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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » If Al Qaida were like the Mormons (Page 8)

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Author Topic: If Al Qaida were like the Mormons
Storm Saxon
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Mormons have horns just like Jews have a hidden pouch of gold they keep on their persons at all times. It's true.
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MrSquicky
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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.)

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katharina
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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.
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SenojRetep
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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.
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Scott R
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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.

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BlackBlade
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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.
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Silent E
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"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.

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Verloren
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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)

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MrSquicky
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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?

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katharina
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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.

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Dagonee
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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.
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MrSquicky
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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?
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The Rabbit
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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.

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rivka
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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.
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MrSquicky
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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.
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ClaudiaTherese
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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 ]

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katharina
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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.

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MrSquicky
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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.
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SenojRetep
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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.

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BlackBlade
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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.

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ClaudiaTherese
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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...


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SenojRetep
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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.

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MrSquicky
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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.

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MrSquicky
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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?

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Mig
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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."

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Verloren
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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

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BaoQingTian
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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.

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BlackBlade
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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.

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BlackBlade
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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.
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MrSquicky
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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.

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pH
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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

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katharina
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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.
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pH
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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

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ClaudiaTherese
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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.

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Silent E
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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.

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rivka
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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.
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BlackBlade
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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.

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MrSquicky
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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.

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The Rabbit
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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.

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BlackBlade
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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.

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MrSquicky
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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.

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pH
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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

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lem
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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.
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Scott R
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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:

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pH
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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

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El JT de Spang
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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.

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lem
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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.
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SenojRetep
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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.

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pH
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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

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El JT de Spang
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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.

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