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Belief or rote learning?

This is sort of a s/o of another question, but it's popped up more than once, so just generally speaking:

If, when asked your opinion about something, your only response is to state what's in your chosen religious text, do you actually understand the religion and believe, or are you just doing what someone told you to do? It seems if there is no opinion to the answer beyond, this is what my book tells me to do, there's not a lot of thought behind why it's being done. If the answer isn't "my books says this and I agree because... " but just "my book says this..." is there really any thought or commitment required? Isn't it just functioning on autopilot without any active involvement?


Asked by NotPanicking at 4:02 PM on May. 17, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (44)
  • I'll be the first to admit that for the first 18 years of my life, it was more rote learning than belief. My parents took me to church every Sunday and Wednesday, and while I knew I didn't agree with everything they taught me, I had never taken the opportunity to really look deeper. When I went to college, I came into my own. I took everything that I had been taught, and researched both the meaning behind them and how I personally felt about it. I figured out what *I* believed about everything from the Bible being infallible to whether or not interracial marriage was "wrong". NOW, I can give opinions with or without quoting the Bible.

    So, to answer the question - I think in many cases they may not know enough beyond the Bible verse they quote. That's not to say that everyone who quotes the Bible has no opinion or thoughts. For some people, beliefs are deeply personal & they may have no desire to discuss it further.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 1:30 AM on May. 18, 2011

  • Yes, I do know my church doctrine, the reasoning behind my beliefs and I have never in my life been accused of being on "auto pilot"

    Answer by adnilm at 5:02 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Simple - when you ask for clarification, do you get it?

    Not usually- either its no answer at all or the same old, same old- "sheep, brainwashed, evil" rhetoric right out of 'I don't have an original thought in my head 101' or worse- they pick up on something someone who does give good answers says and repeat it until we all cry-

    Answer by soyousay at 9:55 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Oh and just in time on another post I found a perfect quote-

    "I would need irrefutable evidence and no, I would not worship him. Based on his reputation in the bible as jealous, petty, unjust, vindictive, bloodthirsty, misogynistic, homophobic, sadomasochistic control freak, he is not worthy of my devotion."

    How many times have we seen this one written?

    Answer by soyousay at 10:25 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Does a person not have a brain to decide whether to accept that religion and scripture as truth? Are they not allowed to ever link belief and "opinion"?

    Answer by asmcbride at 5:05 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Do I understand the religion I believe? I sure do. Can I answer every single question about it? No I can't. I see the word "arrogant" used alot here on CM. Isn't is arrogant to use yourself as your own authority with total certainty? All things are not always ours to understand. People in general have an arrgance about them in the premise that they are entitled to know everything, to obtain the knowledge of things (God for instance) and it's myraid infinities to a point that they know all there is to know. They prop themselves up on wobbly legs in the assumption that they are of supreme intelligence and that there is nothing in existence beyond their grasp. God is a mystery that many people fail to resolve because of these reasons, imo. Obviously I'm talking about Christianity here because that's MY religion.

    Answer by popzaroo at 5:14 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • its been a while since active-scripture quoting has been seen in these sections as the only answer given. the answer-nazis have discredited anyone who answers in such a way so many times, i think they've been scared off for the most part.
    however, if a person believes what a scripture or any text from their own personal holy book and lives it, you can't change the fact that it is part of their answer's reasoning, as they see it .
    sorry, but this is a religion and beliefs section..religious text is gonna be quoted for some people, by some people. like it or lump it. the rest of us simply choose not to waste it when we know its not wanted or appreciated.

    Answer by dullscissors at 5:17 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Like it or not, that OPINION is personal, it's not something that they've copied from a book with nothing to demonstrate they've put absolutely no thought into it.

    Oh yes, I am quite sure they put tons of thought into that- its the anti-Christian party line and I have seen it so many times it may as well be from a book- lack of original thought, is lack of original thought not matter how you spin it-

    Answer by soyousay at 7:36 AM on May. 18, 2011

  • Your personal issue with a few select atheists is not the point of my question

    Oh, I see- your question has everything to do with your personal issue with a select few Bible verse quoters- now I get it- its OK to tow a party line as long as you paraphrase- really truly understanding or having an original thought about the rhetoric they spew has nothing to do with it as long as its just pulled from a website, paraphrased from another poster or the same old, same old narrowly defined stereotype-
    Come on, we see this with so many posts- like "freedom from religion" (its freedom OF religion) or pulling out "separation of church and state" like its a law - and of course my example above-
    You are arguing Bible literalists don't know more than what was written as a basis of their belief making it shallow- but when people use the same book, also in a literal sense to guide non-belief thats OK and well thought out- Got it!

    Answer by soyousay at 1:13 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • Whitenena-

    A) I was not simply referencing YOUR holy text- there are as many individual religions and beliefs as there are stars in the sky, along with them are texts use as a guide, or an instruction manual.

    B) You not only missed my point entirely, you're now in left field jumping up and down, waiting for a fly ball.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 4:26 PM on May. 17, 2011