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Was it ever really belief?

If someone can break one of the most cardinal rules of their faith (and I don't mean a gray area people don't agree on, but one they personally affirmed), did they ever really believe?

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NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 12:42 PM on Apr. 26, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,172 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • Going against the absolute core value which all else is built upon? The absolute basis of belief? As fas as I am concerned, if you do not possess the integrity to maintain belief, and live by it, your belief was always finite, small and unimportant- thus making it hardly a belief to begin with.
    I could start down the hypocrisy road... but I don't have the mental bandwidth, or down votes left for the anons.
    ObbyDobbie

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 12:47 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I don't like judging for myself the faith of others, or how strongly they may or may not be convicted with that faith... I honestly think it depends on the situation. Individuals who have a strong sense of pacifism fundamental to their beliefs, for example, may be faced with a situation where they may have to act against that, in defense of themselves or their loved ones. Maybe it means that they don't unconditionally believe in pacifism, since they allowed an exception, but it doesn't change that they may still very strongly believe in nonviolence. Extreme situations cause us to make extreme choices....
    Now, if we're talking about pastors shouting that being gay is wrong, and then turning around and getting caught in the act, I tend to have a harder time being as understanding...
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:01 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of suicide by those who practice one of the denoms that strictly forbid it.
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 1:02 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Ohh... gotchya.

    That seems, to me, one of the most complicated situations of all...
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:10 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I think that the deep, raw hopelessness that precedes suicide carries more weight than any personal faith for most people. If someone is at that point, they feel there is no answer left, so I can imagine that even if they do truly believe what they are about to do is unforgivable, it no longer matters because regardless it's a release from the crippling agony they're in.
    KelleyP77

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 1:13 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I'm not referring to suicide, but sin in particular. I don't believe suicide is any worse than any other sin. In fact, I believe the sin of pride is the one that is most common and the most easy to overlook making it one of the most dangerous because it can blind us to the fact that there is indeed sin.

    Belief, or faith is something demonstrated by the life one lives. Faith gives us courage to keep going on with our spiritual walk when we make mistakes. Believing that faith makes us perfect is one of the biggest ways to set ourselves up for a fall.
    NikkiMomof2grls

    Answer by NikkiMomof2grls at 1:16 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of suicide by those who practice one of the denoms that strictly forbid it.


    I don't think that's a case that you comment on either way as suicide is often linked to extreme depression and the person was likely mentally unwell. Whether a person believed or not is not an indicator of their mental health which can lead to such things no matter how much faith they may have. It's an apples to carrots comparison.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:16 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • "Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of suicide by those who practice one of the denoms that strictly forbid it."

    That's a tough one. Because when one makes the choice to take their own life, it's usually because of extreme depression and hopelessness. When a person has gone that far in their depression, they are likely no longer the person they once were, and therefore all beliefs they once held may not apply.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 1:21 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Many atheists are former believers. Yes, some believed whole-heartedly at one point in time.
    anng.atlanta

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:50 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I don't think that's a case that you comment on either way as suicide is often linked to extreme depression and the person was likely mentally unwell. Whether a person believed or not is not an indicator of their mental health which can lead to such things no matter how much faith they may have. It's an apples to carrots comparison.

    --

    I was basically going to say something similar about suicide resulting from mental illness. In some cases, someone may not truly believe if they violate one of the basic core tenets of their beliefs, but the lines between faith and mental well-being may be blurred for this particular type of example IMO.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 1:52 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

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