Why do theists come to this forum?
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03-04-2016, 06:52 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 11:54 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  And if, in any other area of life, I took part in a con without my knowledge and upon realizing the con for a con then decided to leave, wash my hands of it, and have nothing to do with it I'd want that decision respected. To have people tell other people what I am against my will is deeply condescending at the best of times let alone based on made up rules from a made up book from millennia past.

(03-04-2016 07:00 AM)unfogged Wrote:  And you don't think that after doing all that the decision to leave isn't being made with eyes just as wide open (and perhaps wider now that they've seen it from the inside)? You respect their decision to join but not their decision to leave? I'm sorry, but the idea that they will be counted as Jews for the rest of their life no matter what they want is indefensible in my opinion.

I came to this forum for the purpose of learning what Atheists think, so to that end, I’m glad to hear your honest views. I wouldn’t have expected to hear such strong objections, but it's good to examine my culture from someone else's perspective. It’s like Carol said: I’ve been raised with this idea, so it’s just my default perception. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and Jews can’t stop being Jewish. It’s not a religious status. It’s a national status to us.

I did do a little research on this to improve my understanding. Apparently, if a convert insists that they weren’t sincere in their conversion, then their conversion is nullified. We will no longer think of them as Jews in that case.

But unless a convert moves to Israel, we’re still only talking about statuses that are limited to the thoughts in our heads. There is no registry or official list of Jews. If I view you as Jewish, or Gentile, why should that impact your life at all? If Mormons baptize me by proxy, I don’t really care how they regard me. I think they otherwise view me as gentile, and Christians view me as being “not saved.” How they see me is entirely an internal matter and it doesn’t affect me at all.

In the scope of my experience, I’ve never personally known anyone expressed a desire to stop being Jewish, especially a convert. Maybe I just don’t know about them because when they leave, we don’t follow them. I sincerely hope they’re not losing sleep over a few people in Brooklyn who regard them as being Jewish. If they are, then they have bigger problems than this issue could resolve anyway.

Conversion to Judaism means that the convert is 100% Jewish, and can’t be treated any differently. Jews grow up understanding that they’re Jewish, that they’ll be Jewish until the day they die, and they’re entitled to live in Israel. When someone converts to Judaism, they’re treated in the exact same way. They’re Jewish until they day they die, and they get automatic citizenship if they move to Israel, the same as native born Jews. -Equal treatment across the board. Even with these ground rules in mind, there is a huge political problem with conversion (that I will not go into in this thread) that affects probably hundreds of thousands Jews in Israel who rely on the stability of their conversions. Having the mentality that we can just overturn conversions when it conveniences us to do so opens the door to unequal treatment against those who worked very hard to be recognized as full members of our community.

Changing our mindset could make converts feel obligated to observe Judaism *perfectly* out of a fear of losing their status as a Jew, while we maintain a double standard for their native born counterparts. People should feel free to live at the observance level that they’re capable and willing to live without fear of reprisal. If they leave the community and later decide to return, they’re still 100% Jewish. No reconversion is required. They’re not put on “probation” until they re-prove themselves to the community.

I’ve really considered everyone’s viewpoints here. I’ve tried to view this in other contexts. While I was surprised over the objections, I think I can understand and respect why you may be offended or annoyed. Still, I'm unaware of this being an actual problem.

The much bigger problem within Judaism is getting in, not getting out, as Carol can speak to on a very personal level.
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03-04-2016, 08:30 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 05:38 AM)julep Wrote:  
(01-04-2016 07:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I can understand that. I'd be annoyed if someone insisted that I was a Mormon just because they baptized me by proxy. I totally understand the annoyance.

Maybe a good way to explain it is like citizenship. You don't choose where you're born, but if you're born in America, you're American whether you like it or not. Even if you denounce your citizenship and move to China, some people are still going to view you as being American.

Some people in both the US and China would view you as American, and some people would not. The folks who would insist on calling you an American, regardless, would seem to be trying to negate/belittle what had been an important decision. You seem to find it more akin to affirming that a serial killer is still a human being (I think), but I am not sure that the effect of this kind of a practice is as benign. There seem to be strong elements of coercion as well as solidarity, which is what troubles me.

Are people who convert to Judaism for a while and then convert to something else also considered irrevocably Jewish? Say my mother (a couple of cultural identifiers: Norwegian immigrant parents, raised Lutheran Christian) converts to Judaism for a year or two in her twenties, then meets my father, renounces Judaism, becomes Baptist, has me for a child…either of us Jewish?

I've pointed out in the post above that this conversation made me do some further research on this subject. I learned that there is a loop hole that is used which nullifies conversions that are "insincere." Assuming your mother's hypothetical conversion was kosher, you'd be a Jew if you were born after her conversion unless the loop hole was called upon.

With that said, one does not typically convert on a whim for a year or two. Judaism not only does not proselytize, but it actually discourages people from converting.

Every other religion is bending over backwards to sell their theology to you, and we're bending over backwards to keep people out. When someone seeks to convert to Judaism (to the standards that satisfy the requirements laid out by Israel), they are embarking on a process that takes years to complete. They must assume a total lifestyle change, and they're told at every step of the way that there is no reason to convert, that they'll be loved and respected if they remain gentile, and that there is no afterlife benefit for being Jewish what-so-ever. When people convert, it's out of a sincere desire to be a part of the Jewish community and the process is so arduous challenging that people don't really take it lightly, and they just don't do it for a year or two.
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04-04-2016, 05:48 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(03-04-2016 06:52 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I did do a little research on this to improve my understanding. Apparently, if a convert insists that they weren’t sincere in their conversion, then their conversion is nullified. We will no longer think of them as Jews in that case.
Quote:That's fine, but it doesn't help anybody who was sincere and doesn't want to lie about that but no longer thinks of himself as Jewish.

[quote]But unless a convert moves to Israel, we’re still only talking about statuses that are limited to the thoughts in our heads. There is no registry or official list of Jews. If I view you as Jewish, or Gentile, why should that impact your life at all? If Mormons baptize me by proxy, I don’t really care how they regard me. I think they otherwise view me as gentile, and Christians view me as being “not saved.” How they see me is entirely an internal matter and it doesn’t affect me at all.

It isn't that it is a problem for the individual, especially if he isn't being hit up for donations or badgered into coming back into the fold. It is just an example of the arrogance of the religious mindset. To say that you are going to consider somebody to still be Jewish even though they deny that status is saying that your belief about who and what they are is right despite the evidence to the contrary.

[quote]In the scope of my experience, I’ve never personally known anyone expressed a desire to stop being Jewish, especially a convert. Maybe I just don’t know about them because when they leave, we don’t follow them. I sincerely hope they’re not losing sleep over a few people in Brooklyn who regard them as being Jewish. If they are, then they have bigger problems than this issue could resolve anyway.

I doubt that they are losing sleep over it but that's not the point. The Jews have an untenable position on this. I'm not saying that they are unique in this type of thing by the way; I was baptized Catholic and I'm sure they still count me as one. From what I've gathered there is no way to stop being Catholic according to some even though I rejected the beliefs pretty much as soon as I could understand what was going on.

Quote:Conversion to Judaism means that the convert is 100% Jewish, and can’t be treated any differently. Jews grow up understanding that they’re Jewish, that they’ll be Jewish until the day they die, and they’re entitled to live in Israel. When someone converts to Judaism, they’re treated in the exact same way. They’re Jewish until they day they die, and they get automatic citizenship if they move to Israel, the same as native born Jews. -Equal treatment across the board.

The idea that a religion equates to a citizenship is another idea that I find objectionable but that's a completely different matter. Treating somebody who is Jewish by heritage as Jewish for life makes sense to me; you can denounce your heritage but you can't renounce it. You can deconvert from a religious belief though and to say somebody can never leave is creepy at best.

Quote:Even with these ground rules in mind, there is a huge political problem with conversion (that I will not go into in this thread) that affects probably hundreds of thousands Jews in Israel who rely on the stability of their conversions. Having the mentality that we can just overturn conversions when it conveniences us to do so opens the door to unequal treatment against those who worked very hard to be recognized as full members of our community.

Sorry, that's a dodge. When a convert declares that they no longer believe in the Jewish god and they reject the religion then they are no longer Jewish and no longer part of that community. If that raises issues with Israeli citizenship then perhaps the problem is with tying citizenship to religion in the first place.

Quote:Changing our mindset could make converts feel obligated to observe Judaism *perfectly* out of a fear of losing their status as a Jew, while we maintain a double standard for their native born counterparts. People should feel free to live at the observance level that they’re capable and willing to live without fear of reprisal.

That's also a dodge. Nobody is talking about somebody who wants to remain Jewish but maybe doesn't live up to the ideals set by the group. We are talking about somebody who is explicitly rejecting their status as a Jew.

Quote:If they leave the community and later decide to return, they’re still 100% Jewish. No reconversion is required. They’re not put on “probation” until they re-prove themselves to the community.

I don't understand why that is a good thing. If somebody converts and then de-converts it would be reasonable for the group to be wary of trusting them again.

Quote:I’ve really considered everyone’s viewpoints here. I’ve tried to view this in other contexts. While I was surprised over the objections, I think I can understand and respect why you may be offended or annoyed. Still, I'm unaware of this being an actual problem.

I don't think you understand why people object. It is not that it causes a problem for the ex-Jews, it's just another facet of belief overriding evidence and even common sense to make claims that are patently false. Telling people who de-convert that they are Jewish for life whether they like it or not is like the pre-suppositionalist telling atheists that we really do believe in god but we just don't know it. It is presumptuous for anybody to claim to know what somebody else thinks and it is presumptuous to claim that somebody else can't quit the religion.

Quote:The much bigger problem within Judaism is getting in, not getting out, as Carol can speak to on a very personal level.

I don't see that as a problem...Big Grin

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04-04-2016, 06:21 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
Wait, you can get an Israeli passport by converting? Big Grin Do you know the size of the community of African Jews? 'Cos it's about to go through the roof!

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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04-04-2016, 07:11 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(04-04-2016 06:21 AM)morondog Wrote:  Wait, you can get an Israeli passport by converting? Big Grin Do you know the size of the community of African Jews? 'Cos it's about to go through the roof!

Yes, you can get an Israli passport by converting Othodox. -But I wonder how many Africans are willing to cut the ends of their dicks off in exchange. Tongue
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04-04-2016, 07:33 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(04-04-2016 07:11 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(04-04-2016 06:21 AM)morondog Wrote:  Wait, you can get an Israeli passport by converting? Big Grin Do you know the size of the community of African Jews? 'Cos it's about to go through the roof!

Yes, you can get an Israli passport by converting Othodox. -But I wonder how many Africans are willing to cut the ends of their dicks off in exchange. Tongue

To get out of Africa? That might be a very small price to pay, compared with the price of staying.
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04-04-2016, 07:45 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(04-04-2016 07:33 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  
(04-04-2016 07:11 AM)Aliza Wrote:  Yes, you can get an Israli passport by converting Othodox. -But I wonder how many Africans are willing to cut the ends of their dicks off in exchange. Tongue

To get out of Africa? That might be a very small price to pay, compared with the price of staying.

They're not going to convert.

We did however airlift the entire Ethopian Jewish community out of Africa due to persecution and relocate them to Israel.
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04-04-2016, 07:46 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(04-04-2016 07:33 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  
(04-04-2016 07:11 AM)Aliza Wrote:  Yes, you can get an Israli passport by converting Othodox. -But I wonder how many Africans are willing to cut the ends of their dicks off in exchange. Tongue

To get out of Africa? That might be a very small price to pay, compared with the price of staying.

Some parts of Africa. Where I live is quite nice.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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04-04-2016, 07:47 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(04-04-2016 07:45 AM)Aliza Wrote:  They're not going to convert.

You'd be surprised Tongue

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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04-04-2016, 07:49 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(04-04-2016 07:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(04-04-2016 07:33 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  To get out of Africa? That might be a very small price to pay, compared with the price of staying.

Some parts of Africa. Where I live is quite nice.

I was not referring to the nice parts. From what I understand, Africa as a whole is a crappy place to live. Just like most of Mexico. Poor areas make up the majority, but it does have resort areas like Cancun. Otherwise, it would be americans sneaking into mexico to get jobs, not the other way around.Drinking Beverage
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