Why are people so threatened by other beliefs?

Why are people so threatened by other beliefs?

Joined: January 13th, 2010, 2:50 pm

June 18th, 2011, 1:36 pm #1

A rhetorical question, mostly... But it seems worthy of some thought & discussion.

What direct threat exists to anyone's person regarding the beliefs of someone else... Really?

Say you're a Hindu... What is it about that Christian that is threatening?
Say you're a Christian... What is it about that Muslim that is threatening?
Say you're a Muslim... What is it about that atheist that is threatening?
Say you're an atheist... What is it about any "belief" that is threatening?
... The permutations & combinations everyone can ponder and exhaust on their own.

But it doesn't stop there...
Say you're a Republican... What is it about that Democrat?
Say you're a Democrat... What is it about that Republican?
Say you're a Green-Party-Follower... What is it about those "other guys"?
... Again, the permutations & combinations are quite numerous to exhaustively cover, but the single over-arching pattern is still there.

It seems to me that all the "belief-system" rhetoric is really just a bunch of marketing hype to get people to "choose a side". And the "right answer" seems to be to not choose a side.

And interestingly, stating such a position becomes yet another "side to choose from". A side that is threatening, divisive, and with the potential to grow into an "institution of B.S. self-supported by misconceptions and rationalizations".

Makes certain statements throughout history become rather profound, like "We have nothing to fear bu fear itself".

Ponderings of the morning...

Last edited by ever-a-newbie on June 18th, 2011, 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

June 18th, 2011, 2:11 pm #2

If you feel threatened by beliefs of others, then some self-examination is likely in order.

Other than that, the "threat" at times is not the beliefs of others, but how they wield their beliefs. Forcing things like literal interpretations of Genesis into science curriculum, forcing their faith into the politics of the day. And yes, sometimes it is difficult to divide the two. Although the pro-life crowd that is pro-war, has always baffled me at the incredible inconsistency of the two positions.

But really, I live in a multi-cultural community in which I am likely a minority, or one of many minorities. With no clear cut "majority". Although East Indian would likely be the majority. Although even they are not monolithic, some being Sikh, some Hindu, fewer Muslim and possibly Christian.

We really don't see disagreement among people in our community due to beliefs.

The one thing I notice is a cultural fear of dogs, even my little ones. And some seem to disdain dogs, seeing them as dirty. I know one day a couple of little kids wanted to pet my dogs, and the older girl with them was quite adamant "Don't touch them and then spoke another language ..". Although, I guess this is a total digression. lol.

It's pouring outside. Walked the dogs for about 10 minutes until they did their business. Got some errands to attend to, but no where to go for an hour or so. Guess I'll start some laundry now.

Have a great weekend.

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Tim
Tim

June 19th, 2011, 5:53 am #3

But I do believe Jesus is the Son of God and our redeemer.
And I also believe God will redeem anyone HE desires to, no matter who Jesus decides to redeem.

I guess its easiest to view as a sales pitch, in witch the item is the souls of people. Being redeemed or condemned.

I don't see Atheist or Muslim or Buddha or Hindu as any threat to me, but to the soul that clings to those beliefs.

From my beliefs they have rejected the gift from God, and that is the sacrifice of HIS Son for our iniquities. And I think its just a fact of the reality of this life we live.

To me its as simple as saying; "If your going swimming and diving deep make sure you have access to air before you pass out.".. Just the simple truth.

Tim
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Joined: January 13th, 2010, 2:50 pm

June 19th, 2011, 1:49 pm #4

If you feel threatened by beliefs of others, then some self-examination is likely in order.

Other than that, the "threat" at times is not the beliefs of others, but how they wield their beliefs. Forcing things like literal interpretations of Genesis into science curriculum, forcing their faith into the politics of the day. And yes, sometimes it is difficult to divide the two. Although the pro-life crowd that is pro-war, has always baffled me at the incredible inconsistency of the two positions.

But really, I live in a multi-cultural community in which I am likely a minority, or one of many minorities. With no clear cut "majority". Although East Indian would likely be the majority. Although even they are not monolithic, some being Sikh, some Hindu, fewer Muslim and possibly Christian.

We really don't see disagreement among people in our community due to beliefs.

The one thing I notice is a cultural fear of dogs, even my little ones. And some seem to disdain dogs, seeing them as dirty. I know one day a couple of little kids wanted to pet my dogs, and the older girl with them was quite adamant "Don't touch them and then spoke another language ..". Although, I guess this is a total digression. lol.

It's pouring outside. Walked the dogs for about 10 minutes until they did their business. Got some errands to attend to, but no where to go for an hour or so. Guess I'll start some laundry now.

Have a great weekend.
If someone is threatened by another set of beliefs in any way, is it an indication that they really question their own? Or, in other words, they really don't have much faith at all?

Interesting subject, anyway.


Rainy here, too. I'd like to get some yard work and gardening done, but the weather is uncooperative this year.
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Joined: April 30th, 2005, 4:27 am

June 19th, 2011, 3:41 pm #5

A rhetorical question, mostly... But it seems worthy of some thought & discussion.

What direct threat exists to anyone's person regarding the beliefs of someone else... Really?

Say you're a Hindu... What is it about that Christian that is threatening?
Say you're a Christian... What is it about that Muslim that is threatening?
Say you're a Muslim... What is it about that atheist that is threatening?
Say you're an atheist... What is it about any "belief" that is threatening?
... The permutations & combinations everyone can ponder and exhaust on their own.

But it doesn't stop there...
Say you're a Republican... What is it about that Democrat?
Say you're a Democrat... What is it about that Republican?
Say you're a Green-Party-Follower... What is it about those "other guys"?
... Again, the permutations & combinations are quite numerous to exhaustively cover, but the single over-arching pattern is still there.

It seems to me that all the "belief-system" rhetoric is really just a bunch of marketing hype to get people to "choose a side". And the "right answer" seems to be to not choose a side.

And interestingly, stating such a position becomes yet another "side to choose from". A side that is threatening, divisive, and with the potential to grow into an "institution of B.S. self-supported by misconceptions and rationalizations".

Makes certain statements throughout history become rather profound, like "We have nothing to fear bu fear itself".

Ponderings of the morning...
than beliefs. I have spoken to a wide range of people (eh muslim, hindu etc) about their beliefs and often is just simple terminology that cause the most frustration. As long as you can speak with the moderates you are OK, it is the extremists that you have to avoid. JB
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Joined: January 13th, 2010, 2:50 pm

June 19th, 2011, 7:40 pm #6


Doesn't it seem that the extremists are the ones that view themselves as the most threatened, and therefor often become the ones to become threatening?
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Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

June 20th, 2011, 5:26 am #7

A rhetorical question, mostly... But it seems worthy of some thought & discussion.

What direct threat exists to anyone's person regarding the beliefs of someone else... Really?

Say you're a Hindu... What is it about that Christian that is threatening?
Say you're a Christian... What is it about that Muslim that is threatening?
Say you're a Muslim... What is it about that atheist that is threatening?
Say you're an atheist... What is it about any "belief" that is threatening?
... The permutations & combinations everyone can ponder and exhaust on their own.

But it doesn't stop there...
Say you're a Republican... What is it about that Democrat?
Say you're a Democrat... What is it about that Republican?
Say you're a Green-Party-Follower... What is it about those "other guys"?
... Again, the permutations & combinations are quite numerous to exhaustively cover, but the single over-arching pattern is still there.

It seems to me that all the "belief-system" rhetoric is really just a bunch of marketing hype to get people to "choose a side". And the "right answer" seems to be to not choose a side.

And interestingly, stating such a position becomes yet another "side to choose from". A side that is threatening, divisive, and with the potential to grow into an "institution of B.S. self-supported by misconceptions and rationalizations".

Makes certain statements throughout history become rather profound, like "We have nothing to fear bu fear itself".

Ponderings of the morning...
...maybe it's the fear of the actions that could result from those beliefs.

I am not threatened at all if someone's religious beliefs or concept of God is different than mine. That might be the way God was revealed to that person.

I would feel threatened if that person's religious beliefs included that I am a person to be feared and hated, or that they should do violence against me because my beliefs are different than theirs.

If I was an atheist, it wouldn't bother me if other people believed in God or wanted to pray.

It would bother me if they tried to make me pray, or force me to make a profession of faith.

It does not threaten me that other people have different political views than I do.

I do feel threatened if another political party is in power and they pass laws and regulations that conflict with things that I believe in, that are important to me.

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Joined: January 13th, 2010, 2:50 pm

June 20th, 2011, 5:51 am #8


The existence of a potential threat, or "feeling threatened", does not equate to a threat. In a legal sense (except for the last decade where the constitution and founding laws have been violated), or in a logical sense. However, people do not make decisions, or behave, in ways that match laws or logic. Our beliefs, emotions, feelings, etc, will drive our behaviors and decisions more than facts, reality, or logic.

So... One political party is working to pass a law that allows gays to be married, and another political party is working to pass a law against allowing gays to be married. In either situation, what is the direct threat to either you, or I? Perceived threat, potential threat, or other sort of threat?
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JVH
Joined: July 20th, 2009, 1:33 pm

June 20th, 2011, 6:46 am #9

...maybe it's the fear of the actions that could result from those beliefs.

I am not threatened at all if someone's religious beliefs or concept of God is different than mine. That might be the way God was revealed to that person.

I would feel threatened if that person's religious beliefs included that I am a person to be feared and hated, or that they should do violence against me because my beliefs are different than theirs.

If I was an atheist, it wouldn't bother me if other people believed in God or wanted to pray.

It would bother me if they tried to make me pray, or force me to make a profession of faith.

It does not threaten me that other people have different political views than I do.

I do feel threatened if another political party is in power and they pass laws and regulations that conflict with things that I believe in, that are important to me.
 

..... because if that were indeed the case, then people who believe in the existence of fairies would feel threatened by people who believe otherwise  ... and vice versa.......
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Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

June 20th, 2011, 1:08 pm #10

The existence of a potential threat, or "feeling threatened", does not equate to a threat. In a legal sense (except for the last decade where the constitution and founding laws have been violated), or in a logical sense. However, people do not make decisions, or behave, in ways that match laws or logic. Our beliefs, emotions, feelings, etc, will drive our behaviors and decisions more than facts, reality, or logic.

So... One political party is working to pass a law that allows gays to be married, and another political party is working to pass a law against allowing gays to be married. In either situation, what is the direct threat to either you, or I? Perceived threat, potential threat, or other sort of threat?
Sometimes the perceived or potential threat wouldn't be something that affects me directly, but maybe affects something that I feel strongly about, or might affect people I care about.

If there was a law being considered that only applied to men, I could say, well, I'm female so I have no stake in that -- it doesn't affect me, so why should I care? However, I have a husband, I have sons, I have male friends and relatives, so yes, I would have a concern about the law.

In your example...I'm not gay, so why should I care if gay people can or can't get married? On principle, I feel that is their right. Personally, I know a lot of gay people, and many of them are couples in committed relationships, have been with their partners for years, some of them have children that one or both partners have adopted. They already consider themselves married and I feel they deserve the same rights and privileges and protections that married heterosexual couples have. So even though I'm not gay and a gay marriage ban would not affect me personally, it would be a potential threat to something I believe in, and something that affects people whose rights I care about.
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