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Why do some people feel the need to push their beliefs onto others?

 
 
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 12:57 pm
I'm not what one would call religious, nor am I an atheist. I have my beliefs and am content with those beliefs. Now I know that not every religious person out there is a fanatic who thinks everyone should believe the way they do, but I have heard stories about those, and even come across a few, who do.

My question is simple: Why?

The United States is supposed to be a nation where everyone is free to have a faith different from others, if they so choose. Now I know that there are several different religions around this country, including but not limited to, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, and Judaism, among others.

If people can believe whatever they want, why can't some accept that, even when they know there is no official national religion?

Unfortunately, the only instances I've seen and heard of had to do with Christianity, so I apologize now if it seems like I'm picking on just them.

But the question still remains: Why should others believe what you believe? Why do you think you have to change someone's beliefs to match your own? Who says your beliefs are the right ones? Who said there's a "right" way to believe in the first place?

A lot of the door-to-door religious promoters will ask if you would like to learn about their faith. Usually, if you say "No thanks." they'll accept that and move on. But when you start talking about things of a religious nature that differ from the beliefs of a fanatic in earshot, chances are if they're bold enough they'll come over and try to talk to you about accepting their beliefs over your own. And chances are if you say you're content with your beliefs over theirs or try some other way to dismiss them, they may try to harass you about it until you either accept their beliefs as your own (and they might just be able to tell when you're trying to lie your way out of there), or call security, police, or other law-enforcement officials over. Or some other, more violent method of dismissal (I wouldn't recommend that).

Again, I am perfectly content in my beliefs. So what gives you the right to try to tell me I'm wrong when I've made it clear that I don't want to hear it?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 3,500 • Replies: 27
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FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 01:28 pm
@RexDraconis111,
I think we retain information as a child that we believe in, agree with, what ever that information is..

Could the word "Passion" have something to do with it? If you are truly passionate about something don't you live and breathe it? And, if someone tries to put that passion down in any way, don't you stand up for it? That belief?

The sad part is when two people get together, of different "religions" and it causes a rift between their relationship, or if they do not get together because of the said beliefs, being different and therefore not allowed.

I think this form of passion has alot to be answered for, where it divides people.

I believe in the Universe that being, what comes around goes around, put it out there and believe it will happen it will. Yes, I have stated that to people but only when asked, or when I really wanted something to happen and believed it, and it did, I'd comment on it... To me, it's up to the individual if they believe and/or understand, my way of thinking, I wouldn't force it, yet I am a very passionate person in all I do.
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 02:06 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
That's a good and valid point.

There's nothing wrong with Person A passionately defending his or her beliefs when asked about them by Person B.

It's when Person A tells Person B that Person B's beliefs are wrong and that they should believe what Person A believes, even knowing that Person B is content with his/her beliefs, that I find wrong or at least irritating.

So again: Why does Person A find it necessary to continue to try to change Person B's beliefs when Person B makes it clear that they don't want Person A to try to change them?

Sure Person A is passionate about his/her beliefs, and that's great, but why try to push them onto Person B when Person B is just as passionate about his/her beliefs?

That's what I'm trying to get at. You're passionate about your beliefs? Awesome. You should be. You've come to these beliefs through the way you were raised and through searching your heart, among other things, so who am I to tell you you're wrong?

I can probably say that I'm just as passionate about my beliefs, but I'm not going to try to convince you that my beliefs are right and yours aren't. You're free to believe what you want, no matter how different your beliefs are from mine.

Am I making any sense? Or am I confusing my own argument?
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 02:45 pm
@RexDraconis111,
You're making sense:)

I could then argue, wisdom, non-wisdom... Lost Soul / Found Soul no punt intended sort of:)

That being, maybe those who are happy within themselves, know who they are, accept people for who they are, don't judge, are mature, hold some wisdom of life, have learnt alot in life, regardless of their passion are happy to let people be themselves, believe in what they want to, it's their life.

Those, who are lost, haven't found themselves, haven't learnt much about life, just live day to day, and therefore their belief is something they hold onto, maybe all they hold onto, try to force that to others so that there is a commonality, someone they can relate to, in this otherwise, maybe, lost, lonely world of theirs...

IDK without asking them:) Just a thought.
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 04:04 pm
If I made a comment about a TV show, be it positive or negative, and someone within earshot who was a bit of a fan heard me, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they responded. Taking it further, if they were a huge fan or at least if said show was a significant part of their life (!) in some way, I'd certainly be surprised if the response was calm and clinical. The flipside is that greater investment doesn't necessarily mean a greater chance for response as they may be afraid of having their deep-seated ideas questioned. But I don't see religion as an exception here at all. I don't take it as a question of "should" or "have to" but simply as desire/want. They simply cannot help themselves.

I guess there are different examples of it. Sometimes it comes from a place of self doubt, other times it is an almost childlike delight in shared experience.

FYI: Whenever I come across someone who either hasn't watched The Wire or dislikes it, I die a little inside.
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 04:47 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
You know, that actually makes sense. I just wish that some of them weren't dicks about it.
0 Replies
 
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 04:56 pm
@Ashers,
Okay, that makes sense. And you're right. I would also be surprised to here a calm and clinical response to something like this. Damn us emotional humans, ha ha.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 05:22 pm
I had an aunt who used to be a nun. She lived in a convent and wore a habit. She said it was very common for Jehovah Witnesses to come to the convent and try to convert. Maybe they got bonus points... or something if they could net a nun.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 08:23 pm
@RexDraconis111,
You're not serious are you? The motivation of such people is their desire to be secure. Only the establishment of a world that agrees with that which comforts them in their assumptions about reality makes them secure. These folks are driven to get others to hold onto the former's perspective of the world so that they don't think of themselves as fools. Its a driving force of newly minted fanatics who can not abide any opposite world views.

In other words, a lot of these religious people are seriously nuts; they know it, but if they can seduce others into their craziness, it reduces the anxiety they have of being aware that they are full of ****.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 11:04 pm
Quote:
Why do some people feel the need to push their beliefs onto others?
Some people feel the need to spread the word;
e.g., if someone notices a fire in a theater,
he might mention it to the other customers,
rather than just quietly go home, minding his own business
and check for the results on the evening news.
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 01:50 am
@kuvasz,
I see that...

But if you are happy with who you are, know who you are, would you not be secure and accept everyone for who they are.

Yet, if lost, don't alot turn to some form of religion to find themselves, thinking that it will make something of themselves and then force that onto others, through that in-security of not being sure about themselves.

Just thinking out loud...Your take is a good one.
0 Replies
 
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 08:08 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Mentioning a fire in a theater is a given. You want to get out of there and let everyone else know that they should too, or suffer physical injury.

I'm sorry, but I personally don't really find this analogy to be adequate.

When I say "...push their beliefs onto others?" I mean using more aggressive tactics to "spread the word".

Don't get me wrong, spreading the word in and of itself is fine. It's when you continue to try to "spread the word"; and some get downright belligerent about it; even when your "target" has made it clear that he/she does not wish to be converted, that I'm asking "why?" about.
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 08:11 am
@kuvasz,
Found Soul has a good point.

You do have a good take on it, but again, if you're happy with yourself, there should be no reason to feel insecure.

Therefore, there should be no reason you can't accept the fact that others are just as secure in their beliefs as you are in yours.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 08:32 am
@RexDraconis111,
I agree... trying to 'convert' random members of the public seems... wrong! Telling someone they are in physical danger seems ... right.
Setting up a venue and putting posters up inviting people to 'hear'... your message seems the way to go... 'free speech' is best delivered to an invited audience... who have made their own decision to turn up.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 09:40 am
@RexDraconis111,
RexDraconis111 wrote:
Mentioning a fire in a theater is a given. You want to get out of there and let everyone else know that they should too, or suffer physical injury.

I'm sorry, but I personally don't really find this analogy to be adequate.

When I say "...push their beliefs onto others?" I mean using more aggressive tactics to "spread the word".

Don't get me wrong, spreading the word in and of itself is fine. It's when you continue to try to "spread the word"; and some get downright belligerent about it; even when your "target" has made it clear that he/she does not wish to be converted, that I'm asking "why?" about.
That sounds like the commies and the Moslems.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 09:42 am
@igm,
igm wrote:
I agree... trying to 'convert' random members of the public seems... wrong! Telling someone they are in physical danger seems ... right.
Setting up a venue and putting posters up inviting people to 'hear'... your message seems the way to go... 'free speech' is best delivered to an invited audience... who have made their own decision to turn up.
How about yelling in the street ?
or distributing propaganda (handbills, flyers) ?
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 09:59 am
@igm,
See, that is a good way to do it. Let the masses decide whether or not they want to hear it. If they do, they'll show up. If not, they'll stay home.

Don't try to shove it down someone's throat if they don't want it.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 10:00 am
@RexDraconis111,
Some religions especially certain denominations of Christians (which I consider myself to be) - believe that you need to be witness for Christ. What some believe in this context is that you need to go out (and in many cases be obnxious) trying to convince others of your belief. Most likely as these are the most obnxious and loudest they stick out same as with any other cause.

Me, I believe you do need to be a witness, but not an obnxious one - I mean how many people are you really going to teach when you are rude and loud. Living life appropriately, discussing with others (as I used to have such discussions with a good Jewish friend), but not pushing.

You do get more bees with honey ya know.
0 Replies
 
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 10:03 am
@OmSigDAVID,
igm makes a good point.

Yelling in the street and/or handing out flyers/handbills is shoving it down peoples' throats, which is, according to igm (and I agree) is wrong.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 01:26 pm
@RexDraconis111,
RexDraconis111 wrote:
igm makes a good point.

Yelling in the street and/or handing out flyers/handbills is shoving it down peoples' throats,
which is, according to igm (and I agree) is wrong.
In the NYC subway, in the same location for several years,
there was a man who stood there (apparently) for several hours a day,
distributing a multipage article that he had written expressing his religious opinions.
He sought to present it to passing passengers.
Was he within his moral rights to do that ?
Did he violate the moral rights of passing passengers ?

Years ago, long before 2OO8, I wrote an article exposing
the follies and the constitutional infirmities of gun control in America.
I distributed it at NRA meetings and I left piles of it elsewhere,
for people to take one. Was I morally out-of-line ?





David
 

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