Spudfuzz, that isn't necessarily no-true-scottsman. Some suggest that the definition of Christianity excludes such people, whereas others believe it does not. If it does, than it's not no-true-scottsman. If it doesn't, than it is such a fallacy. The thing is, the definition is a matter of opinion, so you will have a lot of people arguing over it.
First off, your icon is so adorable <3 But yes, I absolutely hate that, it's rather hard to define some religions and such when there are many kinds of groups within it, and others will say "group A isn't part of the whole religion because they believe this" while said group will say they do because they believe beliefs X, Y, and Z are the most important beliefs of the whole religion. I stopped really calling myself a Christian because I didn't believe in the Bible, and felt the religion would be more accurate if the Word NEVER changed during all of its history, and well... But yeah, I've gone over to Deism. It seems ridiculous that of a very large belief system, people feel they have the ability to define who is and isn't part of the religion or belief system. I still wonder how extremists don't find their actions extreme, even when going against much more firmly established tenants of the belief (what ever happened to "thou shalt not murder?").
Christianity is a system with a code of conduct. It is supposed to be about love and courage and a belief in God as someone who is patient with the shortcomings of his creatures. To be a Christian means that you live (or make an effort at least) to live by that code of conduct. Thus, not living by said code = not a true [so and so]. It's a valid argument.
Atheism is not an organization. Communist governments commited the mass murders to further their agendas. The parties involved claimed atheism despite several of them being originally supported by their practiced religions and attempted to remove whatever influence relugion had over the people.
Except it's not an actual group. There is no organization, no leadership, just a bunch of kids with common agendas.
Take on of their latest attacks against visa and mastercard. Using stolen data they donated thousands of dollars to various charities...those are fraudulent charges and the charities have to pay a fee for each charge back.
I'd say Uganda doesn't have the same precarious tower of apologetics that exists in the West and Europe that would allow them to ignore all the more reprehensible directives of the Bible and thus they take its Iron Age values very seriously, but then Evangelicals from the US supported them making it legal to kill gay people, meaning these Evangelicals would like to do it here, but they know they can't.
I thought that this was going to be a thread about whether or not it's appropriate to lift one's kilt.
Obviously, it isn't. A true Scotsman never lifts his kilt. However, if a person just so happens to be lying at such an angle that he just happens to catch a glimpse at another man's assets, there'll be no blame to pass.
Agreed. However, that is a group, not the actual religion. There is a difference. Ok, real life christian people may have been a bit crazy. But not everyone was. And there will be insane people in religions, and you can't change that.
They don't practice the religion for the group, or to belong to the group. They do it for themselves, and for the sheer feeling of God. What you are talking about is the political religion. Something completely different.
I am totally out of my comfort zone here, so I'm just going to say that the following is said by someone who knows nothing about anything.
From what I can tell, there are psychonuts in all religious groups- well, hell, in all groups of most sorts. Political stuff gets like this too, if I'm not mistaken. "Obama is a/an (insert insult here), he's doing (insert action here) to the people of America in secret!" People get intense about what they believe in. Another way I see it is that, well, there are a lot of nutters in the human race.
Now, I think part of the problem just might be laziness. You can't keep creating a new religion that dissociates you from the zealots, because zealots tend to pop up whenever there are beliefs involved. Except the religions that teach peaceful-ness. I don't know too many Hindus who try to force people to join there religion.
I'm sorry if the above was offensive. I'm scared. ;-;
Yeah and that's the thing. If you ( not personal - in general sense) keep trying to make new groups but psychonuts as you put it keep joining them and defacing the group's reputation/ philosophy, perhaps the real issue is that you need to be proactive about upholding the representation of their group in the public's eye. It's nice to be able to preach peace and love - but if nuts are using your cause as a law-free haven to kill the things they hate in other countries and in general just be everything your group isn't meant to, you need to be vigilant about kicking those traitors to humanity to the curb where they belong. Basically to keep the peace you need to kick some ass too, pure tolerance can only lead to suffering.
And what you wrote is hardly offensive, I've seen much worse. You don't necessarily need to be an expert on an issue to hold an opinion regarding it, but some personal experience with it at the very least helps.
From what I know of religious discussions (those I've had), I think it's better to plead the fact that I'm a barnacle.
Hemm... Then there would have to be very specific guidelines set about by a leader. However, any opponent of the leader could say that the leader made the guidelines himself, rather than God's doing so, which might hurt the image of faith of the religion. Blargh, this confuses me.
I think it's difficult, because it's quite possible that a single church congregation could begin having these discussions and it leads to ejecting "fringe" members, but it's hard to draw the line of what exactly is "fringe". A lot of the things fringe people believe are actually in the bible (or whatever holy book). So how do you say "We want you out because you support bad things" while the person says "but everything I support is right here in the bible"?
That's one of the major problems with Christianity. You have these first century religions that people are trying to make fit into a modern world, when the religion itself is counter productive to civilized behavior.
Christianity in itself is full of insane people. And in some occassions, people turn to religion for interpersonal support. If they are rejected from their said religion, they kinda just crumple up again. Which is still no excuse to stand aside while the nutties run the show. I guess the only way it'd be alright is if the nutties were actually threatening your life if you disobeyed them or turned against them, kinda like Hitler and the Germans. And in that case, they can contact the government if it gets that bad... So you really are spot on. There would be no excuse, even if there was a mini religious Holocaust happening in America. Which I really hope there's not, or else I'm going to feel like a terrible person.
No, but Christianity is more than just saying you're Christian, it's a proscribed doctrine. It's not thoroughly consistent between denominations, but I believe it's core is to love one's neighbour, even if their lifestyle doesn't agree with your own (basically the whole point of the parable of the Good Samaritan).
So if someone doesn't live by any of the doctrines that define Christianity, is it valid to insist that they're a Christian?
Mumblypeg "everyone has their own idea of faith" doesn't cut it: if that's they case, they're wrong to call it Christianity, Christians aren't wrong to call it...not.
Perhaps I should elucidate my point: it isn't condoning bad behavior to denounce someone as not being what they claim they are. In point of fact, it's actually undermining it. Those people want to say "Hey, we're Christians and that's why we do this." When sensible Christians are saying "Um, no you're not, you're doing that because you're mean." Lumping them in as Christians just because they say they are is more often an excuse for people to spurn Christianity than it is a way for "Christians" to "get away" with things. Denouncing them as not Christians IS Christianity's way of dissociating themselves.
Substitute Christian for blankityblank, just following OP example.
We shouldn't lump them together yes, but the actions of the whole need to be analyzed as just that, a whole. We shouldn't label all of a group by the actions of the fringe, but we must never ignore the fringe. Something within the core belief enables them and gives them the identity of the group which they are in, we have to look at all the parts.
Muslim extremists for example do not represent the whole of Islam, but they have to share something with the core of Islam in order for them to be labeled as Muslim. Same with your average right-wing fundy, they share something fundamental. We must analyze both the fringe and the core in order to combat the negatives within each.
Oh, well I'm sure that's partially humility on your part, but in general yeah I think that is true. I was mostly confused because that post implied that loving one's neighbor was the main defining trait of Christianity as opposed to a necessary trait, but she clarified. Ooops on my part.
To be fair, Christianity has not been a monolithic entity since... well, since almost the beginning. And it really isn't fair to impute doctrines, actions, or politics of (f'r instance) American right-wing Fundamentalists to (let's say) Ethiopian Orthodox. Not only is it the case that these really are very different groups, but each might very well say that the other are not true Christians for reasons quite distinct from whatever matter might be under discussion.
When it's the Westboro Baptist Church -- to take another extreme case -- what they do and say is endorsed by virtually NO ONE, and virtually EVERYONE would stop them if they could. How fair is it to say this tiny sect of fewer than 100 people in Topeka, Kansas represents Christianity in any real sense? They *have* been dissociated from every other Christian church. They *have* been purged. So what now?
I definitely agree that we shouldn't be saying that the Westboro Baptist Church is representative of all Christians - they may be Christian on account of their basic theological beliefs, which are in line with the Christian minimum, but they are also the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe. It's just not a reasonable thing to demand that all Christians be made accountable for one sect of nutcases that they have no realistic control over (I think this is less the case when it comes to systemic behaviour of Christianity as a privileged social class, or when it comes to institutions such as the Catholic Church, but that's another matter).
I don't think you really can "purge" them from Christianity on account of their behaviour though. There's no big Christian body in any concrete form that they can be expelled or excommunicated from. At best, you could try to prove that certain essential elements of their doctrine stretch or subvert the essential elements - the minimum - of Christianity. So if, for example, they don't believe Jesus to have been the Messiah, or they believe there is another Messiah, or another God, or something else that strikes at the heart of Christianity's core tenets, you have grounds to potentially discount them as being Christian in a mainstream sense, or at least call them "heterodox".
You could call them "heterodox" for doctrines a good deal less drastic than that, and many certainly would on various grounds.
Nor can you really "purge" them from Christianity, but not for the reason you said. It's simply that in a free country, anyone who wants to call themselves "Christian" can do so, and no one has the legal right to stop them.
The neat little thing about the WBC is that since they have been purged, you can very conveniently direct all and any hatred / laws / retaliation or what have you without affecting innocents bystanders since they've conveniently grouped themselves up for you. The point is to drive those kinds of extremists to the outskirts of society. They only can and will keep the company of those who share the same beliefs so it's an effective means of killing off (not literally) that kind of insanity. They can throw all the tantrums they want at science and progress - they'll never be taken seriously and never have any real influence to change policies or fuck things up in general for other people.