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  #1  
Old April 26th, 2009, 07:06 PM
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Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objects

In my short time here at Heroscapers.com, I have seen several conversation in the General forum regarding a whole host of religious issues. While most of these conversations shy away from overtly religious material (i.e. theology, hermeneutics, etc), most people are willing to share their beliefs with regards to the issue of discussion (homosexuality, politics, environment, etc). However, there have been a few times where a newer member will start a strictly religious thread and things typically get out of hand. I have seen it happen, and been involved in talking a newer member out of starting a thread like this in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzie Fuzz View Post
Also, the Hangout isn't a spambox for bad grammar. Most of us there use better grammar than some of the olduns I've seen out on the main forum, and we have very interesting and educated conversations there. We have a very interesting conversation going right now about theology that hasn't disintegrated into bickering or insults, after 10 pages or so.
I came across this quote in the Forum Conduct thread, and it intrigued me. Is it a fluke, or do our younger members have a better sense of civility with regards to religious discussion then the older members? Are we older members so set in our thinking (immovable objects) that religious conversations (unstoppable forces) cause problems with our refined way of life and revert us back to our instinctual natures?

POINT OF THIS THREAD: Why is there a successful (thus far) thread on Theology in the Hangout, but not (in recent days) in the General forum? Do people become less open-minded as they age?

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  #2  
Old April 26th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

Actually, one reason I think this is is because we don't delute the thread with links. I've taken a small part in the discussions, and I'm surprised at the lack of insults for the most parts. And yes, I think that a lot of people are more open minded for the most part when in their teens or thereabouts. Except me. I'm 100% sure of what I believe in.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 07:20 PM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

It's not a fluke. The thread is very good.

It is more of an evolution/creation thread at first, and then it turned into "does god love you?" and then it turned into "I'm not god, how should I know??" Hehe...judging by the last one I think we science-based people win.

In all seriusness, both sides have been putting up some good arguements. I'm pretty proud that we have this thread, and that it works so well. We have currently have no real insults (though there was a missunderstanding that was cleared up.)
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Old April 26th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

The exact opposite has happened with me. I was very set in my ways in my teens (wouldn't listen to any opinion but my own) and now in my mid 30s I'm much more willing to listen.

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Old April 26th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

I think it's mainly because it's a much smaller group doing the discussing. With fewer people, it becomes much more focused, as you don't have people dropping in and out, like the threads here have. We've only got about 20 or so people discussing it in the Hangout, whereas here it's more like 100.

Also, everybody made sure from the get-go that we knew it merely a debate, none of it was personal, and everyone's been great about keeping their cool and avoiding the insults.

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Old April 26th, 2009, 11:41 PM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

I read recently in the introduction to a book "Theology is best done among friends." Topics of religion, theology, spirituality, etc. are very personal issues for many people and it is hard not to take a rejection of one's theological opinion as rejection of oneself. Thus, for a good theological discussion to work there needs to be a very firm commitment to relationship between the people involved. (I once had a friend who came from a very different theological persuasion, and every week or so we would get together to wrestle with one another. We would holler, pound the table, call each other a heretic, and the next week we would be at it again. I think if we hadn't had the friendship first, and respected each other, we could not have had those discussions.)

I wonder if the impersonal nature of the internet makes it harder for us to view each other as real people behind the pixels. Perhaps those who are younger have a firmer grasp on technology and relationship because they have had it as a part of their life at a more formative time, than us older folks. On the other hand i could be just babbling like an idiot.

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Old April 26th, 2009, 11:59 PM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

Maybe when you are older, you have been religious longer and have become more entrenched in your beliefs than someone half your age, and you'd be more likely to offend/be offended.

EDIT: If someone has been building a skyscraper for 10 years and someone tries to knock it down, they are going to get more angry than someone who has only been building for 5.

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Last edited by ParaGoomba Slayer; April 27th, 2009 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Added an analogy
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Old April 27th, 2009, 12:29 AM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

Most adults have made a choice in their religious beliefs while most kids believe what they are "told" to believe.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 01:18 AM
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Re: Religion and Age: Unstoppable Forces and Immovable Objec

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaGoomba Slayer View Post
If someone has been building a skyscraper for 10 years and someone tries to knock it down, they are going to get more angry than someone who has only been building for 5.
However, if one tries to understand how the skyscraper is built, then it is possible to share and learn about other skyscrapers.

Revdyer said in another thread, "Will anything I have to say to you today possibly change your faith?" Perhaps if those who are so inclined to discuss religion were to approach it with the attitude of understanding someone else's "skyscraper" instead of knocking it down, things would be a lot less hostile. Personally, I have had more insight into my own faith from people and sources who I do not agree with, than from those who agree with me. Faith is dynamic and changing, it should not be static. Whenever we enter a discussion we run the risk of being changed. Change causes growth (and requires wisdom), and all living things must grow (including faith).

Many people in my tradition (Eastern Orthodoxy) have the attitude that dialogue with those of other traditions are useless because, "we are right and they are wrong." I find this attitude very sad as it cuts us off from the outside world. It does not allow us to learn about others, and at the same time, it prevents others from learning from us. Even if two sides of a discussion believe themselves to be correct theologically, it does not mean that they cannot learn from each other's faith.

I don't know that age really has too much to do with it, as I have met some pretty hard nosed young people, and just as many intelligent, thoughtful adults in matters of faith.

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