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Another interesting article from Scoutmaster's Blog on FB; Belief structures

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Other humans.  Are you a sociopath?

As represented by the atheist reply, humans without some kind of theist direction don't play well together.

 

Barry

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As represented by the atheist reply, humans without some kind of theist direction don't play well together.

 

Barry

 

So is that a "yes"?  Your reply suggest you are completely unfamiliar with human empathy.  That would make you a sociopath.

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This is all a concession to post-modernism. Where one can flatly reject someone else's grand narrative ... and still be worthy of noble position.

 

Sometimes that's a good thing. Other times it leads to thinkng less of someone else, even when one's own narrative should disallow it.

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I believe an atheist can be as moral as a religious person.. And compared to some religious people certain atheists may even be 100% more moral..  Religion does not guarantee morality.. Some people may need a higher being who will smile on them or crush them, or a guarantee for a spot in heaven if they play nice on earth in order to behave well while on earth.   Others, just need empathy for their fellow man or the animals or the planet,  a wish and desire to leave the world a better place for the next generation some of whom may be their offspring.. 

 

Scouting itself and following the laws of scouting can have a profound effect on the moral upbringing of an atheist child, especially if the parents also believe in and follow the laws. Same as it has with every child who is religious..  The only way that the two worlds could co-habitat in scouting though would have to be by making one of the laws very, very important for many years...  REVERENT   ...     If we can not be reverent, we would rip each other apart and the scouting community with it.

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For me the issue is one's perspective on right and wrong.  We are all aware of the fact that we all answer to our actions and how they are judged.  If someone, or in the case of a theism, something else, is making the judgments of right or wrong our actions might be different than one who answers only to themselves.  Sure that individual may do things in a certain way to avoid the wrath of others but is basically no concerned about any theistic involvement and if they feel they could get away with it, then it's an okay thing for them to do.  A little like driving 5 over the speed limit.  Self justification that everyone else is doing it makes it okay for me.  

 

But when one has a moral code that is not inherently something they made up for themselves, then there has to be an outward focus on the welfare of more than just oneself.  It's not just a set of rules, but a covenant/contract with others that is necessary to link individuals together in a trusting community of individuals.  The individual foregoes their individual focus for the welfare and benefit of others.  They then realize that the benefit is thus returned to them in belonging to that community.

 

Animals in nature live in either common community or as loners seeking a mate only for convenience of propagating the species.  Some even mate for life at a level far better than humans.  Others' survival depends on the herd or pack or flock for the survival of all.

 

Yet as humans we have the ability to discern the differences and the causes of such dynamics.  Is it something man makes up for himself or is there something there that man understands and realizes that if left to his own recourse the human species would have no more value than any other animal on the planet?  

 

One's belief system dictates their action.  I didn't say religion, I didn't say faith, I said belief system.  Some believe in a greater power, others believe there is no greater power.  But their belief system dictates their actions.  Those that answer to a belief in a greater power act and react different than those that answer only to themselves or those whom they select to answer to.

 

So Scouting has a value system based on a higher power that promotes development of community rather than individualism.  Scouting taps into that dynamic calling it such things as the Brotherhood of Scouting, grouping up as various units, promoting certain values for the betterment of others, and this can be expressed in many different forms, but one must realize that the Lone Scout is an exception, not the rule in the organization.   Even so, although physically separated, they are still part of the Brotherhood and are held to the same standard as the others.

 

So the choice is up to each Scout as to how they view the awareness of this connection.  Is it just the rules of Scouting, i.e. the Scout Law? or is there more? What then is that "more"?  I guess it just depends on what one's belief system is. 

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This is all a concession to post-modernism. Where one can flatly reject someone else's grand narrative ... and still be worthy of noble position.

 

 

While I'm sure this is supposed to mean something, I have no idea what that meaning is.

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In many ways our whole society, not just the BSA is on a precipice. 

 

While we in scouting have used Reverence as a call to respect the religeous beliefs of others, even when not in concert with our own beliefs; we seem to allow that we do not have to respect the lack of a belief.

 

If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.  By which I mean, eventually when the population of atheist beliefs outnumber the population of those with some belief, that same belief will be turned on us.  "You didn't respect our lack of a belief when you were in charge, now that we are in charge, we don't have to respect that you have a belief."  Heck, non-believers are not even the majority yet, and this position is already becomming culturally accepted.

 

This is the same hand we were dealt with LGBT issues; because society did not even repect their choice for so long, now that they have an upper hand in our society, it is now no longer enough to accept their choice, you must embrace their choice and validate their choice or you are the one it is acceptable to discriminate against - and there is not enough of you left to stand up against that position.

 

Even when I have led nondenomination services for others, they were that non denominational, not non-sectarian.  Even though, by most Christian's standards, my beliefs would not be considered Christian, the services I ran were still very Christian oriented - at the time (1) I didn't really know any better, (2) the broadness of my beliefs were not offended, so I failed to consider all the way through to those that might be, and (3) in our Western society, the western (Abrahamic) religeous traditions are no ingrained, it is hard to see out of that box.  Heck, even now, I love the Noah song, I like many of the hymns ... it is very difficult to be open to how different religeons can be or how to navigate their tolerance, if not acceptance, of one another - and I've acutally researched many over the years.  I understand that for many of us, throwing in atheists and humanists is just too much.

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I might respect a person who is an atheist but I don't respect atheism. In other words, I might respect someone who lacks belief but I would not respect his lack of belief.

Edited by Peregrinator

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If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.  By which I mean, eventually when the population of atheist beliefs outnumber the population of those with some belief, that same belief will be turned on us.  "You didn't respect our lack of a belief when you were in charge, now that we are in charge, we don't have to respect that you have a belief."  Heck, non-believers are not even the majority yet, and this position is already becomming culturally accepted.

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This is where I was eventually going. As long as scouting is held accountable to a higher power, then man cannot be the final definition of scout like behavior. Humans sadly are fickle in justifying their behavior and when we submit to man being the final definition of scout like behavior, then scouting looses integrity because there is no higher belief that all can agree on. Scouting becomes just a weekend camping club.

 

Barry

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But they believe there is no god..... so they do believe.  It's just happens to be exactly the opposite of what I believe.  I have no problem with that because it's their problem.  As long as they don't make it my problem, I'm good with it.  Actually many atheists do believe in somethings.  It dates back to the time of Aristotle and other early Greek philosophers.  A lot of modern atheism has it's roots there in the plurality of their teachings.

 

By the way, the belief there is no god is also the direct opposite of the premise of Scouting's duty towards a god.

This is why atheism isn't accepted.  Their belief claim is there is nothing there to believe in.

Edited by Stosh

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I might respect a person who is an atheist but I don't respect atheism. In other words, I might respect someone who lacks belief but I would not respect his lack of belief.

This is exactly how a scout acts using the Scout Oath and Law. This is also why the suggestion that it is unscout-like to turn away people with certain behaviors and beliefs doesn't hold water. Scout-like actions are respecting others without having to respect their beliefs or actions.

 

Barry

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 If someone, or in the case of a theism, something else, is making the judgments of right or wrong our actions might be different than one who answers only to themselves.  Sure that individual may do things in a certain way to avoid the wrath of others but is basically no concerned about any theistic involvement and if they feel they could get away with it, then it's an okay thing for them to do. 

 

This is a typical theist lie against atheists, which I take to mean the speaker has no genuine morals if they didn't believe in an invisible enforcer.  That's why I consider such people to be possible sociopaths, as they appear to lack all empathy.

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This is where I was eventually going. As long as scouting is held accountable to a higher power, then man cannot be the final definition of scout like behavior. Humans sadly are fickle in justifying their behavior and when we submit to man being the final definition of scout like behavior

 

What's more fickle than "slavery is moral" changing to "slavery is immoral"?  The Southern Baptist Convention was created to defend the god-given morality of slavery, but, somehow, their god did a 180 on that.

 

As I've pointed out many times before, god-given morality is arbitrary, since people believe in different gods with different morals.  Is slavery moral?  Polygamy?  Gay marriage?  The answers change depending on what god people believe in.  So how can that settle on what "scout like behavior" means?  Was being gay "unscoutlike" a couple years ago?

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I might respect a person who is an atheist but I don't respect atheism. In other words, I might respect someone who lacks belief but I would not respect his lack of belief.

 

This is exactly how a scout acts using the Scout Oath and Law. This is also why the suggestion that it is unscout-like to turn away people with certain behaviors and beliefs doesn't hold water. Scout-like actions are respecting others without having to respect their beliefs or actions.

 

Barry

 

Even though the scout law says the opposite of this?

A Scout is Reverent.

      A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

(Bold emphases is mine)

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