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November 1, 2012
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Are religious debates too Western-centric?

:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
I am an Atheist, but the problem I have with a lot of religious debates be it atheists vs. religious people, atheists vs. atheists and religious people vs. religious people, is that these debates just stop at Western civilization.

People tend to forget that the Abrahamic religions such as "Christianity, Judaism and Islam" came from the Middle East and there's also Buddhism from Asia. I never hear much about Chinese religions such as Taoism.

As someone who's spoken to a Muslim, I've learned that Europeans (who before they were mostly Christian, had worshiped Norse gods such as Thor) used Christianity as a means of colonizing other lands and that Western Christianity is sort of a "perverted" version of Middle Eastern Christianity because of the racism perpetuated by a lot of white male "Christians." Not to mention that there are Atheists who brag about how secular the West is compared to the Middle East while ignoring the fact that there are secular Middle Eastern countries too so I never got the hype over why people actually like Richard Dawkins because I've heard that he's an absolute prick.

So are we too US-centric/Euro-centric in our religious debates here?
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:iconwolfofrebellion:
WolfOfRebellion Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist
Well, according to my experience, most people that I debated with were from west. They kept calling me "retard from WBC" :|
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
Since when did the WBC exist in Serbia?

I swear, I'm beginning to hate Westerners more than I hate weeaboos.
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:iconwolfofrebellion:
WolfOfRebellion Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist
WBC don't exist in Serbia, however some people here on dA compared me with them. Like they never heard for Catholics or Orthodox. :|
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:icondidj:
Didj Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
I can't really recall the last time that someone came knocking on my door trying to convert me to Shintoism. Or when people where demanding that the Hindu story of creation be taught in science classes. Or the last time I saw a anyone standing on a street corner, screaming at people though a microphone about how no one will never reach enlightenment unless they accept Buddha into their lives.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
I'm aware of the whole thing about knocking on your door and saying "Hey let me tell you about so-and-so, got a minute?" But I wonder if it's like that elsewhere at least on a grand scale.
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:iconcreyk:
creyk Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That could be because the western world is the most advanced, and we are western people as well.
Why would we care about their religious problems, when we have ours?
I agree with what you wrote in your opening about Christianity being a tool by the rulers way back. And well then, as the generations were taught those things over and over again, it just became very ingrained in people's thinking.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Why is RD an absolute prick? And since when is being nice necessary to being right?

And of course we fucking are. Most of us are bloody from the US or europe! This is an english speaking art site! The vast majority of major english speaking countries where people interested in art sites are liable to exist with proper internet connections, have a christian majority in their populations!
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
You know there's reasonable pricks and there's just pricks. That's how it is. That's what I can say about Dawkins.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Why specifically is this prick just a prick?
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
For starters, he attacks Islam more than he attacks Christianity. Since when has Islam been a threat to us? "Islam one of the greatest evils?" He also acts as if the West is superior to the "Islamic world."

If we're going to talk human rights, why don't we start with ourselves before acting like we can talk about how awful Sharia law is? Yeah, Sharia law is awful, but you know the US and NATO supported the Taliban and Saudi Arabia wants us to bomb the shit out of Iran. We know that there are Christians who've pretty much done shit like homophobia, sexism and whatnot. Our society is full of pots calling the kettle black.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, but we hate them. They are the fringe of our society comparatively, and many people are not happy with our country`s foreign policy.

Can the same be said for the majority of Islam dominated countries?

I do not hold such a radical view, but I will admit I prefer modern Christianity on the whole, to modern Islam.
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:iconpokecat:
pokecat Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A bit of that is due to cencorship in their own part of the globe, like banning youtube in some places.

So its of no surprize to see a western website to be of mostly western ideals.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Censorship? And you know this because?
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:iconpokecat:
pokecat Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I didn't mean to sound like I know everything about it...

Anyway, did at one point China censor some google searches involving freedom and the like? That is what I ment.

I don't know if DA will get the same treatment or not. (Hope not)
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
The whole "China censoring the internet" thing was nothing more than a distraction to keep people away from real issues such the lack of human rights in the US. People who call China a "tyranny" are nothing more than pots calling the kettle black.
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:iconpokecat:
pokecat Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"People who call China a "tyranny" are nothing more than pots calling the kettle black."

I agree, China is just another country with a diffrent view.

The distraction worked, it was all they talked about the whole time.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Here? Yeah.

"As someone who's spoken to a Muslim"--but that doesn't make me think we should start having more Eastern oriented debates. If the West is what most people know, stick to it.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Never said that we should though. Just wondering if people would learn from experience since a lot of people tend to act as if they know everything about Islam or other religions besides Christianity for that matter.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Which experience?
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
The experience of the believers of religious groups from the other side of the globe of course.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
But if the majority is Western anyway, doesn't it make sense to focus on that?
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Just focusing on the West is one thing but imposing views on elsewhere is another.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
How is this imposing views on elsewhere?
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
I can write a whole book on this subject. I thought the cause was the lack of age in this forums, thank you for pointing out that its a western tradition unrelated to age.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
I'm glad you agree. Even some of the Westerners here admit that the forum is a tad too Western.
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:iconfrozenglyph:
Frozenglyph Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
There are many "evil" in far far east religions but people watch anime and find ninjas and shit awesome so they dont care. Reason why (western)people don't have interest in buddhism and others is. It doesn't concern them. They don't shove it their mouth in this side of globe.

Muslims want to make their believes to be seen, like putting their prayer houses there and here. Extremist have modern day crusades going on. Many christians don't like others opinions of different views and atheist also want their opinions to the masses (and that is just as mow down thing - could be even brutally shot down in some very religious countries)

It's US/EU Centric because this is "western" forum and so on.

I know some stuff about asian religions because it's taught in our schools.. Atleast they did that when i was a kid. Not sure now but we did have info about every dominating religion.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Ah yes, people tend to think Japan is just Anime and Ninjas. Don't get me started on that even though I'm Asian (half-Chinese). A lot of Americans tend to think that Asia is just Japan, China and Korea (we're the worst in geography) yet forget about countries like India, the -stan countries, Bangladesh, what have you. We pretty much never speak about Vietnam unless we bring up the military intervention over there.
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:iconskvattram:
Skvattram Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
We know more about western religions in the western world, right? It's pretty natural.
We feel more comfortable talking about things we're familiar with.
We also like to talk about things that affects us directly.
That's why the debates are "Western-centric". And I don't really see why that would be a bad thing.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
As I've said countless times, being concerned with ourselves is one thing, but imposing your experiences on others is another.
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:iconskvattram:
Skvattram Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
Now I don't quite understand what you're talking about.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
Let me put it this way:

Let's say someone from the Middle East or Africa discovers these forums and they read a bunch of people talking about how everything in those two regions is socially, technologically, economically and politically backwards. What do you think they would see us?
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:iconskvattram:
Skvattram Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
Depends on if they agree or not.
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Have you even heard Richard speak?... He's polite, almost to a fault. I really think he could stand to be more aggressive. No doubt the people you heard that from think a calm argument which doesn't pussyfoot around is the height of arrogance and brutality.

Anyway, of course we're Western-centric. We're concerned about what happens to us, and Western-centric religion is the most pervasive, so it gets the most debate time.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
He's still a typical Westerner one way or another, so I could care less of what he says.

Being concerned with ourselves is one thing, but acting like we know more about Eastern religions than the ones who practice them is another.
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
It doesn't take an adherent to call bullshit when they see it.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
Except the only problem is that bullshit is in the eye of the beholder.
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
No. It's not. Religious claims can be verified. If they are falsified, they're bullshit.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
So what you're saying is that someone who's probably never spoken to a Muslim before in person and who would find his religion (or aspects of it) bullshit has more of a say than the Muslims themselves or those with experience with Muslims?

I'm not denying that there's batshit psychos who blatantly make shit up. But what about the believers of that said religion who will objectively investigate the claims made by their fellow believers?
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Is the implication that experience with a religion makes one more authoritative? Because truth is not decided by consensus.
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:iconblackpoppies:
blackpoppies Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Definitely! Even the concept of 'religion' is just a western word which old white British guys attached to cultures they found when they travelled to the new world which seemed to share something with the Abrahamic faiths. It's very difficult to get away from western thought when discussing religion because it's historically so dominant in it, which is a real shame.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
Don't forget how people talk Christian but don't do Christian.

Western Atheists also seem to hop on bandwagons too.
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:iconblackpoppies:
blackpoppies Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Meh, I think that the whole bandwagon deal is just human nature.
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:iconvulpimo:
Vulpimo Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
1. Western civilization is the richest in religious systems and history, it has always been the most influential region of the world, so it's kinda obvious that many things revolve around it.
2. There is no such thing as 'western' and 'middle eastern' Christianity, since it was one religion from the start. It got seperated twice, but 'middle eastern' Christianity isn't anything 'stand alone'.
3. It's not about being secular, but the fact that it's more advanced morally, in terms of society, legal systems, etc.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
1. The problem is though that people from the West act as if the Abrahamic religions originated in the West when it's actually from the Middle East. How else do you have this image of "White Jesus?"
2. See #1
3. The "more advanced" thing was just out of economic politics in which many of the poor were exploited to have the huge buildings built.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Near east. When talking in prehistoric to historic terms we prefer to refer to it as the Near East. Middle East in this domain is India.

Qualitative judgements in many domains consider the west a lot more developped generally than the middle east. Plus our "renaissance" and series of socio-economic interactional revolutions does mean we have been dragging the world along for the last couple of centuries. I would severely contest more developped morally as far as our foreign policies go, but I could say "modern" or secular morality actually has a serious weight in society, where it does not seem to hold any in many middle eastern societies majoritively dominated by muslims.
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:iconvulpimo:
Vulpimo Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
1. Actually they originated from Jerusalem, which was under Roman rule, and Christianity has spread MOSTLY in Roman Empire, which was in the middle of Europe. And yes, Jesus was white (he was a Jerusalem jew and this ethnic group has always been white)

2. Still, there is nothing like 'middle eastern' Christianity, it's just a part of European Christianity.

3. Not only econimically, but also in legal systems and society. They overally stay on the 'next' level of civilization.
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:icondragonquestwes:
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
1. No, Jesus was not white in the sense you would think he is. He was Middle Eastern and had somewhat darker skin. Being a Jew doesn't necessarily mean that you are white. Yes, there are white Jews but Judaism =/= white.

2. Your argument contradicts your "no such thing as Western Christianity/Middle Eastern Christianity" argument.

3. Those legal systems pretty much protected the rich and those advancements were at the cost of millions being overworked.
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:iconvulpimo:
Vulpimo Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
1. It's not what I mean. If you divide people by races, you'll see that according to science there are 3 of them. White, Black and Asian. So these ethnic groups fall under the 'white'. It's a simplification, but the whole idea of a 'race' is simplifying things.

2. Actually, no. I said that there is nothing like middle eastern Christianity, because it's a PART of Christianity. To put it in a simple way... like a cake. If you slice a piece, it's still the same cake, only in parts.

3. As a matter of fact, yes, but they are far more advanced than the middle eastern ones. It's not about who protects what, it's about comparing a very complex idea to the very simple one. When religion put the middle eastern countries in stalemate, Europe developed rapidly, and invented many, many things that are foundations of modern legislation. Human Rights, International Society, Nulla crimen sine lege, dividing religion and country, dividing 'sin' from 'crime', stability of the legal system, administration and its control, it all comes from Europe. Plus the moral system. The gap between morality of muslims, which stopped developing long ago, and the rest of the world which kept increasing moral standards, is enormous.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
1. How on earth are you defining "white"? It's certainly not a term that existed at the time.

I also think you're disregarding the richness and complexity of Asian civilizations.
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:iconvulpimo:
Vulpimo Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
1. No, it didn't but it does now. Plus it's simplification.

I'm not disregarding Asian civilizations, but the middle eastern ones. It's obvious that they are far behind the world when it comes to society and morality, and it's caused by their religion who directly prevented them from developing. Just like Christianity slowed the development of the Europe for some time.
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