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Author Topic: Explaining Faith
TomDavidson
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quote:
I NEVER SAID THEY WERE BETTER!!
quote:
It depends on what you value. Do you value the gpa, or the other stuff? If I value the GPA and sat scores, college a1 is higher.

I place value on the restrictive nature of some of the church's expectations.

If your assessment of "higher" depends on what you value, then it appears you value your religion's morality. What definition of "better" are you using that would not fall into this category?
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
I agree that it is a higher standard in the sense of having more restrictions. I do not agree that this sense of higher is a better, more moral standard.

I NEVER SAID THEY WERE BETTER!!

This is why talking to you about this is impossible, you don't pay attention to what I'm saying. You're just determine to argue against your biases.

Well, if they're not better, then who could possibly care? Why even bother to make the point? You might as well say that your religion has older cathedrals than protestantism, which would be true, and so what?
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
The nit pickers have picked at it and tried to read into my usage, forcing me to change everything I say so I don't have to argue every little damned point, much like I'm doing here now.

stihl1, it's relevant because of your OP, where you expressed concern that you didn't understand where your wife and daughter were coming from or how to approach them.

It's quite likely that they have (or will have) some of the same problems with your approach as do the people you find irritating here. That is, regardless of your intent, what you are saying is likely to be interpreted by the non-believers in your personal life as (and responded to as) it is being responded to by the non-believers here.

---

Edited to add: This is what the things you say about what you believe look like to many people who don't share those same initial assumptions with you. And without getting that -- without understanding why something that seems "nit-picking" to you is a crucial point to someone else -- you aren't likely to understand why your wife and daughter may react negatively, too.

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stihl1
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To say they are better, means that my religious beliefs are superior to everyone else, and my moral standards are superior than everyone else. Which is what you have been trying to read into what I'm writing the whole time, and waiting to trip me up on, etc. I never said they were better. I don't dare to suppose that the way I live and the things I believe are superior to anyone elses. It's just the best fit for me. And the point of all this, the reason why I even posted it, was in discussing how my morals, values, standards are different from those of non religious people and how I find it interesting to explore those differences. Because frankly I've don't understand the other view point and would like to try to. In understanding that, it might help me understand my own views better.

But of course, everyone assumed I was saying I was holier than thou because I was speaking of religious standards and morals. But I'm not. I'm not even 100% on board with the things my church requires of its members. It doens't stop me trying though. And it doesn't invalidate the fact that the morals and standards I have, I consider to be different, because the standards for morals and behaviors the church expects of me are higher than what society expects. I could probably find a million catholics that are practicing higher moral standards than me. Does that make them better? If what I do best fits me, and what they do best fits them, what does it matter.

And to be clear, I never said that I am better than society, either. If you follow societal norms and it gets you through life and you don't hurt anyone and you're fine with that, how can I argue with that? And if you are christian or muslim or hindu or buddhist and those values get you through and fit you best and make you happy and allow you to get where you're going, how can I argue with that? BUT, if you're living by society's standards and your religion has set higher expectations of your behaviors, if you're striving to be closer to God and His plan, can you really in good conscience consider yourself a 'good' part of that religion? I wouldn't consider myself to be a 'good' catholic if I allowed myself to follow social values and ignore the higher standards set by the church. But that would be my issue, not to be applied to others.

And frankly, my point was never that my church's standards and morals are better. The original point has been lost in all this stupid sematics bs.

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stihl1
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
The nit pickers have picked at it and tried to read into my usage, forcing me to change everything I say so I don't have to argue every little damned point, much like I'm doing here now.

stihl1, it's relevant because of your OP, where you expressed concern that you didn't understand where your wife and daughter were coming from or how to approach them.

It's quite likely that they have (or will have)some of the same problems with your approach as do the people you find irritating here. That is, regardless of your intent, what you are saying is likely to be interpreted by the non-believers in your personal life as (and responded to as) it is being responded to by the non-believers here.

Then I will have to hope that my wife and stepdaughter aren't quite as semantical and allow me to explain myself without reading biases into it like those here. Incidentally, now I know I will have to carefully cover my ass with every word I say because people are likely to hear what they want and not pay attention to what I'm actually saying.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
I never said they were better.

You said they were "higher." That isn't the same thing as "different" -- it is also an evaluative adjective of ranking.
quote:
And the point of all this, the reason why I even posted it, was in discussing how my morals, values, standards are different from those of non religious people and how I find it interesting to explore those differences. ...
And frankly, my point was never that my church's standards and morals are better. The original point has been lost in all this stupid sematics bs.

[from above, modified] Edited to add: This is what the things you say about what you believe look like to many people who don't share those same initial assumptions with you. And without getting that -- without understanding why something that seems "nit-picking" [or "stupid semantics bs"] to you is a crucial point to someone else -- you aren't likely to understand why your wife and daughter may react negatively, too.
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Amanecer
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This is not stupid semantics bs. You are ignoring what many, many people have said. "Higher" is not a value neutral term. So long as you keep using it and simultaneously claiming that you're not asserting superiority, we're going to keep pointing out that yes, you are.

If I said my beliefs were better and then when asked about it said "no, no, I'm not saying they're superior- just different," wouldn't you see a conflict?

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MrSquicky
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stihl,
The comon usage of higher standards very strongly implies better. You may be better expressing what you are trying to by saying "more restrictive standards".

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stihl1
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Higher doesn't mean better or superior. Better does mean better or superior.
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King of Men
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If you don't want to be read as making value judgements, I suggest you do not use words that usually convey value judgements. You seem to think that we can read your mind; but in ordinary English usage, when we say that standard X is higher than standard Y, we are indeed implying a judgement that it is also better. If you wish merely to compare the restrictiveness, you'd be better off saying precisely that: "X is more restrictive than Y". To use English misleadingly, and then to jump all over people for failing to read your mind and being mis-led, is not really very nice.

Putting all that behind us, can we go back to the original point you were making? I admit to having totally forgotten what it was. Perhaps you could re-post it with correct English.

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stihl1
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If I made a bar graph of the quantitative number of societal morals and labeled that bar as "society". Then made a bar graph of christian morals and labeled that bar as "christians". Where would the christian label be in comparison to society? HIGHER.

That is not a value judgement. That is a quantitative analysis.

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Amanecer
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Higher is indeed a synonym of better. link
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
Then I will have to hope that my wife and stepdaughter aren't quite as semantical and allow me to explain myself without reading biases into it like those here.

You can do that, or you can also try to understand why something which seems inoffensive to you seems to be quite offensive to many others (and, as a corollary, why that brings out as strong a counter-reaction in you as it has here).

Or not. [Smile] You'll know what is best for you to do. It might be useful to remember this, though, if you find yourself in a situation with your wife or step-daughter in which they seem to be focused on "semantics" and "nit-picking," or "don't allow you to explain yourself without reading biases into it." I expect myself that you'll run into this very same problem with them, but you might not. In that case, you might consider updating htis thread and telling us what happened. Either way, actually. I'd be interested to know.

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Amanecer
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In your example, the bar graph would be higher vertically- the morals would not necessarily be higher in any sense. Morals are not measured vertically, they are meaured qualitatively, as in better.
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King of Men
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Totally irrelevant, stihl. We're talking about how people actually use the word in ordinary language, not your personal made-up meaning of the word, which we'd need to read your mind to understand.

In any case, to avoid getting bogged down in what you accurately label semantics, could you maybe just do us all a favour and use English the way the rest of us are? Then we could get back to discussing whatever the devil your original point was.

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stihl1
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And this has turned rediculous. Congratulations, you've totally destroyed what I was trying to discuss. Thank GOD I managed to discuss at least a little bit with people who weren't interested in nitpicking and proving me wrong and waiting to pounce on me for claiming to be superior.

I will pray for your souls so that you don't burn in the hottest lakes of hell.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
If I made a bar graph of the quantitative number of societal morals and labeled that bar as "society". Then made a bar graph of christian morals and labeled that bar as "christians". Where would the christian label be in comparison to society? HIGHER.

What are the variables on the axes of your graph?
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
I will pray for your souls so that you don't burn in the hottest lakes of hell.

Hmmm.

Actually, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a real problem for your family. I hope I'm wrong.

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King of Men
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Dude, you're getting angry where there is no cause for anger. Just re-post your original point - in a new thread, if you like - with the usage we prefer.

Touching your bar graphs, I'm not actually convinced the 'christian' bar would be taller than the 'society' one. I'll see your "Do not have abortions" and match you one "Do not have unwanted children, even at the price of considerable pain and anguish". Any other rules christians follow that society doesn't?

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MrSquicky
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CT,
I'm pretty sure that was a joke.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It's just the best fit for me. And the point of all this, the reason why I even posted it, was in discussing how my morals, values, standards are different from those of non religious people and how I find it interesting to explore those differences. Because frankly I've don't understand the other view point and would like to try to. In understanding that, it might help me understand my own views better.
That's not what you said. You didn't say that you wanted to understand why your daughter hates Christianity, or why your wife doesn't care one way or the other. You said you wanted them to get closer to God, according to your definition of "closer."

quote:
If I made a bar graph of the quantitative number of societal morals and labeled that bar as "society". Then made a bar graph of christian morals and labeled that bar as "christians". Where would the christian label be in comparison to society? HIGHER.
I think you've missed the point. And I'm honestly not sure you're right, anyway.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
CT,
I'm pretty sure that was a joke.

That's comforting.
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Amanecer
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quote:
nitpicking and proving me wrong and waiting to pounce on me for claiming to be superior.
I took your statement that you weren't trying to claim superiority at face value. That's why I took the time and effort to explain why what you're saying does sound that way. If you want to get angry, that is your choice. I understand that when a whole bunch of people post similar things, it can feel like you're on the defensive and that we're ganging up on you. I'm sorry if that's how you feel. That wasn't my intent. I do feel slightly disrespected by the way you assume that I and others were "waiting to pounce" on you. It seems like you could at least try to consider what we're saying rather than assume nefarious motives.
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stihl1
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No, because people aren't necessarily willing to consider my viewpoint. I understand what you're saying, but after explaining myself numerous times yet still having people insist on arguing it, it's not worth my time. Had it been the other way around, I'm sure people would demand I give consideration to their views and accept them as valid, not give up the argument until they've beaten me into the ground and agree. I cannot agree because I do not agree. As I explained, it's not something people will understand because there is no common ground. Yet I still get stupid semantics about it. At this point, frankly I don't care. Enjoy being right. As I said, at least I got some value from the discussion before it was corrupted to argue something I never claimed in the first place.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Yet I still get stupid semantics about it.
It's not semantics. If you try to tell your daughter that you hold to a higher standard of behavior, she will be offended. If you don't understand why, read this thread.
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camus
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stihl1,
I think people are both willing and trying to consider your viewpoint but they're getting hung up on your different usage of common words. You have even agreed that your definition is different than other's. At the moment this discussion isn't about right and wrong, it's about effective communication based on a common set of definitions, which right now is not happening.

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Amanecer
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Your last post confuses me about what you're thinking is being debated. My understanding of the debate is that it's about the usage of the word "higher." Yes, this is certainly semantical, but it also brings a meaning (to many people at least) that is antithetical to what you're trying to say.

I'm not sure why this has become such a big deal or why this is something for which you want to fight so hard. Since this word causes so many people to think the opposite of what you want, I don't see the harm in using a different word.

Am I missing something and this is actually about a different issue?

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TomDavidson
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(Or rather, it IS semantics, but not all semantic issues are irrelevant. *grin*)
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Yet I still get stupid semantics about it.
It's not semantics.
I must disagree, in that the field of semantics deals with the meaning of words. Comrade stihl has made up his own meaning for 'higher', which doesn't match what the rest of Hatrack means by it; that is explicitly a semantical issue. However, I agree that it's not semantics in the more usual sense of "this discussion is meaningless". [Smile]
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ClaudiaTherese
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I think another factor was brought into play by the use of abortion as a demarcator between the religious and the non-religious. The effective "I'm not a 'baby-killer'" doesn't translate well into "I'm just different;" the language used there also connotes "I'm better than that."

It seemed to underscore a rank-evaluative distinction that was already implied.

---

Edited to add: I mean this to be clarifying why the interpretations might have seemed to pick up speed at that point, not as an attack on (or support of) abortion itself.

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MrSquicky
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stihl,
Just so you're clear, most of Hatrack thinks that KOM is an ass and isn't approving of his behavior here, even if what they are saying matches up to a lot of what he is saying.

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TomDavidson
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You know, I actually approve of KoM's behavior in this thread. He even made quite a clever dig at his own reputation in another post. [Smile]
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King of Men
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While I agree that most people here do not have a full appreciation of my many good qualities, I must say I do not see what I said here that would cause you to make such a remark. [Confused]
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dkw
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Iím pressing on the upward way,
New heights Iím gaining every day;
Still praying as Iím onward bound,
ďLord, plant my feet on higher ground.Ē


Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heavenís table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.


Sorry. Itís been going through my head since the conversation took that turn. It's a catchy tune -- too bad that doesn't come across in the post.

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camus
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CT,
Well, that was probably my fault, since I'm the one that brought it up again. My point was that morals are often times based on what we consider "truth." Since truth isn't universal, it's hard to clearly evaluate the value of some morals. But when people recognize that their truths are not the same for everyone else, it's easier to accept that morals are different rather than better. I admit that I still don't quite understand where "higher" comes into play here.

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King of Men
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Gyah, Tom, could you please stop posting my every point half a minute before me?
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ClaudiaTherese
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I think stihl1 wants to be the best person he can be, and I think this is a real and abiding goal of his life. I think he feels drawn to goodness and rightness in his life. I think this is not a bad thing.

I also think it's natural (especially if one is serious about morality) to be drawn to those groups and ideals which seem like the best one can find. That is often why we find them compelling. I don't think that is consistent with calling them "just different," insofar as we do think they are better. So I think what you did was probably put your finger on a pulsepoint where some underlying truths came out -- not that those truths were bad, or that stihl1 was lying, or that believing one is trying to do better is necessarily a bad thing.

Just that the language and the internal meanings might not have matched up, and that might have been what was fueling the wife and step-daughter's discomfort: perhaps the words he chose said one thing to him, but the meaning they took from the interaction as a whole was something that really was more judgmental than he intended.

Or not. I don't know, of course -- I'm only guessing. [Smile] But that point is when it looked to me like the discussion became more impassioned and more quick-response. [And I imagine that other moments of language choice might have been pulsepoints for other people he has had conversations with, and that might have been just as confusing and unexpected to him. But perhaps less so for people who also didn't share his same initial assumptions, such as the non-believers here.]

---

Edited again to add:

I hope it works out well in real life, regardless of how it works out here.

And dkw, one of our local coffeeshops is called "Higher Grounds." [Smile] I believe the owners have a socially-activist Christian perspective.

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DevilDreamt
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I hope everything is going well between you and your family.

I would just like to repeat the sentiment that you should practice what you preach, except by amending that old saying to "preach by means of practicing what you believe."

It is a touchy issue, and you might have to accept that you'll never be able to share your religious experience with your family. It is a little like trying to share an acid trip with someone who's never had a mind-altering drug, after all.

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MrSquicky
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KoM,
I actually thought you were doing pretty well for you in this thread and was considering making a post to that point when you started being insulting and badgering stihl about the semantics thing, a la
quote:
not your personal made-up meaning of the word

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King of Men
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Meh. Responding to that would probably divert the thread again into a discussion of who is more polite, which would be extremely boring. So I'm just going to ignore it.
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orlox
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What's a moral?

How can a subset of society have quantitatively more of something than the society?

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
Because I'm not asking them to meet me anywhere. My beliefs as a catholic are very important to me, but I don't need them to, and I'm not requiring them to, I'm not even asking them to, believe the same way as me.

I guess I don't understand your point stihl1. Your goals aren't clear to me. You say you'd like to teach your wife and stepdaughter about your faith, and you would like it if they followed it, but then you say you don't care if they believe the same way as you do.

Maybe I'm off base, but you don't seem to have a clear goal as far as this project. Maybe I'm just the one who doesn't understand your goal.

Specifically, are there things you feel like you should do, and things that they should do? For example, do you want to 1) have a religious discussion with them, 2) read the bible together, 3) have them come to your church with you, 4) have them show you that they do indeed have a valid reason to believe as they do, even if that belief is that Christianity isn't right for them?

I'm just trying to get down to brass tacks. What do you need to accomplish, in order to feel that you've met your goal in this? Do you need to share your beliefs, and have them listen? Do you need them to accept that your beliefs have value for you, even if not for them?

Do you feel that once they REALLY understand your faith, they'll realize that they've only been non-Christian because they didn't understand?

You can lead a horse to a trough, but you can't make them drink, especially if they don't like what's inside the trough you've led them to.

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stihl1
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I could live in regular society, follow the values and morals of that society. No killing, stealing, harming others, etc. I could be an ideal citizen of society, and be considered a very moral person according to social norms. Yet just because I was labeled as moral in society, doesn't mean I was a good member of the catholic church and be considered as following the morals and standards of the church. Because they expect more of you. And if you're not meeting those standards, you're not going to be seen as a moral person according to those standards.

Those standards are based on what God wants for us. It's not just enough to be a 'good' societal person. If you aren't living up to God's standards, the church's standards, you aren't doing what you're supposed to be doing. And the consequences aren't simply social ostracizing, or legal measures, but the consequences are going to be of a higher order. And it's a higher authority that you're going to have to answer to.

In fact, the catholic church expects you to not just follow social norms and values, and considers the church community to be outside of normal society, outside of what's expected of the rest of the world, and it is stressed that you shouldn't be living just for the material world. It is emphasized that in order to be a good catholic, you have to follow the church and that the morals and values that the church has that are above and beyond simple society's are to be followed, even that they are more important. And to not let normal society pull your morals and values down to that level. In other words, just because everyone else does it doesn't mean it's good enough for catholics. You are expected to adhere to catholic morals and values, not just those of society.

And I expect that other religions hold their members to follow their morals and values, and that the standard is more vigorous, more restrictive, just plain more than society's. What's good enough for everyone else isn't good enough for you. IMO, that means that the standards are higher. Higher because they are more rigorous, more restrictive, just plain more, and held by a higher power. As in God higher.

When I tell my stepdaughter that she isn't going to get to do what all her friends do, that her grades have to be better than her friend's are, it's because I hold her to a higher standard. Is that a better standard? I think that's a matter of opinion about value. Maybe her friend's parents think it's fine for their kids to get C's and they participate in sports and take vocation education. Is that a better standard? Not to me, because I value the academics more. I consider my standard to be higher.

In the same way I consider the morals and values of the church to be higher than those of society in general. Not better, just higher. Man and society may hold me to one standard, but it is clear to me that the standard God holds me to is more important. I value that more. Someone who doesn't believe in God or values his standard more, isn't going to agree. To me, the more restrictive morals, the answering to God's law rather than man's law, the quest to become closer to God by trying to follow His expectations, is more valuable. And therefore higher. Not better. And frankly if you don't think it's more valuable or a higher standard, that's your opinion.

I do not know how I can explain that better. I do not know that I need to explain that better. I defined my reasoning for the use of the word 'higher'. Yes, 'better' is a synonym for 'higher', but not the only one. I've indicated my usage of the word, why, how, etc. I will continue to use that definition. Because it suits my opinion and criteria. If it doesn't suit your's, that's your problem. I don't care if you disagree, just don't try to battle me and tell me I mean one thing when I clearly have explained what I mean, numerous times.

And honestly, imo people are going to be offended when they are looking to be offended. That's on them, not on me. Especially when I explain there is no offense meant.

And finally, none of this has anything to do with what I originally posted. 1 line of 1 paragraph that was dropped in explanation of something entirely different has been extracted and nit picked. Yes, nit picked. My first few posts clearly explains I do not think my morals and values are better, just different. Different because I was held to a higher standard in my church as I grew up. Different because even when I wasn't part of the church, I didn't agree with certain actions, attitudes, and beliefs. And when I went back to the church, I discovered that the difference was because of my upbringing in the church. Not that it was better than anyone else's, just different, and more fitting for me.

Finally,

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
That's not what you said. You didn't say that you wanted to understand why your daughter hates Christianity, or why your wife doesn't care one way or the other. You said you wanted them to get closer to God, according to your definition of "closer."

No I did not. I said I went into this on my own. My wife volunteered to come along. My stepdaughter spazzed out on me without provocation or reason. I wanted to understand how to relate to my wife as someone without a religious upbringing and a set of morals not related to a religion. And that I wanted my stepdaughter to not freak out on me because of what I am doing. I would like for her to understand what I am doing and what I believe at the very least before she freaks out on me. I would like my wife to grow in her faith, however that may be, and hopefully by learning about my faith. It doesn't have to be by my definition or others. As I have written, and explained, if she bugs out now and never goes back that would be fine with me. I went into this as a personal journey, not including anyone else. But now that others have decided to join on, I would like to be able to relate to them, and perhaps understand myself by understanding them.

And I asked my wife what her response to this statement is: "Christian churches hold their members to higher standards than that of society. I think I have different morals and values because I was raised in my church." Her response? "Yeah, no kidding. So what." No offense, no driving her away, no shock. What a smart woman I married.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
Is that a better standard? Not to me, because I value the academics more. I consider my standard to be higher.

In the same way I consider the morals and values of the church to be higher than those of society in general. Not better, just higher.

It isn't consistent usage, even when you are trying to be consistent. That's okay, but it is why people are finding you hard to understand.

Paraphrased:
Is that better?
No, it is not better, because my standard is higher.
Like the morals and values of the church, which I also consider to be higher (but not better).


[Confused]

Non sequitur.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Yes, 'better' is a synonym for 'higher', but not the only one. I've indicated my usage of the word, why, how, etc. I will continue to use that definition. Because it suits my opinion and criteria. If it doesn't suit your's, that's your problem.

Be aware that you will find it difficult to have open, honest conversations with people who don't share your values if you have this attitude.

quote:
My first few posts clearly explains I do not think my morals and values are better, just different.
And I think we've clearly established otherwise. In the same post in which you said this, you admitted that you held yourself to what you considered a higher standard, and that you thought your higher standard was synonymous with a better standard.

Perhaps you need to realize how you really feel about your own beliefs before you start working on your family's?

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
To me, the more restrictive morals, the answering to God's law rather than man's law, the quest to become closer to God by trying to follow His expectations, is more valuable. And therefore higher. Not better.

I'm with everyone else here. How is more valuable not the same as better?

Maybe your wife and stepdaughter also don't understand what you're trying to get them to do, since a lot of us don't.

You certainly don't owe me an explanation, and if you want to say that better doesn't equal more valuable, or that higher isn't a value judgement, that's no skin off my back.

As far as your original post goes, I would suggest you make a list, if not for them, at least for yourself, of very specific, non-vague items that you feel need to be accomplished.

Do you want your family to follow your moral values? Do you want them to become Catholic (as much as you say it's their own path, wouldn't you ultimately feel best if they decided to follow God, instead of burning for all eternity in a fiery lake of hell)?

I imagine it's difficult to relate to your family when deep down you feel like they're following a lower set of values and that ultimately God will spit them from his mouth, to spend all time suffering at the hands of Satan, the Prince of Lies, forever tormented for their moral failings and lack of faith in God's supreme love.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
I could live in regular society, follow the values and morals of that society. No killing, stealing, harming others, etc. I could be an ideal citizen of society, and be considered a very moral person according to social norms. Yet just because I was labeled as moral in society, doesn't mean I was a good member of the catholic church and be considered as following the morals and standards of the church. Because they expect more of you.

Some of us expect more of ourselves and those around us than what you attribute to "social norms." Some of us even expect more of ourselves and others than does the Catholic Church.

(I'm pretty sure Jainists expect more of themselves than Catholics do. Some non-religious persons do, as well.)

Which isn't to say that you are wrong or that Catholicism isn't good -- just that the picture painted may be unnecessarily limited.

---

Edited to add:
quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
And I asked my wife what her response to this statement is: "Christian churches hold their members to higher standards than that of society. I think I have different morals and values because I was raised in my church." Her response? "Yeah, no kidding. So what." No offense, no driving her away, no shock. What a smart woman I married.

I'm glad this initial volley went well.
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Boothby171
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I think I'm getting this "better vs higher" thing.

I have a criteria for judging an item. With respect to that criteria, an item can be higher or lower on the scale.

Blargness, for example. This thing over here, thing "A", scores about a 27 on the blargness scale. But thing "B" over here only scores a 2 on the blargness scale. Thing "A" scores higher.

Blargness is very important to me. I may consider an item scoring higher in blargness to be better than a low-blargness item. I realize, however, that you don't give a flying squid lung about blargness. Higher on the blargness scale does NOT mean "better" to you. I can live with that. So I'll say thing "A" scores higher, but is not necessarily better.

You stupid blarg-less dolt. One day you'll see...

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Abhi
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stihl,
while you are not "saying it", it seems pretty obvious from your posts that you believe catholic conception of morality is indeed "better" than "societal conceptions"...

if you support the more restrictive life of catholicism, perhaps you should read "Imitation Christi" and try to follow that life...

Are you really surprised that your step-daughter finds your beliefs or how you represent them so offensive? I know plenty about christianity [i have degree in religious studies], and I find your tone and your insinuations extremely offensive and irrational.

You provide circular arguments for pretty much every issue raised, and haven't really offered any clear, unequivocal answers.

Katharina, I find your posts totally worthless from a content perspective as you only seem to post passive aggressive cryptic posts that only you seem to understand. if you don't want to participate in the discussion, what is the point of leaving remarks that will only distract from the meat of the matter?

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Abhi
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stihl,

i hate to go here, but this brings me to the question... if you think catholicism is so right about everything, i cannot not inquire about the circumstances of you acquiring a step-daughter.

personally, i dont think divorce is sinful, neither is abortion. But the catholic church believes both are sinful. do you get to pick and choose which ones to follow and which ones to ignore?

what about pre-marital sex? can you offer rational arguments on why this is immoral as you stated?

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