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About studentscout

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    South Carolina for the time being
  1. Skeptic was using the term 'illegal' so I was thinking more in terms of 'legality' rather than 'the right thing to do'. OK, so aside from the scout oath or law, or for that matter the golden rule (none of these, as far as I can discern are often applied in business), what law has been broken? Actually, please explain the application of 'Trustworthy' in this instance for that matter. You don't KNOW that persons purchasing the item are NOT 'qualified' to own the patch. Any opinion on this is just supposition. I'm just trying to play 'you-know-who's advocate.(This message has been edited by studentscout)
  2. studentscout

    Duty To God - Best Practices

    KC9DDI, Because I do not pray or openly reveal anything like that about my faith, you or most other persons would only view the unavoidable display of a shy student. Nothing more. Living my faith is something that I experience and no other person can possibly understand its meaning to me or even see its effect on my life. I suggest that this is probably true, despite attempts or opinions otherwise, for everyone else as well. But I also can see that the private messenger a while back was correct and I have probably said too much already. I apologize for inserting myself into this discussion.
  3. studentscout

    Duty To God - Best Practices

    For some of us, our faith is personal and not something that we display for the public, nor do we desire to be part of public display by others. To me my faith is not something I discuss or compare or openly display as a display but rather something I 'live'. I care not to bring anyone else to it nor do I wish for others to attempt to bring me to theirs. I do not understand this desire to display such things publicly. Is a personal faith not sufficient?
  4. studentscout

    2 Questions - Opinion Desired

    Hello to all, I would say that my faith, Buddhism, is atheistic in that it does not require me to recognize any supernatural 'god'. I have discussed this with the CO (a Protestant church) and they have no problem with it. It has never gone beyond that. This is not to say I do not experience reverence, I do. The source of my reverence just doesn't require a supernatural entity. From what I am reading here, John-in-KC would do whatever he could to have me eliminated from the membership. I am saddened by this. But fortunately (and curiously) I haven't encountered this attitude from my fellow scouters here in South Carolina.
  5. studentscout

    Martinez and the Magicians Horse

    WAKWIB, Thank you for your thoughts. I am flattered by such praise although I doubt that I am as deserving as you suggest. I will say that I find it more difficult and less tempting to be aggressive when I am totally exhausted and well-fed. It is an approach I think works with boys as well and maybe with other people too. You may think we are polar opposite in some ways and I accept that as your view, but I suspect that under most of those differences, we are very much alike. I think if we look deeply enough, we will find far more similarities among all of us, than there are differences. It does require us to look deeply. Maybe this is just another part of that search.
  6. studentscout

    Martinez and the Magicians Horse

    Pick and choose. Interesting. NJCubscouter writes, "...you promise to do your duty to "God." Do you find a contradiction between that and your beliefs?" I guess we could quibble over the term, 'belief', but I would end up admitting that everything I believe is open to change if I see a good reason to discard one 'belief' for another. In my view, these things are merely ideas that seem to work for now. If someone can show me a better idea I'll gladly accept that gift. But to answer your question, well, I don't have a good answer for you. Yes, sometimes if I'm in a bad mood, it bothers me, mostly because of the implied message that BSA has embedded in its policies. But most of the time, if I substitute the thing I hold in greatest reverence for the word, "God", then it removes the contradiction for me and becomes something I can reconcile honestly. This means substituting the phrase, "duty to seek truth" for the phrase, "duty to God". Of course truth is something we're never quite certain about but it is the ultimate goal of the search, right? I merely employ rational tools where others resort to the supernatural. So that's about the best I can do without thinking about it a lot more than I'd like to just now. I hope you understand. GernBlansten and Scoutfish, that's an interesting way to think about the oath but it isn't how I thought about it (at least not until you made the suggestion). I guess it could apply to others though.(This message has been edited by studentscout)
  7. studentscout

    Martinez and the Magicians Horse

    I will answer Evmori's question but it only applies to me. As an atheist scout, I was attracted to the program because of the outdoor activities, the spirit of camaraderie among my friends, and as a team we could do things like high adventure that would have been tough to do alone. As an atheist leader today, I still enjoy these things but because I'm much younger than most other leaders, it seems that the boys think I'm 'cooler' than most. I'm good with that too. I sort of sympathize with Merlyn's viewpoint, and I understand what he means in his replies when someone asks him something that is nonsensical or contains internal contradictions. He can't possibly speak for others in matters where he is asked about why others do or want things. The question itself is just....incomprehensible...if you 'think' about it. As for the matter of that DRP nonsense, I am an atheist and a Buddhist. I consider all gods to be myths, some of them are still popular in major religions. To me, myths are not in themselves bad...only what some people do...using their myths as part of their rationale. I try to follow the Buddhist philosophy and most of the reasoning for the faith but there is still much to learn. I signed the BSA application in good 'faith' because I do have a sense of reverence. Aside from my reverence for things natural, my greatest reverence is for the power of reasoning. It is available to anyone regardless of who or where they are. It isn't supernatural. It isn't a god. It is something that those of us who try to pursue it must find within ourselves and it requires discipline and work and the honesty to admit error. So Evmori, there's an answer to your question from an atheist who was a scout and is a scout leader. One more thing, this whole issue is stupid. The other leaders and the CO and the boys pretty much know 'who' I am, if you get my meaning. While a belief system is a personal matter, and not the business of BSA or any of you, the decision for the makeup of a troop or other unit is a local matter in practice. BSA needs to butt out on personal matters like this. I don't know where this mind control stuff comes from but it doesn't work and never will. And the attempt to do it is destructive. This applies to the whole gay thing as well. Reading through these old threads is amazing...at how much seemingly prurient interest there is an someone else's sexual activities. A lot of us ought to be ashamed.
  8. studentscout

    Are Taoist boys allowed to join BSA?

    While I agree with Kahuna (and I have now read the entire thread), I sort of understand Merlyn's point of view. Maybe I'm still stuck as a teenager too. To me Buddhism is inherently atheistic, maybe even essentially atheistic (in an indifferent sort of way, LOL). After all, Gautama Buddha held that belief in a supernatural deity is unhealthy, that belief in what BSA refers to as 'God' basically chains the mind to samsara and diminishes the ability to achieve enlightenment and higher consciousness. I'm still learning and the more I learn, the more I agree with this philosophy. I guess I may be the flip side of Merlyn in the eyes of some. I'm an atheist who BSA has embraced as a member because I practice Buddhism. Merlyn could be similarly welcomed by BSA but he hasn't chosen the way for his life that I chose for mine. Or am I about to get the Judeo-Christian boot?
  9. studentscout

    How to explain departure of Scout from Troop

    I agree with mds3d and Vicki, my Buddhism is focused more on a way to live than worship of gods. I merely shrug off the supernatural stuff when it comes up in scouting. It simply isn't my way.
  10. studentscout

    How to explain departure of Scout from Troop

    When I signed, I just ignored that part because it doesn't apply to someone who is following Buddhism, especially if they are an atheist. The concept of duty to someone else's God is nonsensical, irrational, and just not right if BSA means it to be interpreted as a specific 'God' in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic sense. However, because BSA hasn't singled out Buddhism for 'special treatment' yet, and because BSA would have to be profoundly ignorant NOT to understand this distinction, I conclude that Buddhists are not expected by BSA to make an oath to something they dismiss as myth. As such, that part of the statement carries about as much moral weight as an oath regarding the tooth fairy, that is to say it is, however quaint, irrelevant. If, however, that part of the statement is intended to be more conceptual than concrete, then the tooth fairy works just fine.
  11. studentscout

    swimming MB and rank requirements

    We do in this unit. It just makes sense.
  12. studentscout

    Pack operating money

    I would be OK with the council or BSA national, whatever, charging fees for everything. And stopping the begging. Some of the adults in this unit cringe any time the district executive shows at a meeting, and especially the council executive, because they're afraid they'll have to listen to one more pitch. Seems like if users paid the actual costs for whatever they are doing this would be more of a market-oriented approach to funding.
  13. studentscout

    Interesting Case

    From that article, "We cannot cage faith and claim that we are a pluralistic society." I'd rather cage faith than be caged by it. The case weighs the goal of diversity of views against public support for a group that restricts diversity. Seems clear to me. The decision may be to promote diversity of views by requiring public support of groups that oppose diversity.
  14. studentscout

    Teaching a MB with little expertise

    I've watched the 16-year-olds lead Environmental Science merit badge in summer camp and I can say that for the scouts, it was a waste of time. The 16-year-olds did read ahead of the boys and as a result were incapable of answering the most elementary questions. They sat in the nature lodge and read from the pamphlet, had no knowledge resources to complete the writing tasks, and basically were clueless with respect to some of the requirements. They didn't even complete all the requirements and awarded the badge anyway. I am unimpressed with this approach. Worse, the scouts received a stellar example of how to get out of some work and how the 'system' even supports/promotes this attitude. What a great life lesson...NOT.
  15. studentscout

    Gold Award gift ideas?

    How about, you know....the Gold Award.