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Movie Quote Monday – I’ll Believe You

Last week, I had an interesting conversation with someone about religion.  Her feeling is that we should teach our children only what we can prove to be true.

I feel that it’s fully acceptable to teach our children what we believe to be true. 

She put quite a bit of emphasis on truth, and the fact that I can’t prove the truth of what I believe.

In her opinion, “true to you” and accepting on faith are not good enough.

While this discussion was playing out, I happened to watch I’ll Believe You.  Naturally, this snippet stood out:
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Dale:  There is no right or wrong to belief.  You can believe whatever you want to. You can believe in this god, or that god, or the Loch Ness monster.  Or whatever you want! 

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What do you think?  Is there a right and wrong to belief?

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. That is a hard question to answer briefly and concisely; so I am not going to try. That being said–I don’t think anyone should have to “prove” what they believe. I am not trying to convince anyone to believe as I do. My part is not to convert someone but to tell them the good news that I believe. The rest is between them and God–or not–it’s up to them.

    September 3, 2012
    • Great answer, Patricia! I’m with you. Still, I wonder about things like Bigfoot – I think the same rule should apply. I don’t think it’s true, but believe what you want. There will always be exceptions to anything you talk about, like I don’t think it’s okay to believe that physical violence is acceptable in a relationship. Even though there will be people who feel that’s perfectly fine and normal.

      September 3, 2012
  2. Hubby is a science guy, so he’s big on things that can be proven.

    But.

    He married me.

    I’m the spiritual girl. The hippie chick who feels a connection to nature and other people.

    So.

    I think our kid is getting a bit of both.

    What I won’t tolerate is hatred. People can believe what they want as long as they are respectful of the beliefs of others. I don’t appreciate it when others try to convert us. We are very pleased with our faith, thank you very much. Please don’t try to tell us we are going to Hell. That is just misery.

    September 4, 2012
    • I don’t often write about religion, because I’m not strong in my ability to back up my beliefs. I lack the knowledge, understanding, intellect perhaps, confidence…whatever it is. Of course, this played out last week when I did write some of my thoughts and I was challenged – not on what I had written about, but about my choice to be a Christian. It’s tough when people attack your beliefs, particularly when it is with so much venom. Like you said, that is misery. Hello, hateful commenter, that was the point of the post – Hatred is not a good way to promote your own religion!

      So, that is what prompted this Movie Quote Monday topic. I talked last week from a perspective of Chrisitianity, because that’s my religion, but I could just as easily have called it “We are not the gatekeepers for God”. (And I certainly hope I didn’t offend anyone, in my attempt to write about not being hateful.) The bottom line holds true, that it is up to us to live our faith, and to share our beliefs with others, because we are doing a disservice if we believe we know the way and don’t share it. Whatever happens in that person’s heart is in God’s hands and theirs, not ours. It is NOT up to us to condemn or ridicule or berate or hate. It is not up to us to shun or in any way exclude people from God. We’re simply not qualified for that job.

      Renee, I truly admire you and look up to you. I thought of you when I wrote that post last week, because I know we don’t share the same religion. But part of what I admire about you is your faith and love and commitment to Judaism. You are open and joyous and IN LOVE with your faith. You lead me by your example, and I am indescribably grateful to you for that. Your faith is a beautiful thing to behold. All of that is true, even though we don’t share the same religion. All of that is true, even though we are different from each other.

      September 4, 2012
  3. I love that you made me think.I also agree that it is our duty to let our light shine whatever it may be.As a Christian I hope that my belief is something that is noticable by my actions not my mouth.Love is a gift plain and simple to be shared and recieved by everyone.I couldn’t judge because I have so many flaws myself.Thank you for this post.

    September 4, 2012
    • Hi lexiesnana! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I have way too many faults to be criticizing others, too. And yet I do judge. I don’t witness with my actions very well, but I am working on that.

      It’s interesting that this movie is about believing in aliens and time travel and even the Loch Ness monster. But it does make you think. If we are condemning or ridiculing other’s beliefs, then that is saying more about us – our character – than it is about the other person.

      September 4, 2012
  4. The terms “right” and “wrong” have bother me. My right could be someone else’s wrong (in fact, I’m sure of it), and are therefore divisive. For me, the bottom line is not what you believe, but how you act. If your beliefs cause you to act with hatred, intolerance, and judgment, then it doesn’t necessarily make your beliefs wrong, but it also doesn’t justify any unkindness you unleash in the world.

    September 4, 2012
    • I think it’s coming down to that – comment wise – that it’s how you treat other people, how you model what you believe. It’s interesting what you said about sharing your beliefs with hatred doesn’t make you wrong, that’s so true. I didn’t think of that before.

      Excuse me while I curse: Sharing your beliefs through hatred doesn’t necessarily make you wrong; it just makes you an asshole. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never taken counsel from an asshole.

      I’ve felt the same way as you. I try not to speak in terms of right and wrong (on big issues), because it makes me feel mean and judgmental. Some people are very adamant no matter what the subject: “I AM RIGHT, and you are wrong, wrong, wrong!” But I don’t think that approach works; it just pushes people away.

      I am more inclined to express myself gently and then let it sink in. I have “seen the light” of another person’s argument way more often when approached that way. And even if I don’t ever agree with them, then at least I can look at what they say with a clearer eye, with more acceptance and honesty, as opposed to seeing it through a red haze of anger or annoyance. And when someone tries to shove something down my throat, none of it is retained, because I resist – I throw it up.

      September 4, 2012
  5. Belief in itself is not right or wrong (its’ how you feel), but acting on a belief that you do not fully understand or one that has the potential of harming others maybe disastrous to all evolved. A few hundred years ago, people believed the world was flat and they were in the center of the universe. Brave explorers believed it was not flat and sailed thousands of miles to prove it. Some believers perished never knowing they were right and some stayed home to deny the truth. We all need to believe in something.

    September 4, 2012
    • Hi Jim! You have given me something new to consider! It was dancing around me before, but that’s what it is: how can you really say what someone feels is right or wrong? Right or wrong for YOU, maybe, but you can’t make that decision for someone else. We’re not in their shoes, nor can we truly, truly understand what it’s like to be in those shoes. You can be in the same situation as someone else, but we can only really see that situation from our own eyes, no matter how much we might try to empathize with someone else.

      And you’re so right, we have to be careful with how we pursue our beliefs, in that they can hurt other people. Thanks so much for contributing your thoughts to the discussion here! I love that everyone is giving me something new and different to think about, a different perspective.

      September 4, 2012
  6. Recently a religious tolerance advocate said Christianity wasn’t true because it was intolerant. Tolerance was the only way to test religious truth. We disagreed, offering to give evidence and reasons that Christianity was true and what he believed was false. Immediately, he replied, “That’s what I mean. You’re wrong because you judge me. Whatever anyone believes is true.” You can guess how we answered him: “Be tolerant. Don’t say we’re wrong. Stop judging us. Whatever we believe is true.” Realizing he had been self-contradictory, he tried to recover, saying, “Well, it’s true for you, but not for me.” Sadly, he only dug his hole deeper. We replied, “Our truth for us is that you don’t have truth. So that must be true, because it’s our truth. So you’re still wrong.” Frustrated, he said, “No, you don’t understand. If it’s true for you, it only applies to you, not to anyone else. It’s true for you, but not for me.” We couldn’t resist one more round: “It may be true for you that our truth is only true for us, but our truth is that what is true for us is also true for you, so you lose, because that’s our truth, and you can’t apply your truth to us because that’s your truth!” He finally threw up his hands and admitted that his system was getting nowhere. What followed was an honest, friendly discussion about what kinds of evidence and reasons it would take to qualify someone to speak with authority about how humans can know God.

    September 7, 2012
    • Christianity defines and convicts sin, but welcomes the sinner regardless. Thank God, because if that weren’t true, then there would be no Christians – there are none of us alive who have not sinned. If there is intolerance, it’s coming from the person, not from the religion.

      I have a particularly hard time with people like that, who “talk in circles”. They are so intent on this one idea that everything they say comes back to that one thing – they are an endless loop, basically. They don’t really listen to what you are saying, and they certainly don’t give it any consideration. They don’t address what you’ve said at all, they just hit back with some kind of variation on their first argument. Or with whatever justification of that argument fits in that moment, and believe me, they have built up an arsenal of justifications and come-backs. At the same time, they use words that ATTACK you! So, if you’re someone like me, then it’s hard to stay on point with this person, it’s hard to keep your balance.

      It sounds to me like you guys used the same circle talk tactics back on him. Good for you! It could have ended differently, but at the very least, you would have strongly held onto your convictions in the face of attack. I’m glad it turned into an open, honest and friendly discussion. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing that story, and for taking the time to leave a comment!

      September 8, 2012
      • A bigot is someone who won’t change his mind, and can’t change the subject.
        If your cat has babies in the stable, you can Call them horses, just don’t try to ride them.
        Ain’t aphorisms great?!

        September 12, 2012
        • They are great! And so are you 🙂

          It’s interesting how people like that are always pointing and shouting at others, while being exactly what they say they despise. I’m pointing fingers at them, too, but at least I can admit what I’m doing, that I don’t have all the answers, and I sure as hell know I don’t have all of it right! I may not change my mind, but I’m willing to listen to the other guy.

          September 12, 2012

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