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Author Topic: If Al Qaida were like the Mormons
SoaPiNuReYe
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Ideas can be bought and not accepted. The missionaries goal is to get the person to accept the idea.
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The Rabbit
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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.

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MrSquicky
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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.

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MrSquicky
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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?

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The Rabbit
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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.
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MrSquicky
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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.

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Dagonee
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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

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MrSquicky
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And...
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Dagonee
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"Insult" and "defamatory comment" are often used interchangeably.

You must know this.

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MrSquicky
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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.

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The Rabbit
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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.

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Dagonee
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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.

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The Rabbit
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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.

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SenojRetep
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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.
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pH
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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

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MrSquicky
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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.

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The Rabbit
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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.
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pH
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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

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MrSquicky
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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.

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MrSquicky
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And with that, I'm out. Got some place to be.
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The Rabbit
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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.

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The Rabbit
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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.
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pH
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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

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pH
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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

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The Rabbit
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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?

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The Rabbit
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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.

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pH
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What if they didn't have phones?

-pH

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The Rabbit
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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.

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Rakeesh
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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?

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The Rabbit
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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.
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Rakeesh
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Ahh, my mistake. After nine pages, my head is swimming somewhat.
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Sharpie
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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]

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rivka
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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]

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Theca
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But... why do you need to protect your neighbors from the naive young missionaries?
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gnixing
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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.

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Belle
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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.

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Theca
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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.

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pH
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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

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rivka
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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.
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Belle
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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.
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Rakeesh
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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.

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TL
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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.

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rivka
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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.

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TL
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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.

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rivka
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Actually, I would say he was a very GOOD salesman.
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TL
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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.
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rivka
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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.

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TL
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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.

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rivka
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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]
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TL
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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.

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