urgency behind our message. If we are wrong... well - does it matter?
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
An Apostle of the LDS church gave a promise to those that share the Gospel to others. That even those that refuse to listen, will one day thank them. If not in this life, the messages of gratitude will come in the world to come, when those that had been invited to know the Gospel come to know the truth and will understand the intentions within the heart.
We understand this.

quote:
A missionary should always hold that promise close to their heart to give them the proper perspective. And to those who feel it inappropriate - well... you're entitled to your opinions. But remember, those guys out there knocking on doors aren't trying to piss you off. They're saying, "Hey! I've got something important that you need to hear. I know you're busy, or tired, or irritated by the last solicitor, or trying to take a nap... whatever your issues may be. But, God loves you - I love you. Let me tell tell you this wonderful news."
Again, not all missionaries are like this. As time goes on, the percentage of missionaries I'm willing to grant the benefit of the doubt in this regard gets smaller and smaller as I deal with more and more that seem to be more concerned with meeting a quota, feeling a sense of self satisfaction or possess other ulterior motives.

quote:
If we are right, then someday - you'll appreciate the candor and the urgency behind our message. If we are wrong... well - does it matter?
...the whole point of what Paul, I and others have been saying is that yes, yes it does matter.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
...the whole point of what Paul, I and others have been saying is that yes, yes it does matter.
When I say, does it matter... I'm refering to the eternal scheme of things. If you are also, then please - enlighten me... how does it matter?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
If we are wrong... well - does it matter?
If you're wrong, you spent two of the best years of your youth accosting random strangers for no good reason.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Tom - how is it a waste of two years? And if I'm wrong, what do I care if I ticked off some people.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Well, I'd like to think that you'd care about your fellow man regardless of whether or not you picked the right religion.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
I'd like to append to my last remark that the message that missionaries are bringing is not a harmful or negative message. Which means - if someone gets ticked off... they have issues.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
and they really need that message.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
It depends on how you define "harm," really. Lots of people who sell Kirby cleaners door to door really believe that they're peddling the best vacuum in the world.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
I'm not a Kirby salesman - but I don't disagree that they have a very fine vacuum.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
And if I were a Kirby salesman, and felt that the vacuum was capable of bringing you the greatest blessings that man can obtain... I'd ignore the No Solicitors sign even then.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
quote:
...the whole point of what Paul, I and others have been saying is that yes, yes it does matter.
When I say, does it matter... I'm refering to the eternal scheme of things. If you are also, then please - enlighten me... how does it matter?
I wasn't referring to the eternal scheme of things, because that leaves too many possibilities open to write a considered response. You, on the other hand, seem to think the only alternative to your doctrine is, well, nothing. I'm not sure WHAT the correct answer is, but I'm betting there are a few people out here who aren't Judeo-Christian and aren't atheists that would have a few things to say about that attitude.

But let's go with what you implied: that the alternative to your doctrine is nothing, that we're dead and in the ground, and our actions on earth have no eternal consequences of any kind.

If that's the case, then it should be easy for you to see the gravity of your attitude: since all the time we're allotted consciousness is contained in a lifespan, each second becomes an even more precious jewel, and you're forcing strangers to waste time in their limited lifespans. If someone has a "NO SOLICITORS" sign posted on their door or has otherwise made it clear they aren't interested in hearing what you have to say and you go right on ahead and attempt to tell them anyway, you've gone from committing the minor crime of being a time wasting annoyance to the major one of inflicting intentional harm.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Oh, absolutely. I understand that motivation perfectly. But any time you're disregarding someone's request because you think you know better than they do what they need, you're going to be accused of presumption.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Oh, absolutely. I understand that motivation perfectly. But any time you're disregarding someone's request because you think you know better than they do what they need, you're going to be accused of presumption.

When it's a message of eternal salvation... an accusation of presumption is always to be expected from a non-believer, and should never be a motive for failing to try to share your message.

And ersomniac - I would expect believers of other faiths to understand the intentions and goal of a proselytizing missionary, and forgive them. And in the atheistic worldview that life ends with nothing in the hereafter... I presumptuously state that if such were to be the state of our existence after our mortal body fails... then I don't believe the consciousness of one's lifespan is all that precious.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
When it's a message of eternal salvation... an accusation of presumption is always to be expected from a non-believer, and should never be a motive for failing to try to share your message.
You know, there ARE non-believers who actually request your message. [Smile]

The problem with this argument -- X is justified because it's necessary for happiness in the hereafter, which is the only thing that matters -- is that you can insert any given value for X. Here it stands for "annoying strangers," but it could be expanded to "spray-painting stop signs" or "sacrificing virgin koalas" just as easily.

Which is why any argument which denies the value of THIS life, or relies on the hypothetical existence of an afterlife to lend value to this one, subverts itself.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
The problem with your rebuttal is that if someone believes that their message - X - is necessary for happiness in the hereafter, they should absolutely, by all means attempt to share their message.

If I had a Do Not Solicit sign on my door, and an Al Queda came by to proselyte Mormon style, saw the sign, and skipped my house... If their message turns out to be the correct message, then I just missed out on something.

Perhaps in this life I don't care. I believe that I have found the truth. Perhaps if they did ignore the sign I would be upset, irritated, whatever - maybe I'd be true to my beliefs and use it as an opportunity to share my message with the proselytizer. However, in the next life - when I learned that their message was correct, I would indeed be grateful that they tried.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
quote:
And ersomniac - I would expect believers of other faiths to understand the intentions and goal of a proselytizing missionary, and forgive them.
Oh my.

Methinks you need to do a little--nay, a lot--of reading.

quote:
I presumptuously state that if such were to be the state of our existence after our mortal body fails... then I don't believe the consciousness of one's lifespan is all that precious.
Very, very presumptuously.
 
Posted by Rappin' Ronnie Reagan (Member # 5626) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
However, in the next life - when I learned that their message was correct, I would indeed be grateful that they tried.

You seem to be assuming that everyone would choose to follow your religion if they found out it was true. I don't think that everyone would.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
No - I am under no false pretense that everyone will accept the Gospel - but they will one day know that it is true. Satan knows the Gospel, but he did not embrace it.

What I am claiming is that they will indeed be grateful that I did not shirk my responsibility to share the Gospel.
 
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
 
I'm leaving this thread - it's making me remember why I despised the prosletyzing religious.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by erosomniac:
I'm leaving this thread - it's making me remember why I despised the prosletyzing religious.

Ok.
Someday, maybe you'll be grateful that I tried to give you a different perspective.

Needless to say - I think I've made my point as to why Missionaries should ignore Do Not Solicit signs.
 
Posted by Boris (Member # 6935) on :
 
Actually, you've come off as more of an arrogant snob, gnixing. And I say this as a fellow Mormon. The purpose of missionary work is not to sell one's beliefs. It is to share something that has brought joy into the lives of many people in the hopes that people will hear and understand it so that it can enrich their own lives. The fact that so few missionaries get that was one of the things that caused me the most grief on my mission. I was never comfortable ignoring No Soliciting signs simply because I knew the people at those houses would not be happy to see someone they didn't know knocking on their door. That's a very bad starting point for any religious message about peace, love, happiness, and respect for one's fellow men. I have, however, seen a few really good missionaries who had a deep, caring attitude with people, who were willing to let everyone know how important the gospel was to them in a very respectable way. Those were the most successful ones that actually made an impact on the people they met. The others were just selling Kirbys.
 
Posted by Cashew (Member # 6023) on :
 
I served a mission from 1973 - 1975 in Australia (a very hard place to tract)and I really came across very few who were "just selling Kirbys", as you put it, Boris.
The vast majority of us did really care about the people we were contacting and teaching. There was more of an emphasis on stats then than there seems to be now too, but we still knew why we were there and how crucial our message was. When we did ignore a No Soliciting sign it was a considered decision based on our thinking that what we had was important enough to cause offence to deliver it, and we were prepared to receive the occasional angry response.
I've seen people who reacted angrily (and sometimes violently, including one guy chasing the missionaries down the front path with a broom) initially, be disarmed by the genuineness of the missionaries contacting them, and later express gratitude that the missionaries didn't pay attention to the sign on the gate.
Of course I've seen the opposite as well, but seems to me that the possibility of the one overrides the risk of the other.
 
Posted by Cashew (Member # 6023) on :
 
By the way I agree with you Boris about gnixing's arrogance. I think he's very young though...
 
Posted by Rebuke (Member # 9773) on :
 
I have been ghosting these forums for some time now, perusing topics without 'clearing my throat' in an attempt to guage the community to see whether or not participating would be a useful and productive investment of time. Yet after having absorbed many of the intellectual, spiritual, and moral debates taking place within Orson's delightful little ether, I think (for the most part) all of you have shaped these forums into a refreshing pool where the intellectually thristy can visit for a sip.

So before I share my thoughts: hello, and it's nice to meet you all.

Coming to the point: this has been a lively and entertaining debate examining issues that (in the typical internet debate spirit) has sprouted and given birth to many other issues that are dissected in turn.

Given the fact that many of the people participating in this discussion have very strong feelings concerning these issues, I don't expect my thoughts to have a particularly lasting effect (at least no longer than it takes for someone posting below me and mow this down.

So here it is...


Someone once told me 'there is no truth: there is only you, and what you make the truth.'

Is this a sweeping universal standard? No. Largely in part because there are precious few of them to go around. But the underlying wisdom I took from this statement is that the world through your eyes is made up, held together, or torn asunder by nothing more than the confines of your own perception. Perception is unquestionably one of the most itegral and complicated aspects of our existance. One man's evil is another man's good, with the only speration being your own perceptions.

Yes, it can be argued that evil is evil, and good is good, because we cling so strongly to the idea of a supreme archetype seperating the two, but it's not about blurring the lines between good and evil, it about the individual creature walking along the surface of a tiny planet and what he or she percieves to be that seperation. And, ladies and gentleman an arguement aimed toward this statement can only be made because your perception
either differs from my own, or is in allignment with what I have to say.

Our perceptions are what govern us, and our free will is what allows us these differences in allignment to begin with.

It is a principal that may allow an Islamic Fundamentalist to detonate himself on a passenger bus carrying 30 young woman to the nearby University because some of those women failed to cover thier visage in public. That may be in direct contention with his religous beliefs, calling him to act upon what he percieves to be the appropriate and just coarse of action. His beliefs, which have been shaped and molded by his core perception of the world around him.

I put this scenario forward as an example of two conflicting perceptions, perceptions which by nature are abstract, but also indistiquishable in respects to the conviction of the wielder of those beliefs.

We may continue to debate whether something was right or wrong, what motives justify or excuse, or lessen any given action, but I tell you now that it's pointless to allow yourself to get excited over an arguement that clearly falls under the absolute jurisdiction of ones own perception. Because in the end all you have to look forward to is sore fingers.

But otherwise, I still enjoy reading well crafted arguments, and despite what you may think, this is not an arguement. I'm merely stating that this debate (however entertaining) has only a very small probability of getting anywhere if temper is allowed to interfere with good reason.

And on another note, a debate centering so keenly on perception (inherently among the most complicated and abstract of our inner workings) is libal to take the shape of a hampster on a wheel.

[ October 02, 2006, 06:21 AM: Message edited by: Rebuke ]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
I seem to recall something I read somewhere about the free will and choice of humanity as being an integral part of God's plan. I guess you weren't paying attention to that part, though.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I will say this: as an "unbeliever," I would be far more likely to listen to a missionary with an attitude like Boris's or Cashew's than one like gnixing. I'm not saying I'd convert, or even investigate, but with the first I'd actually listen to what he had to say. The second would get a polite (though possibly somewhat chilly) request to leave my property immediately.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I don't understand why people are so eager to believe the very worst of people. It makes me sad to see it.

It's like it's a point of pride to say these terrible things. It's not engendering to a respectful atmosphere. It's too bad.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
No - I am under no false pretense that everyone will accept the Gospel - but they will one day know that it is true. Satan knows the Gospel, but he did not embrace it.

What I am claiming is that they will indeed be grateful that I did not shirk my responsibility to share the Gospel.

*switching in Mormon Mode*

There is truth, boundaries, and tactics--how you present yourself. If I wanted to be a really good anti-Mormon, I would create a user-name like gnixing and use Mormon doctrine to support my Mormon positions. That would piss off a lot of potential converts. Oh the arrogance!

However, most Mormons are not like that. Most missionaries don't have an excuse to be like that. Altho the core of what gnixing said is true (for the faithful Mormon), most do not act like him/her.

There is a book called the Missionary Guide that teaches you how to be a good Missionary. You read it every morning. It teaches wonderful things like how to BRT "Build Relationships of Trust" in the short period of time you've made contact with someone.

It also covers basic selling techniques like dress, appearance, voice tone, voice inflections, drawing boundaries, and respecting boundaries. It does emphasize being direct and honest and not to be afraid of the truth, but it also teaches you to respect others and rely on the Spirit.

I still contend, despite what Paul says, that because we live in a society that separates commercial sellers and political/religious/charitable activists, there is a pre-established precedent where missionaries can feel like they are being respectful by ignoring no-soliciting signs. I don't not believe their position is arrogant or rude. There are more specific signs that are not as ambiguous to missionaries as no solicit signs.

Most missionaries accept that someone is "not ready" to hear the message if their home and heart is truly closed. A simple no-solicit sign is too ambiguous--thanks partially to the society most missionaries grow up in.

The way gnixing presents the gospel feels like thick sticky goo being poured on me that can't be scrapped off fast enough. Wow, that makes for a great anti-Mormon.

The truth is most Mormons don't (or at least shouldn't) come across that way because they appreciate that the spirit opens people's heart--not any one person's badgering or efforts. There is a qualitative difference between not shirking and harassing. Gnixing comes across as one of those arrogant harassers who “knows better” then you.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Kat, are you referring to my post? If so, could you tell me what terrible thing I said? If not, then just pretend this post doesn't exist. [Smile]
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Megan, I'm not referring to yours. [Smile]
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Okie dokie. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
Gnixing comes across as one of those arrogant harassers who “knows better” then you.
I do want to point out that I am not trying to be against Gnixing. I enjoy his/her posts on hatrack. I am talking about specific posts in a specific thread.

I am also a little sensitive to gung-ho proselyters because I encountered that from so many people when I left the church. I react more strongly to Mormonism then I would another religion because leaving it completely requires thick skin, as so many people don't accept your decision and continue to try and get you back.

I apologize if I came across as anti-gnixing.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
When I was a missionary, 'No Soliciting' meant 'No Tracting Here.'

:shrug:

I understand other missionaries felt differently. I wasn't so attached to tracting that I felt the need to split symantical hairs over the meaning of 'to solicit.' There were plenty of places to tract-- and the elect are as likely to be in a place that allows soliciting as one that doesn't.

Move on, Elders, move on.
 
Posted by Boris (Member # 6935) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cashew:
I served a mission from 1973 - 1975 in Australia (a very hard place to tract)and I really came across very few who were "just selling Kirbys", as you put it, Boris.
The vast majority of us did really care about the people we were contacting and teaching. There was more of an emphasis on stats then than there seems to be now too, but we still knew why we were there and how crucial our message was. When we did ignore a No Soliciting sign it was a considered decision based on our thinking that what we had was important enough to cause offence to deliver it, and we were prepared to receive the occasional angry response.
I've seen people who reacted angrily (and sometimes violently, including one guy chasing the missionaries down the front path with a broom) initially, be disarmed by the genuineness of the missionaries contacting them, and later express gratitude that the missionaries didn't pay attention to the sign on the gate.
Of course I've seen the opposite as well, but seems to me that the possibility of the one overrides the risk of the other.

Of course, I served in Boise, Idaho, so the situation was slightly different. Many of the missionaries really did care a lot about the people. But there were a lot of them that didn't care so much about the people as they did about the numbers. In the place I served, if someone didn't know what a Mormon was or how to contact them, they probably also lived in a cabin in the middle of nowhere and trapped small rodents for clothing and food.
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
"I find it mind boggling that you wouldn't distinguish between people who were likely unwilling to listen to you and people who had gone out of their way to tell you to stay away."

But with a "no solicitors" sign, I don't really know if they are telling me (as a missionary) to stay away. I know that some, perhaps many, people that put up such signs mean to include missionaries, but I have no reason to believe that all of them mean that, or even that most of them mean that. I think that a lot of people have a very clear division in their minds between salespeople and others.

That's why I said that a "no missionaries" sign WOULD be a deterrent. I would NOT approach a house with such a sign, because then there really is no question that they don't want to talk to me. With a "No Solicitors" sign, there is merely a certain probability, which, as I said, is already the case with 95% of people without signs.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
There's a reason I refrain from posting on Hatrack.

Regardless... I don't see how any of you can possibly have a clue to my "style" of proselytizing. I was presenting an explanation as to WHY a Missionary should feel free to ignore a Do Not Solicit sign. Not HOW they should proceed at the door. Is this arrogant? No. It would be arrogant for me to say that only Mormon Missionaries should have this luxury.

Do I think ALL missionaries should ignore the sign? No. Only those that truly feel that their message will make someone happy, even if they reject the message.
Did I ignore the signs on my mission? Sometimes.
Was I considered offensive? I don't think so, neither do the many people who became my friends where I served.
Did I baptize a lot of people? No. Not a single one. I wasn't out to baptize, I was out to share a message that I believe is valuable to everyone. The people I knew that got baptized did so on their own. I was just there to be their friend and help them understand WHAT I believe, and WHY I believe so strongly.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:

Do I think ALL missionaries should ignore the sign? No. Only those that truly feel that their message will make someone happy, even if they reject the message.

I wonder how many missionaries are attempting to spread a religion that, deep in their hearts, they think will make other people miserable. [Smile]
 
Posted by MandyM (Member # 8375) on :
 
I used to have a really funny sign on my door that described in detail who should knock and who shouldn't. My computer is in the front room and I can't tell you how many times I would see someone come to the door, read the very long and very entertaining sign and walk away chuckling. It gave them a lift and it kept them from knocking on my door. It did mention that in our house we had already found God and were very happy with him. We also invited anyone peddling Thin Mints to be sure and knock loudly!

That worked fine until one day a salesman ripped it off my door, threw it under my car and knocked anyway. I saw him do it from my window. I wish my dog were meaner. [Frown]
 
Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
 
I liked the sign that the Archbishop of Morelia had made for the people in his area of responsibility. It was more the the point.
"This home is Christian. We reject the Mormons and all other Communist Propaganda." Now tell me you don't understand that one.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
*snort* A.T.

Hey, Mandy, I'd have hated to have any Girl Scouts turned away by a no-soliciting sign, too - gotta have those cookies.

Did any of y'all see the little Mormonism cartoon that came out in ... some magazine or other?

A picture of the local Mission Office with the following sign on the door:

"Trespassers will be proselyted."
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
How about this scenario folks.

In Taiwan they have huge housing complexes apt/condos/houses sometimes. The only way you can get in typically is if you ring a doorbell and get buzzed in by a tenant, otherwise the security guard tells you to shove off.

Some of the complexes do away with the security guard and just have a door that wont open if you don't have the code or unless somebody buzzes you in.

Strategies Missionaries use to enter 101.

1: Metal Gear Solid (aka Ninja) Style: You sneak your way in over a wall or past the security guard when he is distracted. Go door to door hoping to find somebody interested and NOT somebody who calls the security guard and gets you evicted. If you are desperate enough, proselyte with the security guard as he escorts you out (its worked before).

2: Button Mash: (No security guard just security door) If you hit enough of the doorbells from the door panel somebody inevitably just buzzes the door open without asking who it is. You then proceed to go door to door.

3: A Friendly Face: Visit a complex where there is a member or somebody you are already visiting. Get them to buzz you in and go door to door from there. A security guard can't stop you if somebody buzzes you in, but he can evict you he finds out you are not in fact visiting the tenant who let you in.

4: (BlackBlades unexplained method). There was a HUGE complex in one of my areas but there was a security guard and I personally did not like sneaking into complexes. I didn't like the idea of the security guard getting fired or in trouble because I had snuck into the complex. He'd be mad at the missionaries and less apt to listen to our message. The soul of a security guard has at least SOME worth! [Wink] Anyway, I prayed with my companion that the security guard would not stop us from entering. We waltzed up to the door in plain view of the security guard and he just stared at us as we walked through, he had a troubled look on his face but his mouth was firmly shut, we figured we were gold since he didnt stop us. We tracted the entire complex in one day (I told you it was big) I do not recall if we had any success, I am sure SOMEBODY setup a time for us to come back.

When it comes to housing complexes with security guards, should missionaries be prevented from tracting them? Is it wrong to use peoples willingness to simply open the security door as a means to tract a complex? If a member of a complex allows you to enter is it immoral to take advantage of that and visit the other complex tenants?

Bear in mind that its quite easy to think "I have the most important message in the entire world to share with others, these people in the next life would be upset with me if I simply let a locked door stop me from trying to share it with them.

What do you guys think?
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
"Trespassers will be proselyted."
That is funny!
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
BB, aren't a number of those strategies explicitly illegal? They would be in many areas of the U.S.

--------

quote:
Anyway, I prayed with my companion that the security guard would not stop us from entering.
I find this deeply troubling, particularly in your description of the guard's struggle to speak, as it suggests that God negated that guard's free will at your request. Is that remotely ethical?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Artemisia Tridentata:
I liked the sign that the Archbishop of Morelia had made for the people in his area of responsibility. It was more the the point.
"This home is Christian. We reject the Mormons and all other Communist Propaganda." Now tell me you don't understand that one.

Let me translate it "This home is Christian, I have poisoned my flocks minds with anti Mormon/Communist rhetoric and told them its best to simply keep a closed mind, I dare you to try and undo my hard work."

99% of the time I see somebody with anti Mormon paraphernalia it was because their MINISTER had told them "All they needed to know about the Mormons" and 99% of the time it was pure hyperbolic untrue garbage that they would be better off having explained away even if they did not convert.

Its a stupidly old practice that if you can't face the docterine of the sect honestly, its better to spread lies so that people are misguided into feeling emnity for it.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
BB, aren't a number of those strategies explicitly illegal? They would be in many areas of the U.S.

This is Taiwan Tom, no loitering laws, and housing complex codes are not firmly established its largely played by ear. You would NEVER hear of a complex suing the missionaries for entering illegitimately, they would simply evict the missionaries and tell them to buzz off.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
I dare you to try and undo my hard work.
Well, if you take them literally, what they're really saying is "don't try to undo my hard work." Would you respect that request?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
BB, aren't a number of those strategies explicitly illegal? They would be in many areas of the U.S.

--------

quote:
Anyway, I prayed with my companion that the security guard would not stop us from entering.
I find this deeply troubling, particularly in your description of the guard's struggle to speak, as it suggests that God negated that guard's free will at your request. Is that remotely ethical?
Oh I am not AFFIRMATIVELY stating God helped us in that situation. He may have he might not have. In either case the security guard was fully aware of our presence and that we had entered. He could have stopped us any time that day but he did not.

Assuming God HAD in fact assisted us couldn't it be looked at this way "An all knowing God who knew no ill would ever come of it, simply caused the guard to not stop us (think Obi Wan Kenobi and the Storm Trooper at Mos Eisley) we spread our good message to all the tenants of the complex thus fulfilling our responsibility to the people, and we left. No harm was caused.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I dare you to try and undo my hard work.
Well, if you take them literally, what they're really saying is "don't try to undo my hard work." Would you respect that request?
I am one of those people that if I saw a sign that said "I am NOT interested in Mormonism, missionaries please do not disturb me." I'd probably leave a note, inviting them give us a fair chance.

I would NOT knock on the door and challenge their convictions.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
When going door to door for "get-out-the-vote" political activities we were told to assume that "no solicitors" meant us.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
Its a stupidly old practice that if you can't face the docterine of the sect honestly, its better to spread lies so that people are misguided into feeling emnity for it.
quote:
99% of the time it was pure hyperbolic untrue garbage that they would be better off having explained away even if they did not convert.
Since you are so in-tune to what anti-Mormon garbage is and value correcting misconceptions, would you enlighten us and pick what you consider the three most used anti-Mormon assertions are and dispel them for us?

As someone who left the church with what I believe to be an open and intellectually honest mind after a sincere, prayerful search, I am curious what you think the reasons are. Hint: Adam-God was not one of them—but I guess that could be in the top three for people in the Bible belt.

EDIT: Spelling.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lem:
quote:
Its a stupidly old practice that if you can't face the docterine of the sect honestly, its better to spread lies so that people are misguided into feeling emnity for it.
quote:
99% of the time it was pure hyperbolic untrue garbage that they would be better off having explained away even if they did not convert.
Since you are so in-tune to what anti-Mormon garbage is and value correcting misconceptions, would you enlighten us and pick what you consider the three most used anti-Mormon assertions are and dispel them for us?

As someone who left the church with what I believe to be an open and intellectually honest mind after a sincere, prayerful search, I am curious what you think the reasons are. Hint: Adam-God was not one of them—but I guess that could be in the top three for people in the Bible belt.

EDIT: Spelling.

99% leaves room for those who honestly just disagree with the docterines of the church and leave. Would you categorize yourself as an "Antimormon?"

As in you not only disagree with their ideas, you think they damage society and should be contained as long as its done within a moral framework?

Iem: I am not interested in discussing what MOST people misunderstand about the Mormons here, at least not at length. If you want to do it by email, just let me know. I might be willing to slacken my claim of 99% down to 95% [Wink]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
An all knowing God who knew no ill would ever come of it, simply caused the guard to not stop us...
I'm not qualified to say how important Free Will is as a principle, but I've always heard -- perhaps incorrectly -- that it's very important to Mormons.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
An all knowing God who knew no ill would ever come of it, simply caused the guard to not stop us...
I'm not qualified to say how important Free Will is as a principle, but I've always heard -- perhaps incorrectly -- that it's very important to Mormons.
It is. But it certainly does not mean that God who is all knowing could not influence things so that everybody comes out better.

Group of people say they are going to kill everybody who believe in Christ the next day. God causes all the would be murderers to fall asleep and not wake up until the believers have had a chance to escape. Or lets use the Bible.

Peter is in jail and going to be executed. That night an angel appears and takes off his shackles, the guards sitting next to Peter do not wake up. The door to the cell is opened for him, Peter walks out of the prison and out of the city and goes to the home of his friends.

Surely the guards got in trouble for allowing their prisoner to escape. Tom would you object to anyone doing ANYTHING over the heads of somebody to accomplish the greater good?
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
I've always been bothered by the Jedi Mind Trick, specifically because I'm Mormon.

BlackBlade:

Context, man. It's important. You weren't in prison. You were filling time up with a less-than-effective proselyting tool.

God does not abrogate people's free will.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
99% leaves room for those who honestly just disagree with the docterines of the church and leave. Would you categorize yourself as an "Antimormon?"

As in you not only disagree with their ideas, you think they damage society and should be contained as long as its done within a moral framework?

Anti-Mormon? I support my wife going to church. I hope she leaves it. I think she will be happier out of it. I certainly am. However, that is her call and her salvation. We both appreciate we can and are honest with each other.

Our son is only two. I grew up in the church. I will be honest with my son in what and why I believe. I have faith he will reject it and develop a good heart, but I will support his adult decisions. He certainly will have both role models to choose from. I do take from Mormonism a strong appreciation of agency.

quote:
Iem: I am not interested in discussing what MOST people misunderstand about the Mormons here, at least not at length. If you want to do it by email, just let me know. I might be willing to slacken my claim of 99% down to 95% [Wink]
Fair enough. I was ready to delete my post anyway because I didn't want this to go into an anti-Mormon tangent. I don't want to lock another thread and the Cards are good hosts.

Since we are throwing stats that can't be backed up, I will suggest that 99% of people who leave do know the doctrine. Probably 25%-40% of those who refuse to hear about the church or don't join it act that way because of a misunderstanding of doctrine. The other 60%-75% don't need the message or know enough true things to want to pass.

I also think that if every member understood church history like BYU professors with burning testimonies, the church would have a much higher then 50% inactivity rate. I don’t discount you can know church history and have it strengthen your testimony, but I think the average person would be more disturbed then enlightened.

I guess it is all what you focus on.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I've always been bothered by the Jedi Mind Trick, specifically because I'm Mormon.

BlackBlade:

Context, man. It's important. You weren't in prison. You were filling time up with a less-than-effective proselyting tool.

God does not abrogate people's free will.

I was not filling time Scott, I had ALOT of success during my mission due to tracting. I was smart enough to know that tracting was not the ONLY way, but it was not useless, or even less effective.

Again note I did NOT say, that God SURELY allowed me to enter the complex. I prayed that perhaps the guard would let us in so we could have the chance to share our message. Whether God had anything to do with it I do not know, but the guard did not stop us and he was not mute, I talked to him when I was leaving the complex.

Would it really be too hard for God to make a security guard "Simply not care" that we were entering so that a huge number of people would have a chance to hear what we had to say?

edit: Whenever missionaries pray that God "Soften the hearts of those they meet so that they might be more willing to listen" Is that really the serious crime of "Please remove their agency so that we can manipulate them as we so desire?"
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
Would it really be too hard for God to make a security guard "Simply not care" that we were entering so that a huge number of people would have a chance to hear what we had to say?

edit: Whenever missionaries pray that God "Soften the hearts of those they meet so that they might be more willing to listen" Is that really the serious crime of "Please remove their agency so that we can manipulate them as we so desire?"

Keep in mind the methods that God uses to "soften the hearts." Not at any time has He done so through coopting someone's free agency. More often, people have experiences that lead them to question, wonder, or long for a spiritual experience. And then the missionaries show up...
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Would it really be too hard for God to make a security guard "Simply not care" that we were entering so that a huge number of people would have a chance to hear what we had to say?

edit: Whenever missionaries pray that God "Soften the hearts of those they meet so that they might be more willing to listen" Is that really the serious crime of "Please remove their agency so that we can manipulate them as we so desire?"

Keep in mind the methods that God uses to "soften the hearts." Not at any time has He done so through coopting someone's free agency. More often, people have experiences that lead them to question, wonder, or long for a spiritual experience. And then the missionaries show up...
Just saying if God is willing to put people to sleep in order to save a LIFE. He would probably be willing to incapacitate somebody benignly so as to save a SOUL.

edit: Scott I think I pretty much agree with what you are trying to say. I believe if God was willing to force even 1 person into accepting the gospel he would probably be willing to just force the whole of humanity. He is not willing to do either.
 
Posted by Rebuke (Member # 9773) on :
 
*chuckle*

Actually, I'm not completely sure whether my last post here is invisible, or whether my foresight about being 'mowed over' came to pass, but discarding that; would it not be far less taxing to assume that this guard was simply apathetic? It seems that speculating on the motives and/or actions of God would be far more complicated than acknowledging the simple fact that the gaurd didn't see you as a threat, wasn't all that bright to begin with seeing as he's a gaurd in a very distraught and downtrodden country, or he simply didn't give a hoot. I'd bet you dollar to dohnuts that in his time there, he'd seen stranger things than two gentleman in black ties with nametag's looking suspiciously close to foriegn contracted building inspectors. It's not even a far-fetched notion that this fellow was used to having to 'look the other way' in situations he didn't fully comprehend because the inherent danger of his profession and the looming threat of the underworld.

Then again, divine intervention is a much more interesting idea to toy with, isn't it?

Just a thought.
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
I'm sure it wasn't invisible. Just that the others were so intent on getting their point, if they had one, across to someone else. It's a vicious cycle.

By the way: Welcome to Hatrack! Proud to be the first to say that one.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Now that the conversation has shifted gears once again. I'd like to say that personally, I think proselytizing is an inefficient and poor method of sharing one's religious views. Does it work? Sure - but probably not often enough for it to be a wise method.

My arguments last night were about the reason WHY I believe that it is ethical, moral, and not deserving of shame for a missionary to engage in proselytizing where a No Solicitiors sign is present.

I don't believe it is ethical or moral or wise to break the law for proselytizing.
 
Posted by Verloren (Member # 9771) on :
 
In the Netherlands, I never had to worry about this infamous No Soliciting sign because people there had signs that (translated) said:

"We don't buy anything at the door, and we are already converted!"

I always thought it was funny, and kind of sad that people felt so intimidated that they had to put signs like that up. I always tried to be respectful and courteous, even to the gentleman who physically removed us from his doorstep right in front of his little boy (I won't go into any more detail on that).

Anyway, back to your quibbling.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
I always thought it was funny, and kind of sad that people felt so intimidated that they had to put signs like that up.
What makes you think they are intimidated? I don't see the connection.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Maybe they just don't want to be bothered. Go go privacy!
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Agreed, Megan.

gnixing, it's a good thing I already like you. Because if my introduction to you were your posts in this thread . . . Let's just say I'll forgive your theoretical missionaries, but I still won't be opening the door. And I will be calling my neighbors to let them know we have "visitors" -- if one of them doesn't call me first.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
I always thought it was funny, and kind of sad that people felt so intimidated that they had to put signs like that up.
I think it is kind of sad that you feel people who put up signs warning off proseltizers are intimidated by them. This is not at all necessarily true.
 
Posted by Rebuke (Member # 9773) on :
 
Thanks Stan.

It's one of those general truths that arguing religious progaganda is quite an attention grabber.

It would have been far simpler to say "How about those damn Jews! Oh, and hello everyone."

*chuckle*
 
Posted by Dr Strangelove (Member # 8331) on :
 
I read your post Rebuke (to be honest, one of the few I read through in this entire thread) and I was quite impressed. I don't agree with you on the "relative truth" thinger, but you did an excellent job of expressing yourself. I wish I had that gift. I remember the time I tried to tell everyone in one of the political threads that "no one was going to get anywhere, lets just agree to disagree". My post, which I spent a lot of time and thought on, much like yours appeared to be, was ignored [Smile] . Hatrack does tend to have some masochistic tendencies at times [Wink] . Welcome though, and I hope you stay and continue to contribute.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
Just FYI, Rebuke, several of our members, including a couple who have been active in this thread, are Jewish. So I'm not sure you really want to make that joke.

And welcome to Hatrack. [Wink]

-----

I don't have a No Soliciting sign, but have been thinking about getting one. The main reason I haven't is that I like supporting kids who come door to door selling stuff for school. If I got one, I would certainly think it would apply to missionaries. Those of you who think it would only apply to people selling things -- what should I put up instead? I've never seen a No Missionaries sign at the hardware store. I wouldn't want to put up two, anyway. What conveys the message that if I don't know you, I don't want you ringing my doorbell?

My reason isn't that I don't want to be "bothered" by missionaries, I'm perfectly capable of politely telling them I'm not interested. My reason is that I've had several people come to my door for one reason or another (salesmen, political reps) who've made me exceedingly uncomfortable. I'm a single woman living alone in not the best neighborhood in the world, and every time my doorbell rings when I'm not expecting someone, I am cautious. There have been numerous daytime break-ins in the neighborhood lately. I don't like answering the door. I'm not going to buy anything from someone at my door and I'm not gong to change religions, either. So what sign can I put out that will get people to just walk on by? (Leaving a note would be fine, I just don't want them to ring my doorbell and expect me to answer.)
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
Get a custom-made sign like this:

No trespassing
No proselyting
No soliciting*
*Girl Scouts excepted

[Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
Just FYI, Rebuke, several of our members, including a couple who have been active in this thread, are Jewish. So I'm not sure you really want to make that joke.

Indeed. *eyes Rebuke warily*

Back on topic, I want my city to start one of these. Too bad it ain't gonna happen. [Wink]

ElJay, you could try this sign or this doorbell.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
Get a custom-made sign like this:

No trespassing
No proselyting
No soliciting*
*Girl Scouts excepted

[Smile]

I want one! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Taalcon (Member # 839) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:

Back on topic, I want my city to start one of these. Too bad it ain't gonna happen. [Wink]

Interesting that the site makes these definitions:

quote:
Peddler means any person traveling either by foot, automobile, truck or another type of conveyance from place to place, door to door or street to street, taking or attempting to take orders for profit by the sale of goods, wares, and merchandise or personal property of any nature whatsoever for immediate or future delivery or for services to be furnished or performed immediately or in the future.

Solicitor means any person who obtains or seeks to obtain funds for any cause whatsoever by traveling door to door either by foot, automobile, truck or any other type of conveyance upon the private residences, including any house, apartment or other dwelling, within the City.

Neither of those definitions cover LDS Missionaries. In fact, it says in the FAQ:

quote:
If I join the registry and post the sign decal, are there any uninvited persons who can still come to my door?

Yes, the Ordinance only addresses those individuals seeking funding. Individuals who wish to conduct polling or surveying, circulate petitions, engage in political or religious speech, or other similar conduct in which funds are not being sought are not prohibited by the Ordinance on the basis of constitutional grounds.


 
Posted by Dan_raven (Member # 3383) on :
 
Rivka, you want one what?

A sign or a tresspassing, proselyting, soliciting girl scout.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
LDS missionaries owe a lot to Jehovah's Witnesses because of ordinances like this. The findings that a city cannot prohibit proseltying door to door came mostly from cases brought by JWs against cities that tried to forbid it. Let's hear it for the Bill of Rights. [Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Taalcon, that would be because previous attempts to ban them have been struck down on First Amendment grounds, not because of usual definitions. Read the article.



Dan, I'll take the girl scout, if she comes bearing Thin Mints. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
LDS missionaries owe a lot to Jehovah's Witnesses because of ordinances like this. The findings that a city cannot prohibit proseltying door to door came mostly from cases brought by JWs against cities that tried to forbid it. Let's hear it for the Bill of Rights. [Smile]

Or the other way around. It was JW's that got people mad enough to try and make it illegal. But hey Ill thank their attorneys for not ruining it for everybody.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
Get a custom-made sign like this:

No trespassing
No proselyting
No soliciting*
*Girl Scouts excepted

[Smile]

I don't like girl scout cookies, I still have two boxes in my freezer from I think 3 years ago. I want the kids selling chocolate to stop by, though. [Smile] And really, part of my problem is that signs like that seem rude. I don't want to be rude, I just want to politely tell people I'm not interested and they're wasting their time. I know, I can't really have it both ways.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
And really, part of my problem is that signs like that seem rude.

*blink* This must be that cultural thing again. I wouldn't consider a sign like that rude at all.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
Less rude than answering the door and then swearing and slamming it in their faces....
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
It probably is. But to me, "No Soliciting" on it's own isn't too bad. It's just one small sign, discreetly saying I'd rather not be bothered. When you add "No Trespassing" and 'No Proselyting" it gets to be "Man, what kind of a grump lives here, who feels the need to put all these restrictions on her door?" If I walked up to a friend's house and saw that sign, I'd be a bit taken aback. Actually, I'd probably figure they'd been having lots of problems with it and were at the end of their rope. I'm not really there. Yet. [Wink]

Added: This was to rivka. Jenna, I would never do that, so it isn't a question of being less rude than that. It's a question of being less rude than answering the door and politely telling them I'm not interested.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
When you add "No Trespassing" and 'No Proselyting" it gets to be "Man, what kind of a grump lives here, who feels the need to put all these restrictions on her door?"

*laugh* Ok, it's not cultural, then. It's just me. I have no problem with people thinking I'm a grump. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
*grin* Okay, then.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Can I get a sign that says,

"Look, if I'm home, I'm probably running around in my drawers and will have to put on clothes to answer the door which will annoy me unless I like you a lot."
 
Posted by Nell Gwyn (Member # 8291) on :
 
[Laugh] kmbboots

Maybe "No Uninvited Guests, Please"? And if you have friends who are welcome to drop by whenever, you can let them know they have a standing invitation.

Of course, that may not be a strong enough statement to deter people. You could leave off the "please," but then it kinda sounds rude again...
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I think that's the sign I would need too, kmb. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Rebuke (Member # 9773) on :
 
<disclaimer>

I carry no emnity toward any religious creed. The point is the reaction you get when you spout mindless, harmful propaganda. People are more keen to interest themselves in responding to a completely mindless comment than a well-constructed thought.

We humans are a funny breed.

I thought about including a disclaimer at the bottom of the point I was trying to make above, but that would have been less fun.

</disclaimer>
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
I figured. [Smile] If I had thought you were serious, I wouldn't have merely eyed you warily. Remember, I don't care if you think I'm a grump. [Big Grin]

Oh, and welcome to Hatrack. You will find that while thoughtful posts are not always responded to, they are generally READ. No responses isn't always a bad thing (at least, that's what I keep telling myself when my pearls of wisdom are not responded to [Cry] ).



kmb, the problem with your sign is that it's a bit more information than I'd be happy giving random strangers coming to my door (or most of my friends, for that matter).
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
I know I'm late to the thread, but I just want to say that, unless you are getting, like, a million missionaries a year, I don't get the dislike of missionaries coming to your door. I've never met one that wouldn't leave when asked, and they were all pleasant. *shrug*
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I just don't like answering the door, regardless of who's knocking. I'm not saying I won't do it, just that I'd rather not.
 
Posted by Tante Shvester (Member # 8202) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_raven:
soliciting girl scout.

Uh, Dan, you DO know that you can get into quite a lot of trouble for soliciting girl scouts, right?
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Megan:
I just don't like answering the door, regardless of who's knocking. I'm not saying I won't do it, just that I'd rather not.

Precisely. I knew someone who suggested an invention like an answering machine, but for the doorbell. Sadly, the last I heard she hadn't actually invented it yet.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Oh, man, I'd buy that invention in a heartbeat.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
I would love to get some missionaries at the door. I haven't had a chance to use my karate skills in such a long time.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
Why deny yourself the satisfaction of storming outside in all your glory to scare off the intruders with a cigarette dangling out of your mouth, brandishing a rolling pin, in curlers and bathrobe?

"Accept Jesus, my ass!"
"Eternal life, my ass!"
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Please. The Girl Scouts could whip you, KoM.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
He doesn't like to discuss that incident.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Well, Scott, if you want to put your ass where your mouth is, please pick a time and place. You may bring any number of Girl Scouts as backup.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
You don't want to go challenging people to fisticuffs, KoM. The last person who did that, well, it ended in tears.
 
Posted by MandyM (Member # 8375) on :
 
quote:
Please. The Girl Scouts could whip you, KoM.
Be careful. This could be construed as soliciting a Girl Scout.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
Well, Scott, if you want to put your ass where your mouth is, please pick a time and place. You may bring any number of Girl Scouts as backup.
I'm not an unaccomplished pugilist myself, but I have to admit I'd be frightened of someone with that sort of flexibility, with or withoout his uniformed minions.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
quote:

You don't want to go challenging people to fisticuffs, KoM. The last person who did that, well, it ended in tears.

Actually, I'm pretty sure there's an unwritten rule for all internet dialogue that the first person to actually be goofy enough to resort to trying to pick an actual physical fight is laughed at by the rest of the forum.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
I know, ElJay. I'm in the same bind. I'm so attached to my privacy that I am willing to miss out on the kids with chocolate, though, as I also am interested in discouraging using children as fund-raising tools. (I have concerns about safety as well as other things.)

Attempts at creative solutions (any feedback, anybody?):

quote:
"Please do not knock without specific invitation."

"No business at this door, whether public or private (including charity and religious)."

I prefer the latter, as it seems to me to most accurately present my policy. I don't want necessarily to dissuade someone who is in trouble (e.g., with a flat tire, etc.).

In bronze and with clear lettering, would it still sound overly grumpy, or just firm? I'm going for firm.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Well, Scott, if you want to put your ass where your mouth is, please pick a time and place. You may bring any number of Girl Scouts as backup.
I'm not an unaccomplished pugilist myself, but I have to admit I'd be frightened of someone with that sort of flexibility, with or without his uniformed minions.
For Scott, I am thinking, the feat would actually be fairly easy.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
I was thinking "Please Go Away," actually. But that's just because I'm grumpy today.

quote:
. . .I don't get the dislike of missionaries coming to your door. I've never met one that wouldn't leave when asked, and they were all pleasant.
Like I said, Storm, I've had unpleasant experiences with people coming to my door, and as such do not like opening it to strangers at all. I've never actually had Mormon missionaries stop by. I just don't want my doorbell to ring unless I'm expecting someone. This is also partly due to the creepy letter I got last year from someone saying he had a crush on me and was watching my house. *shrug*
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
O.K. I didn't really say it as a criticism, though I do feel bad for you that you had knuckleheads make you feel unsafe in your home.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
From my point of view, it's also that I want to keep my home life calm and restful. I do so much during the day that revolves around addressing the needs and desires of others that I find myself really desperate for some time that I don't have to negotiate the goals of other people for a while, even if they think it is in my best interest.

It isn't all (for me) just a matter of feeling unsafe or threatened, but moreso a matter of feeling stretched overly thin. I do not want to be impolite, but trying not to do more damage in the world (including by being rude to young missionaries who believe they are doing their God's work) takes a lot of energy.

I feel like baking soda -- I have only so much buffering ability, and when that reserve is used up, I start to degrade. And being quietly pleasant and saying yet again, "No, thank you, I am not interested. No, I am not interested. Have a lovely day. No, I do not want XYZ, but I appreciate your sincerity. No, please, no," just uses up the buffer eventually. There are many days when I feel (a'la Bilbo) stretched too thin like butter over dry toast, and I structure my days to minimize social negotiations like this whenever possible -- I buy lunch at a deli or bring my own rather than deal with waitstaff, I use self-serve gas stations with pay-at-the-pump option, and so forth. Little things that end up -- no one thing is too much, but together, they can carry significant weight.

It isn't that the world has to accomodate me. I'd just like the discretion not to engage the world if at all possible,* as a matter of caring best for self and others in the long run.

----

*(Of course, this is in itself a luxury, as I well understand. Most people in the world do not have this option.)

----

I will say that my life is stretched less thin than before, and I can tell I have much deeper emotional reserves again. When my mother was dying and I was working 36-hr shifts, the need for peace was more dire in my life. All that has passed. This is a beautiful thing, and I cherish it. [Smile]

----

*Edited to add: I suppose I could take the irritation of dealing with people I don't want to deal with and offer it up for the souls in purgatory. I am enough of a Catholic still that this has some calming psychological effect, even if I am not a believer. And it was a helpful approach for me, way back when. I do believe I'll try that.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I've never actually Mormon missionaries come to my door either.

(though apparently, back when we were living in an apartment in a less-than-nice neighborhood, they came knocking when I wasn't home and my husband was. I am sorry to say that, instead of merely politely declining, he politely declined their offer and then asked instead if they had any information on Satanism. [Wall Bash] I'm sure he thought he was being playful.)
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
I didn't take it as a criticism. [Smile] You said you didn't get it, so I was trying to explain. And, really, I do feel safe most of the time. But an unexpected knock at the door does make me feel, uneasy, would be the best word. And that's not the solicitor's fault, precisely, they have no way of knowing I've had to deal with jerks. But I would still rather not have to deal with it.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
I didn't take it as a criticism. [Smile] You said you didn't get it, so I was trying to explain. And, really, I do feel safe most of the time. But an unexpected knock at the door does make me feel, uneasy, would be the best word. And that's not the solicitor's fault, precisely, they have no way of knowing I've had to deal with jerks. But I would still rather not have to deal with it.

Not that ElJay needs any verification of her feelings by me, but I have this, as well. It reminds me of the feeling I get whenever I hear footsteps behind me, despite the fact that it may be broad daylight in the middle of a "safe" neighborhood. It's a prickling in the back of the neck, a hair-raised alertness that takes a while to go away again, even if there is nothing wrong.

Again, it has more widespread effects on emotional reserves, at least for me.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
I wish you more calm and restful days then, CT.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
( [Smile] Me, too! I am working towards the day when I can be at peace in the midst of chaos, 24/7. Maybe someday. It is an ongoing project, and the goal seems very very far away. I think this is in large part -- at least in my case -- a matter of deeply ingrained tempermant and personality, even moreso than outside pressures. Would that it were not so, but we all have our own crosses to bear.)
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
We've stopped getting J-witnesses at our door after they tried following my grandpa's car up our driveway a few thanksgivings ago. Retired Army. He stopped in the middle of our driveway (Parents live out in the middle of no where now), and went to their car. A minute later he is walking back to his, and the car is backing out. We didn't ask what he said.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
KOM: Unfortunately they would not be allowed to fight back, lest they risk being sent home. It be pretty boring fighting missionaries (who obey the rules) as they would simply take your blows, or try to run away.
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
You don't want to go challenging people to fisticuffs, KoM. The last person who did that, well, it ended in tears.
That's actually true in a quite literal sense. Uwe Boll, best known for his atrocious film adaptations of video game franchises, challenged his many internet-based detractors to a boxing match. He may or may not have mentioned that he was a trained boxer. Subsequently, someone by the name of "Lowtax" (IIRC) took him up on it, and Boll pounded him into submission within a couple of minutes.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
I usually enjoy having door-to-door folks come by. One of the things I picked off this forum that struck me immediately as true was TomD's "rule" to always buy whatever the under-10 crowd is selling.

The vacuum cleaner salesmen and their ilk get a harder facade-- but I'll listen for up to thirty seconds, especially if they're charismatic.

I welcome all religious representatives and political boosters inside, and offer them water, or a snack or something. I know what it's like to be out there, slogging away with a message most people don't want to hear and don't believe it when they do.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Someone came to my door a few days ago peddling magazines. I didn't buy anything and probably flustered her with polite refusal, but I'm wishing now that I told her why.

I didn't do it because I don't like how it was set up - the pitch was not about the magazines. The pitch was the person selling it. The approach was designed to get the customer to like the seller so much they'd happily buy something to get that seller points toward something. It wasn't money directly. It was "points" and the peddler was amazingly ONE customer away from getting all the points needed! Isn't that great? Didn't I want to buy something in order to get this nice person a trip to Germany?

This is the second time I was approached. The first time I didn't know what was going on. It was in a mall, and the guy was very nervous. AT first I thought he was panhandling because of the sob story I was being given. When it finally came out that the way to help him was to buy magazines, it seemed a little sketchy that the pitch was all about the person.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Kat, those groups are all over Northern Virginia. It's really not safe to support fundraisers like that unless you know the school firsthand somehow. The scams are legion.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Kat-- I usually offer those people $10. I don't need the magazines they offer, and $10 cash usually gets them closer to their "goal" than selling $10 worth of magazines...but so far, no one has taken the $$.

I always wonder why.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
That's what it seemed like. I was a little indignant that the company was clearly capitalizing on the Pretty Young Thing appeal of the sellers.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
I had one of those come by years, ago, but he kept talking about "votes" that he needed to become "president." I listened to the pitch, because it was a kid and because it was really confusing. It took him at least 5 minutes to even mention magazines, much less that the way you voted for him was by buying them. Crazy.
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
I don't necessarilly mind it so much. However, most times when I am bothered it is on my way to work. I can not afford to be late (military thing). That was when I worked on a shipyard, not a base. Next up is at my door. I work a minimum ten hours a day usually (sometimes less, more often more). An' it gets quite stressful. The LAST thing I want when I get home is to be bothered by ANYONE that I do not know. Sometimes, it applies to everyone. With the attitude that I know I can have, I need to relax when I get the time. I make time everyday. Hence, why I am usually quite calm these days. I am not a nice person when upset. I have had someone who worked for me that had been hit upside the head with a 2x4 (not by me. ), and their only reaction was "why did you do that?" (not even a flinch, and it was a hard hit). That one in specific always tried to be on my calm side. I don't get physical on people, but I do and can yell. He got the taste of that once.

For the record:

I apologized later, but he told me that he understood completely why and didn't blame me. In fact he was suprised I didn't write him up. Tell the truth, I should have. However, he was "my boy." I looked out for him, because no one else did.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:

I welcome all religious representatives and political boosters inside, and offer them water, or a snack or something. I know what it's like to be out there, slogging away with a message most people don't want to hear and don't believe it when they do. [/QB]

Thats exactly how I am. Its why I still listen to the sales pitch before explaining why I am not interested.

I had JW's come to my door when I was a missionary. For some reason when they recognized that we were missionaries they just didnt even want to talk [Frown]

I was tracting once and ran into JW's who were tracting the same street. They started yelling at us between doors, I walked over, got to know them. And then offered to stick to one side of the sidewalk and I would give them the other side. They thought it was a reasonable offer and we both had a pleasent evening.

Worst experience of my missionary life was an old lady who did not want to hear our message, we left and she decided to put on a warm coat, rugged shoes, and proceeded to walk ahead of us down the street going door to door warning the tenants that the Mormons were coming. I wanted to throw a rock SO bad, instead we jumped on our bikes went down the back road to the other end of the street and worked our way down and ran into her midway (damage control I suppose). The look on her face when she rounded the corner and saw us coming towards her was priceless.

We knocked on the doors that she had already played Paul Revere on anyway and some still let us in, others had already turned off their lights and gone upstairs, the light went about 5 minutes after we left.

I had a Canadian English teacher interupt my companion while he was talking to a Taiwanese man on the street and said "Hello! Junior!(obviously trying to mock the fact that missionaries go by "elder") he then broke out into quite decent Chinese and said to the man
"These men are not Christians, and are bad men, nobody believes their mythologies!"

He then took off yelling "So long Junior!"

The Taiwanese said that he wanted to hear more about what would make that man act so rudely. Thanks I suppose is due that Candadian.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
quote:
I wanted to throw a rock SO bad,
As a missionary? You wanted to throw a rock at an old lady? I mean, yeah, I understand that what she was doing was annoying, but your response was...a desire for violence? Isn't that in conflict with the message you were trying to convey?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
He didn't actually throw the rock. Being a missionary doesn't mean that suddenly you are no longer are tempted by anything. He was still a 20-yea-old doing something very difficult that he had a passion that someone was deliberately thwarting. Doesn't it make sense to be upset? Isn't it nice how he handled it instead of throwing the rock or causing a scene?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Megan:
quote:
I wanted to throw a rock SO bad,
As a missionary? You wanted to throw a rock at an old lady? I mean, yeah, I understand that what she was doing was annoying, but your response was...a desire for violence? Isn't that in conflict with the message you were trying to convey?
Did I not refrain from throwing the rock?

I am sorry for the thought of course, but I also acknowledge that I am not in fact Jesus yet, and I have to govern my thoughts still. I do in fact hope that one day I will be completely stoical about everything, but at the age of 24 I am not there.

If it makes you feel any better I conciously thought of a reason to admire EVERY single person who either refused to listen or rejected my message while I was tracting. It was the only way for me to keep my enthusiasm up and not sink into despair.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
I am usually very disturbed by unexpected visitors. Partly because I almost never get them and mostly because I am utterly unprepared to have anyone in my apartment.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I am certainly glad he/you refrained from throwing the rock. I was just taken aback by the thought, that's all. I understand the annoyance; I don't understand the desire for violence. Yes, I know as primates we express our rage physically, but I think (hope?) that we reach a point where that desire ("I'm gonna beat the CRAP out of you!") is suppressed or eliminated. Maybe I'm being too optimistic (rather uncharacteristically, I must say) about humanity.

Maybe it's just because I don't understand the passion it must take to be a missionary, I don't know. Maybe it's because my first response to conflict is verbal rather than physical confrontation. Maybe I'm just reacting to the idea of the first response to conflict with an old lady being the desire to throw a rock.

To me, actually, the desire to cause a scene makes much more sense than the desire to throw a rock at an old lady.
 
Posted by Nell Gwyn (Member # 8291) on :
 
quote:
I am usually very disturbed by unexpected visitors. Partly because I almost never get them and mostly because I am utterly unprepared to have anyone in my apartment.
Me too. The only knocks on my door that I get now are my landlord's, but even if my mom or my best friend randomly showed up at my door (both of whom would have to travel 1000+ miles to do so), I'd probably make them wait outside for at least an hour so I could clean. And they already know I'm a slob - the idea of strangers seeing my apartment on an average day is horrifying!
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
quote:

o me, actually, the desire to cause a scene makes much more sense than the desire to throw a rock at an old lady.

You've never been so angry at someone screwing with you that you wanted to punch them in the nose?
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
Hell, I feel that way just driving home from work every day.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Maybe this is a guy thing . . .
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
Having seen every woman on this forum get angry at others for one reason or another, I doubt it.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
I'm not talking about getting angry. I'm talking about associating violent ideation with getting angry.
 
Posted by Nell Gwyn (Member # 8291) on :
 
I don't know. If that had been me, I'd probably have wanted to throw something at her too. Or more likely, I'd have been tempted to pray for a flock of birds to poop on her. My imagination tends to go more for the humiliating than the harmful in situations like that, I think.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
quote:

o me, actually, the desire to cause a scene makes much more sense than the desire to throw a rock at an old lady.

You've never been so angry at someone screwing with you that you wanted to punch them in the nose?
Not really, no. Scream at them, sure. Wish them ill, maybe. Actually perpetrate the violence myself? Not that I can recall offhand.

Also, what rivka said.

Edit: And Nell, with the flock of birds pooping on her. [Big Grin]

I was thinking that in my mind, at least, the desire for violent response should be mitigated somewhat by the fact that she's an old lady. This may very well not be rooted in logic, but then again the desire to throw a rock at someone isn't necessarily rooted in logic either.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
I'd like to point out that even getting angry at that point is at some level a choice and that you can (and if you're a Christian most likely should) work on not making that choice. If you make the decision not to get angry, I find that, with practice and time, it becomes pretty easy not to. But then again, that's just me.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
I'm not clear on what you mean by ideation. I don't mean where you actually picture doing it. I doubt Blackblade meant that, either. I meant feeling angry enough to punch, hit, whatever.

Now, of course, of course, of course, no one in their right mind would actually do that. Again, what I'm saying is being so angry that you want to.

Again, I point to this forum where, by my lights, the number of cruel women who inflict emotional distress on other members for whatever reason is about the same as men.

Now, we could argue that the ability to inflict emotional distress, pain, whatever on someone isn't the same as doing the same physically, and in some ways I might agree. However, I don't think that that is necessarily germane to the fact that pain is being inflicted out of anger or frustration, what have you, which is basiclly my point. The whole 'throw a rock', 'throw a punch' thing is really more of a metaphor for the level of emotion than any literal desire to chase someone down and physically hurt them.

If you say that women, most women, whatever don't feel this way when they are frustrated, or crossed, or what have you, then I'm sorry, I just don't believe it.

In many ways, having this discussion seems to me to be a bit surreal. It's difficult for me to believe that people on this thread actually think that BB literally *wanted* to throw a rock at that old lady. I can't help wonder if there isn't a little bit of passive-aggressiveness going on here.
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
Oh, I know plenty of women that associate violent ideation with getting angry. However, it is more prominent in men.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Megan:
quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
quote:

o me, actually, the desire to cause a scene makes much more sense than the desire to throw a rock at an old lady.

You've never been so angry at someone screwing with you that you wanted to punch them in the nose?
Not really, no. Scream at them, sure. Wish them ill, maybe. Actually perpetrate the violence myself? Not that I can recall offhand.

Also, what rivka said.

Edit: And Nell, with the flock of birds pooping on her. [Big Grin]

I was thinking that in my mind, at least, the desire for violent response should be mitigated somewhat by the fact that she's an old lady. This may very well not be rooted in logic, but then again the desire to throw a rock at someone isn't necessarily rooted in logic either.

edit: Heres the logic behind THINKING that throwing a rock would do SOMETHING. If I threw the rock, even if I aimed to miss, the old lady would get scared and leave me alone (fine with me!) If it does hurt her, she can share in the misery she is causing and I'd feel better. If it hit her and knocked her out she stop making my life more miserable (I didnt need the extra help).

I never came CLOSE to causing violence on anyone my entire mission, though I did have a man (who was obviously insane, and quite large) get in my face and threaten to kill me several times, and he followed me around.

end of edit....


You have to realize that for a missionary yelling and making a scene is more or less just as bad as say throwing a rock. Though you are not physically restrained from doing so (at least in my mission they do this) they STRONGLY adjure you to not say anything Jesus would not say to people.

You in effect CANNOT say anything that is negative in a rude sense to anyone. Even criticism of one's companion must be done delicately and in a loving manner. It wears on many a missionary and sometimes they just lose control. I hate to see it happen, theres no way to vent the frustration outside of prayer, meditation, and exercise. Its a regiment that many just take time to get used to.

SERIOUSLY FOLKS! Did you not read about the horrible old lady who made my evening hell with her over the top hostility?! Why am I in the defendants seat!? HORRIBLY MEDDLESOME OLD WOMAN!

[Wink]

I'm only half serious, I have always enjoyed that on hatrack when something is universally considered bad, it often passes without mention while the more debatably right/wrong element is talked about.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
quote:

But then again, that's just me.

If your behavior on this forum is any indication, believe me, it's not you.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Since I brought the topic up initially, I'll assume that it's me you're calling passive aggressive. If I'm mistaken, feel free to correct me. [Big Grin]

No, I'm not trying to call him out, and I'm not trying to claim any moral superiority. I honestly don't feel the desire for physical violence when angry. I DO distinguish between inflicting physical pain and emotional pain; I actually think the latter is much worse. To that end, don't read any claim of moral superiority for women into what I'm saying, either.

I understand this:
quote:
The whole 'throw a rock', 'throw a punch' thing is really more of a metaphor for the level of emotion than any literal desire to chase someone down and physically hurt them.
All I was trying to say is that "metaphor" took me aback. I saw a disconnect between an anger response that is a desire for violence and a mission to spread a faith of love and peace. I apologize if I came off as snotty or passive-aggressive. I just thought it was a really odd response to have in the given circumstance, and that may be due to my own anger response (which, by the by, in case you're curious, is primarily tears and verbal confrontation).
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
BB, there is no need to defend yourself. Believe me.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Megan:
Since I brought the topic up initially, I'll assume that it's me you're calling passive aggressive. If I'm mistaken, feel free to correct me. [Big Grin]

No, I'm not trying to call him out, and I'm not trying to claim any moral superiority. I honestly don't feel the desire for physical violence when angry. I DO distinguish between inflicting physical pain and emotional pain; I actually think the latter is much worse. To that end, don't read any claim of moral superiority for women into what I'm saying, either.

I understand this:
quote:
The whole 'throw a rock', 'throw a punch' thing is really more of a metaphor for the level of emotion than any literal desire to chase someone down and physically hurt them.
All I was trying to say is that "metaphor" took me aback. I saw a disconnect between an anger response that is a desire for violence and a mission to spread a faith of love and peace. I apologize if I came off as snotty or passive-aggressive. I just thought it was a really odd response to have in the given circumstance, and that may be due to my own anger response (which, by the by, in case you're curious, is primarily tears and verbal confrontation).
I edited my previous post to answer your question.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Edit: So you did, though I didn't intend it as a question.

quote:
Heres the logic behind THINKING that throwing a rock would do SOMETHING. If I threw the rock, even if I aimed to miss, the old lady would get scared and leave me alone (fine with me!) If it does hurt her, she can share in the misery she is causing and I'd feel better. If it hit her and knocked her out she stop making my life more miserable (I didnt need the extra help).
Storm, is it still impossible for you believe that BB literally *wanted* to throw a rock at that old lady?
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
It's probably more me than you, Megan. I wasn't pointing the finger at you with that statement so much as, let's say, venting my irritation at people in general on this forum and the way they seem to have no problem noticing the proverbial splinters for the beams.

My Bob, but there are some judgemental mofos on this forum. [Smile]

Good night, everyone. I leave for the night.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Let's see. Assume for a moment that the old lady has lived in the neighborhood for a few years and knows (and likes) her neighbors. (I expect these are reasonable assumptions, but let me know if you disagree.) She considers missionaries an annoyance, and disruptors of the peace in her neighborhood. So being a neighborly sort, she goes to warn her neighbors.

My sympathy is with her. [Razz]


Stormy, I am in no way claiming superiority of any kind. I just think that women, whether for reasons cultural, biological, or some combination thereof are more likely to say/think something like "I wished something terrible would happen to her" (possibly with more specificity) than to wish to do that harm directly. Not that they are any more or less likely to DO anything. Just that there is less like to be an association with them doing something directly and physically harmful themselves. (Women are actually far more likely to come up with subtle vengeance, including emotional torture. IMO and IME, natch.)
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
I don't see what the old lady did was at all bad, to be honest. Is there something wrong with her letting other people know you're coming around?

Storm,
You may be thinking of someone else. I don't know that I've gotten angry on this forum for years now.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
For the record, I was not trying to be judgmental (and certainly not a judgmental mofo), and I am sorry if I came off that way. I don't understand a desire for violence as a response to anger because it isn't the anger response I experience. I saw irony of a sort in a missionary responding to anger with a (naturally unfulfilled) desire to cause violence, but I also know stress does strange things to people's anger responses.

Good night, Storm.

I think I'm done for the evening, as well. Things to do, etc.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Megan:
Edit: So you did, though I didn't intend it as a question.

quote:
Heres the logic behind THINKING that throwing a rock would do SOMETHING. If I threw the rock, even if I aimed to miss, the old lady would get scared and leave me alone (fine with me!) If it does hurt her, she can share in the misery she is causing and I'd feel better. If it hit her and knocked her out she stop making my life more miserable (I didnt need the extra help).
Storm, is it still impossible for you believe that BB literally *wanted* to throw a rock at that old lady?
Megan...hmmm..how do I explain this?

The thought entered my head as a possible action, obviously my moral filter deemed the action BAD and so I discarded it.

Wanting to throw the rock would have entailed me actually having trouble deciding NOT to throw the rock, no difficulty was experienced. I'm spending considerable time explaining a thought that occupied probably at the most 4 seconds of my time.

I am having trouble seeing why "thinking" about saying something mean and nasty is NOT the same thing as "thinking" about taking action to deal with a problem.

I would have thought that because I immediately thought of a non violent way, completely polite way to deal with the problem demonstrated that I by nature am not a violent person.

Ill be honest Megan, I strongly disagree that I deserve criticism for allowing a thought to enter my mind. Do you honestly live your life and never experience a thought that dictates a course of action that you have to cross yourself to contain?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
[QB] Let's see. Assume for a moment that the old lady has lived in the neighborhood for a few years and knows (and likes) her neighbors. (I expect these are reasonable assumptions, but let me know if you disagree.) She considers missionaries an annoyance, and disruptors of the peace in her neighborhood. So being a neighborly sort, she goes to warn her neighbors.

My sympathy is with her. [Razz]

<throws internet rock> I'm not a missionary anymore! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
I'm going to give you until my next post in this thread to reconsider that action.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
I'm going to give you until my next post in this thread to reconsider that action.

Or you will do what? Explain in graphic detail what is going on in your head... [Wink]

Ill take back throwing the internet rock.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
BB,
Could you explain why what the old woman did was bad? As far as I can tell, the only "bad" that is warrented is "bad for you". I don't see that she broke any reasonable standards of conduct other than that that.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
BB,
Could you explain why what the old woman did was bad? As far as I can tell, the only "bad" that is warrented is "bad for you". I don't see that she broke any reasonable standards of conduct other than that that.

Does it being "bad for me" not make it bad in general? Me throwing the rock at her wouldnt be bad for anybody either except "bad for her."

edit: By that logic I mean.

How about this:

We get upset with the government for trying to use fear to control its population.

Granted I could not hear everything she said as she went door to door, all I picked up on was "Mormons are coming...<a bunch of other stuff>"

But how is what she was doing any different? If an old lady is running door to door saying "The Mormons are coming, quick shut your doors!" doesn't that imply that Mormons are something undesirable?

Bear in mind that most Taiwanese people honestly understand VERY little about what Mormons actually are.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
I would imagine or she will whistle your post, as I believe it breaks the TOS, winkie or no.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
I would imagine or she will whistle your post, as I believe it breaks the TOS, winkie or no.

It does? I am not aware how, please inform me.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
Under the agreement not to post any material that is threatening, harrassing, or abusive. I know you were kidding, but in the context of this conversation I think your post is awfully close to the line, and if rivka feels that it crosses it I wouldn't argue with her.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
No, you throwing a rock at her would violate a legal, moral, and general behavioral standards.

She went around letting her neighbors know you were coming. At the very most, her actions where equivilent to yours. She went around telling people information she thought was important.

I'd judge her actions as less intrusive than yours if we grant the assumption that instead of being a stranger there, she was engaged and familiar with the rest of the neighborhood.

The only thing I can see that she had done wrong was "make your life harder", which is a poor standard for any but the most egocentric codes of behavior.
 
Posted by Taalcon (Member # 839) on :
 
I find it funny that in order to 'help people not be disturbed' one would actively go and potentially disturb individuals (by means of door or phone) to warn them of the possibility of them being disturbed by People I Don't Like.

Doesn't this seem ironic to anyone else?
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Ill take back throwing the internet rock.

Thank you. [Smile]

I didn't have any specific "or else" in mind; I was fairly certain that given a moment to rethink you would have the good sense to withdraw the threat.

But ElJay is right, it is a violation of the TOS. And I didn't happen to find it amusing in the least.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taalcon:
I find it funny that in order to 'help people not be disturbed' one would actively go and potentially disturb individuals (by means of door or phone) to warn them of the possibility of them being disturbed by People I Don't Like.

Doesn't this seem ironic to anyone else?

As I've said, I don't like opening my door to strangers. At the same time, it's hard to just ignore it, in case it might be important. So to get a heads up from someone I know that missionaries are in the area would be vastly preferable to me to having the doorbell ring and not know in advance who it is. In this case, I would probably open the door and politely tell them I wasn't interested, but I would have much more peace of mind doing it than if I hadn't had the warning.

For other people, I don't see what harm she did. The people still had the option of talking to the missionaries if they wanted to. They just got a little longer to make their decision, instead of having to make it split second when they opened the door.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
I find it funny that in order to 'help people not be disturbed' one would actively go and potentially disturb individuals (by means of door or phone) to warn them of the possibility of them being disturbed by People I Don't Like.

Doesn't this seem ironic to anyone else?

Not really. There's an entirely different relationship between neighbors and strangers out selling something (being it material, political, or religious).
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Squicky, how would you react if she started calling people up and said, "I think you should know, there's a group of *whisper* black people */whisper* in the neighborhood. I just wanted you to know."

I don't think that would be something wrong per se, but I would be very suspicious of her motives. And, if such activity were aimed at me, it might make me momentarily mad.

I wouldn't have a real good reason for being mad, but it wouldn't be extremely unusual or necessarily indicative of a moral failing.

I'm pretty sure BlackBlade doesn't think throwing a rock was warranted.

quote:
I don't see what harm she did.
I don't see the harm, but I do see her actions as likely indicative of a pretty nasty motive.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
I was fairly certain that given a moment to rethink you would have the good sense to withdraw the threat.
In fairness to BB, I have absolutely no idea how this could be construed as a threat.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
I find it funny that in order to 'help people not be disturbed' one would actively go and potentially disturb individuals (by means of door or phone) to warn them of the possibility of them being disturbed by People I Don't Like.

Doesn't this seem ironic to anyone else?

Not really. There's an entirely different relationship between neighbors and strangers out selling something (being it material, political, or religious).
And what if you did not know what a Mormon was, as is the case for many Taiwanese people? An elderly neighbor you trust runs down the street bangs on your door and says "The Mormons are coming! They are unsavory folk!" and you turn off your lights go upstairs and ignore the doorbell. She was effectively perpetuating fear.

You are right in a world where EVERYONE knows what a Mormon is, what she did does really no damage. That just is NOT the case in Taiwan or any where else in the world, otherwise missionaries would be unnecessary.

Its sad to see so many people painting the old woman as a paragone of virtue going out of her way to save the community from the rude, obnoxious Mormon missionaries. I happened to think that what I was doing, was a service that was of great value, so valuable it was more important then my personal comfort. I suppose I should glean my satisfaction from the Taiwanese people who love me for coming, not from the rude spiteful old women who seems to be the one YOU would all prefer to live next to.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Tom, I debated the word choice, but couldn't come up with a better one. Have a suggestion?
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
A joke that, in many other threads, would be considered funny but that was definitely inappropriate given the context of this one.

In other words, social awkwardness and ill-manners.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Tom, I debated the word choice, but couldn't come up with a better one. Have a suggestion?

Regardless of the semantics, if I made you uncomfortable I think its reasonable for me to apologize.

Apologies.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Its sad to see so many people painting the old woman as a paragone of virtue going out of her way to save the community from the rude, obnoxious Mormon missionaries. I happened to think that what I was doing, was a service that was of great value, so valuable it was more important then my personal comfort. I suppose I should glean my satisfaction from the Taiwanese people who love me for coming, not from the rude spiteful old women who seems to be the one YOU would all prefer to live next to.

I don't think she was a paragon of anything.

You felt that what you were doing was an important service. What you seem incapable or unwilling to understand is that not everyone agrees, and some consider it an unwanted intrusion. Clearly she considered it so, and thought her neighbors would as well.

Why does your opinion trump hers, in her own neighborhood? Because you are convinced you know better than she does?
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Tom, I debated the word choice, but couldn't come up with a better one. Have a suggestion?

Regardless of the semantics, if I made you uncomfortable I think its reasonable for me to apologize.

Apologies.

Already accepted. [Smile]
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Clearly she considered it so
I don't think that's clear. I still think this smacks of bigotry.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
Squicky, how would you react if she started calling people up and said, "I think you should know, there's a group of *whisper* black people */whisper* in the neighborhood. I just wanted you to know."
Errr...I don't see how that's relevant. I and BB have absolutely no evidence that she did anything of the sort.
quote:
I don't see the harm, but I do see her actions as likely indicative of a pretty nasty motive.
I don't agree with the word likely. It's possible. If we're using that as a determiner, why couldn't she have imputed a nasty motive to BB. He's already admitted to using some pretty questionable strategies when he was a missionary.

I know if a couple of stange people came around my neighborhood, knocking on doors, I wouldn't have any problem with my neighbors letting me know about it. If they were doing things like breaking into apartment complexes, I would very much expect to hear about it.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Errr...I don't see how that's relevant.
It's called an analogy, Squick: a situation similar to another used to draw comparisons.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Why is thinking that LDS missionaries aren't people you want to talk to necessarily bigotry? That sounds like it could also be a legitimate religious opinion. If, from you opinion, they're going around spreading a false message to the unwary, I don't see how letting people know about this is any different from the LDS missionarying.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Let me put it this way: We've received those warnings in two neighborhoods I've lived in. Both times they were from people who proved their bigotry about Mormons in more concrete ways.

I've never received such warnings from anyone else. Is that conclusive? No. But it's applicable experience.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
It's called an analogy, Squick: a situation similar to another used to draw comparisons.
Yes, but the analogy isn't relevant. We've no evidence she made remarks at all analogous like what you suggested.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Why is thinking that LDS missionaries aren't people you want to talk to necessarily bigotry? That sounds like it could also be a legitimate religious opinion. If, from you opinion, they're going around spreading a false message to the unwary, I don't see how letting people know about this is any different from the LDS missionarying.
Oh well, it's not surprise to me that you see the world differently than I do about this, too.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
It's called an analogy, Squick: a situation similar to another used to draw comparisons.
Yes, but the analogy isn't relevant. We've no evidence she made remarks at all analogous like what you suggested.
She told them Mormons were coming, according to the facts given.

All I added was the whisper.

It's totally analogous.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
It's possible. If we're using that as a determiner, why couldn't she have imputed a nasty motive to BB. He's already admitted to using some pretty questionable strategies when he was a missionary.
I find that comment quite slanderous, please explain what you mean, as well as why it would be "Questionable."

Also you claimed I had no evidence. Well the only evidence I had was the following:

1: When we knocked on her door, not only did she not want to hear what we had to say, she openly insulted us and treated us very rudely, which is why we left. As far as I can remember we didn't say anything negative to her.

2: She was definately saying more then simply "The Mormons are coming" in a calm composed voice, though she was slightly at a distance, she spoke long enough to convey a message clearly longer then that small statement. Her tone of voice was obviously upset.

3: When she ran into us again at the other end of the street she looked very suprised, gave us a mean look and tramped back home.

Perhaps she had had a bad experience with missionaries in the past, but I seriously doubt she was a very kind concerned person, she did not want to speak to us in any sort of civilized manner,
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
I seriously doubt she was a very kind concerned person, she did not want to speak to us in any sort of civilized manner...
I think it's perfectly possible that she was a kind, concerned person who didn't want to speak to you in any sort of civilized manner.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
She told them Mormons were coming, according to the facts given.

All I added was the whisper.

It's totally analogous.

Yes, all you added was the whisper. Oh and an entirely different cultural background.

Let's say I was talking to a british friend the other day and he told me how he hates fags. He must be a homophobe.

BB,
You recounted jumping over walls and using other tricks to get past security to get into apartment buildings. That's highly questionable behavior.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Whatever, Squick. It's clearly not common behavior in Taiwan to go warning neighbors about the Mormons.

It's freaking relevant and you know it. Is it a perfect fit? No.

Beyond that, we're only disagreeing about the word "likely" at this point, so this is a waste of time.
 
Posted by Shigosei (Member # 3831) on :
 
A guy at a church I attended a long time ago once told a story about Mormon missionaries who came to his door. After they left, he followed them around the apartment complex, pointing out things he disagreed with.

From his point of view, he was saving people from a dangerous cult. I'm sure the missionaries thought he was being extremely rude, though. Which he was--but from his point of view, it didn't really matter. My point being, I guess, that rudeness and higher causes that justify rudeness are all in the eye of the beholder.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
No, that's not what I was saying at all. You added a cultural context where at least the image of white people talking about "the blacks" and not wanting to be around "the blacks" is extremely common. If you used the same example without this association, say "The circus is in town." or even say "The Shriners are around." there would have been none of the undertones you tried to shoehorn in with your "analogy".
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:

BB,
You recounted jumping over walls and using other tricks to get past security to get into apartment buildings. That's highly questionable behavior.

I recounted that missionaries did those things. I never once said "I" did those things. I even went so far as to post later that "I didnt sneak into complexes" as well as my reasoning for not doing so.

Reading the entire thread CAREFULLY might do you good.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
No, that's not what I was saying at all. You added a cultural context where at least the image of white people talking about "the blacks" and not wanting to be around "the blacks" is extremely common. If you used the same example without this association, say "The circus is in town." or even say "The Shriners are around." there would have been none of the undertones you tried to shoehorn in with your "analogy".

I've SEEN that same reaction about Mormon's. It's fairly common, although the warning isn't.
 
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
 
quote:
I would imagine or she will whistle your post, as I believe it breaks the TOS, winkie or no
Wha? How is that a threat? You can't threaten someone with something that doesn't exist.

If you disagree with that, prepare yourself to be bludgeoned with my mind unicorn.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
I fail to see any moral distinction, if anyone is suggesting one, between 'wishing ill' and 'wishing violence' on someone else.

Both seem rooted in the same places, with the same results. Malice, spite, and angry, with the result of causing harm.

I have to agree with JT here. Is 'throws Internet rock' really a threat around here, especially when it's a joke.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
JT, I think there is a difference between something being a direct (and realistic) threat and being "threatening" language. The parts of the TOS I quoted were "not to post any material that is threatening, harrassing, or abusive," and I also said that I thought the post was "close to the line." Close enought that if it made rivka uncomfortable I think she could make a good argument for it crossing it. Since I never said it was a threat, you can keep your mind unicorn to yourself. [Razz]

Have your never experienced someone making completely unrealistic threats that you nevertheless considered threatening? I'm not saying BB was in this context, like I said it was pretty obviously a joke, if an ill-considered one.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Meh-- the old lady's a busybody. So are missionaries, really.

They should get along better. [Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
I keep telling myself I'm not going to post in this thread, but here I am again. [Razz] @ myself

A couple things:


 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Meh-- the old lady's a busybody. So are missionaries, really.

They should get along better. [Smile]

Scott wins the thread. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
When I was a missionary, there was an old lady that insisted on hanging out of her first floor window as we walked to the open market, and screaming, "Cultists, cultists, cultists!" at us.

It burned me at first. Like everyone else in the world, I don't like being called names. I felt defensive and embarassed...then I realized that other people on the street were embarassed, too. And it didn't have anything to do with our behavior...
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
I've been staying out of this thread because I've been rather disappointed with the turn its taken, but for some unclear reason I changed my mind and am going to make a few observations.

1. I think knocking on strangers doors for any reason is always at least a bit rude. It is an intrusion of my privacy and a theft of my time. I lead a very hectic life. When I am at home, I am nearly always either busily engaged in some activity or trying to squeeze in a precious few moments of relaxation. In either case, I do not welcome an interuption from strangers at the door no matter what they want. My time is valuable, even the small amount of time it takes me to walk to the door and answer it is valuable.

So in those respects, when missionaries come uninvited to someones door it is always at least a little bit rude. They can be friendly, respectful and courteous, but even then it doesn't alter the fact that knocking on strangers doors is basically rude behavior.

With that said, there are things which are important enough to be rude about. It isn't polite to correct peoples grammar or to tell them their behavior as a missionary was "questionable". It isn't exactly polite to report your neighbor to child protective services if you believe they are abusing their child. It isn't exactly polite to tell a friend they are too drunk to drive. But somethings are more important than being polite. At sometime, nearly all of us have done things which were rude because we thought it was important.

Bottom line, if you are going to come and knock on my door and interupt what I'm doing, you better have a darn good reason.

Most missionaries truly believe that the message they are trying to share is important enough to justify the basic rudeness that is inherent in telling people "my beliefs are better than yours". They would be well served in recognizing that, it would help them better understand the negative reactions they get from so many people.

2. As much as I dislike having strangers interupt me by coming to my door, I can't say its a major problem in my life. I can probably count the number of times its happened on my fingers and toes. It certainly isn't worth me getting a "no soliciting sign". This maybe because I'm not home during polite hours much so I can believe that its a bigger problem for some people. Even so, I can't see that its worth getting angry about. I have no problem with closing the door on strangers if I don't have the time or inclination to talk. I also have no problem hanging up on telephone solicitors. I don't swear at them or get angry. I simply say very quickly, "I'm not interested" and close the door or hang up.

In fact, most of the time if there are strangers at the door I just don't even open it. (A little something I learned from my missionary days). How many homes don't have a peep hole or a window where you can see whose at the door? If you don't want to talk with who ever is knocking, there is no law that says you have to open the door. There is no reason to hide, its your home and they are invading your privacy. What they are doing is rude and while there is no reason to get angry about it, you also don't have any obligation to give them any of your time. If they have something important to tell you (like they just hit your car or ran over your dog), they will most often leave a note.

3. I would strongly discourage anyone from ignoring a no soliciting sign. It may be different in some communities, but in areas where I have lived people who get "no soliciting" signs often have important reasons that they don't like to be interupted such as serious illness or disability. To assume that they are just grumps who don't like to be interupted, is too disrespectful

4. The old woman who marched down the street to warn her neighbors that the "Mormons were coming" seems fundamentally ruder than the missionaries to me. If she was doing it because she simply felt people didn't want to be interupted by the missionaries, she was pretty misguided because her warnings meant two interuptions rather than one. Additionally, her act presumes that the neighbors will have a more difficult time dispatching the missionaries than she did and that they will be less offended by an upset neighbor knocking at the door than a missionary. I simply can't see that warning people that someone else is going to come knock on their door, is important enough to justify the rudeness inherent in coming uninvited and upset to the door.

If on the other hand, the woman was acting under the belief that the missionaries were dangerous and she needed to warn the neighbors so they could protect themselves, what she did would have been even ruder and BBs offense is understandable/ Her belief that the missionaries were dangerous would most likely have been founded in bigotry.(I'm assuming that BB didn't doing anything specific at the door to indicate he was a danger.) It would have been a case of unjust prejudice. Accusing someone of being a danger to the neighborhood without concrete evidence is simply mean. Furthermore, it would have been fundamentally condescending to the neighbors. It would have been an act based on the premise that the neighbors weren't as capable as she at recognizing the dangers these missionaries present. Unless the neighbors normally viewed her as a source of wisdom and instruction, taking that duty on her self was rude.

I suspect that the woman's motives were even simpler than either of those two options. She was mostly angry and acting out of spite. The missionaries had made her angry and so she wanted to ensure that the rest of their evening was ruined. I doubt she even thought about what she was doing at any rational level. She was angry so she did the only thing she could think of to get back at the missionaries. It may be ingracious of me to assume that, but in my mind it is the hypothesis that best fits BBs description of her behavior.

[ October 03, 2006, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
The reason I posted this video in the first place was two fold. First, I simply thought it was really funny. But second, I was trying to get a better understanding of why it was so funny and whether people who had only been on one side of the door would find it as funny as those of us who at one time or another been on both sides of the door.

One of the things I found funny about the video is that people were reacting just the same to the question "Do you want to die as a martyr?" as they did to superficial much more benign questions I asked as a missionary. rivka mentioned that it doesn't matter to her whether its Mormon's, of JW's, or Baptists (or maybe even vacuum cleaner saleman) who come to the door. Is this sketch funny because it takes that idea to such an obsurd extreme or because deep down most people don't see much difference between someone knocking on the door to ask if you'd like to become a terrorist and someone knocking on the door to ask you to join their church.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
It would have been an act based on the premise that the neighbors weren't as capable as she at recognizing the dangers these missionaries present.
Isn't that the basic premise behind missionary work, though?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
I thought it was funny just because of the sheer difference between message and presentation. You always hear in the news about terrorist propagandha and its litered with strongly emotional presentation, and hyperbolic rhetoric.

To use the calm Mormon approach to the entire message was so paradoxical it seemed like something Monty Python would do.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7832445322987396479&q=Iraq+subtitles&hl=en
Oh this video too! ^^

[Big Grin]
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
I've never quite understood the decision to continue on past a "no solictation" (or other "please do not bother me") indication on the grounds that in the past, anecdotes have shown that some people are eventually grateful for this point having been forced. Because wouldn't the same reasoning apply when the person says "no, thank you" anyway? Shouldn't you keep pushing then, for exactly the same reasons: i.e., the person might eventually be glad you did and the message is important enough to do it?

What is the difference in rationale?
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I thought it was funny just because of the sheer difference between message and presentation. You always hear in the news about terrorist propagandha and its litered with strongly emotional presentation, and hyperbolic rhetoric.

To use the calm Mormon approach to the entire message was so paradoxical it seemed like something Monty Python would do.

I laughed for exactly the same reasons. And I have a particular fondness for LDS missionaries (despite not wanting my private life disturbed, odd as it may be [Smile] ). When I'm out & about in public and I see the familiar white shirt/darktie/black pants/namebadge, I will wave and say "hi," stopping to talk if I can.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
I've never quite understood the decision to continue on past a "no solictation" (or other "please do not bother me") indication on the grounds that in the past, anecdotes have shown that some people are eventually grateful for this point having been forced. Because wouldn't the same reasoning apply when the person says "no, thank you" anyway? Shouldn't you keep pushing then, for exactly the same reasons: i.e., the person might eventually be glad you did and the message is important enough to do it?

What is the difference in rationale?

If you convinced 2 people that the Mormons were rude and were not worth listening to for every 1 that embraced the truth you brought to them, you could argue that ratio is not worth it.

Realistically though you would probably end up turning off 1000 people for every 1 you found.

Church statistics show that missionaries have to contact about 1000 people for every baptism.

Member referrals are a different story, statistics peg it at about 1 in 3 referrals will be baptized. Guess it shows avoiding "No Soliciting" signs would ultimately be more beneficial for all involved. The missionaries don't waste time, people are not bothered, and its not as if people with those signs don't make friends occasionally with members who can present the gospel more delecately and catered to their specific needs when appropriate.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
It would have been an act based on the premise that the neighbors weren't as capable as she at recognizing the dangers these missionaries present.
Isn't that the basic premise behind missionary work, though?
Perhaps it is. You will note that I started by agreeing that missionary work was at its base rude. I would add that presuming that you know something other people don't know and that you are more capable of recognizing truth than other people are not the same thing. At the basis of missionary work lies the presumption that if people are presented with the truths you believe to have, they are capable of recognizing these truths.

I suppose its possible that this woman felt she had information about the Mormons that she needed to share with her neighbors, but quite honestly I don't think that explanation matches BBs description of her behavior very well. BBs description suggests that her goal was to prevent the missionaries from sharing their message with these people. Wishing to disuade people from hearing a message and wishing to disuade people from embracing that message are fundamentally different. If she had simply desired to disuade her neighbors from converting, she would have been more effective waiting to see if any of them invited the missionaries for a 2nd visit and then sharing her concerns with them rather than the whole neighborhood. The only reasons I can come up with for why she might wish to disuade people from even listening to the missionaries are either an arrogant belief these people are less able than she to recognize falsehood or a desire to spite the missionaries. Please let me know if you have another explanation that I haven't considered.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
That's not what I'm asking, though. (But I appreciate the response, BlackBlade! It's interesting stuff. [Smile] )

I'm asking about those missionaries who find the "but so-and-so was grateful in the end, and he became one of the best investigators we've ever seen" stories (in the Ensign, maybe? Was there a particular story that sparked this anecdote I hear about pretty frequently?) to be reason to ignore posted signs. If that is a good reason to ignore a sign, isn't it just as good a reason to ignore or press past a spoken "no, thank you"?

[edited for spelling]
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
If that is a good reason to ignore a sign, isn't it just as good a reason to ignore or press past a spoken "no, thank you"?

I'm probably going to get jumped on again - but no good missionary ever gives up.

But since this thread is full of attacks, I'd like to mention that a good missionary needs a great deal of tact to do any sort of proselyting. And, a sign is not really the same thing as a spoken "no, thank you."

Also, I do agree in large part with the recent posts by Rabbit. I'm not an over-zealous proselyting missionary, and that has never been a good description of me. I personally believe that the best approach to missionary work is through friendship and referrals.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
No, that's not what I was saying at all. You added a cultural context where at least the image of white people talking about "the blacks" and not wanting to be around "the blacks" is extremely common. If you used the same example without this association, say "The circus is in town." or even say "The Shriners are around." there would have been none of the undertones you tried to shoehorn in with your "analogy".

I've SEEN that same reaction about Mormon's. It's fairly common, although the warning isn't.
Isn't it possible that that sort of reaction (maybe not this particular one, though) has more to do with...I don't know, I guess the first thing that comes to my mind is a couple of kids who accosted me as I was crossing the street on my way home from school, who proceeded to invite themselves to my apartment to sell me magazines. Or those people who always yell at you in the mall so that you can come see their amazing nail care products. I just don't automatically think "bigotry."

-pH
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
I'm probably going to get jumped on again - but no good missionary ever gives up.

I will do my level best not to do so. *smile

quote:
And, a sign is not really the same thing as a spoken "no, thank you."
Why not? (Honest question. [Smile] ) What is the difference, and why is that the tipping point for you -- if it is?
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
Edited until I think about it some more. Let's just say that I don't think you are being fair about the internet rock to Blackblade, Rivka.

Megan,

In all my time dealing with BlackBlade, I have found him to be kind, fair, and honest, someone who never says anything malicious. This is one of the reasons why it's hard for me to understand why you or anyone else could possibly think that he seriously wanted to harm the old lady versus just being aggravated and feeling like throwing a rock.

Beyond Blackblade specifically, generally speaking, to me, feeling like doing something, and wanting to do something are two completely different things. Perhaps this is where the misunderstanding exists.

[ October 04, 2006, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: Storm Saxon ]
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
Let me say, too, that I think that anger is one of the fundamental 'sins', so to speak, and that it rarely helps a situation. Inasmuch as I get angry frequently, it is my little cross to bear.

That said, it is one of those things like gluttony or avarice, pride or greed, that, while they shouldn't be encouraged, are part of being human and that everyone engages in in one form or another.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
No good missionary ever gives up
Well-- I disagree. No missionary ever gives up HOPING. But good missionaries learn to use their time more wisely in order to find and teach those who are willing to hear the gospel.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Why isn't an explicit sign saying, "I do not want any solicitors or proseltizers calling on my home, please," any different at all from a spoken, "No, thank you," gnixing?

They're exactly the same message.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
My sympathy isn't with her. It was a nasty thing to do, and she did it out of spite. If she's worried about the neighbors being disturbed, she disturbed them just as much.

I hate the bash-on-missionaries threads. *scowl* I can't believe you're defending someone who most likely acted out of spite. That's awful.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Give her the benefit of the doubt, Kat. It's not important enough to get defensive about.

In my opinion.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
I don't feel like I'm bashing on missionaries. If I'm coming off that way, I apologize; I certainly don't intend to.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Oh, I'm not upset now. I can definitely see being upset at the time. I'm actually impressed with the way the missionaries handled it. I got so mad tracting and so frustrated from holding it all in a couple of times that the spirit was gone completely and we had to go and do something else.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
she did it out of spite.

I understand why you might assume this, but I cannot see how you could POSSIBLY actually know it to be true.

And I don't think I'm bashing anyone.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
My read was not analogous to "there are black people in the neighberhood" so much as it was "there are stranger who are going to come to your door" in the neighborhood.

Possibly the difference between being on the outside of the missionary thing. When I was going door to door during elections (very uncomfortable for me - I hate phoning friends as I am sure I will interrupt them in the middle of something important), I would not have assumed bigotry as a motive in this kind of action.
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
Maybe I'm more insensitive than other Mormons, but I don't detect any bashing here, either.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Oh, good point, kmb. I did the door-to-door thing for about a week for CalPIRG about 15 years ago. And certainly I was frustrated when someone chose not to answer the door (and in one neighborhood I think someone actually was calling around and letting the neighbors know we were in the area), but I didn't think it was in any way unreasonable. (I just wished I hadn't had to climb all the stairs to their front door to find that out. [Wink] They had me working in a very hilly part of Studio City.)
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Why isn't an explicit sign saying, "I do not want any solicitors or proseltizers calling on my home, please," any different at all from a spoken, "No, thank you," gnixing?

They're exactly the same message.

Because in the first case they're prejudging a large group of people in which you might or might not belong (depending on definitions of solicitation or proselytesation) and in the second they are postjudging you specifically.

In the first case they are basing their potential (you have to infer what they mean) rejection of you on very little information. In the second they are basing their more explicit rejection on significanlty more information.

In truth the problem persists further. Consider the sad case of Mr. Collins and Elizabeth Bennett. The challenge of communication is we always have to infer the other person's intent via indirect observations. However, the more direct the observation (posted sign vs. verbal lashing) the more easy the inferrence is to make.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:

In the first case they are basing their potential (you have to infer what they mean) rejection of you on very little information. In the second they are basing their more explicit rejection on significanlty more information.

The "significantly more information" being what, exactly? Your shining face?

[Confused]

Is this sometimes/often predicated on the belief that if someone can see your face or hear the sincerity in your voice, God will be able to work through it to soften their hearts? (honst question -- I can't make sense of it, but I am trying. [Smile] )

---

Edited to add: I write the above because it suddenly occurs to me that there might be a religiously based level of reasoning here to which I'd never been exposed, and that might explain why it doesn't make sense to me.

For context: I was raised Roman Catholic, a non-prostylizing faith for the most part (at least, not in the US, as opposed to charity and missionary work in other countries, which did go on but at a sort of remove from everyday RC life -- at least in my experience). There was a stronger sense of shame in religion for me, which may or may not have been institutionally-driven. But certainly I expected that if others were brought to Catholicism, it would be unlikely to be through my shining holiness -- rather, it would more likely be in spite of my rather grave sinliness.

That is, we tried to live our lives in Christ-like ways in my family, but there was always this strong awareness of how difficult it was not to fall into (or be tainted by) the world. It would have never occurred to me that someone might be inspired to God by seeing my face (if that is part of what is going on here, that is).

[ October 04, 2006, 01:40 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
Now I'm really worried about coming off as mouthy or disrespectful. Upon rereading the above (which I will gladly edit if asked [or -- of course! -- defer to Papa Moose's wise editing], but I don't want to duck responsibility for writing), I see it could come off that way.

Honestly, though, this was a light-bulb moment for me (even if it turns out not to be a true assessment). I think my underlying and unexamined assumptions about organized religion in general were highly limiting with regards to many other people's possible perspectives.

I can see where, if one were to believe that one might serve as God's tool only if one were to have direct face-to-face contact, then ignoring a sign (no matter how explicit) might be a requirement of one's faith. I still don't see why that would be the line of demarcation, though (i.e., maybe God would need the person to hear you not just for an introductory 30 seconds, but for a longer period of time? Five, ten minutes?), but I think I can understand a bit of where my blanket confusion came from.

---

Of course, one could just defer to the policies of the LDS Church and/or a General Authority: i.e., if there was a policy of "introduce yourselves and make the offer, but if turned down to your face, move on." But that isn't what was confusing me -- it was confusing when someone would say something like "but I feel the need to do this, just because it might eventually make some person look back and be grateful for being saved." If that's the reason for pushing on, how do you know when to stop? What isn't justified, and why at that point instead of some other? [Confused]
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
(By the way, I whistled on myself above, just to let PJ know he might need to get janitorial. I only write this to prevent him from getting a slew of "whistle post" messages to deal with. [Smile] )
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
CT-

No, I wasn't even being specifically religious. I just meant, when I come to the door, I don't know if that person would consider me to be included in the group of people they don't want knocking on his/her door. Say I'm a girl scout selling cookies; does this person consider me a solicitor? It's hard for me to know (I have to infer what this person meant when they posted this sign). Once I knock on the door and they see who I am (by my uniform, by my demeanor, by whatever means is available) they can more explicitly tell me whether I belong in the group they don't want knocking. (Of course, by then it's too late; the rudeness has either occured or it hasn't).

I could persist though; I can infer (as does Mr. Collins in P&P) that the things they say don't indicate their true intent (either because they are dissembling, or because they don't have sufficient information). So I press on. I give more information. "Oh, I didn't realize you were actually my long-lost neice dressed up in her girl scout uniform. I thought you were a cookie seller and hence someone I didn't want to talk to. Now that I know, why don't you come right in." However, as I expose more and more information about myself it because more and more difficult to infer intent incorrectly (as Eliza eventually demonstrates to Mr. Collins chagrin). The question of tact is really one of how well you are able to infer someone's true intent from limited information.

This is why the fact that there is (at least in gnixing's mission) no correlation between "No soliciting" signs and rejection of missionaries is significant. If the information that this person posted a sign saying "No Solicitors" truly has no correlation with their intended actions towards missionaries, than missionaries should knock those doors.*

*Note, I find the assertion that there really is no correlation difficult to swallow; when I was a missionary I would respect any such sign I came across. I would also, when tracting a large apartment building, only go to those apartments that buzzed me in. I would go to that specific apartment, knock, and if they turned me away, return to the buzzers and continue down the list until someone else let me in.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
Hey, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt, SenojRetep. I was sweating bullets there for a few minutes. *smile

And thanks.

I have to set the computer aside, but I will come back to the conversation later after work.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
If that's the reason for pushing on, how do you know when to stop? What isn't justified, and why at that point instead of some other?

And I think that's the central conundrum. I met missionaries all over the map; some who infered someone wasn't interested because of their dress or their zip code. Others who would persist through multiple rejections. Some, like gnixing, who believe a good missionary never gives up. I don't know that there is an answer; it has to do with, individually, how well do you think you can infer a person's true intentions from what you know and what they've said.
 
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
 
quote:
(By the way, I whistled on myself above, just to let PJ know he might need to get janitorial. I only write this to prevent him from getting a slew of "whistle post" messages to deal with. [Smile] .
That will definitely win the lifetime achievement award for 'least offensive post to ever be whistled'.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
Because in the first case they're prejudging a large group of people in which you might or might not belong (depending on definitions of solicitation or proselytesation) and in the second they are postjudging you specifically.

In the first case they are basing their potential (you have to infer what they mean) rejection of you on very little information. In the second they are basing their more explicit rejection on significanlty more information.

I don't see how there needs to be any judging at all. If a person doesn't want strangers coming to the door trying to sell him something, it can totally be about them and not about you. It's like a "Do not disturb" sign on a hotel room. It's all about the people inside.

Knocking on someone's door, interupting whatever it is they are doing is an intrusion. Not wanting strangers to intrude on their lives in this manner or bother them unexpectedly does not neccessarily mean that they are judging the strangers in any way. There's not some base state where anyone has the right to intrude on people whenever they want that them putting up signs is deviating from.

I don't want to be disturbed by people selling Amway. That doesn't mean that I think that they are bad people, or neccesarily that I even don't want to buy what they are selling, but rather that I don't feel that the opportunity they are offerring is worth the cost of them bothering me.

Currently, I'm being pestered by a pair of JWs who show up about once of twice a month. Now I don't have a problem talking to missionaries - I like people even if I'm not interested in what they are selling - but I work one the second floor of my house till about 5 or 6 pm. Running downstairs to answer the door is a significant distraction and I generally work best when I can tunnel into it. I don't have a problem with this if the payoff is worth it. Say, I'm getting a package delivered that I ordered or a friend who I want to see is stopping by. But, people wanting to sell me something isn't worth it. So, I tell them each time that I work from these hours but that I'd be happy to talk to them afterwards. But they keep coming back around 2 or 3 pm. And, when I tell them that I'm in the middle of work, the one keeps trying to engage me in conversation so that I have to close the door on him in mid-sentence (which, incidentally, is another imposition by him).

If I put up a sign saying that I don't want to be disturbed during those hours, I'm not prejudging the people who show up then. I'm saying I don't want to be disturbed during those hours. I'm putting up a stronger ward on my privacy and right not to be intruded on than the social convention already exists. And I'd do it because of me, because of what I want, because I have an existence separate from that of the strangers who come to my door.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
I don't see how missionaries are any different from any other sort of solicitor. They're all trying to sell you something, be it a vaccuum or a knife set or a religion. And while I realize that missionaries do think that people probably want to hear their message deep down, or that they NEED to hear the message...a lot of people really don't want to be bothered. I mean, would you buy a vaccuum from a vaccuum salesman who wouldn't go away? I wouldn't.

-pH
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Dag,
The problem with your analogy is that your invalidly inserting your cultural context.

You played the analogy as being just about the words: The _______ are coming. And then, to argue that the person uttering this statement is a bigot, you filled in a bigotted context.

But, as I pointed out, there are tons on things that can be put in there in which there is no bigotry.

The Girl Scouts are coming.
The annoying, door-to-door salesmen are coming.
The people we've all been waiting for are coming.
The KKK are coming.
The British are coming.

These convey a whole range of meaning and expectation, but none of them necessarily rely on bigotry. You argued your conclusion by your choice of context. It's only if you start out assuming that the old woman was a bigot that drawing an analogy to another bigot as opposed to any of the types of statements I mentioned above makes sense.

And then you try to apply your context only two examples from living in a society with a confirmed anti-LDS bigotry to a completely different cultural setting that didn't have much experience with the LDS. That sounds almost like prejudice to me.

You don't know this woman. You don't even know the surrounding culture. And one thing we do know is that from BB's own posts (and BB I didn't interpret "I didn't like breaking into apartment complexes." as saying you didn't do it, so sorry about that, but then again, you don't really seem to have a problem with your fellows doing it), that the LDS missionaries were sneaking into apartment complexes. If I didn't know that much about a group but did know that they did things like that, I'd be wary when they came to my door and try to get them to leave immediately and I would call around to my neighbors to let them know that they were around and possibly about how I knew they have a tendency to sneak and possibly break into places.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
quote:
possibly break into places.
Oh please. [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Errr...I'm an old woman who lives in Taiwan and doesn't know that much about this group of foreigners, but I do know that they do jump over walls, sneak pass security guards, and use other tricks to get past security. How do I know that they don't also pick locks?

For that matter, translate what BB did into a different religious context and he basically used a voodoo doll against the guard.

If you do bad things, you can't be too suprised when people are afraid you might do even worse things.

---

edit: Not really attached to the whole "breaking in" thing, but I was thinking, when you engage someone in conversation in our culture, there are certain assumed obligations. I touched on this above when I mentioned that I have to close the door on the one JW missionary to escape from conversation even after I've made it clear that I wanted it to end. He's making an imposition on me by setting up a situation where I need to break social convention to return to work and I feel an attendent twinge on my conscience.

Now, I don't know much at all about Taiwanese culture, but I do know enough about about Chinese and Japanese culture to know that in many instances they have stronger social conventions and obligations. I would not be suprised if in Taiwanese culture strangers going from door to door selling things is not regarded in the same way as it is here and that there is significantly more involved, cultural conscience-wise in engaging them in conversation and in breaking off that conversation.

[ October 04, 2006, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Voodoo doll? Is that your way of invoking prejudice against Carribean religions to bolster your point?
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
The Girl Scouts are coming.
Are you contending someone would get dressed and proceed to walk around the neighborhood to warn neighbors that the Girl Scouts are coming?

It's the act taken together: she was annoyed w/ BB and she then seriously inconvenienced herself to warn people about him.

This was a warning. Warning implies negative thoughts in general. If she were merely worried about people being disturbed, which is the non-content-based interpretation of her actions, she wouldn't have disturbed people.

Do I know for sure? No. But I do know that a group that is maligned (and in the society in question, not just ours) by bigoted beliefs motivated a woman to go warn her neighbors.

It still strikes me as likely motivated by bigotry.

I've essentially said so twice prior to this in the thread. The second was in response to an assertion that this was clearly about being annoyed by solicitors. I couched my response to this certainty in opinion and conditional language.

The first time, I also couched it in terms of my opinion and as a conditional.

If you don't buy the analogy, that's fine. But try to use it to understand, based on MY experiences, why it would strike ME in that fashion and why I don't accept unconditional statements declaring that there was definitely no bad motive there.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
There's also the little fact that Blackblade has shown himself to be a fairly rational person not prone to jumping to conclusions and, as he was there and saw the old woman's body language, etc, this predisposes me to believe him.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Dag,
quote:
If she were merely worried about people being disturbed, which is the non-content-based interpretation of her actions, she wouldn't have disturbed people.
You don't know this. You have no basis of knowing this, not knowing the woman, her connection to the community, or the surrounding culture. And not only that, this is exactly the sort of thing you jump all over other people about when the situations are reversed. I don't accept that you can read this woman's mind.

You're the one who brought a woman one the phone talking about how blacks people are coming as a valid analogy, because, after all, all you added was the whisper. If I change what she says to "The Girl Scouts are coming." I haven't changed anything, according to your defense, but suddenly the analogy becomes invalid? That's why it's an invlaid analogy and an invlaid defense of the analogy.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Except that warning people that the Girls Scouts are coming makes no sense at all.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Nor does saying that this situation is a good analogy to someone warning people that black people are coming because all Dag changed was adding a whisper. [edit]If I keep the same example, making only the same type of change Dag did, and it becomes a bad analogy, this defense doesn't hold up.

Additionally, what the heck does this mean:
quote:
Is that your way of invoking prejudice against Carribean religions to bolster your point?
See, I drew an analogy to another religion where people call down divine power to control other people. I don't see how this is invoking prejudice at all.[/edit]
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Dag's analogy makes sense and has historical precedent. Yours does/has neither.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
But, according to Dag's statements, I didn't change anything at all from his analogy. How could the defense of "I didn't change anything." be valid in his case if it's not valid in mine?

edit: My analogy isn't meant to make sense. It's to point out the flaws in Dag's analogy and defense by applying the same rules and not fitting. There's even a name for doing this.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:

You don't know this woman. You don't even know the surrounding culture. And one thing we do know is that from BB's own posts (and BB I didn't interpret "I didn't like breaking into apartment complexes."

as saying you didn't do it, so sorry about that, but then again, you don't really seem to have a problem with your fellows doing it), that the LDS missionaries were sneaking into apartment complexes.

I can't find the comment I made for some reason but I agree it might have been ambiguous.

I never snuck into apartment complexes. I had companions that had done so and I refused to do so when they worked with me. I personally felt that the possibility of the security guard getting in trouble or even fired and therefore giving him a negative impression of the church was too large a price to pay for the CHANCE somebody in the complex would listen to us.

Chance dicated that I very likely could run into them while on the street.

I didn't say this before but I will now. I did argue with missionaries that bragged about sneaking into complexes and finding people interested in their messages. I explained why I didnt think it was a good idea. I certainly didnt condemn them for doing their work the way they elected to do so, that was not my role as a missionary.

Interestingly enough, there was one evening where I decided to tract the apartment complex that I lived in. I figured since I could call it visiting my neighbors it would be ok. I ran into a man who did not even turn around to face us from his chair he just waved his hand at us telling us to go away. By the time we reached the people next door he suddenly came out of his apartment VERY angry. He yelled at us while we were speaking to his neighbors and we had to politely end the conversation with his neighbors. He started screaming at us (I was more suprised that he was so aggressive now, but seemingly calm when he told us to go away at his own apt).

We explained that we lived here and were merely getting to know everybody in the complex and explaining alittle bit about ourselves. He didnt accept that and he said he was getting the security guard. We continued tracting while he got him and it took them sometime to locate exactly where we were. Eventually he found us and the man started yelling at us again. He marched up to us far ahead of the security guard and said "GET OUT!" I firmly explained to him that he had absolutely NO authority over this complex and that we did not answer to him.

I turned to the security guard and he calmly explained that he felt it was in the tenants best interests that we not proselyte there, he liked us alot. Management loves missionaries as they always pay their rent on time. Instead of being obnoxious and appealing to management I agreed with the security guard that it would be too difficult to find out from every land lord what their policy was on soliciting. So we dicontinued tracting, and did not tract there.

I recount the story merely to demonstrate that thats how I did business as a missionary. I had every respect for authority. It was a learning process for me sure, initially as a missionary sometimes I didnt know when to just stop and I offended people.

Mormons still joke "The Lord MUST be guiding the church, otherwise the missionaries would have surely ruined it by now"

quote:

If I didn't know that much about a group but did know that they did things like that, I'd be wary when they came to my door and try to get them to leave immediately and I would call around to my neighbors to let them know that they were around and possibly about how I knew they have a tendency to sneak and possibly break into places.

The average Taiwanese person when asked what they know about missionaries says the following,

"They wear white shirts and ties, they bike around everywhere all the time, and they are very hard workers"

I asked that question of MANY MANY people, not ONCE did they respond with "They illegally sneak into housing complexes and flout the law whenever they think they can make a convert!"

I'd pay money if you could come up with a Taiwanese person who would even mention missionaries as similar to thieves without being coached to do so.

I said this earlier and Ill say it again, property laws in Taiwans are NOT like the US. Most of it is played by ear.

There are gated communities, apt complexes, high rise apartments. Some of them have security guards some do not. Some have a security guard station but no guard employed.

It might sound like boasting but I feel like I played it by ear pretty well.


edit:
Mr S: If you wish to know how the Taiwanese sell their wares door to door its done thusly:

A man/woman walks up and down the streets yelling out "BAKED BREAD! COME GET YOUR BAKED BREAD!" or "POTTERY REPAIR, I FIX POTTERY!" There are no noise ordinances.

For people running for election they hire trucks with loud speaker systems to go up and down the street blasting out campaign slogans as well as their name so people know who they are.

The garbage is not picked up at a set time on a set day. It goes down the street blasting a song that sounds more like what an ice cream truck would play when it advertises to children. Most new missionaries are always dissapointed when they hear the song, want to go outside to get some and have to be told its just the garbage.

You keep equating missionaries sneaking into a complex when the guard is in say the crapper, and kicking down somebodies door to proselyte with them.

Robbery and Theft are NOT at the levels in Taiwan that they are here. Violent theft is even lower. I have never heard of a missionary breaking into somebodies house to proselyte, not ever.

[ October 04, 2006, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
You're the one who brought a woman one the phone talking about how blacks people are coming as a valid analogy, because, after all, all you added was the whisper. If I change what she says to "The Girl Scouts are coming." I haven't changed anything, according to your defense, but suddenly the analogy becomes invalid? That's why it's an invlaid analogy and an invlaid defense of the analogy.
quote:
Nor does saying that this situation is a good analogy to someone warning people that black people are coming because all Dag changed was adding a whisper.
Squicky, do you honestly believe that my full and complete defense of this analogy is that I only added the whisper?

If you don't, cut the games and stop misrepresenting me.

If you do, this is almost pointless necause I despair of you ever reading anything I say and understanding what it means.

You complained that I had changed the cultural context with my analogy. You then said that substituting any of X nouns would be the exact same thing.

What you are ignoring - and this point I have no idea why - is that I selected the cultural context precisely because I saw it to be parallel.

Exact? No. Parallel. A - nal - a - gous.

The Girl Scouts are a bad analogy BECAUSE there isn't a consistent pattern of biogotry against them. I've listed lots of indications as to why I thought the cultural contexts were close enough to be analogous.

For you, at this stage in the thread, to be pretending - deliberately or otherwise, neither is very flattering - that my "defense" consists solely of having added the whisper and nothing else is, quite frankly, either a lie or an egregious misreading unworthy of your intellectual capacity.

Edit: The "whisper" comment was made in response to you saying "We've no evidence she made remarks at all analogous like what you suggested."

I thought you meant physically analogous. Had you mentioned the cultural context, I would have raised the cultural analogies.

As I did later.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
I personally felt that the possibility of the security guard getting in trouble or even fired and therefore giving him a negative impression of the church was too large a price to pay for the CHANCE somebody in the complex would listen to us.
I'm not sure you understand the entirety of the objection to sneaking into places that are set up with security to keep you out. It's not just that you (this you and the others are general and not specific) were breaking the law (which, you've said they were not) or that you might get someone in trouble. Think about why that person would have gotten in trouble. Would you pick a lock to get in somewhere if it probably wasn't breaking the law and wouldn't get someone in trouble? How is this bypassing of security different from that?
quote:
I'd pay money if you could come up with a Taiwanese person who would even mention missionaries as similar to thieves without being coached to do so.
It sounds to me like you just told a story about the guy in your apartment that was a pretty good bet for this.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Now you're assuming you know what the man in the aparment was mad about? You're rejecting any chance that it was bigotry? Instead you're projecting. House of cards, Squicky. You're not making any sense. The only way what you say does make sense is if you deliberately blind yourself to what everyone else is saying.
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
"I don't see how missionaries are any different from any other sort of solicitor. They're all trying to sell you something, be it a vaccuum or a knife set or a religion."

No. That distorts the word "sell" out of all usefulness. It practically transforms it to a figure of speech. Missionaries are promoting something, but they do not want you to buy anything from them, unless you also want to distort the word "buy".
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Dag,
But you don't know anything about the culture there, correct? Maybe I'm wrong and you've got extensive experience with Taiwanese culture. If you're not, how can you say with any degree of accuracy whether the cultural context was parallel or not.

edit:
quote:
The Girl Scouts are a bad analogy BECAUSE there isn't a consistent pattern of biogotry against them.
This is why your analogy is a poor one. You start out assuming bigotry to use the analogy to demonstrate that there was bigotry. It's circular reasoning.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
It sounds to me like you just told a story about the guy in your apartment that was a pretty good bet for this.
I LIVED in the complex, the man knew this.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
I saw no indication of that in your story, that he knew this.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
"We explained that we lived here and were merely getting to know everybody in the complex and explaining alittle bit about ourselves."

Hows that?

edit: To avoid confusion I mean "knew" as in, by the end of the events that evening he KNEW we lived there. If you asked him about me NOW he would have to concede that he was advised that I lived at the complex.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Yeah, you told him that. If he didn't know that you lived there beforehand, why should he believe you at that point?

---

edit in reponse to your edit: He knew after these events then, correct? Not before. And he tried to kick you out of he complex, very possibly because he thought you didn't belong there.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
Yeah, you told him that. If he didn't know that you lived there beforehand, why should he believe you at that point?

Um the security guard conversed with us in his presence?
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
But you don't know anything about the culture there, correct? Maybe I'm wrong and you've got extensive experience with Taiwanese culture. If you're not, how can you say with any degree of accuracy whether the cultural context was parallel or not.
Yes, Squicky, you are wrong. Not that I have extensive experience, but I have some firsthand accounts. The only missionary I've met in real life and spoken to outside of this forum happened to serve his mission in Taiwan. Just like here, there's not anti-Mormon signs up on every street corner. Rather, there are a sizeable minority of Christians (about 5% of the population are Christians) who are very hostile and who express that hostility in common, bigoted ways. This attitude has been picked up by some non-Christians.

His specific comment related the types of bigotry to what he faces here in the states - not everyday, but virulent when it arises.

quote:
This is why your analogy is a poor one. You start out assuming bigotry to use the analogy to demonstrate that there was bigotry. It's circular reasoning.
No it's not. I used the analogy to move from the general known fact ("Mormons are a group who face significant amounts of prejudice and bigotry") to a specific fact ("Therefore, it is likely that this act was motivated by bigotry.")
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Silent E:
"I don't see how missionaries are any different from any other sort of solicitor. They're all trying to sell you something, be it a vaccuum or a knife set or a religion."

No. That distorts the word "sell" out of all usefulness. It practically transforms it to a figure of speech. Missionaries are promoting something, but they do not want you to buy anything from them, unless you also want to distort the word "buy".

It doesn't distort the word "sell," at all. You're trying to sell an idea. People do that all the time. When you go to a job interview, you're trying to sell your skills and abilities.

You know the phrase, "I don't buy it?" In other words, someone didn't give you a good enough sales pitch for an idea, so you aren't willing to believe it or do whatever it was that they were trying to get you to do.

Selling and buying doesn't necessarily involve money.

-pH
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Yes, but unless the security guard was a time traveler, he didn't know you lived there when he initially had a problem with you being there, right?

edit: And in your story, the time when you were telling him that you lived in the complex was prior to you both going to the security guard?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
So when he did know, he had so much momentum he couldn't stop himself? Squicky, you have to know you're grasping at straws.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I don't see how there needs to be any judging at all. If a person doesn't want strangers coming to the door trying to sell him something, it can totally be about them and not about you. It's like a "Do not disturb" sign on a hotel room. It's all about the people inside.[/QB]

Since this was from my post, I'll answer it even though the discussion has moved on.

The fact that it's all about the people inside is exactly what makes it so difficult. Because that "Do Not Disturb" sign is a pretty thin point from which to infer their intent. Say I know the hotel building is about to get bombed; should I respect the hypothetical "Do Not Disturb" sign? or should I infer that it doesn't apply to me? I can't know exactly who and what they don't want to be disturbed by, and, more importantly, whether I belong in that group or not, until I knock and ask (and not even then, really, because our ability to communicate intent is limited, imperfect and time-consuming). Sure, I can infer that I'm included in the group, and the more explicit the sign the more likely I am to infer correctly (if it were to say, for instance, "Do Not Disturb even in the event of the building about to be bombed"), but our ability to infer another's desire and intent can never be perfect, meaning we will unavoidably be rude and tactless (because incorrect inference is rude, regardless of which way it goes. Let's say I think "Do Not Disturb" does apply, despite the bomb in the building. Really they would have liked to have been warned rather than being blown up. I'd say that's pretty rude, too.)

So (perhaps more concisely) "rude" means disregarding someone's wishes or intentions. However, ascertaining someone's wishes or intentions is an imperfect process. And saying, "just do what they say" is no defense, because what they say is necessarily a limited and imperfect representation of what they want. It's not enough to do what they say, you have to do what they want, which might not even be clear to them.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
The only missionary I've met in real life and spoken to outside of this forum happened to serve his mission in Taiwan. Just like here, there's not anti-Mormon signs up on every street corner. Rather, there are a sizeable minority of Christians (about 5% of the population are Christians) who are very hostile and who express that hostility in common, bigoted ways. This attitude has been picked up by some non-Christians.

His specific comment related the types of bigotry to what he faces here in the states - not everyday, but virulent when it arises.

Errr...5% are Christians? Are the entire 5% bigots? If I remember correctly, you estimate a low percentage of Christians here are bigots? Maybe 10%? 10% of 5% would be .5% of the population. Let's say they effect twice their number. 1% of the population.

Now, I haven't done a Baysian analysis is a couple of years, but even so, I'm thinking that given a 1% (heck, let's make it 5%) prior probability, saying that this woman was likely a bigot based on actions that have plenty of other possibilities (many of which you wouldn't even know about because of how little you know of the culture) is statistically unsound.

And that's assuming that the missionary you talked to was recalling things accurately. I think I could come up with at least a couple of instances where Christians in general and LDS specifically tend towards having a persecution complex.

edit: And for that matter

[ October 04, 2006, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
Yes, but unless the security guard was a time traveler, he didn't know you lived there when he initially had a problem with you being there, right?

edit: And in your story, the time when you were telling him that you lived in the complex was prior to you both going to the security guard?

I made an edit a post or two ago addressing my use of the word "knew" in that mans regard.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
The only missionary I've met in real life and spoken to outside of this forum happened to serve his mission in Taiwan. Just like here, there's not anti-Mormon signs up on every street corner. Rather, there are a sizeable minority of Christians (about 5% of the population are Christians) who are very hostile and who express that hostility in common, bigoted ways. This attitude has been picked up by some non-Christians.

His specific comment related the types of bigotry to what he faces here in the states - not everyday, but virulent when it arises.

Errr...5% are Christians? Are the entire 5% bigots? If I remember correctly, you estimate a low percentage of Christians here are bigots? Maybe 10%? 10% of 5% would be .5% of the population. Let's say they effect twice their number. 1% of the population.

Now, I haven't done a Baysian analysis is a couple of years, but even so, I'm thinking that given a 1% (heck, let's make it 5%) prior probability, saying that this woman was likely a bigot based on actions that have plenty of other possibilities is statistically unsound.

And that's assuming that the missionary you talked to was recalling things accurately. I think I could come up with at least a couple of instances where Christians in general and LDS specifically tend towards having a persecution complex.

You are also discounting biggotry perpetuated by Buddhists and Taoists. They often accuse Mormons and other Christians (not Catholics) as being ancestor haters.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Senoj,
You were saying that people who put up these signs were prejudging the people who were affected by them. I wrote my response primarily around that idea. Do you have anything to say on that?
quote:
Because that "Do Not Disturb" sign is a pretty thin point from which to infer their intent. Say I know the hotel building is about to get bombed; should I respect the hypothetical "Do Not Disturb" sign? or should I infer that it doesn't apply to me?
Err...of course not. As I mentioned in my above post, I have no trouble being intruded on by people who have standing to intrude on me. A friend, a delivery man, someone who is saving my life, each of these has a clear reason to expect that I'm not going to have a problem with them disturbing me.

A complete stranger, on the other hand, who is trying to sell me something and knows from experience that most people have no interest in buying it has no such expectation. From your perspective, what you are doing is very important, but as we agreed, this isn't about you. It's about the people you are intruding on and people have already said they know that a very large percentage have no interest in what you are intruding into their lives for.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Except that warning people that the Girls Scouts are coming makes no sense at all.

Of course it does. Everyone knows Girl Scout cookies are like crack! [Angst]
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:

edit in reponse to your edit: He knew after these events then, correct? Not before. And he tried to kick you out of he complex, very possibly because he thought you didn't belong there. [/QB]

Correct. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he was not aware we lived there, though missionaries had lived there for years, it is still certainly plausable.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
At least you've now tacitly admitted in two posts that my defense was not solely the whisper comment.

That's all I really care about at this point. You said you didn't see why the analogy was relevant. I've tried to explain over two pages now why it was.

It might be a bad analogy, but it's clearly not irrelevant. But I don't even care if you think it's irrelevant at this point.

As I've already said, if you don't buy the analogy, then simply use it to understand why I think it likely there was a nasty motive here. I get that we disagree about whether her "actions ... have plenty of other possibilities."

If you don't care to do that, then I'll simply be grateful that you're not pretending that the whisper remark was my only defense of the analogy.

quote:
And that's assuming that the missionary you talked to was recalling things accurately. I think I could come up with at least a couple of instances where Christians in general and LDS specifically tend towards having a persecution complex.
So we've gone from "you don't know anything about the culture there" (emphasis added) to something like "your source might be wrong."

Well, I have a source who encountered, what, a couple thousand? ten thousand? citizens of Taiwan. You have nothing except your tired assertions about persecution complexes.

This is an argument about the word "likely." Put whatever percent on that you feel comfortable with.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Right, and at the time when he was trying to kick you out of the complex, there is good reason to think that he might be thinking that you snuck in, correct? Which would establish that this is a belief that it is likely some Taiwanese hold?

edit: And I'll throw out again the idea that there are perfectly legitimate reasons, from their perspective, for people of different religions to dislike the LDS and warn less knowledgible people away from them.

[ October 04, 2006, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Dag,
You're whisper remark was one of two defenses you offered. The second was your personal experiences in America, which I repeatedly said were not relevant in a Taiwanese context.

You just now offered up "I know a missionary who was in Taiwan.". Up to that point, I had no reason to believe you knew anything about it, instead of very little from a single, potentially biased source.

For pete's sake, you jump all over people for saying that people in their own culture are bigots by saying they don't understand these people. You attacked me for saying things about groups I used to belong to and still are pretty closely tied to because, in your words, I'm not a mind reader and I clearly don't understand these people. Why don't these standards apply to you talking about a person who don't know in a culture you know very little about?

I and several other people have offered explanations that make sense in our own cultural context, to say nothing of the unkown explanations that would result from the cultural differences you know nothing about. I don't think your statements about this woman's likely bigotry are reasonable or consistent with the standards you try to apply to other people.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
quote:
explanations that make sense in our own cultural context
Like the Girl Scout example? That kind of sense?
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
I think I could come up with at least a couple of instances where Christians in general and LDS specifically tend towards having a persecution complex.
Of course, sometimes that complex is a little more...complex. Like when there's actual evidence to the paranoia.

When I lived in Wisconsin, the Lutheran private school in our town had an assembly in which it was taught that Mormons had horns. Literal horns. It's hard to believe that such things are still taught; (well-- "still" meaning 12 years ago... [Smile] )

Certainly, Mormons are sometimes prone to blowing these things out of proportion.

BUT-- and maybe you didn't mean to, Squicky-- it can't be said that we don't suffer ANY; there are lots of well meaning people out there that believe Mormons DO have horns.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
Mormons have horns just like Jews have a hidden pouch of gold they keep on their persons at all times. It's true.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Scott,
I never said that LDS aren't persecuted. I've no doubt that there are people in Taiwan are bigotted against LDS. My point all along was that I really don't see what this woman did was wrong, and, when met with the idea that she was likely a bigot, that I don't see any reason to believe that this is likely.

And as for persecution complexes, I mean, we've got LDS complaining that this thread is missionary-bashing.

(And I'm still blown away that the Senator from Georgia isn't going to get elected, not because he throws out bizarre racial slurs, but because his mom is Jewish and people think he was hiding it.)
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
None of your examples make sense, Squicky. In order for any of what you said to be true, you have to completely dismiss the accounts of the people who were there and invent new motivations for people you nothing about. Then you defend those invented motivations as if you actually knew something.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
You were saying that people who put up these signs were prejudging the people who were affected by them. I wrote my response primarily around that idea. Do you have anything to say on that?

The point is that the people putting up the signs have determined some group of people should not knock at their door. They know the characteristics of that group, presumably. They have made a judgement about who belongs in that group and who doesn't. However, due to the necessary limitations of language (as opposed to, say, mind-melding) they cannot communicate that information perfectly. All they can do is post a sign that is subject to (necessarily imperfect) interpretation.

quote:
As I mentioned in my above post, I have no trouble being intruded on by people who have standing to intrude on me. A friend, a delivery man, someone who is saving my life, each of these has a clear reason to expect that I'm not going to have a problem with them disturbing me.

A complete stranger, on the other hand, who is trying to sell me something and knows from experience that most people have no interest in buying it has no such expectation...It's about the people you are intruding on and people have already said they know that a very large percentage have no interest in what you are intruding into their lives for.

I'm not sure how to respond to that. You've divided the world into people who I want to see and people that I don't. You know who you don't want to see (or at least who you think you don't want to see). Unfortunately I don't. I wish I did, because I don't want to waste your time or mine. I'll do my best to figure out from the signs and my knowledge of people in general whether you'd be interested in hearing what I have to say or not, but I'll never be able to do a perfect job. Some people you would have welcomed will pass by your door. Some people you don't welcome will come to your door anyway, and sometimes you'll turn people away and later regret it. It's just the nature of the beast.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
I never said that LDS aren't persecuted.
True enough. But you did say that Mormons have a persecution complex.

I wanted to make sure that you knew that there is a reason the complex exists.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
Right, and at the time when he was trying to kick you out of the complex, there is good reason to think that he might be thinking that you snuck in, correct? Which would establish that this is a belief that it is likely some Taiwanese hold?

Well, if you believe he was justified in believing we were lying when we said that we lived in the complex as well as which apartment.

I would say the scenario where the man thought we had snuck in and was only seeking to evict us is unlikely for the following reasons.

1: As said above we explained that we lived there and what apartment we lived in.

2: While we were at HIS door he simply ignored our presence at his door step (his son had answered the door) and he waved his hand at us and said "bu yong bu yong" (basically "I have no use for you) I had been rejected MANY times on my mission I didnt really think this man was anything special in terms of rejection so I left. I was while we were at his neighbor's doorstep that he suddenly came out of his apt and started yelling at us. If he was genuinely upset that we may have snuck in why wouldnt he have challenged us at his door?

Again this is all in spite of the fact that missionaries as far as I was aware had been in that apartment for over 2 years at that point. Certainly there is the chance he just never saw us ever. But again its more likely he would know we lived there, but I can give him the benefit of the doubt.

Even after talking to the security guard he attempted to assert his authority with comments like "Thats right just because you live here doesnt mean you can disturb us! We live here too!"

and

"I am escorting you off the premises!"

Fortunately for me I didn't have to tell him that he had no business telling me what to do in this regard as the security guard told him there was no need for him to be here anymore and that he had already taken care of things.

quote:

edit: And I'll throw out again the idea that there are perfectly legitimate reasons, from their perspective, for people of different religions to dislike the LDS and warn less knowledgible people away from them.

You can throw the idea out, but we will have to agree to disagree. I do not think Mormons warrant that sort of treatment where you are doing the neighborhood a service by going door to door warning of their approach. I still believe it was a spiteful rude thing to do.
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
"It doesn't distort the word "sell," at all. You're trying to sell an idea. People do that all the time. When you go to a job interview, you're trying to sell your skills and abilities.

You know the phrase, "I don't buy it?" In other words, someone didn't give you a good enough sales pitch for an idea, so you aren't willing to believe it or do whatever it was that they were trying to get you to do."

"Sell" and "Buy" are used in those ways as figures of speech. They are metaphors for what we are actually doing, comparing them to the real acts of selling and buying.

It is, of course, perfectly acceptable to use the words this way. However, it would not then be appropriate to claim that people who "sell" in the metaphoric sense are doing exactly the same thing as people who "sell" in the literal sense. They're not.

"Selling and buying doesn't necessarily involve money."

When used in the literal sense, yes it does, or at least barter.
 
Posted by Verloren (Member # 9771) on :
 
I find it interesting how when a phone rings or a doorbell dings, that we (speaking in a general sense) all seem to "have" to answer it.

I am not putting a "this is good" or "this is bad" judgement on our (read this also as my) behavior.

I believe that Stephen Covey puts these kind of interruptions in the Urgent, Important quadrant because the bell ringing is deemed urgent and the person calling/ringing may be very important.

Sometimes I wonder why I can't just let it go. Who says that I have to answer the door when someone knocks or rings? Of course, it could be considered rude by the person on the other end/side of the door that I "ignored" them. And, in fact, I have found myself feeling slighted when I had an appointment with someone at their home (whether as a missionary or for my work or otherwise), and I knew they were home (I saw them peeking out the windows, etc.) but did not answer the door.

Of course, there can be all kinds of reasons someone would not answer the door or the phone, from the "now kids, don't answer the door or phone while I run this quick errand" kind of thing, to I am busy working, to I am taking a shower and can't hear the ringing phone/bell.

I just find it interesting that society has made it so that these interruptions are the urgent, important kinds. Also, wouldn't it be nice if someone invented something like Caller ID for people ringing/knocking at my door. It would make it much easier to decide if I wanted to answer it.

Better yet, how about some "Caller ID" device that also told me their "intent" or purpose? Like, "John is calling, and he wants to borrow a couple eggs" or "Mike is calling and he wants to you pay him back the $500 you owe him". Would make it much easier to decide if I really wanted to get it.

I laugh at my wife's frustration (only softly and in a nice way :-) ) when the phone rings or someone's at the door and she doesn't want to answer it, or complains about it. I think, "then just don't answer it." But I know also that I respond similarly to these urgent, important things as well.

Why do you suppose we have assigned this level of importance to phones and doors? And how about emails, IMs, and message boards? Where do they fit on the important/not important, urgent/not urgent scale? Is it just about being polite to the other person, or is there something deeper? How "easy" would it be for you to change your perception of the phone and door?

Anyway, I know this derails the current discussion, but I found it interesting. I may even try to write a story (fantasy or sci fi) that touches on the idea and turns it upside down - which is why I'd like to get your opinions too :-)

Thanks,

V

(also, I did not ignore the questions to my post about my meaning of "intimidated" - I just could not get back to this post quickly enough to answer before 3 more pages of responses seemed to make my reply out of context. But, so that you know that I am not rude ( :-) ) I want to say that my experience was (based on my meeting some of those people and getting to know them) that the people who put those signs up had been intimidated by someone else on their door and they wanted to avoid that situation or a similar one again. By "intimidation", I mean that the person on their door was acting intimidating in a threatening or coercive way (thus, being "rude"), not necessarily that the people who put up those signs were afraid or frightened of talking with someone on the door - just the possible negative experience. Does that make sense? Looking back at my post, I realize that I didn't express myself that way, and I appreciate you all calling me on it)
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
The point is that the people putting up the signs have determined some group of people should not knock at their door.
No, it's not. It is not about the people knocking on the door. It's about the people who don't want to be intruded upon.

That there are things that outweigh this anti-intrusion desire does not mean that they are setting out to keep certain people from knocking on their door. I kiss very few people. That's because these people are close enough to me that we have a kissing relationshion, not because I decided that all the people I don't kiss aren't good enough. And I also wouldn't be adverse to a person not normally in my "lips touching" circle to give me mouth to mouth because otherwise I'd die.

It's not difficult to see those divisions. When you're a complete stranger selling things you know most people don't want, you kow that you are an unwlecome intrusion on most people. When these people go out of their way to strengthen the bar based on social conventions against people unexpectedly intruding in on them, saying "I'm not completely sure they mean me." isn't a good defense. Especially since pushing yourself into their life uninvited is by no means the only way they are going to be exposed to you message.

If I came up and kissed you, defending my actions as, "It's possible that you might like it. I didn't know for sure." would that satisfy you?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
quote:
And I'll throw out again the idea that there are perfectly legitimate reasons, from their perspective, for people of different religions to dislike the LDS and warn less knowledgible people away from them.
You'll throw it out as in see if it sticks, or you are putting it out there and claiming it?

In other words, are you actually advocating the idea that Mormons are so dreadful that it is a service to warn the public against them? The religion is something that people need to be protected against?

If you do think that, then you have serious ignorance and bigotry problems. If you don't and are just tossing it out as a conversational gambit, then that's quite unethical and you're just jerking people's chain.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
I don't think your statements about this woman's likely bigotry are reasonable or consistent with the standards you try to apply to other people.
You've proven time and time again that you don't understand the standards I try to apply to others.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
I do not think Mormons warrant that sort of treatment where you are doing the neighborhood a service by going door to door warning of their approach.
But you're going around trying to lure people away from the true faith into your false one. If it's legitimate for you to go around to complete strangers trying to convert them to the true religion, isn't it legitimate for them to go around to people they know and try to protect them from your attempts to convert them to a false one?
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
And I'll throw out again the idea that there are perfectly legitimate reasons, from their perspective, for people of different religions to dislike the LDS and warn less knowledgible people away from them.
Its the "from their perspective" in this sentence which is the problem. A perspective which is based on misconceptions about missionaries (such as missionaries are likely to break into your house and steal things) are by definition unjustifiable prejudice or bigotry.

The facts simply do not support the conclusion that Mormon Missionaries are dangerous. If this woman was acting on the belief that the Missionaries present a material danger to her neighbors, then she was acting on the basis of an unsubstantiated and unjustifiable prejudice. People who proselyte for the LDS church (or any other church I'm familiar with) are not high crime risk. That's a simple fact.

Therefore making a conclusion that because someone would jump a fence to talk to you about their faith that they might also jump the fence to rob you or beat you up is an illogical prejudice. The two things don't connect and connect such things is the very essence of bigotry. If it is unethical and bigoted to assume that someone is dangerous because they are black even though blacks are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes in this country, how much more bigoted do you have to be to assume that Mormon missionaries are dangerous when the crime rate among Mormon missionaries is vanishingly small.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
I do not think Mormons warrant that sort of treatment where you are doing the neighborhood a service by going door to door warning of their approach.
But you're going around trying to lure people away from the true faith into your false one. If it's legitimate for you to go around to complete strangers trying to convert them to the true religion, isn't it legitimate for them to go around to people they know and try to protect them from your attempts to convert them to a false one?
Bingo.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
The facts simply do not support the conclusion that Mormon Missionaries are dangerous.
Of course they are. Their conversion attempts are drawing people away from the true religion and quite possibly damning their souls to torment.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
As an aside, now tangential: I think that, were I to be in a place and time where again this was an issue for me,* I would make up a clear but pleasant little sign that said:

"No business at this door, whether it is public or personal (including charities and [prosetylization], e.g., by JW or LDS). Thank you for your respect and consideration."

I think that's as clear as I could make it, and I'd be okay with the wording. Would it offend anybody here? Would it be unclear in meaning (i.e., that I don't want to engage in an interaction with solicitation, [prosetylization], offers to contribute to charities -- which I do a good bit of, on my own time -- or other structured interchanges at this doorway)?

--------

*My life is now arranged in such a way that this would not come up. I am highly insulated in many ways now, and it is by choice, although I am still rather appalled at my investment of substational resources into maintaining that privacy. I share an efficiency apartment with my spouse, and though it is very tiny (one room), it is at a high-end hotel. We have a twenty-four hour concierge that fields these things.

It's like a mini gated community. In some ways this is very distressing, despite being quite comforting. We are doing a trial run of a year here, and then we will reevaluate our experience and our priorities.

---

[Edited again because I cannot spell "prosetylization."]

[ October 04, 2006, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I don't like Sunday School classes in other churches where they teach against other religions either. I think it's tacky, even when it happens in my own church, which it does, unfortunately, happen on occasion, although the practice is not institutionalized. Teachers will occasionally go off on their own thing.

Squicky, I think you're just defending these awful actions because you're bored. I'm done. It's not worth it.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
The facts simply do not support the conclusion that Mormon Missionaries are dangerous. If this woman was acting on the belief that the Missionaries present a material danger to her neighbors, then she was acting on the basis of an unsubstantiated and unjustifiable prejudice. People who proselyte for the LDS church (or any other church I'm familiar with) are not high crime risk. That's a simple fact.

Therefore making a conclusion that because someone would jump a fence to talk to you about their faith that they might also jump the fence to rob you or beat you up is an illogical prejudice. The two things don't connect and connect such things is the very essence of bigotry. If it is unethical and bigoted to assume that someone is dangerous because they are black even though blacks are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes in this country, how much more bigoted do you have to be to assume that Mormon missionaries are dangerous when the crime rate among Mormon missionaries is vanishingly small.

I tend to treat people as if they don't have perfect knowledge. It may not be true that members of a certain group who sneak around security to get into apartment complexes would do worse things, but it's not an irrational prejudice to be worried about this. One of the big problems I'm having with this thread is that many people seem to applying the way they think and what they know to other people without realizing that these other people think about things differently and know different information.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
By the way, V (since you seem to be keeping up with this thread), when did you serve?

I was in the Netherlands/Amsterdam Mission from 1996-1998.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:

But you're going around trying to lure people away from the true faith into your false one. If it's legitimate for you to go around to complete strangers trying to convert them to the true religion, isn't it legitimate for them to go around to people they know and try to protect them from your attempts to convert them to a false one?

With how much you are defending this view point it suprises me that you are not out warning people about the Mormons full time yourself.

I hope you were speaking purely as (this might be how she sees things)

Simply yelling that the Mormons are coming and adding some other babble to that shout does not protect anybody. Missionaries wear their religion on their sleeves, if the people do not wish to be "converted" they will hardly be converted in spite of their efforts to resist. Its quite the opposite to be accurate.

You are also assuming that everyone in the community is the same religion as the old woman, its just not a safe bet to make in Taiwan. While there is definately communitarian values in Taiwan, I would be suprised if EVERYBODY on that block knew the old woman well.

Somebody earlier suggested that you watch to see who lets them in and then visit them privately to discuss your concerns.

I am not sure if you are arguing that its VERY LIKELY the woman was acting in the best interests of her community based on a warranted view that Mormons are dangerous in some manner

OR

That you could conjure up some strange tale that adequately explains the old womans actions.

I think the first is at best based on YOUR assumptions and at worst completely groundless and idiotic.

As for the 2nd point. I've read enough of Mr. Cards literary contributions to know that this is QUITE possible. Look he got a little boy to kill an entire alien species.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Verloren:
I find it interesting how when a phone rings or a doorbell dings, that we (speaking in a general sense) all seem to "have" to answer it.

This was an issue for me at other times in my life because I had family members who were critically ill (always dreading that 3am phone call, or the relative I never met who came to tell me I had to get on a plane right now, etc.) and because of work reasons to be always available. It is different now, and I am learning to relax into that. Good point, though.

I've been doing some skimming of this topic on the Net, and it seems that this is a real issue for people who are working out of their homes, especially (it seems) writers.*** Even just having to go through the thought process of dealing with making the decision, not to mention having to go and check on who it is before you decide, can throw some people out of a productive session.

Of course, for those who believe that an immortal soul is in jeopardy, not being able to work well for a day is practically irrelevant (I expect). However, it may explain why some people are irritable at having the contact question even come up.

---

***Edited to add: See, for example: What it Takes to Work at Home from Tara K. Harper's Writer's Workshop (Just Shoot the Blasted Salesman!):

quote:
Door-to-Door Irritants

This is the biggie, since you can't just 'turn off' your front door. The sign described up above in #4:
Do Not Disturb
No Tresspassing
If you ring this bell or knock on this door,
you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
ORS 164.255 ORS 166.065


--that sign should cut down the door-to-door irritants by about 90%. I tried "No Solicitation" and "Do Not Disturb" signs by themselves, but the signs were ignored or kept getting stolen (and who steals a 'no solicitation' sign, anyway?). That, and the daily irritants would say, "But we're not selling anything. We just want to convert / proselytize / inform / give / fill-in-the-blank you."

Even if you use the do-not-disturb sign, you might still have problems with some religious representatives. Many of them have missioning responsibilities that include aggressive or constant proselytizing. In my neighborhood, these people have rung the bell anyway and, when I've opened the door, have actually said, "We really liked your sign," or, "That's a great sign. We thought it was a joke." I've begun to wonder if they learn these phrases at some sort of mission strategy school to avoid prosecution. Especially since I have a dog, there's the instant guard-vs-guest response barking, not just the danger of the dog going through the plate glass window--and yes, that has happened. She's only a hundred pounds, but apparently has a strong sense of territory. Once the dog is settled down, I have to deal with the intrusion itself, which further yanks me out of the storyline and characters, ruins my concentration, and destroys the productive intimacy I previously had with what I was trying to write.

If religious proselytizing is a problem in your area, consider adding the following line to the sign: "No XX," where XX is whatever type of representative that insists on ringing your doorbell. For example, Jehovah's Witness members claim to honor the statement, "No JW."

With Mormons, you can go to your local Mormon church and request that they not proselytize at your home. This will allow you to make the local ward aware of your preferences and hopefully honor your wishes for privacy while working, since they completely ignore do-not-disturb and no-tresspassing signs. For example, the local ward harassed me for years, breaking my concentration at odd hours and losing me a tremendous amount of work. I finally made a personal visit to their ward's leader and pointed out that I could take legal action if they continued to ignore the warnings they had continually received. Only after that did they honor my preferences, and only for four years. Then the ward leader changed, which happens every 5 years or so. After that, I had to contact the new ward leader and go through the process again for the next bishop's reign.

But I Still Believe in God...

A sign like the one described in #4 may sound cold and inhospitable, but it does not mean that you are not God-fearing, religious, spiritual, etc. It just means that you really, truly, honestly, no question about it, please go away, do not want to be disturbed while you are working. If it makes you feel better, take the sign down when you stop working. For writers who have trouble with discipline, such a practice might also help more clearly define the workday. The main point is that you need to include the criminal code appropriate for trespassing and harassment, in order for the sign to be legally enforceable.

Your immediate neighbors, your friends, and your family members can be told that the sign is not aimed at them. Also, delivery people are exempt from such a sign since, by placing that order, you specifically requested that the delivery person come to your residence to deliver that good or service. The government, of course, is also not bound by such a sign. The rest of the world should respect it. And, after a while, family members, neighbors and friends will learn the best times to call or drop by. In the meantime, you will have a better environment to concentrate on your work.

Unless, of course, you really want to lose all those threads of storyline, and answer the door every hour just to say, no, I'm really not interested in another magazine subscription...


 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
The point is that the people putting up the signs have determined some group of people should not knock at their door.
No, it's not. It is not about the people knocking on the door. It's about the people who don't want to be intruded upon.
They don't want to be intruded upon unless, of course, they do (as you point out in the paragraph I didn't quote).

What matters is what the person in the house wants. We seem to agree on that. I think it's difficult to determine what they want. You seem to think it isn't.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
BB,
You probably didn't see this before you posted, so I'm going to re-emphasize it here.
quote:
One of the big problems I'm having with this thread is that many people seem to applying the way they think and what they know to other people without realizing that these other people think about things differently and know different information.
From what you've said, it sounds a lot to me like you probably got upset at the woman because you made your life harder and are intent on casting her in a bad light because of it. I'm attempting to show why I think it is likely that she did nothing wrong, to get you to see things from a different perspective and maybe even from something approaching her perspective. There are plenty of explanations for her behavior that you seem not to have taken into account, some of which have been provided by myself and others.

I'm also trying to defend this woman from people who I feel are unjustly accusing her of bigotry. It is possible that she acted out of bigotry, but I don't think any of us know enough about it to say with any sort of certainty.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Senoj,
quote:
I think it's difficult to determine what they want.
If only they gave some sign of what they were thinking.

quote:
They don't want to be intruded upon unless, of course, they do (as you point out in the paragraph I didn't quote).
You missed the entire point of that paragraph. There are people and situations that have a legitimate expectation that their intrusion will not be unwlecome. A complete stranger selling something they know that only - what was it 1 in a 1000 someone said - want doesn't fall into this category.

Or, can I kiss you without any legitimate protest from you because I'm not sure that you don't want me to?
 
Posted by Mig (Member # 9284) on :
 
Apropos of Mormon prosecution, the latest (out today) issue of the comic book Jonah Hex (#12)- think Clint Eastwood western - has the scarred bounty hunter defending a group of Mormons who are being persecuted by the local town owner and a bunch of sadistic hired guns. Takes place in Utah. When asked why the guy who owns the town has put a bounty on thier heads, the leader of he Mormons says, "We're Mormons, Mr. Hex. We've been continually persecuted and even massacred, by state governments and by non-mormons wherever we settle." The bad guy uses the Mountain Meadows Massacre to defend his actions.

Although Mormons may like the sound of this book up to now, it turns out that one of the persecuted Mormons was at the Mountain Meadows Massacre and he defends the massacre by saying, "There's no line separating right from wrong out here, Hex. Survival is dominant ta all other things."
 
Posted by Verloren (Member # 9771) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
By the way, V (since you seem to be keeping up with this thread), when did you serve?

I was in the Netherlands/Amsterdam Mission from 1996-1998.

I was there from 1991-1993! I was in Eindhoven, then Assen, then Rotterdam Noord, then Maastricht, then Den Helder.

I even taught for a couple years at the MTC, but I think I was done teaching around the end of 1995.

How about you - what cities were you in? It may be better to continue this discussion privately though, so feel free to PM me.

On a related note, I live near Salt Lake City, and I was able to volunteer during the 2002 Winter Olympics (and Paralympics). It was an awesome experience! I got to work directly with the athletes, trainers, and managers from the Netherlands. I drove them around and stuff. I even got to spend a lot of time in the Olympic Village. It was very interesting.

Which brings me back to something related to this thread!

Part of my job during the Olympics was to interview the athletes about their experience and what they liked/didn't like. We were only allowed to approach them outside, or in the cafeteria.

Many were willing to talk, but some were too busy, didn't speak good enough English to communicate with me or I with them in their language, had lost and were not in a good mood, or just not willing to talk to the "peons".

The latter feeling I got when I approached the Canadian skater Sale (I think that was her name). I am not saying that she is not nice, or a good person, just that she was not too friendly or kind in how she handled rejecting me (at least I can say that I've been rejected by a Gold medal figure skater ;-) ). In other words, maybe it was just me! And of course, this is just my experience of her and how I felt - it may not have been what she intended or wanted.

But it all comes down to the discussion in this thread about me disturbing her (even though she didn't have a sign) and her right to privacy.

Some people are comfortable with politely turning down "solicitors" of any kind, while others find it just as comfortable and appropriate to be forcefully clear and loud. Since I don't know another person's past experiences and motive, the best I can do (and have done) is to assume that the other person did the best they knew how to do at the time, that they are my spiritual brother or sister (or a fellow human being for those who do not accept that idea of spiritual siblings), and they they meant well. That keeps me sane and happy when dealing with other people!

Thanks,
V
 
Posted by BaoQingTian (Member # 8775) on :
 
BlackBlade,
I don't have much to add to the thread, you're doing quite well in handling much of the undeserved criticism directed toward you. I started laughing here at work when you mentioned the garbage trucks with the ice cream truck sound to them, and the little blue trucks with loud speakers on top. Classic. You didn't mention the firecrackers going off in the street with the load music blaring on one of the god's birthdays though. Now that I think of it, waking up to the silence here is a little boring.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
BB,
You probably didn't see this before you posted, so I'm going to re-emphasize it here.
quote:
One of the big problems I'm having with this thread is that many people seem to applying the way they think and what they know to other people without realizing that these other people think about things differently and know different information.
From what you've said, it sounds a lot to me like you probably got upset at the woman because you made your life harder and are intent on casting her in a bad light because of it. I'm attempting to show why I think it is likely that she did nothing wrong, to get you to see things from a different perspective and maybe even from something approaching her perspective. There are plenty of explanations for her behavior that you seem not to have taken into account, some of which have been provided by myself and others.

I'm also trying to defend this woman from people who I feel are unjustly accusing her of bigotry. It is possible that she acted out of bigotry, but I don't think any of us know enough about it to say with any sort of certainty.

Except perhaps me?

I fully understand trying to give people the benefit of the doubt, and understanding other people's perspectives.

The ladies behavior did not reflect any of the possible explanations you have offered (thats my perspective take it or leave it).

I know ALOT about the way the Chinese do things, I lived around them 17 years. Maybe me being the recipient of her actions makes me biased, but I honestly feel that I do alot to explain why people act the way they do.

I am simply saying that from my perspective and from what the lady said to me, she was just being rude and spiteful.

The only thing YOU can do is SPECULATE.

Even if I am guilty of bias, speculation carries even less weight than that.

Why can't you even acknowledge that the woman's actions were likely foolish to say nothing of rude and spiteful.

It just sounds like you REFUSE to believe she might be a mean cranky old woman rather then a concerned citizen worried that her community might be molested by Mormons unless she intervened in the manner she did.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BaoQingTian:
BlackBlade,
I don't have much to add to the thread, you're doing quite well in handling much of the undeserved criticism directed toward you. I started laughing here at work when you mentioned the garbage trucks with the ice cream truck sound to them, and the little blue trucks with loud speakers on top. Classic. You didn't mention the firecrackers going off in the street with the load music blaring on one of the god's birthdays though. Now that I think of it, waking up to the silence here is a little boring.

Man I forgot to mention those things! Especially during Chinese New Year! In my area Tan Tze there were fireworks CONSTANTLY for almost an entire week! Sleeping through them was something I could only do then, I don't do enough now to make me THAT tired anymore.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
Why can't you even acknowledge that the woman's actions were likely foolish to say nothing of rude and spiteful.
Because, as I've spent several pages explaining, I don't think that they are, very likely that is. It's possible that this was the case, but there are plenty of other explanations that it seems like you didn't even consider.

And, as I pointed out before, you don't even seem to understand the fundamental reason why sneaking past the security in the apartment complexes is a bad thing. This plus your reaction to me presenting what could be other people's religious viewpoints suggest to me that your perspective may be somewhat clouded as to things that hinder you getting out your message.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Silent E:
"It doesn't distort the word "sell," at all. You're trying to sell an idea. People do that all the time. When you go to a job interview, you're trying to sell your skills and abilities.

You know the phrase, "I don't buy it?" In other words, someone didn't give you a good enough sales pitch for an idea, so you aren't willing to believe it or do whatever it was that they were trying to get you to do."

"Sell" and "Buy" are used in those ways as figures of speech. They are metaphors for what we are actually doing, comparing them to the real acts of selling and buying.

It is, of course, perfectly acceptable to use the words this way. However, it would not then be appropriate to claim that people who "sell" in the metaphoric sense are doing exactly the same thing as people who "sell" in the literal sense. They're not.

"Selling and buying doesn't necessarily involve money."

When used in the literal sense, yes it does, or at least barter.

sell1  /sɛl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sel] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, sold, sell‧ing, noun

–verb (used with object) 1. to transfer (goods) to or render (services) for another in exchange for money; dispose of to a purchaser for a price: He sold the car to me for $1000.
2. to deal in; keep or offer for sale: He sells insurance. This store sells my favorite brand.
3. to make a sale or offer for sale to: He'll sell me the car for $1000.
4. to persuade or induce (someone) to buy something: The salesman sold me on a more expensive model than I wanted.
5. to persuade or induce someone to buy (something): The clerk really sold the shoes to me by flattery.
6. to make sales of: The hot record sold a million copies this month.
7. to cause to be accepted, esp. generally or widely: to sell an idea to the public.
8. to cause or persuade to accept; convince: to sell the voters on a candidate
.
9. to accept a price for or make a profit of (something not a proper object for such action): to sell one's soul for political power.
10. to force or exact a price for: The defenders of the fort sold their lives dearly.
11. Informal. to cheat, betray, or hoax.
–verb (used without object) 12. to engage in selling something.
13. to be on sale.
14. to offer something for sale: I like this house —will they sell?
15. to be employed to persuade or induce others to buy, as a salesperson or a clerk in a store: One sister is a cashier and the other sells.
16. to have a specific price; be offered for sale at the price indicated (fol. by at or for): Eggs used to sell at sixty cents a dozen. This shirt sells for thirty dollars.
17. to be in demand by buyers: On a rainy day, umbrellas really sell.
18. to win acceptance, approval, or adoption: Here's an idea that'll sell.

I'll stop there, but the list goes on.

-pH
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Squicky, don't be jerk. You are guessing at to motivations for a person you never met, in a country you don't know, in a circustance you know nothing about, and then you're pretending that your speculation as more merit than someone else's direct experience.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Squicky, don't be jerk. You are guessing at to motivations for a person you never met, in a country you don't know, in a circustance you know nothing about, and then you're pretending that your speculation as more merit than someone else's direct experience.

But you're guessing just as much.

-pH
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Verloren:
Since I don't know another person's past experiences and motive, the best I can do (and have done) is to assume that the other person did the best they knew how to do at the time, that they are my spiritual brother or sister (or a fellow human being for those who do not accept that idea of spiritual siblings), and they they meant well.

You work a kindness in the world.

*smile

-----

Edited to add: And hey, welcome to Hatrack! I didn't realize you were new. Hope you have fun here.
 
Posted by Silent E (Member # 8840) on :
 
pH, your dictionary reference means nothing, and is in fact a bit offensive. It assumes I don't know the way the word is used, which is obviously not the case. It certainly doesn't support your claim that two people doing very different things that can both be referred to with the same word are doing the same thing.

When people use dictionaries in the way you are doing, it almost makes me think they (dictionaries) are becoming useless.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Squicky, don't be jerk. You are guessing at to motivations for a person you never met, in a country you don't know, in a circumstance you know nothing about, and then you're pretending that your speculation as more merit than someone else's direct experience.

But you're guessing just as much.
Indeed. I prefer the version that has everyone acting honorably. It saddens me that you do not, Katie.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
It's possible that this was the case, but there are plenty of other explanations that it seems like you didn't even consider.

Looks like Ill join Dag in disagreeing with you on the word, "likely"

quote:

And, as I pointed out before, you don't even seem to understand the fundamental reason why sneaking past the security in the apartment complexes is a bad thing.

Oh you mean you have your own personalized reasoning for why its so bad, I simply didnt acknowledge it? I could just as easily argue that you do not know what the housing situation is like in Taiwan and so your opinion is irrelevant.

quote:

This plus your reaction to me presenting what could be other people's religious viewpoints suggest to me that your perspective may be somewhat clouded as to things that hinder you getting out your message.

I honestly do not know what you are talking about here. Your only claim to Mormon's supposed thread is that some of them sneak into housing complexes. SOME of them do. Some do not. In all my time as a missionary I never heard anybody say to me, "I really don't like the fact you sneak into people's housing complexes and bother them."

I DID hear people say "Well the missionaries pressured me too much." Or "The missionaries were impossible to please." or even "The missionaries were rude and inconsiderate."

Missionaries are MUCH more known for being out on the street approaching people at the Post Office or the Bank. Knocking on the doors of people's homes. Doing service for people who need help. Riding their bikes all over the place, and their unusual attire.

You are trying to assert that there is likely a relatively common perception that missionaries are surly because they sneak into apartment complexes, I am saying that I have never encountered that.

I have heard more people confuse us with the Amish, then I have that missionaries are scary because they sneak into complexes.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Could someone else explain to BB why it's wrong to sneak around security to get into an apartment complex, other than the security guard could get in trouble or it being against the law? I don't want him to think that it's just my own personal problem. (Or, alternatively, it could just be my personal problem and most people only don't sneak into places for those reasons.)

---

As for your reaction to other people having legitimate religious reasons for being against your prostyletizing and taking steps to thwart it, I'll requote:
quote:
quote:
I do not think Mormons warrant that sort of treatment where you are doing the neighborhood a service by going door to door warning of their approach.
But you're going around trying to lure people away from the true faith into your false one. If it's legitimate for you to go around to complete strangers trying to convert them to the true religion, isn't it legitimate for them to go around to people they know and try to protect them from your attempts to convert them to a false one?
It's pretty clear to me that if you are obligated to try to convert people to your true faith, other people are at least as obligated to protect their friends and neighbors from your attempts to convert them to (from their perspective) your false faith.

---

edit: From what you've posted, it seems to me that "likely" doesn't really cover it. You've been reacting as if there was little doubt that this woman was wrong. Heck, I'd take you admitting to "likely" as me actually accomplishing something.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Because, as I've spent several pages explaining, I don't think that they are.
And in all those pages you've never addressed the key question. Does your explanation actually fit with the description BB gave of the woman's behavior.

From my perspective based on my admittedly limited understanding of human nature, your explanation fails on several levels. Assuming that BBs report of the event is accurate (and we have no basis to assume otherwise), the woman was angry. She first verbally assaulted the BB and his companion, then rapidly pulled coat and boots and stormed through the neighborhood knocking on peoples doors and saying defaming things about BB and his companion in a loud and angry voice.

Your description simply doesn't match well with what BB claims happened. If the woman was acting out of genuine concern and love for her neighbors, why was she so visably angry? If she thought the missionaries were dangerous, why would she go outside on the street with them rather than calling the police. If she knew the neighbors well, why did she choose to go door to door on a cold night rather than make discreet phone calls. Why did she think the missionaries were so important that she had to go out immediately, even though it was cold and dark, rather than wait to share her message. I mean missionaries never baptise people the same night that first knock on their doors.

The point is that I simply can't come up with any rational reasoned explanation for why this woman behaved as BB reports. The most logical conclusion is that woman wasn't acting rationally, she was acting emotionally. And the one emotion she was displaying was anger.

From my experience, when people are angry they generally choose a course of action designed to hurt or humiliate the object of their rage. It isn't something they sit down and reason out, they just act. From what BB has told us, this is the best explanation I can find for the woman's behavior. She was acting out of anger and spite.

I have never known of a person who pulled on winter clothes at a moments notice and went out at night knock on every door in the neighborhood to warn people that a vacuum cleaner salesman was on the street. I've never known someone to do that to warn people that their eternal souls were in danger. I've never known someone to do that sort of thing for anything short on an approaching tornado or other disaster. Even then, most rational people would go through the phone list before heading out on the street.

If you have a different experience, please let me know. People aren't buying your suggestion because it just doesn't ring true to human nature as we have experienced it.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
MrSquicky: Do I think its likely she was bitter old lady who quite possibly was a Buddhist trying to save the community from Mormons who don't believe in the worship of ancestors?

Yes, there you have accomplished something.

I've already pointed out

1: Running door to door shouting warnings does nothing really.

2: If Mormons did not take the approach the video demonstrates and simply took the old woman's approach do you honestly think people would be more apt to listen? I think the 1 in 1000 statistic would turn into 1 in ?.

3: If you are trying to save somebodies soul from false docterine you dont do it by acting as this woman did, maybe you agree this is the case.

Are you saying

The woman is right in thinkin what she did, and therefore right in her actions?

or

The woman's actions are understandable if you assume she was thinking "She was saving the souls of her neighbors?"

In the first instance I simply disagree with you

In the 2nd instance, I think the woman is still foolish, even if she does not realize it.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
Running door to door shouting warnings does nothing really.
I thought you said in your story that at several houses it seemed like the people reacted by ignoring you.

quote:
2: If Mormons did not take the approach the video demonstrates and simply took the old woman's approach do you honestly think people would be more apt to listen? I think the 1 in 1000 statistic would turn into 1 in ?.
I don't know what this means.
quote:
3: If you are trying to save somebodies soul from false docterine you dont do it by acting as this woman did, maybe you agree this is the case.
Is it optimal? I don't think so. Is it a response you could expect from someone who unexpectedly has unwelcome missionaries show up on her doorstep? I think it is. As I said, I don't hold people up to the standard of having perfect knowledge, nor do I judge their actions on what they should have done if they had all the time in the world to prepare.
quote:
In the 2nd instance, I think the woman is still foolish, even if she does not realize it.
And a person from another religion may think that you are foolish for spreading around your false religion. So what?

Ultimately, I don't know what the woman's motivation was. When you told the story, I didn't see that she likely did anything wrong. I've heard nothing to change that opinion. In the course of things, I've tried to throw out other interpretations that might fit the situation and to get people to consider things from what her perspective might have been. It's really easy to look at people who are making things more difficult for us and assume that they have simplistic malevolent motivations, and while this is sometimes true, often it just isn't the case.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Silent E:
pH, your dictionary reference means nothing, and is in fact a bit offensive. It assumes I don't know the way the word is used, which is obviously not the case. It certainly doesn't support your claim that two people doing very different things that can both be referred to with the same word are doing the same thing.

When people use dictionaries in the way you are doing, it almost makes me think they (dictionaries) are becoming useless.

I find it offensive that you are entirely unwilling to consider that perhaps selling does not have to include money and that you seem to be completely dismissing the possibility without at all considering that yes, some people do lump missionaries in with vaccuum salesmen when it comes to strangers knocking on their doors and disturbing them in their homes. I find it offensive that you think my usage of a dictionary renders the dictionary useless. I was merely trying to point out that "selling" and "buying" can occur without the involvement of money and without changing the meanings of the words or using them as figures of speech.

-pH
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
In other words, are you actually advocating the idea that Mormons are so dreadful that it is a service to warn the public against them? The religion is something that people need to be protected against?
I would certainly warn my friends, neighbors, and loved ones. I wouldn't coerce anyone, but I would warn them.

There was recently an article in our local paper about seminary. For all you non-Mormons or non-Utahns, Seminary is a religious class off campus by middle schools and high schools.

Theoretically, any religion can use "flex" time to study their religion one hour a day. Mormons have built "seminaries" across the street of probably every middle school and high school in Utah. Most people associate flex time as seminary--since other religions don't have the resources to have full time schools bought and paid for with tithing money across the street from public schools.

Anyway, there was an article in the paper in the "living section." It was not in the opinion section. However, it "STATED" the church was true and Joseph was a prophet. It was obvious the article was trying to get non-Mormon Christian students to go to seminary. It opened with how Mormonism is a Christian religion (which it is) and it is nice for any Christian to go to seminary since "the walls are adorned with Christ and they study the bible."

The funny thing is out of the four pictures they showed, two of them showed the 15 in the background. No picture showed Christ, even tho all the pictures showed back walls. At the end of the article we find out that they are studying the D&C. The Seminary teacher interviewed expressed joy about how many students convert.

I thought it was manipulative. Call me crazy. It was an obvious piece to aid the seminary and church in getting new converts. I would like to write an opinion piece on what bothered me about the article, but it would adversely affect my employment. I like my bosses, my co-workers, and my job. So I keep my mouth shut about religion.

I don't, however, think they pose a physical threat. I also think they have many redeeming qualities. Overall, if my son chooses to be a Mormon, I will feel bad for him--even tho I will love and support him.

quote:
If you do think that, then you have serious ignorance and bigotry problems.
If you think that, then you have never lived among the church as an ex-Mormon or have never tried to see a different perspective. I have reasons to warn those I care about. I don't get belligerent. Neither do the Mormons. I will stop here and not express what I think is harmful about the church, but there are a lot of rational people who understand Mormonism and think it is worthy of a warning.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
It doesn't really matter, guys.

Rivka, CT, and all are entitled to their privacy-- I don't begrudge them any variation of 'No Soliciting Signs.' All missionaries, salespeople, and political pollsters should respect those things.

Mormon missionaries are entitled (under law, or common understanding) to continue to bother folks. I, as a missionary, would bother every single person I bothered again, if given the chance. Probably more, because the truth of Christ's gospel is much more dear to me now.

Now: those who didn't know, "No soliciting" means "Please don't proselyte here." For those who don't have such a sign...it's open season, duckie.

:twisted:
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
We have a big sign on the fence outside our building warding solicitors/tresspassers off our private property.

But it doesn't matter much here, since the city's so Catholic.

-pH
 
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
 
quote:
I was merely trying to point out that "selling" and "buying" can occur without the involvement of money and without changing the meanings of the words or using them as figures of speech.
How are the uses you highlighted not figures of speech? Because they're in the dictionary?

Cause I went and looked up a blatant (imo) figure of speech (you're a peach!), and here's the definition:

Peach:
1. the subacid, juicy, drupaceous fruit of a tree, Prunus persica, of the rose family.
2. the tree itself, cultivated in temperate climates.
3. a light pinkish yellow, as of a peach.
4. Informal. a person or thing that is especially attractive, liked, or enjoyed.
–adjective
5. made or cooked with peaches or a flavor like that of a peach: peach pie.
6. of the color peach.

That doesn't change the fact that a person is not a peach. And selling ideas isn't selling in the literal sense, not unless you exchange an idea for cash or prizes. Which is precisely what Silent E said. Among other things.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
I find it offensive that you are entirely unwilling to consider that perhaps selling does not have to include money and that you seem to be completely dismissing the possibility without at all considering that yes, some people do lump missionaries in with vaccuum salesmen when it comes to strangers knocking on their doors and disturbing them in their homes.
That distinction doesn't really matter. One of the commitments missionaries seek as a pre-requisite to baptism is paying an honest 10% tithing. Money certainly is intended to go to the church--and a lot more then a vacuum salesman would get.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
Squick-

Let's go back to the guy who knows the hotel's going to blow up. Here's a stranger you would welcome, regardless of any sign you put up admonishing strangers to stay away. To steal from the pH subthread, he's trying to sell to you his information about the bomb. So he's a sort of solicitor, he's a sort of proselyter; he may not feel those categories pertain to him necessarily, but it's difficult to know for sure. But regardless, this guy knocks, and you welcome him in and listen to his story and are grateful he came. So some people selling certain valuable things, including valuable information, are welcome at your door. It's a matter of degree, not of kind, and a value judgement and will, inevitably, lead to occasional rudeness. That's just life.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
Except, JT, that selling an idea and selling a vaccuum really are the same thing. Or was there no such thing as selling when we were still using the barter system? Selling something involves exchanging things of value. Willingness to follow/believe an idea is arguably a thing of value.

-pH
 
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
 
Barter is clearly covered in the literal definition of 'selling'. Now you're just stretching the definition of value to include intangibles.

Which is fine by me, except the original point about distorting the definitions still stands.

And you'll never get me to agree that selling a vacuum and 'selling' and idea are the same thing.
 
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
 
Ideas can be bought and not accepted. The missionaries goal is to get the person to accept the idea.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Is it a response you could expect from someone who unexpectedly has unwelcome missionaries show up on her doorstep? I think it is.
Really? Of the hundreds of people I've know who have served LDS missions, who between them have likely knocked on tens of thousands of doors, I have never heard of a similar case. So no this simply isn't a response one would likely expect from someone who unexpectedly has unwelcome missionaries show up on their door. If you think it is, you have a very skewed perspective of human behavior. This was simply not a normal rational response to having people come to your door with an unwelcome message.

Can you tell me of one experience where you have observed a person behave in a remotely similar manner who was acting under the motivations you describe? I can't which is why I'm having such a hard time buying your argument.

I can think of plenty of times where people who were angry did similar things just because they were angry.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Rabbit,
quote:
saying defaming things about BB and his companion in a loud and angry voice.
Errr...where are you getting that from? If we established that this were the case, I would have a very different opinion.

---

As a more general statement, people often react with strong emotion when they are suprised. Depending on the situation, this can be even more pronounced in several Asian cultures that I know about. Suprising someone with something offensive is often going to garner a strong reaction than if they were expecting it. So, you know, I don't see the woman's emotional reaction to be strongly indicative of underlying bigotry.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Senoj,
quote:
Let's go back to the guy who knows the hotel's going to blow up. Here's a stranger you would welcome, regardless of any sign you put up admonishing strangers to stay away.
And I've addressed the idea of intruding on someone to save their life in each of my reponses to you since this idea was introduced.

This is a situation in which there is a clear expectation that intrusion is going to be welcomed. There's no equivilence between this and a stranger intruding on you with something they are aware that most people don't want or welcome.

I'll repeat another thing that I've brought up several times. Would you be okay with me kissing you with the defense that I didn't know for sure that you didn't want me to?
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
I'm getting it from BBs description of the event.

What he said was the following:

quote:
1: When we knocked on her door, not only did she not want to hear what we had to say, she openly insulted us and treated us very rudely, which is why we left. As far as I can remember we didn't say anything negative to her.

2: She was definately saying more then simply "The Mormons are coming" in a calm composed voice, though she was slightly at a distance, she spoke long enough to convey a message clearly longer then that small statement. Her tone of voice was obviously upset.

3: When she ran into us again at the other end of the street she looked very suprised, gave us a mean look and tramped back home.

I suppose getting from his words to my understanding that she was going from door to door making defamatory comments about BB et al requires a bit of a leap. But in my mind, its a very small leap.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Going from she said more than the Mormons are coming and in an upset tone of voice to she was making defamatory comments about BB and his partner?

How is that a very small leap? You're taking length of conversation and tone of voice and telling me you know basically what she said and that it was not just about defaming LDS but BB and his partner.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Going from she said more than the Mormons are coming and in an upset tone of voice to she was making defamatory comments about BB and his partner?
quote:
she openly insulted us

 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
And...
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
"Insult" and "defamatory comment" are often used interchangeably.

You must know this.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
No, they are not. Defame is to utter something that is not true. An insult is not neccessarily false. edit: That is to say, the defining characteristic of defamation is it's falseness. This is not a substantive part of what makes an insult.

We've got no idea what the content of these insults are. And even if we did that doesn't give us an insight into what this woman said to her neighbors, which is what we are talking about.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
MrSquicky, Can you honestly claim that if a woman openly insulted you, then stormed out of her home and began going house to house talking to neighbors about you in an upset voice that you would not conclude that she was making defamatory comments about you to the neighbors?

I suppose its not impossible that after telling the neighbors that the Mormon's were coming, she continued to chat with them about politics, the weather, and what kind of flowers they were planning to plant in the spring. But Occum's Razor suggest we go for the most obvious explanation. If someone insults me and then storms down the street talking to people about me, I think its a pretty safe assumption that they are repeating the same insults rather than talking about the weather.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
No, they are not. Defame is to utter something that is not true. Insult is not. That is to say, the defining characteristic of defamation is it's falseness. This is not a substantive part of what makes an insult.
Yes, they are. I notice when legal terms are used "incorrectly" by lay persons, and I've noticed that they are often used interchangeably.

If you want to get hypertechnical, falsity and publication are distinct from the concept of a defamatory statement at law. That is, to be defamation, a statement must be defamatory, false, and published to a third party.

A defense to libel or slander is the truth of the defamatory statement.

You're right that defamatory should contain an element of falseness, but many people use insult this way, and many people don't use defamatory that way.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
MrSquicky, I just checked a couple of dictionaries they all agree that defame means to attack a persons reputation. There is no implication as to whether the attacks are true or false.

Furthermore, this woman had no more than a few minutes contact with BB. How could should possibly have known enough about him to know whether the insult she had made were valid or invalid unless they involved simple attacks on his looks or manner of speech.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I've addressed the idea of intruding on someone to save their life in each of my reponses to you since this idea was introduced.

This is a situation in which there is a clear expectation that intrusion is going to be welcomed. There's no equivilence between this and a stranger intruding on you with something they are aware that most people don't want or welcome.

I think there is a direct equivalence between someone who "knows" (somehow, like an oracle or something) that 99/100 people would be interested in their message or that 50/100 people would be interested or that 1/100 people would be interested. As I said, I think it's a difference of degree, not of type, and if you don't see that than I think we are at an impass.

quote:
I'll repeat another thing that I've brought up several times. Would you be okay with me kissing you with the defense that I didn't know for sure that you didn't want me to?
I would certainly take the value you put on the kiss and your belief about its effect on my eternal soul into account as mitigating factors in determining whether to be annoyed or not. I don't think I could judge based on that defense alone.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
MrSquicky, I just checked a couple of dictionaries they all agree that defame means to attack a persons reputation. There is no implication as to whether the attacks are true or false.

Apparently, we aren't allowed to use dictionaries to talk about definitions. [Roll Eyes]

-pH
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
You know, telling someone that they are a servant of a false religion setting out to trick others off the true path is an insult. It's not defamation though.

Telling them that they are repulsive or stupid or ugly are all insults which may or may not be defamation. They are also things that, had she said, she'd be unlikely to work in to telling people about the LDS coming around.

Also, anything said in a loud and angry voice generally sounds like an insult when it is directed at you.

I don't know what she said. You don't know what she said. Even BB doesn't know what she said.

As I pointed out about peopel can react very strongly when they are suprised, especially when the suprise is something upsetting or offensive. This doesn't mean that they are bigots.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
You know, telling someone that they are a servent of a false religion setting out to trick others off the true path is an insult. It's not defamation though.
It is not legally defamation, but it is undoubtably defamatory because it is clearly an attack on that persons reputation. If you are going to split hairs, split them based on valid definitions not ones you invent.

quote:
I don't know what she said. You don't know what she said. Even BB doesn't know what she said.
True, but the most reasonable explanation is that she was insulting BB and his companion and the work they were doing. It is a big stretch to come up with any other explanation for her actions.

quote:
As I pointed out about people can react very strongly when they are suprised, especially when the suprise is something upsetting or offensive. This doesn't mean that they are bigots.
Really, can you tell me an example of one case where someone was simply surprised by strangers and then ran down the street warning people about them? I've asked this several times. I've never known anyone to react this way except because of bigotry or prejudice. If you have, quit telling us that this is normal and produce some examples because this is certainly not normal in any community I've ever lived in.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Really, can you tell me an example of one case where someone was simply surprised by strangers and then ran down the street warning people about them?
I was surprised by a magazine salesman who kept trying to get into my house and called my friend down the street to warn her about him because he made me uncomfortable.

-pH
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Rabbit,
Are you saying that if she were telling her neighbors things about BB's and his partner's reputation that were true that she was wrong for doing so? Because I don't see how if she was conveying true information this would be objectionable even if this information damaged their reputation.

And sweet mahambajamba. How dare she tell people bad but true things about what they were trying to do. If you're saying that she may have been telling them about (from her perspective) the bad things about their mission (converting people to LDS) in an attempt to damage that mission, well, I've been saying that for pages now.

---

Really? You've never been suprised by a spider dropping down on you or a person you don't particularly like popping out at you and reacted with a strong emotional response? This is pretty basic, common reaction to suprise. Your sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear and your emotional state changes along with this activation, leading to an intensification of emotion. This is basic physiology.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
And with that, I'm out. Got some place to be.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Really? You've never been suprised by a spider dropping down on you or a person you don't particularly like popping out at you and reacted with a strong emotional response?
Well spiders don't really freak me out, but yes I have responded emotionally when surprised or scared. But getting upset and translating that anger into the kind of action this woman took are too different kinds of things.

Let me give a more appropo example. If I'm out riding my bike and some irresponsible driver comes within a millimeter or two or killing me, I get quite upset. Quite often, the middle finger comes up before I even have a chance to think about what I'm doing and I'm not someone who flips people off under any other circumstance. I might swear and curse at the driver even though a rarely ever swear. I understand those kinds of reactions. But I would not chase down the road knocking on the windows of stopped cars to tell them how incompetent that driver was and that they should watch out for him because he was likely to cause an accident and kill somebody.

I have been angry enough at times to want to do something like that so I understand the kind of emotions that would motivate someone to do those things. I think spite describes the emotion pretty well. If I were to race down the road "warning" everyone about the bad driver who nearly killed me, it wouldn't be out of genuine concern for them it would be out of a desire to get back at the jerk by letting everyone know exactly how bad he was. My objection to your statement isn't because I don't understand the kind of emotion that is likely to drive such behavior, but because I believe I do. It's an emotion that says I'm angry and hurt so I want to do something, anything to hurt you, like telling other people how bad you are. Its the exact same sort of emotion BB expressed when he said "I wanted to throw a rock at her". But the difference between BB and this old lady was that BB didn't throw the rock.

I've said it before. I think that the best possible explanation for this woman's behavior was that she was so angry that she needed to try hurt this missionaries by ruining the rest of their evening and defaming them through out the neighborhood. I think that is unethical behavior whether she honestly believed the missionaries deserved it or not.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Really, can you tell me an example of one case where someone was simply surprised by strangers and then ran down the street warning people about them?
I was surprised by a magazine salesman who kept trying to get into my house and called my friend down the street to warn her about him because he made me uncomfortable.

-pH

I've already said I thought call a friend or neighbors was substantially different.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
I think spite describes the emotion pretty well. If I were to race down the road "warning" everyone about the bad driver who nearly killed me, it wouldn't be out of genuine concern for them it would be out of a desire to get back at the jerk by letting everyone know exactly how bad he was.
But you can't reasonably believe that he TRIED to run you over and will try to do the same to your friends. Which is what happens with missionaries.

-pH
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Really, can you tell me an example of one case where someone was simply surprised by strangers and then ran down the street warning people about them?
I was surprised by a magazine salesman who kept trying to get into my house and called my friend down the street to warn her about him because he made me uncomfortable.

-pH

I've already said I thought call a friend or neighbors was substantially different.
Why? Maybe this was a tight-knit community, and this woman knew these people. Most cultures are less insular than ours.

-pH
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
Rabbit,
Are you saying that if she were telling her neighbors things about BB's and his partner's reputation that were true that she was wrong for doing so? Because I don't see how if she was conveying true information this would be objectionable even if this information damaged their reputation.

I think its objectionable to tell neighbors bad things about other people which you know with 100% confidence are true unless there is some compelling reason that the neighbor needs that information. If you were to share information with me with the sole intent of damaging someones reputation, I would consider that wrong. In short, I think its very rude to telling insulting stories about people unless you have some clear and important objective beyond damaging that persons reputation.

I think its extremely objectionable to share bad things about a person when you haven't taken the time to verify whether or not those bad things are true. I would find this objectionable even if there were some clear reason for sharing the information beyond a desire to damage someones reputation.


So in this case, the woman had had only a few minutes contact with these missionaries so unless she was simply repeating word for word what the missionaries had said which upset her so greatly, she was very likely repeating defamatory information which she had not verified.

Second, while the woman may have believed that these missionaries were spreading dangerous truths and that her neighbors clearly needed to know this to protect themselves, I find it impossible to believe that she felt the missionaries were so dangerous that even opening the door to them was likely to be dangerous.

And as I've said before, If I were one of the neighbors I would be insult that she thought I was less capable of recognizing how bad they were than she was. Insulted that she thought I was less capable of sending the missionaries away than she. I mean really. Why did this woman feel she needed to warn the neighbors? What did she think she knew that the neighbors didn't know are couldn't learn in the same minute that she spent talking to the missionaries?
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
Why? Maybe this was a tight-knit community, and this woman knew these people. Most cultures are less insular than ours.

-pH

Because on a cold winter night, any rational person in a close knit community would pick up the phone and call their neighbors rather than put on a coat and boots and storm down the street knocking on peoples doors. Heck it its really a close knit community, you'd call two friends, and they'd call to friends and the word would be to the whole neighborhood in less time than it took to put on the boots. That is the way community networks work.


On the other hand, it you put on the coat and boots and stormi down the streets, then the missionaries will see you and will know you are doing and know that you are the reason that the neighbors won't let them in and feel embarassed and ashamed. Which is why I think the woman's actions indicate spite rather than an honest desire to protect the neighbors.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
What if they didn't have phones?

-pH
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
To the best of my knowledge, they have phones in Taiwan.

If for some reason she was an exception, I still don't see the driving need to go out at night in the cold to spread the word. Close knit communities have networks. People talk and interact on a daily basis which is why the community is close knit. I can see her going out at night in the cold if she though their was some immediate threat to their well being. If she thought BB was going to steal their silver or molest their children or something. But if she thought BB stealing their soles could happen in one evening so she couldn't wait until the next day to spread the news through the normal gossip network, she was pretty whacky at the very least.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
But you're going around trying to lure people away from the true faith into your false one. If it's legitimate for you to go around to complete strangers trying to convert them to the true religion, isn't it legitimate for them to go around to people they know and try to protect them from your attempts to convert them to a false one?
This only seems applicable if one views it as moral to want to protect other adult individuals from having a choice offered to them. Now, I realize this statement was made in the context referring to someone sneaking around security to proseltize.

Bearing that in mind, if it were simply in a neighborhood...do people on Hatrack really think that protecting other adults from having a choice offered to them is a 'bingo' situation?
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
Rakeesh, The instance in question was simply in a neighborhood. No one snuck around security to get into the neighborhood. BB had simply related another incident in which some missionaries other than him and allegedly snuck around a security guard. The two incidents are not related in any way except that BB told both stories.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Ahh, my mistake. After nine pages, my head is swimming somewhat.
 
Posted by Sharpie (Member # 482) on :
 
Maybe it's because I'm reading this all at once, but it seems a little ... ironic? ... to be concerned about whether BB was being insulted by the Taiwanese woman, considering his first posts in this thread. I say this as gently as I can, really I do, but BlackBlade, don't you at all wonder if your attitude towards the "unattractive" people came through? Or your rather boorish laughing and waving at the Chinese people "who laugh at the most stupid things". Their waves meant "go away" and you knew it and WAVED BACK, laughingly.

I have not been approached by a missionary, but -- and like I said, I mean this as gently as I can -- I have kind of a sour taste in my mouth from those descriptions of your point of view, as a missionary.

Now, mind you, I'm definitely the kind who would hang up a clever sign to keep ANYONE from knocking on my door. I'm a hermit, I am. [Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Bearing that in mind, if it were simply in a neighborhood...do people on Hatrack really think that protecting other adults from having a choice offered to them is a 'bingo' situation?

I assume this was in response to my post above? You may consider proselytizing as innocuous as "offering a choice." I rather emphatically do not. Moreover, while in my current neighborhood (for a variety of reasons) I know almost no one on my block, in my old neighborhood I knew practically everyone, and the vast majority of the block (about 85%) was other Orthodox Jews. People who were about as interested in being proselytized at as I am. Probably less. Some I had phone numbers for; some I did not. So I would (and on at least one occasion did) go warn the neighbors when there were missionaries on our block, and was several times myself warned.

You may consider missionaries to be performing a wonderful service, but please keep in mind that some of us do not. (And it astonishes me the unremitting arrogance on this point that keeps surfacing in this thread. It's almost as bad as those darn baptism-for-the-dead threads all over again! [Razz] )
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
I think that the best possible explanation for this woman's behavior was that she was so angry that she needed to try hurt this missionaries by ruining the rest of their evening and defaming them through out the neighborhood.

"Best"? Interesting choice of words. Best for whom? Because I believe it is best for ME, whenever possible, and even when it is the least likely possibility, to assume that which paints people in the best light. (With the exception of times when it is necessary to protect myself or others from further harm. Which is clearly not the case here.)

Two possible scenarios have been described. One which makes the poor missionaries innocent martyrs and the woman nasty and evil-minded; one which makes the missionaries people doing their best to do what they believe is right, and the woman also someone doing HER best to do what she believes is right.

I choose the option that paints the most people in a positive light. Evidence or no (and honestly, anyone who doesn't realize how impossible it is to trust a completely unbiased eyewitness this long after the fact, let alone an admittedly biased one, really should watch more cop shows).

And while I can certainly understand the very, very human impulse to believe the version that paints the party you sympathize with as a martyr, I am truly dismayed at how many people in this thread are so very determined to do so. I think less of a number of you than I did before this thread. [Frown]
 
Posted by Theca (Member # 1629) on :
 
But... why do you need to protect your neighbors from the naive young missionaries?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Wow... maybe the title of this thread should be: "If the Mormons were like Al Qaida..."

Really, this whole conversation seems to be geared towards proving that missionaries (Mormon missionaries in particular) are generally boorish, uncouth, rude people that delight in others misery. I see a lot of jumping to conclusions about peoples behavior and perceived behavior that I'd be really astonished, except I feel that I've read this thread before...

CT: to your question about the difference between a sign and a verbal "no, thank you." I believe that this thread is evidence that a sign means something different to everyone. It doesn't always mean that they don't want missionaries. However, a verbal statement should be enough to at least give the missionary an inkling that the timing is not appropriate, and to move on. Depending on the delivery of the "no, thank you," a later visit may or may not be desirable. But, 99 times out of a hundred, that delivery had better be something, because missionaries generally haven't got time to revisit the same home twice.

However, I think a Do Not Disturb sign to be much more revealing about someone's needs and wants than a No Solicitors sign.

And I'd much prefer that if someone doesn't want a missionary at the door that they were previously warned. Then, they can not answer, and there's no need for an awkward refusal. That being said, I believe from the description of BB's particular scenario, that the woman was indeed spiteful. In rivka's scenario, I don't see the spite.
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
quote:
But... why do you need to protect your neighbors from the naive young missionaries?
To me it's not so much protection, as it is just letting people know - "Hey, there's people in the neighborhood you may not want to talk to. I'm letting you know so you can choose to open your door or not."

And I have indeed had neighbors call me. I don't know about the rest of you, but I live in an area with a high amount of solicitation. I guess it's because it's an affluent neighborhood - if we hadn't bought our land before the prices jumped and built our house ourselves we could never afford to live here - but we seem to be magnets for people who are selling things and churches. I've had neighbors call me and tell me there were solicitors in the area, and I did appreciate it. It meant I could ignore my doorbell.

I don't normally ignore my doorbell ringing - because one of my neighbors or their kids might need me, so if it rings, I answer it if I'm home. Once a neighbor kid had gotten locked out of her house and needed to use my phone, I want to be available to help my neighbors if they need me, but I do find solicitors very annoying.

I don't think that telling people "the Mormons are coming" automatically means you hate Mormons, it might just mean "Hey, there's some people coming through you may not want to talk to." Then the person who is forewarned can choose to open their doors or not.
 
Posted by Theca (Member # 1629) on :
 
So, getting the mormons to leave could take more time than the time it would take for neighbors to call each other, hence being warned actually saves people time? I had assumed that a simple "no thanks" and they'd walk away. That would only take, like, a minute.

Nobody has ever knocked on my door, so I don't know these things.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Theca:
So, getting the mormons to leave could take more time than the time it would take for neighbors to call each other, hence being warned actually saves people time? I had assumed that a simple "no thanks" and they'd walk away. That would only take, like, a minute.

Nobody has ever knocked on my door, so I don't know these things.

I don't know about Mormons, but I know that Baptists and Jehovah's Witnesses are incredibly difficult to get away from your door, and I was raised Baptist.

Edit: I personally don't understand how door-to-door missionary work does much good at all. I think it generates much more negative publicity than good, simply because it involves intruding into people's lives to say, "Hi, let me tell you all about why my God is better than your God, if you even have one."

I also found it offensive when the Bible thumpers decided to set up camp in Ybor one night, handing out pamphlets and telling me all about how sex is not love. Because obviously, if I'm in Ybor, I'm looking for a one night stand. But if I made any assumptions about them, I would be a bigot, right?

And don't get me started on the Scientologists stopping people on the street to take a stress test.

-pH
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Theca:
But... why do you need to protect your neighbors from the naive young missionaries?

You can't have it both ways, you know. They are either effective, or they're not.
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
quote:
So, getting the mormons to leave could take more time than the time it would take for neighbors to call each other, hence being warned actually saves people time? I had assumed that a simple "no thanks" and they'd walk away. That would only take, like, a minute.

I'd much rather talk to my neighbor for a quick few minutes than get a solicitor away from my door. I never get them away in a minute, unless I'm extremely rude. contrary to what most of you may think, I don't like being rude. [Razz]

I suppose I could just slam the door and walk away, but that makes me feel bad. I don't want to be a jerk to people, but I feel like I have to - I'd much rather avoid the issue altogether.

Today, for example, I was home with two sick kids. all three of us - me, and my twins were running fevers over 100 degrees. We're all lying aroudn drinking fluids and trying to take it easy and someone rang my doorbell. I would have ignored it, but a church member had mentioned coming by and picking up some CD's from me for children's choir tonight so I thought it was her. It wasn't. It was someone out soliciting votes for their candidate for county commission, I think it was. It took me a lot longer than it should have to convince her I was sick and had sick kids and would she please just go away.

I would have much rather had a phone call from my neighbor telling me what was going on so I could have ignored the door bell.

quote:
Nobody has ever knocked on my door, so I don't know these things.
With all due respect then, you obviously coudldn't understand where those of us who have had negative experiences with solicitors are coming from.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
You may consider proselytizing as innocuous as "offering a choice." I rather emphatically do not.
I know a little, not much but a little, about how some religions believe that something such as baptism for the dead is something more than just offering a choice, that it violates something. I don't understand thiis precisely, it's been a long time since that discussion, but I can wholeheartedly accept that and if I were instructed to baptize someone whom I knew, in life, expressed a wish not to have it done after death and that they felt it violated their own religion, I would not do it.

I do not, however, understand how this applies to living proseltizing. Unless the person asked has expressed a wish not to be asked in the future, how on Earth is it not innocuous?! And before I get criticized about getting upset, repeated accusations of Earth-shattering arrogance tend to annoy-as much as you yourself are annoyed by the perceived arrogance, I expect.

quote:
You may consider missionaries to be performing a wonderful service, but please keep in mind that some of us do not. (And it astonishes me the unremitting arrogance on this point that keeps surfacing in this thread. It's almost as bad as those darn baptism-for-the-dead threads all over again! )

I could equally well say that it seems unremittingly arrogant to insist that all other people keep their deeply held beliefs to themselves. If you're allowed to find 'unremitting arrogance', I'm allowed to think that's what you would probably like.

I'm not talking just about calling a friend and saying, "Hey, there are some proseltizers about, so if you get a knock on the door, that's who it probably is," I'm talking about, "Look out, those missionaries are back. Again. Lock your doors!" Letting your neighbors know they're there is one thing. Advocating against the work being done and actively attempting to undermine it seems to illustrate a lack of faith in the strength of faith.

I would never attempt to stop a missionary from attempting to convert another adult Latter-Day Saint. Refer them to people in authority who can answer questions, answer questions I am certainn of myself, yes. Stop the missionary entirely? No. It's not even a question, for me, of having faith in their faith. For me it's a question of respecting their personhood. To me, the decision to accept or reject hearing about such an offer should belong to the person offered alone, who should not be shielded from it by anyone other than themselves. Those people can put up their own signs.

Is this 'unremitting arrogance'? Well, sure. It's the same kind of 'unremitting arrogance'-I'm not sure if I'm spelling that right and I've used the darn word too often to correct!-that powers faith all over the world. Arrogance to have faith that you, or me, have the correct understanding of the Divine, or at least are on the bottom rung of it. How audacious is that!

quote:
And while I can certainly understand the very, very human impulse to believe the version that paints the party you sympathize with as a martyr, I am truly dismayed at how many people in this thread are so very determined to do so. I think less of a number of you than I did before this thread.
There is another human impulse involved, which you're ignoring or else painting differently. It's the impulse to, when confronted with someone whose integrity is not challenged-and to my knowledge, that's not an issue previous to this issue-to believe what they say. It seems arrogant to me in the extreme to twist that normal human impulse into a sort of blind party-obedience.

But perhaps the trouble comes from people being less willing to exhibit a blunt, forceful personality in personal exchanged with other people than I am. Sometimes it's not so good, as many here will recognize about me. But other times, it's very good indeed such as when confronted with solicitations of any kind, personally or on the phone, I can say, "I'm not interested, I won't be hearing more, and don't come back/call again, please," and not feel the slightest guilt about it.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Some thoughts....

LDS missionaries should not be sneaking past security guards or climbing fences. LDS missionaries should not be knocking on doors that have 'No Solicitors' signs. Any reasonably ethical person would interpret such things in the average, normal, every-day way: "These people don't want to be bothered. I'm not going to climb this fence. I'm not going to ring this doorbell." To look for excuses to interpret such things in different ways is unethical. I believe that an LDS missionary should try to practice the highest form of ethics, or else he is a bad representative of the LDS church. I also believe that most LDS missionaries certainly would agree with this, and do practice the basic ethics of reasonable people, and therefore they are not spending their time jumping fences and disturbing people with 'Do Not Disturb' signs on their doors.

The woman who went around warning her neighbors about the Mormons was almost-certainly unfairly biased against the Mormon church.

Dag's analogy made no sense.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Rakeesh, I do not believe I have the ability to explain to you why I don't consider it innocuous. I'm going to have to ask that you simply take my word for it.

But I am not "insist[ing] that all other people keep their deeply held beliefs to themselves." I'm simply asking that you wait to be asked, or otherwise have someone express interest.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
The last time I had missionaries at my door, I said, "we're already LDS," (this was several years ago), and they said, "Are you going to church regularly?"

"I'm not, no."

"Why not?"

"I guess I'm inactive."

"I want to share a message with you today. Something I know in my heart. Will you hear it?"

"Really, guys, I've heard all the messages. I'm LDS I'm just going through something. I don't need to hear the message. Okay?"

"Please let me share this message with you. The message is, God loves you. He loves you. You're a child of God, and if you pray, you will know this."

"Thank you," I said.

He put his hand on my shoulder, pressed his Book of Mormon against his chest, looked into my eyes, and began to sing. "I am a child of God, and He has sent me here, has given me...." And as he sang, he began to cry. For me, presumably.

And then he continued to sing, and I was trying not to cry -- not necessarily because I was moved by his message (though it's possible) -- but because I think I was touched at the apparent depth of this man's passion and caring and kindness. There was no embarrassment or shame. This guy (about my own age, at the time) from another country, touching my shoulder and crying to convey something he felt, maybe for himself, maybe for me, I don't know.....

It was touching.

Then he just said, "Will you think about this message?"

And I said I would.

And he said thank you, and I said thank you, and then he left my front steps and I closed the door.

That was no salesman.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Actually, I would say he was a very GOOD salesman.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Not very, since he didn't sell me. A salesman sells a product. This guy meant it in a way people rarely, rarely mean things.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
The very best salesmen always mean it. I've known a few.

And if he hadn't "sold" you, you wouldn't be trying to sell me on him.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Because I was there, and you weren't, you'll have to take my word for it. Anyway: I'm twice the cynic you are. You can't out-cynic me.

This guy... There's no way to cynically dismiss him.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
I'm twice the cynic you are. You can't out-cynic me.

*twinkle* I think the evidence indicates otherwise. [Wink]
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
What evidence? I'm Mr. Sourpants over here, Mr. hates everybody and everything whilst wearing sour pants. And you're rivka.

My entire job on hatrack so far has been to go around being cynical.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
The fact that I was once impressed by the sincerity of an LDS missionary? You would have wept like a baby, no doubt. This was like the most sincere missionary of all time.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Anyone would have!
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
'Cept me.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
And you're rivka.

So glad we cleared that up! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
It was important.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
I know. My identity is very important to me.

Why, it's, it's . . . it's, like, who I am!
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Don't twist my words.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Uh . . .

[Confused]

[Dont Know]
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
The fact that I was once impressed by the sincerity of an LDS missionary? You would have wept like a baby, no doubt. This was like the most sincere missionary of all time.

Actually, I probably would've been a little creeped out. Possibly offended.

-pH
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
May I ask why, pH, you would have been offended?

I'm going to make an assumption that you've never been LDS and/or don't know much about Mormon culture. Missionaries knocking on your door when you're LDS is very different than when you're not. Missionaries are valued and protected in LDS communities.

He wasn't crossing a line at all, because we shared a common cultural understanding, he and I. This was a circumstance far different than ... How do I explain this?

It's like this: When you're LDS, no missionary is a stranger to you. Though that was our only meeting, we were not strangers.

Now, having said that, I feel the need to clarify my position about the LDS church. I believe the LDS church is a decent thing with some wonderful teachings and intentions. I defend it, as an organization, frequently.

I am not LDS, but I have great respect for many people who are (including family).

I no longer believe in the religion and honestly, I never did -- not really. Not even when I was a kid. But it took me a long time to get to the point where I would/could say "I'm not Mormon."
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
Uh . . .
[Smile]
Yes!
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
I was thinking of the offense more in the same way, if say, a Baptist missionary came to my door. Although it would probably apply to LDS as well. I become offended when people interrupt my life to tell me about God. I'm Christian, and I'll be Christian the way I want to be. And my version of Christianity does not include butting into other people's lives to tell them that they're going to hell/need to read the Bible/whatever. If someone were to come to me and ask me how I felt about religion, I'd share, but I think it's rude to shove it into people's faces like that. Actually, I think that point was a major factor in my refusing to go back to a Southern Baptist church. They put a really strong emphasis on witnessing once you get into the youth group, and the idea of doing that just didn't feel right to me.

Add to that the fact that I'm really too nice to tell someone to get the hell off my property, and you've created a terribly uncomfortable situation for me, even if the missionary really thinks he's going to help somehow.

-pH
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Well, common culture, not strangers, etc.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
quote:
Uh . . .
[Smile]
Yes!

AHA! So much for
quote:
My entire job on hatrack so far has been to go around being cynical.

 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
If someone were to come to me and ask me how I felt about religion, I'd share, but I think it's rude to shove it into people's faces like that. Actually, I think that point was a major factor in my refusing to go back to a Southern Baptist church. They put a really strong emphasis on witnessing once you get into the youth group, and the idea of doing that just didn't feel right to me.
I feel the same way, generally speaking. Yeah, pretty much exactly the same way.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
AHA! So much for
What?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Why is it not considered nice to tell someone, who is a stranger and uninvited, to get the hell of one's property?

I do not understand this mentality. Perhaps I wouldn't say, "Get the hell off my property,"-although I probably would-but certainly, "You are not welcome here. Please leave, now," doesn't seem un-nice to me.
 
Posted by Theca (Member # 1629) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
With all due respect then, you obviously coudldn't understand where those of us who have had negative experiences with solicitors are coming from. [/QB]

Which is why I asked the question. [Confused] I got some pretty good answers, too.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Dag's analogy made no sense.
Yes, it did. To pretend that it blatantly made no sense is simply ignoring a huge aspect of the issue.

Now, you may disagree that it was a good analogy, or that it made demonstrated the likelihood of a bad motive, but the analogy made perfect sense.

However, it seems you do agree with the point of the analogy, since you state it's conclusion yourself:

quote:
The woman who went around warning her neighbors about the Mormons was almost-certainly unfairly biased against the Mormon church.
quote:
I'm simply asking that you wait to be asked, or otherwise have someone express interest.
You may think that is a simple request, but I can assure you many others do not.

The answer, quite simply, is going to be "no" to that request. That's different than violating a no solicitors sign or a request to leave.

To clarify: Someone who believes that one of the few direct commands from the Incarnation of God motivates them to do door-to-door missionary work is not going to allow you to speak for millions of other people in this regard.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
rivka:

I'm pretty astounded that you're willing to give the busybody old woman the benefit of the doubt and not TL's busybody missionary.

What's up with that?

At the beginning of my mission, I was there because I loved Mormonism, and I loved God. As time went on, I grew to love Italy, and the people I served.

Those are the terms I thought in. So when I hear some of you talking about missionaries being 'salesmen...' well, it torks me a bit. I understand that you feel that way, and I understand your reasons for your feelings. I think they're valid feelings, inasmuch as they are your own, and you don't like people ringing your doorbell.

But don't presume to think missionaries are 'just like salesmen.' The term 'salesman,' as used in this discussion, has a negative connotation-- to me, it assumes that the person the term addresses doesn't care about the state of the product, doesn't care about the people he's trying to convince to take the product, and that his only concern is to get numbers.

The term 'salesman,' as used by rivka and others, does not take into account the very real personal sacrifice that most missionaries must go through. It doesn't touch the amount of love that most missionaries feel for the people they serve. It doesn't hint at the level of busy-bodiness most missionaries must be capable of to do what they do every day.

I've yet to see a car dealer willing to die for his customers. I've known missionaries who were willing and showed proof of their willingness to die for the people (that's important here-- the PEOPLE, not the gospel) they served.

It's not just belief, rivka. It's not just an attachment to a particular brand of doctrine. For most missionaries, it's love of people. Calling the Sisters and Elders 'salesmen' demeans them.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
I'm pretty astounded that you're willing to give the busybody old woman the benefit of the doubt and not TL's busybody missionary.

What's up with that?

I'm confused. Who is it I'm not giving the benefit of the doubt? Because I absolutely believe that the missionary who TL spoke to was sincere. I do not question that for a minute.


I get that you think that "salesman" is a negative; I don't. Probably because I have plenty of friends who not only sell things for a living, but specifically only sell products that they believe in. (Not in the way that one believes in religion, agreed.)

Now, I have met the other kind of salesmen. But I'm not friends with any of 'em. So that's not who I tend to think of when I use the word. But I apologize for using it when it has such negative vibes for some of you.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Why is it not considered nice to tell someone, who is a stranger and uninvited, to get the hell of one's property?

I do not understand this mentality. Perhaps I wouldn't say, "Get the hell off my property,"-although I probably would-but certainly, "You are not welcome here. Please leave, now," doesn't seem un-nice to me.

I don't know how to explain it, but I just get really uncomfortable having to ask people to leave my house. Especially since I'm probably asking them to leave because they're making me uncomfortable anyway, and I really don't like being uncomfortable in my own home. It's a little easier for me to ask to be left alone out on the street, but it can still be a little difficult.

And I, too, do not think selling or salespeople are negative terms, rivka. For me though, I guess it's because I think of selling in terms of marketing, in which you sell not only the physical product, but the ideas/feelings surrounding it. And I used to sell things at concerts all the time. I'm not going to say that I, personally, believed in every product for myself, but I knew that there were plenty of people who would love it, and I had no problem introducing them to it.

-pH
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
Yes, it did. To pretend that it blatantly made no sense is simply ignoring a huge aspect of the issue.
No. I'm not ignoring a huge aspect of the issue, I'm questioning whether or not you made the kind of sense you wanted to make. I'll rephrase it to this: Dag's analogy made no sense to me.

However, since we are in agreement on the ultimate point, it hardly seems to matter.

But Mr.Squicky had to suffer a bit of abuse over the issue and I felt the need to back him up, since I think he was 100% correct.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Black people = LDS missionaries -- is an analogy that makes no sense in any kind of real-world way. The missionaries weren't being discriminated against because of the color of their skin (at least - not in this case). Mormon missionaries being in the neighborhood meant (probably), to this old woman = These people are going door to door challenging our beliefs and trying to steer me and my neighbors spiritually awry! I can't let this happen! Specifically, probably, because she cares about the well-being of her neighbors. Black people being in a neighborhood is not a factor that will endanger your salvation. In other words, she wasn't discriminating for no reason. In her mind, she was reacting to an offense of action. Not an offense of being
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
I was partially raised by my grandmother - my parents worked and I spent most afternoons and all my summers at her house. This was a woman who embodied "Southern hospitality" and a genteelness (is that a word?) that one doesn't see much now. I know for a fact that routinely invited missionaries of any persuasion into her home, served them something to eat and drink, the pulled out her Bible and proceeded to read to them why they were wrong and she was right. You can be certain she was the soul of politness while she did it. [Wink]

In other words, it's been ingrained into me from a young age forward that you don't slam doors on people or rudely tell them to go away. While I can do it, and have when I felt like I had to, I still don't like doing it. Rakeesh obviously has less trouble telling people to go away. There are times I wish I were like that, but I'm not. I cannot do it, without feeling terrible about it for a long time afterwards.

I have stood at the door and listened to pitches on the days I just got home from chemo. I wanted nothing more than to go lie down and ignore these people but I couldn't. I must have looked awful one day because the salesman at the door asked me "Are you all right, Ma'am?" which gave me the opening to say no, I'm sick and graciously leave.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
The fact that I was once impressed by the sincerity of an LDS missionary? You would have wept like a baby, no doubt. This was like the most sincere missionary of all time.

I would have been horrified, and possibly a little frightened. And I spend a lot of time helping to convert people to catholicism. The difference is that they have asked for my (our) help.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I think what this thread shows is that it isn't safe to share important things. Someone tells a story of what moved him, and the response is a cynical appreciation of a SALES PITCH and self-righteousness. I think it's too bad that people are intent to find something rotten where there is good intent and love. That you're sure it was there says more about what you look for than about the missionary.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I think what this thread shows is that it isn't safe to share important things. Someone tells a story of what moved him, and the response is a cynical appreciation of a SALES PITCH and self-righteousness. I think it's too bad that people are intent to find something rotten where there is good intent and love. That you're sure it was there says more about what you look for than about the missionary.

I don't think anyone here was saying it was anything rotten. I know that for myself (and maybe kmbboots), I don't think that the missionary would be a BAD PERSON, but I'd still feel that I was being made uncomfortable in my own home.

I also don't think that a "sales pitch" is a nasty thing.

-pH
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
TL,
I gotta tell you, my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. It's probably different for you, being in the culture, but if a missionary did something like that to me, I'd kick him out of my house and call around to the neighbors to warn people about him and the group he belonged to.

Again, this may be very different because you were already LDS, but there was no intellectual content to what he had to say. It was a purely charismatic emotional appeal. The content of the message was irrelevant. It didn't matter if he wsa talking about Jesus, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard, Jim Jones, whatever. The devotion, emotion, and the unconcious effects of his physical actions such as coming into your personal space so quickly and grabbing your shoulder were what had the effect on you, not the specifics of the message.

In my experiences with prostyletizing missionaries, I've noticed that they all seemed trained to go after the weak spots in people. You know, do you lack a sense of meaning, are you unhappy, do you feel unloved, do you feel like you are out of control? But this goes far beyond that. It's extremely blatant content-free emotional manipulation.

I'm not saying that it is insincere by the way. But people who belong to cults are very sincere too and man are they dedicated.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
What always irritated me about the Southern Baptist strategy is that they think that if the witnessee is being made uncomfortable, that just means that the witness is showing him/her his/her wicked ways, and the person is responding to God.

No, dude. Some people are just being made uncomfortable.

-pH
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
:sigh:

I'm not really sure what to say here. I don't think rivka was being self-righteous. I don't fault her her mistrust of proselyting religions...mostly. (I continue to be similarly mistrustful of Judaism because it DOESN'T proselyte-- how's that for irony?)

Mistrustful isn't the right word...I can't think of a better one right now.

I think we're all telling the truth.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
(I continue to be similarly mistrustful of Judaism because it DOESN'T proselyte-- how's that for irony?)

[Big Grin]
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
there was no intellectual content to what he had to say. It was a purely charismatic emotional appeal. The content of the message was irrelevant.
1) Why is a charismatic appeal necessarily to be frowned upon in proselyting/discussion?

2)
quote:
"The message is, God loves you. He loves you. You're a child of God, and if you pray, you will know this."
Er...that was the content of the missionary's message to TL. We could go about this several ways-- how when a Mormon says to another Mormon 'I am a child of God,' it means something completely different from when a protestant says it; we could talk about the Mormon belief in personal connection to the divine through prayer; we could talk about how first the Spirit touches us (the charismatic bit), and then edifies us through instruction (the intellectual/teaching bit).

In any case, the missionary touched on some of the most peculiar and striking and deep and unique doctrines that the LDS church has to offer.

Funny how you didn't notice that, Squick.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Scott,
The charasmatic appeal is to frowned on because it's completely content free. And it is one of the main recruiting techiques cults use.

And yeah, being a Child of God as a teaching or statement is something LDS shares with tons of sects of Christianity and a whole slew of cults.

The "You've got a divine parental figure who loves and looks out for you." is again one of the main recruiting techniques of many cults.

I'm not kidding when my first impression was that the whole description could be lifted out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. I've read pretty much the same thing out of them.

---

And, you may not have noticed it Scott, but I made specific allowance for this as probably being different for someone who is inside LDS culture. However, TL was specifically extending this same situation to people outside this context and I explained what my reaction would be and why I would have this reaction.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
I'm contesting your statement that the missionary's expression was content free.

From TL's account, it is plain that there WAS content to the message.

As well as song. I mean, freak; DOCTRINE and a MUSICAL NUMBER? I could sell tickets.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
And I said:
quote:
Again, this may be very different because you were already LDS, but there was no intellectual content to what he had to say.
To which you responded with a nasty little insult. Nice.
 
Posted by Samarkand (Member # 8379) on :
 
I liked Belle's post above. I know that when two LDS missionaries showed up at my apartment, I greeted them politely, asked if they would like a drink of water or anything, and then told them that I was quite familiar with LDS and had great respect for many aspects of the religion, but there were certain things I was uncomfortable with and that prevented me from wishing to join the religion. I also said that the things I objected to were certainly not unique to the Churh of LDS.

One of the missionaries inquired as to what one of the things I was uncomfortable with were, and I said that I personally felt that being homosexual was not a choice, and knew someone who had been raised in a Mormon family, realized he was gay, and went through pure hell with his family and church trying to tell him he was choosing to sin, and wound up losing both. I also said that I personally would not feel comfortable raising a child in a religion that espoused that particular belief.

He accepted my explanation, no pushing, I asked how their missions were going, they said they were going well, I asked again if they wanted something to drink or to use the restroom, they said they were just fine, they went on their way.

I just - regardless of what someone believes, until they are rude to me, I don't think it's ok for me to be rude to them. So if I had been hosting a party or on my way to work, I would have told them that, and perhaps also that I was versed in LDS ideas and not interested, thank you, so they wouldn't bother to drop by again. And then if they wouldn't let me go I'd be firmer, and possibly eventually rude, but I think that ought to be a last resort.

I also know that No Solicitors signs don't say No Proselytizers, but I think that wise people going to door-to-door for any reason other than asking to borrow an egg from their already known neighbor or informing someone that their roof is on fire must accept the fact that their visit will likely not be welcomed, and recognize that ringing the doorbell or knocking may itself be interpreted as a rude act, and may be responded to with rudeness. And anyone who doesn't want random people to knock on their door ought to purchase a sign so people know that, and they can be more justifiably annoyed with salesmen or missionaries or Girl Scouts when they ignore the sign.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. It's probably different for you, being in the culture...
quote:
The charasmatic appeal is to frowned on because it's completely content free. And it is one of the main recruiting techiques cults use.

And yeah, being a Child of God as a teaching or statement is something LDS shares with tons of sects of Christianity and a whole slew of cults.

The "You've got a divine parental figure who loves and looks out for you." is again one of the main recruiting techniques of many cults.

I'm not kidding when my first impression was that the whole description could be lifted out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. I've read pretty much the same thing out of them.


Mormons have horns.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. It's probably different for you, being in the culture...
quote:
The charasmatic appeal is to frowned on because it's completely content free. And it is one of the main recruiting techiques cults use.

And yeah, being a Child of God as a teaching or statement is something LDS shares with tons of sects of Christianity and a whole slew of cults.

The "You've got a divine parental figure who loves and looks out for you." is again one of the main recruiting techniques of many cults.

I'm not kidding when my first impression was that the whole description could be lifted out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. I've read pretty much the same thing out of them.


Mormons have horns.

I'm just preserving this so you can't delete it. My fault for expecting better of you.

edit: Originally, Scott only had the word "cults" bolded.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Aw... now you've gone and foiled me.

Shucks.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
I also know that No Solicitors signs don't say No Proselytizers, but I think that wise people going to door-to-door for any reason other than asking to borrow an egg from their already known neighbor or informing someone that their roof is on fire must accept the fact that their visit will likely not be welcomed, and recognize that ringing the doorbell or knocking may itself be interpreted as a rude act, and may be responded to with rudeness. And anyone who doesn't want random people to knock on their door ought to purchase a sign so people know that, and they can be more justifiably annoyed with salesmen or missionaries or Girl Scouts when they ignore the sign.
I agree with this almost 100%.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
What if they didn't have phones?

-pH

Taiwan is 2nd only to Japan in how well their phone systems work. Just FYI, I might comment more in this thread later, I'm going to eat first so that I am more passive. [Wink]
 
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
 
quote:
I think what this thread shows is that it isn't safe to share important things.
I think this thread says that for absolutely any event people are going to perceive it differently. If you only want to be surrounded by agreement, then I guess it's not safe. If you are open to discussing your own thoughts on an event and will not be offended when people think differently than you, then I don't see why it is unsafe.

quote:
my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques
I think this comparison is inaccurate. TL was already a member of the church and the missionary was sharing a song and message that any Mormon would know. There was no recruitment. I see nothing remotely questionable about the missionary's actions or message in this context.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Which is why I was talking about it from my perspective.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I'm just preserving this so you can't delete it. My fault for expecting better of you.

edit: Originally, Scott only had the word "cults" bolded.

I don't understand the point of this. Evidently you think Scott did something wrong. But you haven't commented on what it is. The only thing you've done is, assuming Scott ever did decide this post were a mistake, prevent him from removing it.

Why? I could see if you had invested some time into a reply wanting to ensure the inspiring post wasn't removed.

As it is, it seems all you want to do is preserve evidence of Scott's "wrongdoing" for some reason.

Do you also take videos of people who don't wash their hands after using a public restroom and post them for everyone to see?
 
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
 
I think it was a joke about Scott admitting Mormons have horns.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
It doesn't appear that way from the context.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sharpie:
Maybe it's because I'm reading this all at once, but it seems a little ... ironic? ... to be concerned about whether BB was being insulted by the Taiwanese woman, considering his first posts in this thread. I say this as gently as I can, really I do, but BlackBlade, don't you at all wonder if your attitude towards the "unattractive" people came through? Or your rather boorish laughing and waving at the Chinese people "who laugh at the most stupid things". Their waves meant "go away" and you knew it and WAVED BACK, laughingly.

I have not been approached by a missionary, but -- and like I said, I mean this as gently as I can -- I have kind of a sour taste in my mouth from those descriptions of your point of view, as a missionary.

Now, mind you, I'm definitely the kind who would hang up a clever sign to keep ANYONE from knocking on my door. I'm a hermit, I am. [Smile]

I really think you misunderstood the feelings I have towards Chinese people.

I LOVE the Chinese people, I grew up around them, I was deeply honored to work as a missionary amongst them. The first girl I ever fell in love with was Chinese and we remain close friends to this day.

You called my waving "boorish" but you are not Taiwanese. Honestly if you had time to absorb the culture you would realize interaction just does not work the same way. I was not some maniac waving my hand like an idiot. I just recognized that I could get Chinese people to laugh with antics such as that, and believe me, getting them to laugh was loads better then just letting them reject my message. Its often difficult to retain a positive outlook in the face of such constant rejection.

If you make eye contact with just about any Taiwanese person and give them a big grin and a nod, they will ALWAYS do it back. They are very happy culture overall. Their sense of humor is (I dont want to say primitive) but it does not incorporate the vast amount of sarcasm that you pick up in the US.

If a man rolled up on his scooter and I saw a COMPLETELY unrelated women driving a BMW I could say to the man, "Why do you put up with this? Why do you drive the scooter while your wife drives the BMW?!" the response EVERY TIME was

"HA! Thats not MY BMW! If I could afford a BMW do you think I'd bother with a scooter!?" and this was said complete in the spirit of humor.

If I said that in the US they'de say something like "What are you some sort of idiot?" or "I'm gonna kick you butt for that stupid comment."

It just doesnt work the same way here.

I am not an idiot. If I see a situation where humor was not applicable I was simply cordial. Sometimes I was completely serious and very focused.

I hate talking about all this, I am not a big fan of complimenting myself, but I honestly strongly disagree with anyone that accuses me of looking down on the Chinese. I honestly hope one day I can live among them, not because I think they are all circus monkeys that entertain me, but because they are wonderful human beings that brighten my life.
 
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
 
I could be wrong. I read it a few times before coming to that conclusion. [Dont Know]
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Wow, I really thought it was clearer than that. Scott made a nasty unwarranted attack. I called him on it. He responds by implying that I was saying that Mormons are a cult. Am I alone in thinking that this makes him look bad?
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Wow, I really thought it was clearer than that. Scott made a nasty unwarranted attack. I called him on it. He responds by implying that I was saying that Mormons are a cult. Am I alone in thinking that this makes him look bad?
So why preserve it if you aren't going to respond?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
I don't think anyone here was saying it was anything rotten.
Oh, come now. Way back near the beginning of the thread, Paul labeled this kind of thing as 'disgustingly sickening'.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
I'm used to people saying things like that to me then going back and deleting it after they realize that it makes them look bad. I figured, given the lack of integrity that Scott showed in this exchange, it's likely that he'd consider this a better alternative to the apology he owes me.
 
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
 
I don't think it makes him look bad. I think it shows why he was irritated. You made many comparisons between Mormons and cults. No you did not say that Mormons are a cult, but I can understand why your frequent use of the word in this conversation would rub him the wrong way.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Dude, you likened the missionary to a cultist repeatedly. Oh, wait, you tagged on at the end, "Oh, I'm not saying he was a cultist...he was just using a bunch of cultist techniques."

Then you actually stated something plainly wrong about his approach, that it had 'no intellectual content'.

So, boo-hoo if Scott R did say something nasty to you-and I don't even see where he did, by the way. You had it coming. Now, you can return to your self-pitying martyr complex.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I'm used to people saying things like that to me then going back and deleting it after they realize that it makes them look bad.

Ah, so your intent is to keep him from not looking bad. OK.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Oh yes, and then there was the part where you attempted to dismiss out of hand any LDS rebuttal to those accusations with the, "I'm sure it's different to you, but to us in the world, it's a cult technique."
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Oh yes, and then there was the part where you attempted to dismiss out of hand any LDS rebuttal to those accusations with the, "I'm sure it's different to you, but to us in the world, it's a cult technique."

I'd say that a few LDS in this thread have dismissed the idea of door-to-door mission work as intrusive just as quickly. That whole hotel with a bomb in it scenario....that's just not an equivalent situation.

-pH
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Well, that makes it alright, then.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
Erm, did I say that, Dag? 'cause I'm pretty sure I didn't.

-pH
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Oh yes, and then there was the part where you attempted to dismiss out of hand any LDS rebuttal to those accusations with the, "I'm sure it's different to you, but to us in the world, it's a cult technique."

I'd say that a few LDS in this thread have dismissed the idea of door-to-door mission work as intrusive just as quickly. That whole hotel with a bomb in it scenario....that's just not an equivalent situation.

-pH

See it more along the lines of The Matrix. From YOUR perspective they are all trapped in The Matrix and should be freed. You want to offer them the truth. They think they know better and so they ignore you or actively fight against you.

ASSUMING it REALLY is that way. Would you talk to a perfectly good person who might accept your message because they had a sign that said "I'm happy with my reality?"
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
I'm sure that applies to Scott R and Dagonee how, exactly?
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Oh yes, and then there was the part where you attempted to dismiss out of hand any LDS rebuttal to those accusations with the, "I'm sure it's different to you, but to us in the world, it's a cult technique."

I'd say that a few LDS in this thread have dismissed the idea of door-to-door mission work as intrusive just as quickly. That whole hotel with a bomb in it scenario....that's just not an equivalent situation.

-pH

See it more along the lines of The Matrix. From YOUR perspective they are all trapped in The Matrix and should be freed. You want to offer them the truth. They think they know better and so they ignore you or actively fight against you.

ASSUMING it REALLY is that way. Would you talk to a perfectly good person who might accept your message because they had a sign that said "I'm happy with my reality?"

If someone has already decided that they don't want to be bothered and posted a sign saying as much, how is bothering them going to make them step into your reality? I'd think it would cause them to ignore you or actively fight you even more.

-pH
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
Erm, did I say that, Dag? 'cause I'm pretty sure I didn't.

-pH

Did I say you said that? 'cause I'm pretty sure I didn't.

It might be possible to read my post that way, in the same way that it's possible to read your response to Rakeesh about other people dismissing other topics out of hand as suggesting some sort of link between the two.

But no, you didn't say that.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
TL,
I gotta tell you, my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. It's probably different for you, being in the culture, but if a missionary did something like that to me, I'd kick him out of my house and call around to the neighbors to warn people about him and the group he belonged to.

I've read books on cult recruitment techniques, and that comment is from outer space. Can you comment on why it seems like a cult recruitment technique, other than: "it appealed to emotion"?

quote:
If someone has already decided that they don't want to be bothered and posted a sign saying as much, how is bothering them going to make them step into your reality? I'd think it would cause them to ignore you or actively fight you even more.
Right.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Oh yes, and then there was the part where you attempted to dismiss out of hand any LDS rebuttal to those accusations with the, "I'm sure it's different to you, but to us in the world, it's a cult technique."

I'd say that a few LDS in this thread have dismissed the idea of door-to-door mission work as intrusive just as quickly. That whole hotel with a bomb in it scenario....that's just not an equivalent situation.

-pH

See it more along the lines of The Matrix. From YOUR perspective they are all trapped in The Matrix and should be freed. You want to offer them the truth. They think they know better and so they ignore you or actively fight against you.

ASSUMING it REALLY is that way. Would you talk to a perfectly good person who might accept your message because they had a sign that said "I'm happy with my reality?"

If someone has already decided that they don't want to be bothered and posted a sign saying as much, how is bothering them going to make them step into your reality? I'd think it would cause them to ignore you or actively fight you even more.

-pH

Right, which is what alot of MORMONS have said about ignoring soliciting signs. Did you complain when Morpheus beat up Neo in the Dojo as a means to demonstrate that his perception of reality was incorrect? Or when they gave him the red pill fully knowing that it might kill him?

Just trying to demonstrate that though there is definately an ethical arguement for abiding by the signs people put on doors, can't you understand why missionaries often are adament about trying to get through to people.

How many parents try to simply override their children's bad decisions and in that way help them see the light?

Is it right for missionaries to see other people that way? Depends on who you talk to it would seem.

Do you risk missing out on something interesting and good by closing your door to everybody? I think so. There is so much out there worth experiencing, even though there is so much redundancy and even evil. But if I didnt have my religion, I might just as likely be one of those people who do put up signs.

Did you know when the vacuume cleaner was invented , sold, then mass produced by Hoover he realized people would not see the benefit of having one unless it was sold door to door so salesman could demonstrate the usefulness.

If you were a salesman back then and you saw a sign that said, "You have nothing I could use." You might not bother them, but would you WISH you could show them a better way?"
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
Just trying to demonstrate that though there is definately an ethical arguement for abiding by the signs people put on doors, can't you understand why missionaries often are adament about trying to get through to people.
No. It's unethical and sneaky and wrong, and it is an exceedingly poor way to represent the LDS church.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
quote:
Just trying to demonstrate that though there is definately an ethical arguement for abiding by the signs people put on doors, can't you understand why missionaries often are adament about trying to get through to people.
No. It's unethical and sneaky and wrong, and it is an exceedingly poor way to represent the LDS church.
Granted,

But can you see how many missionaries with less experience with the bad results of ignoring such signs might knock anyway?
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Sure I can see how. But now, after that "Granted", I'm not sure what your point is. I'm sure we all agree that it happens... And I'm sure we all agree that it's unethical and it's bad ambassadorship.

So? What exactly are we trying to get to, if we're already in agreement?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
Sure I can see how. But now, after that "Granted", I'm not sure what your point is. I'm sure we all agree that it happens... And I'm sure we all agree that it's unethical and it's bad ambassadorship.

So? What exactly are we trying to get to, if we're already in agreement?

I guess nothing.

If you put up a sign, and missionaries knock anyway, try explaining to them calmy and inteligently why it was a mistake on their part. If they argue with you or say "We're just trying to share something important, you shouldnt be close minded." Bid them good day close the door and realize you have done your part.

Thats much better then simply yelling at them (not saying you would do that) but I imagine that would be the most likely reaction.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
quote:
Just trying to demonstrate that though there is definately an ethical arguement for abiding by the signs people put on doors, can't you understand why missionaries often are adament about trying to get through to people.
No. It's unethical and sneaky and wrong, and it is an exceedingly poor way to represent the LDS church.
I don't agree that the terms unethical, sneaky, or wrong apply. It may not be agreeable in your opinion, but not all people have the same opinion of signs that you do.

If I were to post a sign to reject solicitors on my door - I'd probably be firm about it on the day that I put up the sign. Because there was something that drove me to putting a sign in place. However, I'd probably forget the sign was there, and 10 years down the road have no problem with a solicitor knocking on the door.

Though it may not be the experience of some people posting in this thread - a Do Not Solicit sign is something people put up as a deterrent - not to stop people from coming. And in MY experience, more often than not - it's just something people put up as a novelty.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
quote:
Do you risk missing out on something interesting and good by closing your door to everybody? I think so. There is so much out there worth experiencing, even though there is so much redundancy and even evil.
Even if this is true, it isn't a missionary's decision to make. It's the person who owns the door and puts up the sign that makes that decision.
quote:
How many parents try to simply override their children's bad decisions and in that way help them see the light?

Is it right for missionaries to see other people that way? Depends on who you talk to it would seem.

Do you understand that to treat other adults as if they were children who didn't know any better is fairly condescending? I know for me, at least, that that attitude would irritate me out of wanting to talk to a missionary at all.

Edit:
quote:
And in MY experience, more often than not - it's just something people put up as a novelty.
I completely disagree with this. Some people, as has been stated many, many times in this thread, absolutely do not want to be bothered. They want NO ONE they don't know knocking on the door, and some of us want NO ONE full stop knocking on the door. And I would say that it's very likely anyone who's gone to the trouble to put up a sign means it, and means it emphatically.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Megan:
quote:
Do you risk missing out on something interesting and good by closing your door to everybody? I think so. There is so much out there worth experiencing, even though there is so much redundancy and even evil.
Even if this is true, it isn't a missionary's decision to make. It's the person who owns the door and puts up the sign that makes that decision.
quote:
How many parents try to simply override their children's bad decisions and in that way help them see the light?

Is it right for missionaries to see other people that way? Depends on who you talk to it would seem.

Do you understand that to treat other adults as if they were children who didn't know any better is fairly condescending? I know for me, at least, that that attitude would irritate me out of wanting to talk to a missionary at all.

Megan: I agree with you on both accounts.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
I don't agree that the terms unethical, sneaky, or wrong apply. It may not be agreeable in your opinion, but not all people have the same opinion of signs that you do.

If I were to post a sign to reject solicitors on my door - I'd probably be firm about it on the day that I put up the sign. Because there was something that drove me to putting a sign in place. However, I'd probably forget the sign was there, and 10 years down the road have no problem with a solicitor knocking on the door.

Though it may not be the experience of some people posting in this thread - a Do Not Solicit sign is something people put up as a deterrent - not to stop people from coming. And in MY experience, more often than not - it's just something people put up as a novelty.

That is outrageously wrong.
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
Cool. [Smile]

Shiny, happy people! Look, it's a flying border collie/beagle! Round these parts, we call her a borgle. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Seriously... Hatrack is not a good sample of the majority of people who have such signs in their door.

And when I make the disclaimer "And in MY experience," disagreeing with my experience does not negate the fact that it is indeed a valid and personal experience. Really, get off your high and almighty horse.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
It's really, honestly strange that you don't see an ethical line where any reasonable person would. If you think I'm on a high horse, I don't know what to tell you. I really don't.

You seem to hear what you want to hear and see what you want to hear. In your world, nothing means what it says it means, and everything is open to interpretation.

Me? When I see a sign that says 'No Trespassing' I don't trespass. When I see a sign that says 'No Soliciting' I don't solicit. When I see a fence and a security guard, I don't sneak past the security guard and climb the fence.

The obviously correct course of action is to take these things at face value.

How do you not know that? You can't just magically say "this isn't wrong!" and have something not be wrong.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
You seem to hear what you want to hear and see what you want to hear.

It's good to see that you take your own advice.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
What advice? What do you mean?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
I explained how I would feel if I were to put up a sign warding off solicitors. I provided insight that I have actual EXPERIENCE that tells me that many people use signs as novelty. Also, that people change - and forget that they even put the sign there in the first place - and are by no means offended by a proselyter. There are people who have posted in this thread have said that they don't feel that this nature of sign refers to proselyting missionaries.

Thus, I can claim that I do not believe that there is an ethical line being crossed.

The rest of your post - to me - is nonsense.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Hmmm. I disagree. What you're saying is: "Here are a variety of justifications for my unethical behavior. (Not taking the signs at face value.)"

What I'm saying is: "In spite of the justifications, the unethical behavior is still unethical."
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Well good. We can agree that we disagree.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
I'm not sure, but I don't think that anyone besides former LDS missionaries has said on this thread that they don't think those signs apply to missionaries.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
I didn't hear anything about the signs when I was in Southern Baptist youth group.

But they were strong advocates of taking youth to the beach and setting them loose upon sunbathers to scare-convert to their little hearts' content. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd ignored a sign or two, but I don't really know.

-pH
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
I'm not sure, but I don't think that anyone besides former LDS missionaries has said on this thread that they don't think those signs apply to missionaries.

Probably not, but I don't see how that is really relevant to my position on ethics.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
I'm not sure, but I don't think that anyone besides former LDS missionaries has said on this thread that they don't think those signs apply to missionaries.
I think they do apply, but not thinking they apply to people not seeking money is a very common mistake, even amongst non-missionaries.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
I'm not sure, but I don't think that anyone besides former LDS missionaries has said on this thread that they don't think those signs apply to missionaries.
I am a non-Mormon return missionary and I don't think those signs apply to missionaries. I guess I fall under your criteria, but having left the church makes me think I am exempt.

I think it doesn't apply (in North America) because society has pre-established boundaries that say political, religious, and charitable organizations are treated differently and grouped together differently then commercial organizations.

True, many people group them all together with do-not solicit signs, however, there is enough ambiguity on whether "solicit" signs apply to non-commercial groups that I do not think it is rude or thoughtless for any missionary to go ahead and door knock. “Do not proselyte” signs are different.

I find it ironic because there is a service (baptism) which costs money (10% of your income), but society sees a distinction. My example is the do-not-call list.

I don't understand people who get offended. If missionaries are that much of a annoyance (for any reason, they are all justifiable in my mind), then get a more precise sign.

Then again, I was a missionary. I do not speak with any devotion to the church.
 
Posted by ? (Member # 2319) on :
 
Okay, I haven't been at Hatrack for a few days. I've only read the first page or two of this topic so if you've moved on to other subjects I apologize. I just thought I’d put in my two cents.

There are two reasons why I ignored the “No Soliciting” sign while I was on my mission.

1. I can afford to be seen as a little rude. It’s worth it. Missionaries believe it is their duty to share their message with everyone they come across. As a missionary you are personally responsible to share the gospel with everyone in your area. When I die, I don’t want to be told I didn’t do my duty because of a sign.

2. I’m willing to be rude to help those I love. Example: I love my brother very much. If he started getting into drugs and was putting himself in physical danger, I would intervene. Should I care if I’m a little “rude, arrogant, and disrespectful” to him to make him see the danger he is in? No, I would do all I can to save him from that. Even be a little rude to him. I don’t want to be at his funeral after he’s overdosed and say, “I didn’t help him, but at least I was always polite to him.”

Now you may say that there is a big difference between saving someone from drugs and sharing something, that I believe, will help their eternal salvation, but I wouldn’t. Maybe that’s arrogance, maybe it’s ignorance. Let me know if it is.

Now given these two points I don’t want to appear that I was a very pushy, rude missionary. I don’t think I was. I saw some missionaries that would push so hard that they caused people to shun the church for many years. That’s not only less-effective, but it isn’t Christ-like and they hurt the church more then they help. If someone told me flat out “I’m not interested” I would say okay and move on. But if I let a general sign determine whether or not I share the most important thing in the world, then I might as well not share anything that is important to me with anyone.

I hope that makes sense.

?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lem:
True, many people group them all together with do-not solicit signs, however, there is enough ambiguity on whether "solicit" signs apply to non-commercial groups that I do not think it is rude or thoughtless for any missionary to go ahead and door knock. “Do not proselyte” signs are different.

Thank you. One thing about Hatrack - you are all much more eloquent than I am.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
And for the Mormons arguing against me - was Samuel the Lamanite wrong because the city "put up a sign?"
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
No, but was he effective? I remember a few arrows flying his way and not that many converts. Infact, I think the BoM is rife with examples of how not to do missionary work!

[Big Grin]
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
LOL! I never said anything about the efficacy of the work.
 
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
 
quote:
I remember a few arrows flying his way and not that many converts
Actually, I remember a lot of converts:

quote:
1 And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the awalls of the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and sought for Nephi; and when they had come forth and found him they confessed unto him their sins and denied not, desiring that they might be bbaptized unto the Lord.
....
3 Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words, insomuch that they went away unto Nephi to be baptized.


 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
Maybe that’s arrogance, maybe it’s ignorance. Let me know if it is.
It's both. But it's also understandable.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
And for the Mormons arguing against me - was Samuel the Lamanite wrong because the city "put up a sign?"
If God tells you to do something, you do it. I won't argue that point with you.

But if you want to pull analogies, let's take a look at the story. Samuel arrives, begins preaching. The people reject him and his message. He leaves. An angel is sent to tell him to go back to the city. He does so. He climbs the wall outside the city and begins to preach-- not to individual homes, but to the people in general. Street preaching, in other words. He makes some prophicies, people throw rocks and arrows at him, he's protected by the power of God; and then he leaves, and goes back to the Lamanites. And we never hear from him again.

NOW--

When did Ammon start preaching to Lamoni?

[Smile]
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
If God tells you to do something, you do it. I won't argue that point with you.

Why do I feel like that is what has been happening? Perhaps this is a bit of a grey area and we should let it stand as such.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
Actually, I remember a lot of converts:
I stand corrected. I wasn't trying to denounce the BoM. That was a running joke in our Mission about why the Missionary Guide was so important.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Abinadi would have been a better example. 1 convert and he got burned to death for ignoring the signs.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
Abinadi would have been a better example. 1 convert and he got burned to death for ignoring the signs.
[ROFL]

But he is also the best example on why even one convert is worth the sacrifice.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
gnixing, I thought it was relevant because of this line of yours: "There are people who have posted in this thread have said that they don't feel that this nature of sign refers to proselyting missionaries." If everyone who felt that way had been, at one point, a proselyting LDS missionary, and your culture/training says that the signs did not apply to you, then I don't think that you can point to the disagreement about the issue in this thread as an indication that there's disagreement on the issue in the broader, non-LDS culture -- the people who's doors missionaries would be knocking on. No, it's obviously not proof that there isn't disagreement in that culture, either. But it would be like me saying "There's both Mormons and non-Mormons on this thread, and there are plenty of people who have posted on this thread that the Book of Mormon is true." If all the people who have posted that are Mormons, it doesn't indicate that there's a cross-section of larger society that believes the Book of Mormon is true.

---

lem, I've never seen a do not proselyte sign, have you? I mean at a store, not necessarily at someone's house. Although I've never seen one at a house, either.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
lem, I've never seen a do not proselyte sign, have you? I mean at a store, not necessarily at someone's house. Although I've never seen one at a house, either.
I have seen signs that included no proselytizing. I have seen signs where someone hand wrote (proselyters included).

But I think you haven't seen it because most people do not get so many missionaries that they are fed up and need a sign. Small Market.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
Could be. I always just figured they were included. *shrug*
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
No Soliciting signs probably are intended to mean all types; my point is that there is enough ambiguity that I think it is inaccurate to pin missionaries as ignorant and rude if they don't obey them.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
And my point is that it's kind of disingenuous to say "'Do not proselyte' signs are different" and (if they bother you) "then get a more precise sign" like such signs are something you can just pick up at the hardware store like you can a No Soliciting sign. As far as I can tell, they don't exist as a mass produced item. (I googled looking for one.)

And I don't think anyone said missionaries were ignorant and rude if they don't obey them. People have said they are arrogant and rude, as in it's reasonable to assume this person doesn't want to be bothered and the missionary thinks they know better, because their message is so important the need to offer it overrides the homeowner's stated desire not to be bothered. ? even said that part of the reason s/he thinks it's okay to be a little rude because when s/he dies they don't want to be told they didn't do their duty because of a sign. So, it's not about saving me, it's about making sure you don't get in trouble with God? I'd hate to have a little thing like my expressed preference not to be bothered get you a demerit in heaven.

Yes, I know that's not what ? meant. . . I just wish all the people asking that the rest of us try to see it from the missionaries point of view would take a moment to try to see it from the non-LDS's point of view. Most of us aren't saying we're rude to missionaries. In fact, most of us have said that we go out of our way to be polite, unless the person becomes pushy and we can't politely get them to leave us alone. Yet several people have said things like wouldn't it be easier to just politely say no instead of yelling and slamming the door. I realize that every missionary has probably encountered people who do that, but I feel like some former missionaries are assigning characteristics of the worst experiences they had to those of us who are just saying we don't like being bothered at home.

Honestly, it's not a big deal for me. I suffer a bit of social anxiety combined with not the best neighborhood in the world, I can deal with being worried every time the doorbell rings. What really bugs me, though, is that there are people who have legitimate reasons to not want the doorbell to ring during the day except for in case of emergency, such as people who work nights and are asleep during the day. (My former fiance was one of those people.)

There should be one, easy, clear sign that people can put up that says they don't want to be disturbed. They shouldn't have to write out a detailed, specific sign in order to not be bothered. (For instance, I would never post a sign saying I worked nights, so please don't ring the doorbell as I am probably asleep. That's just announcing that I'm gone at night and that would be an excellent time to come break into my house.)

I was under the impression that 'No Solicitors" was that one sign. You admit that it is probably intended to be. The people who are arguing that it doesn't apply to missionaries seem to me to be trying to get off on a technicality -- yeah, I realize this person probably doesn't want to talk to me, but it doesn't specifically say that they don't want to talk to me, so it's okay if I knock anyway! It just seems pretty weak to me.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Personally, ElJay, I would consider a "Do Not Disturb" sign to be more appropriate for your needs. I personally feel it to be much more inappropriate to bother someone with a "Do Not Disturb" sign than a "No Solicitors" sign, in great part do to the language used on the sign. It's much more precise and clear as to the intent of the person posting the sign.

And, since I'm pretty sure that the "legal" definition of Solicitor doesn't include Proselyting Missionaries, I don't understand why it's such a stretch to believe that there are those that don't consider that it applies.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
How would you respond to a "no tresspassing" sign?

-pH
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
I've also never seen a Do Not Disturb sign sold for home use, only at hotels to tell housekeeping you're not ready to have your room made up. Do you recall seeing any when you were on your mission? That weren't handmade? A google search only finds door hanger style Do Not Disturb signs, either sold in bulk for hotel use or "naughty" versions meant as pranks. I agree that it would be more clear. But I think the majority of people who don't want to be bothered are not going to have a sign custom made, they're going to go down to the hardware store and buy what's available. It's not fair to say "they should have gotten X instead" when X isn't available.
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
I've seen a doormat for sale in a store that said "GO AWAY".
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
This one? Or this one? Or is bright red more to your taste? Perhaps you prefer a more personal touch.

I'd bet a fair number of us (me included, actually) would find those a bit over the top. This one isn't much better. This one has possibilities.

Too bad, really. Mats like that travel well.
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
That mat has more friends than I do! [Frown]
quote:
Within 24 hours the mat was famous.

We were being treated as quasi-celebrities, invited to join several parties, tour a private former palace, having cocktails at a private residence in Altenberg Castle, going to Sunday brunch, join locals at a street festival and a Pub crawl with a gang of new Go Away Mat friends.

We were offered champagne just walking down the street, and generally having a ball! "Aah! Zee Go Away Mat!!


 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
I have been up early doing some work things and still brooding on this thread in the back of my mind. Thanks, ElJay, for typing out the long post and putting your thoughts together so clearly.
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
The sixth one Rivka linked to should certainly work on Mormon missionaries: "GO AWAY! (come back with wine)" [Smile]
 
Posted by Theaca (Member # 8325) on :
 
That'll just draw them in, like a magnet.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
How do you figure?
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
I'd ignore 'Go Away' mats.

Somehow, they don't seem quite...serious.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
How would you respond to a "no tresspassing" sign?
A some places, at least, "no trespassing signs" specifically do not refer to missionaries walking up the front walk and ringing the bell if there are no gates of fences crossed in doing so. (Laws differ - do NOT rely on this for any specific acts.)

Trespass involves entry without either permission or legal right to enter. Permission can be implied or explicit. If one says "no trespassing," one is not generally making a comment about who has legal right or implied permission (some states will interpret them that way).

No trespassing signs deny permission to all in situations where entry is not common. However, front doors and the route to them, if not fenced, are generally considered open to people wanting to talk to someone in the house.

A "No Solicitors" sign is much more specific in denying permission. Since we know some people don't interpret that to include missionaries, a "No Missionaries" sign would be better.

quote:
I was under the impression that 'No Solicitors" was that one sign.
Again, I think "No Solicitors" signs do include missionaries. However, knowing that many people do not, it behooves one to communicate more clearly if the message is important.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I there's a difference between trying to get off on a technicality and honestly believing that it doesn't apply to you. If I put up a "No Solicitors" sign, it would mean "For crying out loud, I'm not going to give you any money." Until this thread, that's what I thought it meant. I don't think it's fair to co-opt the meaning of that sign and say it actually means "Go Away, Everyone Whom I Don't Know." and then blame people for not understanding that's what you want it to mean.
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
How do you figure?

They would know for sure that the house was a den of iniquity! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
How would you respond to a "no tresspassing" sign?
A some places, at least, "no trespassing signs" specifically do not refer to missionaries walking up the front walk and ringing the bell if there are no gates of fences crossed in doing so. (Laws differ - do NOT rely on this for any specific acts.)

Trespass involves entry without either permission or legal right to enter. Permission can be implied or explicit. If one says "no trespassing," one is not generally making a comment about who has legal right or implied permission (some states will interpret them that way).

No trespassing signs deny permission to all in situations where entry is not common. However, front doors and the route to them, if not fenced, are generally considered open to people wanting to talk to someone in the house.

A "No Solicitors" sign is much more specific in denying permission. Since we know some people don't interpret that to include missionaries, a "No Missionaries" sign would be better.

quote:
I was under the impression that 'No Solicitors" was that one sign.
Again, I think "No Solicitors" signs do include missionaries. However, knowing that many people do not, it behooves one to communicate more clearly if the message is important.

I meant more for the missionaries, but it's also good to know in a legal sense. So thanks! [Smile]

My building has a big fence around it. While our gate is pretty much always open, there's still a fence.

I've never had trouble here. We never had ANY trouble at our old building because our gates were always locked, and you couldn't get in without a key or a passcode. And we had a security guard. So, good to know they should stay away at my new place as well, if I'm interpreting you correctly.

-pH
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
Saying you don't know what it means is fair, although it seems to me that ignorance of the plain meaning isn't much of an excuse, and it behooves those who are coming across such signs to actually find out what they mean, and not assume.

To claim that expecting people to actually use the common dictionary definition is "co-opting the word" is kind of ridiculous, though.

And Dags, I can't find any "No missionaries" signs either. Besides, based both on this thread and previous experience, I get the feeling some would consider that a challenge. A bit like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
It isn't ignorance of the plain meaning. That isn't the plain meaning. Apparently we disagree on what the plain meaning is, but you saying it is the plain meaning does not make it so.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
quote:
Again, I think "No Solicitors" signs do include missionaries. However, knowing that many people do not, it behooves one to communicate more clearly if the message is important.
Not disagreeing with you in the slightest, Dag.

--

kat -

quote:
I there's a difference between trying to get off on a technicality and honestly believing that it doesn't apply to you.
I agree that there's a difference. What I said was that the people arguing on this thread that it didn't apply mostly seem to be arguing the technicality side. They've said things like yeah it probably is meant to apply to me, but since I can't be sure I'd go there anyway. I'm not trying to talk to the people who honestly don't believe it applies. [Smile] But the the ones who think it probably applies but they're going to try anyway because it doesn't specifically say no missionaries? I think that's pretty lame.

quote:
If I put up a "No Solicitors" sign, it would mean "For crying out loud, I'm not going to give you any money." Until this thread, that's what I thought it meant.
And until this thread, I had no idea that some people would consider it not to include missionaries. We both learned something. I take that as a positive.

quote:
I don't think it's fair to co-opt the meaning of that sign and say it actually means "Go Away, Everyone Whom I Don't Know." and then blame people for not understanding that's what you want it to mean.
And that's not what I'm trying to do. My last two posts have been directed specifically at people who said "if that's what you meant, you should have gotten sign X instead" like it was a "no duh" moment, when sign X is something that is not commonly available.

To reiterate, I have no problem with people saying they don't think No Solicitors applies to missionaries. I've agreed that the wording isn't clear. If it was important to me, I would have a sign custom made that was more explicit.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
pH: If I saw a "No Trespassing" sign, I'd stick on the path to the door - no veering off onto the lawn... I'd do that normally, ie. I wouldn't trespass, with or without a sign. However, I don't believe it is trespassing to open a gate on the designated path to the front door of a home. Not unless the gate was locked.

rivka: I would think the Go Away mat were a novelty, not a sign for visitors.

ElJay: I don't know if there are Do Not Disturb signs for home use, or how common they may be. I don't know if I ever came across one. I was a missionary many years ago in a foreign country, and abhorred proselyting.

I believe a missionary should rely on the spirit when determining if they should intrude upon a home or not. I believe they should consider any type of sign that is visible when they make that decision. I believe they should not be held as uncouth, ill-mannered, or unethical to proceed regardless of whether the sign is present. Some missionaries are uncouth, ill-mannered, and behave in unethical ways. Shame on them. However, for those that feel inspired that there is someone in that "no soliciting" house that just might be uplifted by their visit, I feel ashamed that so many hatrackers seem to feel that this is just so wrong.
 
Posted by Javert (Member # 3076) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
However, for those that feel inspired that there is someone in that "no soliciting" house that just might be uplifted by their visit, I feel ashamed that so many hatrackers seem to feel that this is just so wrong.

I think part of it is the implication that the missionary knows better what the person in the house needs and wants than they do.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Thank you, ElJay
----

I don't think gnixing is claiming that it is the missionary's judgement the missionary would be following.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Thank you, ElJay
----

I don't think gnixing is claiming that it is the missionary's judgement the missionary would be following.

Thank you kat.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Except that if we grant that the missionary is following God's judgement, the missionary's work is, well, already done. Let us safely assume for the purposes of argument, then, that these missionaries have never been touched by God, on the grounds that if ONE group of missionaries have been, all the other ones certainly have not, leaving us with actual Godly experiences as a rounding error -- and on the grounds, as well, that you can theoretically justify anything if you're willing to grant that it's being done by God's command.

quote:
However, I don't believe it is trespassing to open a gate on the designated path to the front door of a home.
Unless God descends from on high to correct the American legal system, though, following this particular "inspiration" could get you in trouble.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
quote:
Except that if we grant that the missionary is following God's judgement, the missionary's work is, well, already done.
What? That doesn't make sense. Why would the missionary's work be done? Being inspired to help someone doesn't mean that actually helping the person is unnecesary.

For the last part, you're cherry-picking.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
I am still trying to understand where individuals draw the line, and where they do not. I wanted to ask for how one would think about prosetylizing in the following situations, but I don't want it to seem a setup. Really, I do want to understand the "why" much more than the "whether," and I'll read answers as sincere and well-intentioned.

And I know that these encounters are (for many, if not all) subject to "promptings of the spirit" or God. I'm more curious about what you would do and why if you did not feel a strong prompting either way.

If you are or have been a missionary, would you generally approach people to witness to them in these circumstances (and why or why not)?

1. You are sitting on a commuter public bus, and it is rush hour (the time when most people are getting off of work). There is a guy in a suit who looks rather beat, sitting slumped over against the wall of the bus, snoring softly. Do you go wake him [if there is nobody else available to witness to]?

2. A man who appears to be a meditating Buddhist monk (shaved head, saffron robe, in lotus position, eyes closed) is across the small park from you as you are on your walk, sitting tucked away in a quiet corner. In the five minutes it takes you to get over to him, he hasn't moved a muscle or opened his eyes. Do you go up to him and initiate a conversation for witnessing?

3. You are at an airport or bus station, and a woman who appears to be a young mother seems to be having trouble breast-feeding. She is doing it under a baby-blanket, so no skin is exposed, but you can hear the baby fussing as she continues to move him around under the blanket. Do you go over during this period of time and bear your testimony to her?

I know these are kind of specific situtations, but they are the sorts of situations I can be pretty sure I would feel a distinct obligation not to interrupt someone. However, I can appreciate that for a missionary who feels called by God to witness, these situations may not bring with them the same associated assumptions they bring to me.

How does this work? What do you think about to decide what to do? [How does that thought process go, or is it maybe necessary to avoid thinking about it and just do it, for the sake of the message and somebody's eternal soul?]
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
I'm sorry Tom - I don't understand your remarks either.

I may not believe that Jehovah's Witnesses are inspired by God - but that doesn't mean that they don't believe that they can receive inspiration. If they feel inspired by God, I believe that they are deferring to God's judgement and not their own.

As for your opinion of the American legal system... I may not be a lawyer, but I believe that what I said is correct according to our legal system. If you know that it is not - please show me evidence. I won't argue about the law.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I've street-contacted, and generally we talked to people who looked approachable and/or receptive. If someone was sleeping, no unless I was told to. If someone was, say, crying, I probably would approach, but to make sure they were okay and if there anything I could do. If someone is trying to corral or deal with children, probably not. If everything was peaceful with the kid(s), maybe. Probably.

For the last, if the mother was struggling, almost certainly not. If the mother was breast-feeding and everything seemed fine and she was looking around her, then yeah, I probably would.

I was never in that situation, though. I served in the Midwest - mothers don't breastfeed in public there. *suppresses desire to post razzing smiley in fear of it being misunderstood*
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
In all three cases, no, because it wouldn't be polite.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
CT:

1) No. I would never purposely disturb someone that is obviously sleeping.

2) I would probably leave the Monk alone. However, I may also be very interested in his behavior - as I have never conversed with a Monk. I may in that situation sit down and wait until he has finished.

3) No. I would never feel comfortable chatting with a woman who is breastfeeding a child - religious or otherwise. Aside from my own wife.

Now - my answers would hopefully be different if I did feel the spirit prompting me, and I would never criticise someone for following those promptings if they felt them. But then, I personally would probably ignore those particular promptings and be ashamed of myself for doing so.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
katharina [and Scott and gnixing!], thanks for the quick reply. I really appreciate your willingness to take me on good faith! (Every time I reread that post, it comes off in my head as a "What about then? Huh? Huh? Well what if the train exploded and a toilet landed on your head? Huh? What would you do then? Gotcha there, didn't I?" kind of thing, although that's as far as possible from what I intend.)

What I'm really most interested in is the "why" not the "whether," though (although the latter is interesting in its own right, too -- just that my cognitive dissonance is with the former, and we all know it's all about me [Wink] ).

Why wouldn't you have born your testimony to those people at those times, especially if that might have been the only contact you (or another person of the LDS faith) would have had with them? Why wouldn't the message of eternal salvation have trumped the temporal earthly concerns?

(I know these are hard questions. I'm grateful for any insight anyone can give me here.)
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
What? That doesn't make sense. Why would the missionary's work be done? Being inspired to help someone doesn't mean that actually helping the person is unnecesary.
Specifically, if we grant that the missionary is inspired by God, it is unnecessary to send missionaries to us. [Smile]

quote:
If they feel inspired by God, I believe that they are deferring to God's judgement and not their own.
How far would you take this logic?

quote:
I may not be a lawyer, but I believe that what I said is correct according to our legal system. If you know that it is not - please show me evidence. I won't argue about the law.
While walkways are normally considered "open," there's quite a lot of law out there that says that a closed entry in conjunction with a posted sign denying entry (or other posted access restriction) creates the expectation of privacy. That said, I found at least one ruling that said a mail carrier had every legal right to walk up to a house to deliver mail despite these precautions, but that same ruling indicated that a regular citizen would not have this "right." Opening the gate and entering in violation of the sign would, at the very least, seem to create considerable potential for problems.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Why? Because you specifically asked that we respond to a situation where we did not feel a strong prompting. I feel that unless a missionary is in tune with the spirit - most of the time they are out of line, and sharing their testimony would be inappropriate.

If this were a discussion about whether or not these actions were okay for someone who does not feel the spirit guiding them - I would probably be on the other side of the fence.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
I think part of my difficulty in making sense of how this works is that when I was religious, my religious culture was not one that had emphasis on bearing testimony. And now that I am not religious, I don't have a deeply compelling reason to engage others in that way.

I also have a very literal mindset, a'la Porter. For example, when my husband -- the genteel, reserved, quite proper and discreet Canadian -- asked if he could come in the bathroom while I was in there, I looked at the door, saw it was unlocked, and said, "Yes, you can come in." It wasn't until the door was already open before I had time to finish " ... but I'd rather you didn't just yet." It was a scar to his psyche that has yet to heal. [Smile]

I think if I were told or otherwise came to believe that I was responsible in the way your missionaries seem to be, I wouldn't be able to differentiate when and where to stop. This seems to make it extremely difficult for understanding how that system works in practice. I think my mindset would be "eternal salvation --> must talk to everybody," so when someone calls on the former but not the latter in a discussion, my head starts spinning.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
I'm generally against eating the brains of the living, too, except when someone feels the spirit of God telling them to do it.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm generally against eating the brains of the living, too, except when someone feels the spirit of God telling them to do it.

Does that mean that zombies are called by God?

-pH
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Unless God descends from on high to correct the American legal system, though, following this particular "inspiration" could get you in trouble.
I think you have a mistaken view of the American legal system in this regard.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
Why? Because you specifically asked that we respond to a situation where we did not feel a strong prompting. I feel that unless a missionary is in tune with the spirit - most of the time they are out of line, and sharing their testimony would be inappropriate.

If this were a discussion about whether or not these actions were okay for someone who does not feel the spirit guiding them - I would probably be on the other side of the fence.

So ... (and I'm trying to understand, not trap you) .. if I understand you clearly, then you are saying that you only witnessed to people for whom you had a strong prompting? That when you went door-to-door, you felt a specific call for each particular door? There weren't any times when you felt rather tired and out of sorts, but you decided you needed to be out there doing the missionary work anyway, even if your heart wasn't in it that day? It was a sort of constant "burning in the breast" for you, across the (2?) years of missionary work? (This is foreign to me, but if you say this is true for you, I will certainly take it on faith.)
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
quote:
Why wouldn't you have born your testimony to those people at those times, especially if that might have been the only contact you (or another person of the LDS faith) would have had with them? Why wouldn't the message of eternal salvation have trumped the temporal earthly concerns?
It's not polite. Being impolite shows a lack of respect for the person, which I wouldn't want to do either as a person or as a missionary.

It also generally wouldn't work. When someone is in the middle of something that is clearly an immediate need and taking all of their attention, it most likely would not be a good time for them to talk.

quote:
Specifically, if we grant that the missionary is inspired by God, it is unnecessary to send missionaries to us.
That's not true. That's assigning only one purpose to a missionary or spiritual experiences in general. There are lots of other reasons the Lord might inspire a missionary to talk to someone.

You can take anything to the point of ridiculousness. Because something can be stretched or taken to the point of ridiculousness does not mean it is ridiculous in all instances.

[ October 06, 2006, 02:19 PM: Message edited by: katharina ]
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Tom: That's why people need Beware Dog signs. [Smile]

Anyone who opens an unlocked gate with such a sign is just asking for trouble.

Regarding your question about deferring to inspiration felt from God, how far would I take that logic? I would allow it to go as far as the law is respected and nobody is in danger. That said - there is precedence in scripture where inspiration led to a man being separated from his head. Where to draw the line? I don't know. I try to personally stay as far from the line as possible without completely discarding what I believe to be inspiration from God.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
It's not polite. Being impolite shows both a lack of respect for the person, which I wouldn't want to do either as a person or as a missionary.

It also generally wouldn't work. When someone is in the middle of something that is clearly an immediate need and taking all of their attention, it most likely would not be a good time for them to talk.

kat, I have to go work on my day job, but I'll mull and come back. Thanks.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
CT: I wish I could say I was a perfect missionary. I wasn't. There were times when I probably was out of line.

But I don't believe that anyone has the right to tell me so, except myself.

edit: Just to add - I don't believe I ever broke any laws on my mission. If I had done so - then I would be comfortable with someone telling me I was out of line.
 
Posted by Tinros (Member # 8328) on :
 
Personally, I would welcome missionaries into my home. If it's a bad time, I can just ask them politely to come back later. Most missionaries I've ever known or talked to would listen tot hat kind of request.

I've always liked listening to other people's religious views. Listening never hurt anyone. As long as they're polite about their approach, they're welcome to talk to me. Now, if someone were telling me continuously I was going to burn in hell, or that my children or my family were the worst of the sinners, then I might ask them to leave. It's their job to talk to people, so as long as they're polite about it, I'll let them do their job. Mutual respect, eh?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
[QB] Tom: That's why people need Beware Dog signs. [Smile]

Anyone who opens an unlocked gate with such a sign is just asking for trouble.

Not that I want to keep shifting this conversation to Taiwan but SORRY!

In Taiwan they use dogs as de facto door bells. I AM SERIOUS. They will buy a dog, put it in a 5 by 4 cage (sometimes smaller if the dog is smaller and just leave it there. They feed it and give it water, but thats about it. After awhile the dogs go literally insane but still retain a fear and respect for their masters. They hate anything else that moves.

I came from an upbringing where strange dogs are friendly and are no danger. I saw a black lab on a scooter and go excited because I used to have one growing up, I waltzed up and tried to pet it, and SNAP he bit me. It hurt a bit, but it was definately more of a warning bite then a savage attack.

It was then I learned to let dogs smell me before petting them, but I still retain a bit of uneasiness towards to the friendliest of dogs to this day. Some of the dogs in Taiwan will smell your hand and THEN snap at you. If they are in a cage just dont' even try, they want nothing more then to bite you hand off.

The moment you come into view they start barking very loudly at you thus alerting the house tenants that they have visitors.

Dogs in Taiwan are the meanest dogs I have ever seen, bar none.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
I think you have a mistaken view of the American legal system in this regard.
It depends on what you consider "reasonable force." I've already found a few things that indicate that you don't need to speak to someone to expel them from your property once they've ignored both physical barriers and posted signs. You can't set up traps for them, but you can force them off your lot manually in any "reasonable" way after that.

Specifically, everything I've found says that a closed gate extends curtilage and creates a reasonable expectation of privacy. Has this since been reversed?
 
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
 
quote:

In Taiwan they use dogs as de facto door bells. I AM SERIOUS. They will buy a dog, put it in a 5 by 4 cage (sometimes smaller if the dog is smaller and just leave it there. They feed it and give it water, but thats about it. After awhile the dogs go literally insane but still retain a fear and respect for their masters. They hate anything else that moves.

That seems pretty horrible to me.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
gnixing, I do mean this in the nicest possible way, but if you are ever in the slighest doubt as to whether you should approach my door, don't. Please.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I think you have a mistaken view of the American legal system in this regard.
It depends on what you consider "reasonable force." I've already found a few things that indicate that you don't need to speak to someone to expel them from your property once they've ignored both physical barriers and posted signs. You can't set up traps for them, but you can force them off your lot manually in any "reasonable" way after that.
I'm not sure what "reasonable" (seemingly related to force) has to do with this.

You're quote was in response to this:

quote:
However, I don't believe it is trespassing to open a gate on the designated path to the front door of a home.
While there are cases that support a barrier + sign = trespassing, there are other cases that don't. This is very state-law dependent.

A no trespassing sign is essentially a legal notice. It does not mean "no one come on this land." It means "no one come on this land who would be trespassing were they to do so."

"Trespassing" is very state specific, so the sign means something different depending on where one is.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
There weren't any times when you felt rather tired and out of sorts, but you decided you needed to be out there doing the missionary work anyway, even if your heart wasn't in it that day? It was a sort of constant "burning in the breast" for you, across the (2?) years of missionary work? (This is foreign to me, but if you say this is true for you, I will certainly take it on faith.)
I don't think you need a constant burning in the chest to feel inspired to knock on the next door anymore then a spouse needs to feel a constant tingling sensation when they look at their significant other in order to claim a burning commitment to their love and that they were inspired to marry him/her.

Mormons get the burning sensation, it testifies to them the truth as they understand it, and then they act on that "truth" until they get another witness that they need to stop or until they fulfill their commitment.

So the answer to your question...
quote:
"then you (Mormons) are saying that you only witnessed to people for whom you had a strong prompting?"
...in my opinion is 'yes.' Yes they do.

EDIT: To clarify a sentence

EDIT II:

quote:
There weren't any times when you felt rather tired and out of sorts, but you decided you needed to be out there doing the missionary work anyway, even if your heart wasn't in it that day?
I have actually worked with missionaries who were so committed to the message that they NEVER seemed to feel to tired and out of sorts. The message was that strong to them!. Thank goodness I never had one for a companion. We would of drove eachother nuts! [Cool]
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
There were times when I probably was out of line.

But I don't believe that anyone has the right to tell me so, except myself.

Why do you believe that? Being out of line is not an "internal" thing. Being out of line implies you are affecting others in an improper way and are therefore certainly fair game for scrutiny.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
I believe that because I don't believe anyone except for Deity has enough information to know that I was indeed out of line, except myself.

edit: To clarify, the factor that determines whether or not I was out of line is whether or not I felt the proper inspiration.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Why not including yourself?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Tom: I suppose, maybe there were times when I was out of line where not even I have enough information to know that I was actually out of line and I felt that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
To clarify, the factor that determines whether or not I was out of line is whether or not I felt the proper inspiration.
See, this is what always concerns me.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
But Tom - if I'm not violating the law, how can you claim that I don't have the right to my own religious persuasion without personal attacks?

If I felt like I received inspiration from God, and that inspiration doesn't lead me to doing something illegal, who are you to tell me that I'm out of line? Or that I'm wrong?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
If I felt like I received inspiration from God, and that inspiration doesn't lead me to doing something illegal, who are you to tell me that I'm out of line?
If you feel like you've received inspiration from God, who's the law to tell you that you're out of line?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
You're taking it to ridiculous extremes again.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
You really feel no one can call you on being out of line as long as you don't do anything illegal? Wow. I think there are all sorts of things that are legal but inappropriate, and if I was doing one I would sure hope someone would call me on it.

For instance, to go back to BlackBlade's example, I think there's a good chance that woman was out of line going around warning her neighbors about the missionaries coming. I don't think we have enough information to know, one way or the other, but it's certainly a possibility. If I was one of her neighbors, and she came over obviously upset about the missionaries who had rung her doorbell and were on their way over to my place, I would try to calm her down, get her to see she was over-reacting, hopefully laugh about it, and send her back home secure in the knowledge that the rest of the neighbors were perfectly capable of sending the missionaries away themselves, if they wanted to. I'd still be sure she had felt completely justified in what she was doing, and that she probably thought it was the best action at the time she took it. She might have even thought it was her Christian duty. So I should just stay out of it, right?
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
But Tom - if I'm not violating the law, how can you claim that I don't have the right to my own religious persuasion without personal attacks?

Are you saying that any criticism of your behaviour as a missionary is an attack on your right to your own religious persuasion [added: provided you consider that behaviour to have been divinely inspired]? Or have I got you wrong here?

quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
You're taking it to ridiculous extremes again.

It isn't ridiculous.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Yes, it is. She just said before that she respected the laws, and the issue is whether or not someone is answerable to societal expetations. Changing it to a question of whether or not to break the law is another issue entirely, and it stretches and twists the original statement.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
In BlackBlade's example, I don't feel justified in saying she was out of line. Maybe she was being spiteful - I don't know. But she certainly wasn't out of line. Nor would you be out of line trying to correct her behaviour.

Somethings are just plain inappropriate, but in the context of a missionary doing what he believes to be the work of God, under His guidance - I don't agree that anything that missionary does is out of line. If you take it outside of that context... then all bets are off.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
She just said before that she respected the laws, and the issue is whether or not someone is answerable to societal expetations.
My question, then, is what about the law makes it more important than both the will of God and societal expectation?
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
I thought gnixing was a he?

In any case, Tom's asking a follow up question. gnixing has put forward [two] statements in this part of the discussion:

(1) I respect the law to the best of my knowledge;

(2) I follow divine inspiration.

Tom's question is this: what do you do if the two conflict? That isn't a question gnixing has answered. You're saying [if I'm reading you correctly] that the notion that divine inspiration and the law might conflict is ridiculous; I definitely don't think that's the case.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I think Tom is playing Religious Gotcha again. If someone places the will of God before, then they are dangerous lawbreaker. If they place the law before, then they are a bad servant of God.

*shrug* Maybe I'll be surprised.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
Somethings are just plain inappropriate, but in the context of a missionary doing what he believes to be the work of God, under His guidance - I don't agree that anything that missionary does is out of line. If you take it outside of that context... then all bets are off.

That kind of thinking is what makes even religious people afraid (and rightly so) of religious people. It terrifies me.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
in the context of a missionary doing what he believes to be the work of God, under His guidance - I don't agree that anything that missionary does is out of line
quote:
I think Tom is playing Religious Gotcha again.
I'll let you decide.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Or maybe not.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
Tom's question is this: what do you do if the two conflict?

I believe that God has commanded us to obey the law. Meaning that if I feel that a law is contrary to one of God's commandments, I would obey the law to the extent that I am required by law and work to get the law changed to match God's will.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
I can assure you that I am not playing religious "gotcha". That kind of thinking is exactly what justifies stuff that is a lot more horrifying than disurbing someone at home. It is exactly the same kind of thinking that, for example, allows people to justify protesting at funerals - and that is a mild example.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Hatrack always has an amazing ability to jump to the wrong conclusions.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
So, if you felt a powerful, presumably God-given compulsion to preach to everyone inside an apartment building in a state that had defined "trespassing" to include unauthorized entry of buildings with physically restricted entryways, you would either wait outside for them to leave the building or call local lawmakers in an effort to have the law changed to permit your solicitation efforts?

------

As a side note, if we accept Kate's argument that "Religious Gotcha" is never played when someone is concerned about the ramifications of "God told me to do X," that's a game I've never played, either. [Smile]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
Hatrack always has an amazing ability to jump to the wrong conclusions.

That isn't an answer.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
You play Religious Gotcha all the time. You have to deal with the suspicions that you may be doing it yet again.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Do I have more credibility?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Tom: Yes. In the highly unlikely event that both of the requirements you stated are true. Being that a) I felt the powerful compulsion to communicate with everyone in the building and b) the law states that it would be trespassing for me to enter the building. If both of those requirements are true, I would very possibly wait for them to leave the building.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
You play Religious Gotcha all the time.
quote:
As a side note, if we accept Kate's argument that "Religious Gotcha" is never played when someone is concerned about the ramifications of "God told me to do X," that's a game I've never played, either.
Again, I'll let you decide.
I have absolutely no power over the ignorance of other people, save my own ability to speak.

--------

quote:
If both of those requirements are true, I would very possibly wait for them to leave the building.
And what if the feeling continued? What if, for example, when trying to figure out why you still had the powerful urge to preach to everyone in the building, you discovered that there was an elderly lady on the fifth floor who had her groceries delivered and never left or answered her doorbell, being afraid of strangers and too feeble to walk far?

Keeping in mind that this is a thought experiment -- so that we're always ultimately going to grant the possibility of an "out" in some way, like writing your message on a rock and hurling it through her window or something -- how would you reconcile your inability to reach someone you had to reach with the law that prevented you from doing so?

And does your high level of respect for the letter of the law in these situations stem from the specific command of your God to obey the letter of the law, whereas He has presumably not commanded you to respect other people's wishes when not backed by law?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
kmbboots: I don't recall reading your statement as a question either.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Was your post a response to my statement? Perhaps "response" would be a better term than "answer".
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
Tom's question is this: what do you do if the two conflict?

I believe that God has commanded us to obey the law. Meaning that if I feel that a law is contrary to one of God's commandments, I would obey the law to the extent that I am required by law and work to get the law changed to match God's will.
Okay. Thanks for answering.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
In BlackBlade's example, I don't feel justified in saying she was out of line. Maybe she was being spiteful - I don't know. But she certainly wasn't out of line. Nor would you be out of line trying to correct her behaviour.

Somethings are just plain inappropriate, but in the context of a missionary doing what he believes to be the work of God, under His guidance - I don't agree that anything that missionary does is out of line. If you take it outside of that context... then all bets are off.

I think, then, that we're perhaps working under different definitions of both "out of line" and "calling" someone on being so. Thanks for your answers.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Well-- since I'm right about God, anyway-- I'm always going to do what He says.

Hang the law. I'm a Barbarian for Jesus.

[Big Grin]
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Tom: I don't feel like a having discussion revolving around the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. I feel there is a difference, and the spirit of the law holds precedence.

However, if I was forbidden by law to enter the building to help the old lady with her groceries - I would try and get one of her neighbors to assist her.

As for your claim about not respecting someone's wishes at God's command: There are times when God knows better than the missionary looking at a sign as to whether a person is ready to hear His message.

kmbboots: My statement was an observation about how many people that post frequently on Hatrack have a knack for jumping to conclusions with a negative curve. Some do it quite frequently, and on purpose.

As you can tell by my registration date - I am not a stranger here. I just don't generally like to post. This thread has been somewhat of interest to me, however - and I felt that I had something to contribute that hadn't already been said.
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
I think there's an important distinction between jumping to a conclusion and making a logical extension of a given premise.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
...to a ridiculous degree, that assumes the person is a sociopath.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Thinking that

quote:
in the context of a missionary doing what he believes to be the work of God, under His guidance - I don't agree that anything that missionary does is out of line
is a dangerous statement.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
that assumes the person is a sociopath
Do you think a diagnosis of sociopathy is a necessary consequence of preferring the direct commands of God to human law in those situations where they disagree? I don't.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
I think there's an important distinction between jumping to a conclusion and making a logical extension of a given premise.

And Hatrackers often jump to conclusions, and often make illogical extensions of a given premise.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
If the premise is, as you stated, "in the context of a missionary doing what he believes to be the work of God, under His guidance - I don't agree that anything that missionary does is out of line," I submit that none of the extensions listed here are illogical.

Perhaps you didn't mean to put the words "what he believes to be" or "anything" in there. Perhaps you did. Not my call.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Thinking that

quote:
in the context of a missionary doing what he believes to be the work of God, under His guidance - I don't agree that anything that missionary does is out of line
is a dangerous statement.
I suppose if the missionary is someone that believes that God would guide them do do something evil - and that is okay, then this could be a dangerous statement. Outside of that premise - I don't see the connection.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
What basis would you use to determine whether what God wanted of you was evil?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
When I put the words "what he believes to be" together with "the work of God," I expect you to take it for granted that there is no evil at play.

If you believe that "the work of God" could be evil or dangerous - then really, I have no reason to discuss this with you further because we will never see eye to eye.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
What basis would you use to determine whether what God wanted of you was evil?

Conscience, wisdom, religious texts. Tom - seriously.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Keep in mind that, having never experienced the will of God working in me, I don't know how to distinguish between God and conscience. Do they feel different?
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
What basis would you use to determine whether what God wanted of you was evil?

Conscience, wisdom, religious texts. Tom - seriously.
Do you have any idea how many people do terrible things in the name of God?

-pH
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Do you have any idea how many people do great things in the name of God?

Do you have any idea how many people do terrible things, period?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
I think Pearce's point -- and I may be wrong, here -- was that not all behavior which someone believes to be the Will of God is in fact "okay."

My point -- which I haven't explicitly stated yet, I realize, so I'll do it here -- is that most religious people are ALREADY aware of this, which is why they tolerate and even endorse limits to their behavior based on a non-Godly standard (like, say, "law.")

The implication is that the Will of God is either occasionally wrong or easily misinterpreted, and that those other arbitrary standards -- like law or "conscience" -- provide checks on those interpretations.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Tom: Yes. They feel different. I'm not going to get into it further, because I'll probably have nothing to say that isn't insulting.

pH: Too many, I'm sure.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I think Pearce's point -- and I may be wrong, here -- was that not all behavior which someone believes to be the Will of God is in fact "okay."

My point -- which I haven't explicitly stated yet, I realize, so I'll do it here -- is that most religious people are ALREADY aware of this, which is why they tolerate and even endorse limits to their behavior based on a non-Godly standard (like, say, "law.")

The implication is that the Will of God is either occasionally wrong or easily misinterpreted, and that those other arbitrary standards -- like law or "conscience" -- provide checks on those interpretations.

What Tom said. [Smile]

-pH
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
I think there's an important distinction between jumping to a conclusion and making a logical extension of a given premise.

And Hatrackers often jump to conclusions, and often make illogical extensions of a given premise.
There's a difference between an extension that you disagree with and one that is illogical.
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
ditto what Tom said.

Fred Phelps believes he's doing the will of God. Most of us, if not all of us, would disagree. So should there be some outside check on behavior, even if the person is absolutely convinced, in his own mind, that he is in fact doing the will of God?

What Tom is saying, is that he thinks there is. And pH, of course. I happen to agree, even though I do believe in the Will of God for my life, I do acknowledge the place that law, and standards of behavior also have in my life. And I abide by them, and would expect others to abide by them even if they don't agree with my belief in who God is.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
What else do you want him to say? He's aknowledged the rule of law and believes he's been commanded by God to follow. What you searching for now?

I think people are dangerous in general. I think religion is not a behavior control but something else, something wonderful, and it's worth sharing. I don't like this discussion at all, and it has done nothing to change my opinion of Hatrack's now-suitability as a place to discuss sacred things. It clearly isn't, and that's very, very sad.
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Oh, I like Scott's reaction. Y'all will believe whatever you want to, even if you have to search for a way to feel superior.

You know, I tried to think of a civil way to respond to this in detail, and I can't, so I'm just going to quote it and say that I think it's unjustified.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
It saddens me that you think the rest of us aren't trying to engage in honest discussion, but instead looking for a way to feel superior. I'm glad you changed it, but it still hurts to know you feel that way.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
There's a difference between an extension that you disagree with and one that is illogical.

Perhaps. However - the key point of my observation is that Hatrackers lean towards the negative (more unlikely) conclusions.
Then, they explain why those conclusions can be valid and logical in a different context than the one that was previously being discussed.

Tom, I don't see how your conclusions relate to the decision to knock on a door that has a sign warding off solicitors.

I can't and won't argue that people do bad things in the name of religion. But based in the context in which I was engaged when I made my statement, and my understanding of the "will of God" - I stand by my words.

pH: I don't do bad things in the name of God, and I don't believe those that do bad things in the name of God are actually performing those bad things because they believe they are doing the will of God.

Example: I don't believe suicide bombers are doing what they are doing because they believe it is God's will. Maybe you believe that, because that's what they claim. I just don't believe it is true. edit: to add that in my opinion, Fred Phelps is either in need of psychiatric help, or doesn't believe his rhetoric. YMMV
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
...the key point of my observation is that Hatrackers lean towards the negative (more unlikely) conclusions.
Then, they explain why those conclusions can be valid and logical in a different context than the one that was previously being discussed.

My point was that I think this is your perception. What I'm getting at here is that it's easy to perceive a line of questioning as a direct attack on one's position, but I don't think that means it's always the case.

In other words, I don't accept the validity of your observation. I'm certainly not willing to grant it solely based on your registration date, as you seemed to be suggesting Kate* should.


*Who, I believe, was actually registered here before anyone else who has posted in this thread, but left and then returned.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Obviously, everything I post is my perception. The fact that my observation is based on 6 years of reading Hatrack, I believe that it has something of a solid foundation. YMMV.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
I can't believe I'm going here, but. . .

Based on comments made by former missionaries on this forum and elsewhere, about the societal pressure to serve a mission and the fact that they grew up thinking it was "just expected" of them, and also the difference in commitment involved in giving up two years of your life vs. dying, if I had to guess at something that's completely unknowable I'd say that I'd believe that a higher percentage of suicide bombers believe that what they're doing is God's will than LDS missionaries do. I'd also say many of them (bombers, not missionaries,) have probably been manipulated into believing that by people with other motives.

Not that I'm saying there aren't plenty of missionaries who believe with all their heart that they are doing God's will. But I think there are plenty of suicide bombers who do, too.

Please know that I am not trying to be offensive. I would have never made this comparison on my own. I wouldn't have even thought of it on my own.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
I can't believe I'm going here, but. . .

Based on comments made by former missionaries on this forum and elsewhere, about the societal pressure to serve a mission and the fact that they grew up thinking it was "just expected" of them, and also the difference in commitment involved in giving up two years of your life vs. dying, if I had to guess at something that's completely unknowable I'd say that I'd believe that a higher percentage of suicide bombers believe that what they're doing is God's will than LDS missionaries do. I'd also say many of them (bombers, not missionaries,) have probably been manipulated into believing that by people with other motives.

Not that I'm saying there aren't plenty of missionaries who believe with all their heart that they are doing God's will. But I think there are plenty of suicide bombers who do, too.

Please know that I am not trying to be offensive. I would have never made this comparison on my own. I wouldn't have even thought of it on my own.

do you mean more total suicide bombers believe they are doing god's will or in terms of ratio, that X:Z suicide bombers is greater then Y:Z missionaries?

X= suicide bombers
Y= Mormon Missionaries
Z= People who believe they are doing God's will.
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
I think she meant a percentage of suicide bombers to mean:

IF: X suicide bombers believe they are doing god's will, where X is a subset of the total number of suicide bombers, Y.

AND: A missionaries believe they are doing god's will, where A is a subset of the total number of missionaries, B.

THEN: (X/Y) > (A/B)
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
Example: I don't believe suicide bombers are doing what they are doing because they believe it is God's will.

There's the problem then. I am quite certain that many, if not all, of them absolutely DO believe they are doing God's will. I happen to think they are very, very misguided in that opinion, naturally.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
Ummm, it's been over a decade since I've done any mathamatical notation. [Smile] BlackBlack, I said "a higher percentage," so no, I'm not saying higher total numbers. To me, both of your statements say the same thing, although twinky's is somewhat more precise, and I believe it's an accurate representation of what I mean. With the understanding that I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't understand exactly what either of you were trying to say with notation. Which is why I use words. [Wink]
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
Yeah, I gotta go with rivka on this one. I don't believe it's God's will but I do think that they (the bombers) believe it is.

Which is why the discussion is relevant - and not an attempt to feel "superior." If people can be misguided as to what they believe is God's will, then there should be some constraints on behavior that don't rely on an individual's interpretation of "God's will."
 
Posted by Sharpie (Member # 482) on :
 
gnixing says: "Example: I don't believe suicide bombers are doing what they are doing because they believe it is God's will. Maybe you believe that, because that's what they claim. I just don't believe it is true. edit: to add that in my opinion, Fred Phelps is either in need of psychiatric help, or doesn't believe his rhetoric. YMMV"

Okay, so where do you draw the line? Better yet, where do WE draw the line? There are folks who believe they are doing God's will when they homeschool their children. When they spank their children. When they beat their children. When they beat their wives. When they picket outside abortion clinics. When they bomb abortion clinics. When they vote. When they refuse to vote. When they pray for healing. When they refuse to go to the doctor. When they refuse to take their ill child to a doctor. When they petition the government to prohibit a clinic from pulling the plug on a patient in a persistent vegetative state.

I had a woman tell me she was following God's will by offering me banana flavored pudding. This alarmed me.

How are we supposed to know which ones truly believe they are following God's will and, more importantly, how are we supposed to know which ones really are?

Most importantly, don't I have JUST as much right to say: "that doesn't seem like something God would tell someone" as anyone else does? Don't I have discernment?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
First, I want to say that I don't take any of your questions as attacks. I understand that many - if not most or all - are actually trying to gain some insight or understanding.

Now, that said - once I have given a definition of what I believe something to mean, you need to read what I have said within that context. Taking it outside of that context leads to some interesting conversation, but it is in essence putting words into my mouth that I did not say.
 
Posted by Samarkand (Member # 8379) on :
 
Oh good, those last few posts are exactly what I wanted to say but didn't quite feel like taking the time to write out. Any individual could honestly believe that something, anything, is God's will. Many other people could disagree with them on that point. If everyone wanders about annoucing that God said so and bases their lives purely off that, we'll have a royal mess. Therefore, it is very important to have some external, secular checks on behavior and actions.

quote:
Example: I don't believe suicide bombers are doing what they are doing because they believe it is God's will. Maybe you believe that, because that's what they claim. I just don't believe it is true. edit: to add that in my opinion, Fred Phelps is either in need of psychiatric help, or doesn't believe his rhetoric. YMMV
I'm confused as to why you feel that based on your opinion suicide bombers and Fred Phelps MUST be in need of psychiatric help, and are not truly getting direct orders from some diety unless you are appealing to a) a societally accepted secular idea of right and wrong or b) simply your own personal religious beliefs, which without a visitation from a diety are pretty hard to confirm as being more or less right than their beliefs.

To clarify: I think that Fred Phelps and suicide bombers do believe that what they are doing is right and mandated by God. I disagree with them both because 1) when I look at what I believe is moral and just in terms of leading a virtuous life they're breaking a lot of rules, and because 2) if there is a God that encourages heckling people at funerals or blowing other people up, I'll be chilling with Satan and all the other cool kids, thanks much.

I think that if God is telling you to do something and it is harmless to other people, then go for it. But door-to-door missionary work which ignores people's requests to be left alone borders on harassment, which really isn't harmless. People should be able to feel safe in their homes, and like they have some degree of control over who comes onto their property and tries to contact them. That's why there are laws against harassment. And trespassing.

I do not have a No Solictors sign, nor do I have any intention of purchasing and installing one. I personally don't mind when Jehovah's Witnesses show up (I tell them I really like birthday parties) or LDS as I mentioned earlier. But if I did put up a No Solictors sign, I would definitely also mean missionaries, and any knocking anyway would be treated accordingly.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Samarkand:
I'm confused as to why you feel that based on your opinion suicide bombers and Fred Phelps MUST be in need of psychiatric help, and are not truly getting direct orders from some diety unless you are appealing to a) a societally accepted secular idea of right and wrong or b) simply your own personal religious beliefs, which without a visitation from a diety are pretty hard to confirm as being more or less right than their beliefs.

Both a and b. Sorry if it's hard to imagine, but I don't believe that either Fred Phelps, or suicide bombers are acting out of the belief that they are doing what God wants them to do.

quote:
Originally posted by Samarkand:
I disagree with them both because 1) when I look at what I believe is moral and just in terms of leading a virtuous life they're breaking a lot of rules, and because 2) if there is a God that encourages heckling people at funerals or blowing other people up, I'll be chilling with Satan and all the other cool kids, thanks much.

I'm in complete agreement.

quote:
Originally posted by Samarkand:
But door-to-door missionary work which ignores people's requests to be left alone borders on harassment, which really isn't harmless. People should be able to feel safe in their homes, and like they have some degree of control over who comes onto their property and tries to contact them. That's why there are laws against harassment. And trespassing.

Fundamentally I disagree with your opinion of door-to-door missionary work, as well as your connection to harassment.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
Where does this call to God's will end for you? If someone feels that God is calling him/her to a different religion, does he/she not really believe that that is God's will? To what extent are you willing to concede (or ARE you willing to concede) that people who make decisions with which you disagree may still believe they are doing God's will?

-pH
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
Fundamentally I disagree with your opinion of door-to-door missionary work, as well as your connection to harassment.

Forgive me if you've already answered this: I'm curious as to why. Is it because of the particular nature of the subject matter?
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Both a and b. Sorry if it's hard to imagine, but I don't believe that either Fred Phelps, or suicide bombers are acting out of the belief that they are doing what God wants them to do.
Why would you disagree with their stated opinion on the matter? Does your god allow you to read minds, so that you know better than Fred himself what his real motivation is?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
pH: I have based my responses upon my beliefs. Based upon that criteria - if someone within that belief structure were to leave for another, I would believe that they had been misled. I further believe that God works in mysterious ways, and that I don't claim to know if other people's decisions are contrary to God's will, even if it is not consistent with what I believe to be His will.

twinky: I don't believe that door-to-door missionary work can be considered harrassment. Missionaries are harmless.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
pH: I have based my responses upon my beliefs. Based upon that criteria - if someone within that belief structure were to leave for another, I would believe that they had been misled. I further believe that God works in mysterious ways, and that I don't claim to know if other people's decisions are contrary to God's will, even if it is not consistent with what I believe to be His will.

twinky: I don't believe that door-to-door missionary work can be considered harrassment. Missionaries are harmless.

But you're not answering the question. Do you think that these people believe that they are doing God's will? Or do you think that they somehow know that they aren't and are doing X thing anyway?

-pH
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Not relevant. Pats on the bum are harmless too, for any reasonable definition of 'harm'. That doesn't mean they're not harassment.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
pH: In general, I would imagine that people act upon what they believe. When people do things that are as outrageous as Fred Phelps or suicide bombers or other illegal and immoral activities, that is when I lose the ability to believe that their actions are based upon religious convictions.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Why do you believe that all religious convictions are wholesome?
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Because no True Christian (tm) could possibly do something bad. Isn't that obvious?
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Why do you believe that all religious convictions are wholesome?

Did I say that I did? If so, then perhaps at the moment that I was writing it, I believed that true religious convictions were indeed wholesome, or perhaps I just wasn't thinking about unwholesome religious convictions. I'm not a legal writer, so don't expect everything I say to not have potential loopholes. There's an exception to every rule.

By now, you should at least have a vague idea of what I am trying to say.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
I'm not sure I do. Do you think it's possible for a suicide bomber to be primarily motivated by his religious faith?
 
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
 
I tend to think suicide bombers are like the bottom run of a pyramid scheme. You don't see their leaders doing they stuff they are signing up for.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm not sure I do. Do you think it's possible for a suicide bomber to be primarily motivated by his religious faith?

No. I don't.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
And that's what I can't quite understand. Do you think it's possible for someone to, say, kill a drunk in an alley out of religious conviction? Or take his own son up into the hills to kill him, solely on the belief that this is what God would want?
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
gnixing, if you don't think it's possible for a suicide bomber to be primarily motivated by his religious faith, then what do you think is the most likely explaination? I realize that it might be different for different people, but, could you give some examples of what else you think might be the reasons people would do that? I'm just curious.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
Tom: No, not outside of the proper context, and not in our day and age.

ElJay: Mental illness.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Because no True Christian (tm) could possibly do something bad. Isn't that obvious?

Its getting old KOM.

Why don't you find an example in the New Testament of a Christian doing something the scriptures describe as good, but could be effectively described as evil.

You know the Pharisees tried the same line of questioning on Jesus as this thread is starting to take. In my own words, "Ceasar says we should pay taxes to him, but isn't God our king? What should we be doing then?"

Jesus said "Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's"

We have Paul exhorting Christians to be loyal citizens, and to observe the law. Jesus told the apostles when they went out as missionaries to visit every household and, "If your peace return unto you,..." i.e If they do not welcome you, continue onward and don't look back.

None of this Law of Moses, fire and brimstone God of the Old Testament. Bring Jesus down from his high horse, apparently he was sinless, nobody in the history of the Bible OR Book of Mormon has made such a lofty claim.

Ill stand by this statement. If God ever did command a person to act contrary to the law it had to have produced a greater good then following the law would have produced.

If I was commanded to say, kill a man by God, and I was sure it was of God, I would do it. I would not try to escape the ramifications of that act, if God's will concerning me ceased at that point, I would allow the law to decide my fate, and I would be truthful to the end about my motives and methods. If only evil came of that killing, I would hold God responsible for explaining his reasoning.

But I do not believe in a God that uses unrighteousness to accomplish righteousness. God's tools are overwhelmingly civilized and productive.

Nowhere is this laid out more plainly then the Book of Mormon. You had Nephites arming themselves to defend their nation, and it pleased God. You had Anti Nephi Lehi's allowing themselves to be killed rather then shed the blood of men ever again, and that pleased God more.

We give policemen the power to kill whenever they deem it neccesary, and we strongly review each instance they fire their weapons regardless of cause. We understand that there are instances where its warranted and instances where it is not.

Do we lose sleep at night thinking a policeman might suddenly decide we are a threat and blow our brains out?

Mormons have existed for almost 200 years and have believed strongly in personal revelation. How often have they taken up the sword to fight iniquity? When the US army (a branch of the government) came to put down the Mormon religion for supposedly inciting rebellion not a single life was taken. Mormons were meticulous about damaging the army's ability to wage war but not the soldiers. They prepared the entire town of Salt Lake to be put to the torch and moved everybody else out so that the Army would not molest them.

Does this sound like the actions of a crazy fanatical religion bent on dominating everyone around us?

Does this mean there are not fanatics within our ranks? Of course their are, there are fanatics everywhere. I am saddened that some of them find their way into the church. But good religion makes people GOOD, it makes us more able to live peaceably with one another.

The French revolution was led by a bunch of atheist fanatics, but do we say atheists should all be locked up so they dont build guillotines and start loping our heads off?

In the 50's there was a strong feeling of emnity towards communism developing within the church. It was squelched by sound logic and prayer.

Does anybody accuse atheists of being communists that want to take away our rights to believe as we choose?

Its late (about midnight my time) and thats usually when these lengthy raving posts come out of me, which is why I try to avoid logging onto the forums this time of the night.

At the risk of sounding cliche why can't we have mutual respect for one another? Why do the religious have to constantly prove that we are not mad men, or mad women. That our belief in religion CAN be the result of rational thought and true experience?

Science is a wonderful tool, one that explains "how" better then almost anything. Just because it fails to ever explain some of the WHY that exists in this universe like, "Why is there man?" or "Why does man live on earth?" doesnt mean we should discount it.

It seems to me the conclusion that only that which can be explained exists gives man the completely undeserved quality of omniscience. Only that which we understand can exist.

You want blindly close minded? Try living with the belief that religion has yet to offer anything of value to humanity, and all that is good came from science.

-------Back on topic

We'd wag our fingers if churches had signs like "Outsiders Not Welcome." or, "Do not disturb! We are not interested!"

But shame on the religious for trying to share something they consider valuable. Its unfortunate that we are all human, and prone to error. Apparently that makes any act of charity undesireable for we risk offending somebody.

If you do not want the religious to try and share their beliefs with you, thats fine. But at least approach rejecting them with the same understanding you would expect of them. Namely, they THOUGHT they were doing YOU a favor. Do you yell at another person because they bring you a glass of water when you were not thirsty?

"I have a sign out front that says I'm not thirsty!"

"Well its been there awhile, I thought perhaps you had forgotten why water is good for you, sorry to have disturbed you."
 
Posted by Samarkand (Member # 8379) on :
 
And what if the modern day context is that a boy was raised in a poor family in Saudi Arabia, received an education from kindergarten - high school in a mullah-run school, reached maturity and realized there were no viable options to bettering his situation or his family's, despite the tremendous wealth generated by natural resources in his country, met a charismatic leader of Islam, a man of God, was provided with a purpose in life, perceived God's will, was provided with the training and money necessary to further the war against the Great White Satan, God's enemy, and carried out an act to better the world and save his own soul?

Because I'm pretty sure that's what suicide bombers' lives and belief systems look like . . . and that's not even getting into the jolly generation we're about to get that actually had the Great White Satan bust open their front door and ransack the house (Iraq for anyone missing the reference).

No, I don't approve in any way, shape or form of killing other people for any reason other than self-defense - although they may actually believe it IS self-defense. But different people have different ideas than I do. None of us are exactly the same as anyone else, and there's no hope of making any progress if we can't recognize that people have genuine REASONS for acting as they do and believe, in all sincerity, that they are right. Yes, these people believe God is telling them to do this. You don't blow yourself and a whole bunch of other people you don't know up unless you have a damn good reason to think you're doing the right thing.

Do I agree that's it's the right thing? No. To reiterate, before someone miquotes me - killing people bad. Bombing people bad.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Why don't you find an example in the New Testament of a Christian doing something the scriptures describe as good, but could be effectively described as evil.
Jesus cursing the fig tree.

quote:
At the risk of sounding cliche why can't we have mutual respect for one another? Why do the religious have to constantly prove that we are not mad men, or mad women. That our belief in religion CAN be the result of rational thought and true experience?
Because these things are not true. I don't know how I can put it any more plainly. You believe in things that are as rational as Santa Claus.

quote:
Science is a wonderful tool, one that explains "how" better then almost anything. Just because it fails to ever explain some of the WHY that exists in this universe like, "Why is there man?" or "Why does man live on earth?" doesnt mean we should discount it.
But science does explain those things.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
Well, and aside from what KoM said, I don't really think you have mutual respect for others of different religions, since you refuse to acknowledge that Phelps or suicide bombers might also honestly believe that they are called by God, regardless of mental illness.

-pH
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
To gnixing or BlackBlade or katharina or anyone else who cares to answer --

Does it change your minds, at all, about what's okay when it comes to proselytizing, that the majority of non-LDS people in this thread have basically reacted with horror to what you think is okay?

I'm speaking sort of in general terms of rudeness, here.

Will you continue to believe that certain behaviors by some LDS missionaries (such as ignoring or interpreting signs in uncommon ways) are not rude? Even when the consensus amongst non-LDS seems to be: Sorry guys, but it is rude -- at best. Or will you adjust your opinions now, having heard the other side of the story?

Long question.

Thanks in advance for any answers.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
By the way, if I were a reporter, that's the kind of question that could lead to headlines like:

"Katharina refuses to change rude behavior"
"Mormons refuse to conform to societal norms"
"'I was doing god's work' says rude man"

I don't mean to load it that way... I'm genuinely curious what you guys think.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
Does it change your minds, at all, about what's okay when it comes to proselytizing, that the majority of non-LDS people in this thread have basically reacted with horror to what you think is okay?
Well-- I think 'horror' is a bit strong. But I get your point.

My mind hasn't been changed by this thread. But then again, I think missionaries shouldn't proselyte when there's a no soliciting sign.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Why don't you find an example in the New Testament of a Christian doing something the scriptures describe as good, but could be effectively described as evil.

quote:
Jesus cursing the fig tree.

Where was the evil in this instance? Is it categorically evil to kill a useless plant?

quote:
At the risk of sounding cliche why can't we have mutual respect for one another? Why do the religious have to constantly prove that we are not mad men, or mad women. That our belief in religion CAN be the result of rational thought and true experience?
quote:
Because these things are not true. I don't know how I can put it any more plainly. You believe in things that are as rational as Santa Claus.
Come now KOM do you honestly believe that Santa Claus belief is just as rational as a belief in God? I appreciate your bluntness, its sad you can treat my beliefs with derision and almost open disdain.


quote:
Science is a wonderful tool, one that explains "how" better then almost anything. Just because it fails to ever explain some of the WHY that exists in this universe like, "Why is there man?" or "Why does man live on earth?" doesnt mean we should discount it.
quote:
But science does explain those things.
I don't think it does. Or at least, its explanations are so underdeveloped and inadequate as to be akin to somebody religious saying, "God farted and made Jupiter....I think, because Jupiter is mostly methane." (HERES A NOBEL PRIZE!)

What effective explanation has science offered for what the purpose of life is? Besides simply saying, "Well, we're an animal, we should perpetuate our genes and die."

pH: I think you have me confused with gnixing. I've never entered into the debate of whether or not suicide bombers believe they are doing God's will. But for the record I believe they are some who most certainly are indocterinated into believing they are doing God's will.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
You know, the Mormon church does not send missionaries to lands where they're not wanted. We have no missionaries in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, and China has only recently opened up.

The Church abides the laws of other countries even as it recognizes the need to spread the gospel. There are lots of people/countries without 'No Soliciting' signs posted; the elect are as likely to be among them as those with the signs.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
Well, and aside from what KoM said, I don't really think you have mutual respect for others of different religions, since you refuse to acknowledge that Phelps or suicide bombers might also honestly believe that they are called by God, regardless of mental illness.

-pH

That's an extreme and unwarranted conclusion, IMO.
 
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TL:
To gnixing or BlackBlade or katharina or anyone else who cares to answer --

Does it change your minds, at all, about what's okay when it comes to proselytizing, that the majority of non-LDS people in this thread have basically reacted with horror to what you think is okay?

I'm speaking sort of in general terms of rudeness, here.

Will you continue to believe that certain behaviors by some LDS missionaries (such as ignoring or interpreting signs in uncommon ways) are not rude? Even when the consensus amongst non-LDS seems to be: Sorry guys, but it is rude -- at best. Or will you adjust your opinions now, having heard the other side of the story?

Long question.

Thanks in advance for any answers.

Does it change my mind? No. I understand, and recognize your points of view - but I don't know that you understand or recognize mine, based on your responses to me.

I'm not a prolific writer by any means. I'm a technical person with a bent towards telecommunications systems. Forgive me if I am unable to express my ideas effectively with you via the forum.

That being said, I've grown weary trying to express my ideas and am done posting in this topic. Sorry guys, I'm just not up to the mind games any more.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
[QUOTE]Jesus cursing the fig tree.

Where was the evil in this instance? Is it categorically evil to kill a useless plant?
What harm had the poor tree done him? It was out of season, and in a fit of sheer pique this godling goes and kills it? And then, what harm had the men done Jesus, who when figs were next in season did not get to eat any, all for Jesus's bad mood?

quote:
Come now KOM do you honestly believe that Santa Claus belief is just as rational as a belief in God?
No, actually Santa Claus is a good deal more rational, in that his believers get physical evidence of his existence every Christmas. Or what do you suggest is the difference between Santa and your god? You should please note that I am neither joking nor trolling.

quote:
quote:
But science does explain those things.
I don't think it does. (...)

What effective explanation has science offered for what the purpose of life is? Besides simply saying, "Well, we're an animal, we should perpetuate our genes and die."

There is no purpose to life. A negative answer is a perfectly acceptable one, even if you don't like it.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
[QUOTE]Jesus cursing the fig tree.

Where was the evil in this instance? Is it categorically evil to kill a useless plant?
quote:
What harm had the poor tree done him? It was out of season, and in a fit of sheer pique this godling goes and kills it? And then, what harm had the men done Jesus, who when figs were next in season did not get to eat any, all for Jesus's bad mood?
Clearly you do not understand the account of the fig tree that was cursed.

Fig trees bear fruit BEFORE their leaves really come out. The fig tree was VERY leafy, and so Jesus approached it with the intent of picking fruit. Upon finding it barren he cursed it, comparing it to the Pharisees who outwardly show good works but inside are rotten and utterly useless, just like the fig tree. It gives meaning to the phrase, "By their fruits, ye shall know them." It was an object lesson, and call me biased but a very apt one.

quote:
Come now KOM do you honestly believe that Santa Claus belief is just as rational as a belief in God?
quote:
No, actually Santa Claus is a good deal more rational, in that his believers get physical evidence of his existence every Christmas. Or what do you suggest is the difference between Santa and your god? You should please note that I am neither joking nor trolling.

KOM I know you well enough to know that when you are blunt or appearing to be rude, you tend to be found on the side of honesty.

Sure there is physical evidence of Santa Clause's existance. The only problem is just how impossible the delivery method is. With Christianity there is alittle physical evidence and its supported by VERY explicit explanations. You seem to cling only to that which you can experience. Very well, that being the case,

How do you prove some of the conclusions of science to a person born blind, and deaf? Do they have a good reason to doubt that the grass is green? Or that color even exists?

Scientific evidence at least the kind you ask for is utterly useless at being the foundation for people's faith. Its been what almost 50 years since the Apollo moon landing and alittle over 6% of people polled think it was faked? But we have the physical evidence.

Anything that can be seen, heard or touched eventually just passes into the realms of unbelief. If the gospel was just so overwhelmingly obviously true that if could not be denied, what use would it be? Only the most vile would reject it, just as only the most idiotic reject the fact the world is round.

quote:
quote:
But science does explain those things.
I don't think it does. (...)

What effective explanation has science offered for what the purpose of life is? Besides simply saying, "Well, we're an animal, we should perpetuate our genes and die."

quote:
There is no purpose to life. A negative answer is a perfectly acceptable one, even if you don't like it.

Oh please, quit doing me the diservice of assuming I would be unwilling to accept the truth if it turned out to be ugly. When its simply impossible to provide theories supporting an actual purpose, you are basically ASSUMING 50% of all possibilities are wrong (In a black and white situation). Call it crazy, but if a scientist says "I have studied 50% of the possibilities and can go no further, this is my theory..." Would you fault the fellow scientists for not putting much stock in that theory? They might applaud the scientist for trying so hard, but they wouldnt write it down as truth.
 
Posted by Stan the man (Member # 6249) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by gnixing:
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
Well, and aside from what KoM said, I don't really think you have mutual respect for others of different religions, since you refuse to acknowledge that Phelps or suicide bombers might also honestly believe that they are called by God, regardless of mental illness.

-pH

That's an extreme and unwarranted conclusion, IMO.
And your conclusions? What? your conclusions are infallable? I know GOD is infallable, not humans. My GOD is true and so is yours. Cuz they are the SAME GOD. In our belief anyway. But then, I have never met GOD. So how do I know that Buddism, or Hinduism isn't true? How do we know there is one? I don't, but I have faith that mine is true as so do you in yours.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Mark disagrees with you on fig trees:

quote:
And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
quote:
Sure there is physical evidence of Santa Claus's existance. The only problem is just how impossible the delivery method is.
...says the man who believes in people walking on water. And no, 'God did it' is not an explanation.

quote:
With Christianity there is alittle physical evidence and its supported by VERY explicit explanations.
No, there isn't and it isn't.


quote:
How do you prove some of the conclusions of science to a person born blind, and deaf? Do they have a good reason to doubt that the grass is green? Or that color even exists?
'The colour green exists' is not a conclusion of science, at this time. 'Grass predominantly reflects certain wavelengths of light' is such a conclusion, and I can certainly convince a blind person of that.

quote:
Scientific evidence at least the kind you ask for is utterly useless at being the foundation for people's faith. It's been what almost 50 years since the Apollo moon landing and a little over 6% of people polled think it was faked? But we have the physical evidence.
What's your point?

quote:
Anything that can be seen, heard or touched eventually just passes into the realms of unbelief. If the gospel was just so overwhelmingly obviously true that it could not be denied, what use would it be? Only the most vile would reject it, just as only the most idiotic reject the fact the world is round.
And this would be a bad thing because...? Moreover, this argument assumes that the gospels are actually true, which is precisely the issue in dispute. Surely you can come up with something better than circular reasoning.

[ October 08, 2006, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: King of Men ]
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
And further to the evil in the NT:

quote:
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church"
I ask you, is this nice? But then again, perhaps Paul doesn't really count. Here is Jesus instructing his followers in how to preach his words:

quote:
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
(...)
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
(...)
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Well, really now.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
KOM Ill address your points, and clarify some of my previous ones you seemed to have misunderstood at work tomorrow.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
[QB] Mark disagrees with you on fig trees:

quote:
And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
The season has nothing to do with it. The fact remains that that particular fig tree had spent tons of energy and nutrients forming leaves which are of little to no use, instead of fruit which is of many uses. So Jesus elected to use it as an object lesson.


quote:
Sure there is physical evidence of Santa Claus's existance. The only problem is just how impossible the delivery method is.
...says the man who believes in people walking on water. And no, 'God did it' is not an explanation.
What has this got to do with anything? Are you implying because I believe conditions could exist that would allow a man to walk on water that therefore anything I might believe in is fancible and irrational? You went off about Santa Clause (who nobody seriously claims is real) and I responded with why physical evidence of the type you ask for is not very effective.

quote:
With Christianity there is alittle physical evidence and its supported by VERY explicit explanations.
quote:
No, there isn't and it isn't.
At the risk of this sounding childish, "Yeah Huh!"

"Search, Ponder, and Pray" are pretty explicit instructions, and the scriptures are a very large set of books that constitute more then enough physical evidence. The many Prophets that all preport to know of God can also be listed as witnesses. Its not as if the Christian God created the world and then disappeared.

quote:
How do you prove some of the conclusions of science to a person born blind, and deaf? Do they have a good reason to doubt that the grass is green? Or that color even exists?
quote:
'The colour green exists' is not a conclusion of science, at this time. 'Grass predominantly reflects certain wavelengths of light' is such a conclusion, and I can certainly convince a blind person of that.
How would you go about explaining what a wave length is to a deaf and blind person? Is it really so impossible to agree that to somebody who has yet to experience something, others claiming to have so experienced sounds like rubbish?

quote:
Scientific evidence at least the kind you ask for is utterly useless at being the foundation for people's faith. It's been what almost 50 years since the Apollo moon landing and a little over 6% of people polled think it was faked? But we have the physical evidence.
quote:
What's your point?
My point is say there was a nuclear holocaust and we lost the physical evidence that man had walked on the moon. Given time is it not reasonable to believe that man might start to doubt or even totally discount that man ever made it into space?

quote:
Anything that can be seen, heard or touched eventually just passes into the realms of unbelief. If the gospel was just so overwhelmingly obviously true that it could not be denied, what use would it be? Only the most vile would reject it, just as only the most idiotic reject the fact the world is round.
quote:
And this would be a bad thing because...? Moreover, this argument assumes that the gospels are actually true, which is precisely the issue in dispute. Surely you can come up with something better than circular reasoning.
This isn't circular reasoning. Go have a child, and instead of letting him make any choices, make them all for him, and take responsibility for everything required of him. You will find without exception that its a less then effective way to raise a human being.

quote:

And further to the evil in the NT:

quote:"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church"

1: Paul on more then one occasion says to the effect "This is my opinion on things, and should not be considered the mind of God."

but even disregarding that

2: Mormons consider that passage to be innaccurate in translation. Joseph Smith stated that God informed him that the original wording changes the word "speak" to "lead." That may be of no consiquence to some, but for my purposes its a very different statement.

As for Jesus:
quote:

quote:And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

What is inherintly evil about that? God punishes those who conciously reject the truth?

quote:

(...)
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

Please cite where these passages are found so I do not have to look for them myself. TIA. You seem to have this passage backwards. This is Jesus advising his Diciples as to what they can expect to happen to them and their converts as they preach the gospel. The world will hate them for Jesus's sake. Or are you saying its evil for Jesus to preach a gospel that he is aware will cause so much strife and grief within families?

quote:

(...)
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Well, really now.

Where is the evil here? If there is a God and he created us, surely he deserves our loyalty more so then our parents (who he also created).

Somehow I doubt that if this was a scientist saying, "This truth we have uncovered will piss off some people," that you would be telling him "Then you ought to, for the cause of world harmony, keep this discovery to yourself."

Wouldnt suprise me if Galileo and Copernicus had parents who were ashamed of what they were doing.

Maybe you simply misunderstood these passages, I don't see how you can fault Jesus for warning his diciples, in my words, "Expect people to abuse you for preaching the gospel."
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
The many Prophets that all preport to know of God can also be listed as witnesses.
This is a problem, believe it or not.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Mark disagrees with you on fig trees:

quote:
And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

The season has nothing to do with it. The fact remains that that particular fig tree had spent tons of energy and nutrients forming leaves which are of little to no use, instead of fruit which is of many uses. So Jesus elected to use it as an object lesson.
Dude, since when do trees make decisions? And anyway who is Jesus to kill things because he doesn't like what they produce? And the season has everything to do with it. How the devil can it possibly be reasonable to blame a freaking tree for not bearing fruit outside the damn season?

quote:
quote:
quote:
Sure there is physical evidence of Santa Claus's existance. The only problem is just how impossible the delivery method is.
...says the man who believes in people walking on water. And no, 'God did it' is not an explanation.
What has this got to do with anything? Are you implying because I believe conditions could exist that would allow a man to walk on water that therefore anything I might believe in is fancible and irrational?
Are you saying that because children believe that conditions might possibly exist that would allow reindeer to deliver umpteen million toys in one night, everything they might believe in is fancible and irrational? The one is no more miraculous than the other. Just what difference do you see between these two things, bearing in mind that Santa has as much right to invoke "It's a miracle" as your god does?

quote:
You went off about Santa Claus (who nobody seriously claims is real) and I responded with why physical evidence of the type you ask for is not very effective.
I would suggest you not inform any four-year-olds of this; they bite. But by all means feel free to substitute the Greek or Norse gods, if you feel that's any more dignified.

quote:
"Search, Ponder, and Pray" are pretty explicit instructions, and the scriptures are a very large set of books that constitute more then enough physical evidence.
Right, and "The Lord of the Rings" is physical evidence of Middle-Earth. Dude, that's so weak it's not even funny.

quote:
The many Prophets that all preport to know of God can also be listed as witnesses.
And no three of them agree on anything; their testimony would be thrown out of any court. Or are you going to be taking Native Americans' origin tales as proof for their gods? If not, why not?

quote:
Its not as if the Christian God created the world and then disappeared.
No? Point to it, then.

quote:
How would you go about explaining what a wave length is to a deaf and blind person? Is it really so impossible to agree that to somebody who has yet to experience something, others claiming to have so experienced sounds like rubbish?
To answer the first question, I would demonstrate pressure waves on the person's skin, and communicate otherwise with a Braille writer. This is a difficulty of communication, not conception. For the second, you should please note that if I were to claim that grass is red, that would be just as outside the blind person's experience, but it really would be rubbish. In any case, why do you consider it so unreasonable when I ask for evidence? That's what people do when others make claims; they say "Well, why do you think so?" Otherwise you end up believing in men with faces in their bellies, hopping about on one leg. If your evidence is 'I dreamed it', you should expect not to be believed. What is difficult about this?

quote:
quote:
What's your point?
My point is say there was a nuclear holocaust and we lost the physical evidence that man had walked on the moon. Given time is it not reasonable to believe that man might start to doubt or even totally discount that man ever made it into space?
Yes. Likewise, the tales of Gilgamesh might be absolutely true, and we've just lost the physical evidence. This is not proof of anything, it's an abdication of your responsibility to follow the best evidence available.

quote:
quote:
And this would be a bad thing because...? Moreover, this argument assumes that the gospels are actually true, which is precisely the issue in dispute. Surely you can come up with something better than circular reasoning.
This isn't circular reasoning. Go have a child, and instead of letting him make any choices, make them all for him, and take responsibility for everything required of him. You will find without exception that its a less then effective way to raise a human being.
Yes, but that's not what you said. You said 'only the most vile would reject it'. Well then, what's your problem? The vile would reject it and be cast into the fire, or whatever; that's a choice, isn't it? Surely it's better for the gospels to be rejected only out of vileness, rather than because they are totally unsupported by any evidence, as now. I see where it's good to make your own choices, but to make good choices you have to have information. To return to your analogy of the child, if I told it to avoid getting burned in the kitchen, but did not show it that the stove is the hot part, it would be my fault if it got burned.

quote:
Mormons consider that passage to be inaccurate in translation. Joseph Smith stated that God informed him that the original wording changes the word "speak" to "lead." That may be of no consiquence to some, but for my purposes its a very different statement.
That makes it less evil, but not good. Why shouldn't a woman lead? To cut off half the human race's potential is just evil.

quote:
What is inherently evil about that? God punishes those who conciously reject the truth?
You are consciously rejecting the truth I've shown you. Should I punish you? And just how are these people to know that it's this particular mad prophet, and not the one down on the next corner ranting about the evil of date trees not bearing fruit out of season, that's the Real Thing?

quote:
This is Jesus advising his Disciples as to what they can expect to happen to them and their converts as they preach the gospel.
No, it's Jesus saying that people who don't accept his words must be shunned, in the Amish sense of that term. Read them again:

quote:
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
quote:
Where is the evil here? If there is a God and he created us, surely he deserves our loyalty more so then our parents (who he also created).
The next time I see your god comforting a crying child, while its parents look the other way, I will agree that those parents have no more claim on its loyalty. Loyalty, like respect, is a line that travels two ways; there is no evidence that your god has any, yet here is Jesus claiming that it takes precedence, indeed that people should actively hate their parents. That's evil.

quote:
Somehow I doubt that if this was a scientist saying, "This truth we have uncovered will piss off some people," that you would be telling him "Then you ought to, for the cause of world harmony, keep this discovery to yourself."
No, but when he begins actively gloating over how many civil wars his discovery is going to cause, I feel well within my rights to consider him a bit of an asshole.

quote:
Maybe you simply misunderstood these passages, I don't see how you can fault Jesus for warning his diciples, in my words, "Expect people to abuse you for preaching the gospel."
That's not what he says. He says that brother will rise up against brother. He doesn't say anything about the disciples.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Bumpified for great justice!
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
I can't believe this thread reached 15 pages.

Next up: When passing by someone in a theater, should I show them my back or the front?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
[Roll Eyes] (That was to KoM)
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Gosh, that's really insightful and constructive. You've made a great contribution to this thread. Pray do continue to enlighten us with your thoughts.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
If KoM doesn't attention soon he's breaking out the webcam.
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
I think you just took care of that one, kat. Good job.

-pH
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Oh teh noes! I hurt someone's feelings, and they respond by breaking out the ad homs! Whatever shall I do?
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
Next up: When passing by someone in a theater, should I show them my back or the front?

Compromise is important. Therefore, show them the front of your back, OR the back of your front.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Sorry KOM I just didnt have the energy to type all those <quote> </quote>. I apologize for not promptly responding to your post that you clearly put alot of effort into.

I'm going to try reduce the size of subsequent posts by deleting unneccesary words.

quote:
Dude, since when do trees make decisions? And anyway who is Jesus to kill things because he doesn't like what they produce? And the season has everything to do with it. How the devil can it possibly be reasonable to blame a freaking tree for not bearing fruit outside the damn season?
Your completely missing the point. Even if the season was early for figs, Jesus saw the fig tree and how leafy it was, therefore it was rational to assume it was heavy with fruit. It was not, it was much like Pharisees who look so righteous on the outside but once you get into their actual lives you find no fruit. Jesus decided to demonstrate the indignation he had for hypocrisy by cursing the fig tree. Certainly he would have been unable to curse the fig tree if God had disagreed with his decision. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS say killing somebody and saying "If God had wanted to stop me he would have." Jesus (If we are to believe the Bible) used his God given powers to curse the fig, he didnt man handle it in any way. Besides all that, what evidence do you have the plants do NOT make decisions?

quote:
I would suggest you not inform any four-year-olds of this; they bite. But by all means feel free to substitute the Greek or Norse gods, if you feel that's any more dignified.
Its even less dignified as those God's were not even beginning to attempt to lay down a code of morals by which men could be happy. Greek/Roman/Norse Gods are nothing more then immortals that for some reason are still subject to all the passions and weaknesses human beings are. Besides fear, we had no reason to emulate their behavior. The Christian God tries to win you over with love, and attempts to make you a better person.

The difference between Jesus Christ and Santa Clause is that one actually claims to provide you with eternal happiness. Santa Claus merely rewards you for good behavior with gifts. Were Santa Clause actually real he would still be insignificant compared to the program Jesus runs.

Jesus' words and teachings are testable. You can emulate him and experience his influence in your life and certainly beyond childhood. Santa Clause ceases to be real the moment your parents decide to let you in on the secret. By your logic, I should believe in Jesus as I have yet to encounter evidence that he does not exist. Jesus thus far has done everything he told me he would if I held my end of the bargain. Santa Clause has ceased to do so.

quote:
And no three of them agree on anything; their testimony would be thrown out of any court. Or are you going to be taking Native Americans' origin tales as proof for their gods? If not, why not?
I completely disagree, I think if you took any 3 prophets from the Bible they completely agree. Or you might argue they do not contradict each other. Please don't try to use the Law of Moses as a means to contradict Jesus' teaching. Even a casual reading of the New Testament explains why Jesus' teachings were not along the lines of the law of Moses.

quote:
"Its not as if the Christian God created the world and then disappeared.

No? Point to it, then.

Um I've experienced his existance? That does nothing to prove it to you.

quote:
To answer the first question, I would demonstrate pressure waves on the person's skin, and communicate otherwise with a Braille writer. This is a difficulty of communication, not conception. For the second, you should please note that if I were to claim that grass is red, that would be just as outside the blind person's experience, but it really would be rubbish. In any case, why do you consider it so unreasonable when I ask for evidence? That's what people do when others make claims; they say "Well, why do you think so?" Otherwise you end up believing in men with faces in their bellies, hopping about on one leg. If your evidence is 'I dreamed it', you should expect not to be believed. What is difficult about this?
You are right it would be rubbish. But why is it so hard to accept. "I studied the docterine, I tested it out in my own life and found it produced the results predicted within the scriptures (Happiness.) I attempted to communicate with God in the fashion described and it worked to my satisfaction. I feel that I have genuinely experienced God's existance. I am confident the more I continue to abide by the docterine and the more I cultivate communication with God I will continue to experience him in greater and more distinct ways. I have yet to experience evidence that this trend will not continue.

quote:

Yes. Likewise, the tales of Gilgamesh might be absolutely true, and we've just lost the physical evidence. This is not proof of anything, it's an abdication of your responsibility to follow the best evidence available.

We have not lost the physical evidence of the Bible completely. The writings and words have been preserved for the most part. The people and places to a great degree have been proven to have existed, the more contemporary the more easily proven. Have we yet to find a person or place in the scriptures that we know did not exist? If not we have evidence to at least not disbelieve it until given reason to do so.

Again you state that you have evidence that God does NOT exist. I have yet to see any actual evidence. I've only seen your critiques of my evidence. Or are you stating that God cannot be proven to exist therefore its pointless to prove God's nonexistance?

quote:

Yes, but that's not what you said. You said 'only the most vile would reject it'. Well then, what's your problem? The vile would reject it and be cast into the fire, or whatever; that's a choice, isn't it? Surely it's better for the gospels to be rejected only out of vileness, rather than because they are totally unsupported by any evidence, as now. I see where it's good to make your own choices, but to make good choices you have to have information. To return to your analogy of the child, if I told it to avoid getting burned in the kitchen, but did not show it that the stove is the hot part, it would be my fault if it got burned.

You seem to be operating under the premise that for all Christians, there is one place for the good and one place for the bad. Correct me if I am wrong (Though I doubt I need to request that of you) [Wink] If people are to rewarded EXACLTY as much as they deserve to be, then it makes no sense to have the limits of 2 outcomes. In life are you rewarded with exactly the same reward everytime you do any good and punished in exactly the same manner every time you do ill, with no variation in intensity? I do not think so, why should the afterlife be any different.

I've already told you that I believe the person who knows what they ought to do, but does not stands more condemned then the person who simply knows no better.

That is why its neccesary for God to not take control away from us and run things for us. It would retard our progression as we could learn NOTHING for our selves. Its much like being a passenger in a car, and having no ability to observe our surroundings. Once we reached our destination would we be any more empowered to find our way to that place then if we had never gone at all?

quote:

That makes it less evil, but not good. Why shouldn't a woman lead? To cut off half the human race's potential is just evil.

Oh please, surely you are not naive enough to believe that everyone has the exact same capabilities when it comes to all the facets of life. A careful observance of the world demonstrates a strong arguement that not everyone is created equal. Do men rail on God for not giving us the hearing capabilities of a dog? Or do women feel slighted that at least on the average men are created larger in stature then women?

Though I do not know why God does no delegate leadership responsibility equally amongst all the members of the church. I have found that the church operates just fine with that limitation.

Do you believe that if somebody is prevented from ruling over others, that that person suffers because of it? You call it cutting off their potential, I was not aware that one must be able to control others in order to be happy. And even within Christianity it clearly states, "Neither is man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord." Men may hold all the leadership positions, but they do not pretend it makes them BETTER in ANY way.

I doubt you will ever live in a world where everyone is truely equal in all regards. And I do think that is because it is impossible.

quote:
You are consciously rejecting the truth I've shown you. Should I punish you? And just how are these people to know that it's this particular mad prophet, and not the one down on the next corner ranting about the evil of date trees not bearing fruit out of season, that's the Real Thing?
What truth am I conciously rejecting? I think the fact I am debating with you leads one to believe that I am not conciously aware of the truthfulness of your words. I can only assume you are not doing me the discourtesy of pretending you actually believe the words you are writing.

Are you seriously suggesting that we can decide the truthfulness of a man's words by hearing a sound byte without any context. You know the Bible says, "By their fruits ye shall know them." That typically indicates seeing the fruit, touching the fruit, eating the fruit, and then observing its effects on yourself after consumption.

From your words it sounds like we ought to judge men (Of the Prophetic Profession) exactly as you have condemned Christians for so doing, but then again you like to lump us all together and then sarcasticaly denounce us for stating that not all Christians actually live their religion.

I'm sure you would find the inteligence to distinguish between a mad scientist and an eccentric genuine one. Prophets are just as easy to distinquish.
quote:

The next time I see your god comforting a crying child, while its parents look the other way, I will agree that those parents have no more claim on its loyalty. Loyalty, like respect, is a line that travels two ways; there is no evidence that your god has any, yet here is Jesus claiming that it takes precedence, indeed that people should actively hate their parents. That's evil.

I honestly think we are both reading the same words simply differently. Some of the blame could rest on shoddy translation, but in this instance I think you are honestly misunderstanding Jesus' words.

Jesus never said, "My gospel will never cause contention." There is always contention between good and evil. But there is also contention between those who misunderstand each other. The gospel might ULTIMATELY bring peace to the world, but there has always been opponents of it who attack it for a variety of reasons.

If Gandhi had said, "My words will cause Indian to rise up against Indian, and there will be death and blood spilt because of what I do." Would you have interpreted that comment the same way you have interpreted Jesus's?

Jesus nowhere is saying, "Go on the offensive, root out and destroy those who do not believe!" He simply said, "Be ready for bloodshed, be ready to die for your belief in me." go watch "The Mission" and tell me the Jesuits in that movie were no better then the self described Christian slave traders of Spain and Portugal. Or that the **Spoilers** Cardinal who sold them out was really just as Christian as those priests. Tell me those missionaries were not persecuted by those they tried to proselyte with for their beliefs.

I really do not see where you are getting "Kill and destroy" from Jesus' words in that passage and not, "Expect to be slain for your belief in me." Jesus says MANY times, "The world will hate you for my sake, but be not afraid." His admonishing that you lay down your life for him and not withold it is pretty much in the same vein. He isn't saying go get yourself killed for me. Though quite a few Christians around 300AD made the mistake of seeing that passage in that light, some still do. He is simply saying, "What I offer you is of greater value then your physical body."

As for your statement that until you see God comforting a child while his parents look away, you will not condone respecting God above all others. I can completely agree with that. A child who has yet to know God has no more reason to be more loyal to God then to his parents then you do to be loyal to me.

"Against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things."

If you honestly do not know God, you can't honestly confess his hand in anything now can you?
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
quote:

Compromise is important. Therefore, show them the front of your back, OR the back of your front.

But...it..I...kittens....*head explodes*
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
quote:

Compromise is important. Therefore, show them the front of your back, OR the back of your front.

But...it..I...kittens....*head explodes*
o noes!

-pH
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Dude, since when do trees make decisions? And anyway who is Jesus to kill things because he doesn't like what they produce? And the season has everything to do with it. How the devil can it possibly be reasonable to blame a freaking tree for not bearing fruit outside the damn season?
You're completely missing the point. Even if the season was early for figs, Jesus saw the fig tree and how leafy it was, therefore it was rational to assume it was heavy with fruit. It was not, it was much like Pharisees who look so righteous on the outside but once you get into their actual lives you find no fruit. Jesus decided to demonstrate the indignation he had for hypocrisy by cursing the fig tree. Certainly he would have been unable to curse the fig tree if God had disagreed with his decision.
So what? He can dig it up with his fingernails for all I care. The point is that the fig tree had done him no harm, and yet he decided to take out his frustration with the Pharisees on it. The tree is under no obligation to be helpful to him. Or what would you say of someone who wandered about the countryside, killing people whenever they did not give him water or food?

quote:
quote:
I would suggest you not inform any four-year-olds of this; they bite. But by all means feel free to substitute the Greek or Norse gods, if you feel that's any more dignified.
Its even less dignified as those Gods were not even beginning to attempt to lay down a code of morals by which men could be happy. Greek/Roman/Norse Gods are nothing more then immortals that for some reason are still subject to all the passions and weaknesses human beings are. Besides fear, we had no reason to emulate their behavior. The Christian God tries to win you over with love, and attempts to make you a better person.
Right-ho. May I once again direct you to the words of Jesus?

quote:
Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Is this love and kindness? Looks remarkably like a threat to me. Not to mention all that wailing and gnashing of teeth that occurs elsewhere in the sermons.

But apart from that, 'dignified' was perhaps a badly chosen word. My intent was to point out that there are other gods that people really have made claims of truth for, unlike the case of Santa Claus. So your objection that "nobody really claims truth for Santa Claus" is not relevant; there are plenty of other gods you can substitute where that's not true. But Santa is a convenient one for the argument since we are both quite familiar with the mythos.

quote:
The difference between Jesus Christ and Santa Claus is that one actually claims to provide you with eternal happiness. Santa Claus merely rewards you for good behavior with gifts. Were Santa Claus actually real he would still be insignificant compared to the program Jesus runs.
I disagree, but that's not relevant anyway. We were not discussing which one is morally better. We were discussing whether the evidence for the existence of the one is better than that for the other. Let me recap our discussion as I understand it : You agreed, if I understood you, that the physical evidence for Santa Claus is better than that for Jesus; you objected, however, that the alleged delivery method is extremely implausible. I pointed out that the alleged achievements of Jesus are equally implausible. The believers in the one have as much right to appeal to "It's a miracle" as believers in the other. Again : What do you think is the difference between feeding five thousand people on two loaves of bread, and delivering umpteen million presents in one night?

quote:
Jesus' words and teachings are testable. You can emulate him and experience his influence in your life and certainly beyond childhood. Santa Claus ceases to be real the moment your parents decide to let you in on the secret. By your logic, I should believe in Jesus as I have yet to encounter evidence that he does not exist. Jesus thus far has done everything he told me he would if I held my end of the bargain. Santa Claus has ceased to do so.
I think it would be useful to separate the words from the divinity. After all, people have likewise claimed great happiness from becoming Scientologists and getting rid of their body thetans; I trust you do not think this is proof of Hubbard's cosmology. So we can agree (for the sake of the argument; I'm not necessarily conceding the general truth of this) that living by the principles of Jesus's teachings makes for happier people, without this being proof of his genuine divinity. Unless, that is, you want to suggest something that makes your church different from Scientology.

quote:
quote:
And no three of them agree on anything; their testimony would be thrown out of any court. Or are you going to be taking Native Americans' origin tales as proof for their gods? If not, why not?
I completely disagree, I think if you took any 3 prophets from the Bible they completely agree. Or you might argue they do not contradict each other. Please don't try to use the Law of Moses as a means to contradict Jesus' teaching. Even a casual reading of the New Testament explains why Jesus' teachings were not along the lines of the law of Moses.
From the Bible, you might have a point, except of course that all the prophets after the first one were aware of their predecessors' work, so they're hardly independent. But I was actually thinking of all the ones that do not appear in the Bible, like Mohammed and Hubbard.

quote:
You are right it would be rubbish. But why is it so hard to accept. "I studied the docterine, I tested it out in my own life and found it produced the results predicted within the scriptures (Happiness.) (...)
Scientologists again.

quote:
We have not lost the physical evidence of the Bible completely. The writings and words have been preserved for the most part. The people and places to a great degree have been proven to have existed, the more contemporary the more easily proven. Have we yet to find a person or place in the scriptures that we know did not exist? If not we have evidence to at least not disbelieve it until given reason to do so.
In the first place, evidence of the existence of Jesus is not evidence of his divinity; or perhaps you believe that Odin really could do magic? In the second place, just what is your proof for the existence of a historical Jesus apart from the Bible? And incidentally, you'd think such a pivotal rabble-rouser would appear in Roman records of the time. In the third place, "writings and words" are physical evidence of nothing except a writer; hence my remark about the Lord of the Rings.

quote:
Again you state that you have evidence that God does NOT exist. I have yet to see any actual evidence. I've only seen your critiques of my evidence. Or are you stating that God cannot be proven to exist therefore its pointless to prove God's nonexistance?
I don't think I made any such statement. However, pray let me see you disprove the existence of Santa Claus. No? Then is it reasonable to believe in him?

quote:
quote:
Yes, but that's not what you said. You said 'only the most vile would reject it'. Well then, what's your problem? The vile would reject it and be cast into the fire, or whatever; that's a choice, isn't it? Surely it's better for the gospels to be rejected only out of vileness, rather than because they are totally unsupported by any evidence, as now. I see where it's good to make your own choices, but to make good choices you have to have information. To return to your analogy of the child, if I told it to avoid getting burned in the kitchen, but did not show it that the stove is the hot part, it would be my fault if it got burned.

You seem to be operating under the premise that for all Christians, there is one place for the good and one place for the bad. Correct me if I am wrong (Though I doubt I need to request that of you) [Wink] If people are to rewarded EXACLTY as much as they deserve to be, then it makes no sense to have the limits of 2 outcomes. In life are you rewarded with exactly the same reward everytime you do any good and punished in exactly the same manner every time you do ill, with no variation in intensity? I do not think so, why should the afterlife be any different.

I've already told you that I believe the person who knows what they ought to do, but does not stands more condemned then the person who simply knows no better.

That is why its neccesary for God to not take control away from us and run things for us. It would retard our progression as we could learn NOTHING for our selves. Its much like being a passenger in a car, and having no ability to observe our surroundings. Once we reached our destination would we be any more empowered to find our way to that place then if we had never gone at all?

You've lost me; I totally do not see the connection between your remarks and mine. One more time : If the completely vile have the ability to reject the gospels, and do so, then how is your god taking control of our lives?

quote:
Oh please, surely you are not naive enough to believe that everyone has the exact same capabilities when it comes to all the facets of life. A careful observation of the world demonstrates a strong arguement that not everyone is created equal. Do men rail on God for not giving us the hearing capabilities of a dog? Or do women feel slighted that at least on the average men are created larger in stature then women?
A very similar argument was made, at one point, to keep women out of universities. Do you approve of that also?

quote:
Though I do not know why God does no delegate leadership responsibility equally amongst all the members of the church. I have found that the church operates just fine with that limitation.
Not relevant. The question was about rights, not how smoothly the church can be administrated. Factories ran quite nicely before women were allowed to work in them; does that make such discrimination right?

quote:
Do you believe that if somebody is prevented from ruling over others, that that person suffers because of it?
Let me put the question to you differently. I trust you'll agree that there are some bishoprics (is that the word for your smallest unit?) which are badly led. Do you really think that every woman in such a bishopric is so bad at leadership that even a bad bishop is better, purely because he is male?

quote:
I doubt you will ever live in a world where everyone is truly equal in all regards. And I do think that is because it is impossible.
True. But I do think one might strive for a world where everybody has the same rights.

[/QUOTE]What truth am I conciously rejecting? I think the fact I am debating with you leads one to believe that I am not conciously aware of the truthfulness of your words.[/quote]

Precisely my point. Jesus, in the passage I quoted, does not say anything about people consciously rejecting anything. He says that cities will be punished for not believing the gospel, period. Now if the cities are not consciously aware of the truth of those words, then how is it fair to punish them?

I'll respond to the rest later.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
In all the years I've been at hatrack, I've never started a thread that went on to anything close to 15 pages. Heck, I'm generally pleased if a thread I start gets more than 5 or 10 posts in it.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
If Gandhi had said, "My words will cause Indian to rise up against Indian, and there will be death and blood spilt because of what I do." Would you have interpreted that comment the same way you have interpreted Jesus's?
Possibly we are focusing on slightly different parts of the passage I quoted. Once again :

quote:
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Me, me, me, that's all I'm hearing from this guy.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
quote:


- posted October 12, 2006 07:07 PM Profile for pH Email pH Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote

quote:Originally posted by Storm Saxon:

quote:
Compromise is important. Therefore, show them the front of your back, OR the back of your front.

But...it..I...kittens....*head explodes*

o noes!

Heh, heh. [Smile]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Is a tree a person, and I missed it somewhere? I sure hope not, I've affronted horribly with toothpicks many times in the past.
 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
Why are you arguing with King of Men about whether spiritual truth is real, Blackblade?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I'm not offended, KoM. I'm not offended by David Blaine or Jenna Jameson either. I can only be thankful Hatrack doesn't allow pictures. There must be something very sad about you to have such a need for attention.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
When passing by someone in a theater, should I show them my back or the front?
Emily Post's view on the matter:

quote:
In passing across people who are seated, always face the stage and press as close to the backs of the seats you are facing as you can. Remember also not to drag anything across the heads of those sitting in front of you. At the moving pictures, especially when it is dark and difficult to see, a coat on an arm passing behind a chair can literally devastate the hair-dressing of a lady occupying it. 24
If you are obliged to cross in front of some one who gets up to let you pass, say “Thank you,” or “Thank you very much” or “I am very sorry.” Do not say “Pardon me!” or “Beg pardon!” Though you can say “I beg your pardon.” That, however, would be more properly the expression to use if you brushed your coat over their heads, or spilled water over them, or did something to them for which you should actually beg their pardon. But “Beg pardon,” which is an abbreviation, is one of the phrases never said in best society.


 
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
 
quote:

But “Beg pardon,” which is an abbreviation, is one of the phrases never said in best society.

So true. So...very, very true.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I'm not offended, KoM. I'm not offended by David Blaine or Jenna Jameson either. I can only be thankful Hatrack doesn't allow pictures. There must be something very sad about you to have such a need for attention.

Says the woman who is apparently posting in this thread for absolutely no purpose other than pointing out my perceived character flaws. This is a discussion board. We discuss things on it. If that's attention seeking, oh well, colour me an attention whore.
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
I like chocolate.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
Why are you arguing with King of Men about whether spiritual truth is real, Blackblade?

Because just because I believe the greatest truth is spirit truth does not mean I think physical truth is absolutely unnecessary.

Ill say this up front, this was discussed before but Ill say it again. If you could in an undeniable manner disprove ALL of the physical evidence that Christianity preports to have (an incredible feat IMO) I would willingly denounce religion, though I don't know how I would believe anything spiritual ever again.

KOM: I'm sorry that I have to request more patience on your part, if I had focused on it I could have a written response to your remarks but I got distracted in other threads and with my work. Ill see what I can get done in the meantime. Again my apologies.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:

So what? He can dig it up with his fingernails for all I care. The point is that the fig tree had done him no harm, and yet he decided to take out his frustration with the Pharisees on it. The tree is under no obligation to be helpful to him. Or what would you say of someone who wandered about the countryside, killing people whenever they did not give him water or food?

The fig tree was NOT fulfilling "the measure of its creation." or its purpose. If you were hurt and needed a doctor and instead the janitor at the hospital simply put on the garb of a doctor, equipped a stethoscope and then told you he could assist you with what you needed would you not condemn him for trying to deceive you?

Figs are designed to bear fruit, this one wasted its efforts on leaves. Perhaps you disagree with the method Jesus used, but do you disagree with the principle he was teaching?

quote:

Right-ho. May I once again direct you to the words of Jesus? "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."

What's your point? That Jesus can accurately state how God will judge those who willfully rebel against the truth, and that makes him a fear monger? He certainly did not instruct his apostles to go around saying, "Convert or you will get the Sodom/Gommorah treatment!" He is merely making the observation that those who choose unsound docterine and evil will reap their reward.

Jesus never once said, "It is better to be feared then loved." If you counted the number of times Jesus said, "Fear not" and the number of times he said, "Start Fearing" you will find a pretty wide gap.

quote:
n the first place, evidence of the existence of Jesus is not evidence of his divinity; or perhaps you believe that Odin really could do magic? In the second place, just what is your proof for the existence of a historical Jesus apart from the Bible? And incidentally, you'd think such a pivotal rabble-rouser would appear in Roman records of the time. In the third place, "writings and words" are physical evidence of nothing except a writer; hence my remark about the Lord of the Rings.
1: Right but you agree that if Jesus was actually divine then He would be described as such in his literature. Its unlikely that if Jesus actually PERFORMED the miracles he did that the literature about him would completely and willfully avoid saying as much.

I can agree with you that were Jesus to have not actually done anything miraculous its still a possibility that literature written about him would add ficticious elements to his life.

2: The writings of Josephus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

Do you see any Jewish/Roman historians as declaring that Jesus did not exist?

What proof do you have that Mohammed and Prince Siddhartha existed? Or am I wrong in assuming you believe the men actually existed?

3: Agreed, again looking at this in reverse, If Jesus said and did what he did, there would be writers. Writings at least prove the possibility of Christ being real.

quote:

I disagree, but that's not relevant anyway. We were not discussing which one is morally better. We were discussing whether the evidence for the existence of the one is better than that for the other. Let me recap our discussion as I understand it : You agreed, if I understood you, that the physical evidence for Santa Claus is better than that for Jesus; you objected, however, that the alleged delivery method is extremely implausible. I pointed out that the alleged achievements of Jesus are equally implausible. The believers in the one have as much right to appeal to "It's a miracle" as believers in the other. Again : What do you think is the difference between feeding five thousand people on two loaves of bread, and delivering umpteen million presents in one night?

I think the physical evidence of Jesus' existance outweighs the existance of Santa Claus. I'm sorry if I was not ambiguous about that earlier. There are no texts of the sayings of Santa Clause that can to a reasonable extent proof their antiquity. No rational people seriously claims to have seen Saint Nick or even communicate with him. The locations within the myth of Santa Clause can to NO degree be demonstrated as true. His story is completely devoid of any realism.

Again my apologies Ill have to get to your other comments later. Beg Pardon.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
The fig tree was NOT fulfilling "the measure of its creation." or its purpose.
I have to admit that, of all the less ambiguous object lessons Jesus could have chosen, picking on a fig tree out of season seems rather petty. I find it hard to believe that the outskirts of Jerusalem contained no clearer examples of things not fulfilling their purpose than something which, were it the proper season for figs, would be bearing figs.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Figs are designed to bear fruit, this one wasted its efforts on leaves. Perhaps you disagree with the method Jesus used, but do you disagree with the principle he was teaching?
Indeed I do. Humans are designed to breed more humans. Should we then kill off the ones who don't?

quote:
He is merely making the observation that those who choose unsound doctrine and evil will reap their reward.
Yeah, gosh, imagine that. People might actually choose not to listen to some madman from the desert. How awful. They obviously deserve to burn in hell for all of eternity.

quote:
Right but you agree that if Jesus was actually divine then He would be described as such in his literature. Its unlikely that if Jesus actually PERFORMED the miracles he did that the literature about him would completely and willfully avoid saying as much.
Obviously, but so what? You could write just the same passage, substituting 'Odin' for 'Jesus', and it would make just as much sense and be just as utterly unconvincing.

quote:
Do you see any Jewish/Roman historians as declaring that Jesus did not exist?
I don't see them declaring that Santa doesn't exist, either, but I would hardly choose to present this as evidence for my religion, if I could possibly avoid it.

quote:
What proof do you have that Mohammed and Prince Siddhartha existed? Or am I wrong in assuming you believe the men actually existed?
I'm not sure about Siddhartha, as I don't know much about Indian history of the period. Mohammad, on the other hand, is attested by the people he fought against, as for example here. Even so, I'm not inclined to be dogmatic about his existence; it was a pretty confused period, and there are always a bunch of prophets about. Any number of men might have fitted the description. You should note that this document is contemporary to Mohammad; Josephus is writing 50 years after Christ's death, and may well be reporting 'what Christians believe' rather than what he regards as historical fact.

quote:
Agreed, again looking at this in reverse, If Jesus said and did what he did, there would be writers. Writings at least prove the possibility of Christ being real.
Quite so; likewise, Tolkien's writings at least prove the possibility of Gandalf being real. But personally, I should not care to advance this as an argument for the most central belief in my life. Your mileage may differ.

quote:
I think the physical evidence of Jesus' existance outweighs the existance of Santa Claus. I'm sorry if I was not ambiguous about that earlier. There are no texts of the sayings of Santa Clause that can to a reasonable extent proof their antiquity. No rational people seriously claims to have seen Saint Nick or even communicate with him. The locations within the myth of Santa Clause can to NO degree be demonstrated as true. His story is completely devoid of any realism.
Ah yes, no 'rational' people. Well, I could just as well claim that no 'rational' people seriously claim to have experienced communion with Jesus, and by defining rational as atheist, I'd be quite right. Don't you see that this is just the argument which you dismiss when I make it? As for realism, just how 'realistic' is it for a man to rise from the dead, to walk on water, to feed five thousand on two loaves and some fish? Please apply the same standards to both myths.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Aw, BlackBlade, don't feed the troll. [Smile]
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:

Indeed I do. Humans are designed to breed more humans. Should we then kill off the ones who don't?

Again your words not Christs. Don't intentionally and disingenuously present Christian docterine as so absolutist. By that logic God should punish himself for creating human beings who cannot reproduce.

quote:

Yeah, gosh, imagine that. People might actually choose not to listen to some madman from the desert. How awful. They obviously deserve to burn in hell for all of eternity.

He was not a mad man from the desert KOM, he was a wonderful man who did great things. Madmen typically do not create long lasting systems of belief. If we are to believe the accounts of his words Jesus did not run around like a madman spounting of incoherent babble. He said deep profound things that rocked peoples minds. Certainly he would not have been so systematically persecuted and ultimately executed if he his ideas had not taken root so effectively.

Again you seem to be ignoring the fact that there is a difference between rejecting the truth and rejecting a messenger who does a bad job of presenting his material.

Even if you ultimately know the truth and decide God just is not the guy for you, but then again evil does not suit you either there is a reasonably designed place for you. Quite invoking the limited heaven or hell destination as a way of making my arguements seem unsound, I've repeatedly decried putting people in 2 big groups.

As for proof of his existance, Josephus is typically trusted as impartial, he was quite capable of removing his own beliefs from the way things were.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/scott_oser/hojfaq.html

The study is bent on disproving Jesus existance, but its more or less impartial in presentation. The fact that historians note there were Christians in Asia Minor at the time soon after Jesus' alleged life show that at least the religion formed at the same time the Bible says it did. Its reasonable to believe that if Christianity became big enough to take scholarly notice at around 50AD that Jesus actually lived from 0-33AD. The Bible itself notes that Christianity did not really leave Jerusalem until after Jesus died, Jesus did not proselyte outside the Jewish state until after his death/ressurection.

I think its harder to prove realistically that Jesus was a fabrication and never really existed then it is that He actually existed. I'm saying nothing of the truthfulness of his teachings, merely that its rational to believe Jesus was a living breathing individual.

quote:

Quite so; likewise, Tolkien's writings at least prove the possibility of Gandalf being real. But personally, I should not care to advance this as an argument for the most central belief in my life. Your mileage may differ.

I merely present the arguement as a way to demonstrate that its not unreasonable to accept the POSSIBILITY of the existance of Jesus. Tolkien openly admits his story is a mythology. The Bible makes no such claim, in fact its the opposite. Whether or not the writers of the Bible were accurate in their portrayal of Jesus is not my purpose here. I am merely disagreeing with your assertion that they are completely unreliable as historians and that all they said including persons/places must be rejected.

quote:

Ah yes, no 'rational' people. Well, I could just as well claim that no 'rational' people seriously claim to have experienced communion with Jesus, and by defining rational as atheist, I'd be quite right. Don't you see that this is just the argument which you dismiss when I make it? As for realism, just how 'realistic' is it for a man to rise from the dead, to walk on water, to feed five thousand on two loaves and some fish? Please apply the same standards to both myths.

Dont bring straw men into this arguement. At least provide me with a credible report of a rational person who goes around trying to persuade people of the actuality of Santa Claus.

Its completely unrealistic for a, "man" do have done all the things Jesus did. Thats why people believe he was more then a mere man KOM. Your speaking with the assumption that I agree with you that Jesus was just another man. In light of my previous comments I would almost be happy if you admited the likelihood of Jesus having even been born. I'd be ecstatic if you agreed its likely Jesus even said the things he did.

ok let me get to your comments from your previous post.

quote:

Oh please, surely you are not naive enough to believe that everyone has the exact same capabilities when it comes to all the facets of life. A careful observation of the world demonstrates a strong arguement that not everyone is created equal. Do men rail on God for not giving us the hearing capabilities of a dog? Or do women feel slighted that at least on the average men are created larger in stature then women?

A very similar argument was made, at one point, to keep women out of universities. Do you approve of that also?

Allowing somebody to get an education is not the same thing as granting somebody the priviledge of leading others. Ill be candid KOM, I ask that you give me the courtesy of avoiding this particular point. I personally do not understand God's reasoning for doing things this way, and though I fully believe that one day I will understand it, I have to accept it for the present time.

If you absolutely insist on pressing this point I will attempt to get my thoughts together on the subject as best I can, I only ask that you be civil and not try to construe my remarks as some sort of chauvanistic elitist agenda. I do hope that we can avoid this particular topic.
 
Posted by Sharpie (Member # 482) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Aw, BlackBlade, don't feed the troll. [Smile]

To be honest, I don't find KoM's questions and criticisms trollish here (or attention-seeking, for that matter). Abrasive, yes, sometimes. I've also found BlackBlade's attempts at answering to be very gentle and genuine.

This is an interesting conversation that I very much hope will continue.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
I feel that our discussion has got a little unmanageable; if you agree, I would like to pursue one thread at a time, and leave the others for later consideration. As I see it, we are having four different discussions at the same time :

- The fig tree and "fulfilling one's purpose"
- Fear and threats in the New Testament
- The historicity and divinity of Jesus and Santa
- The position of women

I feel that the most important of these is the discussion about the divinity of Jesus. The others are side threads that have cropped up accidentally in the course of that discussion, although they are quite interesting in their own right; we can certainly return to them later.

quote:
I think its harder to prove realistically that Jesus was a fabrication and never really existed then it is that He actually existed. I'm saying nothing of the truthfulness of his teachings, merely that its rational to believe Jesus was a living breathing individual.
I know of several scholars who disagree; I'm not inclined, however, to be dogmatic on the matter. Jesus may have existed, or not; I don't care. Any given time period (ours not excepted) will always have any number of self-proclaimed prophets wandering about, some of them teaching quite nice bits of morality. The important question is whether he was correct or not.

quote:
Dont bring straw men into this arguement. At least provide me with a credible report of a rational person who goes around trying to persuade people of the actuality of Santa Claus.
I myself did so, when I was ten; indeed I went to some lengths to persuade my younger sister that Santa was real. And when I was younger, I believed it myself, and on much better evidence than yours, at that : To wit, presents! Porridge set out for Santa, eaten! The sound of sleigh bells, just as the presents come rushing down the chimney! (My mother has a gift for drama.)

Perhaps my point would be clearer if I substitute Scientology for Santa-Claus-ism. And incidentally, I trust you do not doubt that L Ron Hubbard was a living, breathing person?

quote:
It's completely unrealistic for a, "man" do have done all the things Jesus did. Thats why people believe he was more then a mere man KOM.
If I can return to Santa for a moment, it is likewise unrealistic for a man to do all he does, and that's why people believe he is more than a man. Don't you see that everything you say about Jesus applies exactly as well to Santa? Your only real objection is that no adult genuinely believes in Santa, and while I can't argue with that, I don't think it is relevant. The point is that if anyone did, they would have just as much (or as little) justification for doing so, as you do for believing in Jesus. I have yet to see you argue otherwise. But, if you really feel that this is a sticking point, please switch the argument over to Scientology; that will do just as well.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:

I feel that our discussion has got a little unmanageable; if you agree, I would like to pursue one thread at a time, and leave the others for later consideration. As I see it, we are having four different discussions at the same time :

- The fig tree and "fulfilling one's purpose"
- Fear and threats in the New Testament
- The historicity and divinity of Jesus and Santa
- The position of women

I feel that the most important of these is the discussion about the divinity of Jesus. The others are side threads that have cropped up accidentally in the course of that discussion, although they are quite interesting in their own right; we can certainly return to them later.

Agreed Ill try to stick to the divinity issue then for now. I wasn't sure how to simplify this discussion as I can be more long winded then I mean to be, thanks for doing it for me.

I think we have a paradox at the core of this arguement. You want Christ, his teachings, and his miracles to be proveable through physical means. Santa provides physical evidence such as presents, porridge eaten (foolish norseman everyone knows cookies are santa's prefered snack), etc. I've said before that a religion based on physical evidence that cannot be refuted loses an indispensable part of its usefulness.

According to Christianity (at least within my sect) God is not interested in simply sending people to heaven or to hell. He is interested in improving every individual to the point that they are like Him. I have said before that person who follows the gospel because they simply have had no reason to disbelieve it does not have a very solid base for conviction. Such a person will fold like a stack of cards when adversity challenges his beliefs.

Its very much like school. It would be like teachers not teaching but sitting the exams for each student. The students are no better off even though they have every reason to believe their teachers are doing their work properly.

Religion works much the same way. You start off with some basic assumptions (they could be true, they might not be.) At the very basic level you at least HOPE they are true.

Could you at least hope KOM that there is order behind everything in the universe, and that everything within the universe has an express purpose with limitless potential? If there was a God that could explain his actions and anything you could possibly wish to know to your satisfaction, would you find that attractive?

If so thats the start of gaining evidence that such beliefs are actually true and not fansible notions.

If you start to live the docterine and you find it makes you a better person, thats one reason to at least trust it might be true. If you find your suplications to this supposed God are starting to yield actual results you can perceive then you have yet more evidence that you are right to continue experimenting.

You incorporate more and more of the docterine as you reap greater and greater certainty of their value. You ask for strength to overcome a weakness and you find it, you ask for the solution to a problem and suddenly the solution forms in your mind. You continue on in this way. You start to recognize thoughts that you yourself form, and thoughts that seem to be sent to you.

You find that when you DONT follow the docterines you have studied that these results do not continue. You have more difficulty functioning as you did before when you did not behave as you have been experimenting.

As you continue your experiment you start asking for God to convince you to your satisfaction that all these things you hope are true are in fact true. God to your satisfaction in a way personal to you convinces you of his existance. Its enough to persuade you, but not enought to simply convince others. Its left to them to try the experiment out for themselves.

You continue on for you have yet to find reason to disbelieve what you have so far experienced. You encounter challenges to your beliefs or greater and greater intensity, and each time as you hold to what you have your belief is intensified through greater and greater manifestations of God's power.

Ultimately one day through strong perserverance you literally see God and converse with him, and you begin to learn directly from him.

Now assuming all I said ACTUALLY happened to an individual, can you see why its rational for Him/Her to believe in God, but that that does NOTHING to persuade others? All that individual can do is by their example show others the virtues they have found, and encourage others to try them out for themselves? The person who has tried the experiment is certainly a much more Godlike person then if they had simply had God appear to them from the get go and simply lived their lives for them.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
BB, what you have described is exactly the method I would use to brainwash someone into believing something false and into becoming emotionally invested in that belief.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
I've said before that a religion based on physical evidence that cannot be refuted loses an indispensable part of its usefulness.
And I have disagreed, though this is a thread of our argument that seems to have gotten lost on the previous page. Also, you are contradicting yourself, for you have repeatedly argued that there really is physical evidence for the existence and divinity of Jesus. You can't have it both ways.

Further, you have not provided a useful means of distinguishing between your faith and Scientology, which makes exactly the same claims of "you'll be a better person" and "try it and see for yourself". How do you know that Scientology would not work even better for you? It is hardly surprising that a change in mental habits should bring about a change in outlook; but a change directed differently - Ron Hubbard instead of Joseph Smith, say - might have produced a stronger effect. Until you've tried all the possible variations, how can you make a decision on which one works best? Or will you settle for merely good enough? At some point, you are going to have to look to the objective evidence to settle the question.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Religion works much the same way. You start off with some basic assumptions (they could be true, they might not be.) At the very basic level you at least HOPE they are true.
This is precisely and exactly the wrong way to go about establishing truth. Your hopes do not have any impact on what the universe is really like, nor should you allow them to influence what you believe. That way madness lies.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
I've said before that a religion based on physical evidence that cannot be refuted loses an indispensable part of its usefulness.
And I have disagreed, though this is a thread of our argument that seems to have gotten lost on the previous page. Also, you are contradicting yourself, for you have repeatedly argued that there really is physical evidence for the existence and divinity of Jesus. You can't have it both ways.

Further, you have not provided a useful means of distinguishing between your faith and Scientology, which makes exactly the same claims of "you'll be a better person" and "try it and see for yourself". How do you know that Scientology would not work even better for you? It is hardly surprising that a change in mental habits should bring about a change in outlook; but a change directed differently - Ron Hubbard instead of Joseph Smith, say - might have produced a stronger effect. Until you've tried all the possible variations, how can you make a decision on which one works best? Or will you settle for merely good enough? At some point, you are going to have to look to the objective evidence to settle the question.

I do not think its as difficult as you are making it sound.

I have argued that for the uninitiated, or the unaquainted there is not much physical evidence of the magnitude you have requested. You don't get to see God with your own eyes until you've demonstrated that you are willing to follow him even if you can't see Him. To do it any other day makes for very weak conversion.

Are you disagreeing that if the process I laid out happened to the individual that they would still be irrational to believe in God?

Tom: I personally do not know the specifics as to how to brainwash somebody or to condition them. But I imagine it boarders more along the lines of (even if you dont like it keep doing it until it feels right) and not (do it and decide for yourself how it feels to you.)
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Are you [asserting] that if the process I laid out happened to the individual, they would still be irrational to believe in God?
Yes. Or are you going to maintain that it is rational to believe in Scientology?

(I took the liberty of changing your sentence so it says what I think you meant it to say. If you really meant what it actually said, please say so.)
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Religion works much the same way. You start off with some basic assumptions (they could be true, they might not be.) At the very basic level you at least HOPE they are true.
This is precisely and exactly the wrong way to go about establishing truth. Your hopes do not have any impact on what the universe is really like, nor should you allow them to influence what you believe. That way madness lies.
Sorry for double posting. But would you apply the same thing to a scientist in that you would say "Start off with no hypothesis, or estimates, just stare at the data until it tells you something?"

Most people form a hypothesis with the hope they have interpreted the data correctly.

There is nothing mad about hoping something is true and then setting out to prove it. A rational mind is perfectly willing to accept a negative answer to his hopes. I hoped to be a paleontologist one day, and I read tons of literature on the subject and thought I was doing really well. When I started to encounter the reality of paleontology I realized that I was wrong in that I thought I was well suited for it.

You can just as easily try out a religion and decide for yourself it if does or does not perform as advertised.

If you don't feel you should be required to expend the effort to try out multiple religious docterines don't feel entitled to call them all false and do so on a logical basis.

You expect scientists to map out the human genome but you can't expect yourself to seriously consider more then one religion?

As for me, it does not apply the way you are saying. Thus far I am still finding more and more truth within my religion, I have not hit some sort of roof. If I find more truth in another religion Ill embrace it, if I find my religion cannot answer a question that is important but another religion does I have to personally examine the ramifications of that development.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Are you [asserting] that if the process I laid out happened to the individual, they would still be irrational to believe in God?
Yes. Or are you going to maintain that it is rational to believe in Scientology?

(I took the liberty of changing your sentence so it says what I think you meant it to say. If you really meant what it actually said, please say so.)

I've yet to experiment with the tenants of scientology. Ill likely look into it at some point or other purely because I don't like being ignorant of something as big as scientology.

Until a hypothesis is demonstratably proven wrong do you fault scientists for believing in it? Right now most people accept evolution as true as nobody has been able to show why its false. If that day ever comes will you think it was stupid that all the evolutionists tried to prove it true?

Will you accuse them of being irrational, or worse traversing the road to madness? Do you disagree that many evolutionists probably HOPE evolution is true as it explains so many things about our earth?
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
You're not double posting, I got there first. [Razz] Apart from that, your analogy of the scientist just doesn't fit. Scientists solve very specific problems. They certainly do not build up a huge hypothesis on mere hope, and then go about gathering evidence for it.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Until a hypothesis is demonstratably proven wrong do you fault scientists for believing in it?
I have a hypothesis that there is a copper teapot in orbit around Mars. You have yet to prove this demonstrably false. Do you fault me for believing in it?

quote:
Right now most people accept evolution as true as nobody has been able to show why its false. If that day ever comes will you think it was stupid that all the evolutionists tried to prove it true?
False analogy; evolution has a lot of publicly accessible evidence in its favour, your religion doesn't. And, in fact, you have stated that it would be less effective if it did.

quote:
Will you accuse them of being irrational, or worse traversing the road to madness?
No, but as I mentioned, they have a lot of actual, physical evidence and chains of reasoning set out in a form anyone can follow, and most people do. What have you got?

quote:
Do you disagree that many evolutionists probably HOPE evolution is true as it explains so many things about our earth?
I do, actually. I don't think 'hope' is a useful descriptor here; it just doesn't match up with the internal state of scientists.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Scientists also have thousands of years of work to go off of. You don't need to think about "What constitutes a fact?" so much as the first scientist worked that one out.

Do you honestly think scientists don't HOPE their explanation of the facts turns out to be true so they gain whatever benefit there is to be gleaned by such a success?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:

I have a hypothesis that there is a copper teapot in orbit around Mars. You have yet to prove this demonstrably false. Do you fault me for believing in it?

What lead you to this hypothesis?

quote:

False analogy; evolution has a lot of publicly accessible evidence in its favour, your religion doesn't. And, in fact, you have stated that it would be less effective if it did.

It does now, do you think before we had fossil records it would have been possible to effectively demonstrate the truthfulness of evolution? The analogy still stands. I said physical evidence would be less effective to the unaquainted. Its very useful to those who have demonstrated a willingness to listen.

quote:

No, but as I mentioned, they have a lot of actual, physical evidence and chains of reasoning set out in a form anyone can follow, and most people do. What have you got?

Very glad you could concede this point. My own experiences have convinced me thus far that I am on the right track, thats all I've got.

quote:

I do, actually. I don't think 'hope' is a useful descriptor here; it just doesn't match up with the internal state of scientists.

We will have to disagree then. I think they do hope. Scientists (from my perspective) are also uplifted by another missing piece of the puzzle being revealed, as it empowers their ability to probe even deeper. Do you think scientists are more similar to computers and they care nothing for success or failure, just as long as they can continue to work?
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
What led you to this hypothesis?
Why, I started out with the hope that it was true, and as I tried believing in it, it came to me that a belief in the teapot made me a happier and better person. How else could one possibly arrive at beliefs?

quote:
It does now, do you think before we had fossil records it would have been possible to effectively demonstrate the truthfulness of evolution?
I think you might have been able to, through such things as genetics (at the Gregor Mendel level, of course, not modern DNA), population dynamics, and the observed effects of breeding. But if you could not, then I would not consider it rational to believe in evolution; thus, I don't quite understand your point.

quote:
The analogy still stands. I said physical evidence would be less effective to the unaquainted. Its very useful to those who have demonstrated a willingness to listen.
Eh, what? Evidence is evidence. It doesn't depend on your prior degree of belief; if it does, it's not evidence, it's special pleading.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:

Why, I started out with the hope that it was true, and as I tried believing in it, it came to me that a belief in the teapot made me a happier and better person. How else could one possibly arrive at beliefs?

But what conceived the idea in your head? How were made aware of this idea?

And fair enough if you actually believe it, its not beyond the bounds of being possible. Just be open to the fact it might not be true, or that its utterly unsignificant.

quote:

I think you might have been able to, through such things as genetics (at the Gregor Mendel level, of course, not modern DNA), population dynamics, and the observed effects of breeding. But if you could not, then I would not consider it rational to believe in evolution; thus, I don't quite understand your point.

My point is that science is basically working off the past experiences of others. Science today is much easier to trust and understand after so many years of work. All the work of scientists throughout history are akin to the experience of a single human being. Science would not be nearly as appealing to the very first human being, at least what I mean is many of our ideas today would sound ridiculous to early men. You have to do the ground work yourself if you are to believe the work of the more advanced sciences. Religion does not work as a collective effort either.

Everyone must start out uninitiated and work their way from there. Though eventually (at least within my religion) all the truths of science are revealed as a biproduct of righteous living (good people seek knowledge of all kinds), you can conceivably live a perfectly righteous life without any science.

quote:
Eh, what? Evidence is evidence. It doesn't depend on your prior degree of belief; if it does, it's not evidence, it's special pleading.
Physical evidence can strengthen belief but it cannot be the foundation. I've stated before why God cannot simply provide the physical evidence before giving us the opportunity to actually experience the virtues of his way.

A: If he just appeared to us we could explain it away with a multitude of explanations

B: We would be the students with the teachers doing all the work if we allowed God to simply dominate our choices.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
I have to leave for now KOM. I must confess you have given me cause to consider some specifics more closely. I hope you will still be up for discussion tomorrow.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
[quote[Do you honestly think scientists don't HOPE their explanation of the facts turns out to be true so they gain whatever benefit there is to be gleaned by such a success?[/quote]

Fine; but the minute one of us lets such a hope influence what he publishes, he's out. If your hope can't be backed up with demonstrable facts, it does not belong in a discussion of what is true.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
I personally do not know the specifics as to how to brainwash somebody or to condition them. But I imagine it boarders more along the lines of (even if you dont like it keep doing it until it feels right) and not (do it and decide for yourself how it feels to you.)
It depends. Given that the actual conversion process is usually described as being "do it and decide for yourself how it feels, but you really should keep doing it until it feels right," the only difference is one of compulsion.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Let me sum up my understanding of the conversation thus far. You are saying that

a) Jesus/Joseph Smith say that you should try believing in them, and see if it makes you a better person.
b) You have tried it, and it does.
c) Therefore, their claims of divinity or supernatural experience are also true.

This third is the the point where the logic breaks down. That does not follow. To illustrate this, I have asked you to consider whether the claims of Scientologists to personal happiness are to be considered as proof of Hubbard's cosmology. It seems to me that you have yet to answer this.

We have also had a side thread about the role of hope in establishing belief, but I don't think this is as interesting as the main question I wrote down above, so again I think perhaps we could put this on the back burner.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
a) Jesus/Joseph Smith say that you should try believing in them, and see if it makes you a better person.
b) You have tried it, and it does.
c) Therefore, their claims of divinity or supernatural experience are also true.

Alternatively, this throws some doubt onto your assumption that believing in the things that aren't true is always a bad thing, assuming that you don't believe in the entities in the first part but do believe that being a better person is a good thing.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Yes, well, in the first place I don't necessarily believe in BlackBlade's assertion. But in the second place, if you don't mind, I'd like to defer that discussion until later, and focus on what is reasonable to believe.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Sure. Though I think that the part you are putting aside destroys what you're talking about know. Epistemology is inherently limiting and an incomplete guide for living.

Also, what Hans Vaihinger said:
quote:
the object of the world of ideas as a whole is not the portrayal of reality - this would be an utterly impossible task - but rather to provide us with an instrument for finding our way about more easily in the world
I should also mention, I do research on mild self delusion as a determiner of success in learnable task situations and the data is pretty clear than for a majority of people in situations like this, knowing "reality" leads to decreased performance in opposition to thinking one's initial chances and skills are better than they actual are. That is, take a population of people who are relatively unskilled in some task. The people who think that they are better than they are or that they have a better chance of succeeding than they do have several advantages of people who accurately judge themselves as unskilled and their chance of success as small. The self deluders tend to devote more attention and energy to the task and to persist longer in performing it. They also tend to ultimately succeed more.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Sure. Though I think that the part you are putting aside destroys what you're talking about know. Epistemology is inherently limiting and an incomplete guide for living.
If you say so. But at the moment we are not discussing 'how should humans live'; that's not really very strongly in dispute anyway. We are discussing what is true, and failures of logic are absolutely relevant to that.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
Your hopes do not have any impact on what the universe is really like, nor should you allow them to influence what you believe. That way madness lies.
You're talking about more than just what is true.

These statements also ignore the fundamental existential dilemma. i.e. You have no compelling reason to believe that anything you experience actually reflects reality.

It is only through (generally completely unconsciously) choosing without any proof to believe that your perceptions reflect reality that people avoid a particularly paralyzing form of madness.

There is much that goes on a priori without which none of what you are talking about is possible.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Fine, but who cares? This is just not a very interesting discussion; on the other hand, I was quite interested in what I was talking about with BlackBlade.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
KoM,
But the basis for everything you are saying is false. Strict reliance on materialism fails at it's initial step. People have to make unsupportable assumptions to avoid madness. This is the exact opposite of what you said.

And we haven't even gotten into the objective nature of subjective experience, nor on its materially observable effects.

You want to have a discussion about epistemology, I've got no problem with that. But epistemology is a very limited field and you are trying to take it far outside any reasonable boundary to support an untenably strict materialism.

I could see how someone like you would consider being inescapely wrong as "uninteresting", but that doesn't change that your position is baseless by the very standards that you are purporting to represent.

You're attacking BB's position because it involves making non-materialistically verifiable assumptions. The thing is, and this is from a high school level of this debate, your position and in fact any position necessarily involves making non-materialistically verifiable assumption. It's basic philosophy.

It's like saying he's wrong because he breathes air.

---

I think that confronting bad thinking about what can be known is important. But these discussions need to be conducted from solid ground, not ill-conceived ideology, otherwise, what's the point? So, I take exception when people like yourself display such ineptitude and ignorance when doing it.

[ October 17, 2006, 02:38 AM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
The thing is, and this is from a high school level of this debate, your position and in fact any position necessarily involves making non-materialistically verifiable assumption.
If I may, I think the difference is that KoM is asserting that his assumptions are axiomatic.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Which means he is absolutely certain in his beliefs and does not admit the possibility of being wrong.

If this were a Douglas Adams book, he'd vanish at this moment.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Except that the axioms he's admitting are ones that are shared by all sides of the debate, as far as I can tell. Which is at least partly why they're axiomatic.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Before he said the terrible thing about religion is the certainty and claimed more rational virtue than the certain. Considering his own certainty, this is a Douglas Adams moment.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
What I'm trying to say -- and maybe I'm not saying it well enough -- is that most people believe that asserting an axiom to which everyone involved consents in order to have a conversation is not the same thing as asserting a theorem. It's like granting a given.

Now, one of the virtues of science is that, as human knowledge expands, we have to assert fewer and fewer axioms to make shared conversation possible. But I suspect that some -- like "things which happen have an effect" -- will always remain with us, because there's no way to prove the alternatives.

In the old days, before we understood more of the mechanisms of the Universe, the existence of God was an axiom to which other "theorems" (if you will) could appeal. I have no doubt that other axioms -- like "conscious thought exists" -- will someday be refined even further or eliminated altogether. But unless the axiom you're being called upon to grant is one that you are unwilling to grant, I don't see that admitting to a limitation of understanding that nevertheless is universally observed necessitates accusations of hypocrisy.

(And note that I'm aware, and I assume KoM is aware, that some people do not grant certain basic axioms. Dagonee, for example, does not grant that things which happen have effects, for a given definition of "effect." This makes it harder to have a conversation about materialism with him, since he draws a distinction between observed reality and "essential" reality. If you've got issues with any given axiom, there's no harm in challenging it.)
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Before he said the terrible thing about religion is the certainty and claimed more rational virtue than the certain. Considering his own certainty, this is a Douglas Adams moment.
Actually, I think those might be Tom's words, and not mine.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
If I may, I think the difference is that KoM is asserting that his assumptions are axiomatic.
If there was any indication that KoM acknowledged that he was maing these assumptions I might credit that. However, he was coming from a very strict materialist position that does not admit that these are assumptions that he is making. As soon as you include them, it severely diminishes the impact of hiw categorical statements. "You shouldn't allow hopes to influence what you believe. Because that leads to madness. Oh, except for the hopes that everyone shares. They're different, for some reason."

The position then becomes not a categorical one "Doing this in any case is wrong and leads to bad effects." to a weaker "You should do this as little as possible." Once you grant that the behavior referenced is, in some cases, necessary and/or much better than the opposite, you've got a very different discussion on your hands.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Let me sum up my understanding of the conversation thus far. You are saying that

a) Jesus/Joseph Smith say that you should try believing in them, and see if it makes you a better person.
b) You have tried it, and it does.
c) Therefore, their claims of divinity or supernatural experience are also true.

Not exactly

A: Jesus says, etc etc. Joseph Smith pointed people at Jesus. I am absolutely convinced that a protestant, catholic, etc can test out Jesus teachings and be informed by God that Jesus is the real deal. But I also believe if you add Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon to the mix you will gain further confirmation of their worth. Jesus can be God with or without Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith can't be a prophet without Jesus being true.

B: You are correct

C: Therefore their claims have thus far shown to be true in so much that I have yet to see them lacking. Is it illogical to believe something until it is demonstratably false, assuming you continue to find their claims to have been true up to this point?

quote:

This third is the the point where the logic breaks down. That does not follow. To illustrate this, I have asked you to consider whether the claims of Scientologists to personal happiness are to be considered as proof of Hubbard's cosmology. It seems to me that you have yet to answer this.

I don't know enough about scientology, Ill try to read up on it a bit more so my comments are more useful in this discussion. Does Hubbard state that his moral teachings prove the truthfulness of his cosmology?

quote:

We have also had a side thread about the role of hope in establishing belief, but I don't think this is as interesting as the main question I wrote down above, so again I think perhaps we could put this on the back burner.

Agreed.

quote:

Fine; but the minute one of us lets such a hope influence what he publishes, he's out. If your hope can't be backed up with demonstrable facts, it does not belong in a discussion of what is true.

Glad we can agree on this point.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
"You shouldn't allow hopes to influence what you believe. Because that leads to madness. Oh, except for the hopes that everyone shares. They're different, for some reason."
I did not say any such thing. If you are going to use quotation marks, please make sure your quotes are accurate.

quote:
I don't know enough about scientology, Ill try to read up on it a bit more so my comments are more useful in this discussion. Does Hubbard state that his moral teachings prove the truthfulness of his cosmology?
Well, it depends slightly on what you define as moral teachings. I was referring to the bits about getting rid of body thetans, which is supposed to grant you a clearer understanding of things and generally make you a better person. However, you don't have to know anything about Scientology; any religion, even an imaginary one, will do. Let's go back to Santa-Claus-ism: It might be reasonable to claim that a belief in Santa Claus makes children behave better. Suppose that were true. Would the better behaviour of children be evidence in favour of Santa Claus? Because that is what you are claiming.

Incidentally, the cosmology of Scientology makes Santa-Claus-ism look like an absolute miracle of plausibility. It is quite literally based on science fiction, and really bad fifties science fiction at that.

quote:
Therefore their claims have thus far shown to be true in so much that I have yet to see them lacking. Is it illogical to believe something until it is demonstratably false, assuming you continue to find their claims to have been true up to this point?
Yes, it is, actually. You are treating totally unrelated claims as though they were similar; they are not. It is as though I were to claim

a) The sky is blue.
b) I am a good person.

You can see that a is true, so you must admit the truth of b! Now, I grant you that you can work this the other way. If I had claimed that the sky were green, then you would be entirely justified in distrusting my other claim as well. But the accuracy of the first claim does not give you any information about the second.

In any case, though, you still have not answered my question. Why isn't the success of Scientology, or Santa-Claus-ism, in producing better people, evidence of their respective cosmologies?
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
I did not say any such thing. If you are going to use quotation marks, please make sure your quotes are accurate.
Err...quotation marks are used for other purposes than to explicitly quote what someone has said. There's no expectation that I was using them that way in what I said. In fact, I specifically mentioned, immediately before this, that you haven't even acknowledge these assumptions.

I was denoting a spoken statement not meant to be a direct quotation. This is exceedingly clear from the context.

And that's all you have to say? You don't think that you making unprovable assumptions of the sort you are saying it is always wrong to make isn't something you should address?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
KOM: Because the morality of Christianity is tied in its factual claims. Within the religion there is a principle where a righteous person is rewarded with "light and knowledge" directly related to their situation.

Let me put it this way.

Say I am a Christian surgeon. I follow the teachings of my religion to the best of my ability and on the operating table I have a patient that I simply do not think I can treat using the techniques I have studied. As I work through all the possible solutions I can think of, I communicate this problem with God and suddenly my mind is illuminated with an idea that in my mind makes sense. I try it out and it yields the results I had thought were impossible.

This certainly does not PROVE Christianity right, but it does indicate thus far its claims are not WRONG.

Joseph Smith in the 1800's (under the alleged influence of God said) "Matter can neither be created nor destroyed, it is eternal." Then working off that statement explained that human souls are composed of spirit matter that cannot be seen by eyes that are unattuned.

Now we know today that matter indeed cannot be created or destoroyed (or at least nobody has yet shown this to be otherwise.) At least thus far Joseph Smith has not lead us astray, would you agree? Now I am certainly not sure that his comments on spirit matter are true, but if Joseph Smith (an illiterate farmer) says that God revealed those truths to him, and as far as I am certain he has been right, its at least rational to believe Joseph Smith may be right about spirit matter, you might even be able to say its likely to be true, as more and more of his other statements turn out to be true.

If by my application of Christian docterine (i.e righteous living and communciation with God) I find that my understanding of things relevent to my life is accelerated, and that whenver I think critically certain ideas start to feel wrong, and others feel right. If time and time again the results of these decisions yield favorable outcomes, is it irrational to continue doing what I am?

Now of course its possible that my perception is simply flawed and that my seemingly accelerated understanding is merely a product of my own abilities, or even the confidence in myself that Christianity imbues me with.

But as far as I have seen. The teachings make me a better person, following the principles makes my life run more efficiently. I honestly feel I experience God on a more intimate basis. When I knowingly choose to not observe the docterine I see those benefits decrease.

I find that nothing I have learned contradicts the facts as far as I can tell.

Does that prove my beliefs to be perfectly true? No it does not, but it certainly does not lead me to disbelieve them.

If Christianity made me a worse person, as in I actually felt more and more miserable as I followed its precepts more and more, that would be evidence enough for me that something is wrong with it.

Believing in Santa Claus would not neccesarily make me a good person as it only say, "Be good and get presents." Its when we require Santa to define good and bad, that we find if his words are up to snuff.

How about this

You find a pamphlet that describes Santa Clauses philosophy to the letter. You start following it, and you send letters to Santa Claus with your list. You consistantly get presents under the tree that you cannot explain how they got there. No matter what you do, you cannot figure it out, but the presents come when you are good, they do not when you are bad. Do you have a reason to disbelieve that Santa is real based on that scenario? Maybe. Could you come up with a multitude of reasons of how the presents get there without a Santa? Sure, but until you actually prove one of them, why would you simply stop believing?
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Now we know today that matter indeed cannot be created or destroyed (or at least nobody has yet shown this to be otherwise.)
Ok, look, I really have to work, so I won't respond to the rest until later. But I'm sorry, you are mistaken. Matter can indeed be destroyed.

Now, this is actually a rather interesting experiment. Joseph Smith was just plain mistaken about this. If indeed you are truly honest, then, should you not be reconsidering the whole shebang, by your own argument? On the other hand, if you are letting your emotions interfere with real reasoning, I would expect you to rationalise, to say that that particular statement isn't really important, or perhaps to redefine 'destroyed' in such a way that nothing could ever be destroyed anyway. (Now, there does exist a middle ground, here. I'm not saying you should instantly take my word that matter can be destroyed; it's certainly reasonable to inquire what my proof of this is.) But if we can agree that matter is indeed destroyable, what does this say about your faith? And if it doesn't say anything, what does that say about your argument? I await your response with great interest.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
I'd be interested in seeing you explain how it can be destroyed KOM.

Also per your advice we should at least agree on what you mean by destroyed.

Certainly within science its important that all our terms are used in the same manner.

Ill wait until your explanation before I really respond to your statement that matter can be destroyed.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Consider the following experiment : Take a nuclear bomb. Enclose it in a shell of unobtainium, which for the purpose of this experiment has the property of being perfectly reflective and perfectly hard, so it'll contain the nuclear explosion. Measure the mass of the bomb. Now set it off. Inside the shell of unobtainium (from which, you should please note, nothing can possibly escape, that's why I'm using unobtainium in the first place) you will now have rather less mass than you had before, and it will be considerably hotter. That's destruction of matter.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
By the way, I based my experiment on a similar one that was done back in the day, where they set things on fire. Since that's rather less energetic, they didn't have to use unobtainium to contain all the stuff; the point was that when you counted up all the mass of the smoke plus the ashes, it was the same as the mass of the wood you had before the fire; it would just look like less in the ordinary course of things, because the smoke would escape. Hence they concluded that matter couldn't be destroyed, at least not by fire.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Consider the following experiment : Take a nuclear bomb. Enclose it in a shell of unobtainium, which for the purpose of this experiment has the property of being perfectly reflective and perfectly hard, so it'll contain the nuclear explosion. Measure the mass of the bomb. Now set it off. Inside the shell of unobtainium (from which, you should please note, nothing can possibly escape, that's why I'm using unobtainium in the first place) you will now have rather less mass than you had before, and it will be considerably hotter. That's destruction of matter.

What evidence do you have that there is less mass? Has anybody ever done such an experiment? Or an experiment that suggested that less matter would be the result of the experiment you outlined?
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Yes; this has been done many times with individual atoms. I admit that nobody has done it with a real nuclear weapon, for obvious reasons; unobtainium is so annoyingly expensive these days. But the same thing happens in a nuclear power station, it's just a bit less dramatic. Why not look it up on Wiki? It should be somewhere under 'nuclear physics', or perhaps 'equivalence of matter and energy'.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Let me look around KOM and Ill get back to you.

Do scientists without reservation say the matter is in fact gone? As in if we could create a reoccuring nuclear explosion that covered the entire universe that we could completely remove all matter in the universe?
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
The matter is definitely and decidedly gone, yes, being converted to heat. I don't think you could do this to all the matter in the Universe, because of the conservation of baryon number; but I'm not actually certain of this, it depends on physics at high energies which we don't really understand yet. In fact, if baryon number is exactly conserved, it becomes a bit difficult to explain how we got here. So I think that yes, in principle you could convert all matter to energy. But whatever the case there, there is absolutely no doubt that you can put in matter and get out heat. - if there were, nuclear power stations would not work.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Come to think of it, we can also create matter; I work at an experiment that does. To wit, we take an electron and an anti-electron, total mass 1 MeV, and bang them together to create a Upsilon(4S) particle, mass around 11 GeV. Matter from nowhere.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
Regarding the matter argument:

The matter hasn't been destroyed it has merely transferred state into heat. I thought you were going to talk about anti-matter. While you may argue the semantics of it, J.S. certainly didn't believe or teach matter as restrictively as it has come to be termed in modern science (c.f. D&C 131:7-8). I don't think the changing of matter into heat (or conversion of energy into matter) would necessarily preclude Smith's teachings on the matter.

<edit>He also occasionally called it the pure principles of element, or somesuch, in the King Follet discourse, just to reinforce the idea that superimposing restrictive modern scientific terminology onto his assertion is probably not appropriate.</edit>
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
What on earth has anti-matter to do with anything? When combined with normal matter, both are destroyed, producing energy.

Pretty similar result to the nuclear reactions KoM is talking about. (In very general terms, not specifics.) Matter becomes energy.

If you didn't learn that was possible in your high school chemistry and/or physics class, your teacher(s) did you a disservice.
 
Posted by fugu13 (Member # 2859) on :
 
Heat is not a state of matter, Senoj.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Indeed; that is what I call 'defining destroyed in such a way that nothing can ever be destroyed'. By that argument, you might as well say that I cannot destroy a cup by smashing it with a hammer, because all the constituent parts are still there.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Let me rephrase : Do you really and genuinely believe that if JS had been asked "Is heat a form of matter", he would have replied in the affirmative? I cannot see any possible way in which this would be a reasonable use of language.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
rivka-

I didn't realize energy was released when matter and anti-matter combined. We've never talked about anti-matter in any of my Physics or Chemistry classes (including the undergraduate ones I took oh so many years ago) and my understanding of it is very limited. Does the conservation of mass-energy still apply to matter/anti-matter reactions?

fugu-

My disagreement was that when J.S. used the term "matter" he might have been applying it to a broader set of states than science would currently ascribe to it. I admit my statement that "matter hasn't been destroyed, it has merely changed state" was not scientifically accurate.

KoM-

I don't know how J.S. would have answered. He was trying to describe in physical terms of the 1830's a principle that was very difficult. His use of the term "matter" should not carry with it the baggage of 20th (or 21st) century science, since he specifically stated that his use of the term was broader than that.

BTW, I believe J.S. views on "matter" or the "pure principles of element" or "uncreated intelligences" are the bases for the powers OSC attributes to Alvin Maker, as well as the creation of the alternate Peter Wiggin in Xenocide(?).
 
Posted by fugu13 (Member # 2859) on :
 
Of course, the matter-energy distinction is in some sense arbitrary.

But even assuming matter-energy conservation, there's an interesting qualifier -- there's a window in which (among other things) extra matter or energy can exist out of nowhere, so long as it disappears within that window.

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/virtual_particles.html
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
So, in light of this discussion I decided I should determine what the exact physical definition of matter is. First stop, Wikipedia:
quote:
In physics, matter is commonly defined as the substance of which physical objects are composed, not counting the contribution of various energy or force-fields, which are not usually considered to be matter per se (though they may contribute to the mass of objects). Matter constitutes much of the observable universe, although again, light is not ordinarily considered matter. Unfortunately, for scientific purposes, "matter" is somewhat loosely defined.
quote:
In physics, there is no broad consensus as to an exact definition of matter. Physicists generally do not use the word when precision is needed, prefering instead to speak of the more clearly defined concepts of mass, energy and particles.
While none of this is justification for my previous statements about "matter" (which I don't feel require scientific justification since they're more about semantics than science) I just found it interesting that there is a surprising lack of consensus in modern science as to how to accurately define "matter." (The wiki did specifically mention that, in a Chemistry sense, matter should be contrasted with energy; my statements about J.S. were that it's possible, judging from the breadth of other remarks he made, that when he spoke of "matter" he intended both of what modern science would call matter and energy.)
<edit>Just to rephrase, since what I said wasn't accurate, the argument is one of scientific semantics; my issue is with application of current semantics to statements where they should not be applied.</edit>

[ October 18, 2006, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Does the conservation of mass-energy still apply to matter/anti-matter reactions?

Yup. It's really not nearly as exotic a substance as Star Trek might have you believe. ST was correct that it is a potentially HUGE energy source.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Well, only if you could find a source for it. Like hydrogen, if you have to produce it yourself, then it's just a convenient (or not so convenient) way to store the energy.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Speaking of basing your life off of unprovable hopes.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Hoo Boy. Is it possible to turn energy into matter. Why is this not conversion instead of being "creation?"

I was under the impression that beyond up quarks and down quarks scientists are really unsure how stuff at that level works.
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Because the law of conservation of energy/mass is adhered to and you can turn matter back to energy.

Nothing new is being introduced. Rather some conserved quantity is being converted from one form to another.

edit: Oops. Misunderstood your question.

[ October 18, 2006, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
Hoo Boy. Is it possible to turn energy into matter. Why is this not conversion instead of being "creation?"
Energy is not matter. Therefore, if you had energy, and now you have matter, you have created matter. If you want to argue that energy is, in fact, matter, you may have a point; I'm going to call that dishonest rhetoric, though. It's just not what the words mean.

Again I would refer you to the analogy of the cup. You can turn a cup into fragments by hitting it with a hammer. You can turn the fragments back into a cup with glue and skill. But that does not make it honest to say that the fragments are really a cup.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
KOM: I agree with that.

Is there matter within energy? I know your not a physics PHD but you do seem to demonstrate alot of knowledge in several threads when it came to physics/chemistry.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Actually, I am a physics PhD, or anyway I will be when I graduate, which at my current rate of progress will be right after the Second Coming, which is all your fault for making me Hatrack instead of working. [Mad] I do have a master's degree in it. [Smile]

About your question, I'm not sure I understand it, but if I do, then the answer is no. Energy comes essentially in two forms: Kinetic and potential - all others can be reduced to one of these. Kinetic energy is just the movement of matter; I don't see any way in which you can consider movement as containing matter. Likewise, potential energy is just what you get when matter is placed into unstable positions, like, say, a rock being held above ground level. Again, I don't see how you could consider this as being a form of matter.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
I don't quite understand then how the matter is actually turning into energy. Do the particles break apart so much to the point that there is literally nothing there? If so there cant be any kinetic energy right? Not sure if that also applies to potential energy.

edit: Or do you mean the mass that becomes energy merely turns into heat? Is heat devoid of any mass whatsoever?
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
Heat doesn't exist as anything, enery or matter. It's the property of the energy of vibrational motion of matter. When something is "hot" that means that the bits of matter making it up are vibrating (not the perfect word, but close to the meaning) faster than when it is "cold". Heat is transferred by these bits bumping into other bits and tranferring this energy as part of the collision.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
It depends a bit on the process, but let's look at nuclear fission, as in my atom bomb experiment. Basically, a uranium nucleus turns into two lighter nuclei plus some neutrons, and the total mass of the products is less than the mass you started with. However, the kinetic energy of the products is quite high. This kinetic energy at some point gets converted to heat. (Since heat is nothing but the kinetic energy of lots and lots of atoms moving about randomly, this is just another way of saying that the kinetic energy gets transferred elsewhere and spread out.) Net result, less matter, more heat.

And heat has no mass, it's nothing but kinetic energy. Make the atoms move faster, they are hotter.
 
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
 
I feel like the mistake that's being made by all parties to this convsersation is a false distinction between mass and energy.

Mass is just the energy that an object possesses when it's at rest.

quote:
And heat has no mass, it's nothing but kinetic energy. Make the atoms move faster, they are hotter.
I think you'll find that in relativity (either special or general), when you figure out the rest mass of a system of many particles, they have more mass if they're in motion relative to one another (ie, if the system contains heat).
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Wrong, wrong, very wrong indeed. Particles with mass are qualitatively different from massless particles with the same amount of energy. To wit, they interact gravitationally, which no massless particle does.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Ok, see I was under the impression that all particles have mass.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Nope. Photons being the main exception. But I could also have said "Particles with mass X are qualitatively different from particles with mass X-Y and energy Y." In such a case I'd probably point at their inertia instead of their gravity, though.
 
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
 
I like how in the active Forums page this thread displays "If Al-Qaida were like..." and then the last poster's name. Like "If Al-Qaida were like... King of Men."

That is all.
 
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
 
quote:
Particles with mass are qualitatively different from massless particles with the same amount of energy. To wit, they interact gravitationally, which no massless particle does.
I suggest you look this up, KoM. Any stress-energy tensor, including that of the free EM field (the massless photon field), is a source for the gravitational field in GR.

Of course, there are qualitative differences between particles with zero and non-zero rest mass. This is true in both relativity and quantum field theory. But these differences all arise because such particles have zero energy when at rest.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
I sit corrected on the gravity. I still maintain that energy is not matter.
 
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
 
You're right that energy isn't matter. Neither is mass, I'd say. Both mass and energy are qualities (or properties or features) that matter can take on.

Where you and I still disagree, I think, is on the question of whether massless fields like the electromagnetic field should count as 'matter.' I would say that any energy-bearing field, whether it has rest mass or not, probably deserves the name 'matter.' But really it's just a terminological question about how we use words.

Stuff with mass can be transformed into stuff without mass. That's the physical fact. Whether we want to say that this means 'matter' can turn into 'pure energy' is just a semantic question about how we define our terms.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Hum. Ok, I'm going to have to agree with you that this is semantics. However, I think that in the particular context we are talking about, we can resolve the semantic issue by reference to what Joseph Smith would have been talking about. I do not think he could possibly have been talking about light and heat when he referred to 'matter'; it's just not the way the words were used in the nineteenth century. (Or the twentieth, or twentyfirst, in my opinion - but there we're back to the semantics again.) To assert that he would, is to start twisting his words to the point where nothing means what it says it does; you might as well assert that the angel Moroni was really a fast-talking guy from Los Angeles.
 
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
 
That makes sense.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
It doesn't make sense to me. Or, rather, I don't think it's true.

Having read several of JS statements on "matter" it seems clear to me that he was using an imperfect word to describe an idea for which there wasn't a sufficiently precise vocabulary at the time (and still isn't). Hence, his interchangable use of very different terms to describe the same idea.

<edit>The OED definition of "matter" has 24 distinct classes. Of the 24, I think the one closest resembling JS usage is 21, which (according to the OED) is now rare, but was in more frequent use in the 19th century.</edit>

[ October 19, 2006, 07:44 AM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
Also, the same could be said of several of JS teachings to a lesser extent. Take, for instance, KoM's facetius assertion about the angel Moroni. JS made it clear that Moroni was a resurrected being, and not the type of bewinged spirit that the term "angel" would commonly have been applied to. He used the best word (or at least a good word) he could in order to communicate essential meaning, but because of the lack of precision of language and the newness of the concepts he was teaching, there's necessarily a certain ambiguity about his words on all these subjects.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
In light of the current conversation, I found this interesting from Bob_Scopatz's most recent post in the "What's wrong with religion" thread.
quote:
But, for the most part, [science and religion] simply deal with different things. And...speak a different language. Simple words have incompatible meanings in these two languages.

In short -- dialogue between scientists and religious folks is often made difficult, but not impossible, by the definitional differences.


 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
I think, in all honesty, this is special pleading. But I would like to hear BlackBlade's opinion.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
I can concede that if it could be demonstratably proven what JS meant by "matter" then a case could be made for showing his mistake, or otherwise. I made a mistake in that I quoted JS on an ambiguous topic for which I cannot easily demonstrate through other quotes or studies I have undertaken what JS definatively thought on this topic.

I initially thought the quote was useful in that JS was certainly speaking words that were to become canon and it was on a topic that interests science.

I maintain its a possibility that JS was mistaken, but I cannot with any certainty demonstrate a knowledge of JS's understanding of the principle of matter, without running the risk of saying things in his name that he never intended.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
KOM, JS statements on "matter and spirit" were written in the 1830s, a time when the scientific definition of matter was barely in its infancy and certainly not in common use or understanding on the US frontier. Pholgiston and caloric were still widely accepted thermodynamic theories. To argue that JS meant "matter" in the same way you and I mean "matter", one would first have to argue that matter and energy were clearly defined scientific terms during JS life, a contention which is indefencible.

Any attempt to associate JS's use of the term "matter" with the modern physics definition of the word is more than a major stretch but an out right logical fallicy.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Well, then, in that case BlackBlade should not have brought the matter up at all, should he? Which seems to me to be what he's saying. But I think it is extremely reasonable to say that JS absolutely did not mean light or heat when referring to 'matter'. This just isn't what the word means, then or now.

On a somewhat similar subject, I recall JS asserting that the people in his books had 'horses'. (And metalworking, IIRC.) Again, I would say that this is a demonstrably false statement, unless you are again going to say that horses don't actually mean the large, four-footed animals that JS was familiar with, but something different like, say, a llama.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
I think it is extremely reasonable to say that JS absolutely did not mean light or heat when referring to 'matter'. This just isn't what the word means, then or now.

And I think it's extremely unreasonable, especially in light of the OED usages I linked.
quote:
On a somewhat similar subject, I recall JS asserting that the people in his books had 'horses'. (And metalworking, IIRC.) Again, I would say that this is a demonstrably false statement, unless you are again going to say that horses don't actually mean the large, four-footed animals that JS was familiar with, but something different like, say, a llama.
If you want LDS rationalization about the mention of horses or metallurgy they're not too hard to find (the second is a general response to a couple of academic papers critiquing various BoM (apparent) anachronisms, including more than just horses and metallurgy).
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
I am thinking "rationalisation" may be a good word, yes. That guy suggests tapirs as being the source of the horses; the things look like pigs, live in the water, have four toes and stand a meter at the shoulder!

At any rate, we may have to just agree to disagree on this. But I'd like you to think on this : If you were coming at the matter fresh, without a prior belief in the Mormon theology, would you go through these mental contortions to make JS's words come into some kind of conformity with reality? Or would you simply say that he was mistaken? It seems to me that you are not, in fact, evaluating this with an open mind, as BlackBlade suggested one should; rather, you are casting about for some way, any way, to fit this into your preconceived notions. Is this not precisely the behaviour that a genuine seeker after truth ought to avoid?
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
It certainly doesn't seem we'll be able to come to any consensus. I fully understand how you don't see it as reasonable, and I wouldn't expect someone coming at it fresh with no prior belief in Mormonism to change their stance based on these arguments. They're not intended to convince you of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon; they are merely to assert that there are plausible explanations for the perceived anachronisms in the BoM. I was responding to your critique, rather than making one of my own. I could try to put you on the defensive by asking the common questions about how an uneducated farmer from 1830's NY could write a book as ambitious and internally consistent as the Book of Mormon, complete with Hebrew idioms and other similar internal evidences. We could play out the debate and in the end neither would be convinced, because we do come at it from very different places.

But I have a different question for you. If you had a theory, as yet unproven, and you decided to create an experiment to test it, and you started receiving observations that appeared to contradict that theory, what would you do? Would you throw out the theory as no good, or would you presume there were unmodeled effects that were causing the discrepency? And how would you know which was right? You could dedicate your life to pursuing the unmodeled effects, possibly fruitlessly because the theory itself is flawed. Or you could throw out an accurate theory, simply because there were things you hadn't appropriately accounted for but would have been able to had you perservered. How do you choose?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
I could try to put you on the defensive by asking the common questions about how an uneducated farmer from 1830's NY could write a book as ambitious and internally consistent as the Book of Mormon...
You know, OSC tried to use this as an argument once, too. But again, I maintain that it is far more exceptional for someone to be chosen as a prophet of God than for someone to write a book.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
The question, though, is not how exceptional is it that someone wrote a book, it's how exceptional is it for _this_ someone to have writen _that_ book. Like I said, the debate's been had, over and over, and seldom is anyone from either side convinced. Nor do I think it's possible, given the arbitrariness of the probabilities we're talking about (i.e. how probable is it that there were a limited number of horses in the New World that went extinct between 400 AD and 1400 AD without leaving fossil evidence? And that would be an easy-ish one to quantify. How likely is it that a man of JS education, temperment and avocation could write a book with this or that internal proof. Try assigning a measure to that.).

What do you think of the other question, Tom? When (and how) can you rationally decide if a theory is inherently flawed or simply incomplete? Like Einstein's introduction (and later condemnation) of the Cosmological Constant.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
The question, though, is not how exceptional is it that someone wrote a book, it's how exceptional is it for _this_ someone to have writen _that_ book.
How exceptional is it for New England farmboys to become prophets of God? If you're dealing with a single class of people -- "New England farmboys" -- and arguing that it's incredible for someone of that class to be able to write an exceptional book, why is it any more likely that members of the generic "New England farmboy" class will be contacted by angels?

quote:
When (and how) can you rationally decide if a theory is inherently flawed or simply incomplete? Like Einstein's introduction (and later condemnation) of the Cosmological Constant.
I don't think any theory is inherently flawed. Inherent flaws, in fact, are merely symptoms of incompleteness. [Smile] The theory that God created all chocolate in the universe, for example, is not "inherently flawed;" it just requires multiple steps that, themselves, are contingent upon other equally outlandish requirements. This is where Occam's Razor is convenient: while it's possible for any two solutions to explain a given result with equal effectiveness, the simplest solution that manages to deal with all the ancillary requirements is the best.

Consider the glee we feel when we look at a Rube Goldberg machine. It's an insanely complicated chain of unlikely events, all intended to produce something relatively simple. One of the things we appreciate about it is that we know that each step, in and of itself, is unlikely; if you asked someone "how did we turn the light switch on in this room," they are unlikely to say "well, first the mailman delivered the box of billiard balls to the trapped welcome mat outside the east foyer...." But it's certainly possible, provided that there are explanations for each and every step.

But, like you said, it's impossible to extrapolate likelihoods from single data points. In that vein, though, the argument that the quality of the Book of Mormon proves that it could not have been written by a farmboy directly compares the likelihood of a farmboy writing an exceptional book to the likelihood of a farmboy being contacted by agents of God. In other words, given the data available, it's a remarkably weak argument.

[ October 20, 2006, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
How exceptional is it for New England farmboys to become prophets of God? If you're dealing with a single class of people -- "New England farmboys" -- and arguing that it's incredible for someone of that class to be able to write an exceptional book, why is it any more likely that members of the generic "New England farmboy" class will be contacted by angels?

Precisely the problem I pointed out with my statement about attaching likelihood measures to _any_ of these statements. If we could assign actual probabilities (even rough ones) to all these events, we could aggregate them and say which is more reasonable and which is less and with what degree of confidence. Absent that, I don't see how you can make a lot of headway with this sort of debate. I can say, "well, I think this is more reasonable" or "that is very unlikely" but it doesn't add up to much IMO.
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
The question, though, is not how exceptional is it that someone wrote a book, it's how exceptional is it for _this_ someone to have writen _that_ book.

I think this is loosely analogous to my feelings about the weak anthropic principle: given a certain probability, P, that the universe would wind up as it has, there is no value of P that is sufficiently low that I would consider it to support the idea of a designed universe.

It isn't strictly analogous, but I think the purported likelihood of a New England farm boy writing the Book of Mormon is, at best, extremely weak support for the assertion that the book is accurate.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Well, I would first compare the percentage of New England farmboys who have been prophets of God to the percentage of New England farmboys who've written good books. This would require that we establish a baseline for "good books," and assumes that there's something unique about New England farmboys which affects the probability of either event.

I certainly wouldn't attempt to use the argument "this book is so good that God must have helped" until I'd done the former.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Well, then, in that case BlackBlade should not have brought the matter up at all, should he? Which seems to me to be what he's saying. But I think it is extremely reasonable to say that JS absolutely did not mean light or heat when referring to 'matter'. This just isn't what the word means, then or now.

On a somewhat similar subject, I recall JS asserting that the people in his books had 'horses'. (And metalworking, IIRC.) Again, I would say that this is a demonstrably false statement, unless you are again going to say that horses don't actually mean the large, four-footed animals that JS was familiar with, but something different like, say, a llama.

KOM: Per Senoj's post, I think its reasonable to believe that in regards to horses, both possibilities are still on the table.
 
Posted by c.t.t.n. (Member # 9509) on :
 
Was Joseph Smith saying that every single native american was descended from the Jews, with no other ancestors? Including the Eskimos/Inuit?
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by c.t.t.n.:
Was Joseph Smith saying that every single native american was descended from the Jews, with no other ancestors? Including the Eskimos/Inuit?

No Joseph Smith never said that. In fact he translated accounts of 2 seperate civilizations that immigrated to the America Continents (Only one of which came from Jerusalem). Though the furthest the records go is about 300AD that still leaves the possibility of others coming to America.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
quote:
But I have a different question for you. If you had a theory, as yet unproven, and you decided to create an experiment to test it, and you started receiving observations that appeared to contradict that theory, what would you do? Would you throw out the theory as no good, or would you presume there were unmodeled effects that were causing the discrepancy?
Interestingly enough, this very thing happened to me the other day; I even made a thread about it, in which I summarily dismissed my theory. Later on I had second thoughts, though, as it occurred to me that there were other effects at play. (You should please note, I didn't think "What if there are unmodelled effects", I thought "Hang on, we know that the distribution is different for that bin, that might change the ratio; and anyway the statistics are way different.") What I ended up doing was to gather up my data and plots, and present them to the operations group of the detector in question, and ask them whether my theory made any sense to them. In other words, I sought an outside opinion informed by orthogonal data.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
Apologies for my long absence from this thread, but here I am again.

quote:
You find a pamphlet that describes Santa Clauses philosophy to the letter. You start following it, and you send letters to Santa Claus with your list. You consistantly get presents under the tree that you cannot explain how they got there. No matter what you do, you cannot figure it out, but the presents come when you are good, they do not when you are bad. Do you have a reason to disbelieve that Santa is real based on that scenario? Maybe. Could you come up with a multitude of reasons of how the presents get there without a Santa? Sure, but until you actually prove one of them, why would you simply stop believing?
In this scenario you would be quite justified in believing in Santa, at least until someone did succeed in finding an alternative explanation for the presents. (Mind you, once a year is not a lot of data.) But here we are speaking of genuine physical evidence that you can point to, touch, and get your teeth into. But there is no religion on earth that has any such evidence. However, there are lots and lots that claim better mental health for their adherents. Please do answer this question, now: If Scientology really makes its followers happier, is that evidence in favour of its factual claims?
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
quote:
In fact he translated accounts of 2 seperate civilizations that immigrated to the America Continents (Only one of which came from Jerusalem).
Mostly correct. People always forget the Mulekites. (Jaredites, Nephites/Lamanites, Mulekites)

But they're only mentioned like... three or four times in the BoM.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
The drums go BUMP, a-tumpty-tump...

Bonus points if you know the reference. [Smile]
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Apologies for my long absence from this thread, but here I am again.

quote:
You find a pamphlet that describes Santa Clauses philosophy to the letter. You start following it, and you send letters to Santa Claus with your list. You consistantly get presents under the tree that you cannot explain how they got there. No matter what you do, you cannot figure it out, but the presents come when you are good, they do not when you are bad. Do you have a reason to disbelieve that Santa is real based on that scenario? Maybe. Could you come up with a multitude of reasons of how the presents get there without a Santa? Sure, but until you actually prove one of them, why would you simply stop believing?
In this scenario you would be quite justified in believing in Santa, at least until someone did succeed in finding an alternative explanation for the presents. (Mind you, o