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Religious groups and individual beliefs


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#21 DuctTape

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:32 PM

What do you do about someone that is Agnostic? We had an Assistant Cubmaster that was openly vocal about being Agnostic.


I have no religious test for scouts or scouters. Their acknowledgement of the DRP is all that is required by the BSA. their beliefs, and actions consistent with them are between them, and their religious leader (and/or parents).

Edited by DuctTape, 12 February 2017 - 07:32 PM.

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#22 qwazse

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 08:13 PM

Agnostic = without thought.
Sounds a lot like what my Bhuddist buddies are trying to say when they talk about non-theistic religion.
Some agnosticism says that God is unknowable and therefore one should not commit to any religion.
Others insist that any religious practice is foolishness, God is so far removed from he here and now that any religious practice is folly.
Again, this boils down to how willing a scout(er) is to concede to what's laid out in the declaration of religious principle.
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#23 Stosh

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 08:25 PM

Agnostic = without thought.

 

 

Slight correction here.  Agnostic - A = not or without gnostic = knowledge.  Without knowledge.  You were correct when you indicated "Some agnosticism says that God is unknowable"  This is a process of knowing or knowledge, not belief.  Belief is the acceptance of an idea that IS unknowable.  Apples and oranges operating here.  Unless one knows they aren't going to accept anything, meaning if it can be sensed with any of the 5 senses it is not real.

 

An A-theists = A = not or without theism = God/god.  Without G/god.  They actually do believe, but their belief is there is no G/god.  They have a belief system the opposite of the Theist.

 

Now there may be a few that will argue those definitions, but those are the etymology of the two words.

 

I'm sure the Agnostic has put a bit of thought into the process, but has concluded there is no way of knowing.  They just leave it at that.


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#24 ghjim

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:16 AM

Slight correction here.  Agnostic - A = not or without gnostic = knowledge.  Without knowledge.  You were correct when you indicated "Some agnosticism says that God is unknowable"  This is a process of knowing or knowledge, not belief.  Belief is the acceptance of an idea that IS unknowable.  Apples and oranges operating here.  Unless one knows they aren't going to accept anything, meaning if it can be sensed with any of the 5 senses it is not real.

 

An A-theists = A = not or without theism = God/god.  Without G/god.  They actually do believe, but their belief is there is no G/god.  They have a belief system the opposite of the Theist.

 

Now there may be a few that will argue those definitions, but those are the etymology of the two words.

 

I'm sure the Agnostic has put a bit of thought into the process, but has concluded there is no way of knowing.  They just leave it at that.

 

I consider myself agnostic, and to me it means irreligious.  This is why I asked the question.  I do enjoy scientific inquiry into the supernatural.


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#25 Stosh

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 08:10 AM

I consider myself agnostic, and to me it means irreligious.  This is why I asked the question.  I do enjoy scientific inquiry into the supernatural.

 

There is no such thing as scientific inquiry into the supernatural.  There is only the scientific known and the scientific unknown.  Religion is the acceptance of of the unknown.  It's similar to the scientific theories we have today.  That which we cannot prove is accepted as logical speculation.  The Theory of Evolution cannot be proven, but people today believe it is true because of logical (knowledge based) assumptions.Space warp travel through worm holes has not been proven but there are those that believe it's possible.  The list of what scientists believe and what can be proven indicate the human tendency towards faith.  They want it to be true, they believe it to be true, but it cannot be proven.  Thus the foundation for religion.


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#26 David CO

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:54 AM

I consider myself agnostic, and to me it means irreligious.  This is why I asked the question.  I do enjoy scientific inquiry into the supernatural.

 

I think what you are asking is whether or not it is possible for you to game the system.  Yes, people do it all the time.  

 

There really is no need for an agnostic to join the Unitarians in order to get into BSA.  You can pick any religion.  Once you have decided to deceive, there really is no need to limit yourself to any particular church. Pick any one you want.  Nobody is going to ask to see a membership card.

 

Scouting is an activity based on trust and honor.  We generally take people at their word.


Edited by David CO, 13 February 2017 - 11:05 AM.

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#27 David CO

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 12:46 PM

Jim,

 

It is possible to deceive without actually telling a lie.  I'll give you an example.

 

I was a Lone Scout.  I never participated in a Boy Scout troop as a boy.  I was never in a patrol.  

 

When I first applied to be a scout leader, I neglected to tell the CO that my experience as a Boy Scout was in the Lone Scouting program.  They naturally assumed that I had been in a troop.  

 

I did nothing to correct their incorrect assumption.  I didn't lie, but I now feel that I had deceived them.  I didn't feel that way at the time, but I do now.

 

I am not proud of what I did.  I don't know if they would have offered me the Scoutmaster position had they known that I had zero experience in a Boy Scout unit.  Maybe, or maybe not.  I don't know.  What I do know is that I regret having done it that way.  

 

My advice to any young man applying to be a scout leader is to be completely honest.  Don't game the system. Do it the right way.  


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#28 Merlyn_LeRoy

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 01:54 PM

Slight correction here.  Agnostic - A = not or without gnostic = knowledge.  Without knowledge.  You were correct when you indicated "Some agnosticism says that God is unknowable"  This is a process of knowing or knowledge, not belief.  Belief is the acceptance of an idea that IS unknowable.  Apples and oranges operating here.  Unless one knows they aren't going to accept anything, meaning if it can be sensed with any of the 5 senses it is not real.

 

An A-theists = A = not or without theism = God/god.  Without G/god.  They actually do believe, but their belief is there is no G/god.  They have a belief system the opposite of the Theist.

 

Now there may be a few that will argue those definitions, but those are the etymology of the two words.

 

I'm sure the Agnostic has put a bit of thought into the process, but has concluded there is no way of knowing.  They just leave it at that.

 

 

Better correction here: ask people who call themselves "atheist" and/or "agnostic" (and plenty are both, like me) what they mean by the terms, not other people.


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#29 qwazse

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 03:34 PM

Better correction here: ask people who call themselves "atheist" and/or "agnostic" (and plenty are both, like me) what they mean by the terms, not other people.

In what age is it better if a lexicon depends on who's saying the word?

Oh, never-mind. :confused:


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#30 Stosh

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:03 PM

In this day and age it would appear that people can redefine themselves at the drop of a hat.  Why would agnostics and atheists be any different?  It used to be male and female, now the list of options has gone into the realm of sublime.  Maybe this has something to do with some ancient tower called Babel.


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#31 SSScout

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:41 PM

Have you heard about the dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac Scouter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor fellow was awake all night wondering if there is a Dog?


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#32 ghjim

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:08 PM

If I join a Unitarian church as a means of having "religion" and make sure my CO knows that there is no deception.  And in my case the CO is the Unitarian church.


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#33 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 03:50 AM

Their acknowledgement of the DRP is all that is required by the BSA.

It's actually a bit more complicated than that. The BSA requires that leaders agree with the DRP, but asks them to do so without having really seen it. What is on the application is a paraphrase of the DRP.

From the application:

Excerpt From Declaration of Religious Principle

The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to these precepts from the Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of leadership.

 
The actual DRP from the bylaws:

Declaration of Religious Principle
Clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.” The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

There are some key differences. I have met more than one scouter (including an ordained protestant minister) that had no problem with the "short" DRP on the application but couldn't accept the full version in the bylaws (though I admit in the case of the protestant minister, I couldn't understand the basis of his objection - it had something to do with the "grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings" bit. Huh?).
 
I think the reason the BSA replaces the DRP with a paraphrase is because the full version is so obviously written from a Judaeo-Christian perspective (my understanding is that the full DRP is almost identical to one written by James West - which he brought over from the YMCA, an explicitly Christian group). Which doesn't go with "absolutely nonsectarian".
 
So the "hiding" of the full DRP brings up the question: "what is the BSA really asking when they say accept the DRP?" Are they asking that scouters accept the "spirit" of the DRP (whatever that is), or accept it to the letter? I suspect that many Buddhists would have a problem with the full DRP (the whole "ruling and leading power" bit) but the BSA has been on record for years saying Buddhists are welcome. I know I have a problem with the "fundamental need of good citizenship" bit because I don't accept the idea that Buddhists and others that don't believe in a creator god somehow can't be good citizens. And if we take it literally, we can argue that only Jews and Christians can accept it because a capitalized "God" is a proper name and therefor referring to (and only referring too) the Judaeo-Christian god, God. Which is clearly not the BSA's current intent.

 

So what does it really mean?


Edited by Rick_in_CA, 14 February 2017 - 03:51 AM.

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#34 Stosh

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 09:10 AM

I'm thinking the issue of religion and sexuality are based by the BSA on whatever the says he is rather than what he really is.

 

If the boy says he has a religious belief system in place, it could mean he believes there is no God and it opens the door.

 

Therefore whatever the person says is the determining factor and all the policies and by-laws are meaningless.


Edited by Stosh, 14 February 2017 - 09:12 AM.

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#35 Merlyn_LeRoy

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 07:40 PM

In this day and age it would appear that people can redefine themselves at the drop of a hat.  Why would agnostics and atheists be any different?  It used to be male and female, now the list of options has gone into the realm of sublime.  Maybe this has something to do with some ancient tower called Babel.

 

 

People can redefine themselves all they want -- but if you genuinely want to understand what another person means by "atheist" or "agnostic", you need to ask them what they mean.  If you just want to slap labels on people, you don't even need to ask first.


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#36 John-in-KC

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 11:27 AM

A friendly thought to all...

 

Your "humorous" comment may actually be very hurtful to someone of a particular faith community.

 

While this is I&P, be thoughtful in what you post.  Remember the last third of the explanation to the 12th point.

 

Thank you.


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#37 qwazse

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 12:20 PM

... Jews and Christians can accept it because a capitalized "God" is a proper name and therefor referring to (and only referring too) the Judaeo-Christian god, God. ...

Um, no, they can't. It is a reference whose origin is lost in the primitive cultures of northern Europe.

Missionaries and practitioners imbued it with particular meaning because that was the closest available word for the construct in vulgar speech. Christians and Jews do not accept it, neither do they own it.

No one gets baptized into any church or synagogue with even the slightest orthodoxy by saying "I believe in God. Full stop." It's simply an inadequate specification of the creed of Abrahamic faiths.

 

There are many theists who vociferously argue God is not a person. Their use of the word in such context is correct. Christians may argue that such folks are mistaken. But they can't say that folks have no business capitalizing it in a non-Christian context.


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#38 Stosh

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 12:31 PM

It reminds me that in our society we are always referring to "the people".  While that's a label, it is pretty useless in that there are no two of us alike.  If I wish to make reference to a certain group within that larger population, there is no way one can do so without an identifying label.  While what used to be a commonly defined "label" is no longer acceptable and that leaves the discussion as simply "those people."  That in and of itself is rather condescending.  Kinda makes one wonder how we are to address people today without a label.

 

The people of the upper Midwest are common decent folk, as are the people of the Pacific Northwest and the New England states.  And the Southern states have a vast majority of really nice people.  So, then from my Midwestern perspective I might refer to the people from New York to another Midwestern colleague and they understand a different perspective than if I were talking to a person from New York.  

 

I cannot be held accountable for another person's understanding, nor can I be held accountable for them being upset with a term I use.  

 

The real problem lies in the fact that we cannot use terms people like because they are changing on an almost daily basis lately.  Instead, I just take the term and assume no ill-intent until further context proves otherwise. 

 

I was talking to a man in South Carolina recently.  I was an evacuation shelter manager during the recent hurricane Matthew disaster.  He asked me point blank, "Why would an old, white man from the Midwest come all the way down here to help us out?"  Okay, I can take that as an insult because I'm elderly, not old, his racist title "white" could have bothered me, and his gender reference was out of place.  He was obviously pointing out the geographical differences as well.  I hardly knew this fella (who incidentally was racially negroid) but I teased him back asking what he meant by "old, white man from the Midwest".  He smiled and said, "Because if I called you a damnYankee, you might be upset."  I keep in touch with him on Facebook and we still both chuckled at the conversation. 

 

Life is too short to always have to worry about always hurting someone's sensitivities.  If we did, we wouldn't talk to anyone anymore.  Unless it is obvious, I always try to assume the best in people, which isn't always the case anymore for others.


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Stosh

 

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#39 Stosh

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 12:36 PM

Um, no, they can't. It is a reference whose origin is lost in the primitive cultures of northern Europe.

Missionaries and practitioners imbued it with particular meaning because that was the closest available word for the construct in vulgar speech. Christians and Jews do not accept it, neither do they own it.

No one gets baptized into any church or synagogue with even the slightest orthodoxy by saying "I believe in God. Full stop." It's simply an inadequate specification of the creed of Abrahamic faiths.

 

There are many theists who vociferously argue God is not a person. Their use of the word in such context is correct. Christians may argue that such folks are mistaken. But they can't say that folks have no business capitalizing it in a non-Christian context.

God isn't his name, it's a label identifying a supreme being of some sort.  In the Judeo-Christian-Muslim world it all translates to simply "G/god" as a label.  The God, Yahweh, Jehovah, and Allah are merely various translations of the same label.  When  Moses asked "God" what his name was, he said "I am who I am" which pretty much means it's none of your business to know.  If I am not mistaken, early biblical writings simply left a blank anytime they wished to reference "God".


Edited by Stosh, 15 February 2017 - 12:37 PM.

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#40 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 02:12 PM

Um, no, they can't. It is a reference whose origin is lost in the primitive cultures of northern Europe.

Missionaries and practitioners imbued it with particular meaning because that was the closest available word for the construct in vulgar speech. Christians and Jews do not accept it, neither do they own it.

No one gets baptized into any church or synagogue with even the slightest orthodoxy by saying "I believe in God. Full stop." It's simply an inadequate specification of the creed of Abrahamic faiths.

 

There are many theists who vociferously argue God is not a person. Their use of the word in such context is correct. Christians may argue that such folks are mistaken. But they can't say that folks have no business capitalizing it in a non-Christian context.

I was referring to the issue that in modern English grammar, most treat the word "God" as a proper name when it referrers to monotheistic deities and not in other cases. That is what it said in my grammar book when I was in school (actually it explicitly said only capitalize the Judaeo-Christian God), and in the AP Style Guide and many other sources. So you get examples like: "I prayed to God", "The Greeks once widely worshiped the god Zeus", and "This is a prayer to the Hindu god Vishnu.".

 

It is this "rule" of capitalization that I have seen used to argue that when the DRP (and other writings) capitalize "God", that means the authors are excluding any non-monotheistic or non-Judaeo-Christian religions. This is not something I agree with, especially in the context of the DRP.

 

I once watched a scouter use this capitalization "rule" to explain why a Hindu scout couldn't do his duty to God.


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