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What makes you an expert?

I have seen so many statements made on this site about what one group of people are or what their faith says about them. If you are not a Jewish person, you do not have the right to make comments on what Jewish people are. If you are not a Christian you do not have a right to say who Christians are. If you are not an atheist you have no right to assume you know what an atheist is. The list goes on and on and on.... why is it that so many people believe they are an expert on a faith if they do not believe it or follow it? And obviously there are people who experience each religon or faith or belief the way they want to and feel comfortable with. SO PLEASE TELL ME IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO SAYS ATHEIST DO THIS, CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THIS....WHAT DEEMED YOU QUALIFIED IF THIS IS NOT HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE? Does this bother anyone else or am I easily offended today?

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 1:23 PM on Aug. 13, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (18)
  • " Jewish people only care about money " " Atheist just think they're smarter than everyone else, and really don't know anything" " Christians do everything out of fear and the failure to open their mind to other possiblities" and so on and so on
    ---------------
    Regardless of expertise, these are stereotypes and shouldn't be said by anyone who wants to maintain any personal integrity :-)
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 2:08 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • I am not even an EXPERT of my own faith, but I know a little bit about other faiths to comment, and I also have my opinion to which I'm entitled. Not everyone who answers questions for other faiths is completely ignorant of such faiths or lack thereof. Alot of people, for example, became Atheists because they did alot of research on many different religions and didnt like any of them. That is actually the way most people choose their religion. I, by birth, am Catholic. There was time when I explored Wicca, Satanism, Lutheran, and Paganism. I went back to my roots because that was closer to my experiences in life, and I liked it better. I didn't study those other religions in full detail, I just read a few books on each, some was out of pure curiosity. Am I an EXPERT? No, but I know the basics principles on each. I think everyone has something important to say.
    mumma28

    Answer by mumma28 at 1:32 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • Stop pissing and moaning. A lot of people have been members of one or the other for most their lives or were raised in it, then changed. Get over it.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:36 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • I don't. I know what I know of Christianity, having grown up with it my whole life,and having studied it in depth the last 6 years, since I've been saved. Expert, though? Not hardly. As for other belief systems, I've not studied them,so I can't say with any certainty what they do or don't do. It's not my place to,anyway,since that's not where my beliefs lie. Many of the Atheists and Pagans on here were once in the Christian faith,and can speak from their experiences. That's pretty much the way I see it,I wouldn't begin to try to say what other faiths do or think.
    stvmen88

    Answer by stvmen88 at 1:38 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • I don't call myself an expert, and if someone asks a question about another faith I will only answer if I know the answer from my studies (which, admittedly are extensive and ongoing, but not infallible), and even then I say that if I am wrong, will someone of said faith please correct me, that my answer is just my understanding, and I do not claim to be the absolute authority on anything.

    I do discuss religion a lot, and therefore talk with people of other faiths, and have been told that I have a pretty good understanding of other beliefs, so I feel comfortable expressing what I've learned without being afraid that its way off course, but I do always admit that I could be wrong.

    Being a Universalist, I don't really stick to one religion, I practice syncretism, meaning I pull from all different religions and faiths, so even though I'm not Muslim, for example, I do pull a LOT from Islam and thus have a decent understanding...
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:51 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • I hope that makes sense - and I'm not saying I'm an expert, just that I at least feel comfortable with my understanding of other religions, and comfortable sharing said understanding.

    But if I am ever wrong I will gladly admit it, and do hope to be corrected.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:52 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • (op here) I have a ton of respect for people who do research on faith of all types- I am not "pissing and moaning" either

    My topic is based on people who make general statements about a faith, I just find it ignorant.

    Such as - " Jewish people only care about money " " Atheist just think they're smarter than everyone else, and really don't know anything" " Christians do everything out of fear and the failure to open their mind to other possiblities" and so on and so on
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:05 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • But I'm with you OP. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say that "Christianity is this or that" and then when they give their reason, they couldn't be more mistaken about the Christian belief, they have a very limitted or uneducated view on the topic they're talking about OR they read it off of a website and it's not even their own opinion. I don't even go there. I do know quite a lot about other religions but I don't use it to make negative judgement calls and I don't assume that I know as much as the believer's themselves. When I speak about another person's beliefs (i.e. "Jews believe X or X") I always leave it open with a "correct me if I'm wrong."
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 2:11 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • Thank you NovemberLove. that was exactly what I am talking about! I posted this because of an answer I read for a post called "what's the difference" - it doesn't matter if you are an Atheist or a Christian a response saying X do X because ....is just so silly. I could never say X are X if I'm not an X !!!!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:21 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • Not an expert but Ive learned and grown in my understanding of various religions, including what I study and practice now and what I was raised in.

    If I know something....I answer the question to the best of my ability. Thats it, its still my opinion when boiled down and you will never see me start with...."Im an expert so this is the way it is....blah blah blah".
    Amaranth361

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 2:25 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

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