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Cultural Literacy & Religion Question 1

What religions do you think people (as in "the public") should have a basic knowledge of (do you even think "the public" *should* have a basic knowledge of religion)? What do you think that basic knowledge should entail (basic tenants and teachings, a brief history, important persons, holidays, etc)?

(and, if you don't mind, how would you religiously/spiritually label yourself?)

 

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thalassa

Asked by thalassa at 5:15 PM on Nov. 28, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 21 (12,044 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • I think in any culture, you should have enough knowledge of dominant religions to understand references in secular literature. I'm an atheist.
    SWasson

    Answer by SWasson at 5:24 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • i don't think its relevant for anyone to know the basics of any religion outside of the one they chose. i don't see it as a 'should', either. its that little thing called Freedom..you can educate yourself about things, or you don't have to. you can have a religion, or leave it alone.


    unless a religion is the law of the land, its nothing that consumes my tiny thoughts..not day-to-day living, not holidays, nor religous persons, etc.


    jmho

    dullscissors

    Answer by dullscissors at 6:47 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • "i don't think its relevant for anyone to know the basics of any religion outside of the one they chose."

    As a person that lives in a religiously pluralistic society as member of a minority faith, I would have to disagree. I firmly believe that there is a case to be made for a basic understanding of religion and religions at the very least as they pertain to civic life and one's role as a citizen to make informed decisions.
    thalassa

    Comment by thalassa (original poster) at 6:56 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • and you have that right to disagree..freedom of religion. like i said, unless a religion becomes a law, its not a 'should be/relevant' issue for me. FOR ME, since you asked what we thought.
    what informed decisions do i have to make as a citizen that may stem from any knowledge of another religion other than my own? what action on my part is dependent on someone else's religion, within the bounds of the law as it now stands? unless i'm forgetting something, none.
    dullscissors

    Answer by dullscissors at 7:24 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • "what action on my part is dependent on someone else's religion, within the bounds of the law as it now stands? "

    Well, in the mid 90's a Colorado juror busted out a Bible and read from Leviticus--the eye for an eye, etc passage...and then told his fellow jurors to go home and consult that particular text. The next day, the jury chose the death penalty, on the basis of that discussion.

    Disregarding the issue of using the Bible to determine one's jury vote (which the Colorado Supreme Court eventually ruled against, causing *quite* the ruckus in the conservative Christian community)...its somehow ironic that the Bible consulting Christians, in choosing to pick that particular verse to determine how to carry out their civic duty apparently never read Romans, Matthew, 1 Peter, 1 Thessalonians, etc.

    Your individual religious illiteracy may not affect anyone else...but religious illiteracy still affects society as a whole.
    thalassa

    Comment by thalassa (original poster) at 7:49 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • i never said i was religiously illiterate..and it seems you want to debate my opinion, rather than an issue. go ahead. i'm making dinner and likely won't carry on this 'debate'.
    maybe someone else would appreciate being told what they think is wrong. idk. good luck with that!
    dullscissors

    Answer by dullscissors at 7:53 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • Never mind that this *is* in the debate section...
    First, its impossible for anyone to have total religiously literacy--too many religions, denominations, etc (the comment of which was actually meant as a universal-you, not a you-you, though it came out badly, for which I apologize).
    Second, I based my comment on what you said: "what informed decisions do i have to make as a citizen that may stem from any knowledge of another religion other than my own?" and earlier "i don't think its relevant for anyone to know the basics of any religion outside of the one they chose."
    In this particular case, the persons in question didn't even know the basics of the religion THEY chose...so clearly, religious literacy affects at least *some* people on an individual basis in a religiously pluralistic society (which you claimed it did not, and of which there are plenty of other examples of how it *does*, if you really want them).
    thalassa

    Comment by thalassa (original poster) at 8:26 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • Like dull, I don't know that "should" is the proper word here. I can only speak for myself. I know more about Christianity than any other religion as that is my religion. I know the basics of several other religions, though nothing in-depth. I've made it a point to learn about JWs and Mormons because they are the only two religions that come knocking on my door and I want to be able to debate intelligently.
    popzaroo

    Answer by popzaroo at 8:55 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • I think it's a good idea to educate yourself on other religions because, like it or not, religion plays a huge part in many people's lives and they make life decisions based on the tenets of their religion of choice.

    Learning about another religion does not, in any way, diminish your own. It could actually give you a greater appreciation of your own. Not to mention, give you a better understanding of why others make some of the decisions they make.

    I find it a little sad that people don't want to expand their knowledge of other religions.

    I'm a spiritual Pagan ... I don't follow any set religion.
    SpiritedWitch

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 9:50 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

  • "I don't know that "should" is the proper word here"

    I'm not entirely sure that "should"' is the proper word either, but I don't think its necessarily *wrong*. I think the problem with "should" tends to be one of interpretation, rather than meaning (since there are several definitions of "should" ranging from obligation to desired state)...

    I might add that I think there are other types of information needed to be culturally literate--historical, scientific, economic, political, etc--if for no other reason than to be more effective citizens.
    thalassa

    Comment by thalassa (original poster) at 10:19 PM on Nov. 28, 2011

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