Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

2 Bumps

Thought this was a good statement

We've been having our issues in the religious sections lately, so when I saw this quoted in the book I'm currently reading it made me think of some of the problem we have here. Just wanted to share and see what everyone thinks :)

"In a true dialogue, both sides are willing to change. We have to appreciate that truth can be received from outside of - not only within - our own group. If we do not believe that, entering into a dialogue would be a waste of time. If we think we monopolize the truth and we still organize a dialogue, it is not authentic. We have to believe that by engaging in dialogue with other persons, we have the possibility of making a change within ourselves, that we can become deeper." - quoted from Thich Nhat Hanh's Living Buddha Living Christ (which I *really* want to read) in If God is Love, by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland.

So, thoughts? Do you agree with this sentiment? Are you here to try to spread *your* truth, or are you here in attempt to grow as well as aid in the growth of others? Do you feel, if you are here merely to convince others of *your* way, that it's something that can, or even should, be done?

Answer Question
 
bandgeek521

Asked by bandgeek521 at 2:05 PM on Jul. 3, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 47 (246,627 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • I don't agree completely. I mean, I do agree that to enter a dialogue you need an open mind and a willingness to listen to the other side. But that doesn't mean you have to go into it willing to be "converted" by the other side. I don't really debate religion expecting that someone will say some magic words that will make me abandon my own beliefs, I know it's not gonna happen. But then again, my purpose isn't to do that to someone else as well. If anything, many times the debates I've participated in here have strengthen my conviction rather than make it weak. That, to me, is also growth.

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:11 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • I completely agree with that statement. Thanks so much for sharing that with us! : ) I think it compliments what I have always been taught. That in order to grow in our own faith, we much learn to listen to and understand the beliefs of others.

    I am here to grow in my faith, and as a person (hopefullly) by attempting to understand what other people believe and why. I may not agree with them, but I can try to hear them out and see where they are coming from. I do understand where some people see their truth as the only one (they are taught that), but I would like to think even those people would try to at least understand other "truths", if only for the purpose of strengthing their own belief in their "truth".
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 2:13 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • "But that doesn't mean you have to go into it willing to be "converted" by the other side."

    I'm not sure that's what the quote is saying. I think what it means is that we are willing to change they way we see the "other side". We don't have to be willing to convert to be willing to change....
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 2:15 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • "I think what it means is that we are willing to change they way we see the "other side"

    With that, I 100% agree. There's nothing more harmful that going into a dialogue or even a debate with prejudiced and misconceptions about the other side and then be unwilling to get rid of those prejudices.
    However, I understood differently because of this comment: "We have to appreciate that truth can be received from outside of - not only within - our own group." Gee... I don't quite agree with that. Of course truth can come in many places, but certainly not ALL places and when we have a strong conviction on truth, then those views that are contradictory automatically don't bring truth to us. We can't be so open minded and so willing to agree with others that we end up seeing truths all over the place regardless of how consistent the ideas are with each other .

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:37 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • "However, I understood differently because of this comment: "We have to appreciate that truth can be received from outside of - not only within - our own group.""

    I don't think he's talking being willing to convert, merely being willing to recognize "truth", or at least inspiration, etc, can come from anywhere. We don't have to be the same religion and agree on everything to be able to agree on something, if you get what I mean. So I think he's referring to the fact that we should be open to the idea that others can offer insight and truth as well, and not that everything is truth or that we need to be so open minded that we have to agree with everything. In fact, in their expansion on this quote, the authors of the book I'm reading do go on to say that they don't mean an open minded acceptance of anything and everything....
    bandgeek521

    Comment by bandgeek521 (original poster) at 2:44 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • So I really think this is just talking about being able to recognize that there is something we can learn from others, even outside our own faith, ways we can be inspired or led to truth or understanding. It's speaking against the closed minded "what you believe is wrong and therefore nothing you can say can have any validity" kind of approach, I think. And I do agree that if someone is unwilling to even consider that the other person/s could have anything of value or merit to say there's almost no point of discussion - unless, of course, one's motives are merely to prove their way superior to those other ways, in which case discussion doesn't usually go so well...
    bandgeek521

    Comment by bandgeek521 (original poster) at 2:46 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • I don't think he's talking being willing to convert, merely being willing to recognize "truth", or at least inspiration, etc, can come from anywhere.

    I think that's the crux of the problem - for some, acknowledging other ideas even exist is tantamount to conversion. And no, those people really shouldn't be bothering to enter into discussions where they have no interest in actually discussing anything. All they're doing is stressing themselves out, seeing enemies everywhere they turn.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:55 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • "I don't think he's talking being willing to convert, merely being willing to recognize "truth", or at least inspiration, etc, can come from anywhere."


    I see a pattern in religious debates, and it involves a sort of stubbornness on the believers behalf. I mean no disrespect when I say this, it's simply an observation. When a belief is held and a truth is offered that is contrary to the belief, the believer will begin their lapse into cognitive bias, denying that truth is independent from their thoughts, if the truth doesn't match their belief. As an atheist, there is nothing to sway me away from, there is no subjective truth that can trump what is collectively acknowledged as the truth. What I have learned here, is to be more diplomatic and patient with believers, and how to slow down enough to take what they write into consideration, so my understanding of their perspective is thorough.

    clarity333

    Answer by clarity333 at 3:16 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • "for some, acknowledging other ideas even exist is tantamount to conversion"

    Touche! No, that's not what I meant. And furthermore, one has to distinguish between a DIALOGUE and a DISCUSSIOn (or a debate). When people dialogue in order to solve a conflict, to find a middle ground or to reach an agreement, then by all means, in order for that to work everyone should be open to find truth in others. When one is discussing or debating, one can still be very sure of his/her position and that doesn't mean we're demeaning the other side because as I said on another question, it's perfectly possible to respectfully disagree with another person.

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 3:49 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • "I see a pattern in religious debates, and it involves a sort of stubbornness on the believers behalf."

    I'm sorry to tell you, but that exact pattern happens i nexactl ythe same way on the Atheists' behalf...

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 3:51 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.
close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN