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Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion, politics and sex with someone who believes differently?
November 8, 2010
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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November 8, 2010
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bevdee
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November 8, 2010
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chelonia mydas
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Some
of my most engaging conversation have been with people who have a
different beleif on a sensitive/passionate topic. AT the same time,
some of the most disasterous and uncomfortable converstations have
dealt with those same situations, just different people.

The key is that
all people involved are able to be open to another points of view
in a respectful and mature manner and they are fully accepting of
other people being different. Often people give lip service to
accepting differences, but for the conversation to be meaningful
and non-judgemental, its best to be truely and wholelly accepting
of this.

Too often these
conversations become personal and people are not willing to allow
others to be different. Be especially careful in discussing
religion with those who come from faiths that want to convert
others into their religion. I have not yet met a converter who can
hold an open, respectful conversation about other religions. They
will happily discuss other religions and how their flavor of
religion has a better answer than the other ones being
discussed.

November 8, 2010
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puptent
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My
take on this is if the sole purpose of a persons religion is
salvation then knowing this can help you make a decision if you
even want to engage in a conversation with them to begin
with.

November 8, 2010
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@puptent

I agree with your
post. Your insight into the need for salvation sometimes
underpinning religious fervor, is in my opinion the cause of many
bad reactions to exposing irrationalities in religious
beliefs.

Analogously
speaking, it is as if such insecure people's religion is a
lifeboat. exposing wormholes in the bottom of the boat should be
received with gratitude but rarely is. Shooting the messenger is
often a common response to such exposures.

Christopher
Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are very conversant with such
reactions, I'm sure.

As for politics
and sex where a threat is perceived then a similar reaction can
reasonably be expected from an insecure person.

IMHO, the common
denominator in perceiving threats to beliefs about all three,
religion, politics and sex, is fear; fear of being diminished or
seriously damaged in some way - even to the point of
extinction.

When taken to the
extreme, the deeper question is: "exactly what is it that is
threatened with this thing called extinction?"

November 8, 2010
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truthBtold
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Tez,

Good
point!

My girlfriend and
I (before she died) were polar opposites on these
subjects.

But we got along
because deep down, we knew each other to have good hearts....and
that's what is most important to me.

November 8, 2010
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andii
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I
enjoy it bfgirl, I enjoy learning about other peoples perspectives.
I just disengage when I feel judgement for questioning or
disagreeing with theirs.

andii

November 8, 2010
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puptent
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@Tez
nice to hear from someone who shares my point of view. On
lovefruad.com I found some great information that has to do with
the subject of this thread "Sociopaths like to cloak themselves in
a mantel of respect. They seek careers, or pretend to have careers,
in fields that people associate with good character,
trustworthiness, and authority, such as law enforcement, the
military and the clergy.

Pursuing a career
in religion or spirituality is particularly useful for sociopaths.
People tend to trust religious figures simply because they are
religious figures, which puts a sociopath several moves ahead when
trying to scam someone. A sociopath claiming an inside track to God
has a very powerful tool when it comes to manipulating people."
After reading this I want to be very cautious about who I discuss
religion with. I am going to use this as a guideline on my journey
towards recovery.

November 9, 2010
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bangles
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Kinda
think it is. I have friends who were of a different political
belief. They don't keep up with the news. So when I started telling
them of happenings and what was currently going on, they were
surprised and changed sides. You have to know when to back off,
shut up , and not fight. I just told the facts and they seened
willing to listen. May not always be the case with everyone. Have
to use intuitiveness.

November 9, 2010
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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i try
to listen to others viewpoints, but I have a hard time when I feel
like someone feels that i am lost, going to hell, have no ethics or
morals cause I am agnostic! I am sorry but it hurts me, I try hard
to listen, I try hard to be respectful... I also been trying my
wings in with saying what I feel about organized religion and it
has gone over in a bad way. I am sorry, but I am suppose to not say
how i feel and just listen? I wish I could believe the bible to be
gods word, I want too but then I read it and see how it impossible
for anyone to get to heaven... honestly, no one is
going!

November 18, 2010
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truthBtold

On the 8-Nov-10
you wrote:

"... we got
along because deep down, we knew each other to have good
hearts....and that's what is most important to me"

What I understand
from this statement, is that you knew that your friend would never
intentionally do you harm. Therefore you felt safe to explore
differences of opinion on such touchy subjects as religion. You
also knew that she knew that same about you was true also. Am I
correct?

But if a person
has thoroughly explored their own beliefs over many years, hold
such beliefs very tenuously, and is prepared to willingly and
gladly change such beliefs in the light of further insights, then
how can that person be threatened by the exposure of
irrationalities in these beliefs?

On the other hand,
if all of a person's beliefs have been unquestioningly taken on
board as indesputable facts and no serious examination of these
beliefs undertaken, then such a person is very vulnerable indeed.
Their whole belief system can easily come tumbling down like a pack
of cards, leaving a fear-filled void in its place. No wonder such
people react badly to rational examination of their beliefs, their
scriptures.

We humans aren't
very far along evolution's path yet. We have a long way to go, in
my opinion.

November 18, 2010
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puptent

On the 8-Nov-10
you wrote:

"... I want to
be very cautious about who I discuss religion with. I am going to
use this as a guideline on my journey towards
recovery.?"

You fear the
sociopath, the callous, self-centered manipulation and control of
your psyche by such people?

On your
"journey of recovery" do you see yourself being vulnerable
to the development of dependencies upon so-called authority figures
- especially religious ones?

November 18, 2010
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puptent
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Tez,
you asked me if I feared the sociopath, the callous, self-centered
manipulation and control of my psyche by such people. The answer to
that question is no, but they should fear me because I am all about
doing whatever it takes to legally get people like that out of my
life and keep them out of my life for good. The answer to your your
question of if I see myself being vulnerable to the development of
dependencies upon so-called authority figures - especially
religious ones is I am in the process of taking ownership over my
own life and a religious authority figure is exactly what I don't
need.

November 18, 2010
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November 18, 2010
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(that
was me just agreeing with Bevdee there). Nice to see you
Bevdee.

November 18, 2010
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@puptent

Thanks for your
response on the 18-Nov-10.

Yes - I think that
understand where you are coming from.

I don't belong to
any religion. The last one that I joined, I abandoned around 1985.
Since then I've confined myself to reading, videos, courses and the
odd visit to a temple or church. But I have never formally joined
any of them for much the same reasons as you have previously
espoused. I dip my big toe in the water, but never dive into the
pond. I was watching a video on Scientology that is a classic
example of what I fear. If you choose to watch it then click
here.

In this video the
victim stated that while he was am member of the 'Church' of
Scientology he believed himself to be free and happy, when all the
time he was brainwashed. That is why I won't 'join' any religion.
The Church of Scientology's indoctrination procedures, like many
other religions, appear to me to be a kind of hypnosis. I suspect
that this is what happens in many religions.

November 18, 2010
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puptent
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@Tez.
I watched the video on Scientology. Excellent! IMHO People who
believe in an internal locus of control are much safer than people
who believe in an external locus of control.

November 19, 2010
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truthBtold
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I
like to tend to think of and lend myself towards these type of
topics with always an open mind and and never-ending sense of
curiousity.

(At least....I TRY
to anyway...)

I have always been
of the conviction, (for as long as I can rememeber actually, as a
small child)...that 'truth', I mean....REAL TRUTH - like cream
which eventually rises to the top on its own accord.....can be
likened much like my favorite book of all times: Aesop's
Fables.

(It was a good
book then....in elementary school...its a good book now at age
50!)

You might know the
one with the bet between the sun and the wind and who could get the
man to take off his coat first?

The wind blew and
blew....and all that did was make the man hold tighter to his coat.
The sun, on the other, just did what it did.

It just
shined....and eventually that man took off his coat under his own
accord.

That's kind of
been my unofficial motto/philosophy anyway....

Also, I seem to
like to extract certain bits and pieces from various *religions*,
traditions and apply them to my life as seems appropriate and
congruent with my own gut feelings about such matters.

What just seems
right to me and noone else.

For example, in
the Jewish Tradition, I really like how this whole notion of
'original sin' in non-applicable.

A non-issue, in
fact.

I like that
personally and it rings true in my personal heart of
hearts.

Also, (having been
brought up as a Catholic) I am especially drawn to the the most
holiest days in the Jewish High Holidays...that being of Yom
Kippur.

The day of
atonement.i.e., at-one-ment.

Where (in contrast
to the Catholic ritual of confession whereby one confesses sins
against another and looks to the priest as a means and form for
forgiveness and giving absolution...) I have to tell you, that just
never set well with me as a child and still doesn't to this
day.

To my mind, I have
always thought.....who needs a middle-man - you know?

Contrast this with
Yom Kippur whereby it is required that one take a yearly honest
look at their own shortcomings and where they have failed and/or
'sinned' against another and ask for forgiveness....but rather than
going to some other person, such as a priest, rather, one must
confront the other and admit his/her own shortcomings DIRECTLY with
the other person and ask for forgiveness.

If one SINCERELY
asks for forgiveness 3 times and does not receive it, then it is on
the shoulders of the one whom one has been appraoched to forgive
that now bears the burden of said *sins.* and/or
misgivings.

See, this just
makes sense to me personally.

And personally is
one of many so-called "rites" among several others scattered about
in different shapes and sizes out there that I will subscribe to
and/or invest in....in this never-ending journey to weed out what
works and doesn't work for me - again - personally!

That's my story
and by gosh....I'm sticking to it 🙂

tBt

November 21, 2010
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bblue
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Answer absolutely but only if they are open to listening - not
agreeing - listening and only if you are the same.

Got to run - will
throw more on this later.

BBlue

November 22, 2010
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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Reading here, finding it interesting! Will be back !

November 25, 2010
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@puptent.

My understanding
of a person having an "external locus of control" is that it
means the same thing as a person having a very "low internal locus
of control".

What psychological
factors do you think underpins a person's perceptions regarding
where they are located on the spectrum of the "internal locus of
control" concept? After all, it is a spectrum isn't it?; that
is, we are all located somewhere between having an extremly high to
an extremely low locus of control, aren't we? It isn't as simple as
being assigned to only two categories; namely, being located either
on a high or a low "internal locus of control", is it?

November 25, 2010
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puptent
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@Tez,
Hi. So good to hear from you. Since I did not invent this
proverbial wheel of "locus of control", I will not make any
attempts to reinvent it. However in order to clarify things I will
import this information concerning this subject "Locus of control
in social psychology refers to the extent to which individuals
believe that they can control events that affect them.
Understanding of the concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in
1954, and has since become an important aspect of personality
studies.

Individuals with a
high internal locus of control believe that events result primarily
from their own behavior and actions. Those with a low internal
locus of control believe that powerful others, fate, or chance
primarily determine events.

Those with a high
internal locus of control have better control of their behavior,
tend to exhibit more political behaviors, and are more likely to
attempt to influence other people than those with a high external
(or low internal respectively) locus of control. Those with a high
internal locus of control are more likely to assume that their
efforts will be successful. They are more active in seeking
information and knowledge concerning their situation.

One's "locus"
(Latin for "place" or "location") can either be internal (meaning
the person believes that they control their life) or external
(meaning they believe that their environment, some higher power, or
other people control their decisions and their life)".

I use this
information to guide me in the area of religion.

November 26, 2010
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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tbt... the whole catholic church just scares me, ever read the
history of the church and where its going?

November 26, 2010
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truthBtold
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Hey
BFG,

Always good to
hear from ya!

To answer your
question, basically no...or probably better - I'm just not
sure.

On one hand, I do
think that it is nothing less than an abomination how the
bureaucracy leading all the way to the pope has tried to cover-up
all of the sexual abuse performed by some priests. The last I
heard, they were rightly being sued by the victims.

On the other hand,
I have SO BEEN told by one of my previous therapists that I have a
tendency to want to throw the *baby out with the bathwater* - as it
were, as well.

So, in that, I
also feel that there are indeed honorable priests out there as well
who do good, honest work with just the upmost of pure hearts and
intentions whom are being given a bad rap because of the crimes
committed by other priests.

You
know?

I think that I
like living in a somewhat cynical society nowadays, particularly as
the younger folks/the newer generation is concerned. To keep right
on questioning authority - not only in the religious realm, but in
the political arena as well.

I think that's a
*good thing.*

My only serious
concern of late involves all of us to keep actively fighting the
good fight and never letting up with regard to net neutrailty so
that the free forum in the exchanging of ideas which we presently
enjoy should never, ever be squashed or compromised in any way,
shape or form!!!!!!

That's my bone to
pick!

November 27, 2010
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@puptent.

Good to hear from
you too.

If the 'mind', of
which we are conscious, consists of only 'the tip of the iceberg,
then by implication, we are only aware of the 'results', in the
form of conscious thoughts, of much unconscious data into
information conversion processing.

If this
unconscious information processing involves raw data coming from
our sense organs being firstly filtered and secondly by being
assessed by all of our previous mind's programming, of which we are
usually oblivious, then how much control can we exert over this
unconscious process?

IMHO, to the
extent that we can assume the detached position of the observer of
our thoughts and emotional responses, to that extent can we make
conscious judgments about the rationality or otherwise of these
thoughts. If on the other hand we completely become 'as one' with
our thoughts and emotions then we are like an aeroplane on
autopilot responding as per our animalistic fight, flight,
appeasement or immobilization responses to any perceived threat to
our real or imagined self.

How do we jerk the
controls off autopilot? Some say that deep meditation on the
behaviour of our mind is one such method. However, if we do not
acknowledge either the importance or the existence of these
unconscious processes, then we must of necessity blame external
factors for our internal states of mind - to the extent of which we
are aware of same, of course.

So these are some
of the factors that I believe influence the place on the spectrum
of the 'locus of control' at which I perceive myself to be
located.

Beliefs about the
nature of the world combined with ignorance about the true nature
of the workings of the mind would seem to me to underpin how
emotional a person becomes about a challenge to either his or her
religious or political adherences.

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