Dogma vs. Practice
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23-06-2015, 07:03 AM
Dogma vs. Practice
I got on this line of thought via a thread by pppgggr wherein the OP expressed an interest in becoming Mormon, moreso out of a desire to fit in with his community and adopt the lifestyle, but without embracing the beliefs: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-be-Mormon

I commented there, but wanted to maybe expand on my thinking that for me religion breaks down to two spheres: dogma or belief, and practice or ritual. What does it really mean to be a member of a religion? Do you have to believe all the core tenets? Do you have to perform all the standard rituals?

I think most theists probably fall somewhere in the middle. My grandfather was a regular church-goer, but I think for him it was more about the social aspect. He had a business installing gutters and aluminum siding, and it was a client base he could connect to 40 years before the internet. I don't think he put a lot of stock in the claims of the faith.

On the other hand I've also known people who believe in Jesus and would call themselves Christian, but don't go to church, didn't get their kids baptized, etc. because they'd rather their "practice" of the faith be a personal matter and they don't want to support organized religion.

Have you found this to be true in your experiences with theists?
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23-06-2015, 07:20 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
It's just a matter of how each person chooses to mold their belief to their convenience.

I would say that there are some general core beliefs that separate religious groups would have to meet to classify as a member of _______ religion (I.e. believing Jesus is the savior for Christianity).

Cherry picking is one of the easiest things to call a theist out on. If these sheep really believed the Bible was the literal word of God and followed every law to order, the world be a fucked up place. So they are forced to cherry pick or do it of their own accord because slutty Suzy really want that new butterfly tattoo 3 inches from her twat.
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23-06-2015, 07:29 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
I'm in the midst of this one.

It's Ramadan, so I have been asking "Why? What's the point?"

I'm seeing that 'cognitive dissonance confused look' as a reply and then, "You have no right to attack my beliefs!"

I point out that I'm asking about (not even challenging) the practice, not the belief.

I don't think I'm making much headway over here but I'll keep provocateuring until ... actually, I dunno until what. Undecided

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23-06-2015, 07:43 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
(23-06-2015 07:29 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I'm in the midst of this one.

It's Ramadan, so I have been asking "Why? What's the point?"

I'm seeing that 'cognitive dissonance confused look' as a reply and then, "You have no right to attack my beliefs!"

I point out that I'm asking about (not even challenging) the practice, not the belief.

I don't think I'm making much headway over here but I'll keep provocateuring until ... actually, I dunno until what. Undecided

'Until you got an honest answer', would be sufficient enough for me.

In my experience the few that can honestly say "this is what I do, what I believe and I don't have a thorough, logical explanation for you", are rarely the types that are going be cramming their beliefs down anyones throats or looking to change law based upon said beliefs.
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23-06-2015, 08:00 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
At heart, I view the religion (or denomination or whatever) as being principally about the actual beliefs held and the actual practice in action, rather than the dogma in the book. How closely dogma and practice cleave together is usually a feature of the denomination or particular congregation. There's no hard and fast rule, which means there can be no hard and fast deconversion strategy. I try to target practice and personal belief rather than official dogma because official dogma isn't where the person lives.

If someone comes starts claiming Biblical inerrancy and God as a perfect moral being, I'm quite happy to whack them over the head with the great moral failings of God in, say, Joshua, but that's not appropriate for a more liberal believer who doesn't believe in Biblical inerrancy and figures that most of those passages are inaccurate and/or irrelevant to their faith and actions.

Similarly, for Mormons, I only attack the official doctrines when it appears those doctrines are relevant to the particular Mormon's beliefs or actions. That there remains all the basis for racism (eg, darker skin = evil) throughout the Book of Mormon, isn't relevant to most modern practitioners or their beliefs. Where it MIGHT be relevant is its utility in undermining a belief in the veracity of revelations to the elders, or the ability of such to provide timely moral guidance in a godless society... when it wasn't until AFTER desegregation that the Mormon Church got its revelation that maybe blacks weren't more wicked than whites.

But even that isn't particularly relevant to many Mormons any more. Nowadays, I'm more likely to use that as a wedge when discussing the cash flow of the Mormon church into homophobic ventures like their monumental support of California's prop 8. "You're giving money to this effort. YOU'RE financing this. What if the Mormon church is on the wrong side of human rights? It wouldn't be the first time. It wouldn't be the first time that someone like you financed oppression with church dues." This IS relevant to their practice, if they're paying any sort of tithe.

To the OP asking about joining for social reasons? I'd say the most relevant practice to focus on is shunning. Mormons -- especially Mormons with doubts about dogma and doctrine -- live under the eternal threat of being kicked out and shunned. This is true of nearly every church, of course, but the Mormons have formalized this practice to a level that only cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses can exceed. Your new friendships and happiness will become hostages, blatantly so. You will not find unconditional acceptance from your new fellows... and you already know this. That's why you're contemplating converting in order to get that acceptance. You know that's the price. And it's NOT WORTH IT. There are so many better groups to join, so many people who will delight in spending time with you because of your merits, and not because of what you confess.
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23-06-2015, 08:07 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
(23-06-2015 07:29 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I'm in the midst of this one.

It's Ramadan, so I have been asking "Why? What's the point?"

I'm seeing that 'cognitive dissonance confused look' as a reply and then, "You have no right to attack my beliefs!"

I point out that I'm asking about (not even challenging) the practice, not the belief.

I don't think I'm making much headway over here but I'll keep provocateuring until ... actually, I dunno until what. Undecided

Until they behead you? Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-06-2015, 08:15 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
(23-06-2015 08:07 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-06-2015 07:29 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I'm in the midst of this one.

It's Ramadan, so I have been asking "Why? What's the point?"

I'm seeing that 'cognitive dissonance confused look' as a reply and then, "You have no right to attack my beliefs!"

I point out that I'm asking about (not even challenging) the practice, not the belief.

I don't think I'm making much headway over here but I'll keep provocateuring until ... actually, I dunno until what. Undecided

Until they behead you? Consider

Nonono. You're thinking of Bangladesh. Singapore is where they throw teenage kids in jail for three years for being snarky.

... er, wait, you're in Singapore, right DLJ? That's what I remember but suddenly I think I'm remembering wrong.

EDIT: Or I can just check his user profile. Malaysia. Don't recall hearing bad stuff about Malaysia on the subject. HUZZAH for American ignorance of other lands!
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23-06-2015, 09:01 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
(23-06-2015 08:15 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(23-06-2015 08:07 AM)Chas Wrote:  Until they behead you? Consider

Nonono. You're thinking of Bangladesh. Singapore is where they throw teenage kids in jail for three years for being snarky.

... er, wait, you're in Singapore, right DLJ? That's what I remember but suddenly I think I'm remembering wrong.

EDIT: Or I can just check his user profile. Malaysia. Don't recall hearing bad stuff about Malaysia on the subject. HUZZAH for American ignorance of other lands!

You remembered well. I was in SG for 7 years but moved to MY in January.

The Amos Yee case has been a hot topic in SG.

In MY they are getting in a tizzy about a gold medalist in the recent SEA games showing her "aurat" by wearing a normal (for every other country) leotard... Islamic women should do gymnastics in full body armour, apparently.

Anyway, I'm in HK this week where the big news is the rejection of China's 'democracy' proposal.

But it at least we can talk about it without being locked up or beheaded.

Fun times.

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23-06-2015, 09:11 AM
RE: Dogma vs. Practice
(23-06-2015 09:01 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(23-06-2015 08:15 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Nonono. You're thinking of Bangladesh. Singapore is where they throw teenage kids in jail for three years for being snarky.

... er, wait, you're in Singapore, right DLJ? That's what I remember but suddenly I think I'm remembering wrong.

EDIT: Or I can just check his user profile. Malaysia. Don't recall hearing bad stuff about Malaysia on the subject. HUZZAH for American ignorance of other lands!

You remembered well. I was in SG for 7 years but moved to MY in January.

The Amos Yee case has been a hot topic in SG.

In MY they are getting in a tizzy about a gold medalist in the recent SEA games showing her "aurat" by wearing a normal (for every other country) leotard... Islamic women should do gymnastics in full body armour, apparently.

Anyway, I'm in HK this week where the big news is the rejection of China's 'democracy' proposal.

But it at least we can talk about it without being locked up or beheaded.

Fun times.

Outrage Over Farah Ann Abdul Hadi’s Leotard

I am so fucking sick and tired of Muslims' outrage that they can't control "their" women.

Grow the fuck up and join the 21st century, you ignorant, misogynist assholes.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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