Re: Hello, can anyone help?

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 26 Feb 2003 - 03:39:02 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1294"

    >From: "Reed Konsler" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Hello, can anyone help?
    >Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 08:35:13 -0500
    >The first thing you should ask yourself is: "how much energy do I want to
    >spend on this?" Given any reasonable level of commitment, it seems kind of
    >futile to discuss your bosses beliefs in an adverserial way. It's just
    >going to cause tension.
    >If you can't find some way to change the subject when "getting saved" comes
    >up, one thing I've found effective is to ask people about a specific
    >positive event in their lives where they found their faith a rewarding
    >addition. You can ask them about favorite passages and what they think
    >mean. Memorable sermons, and how they use that enlightenment in their
    >Usually, you can truthfully agree with people about what is ethical, moral,
    >happy, good and so on. If someone pressures me with the idea that "you're
    >going to hell", my response is that I'm not going to adhere to a religion
    >becuase I'm scared or threatened.
    I'd be tempted to say something about hoping for a nice jetski and asbestos suit so I can thoroughly enjoy the lake of fire. I'd probably not act on this.
    >Certianly, no thoughtful Christian tries
    >to make converts by focusing on punishments. Christ certianly didn't, from
    >what I understand. Otherwise, why would his message be called "the Good
    >Anyway, the point is that "Baptist" is just a word, like "Democrat". I
    >wouldn't tell your boss that. There are many different kinds of Democrats
    >and they're always arguing over what their stand on any particular issue
    >should be. You become a Democrat by filling out some forms, which isn't so
    >very different from being baptised.
    >If everyone around is a Baptist...why not? If it offends your
    >or makes you uncomfortable then deflect people into other conversations.
    >Otherwise, what does it matter? You smile and nod about a million things
    >work don't you? Imagine the average staff meeting. How many times to you
    >think "this is a dumb idea" and say "that's a great idea"? How many times
    >do you go along with "the way we do things here" when it seems like a waste
    >of time. It isn't like we all aren't presenting a social facade to smooth
    >our relationships with each other already.
    >There isn't anything that says a Baptist must be a creationist. Evolution
    >is a scientific theory and Baptist is a religious denomination. They
    >in opposition, and allowing people to assert it sacrifices the flexibilty
    >thought that makes it possible to live life in a complex world. Again,
    >not a subject you must argue about, unless it seems worth the time.
    >I'm not advocating passivity, but introspection. I have a very short time
    >on Earth and limited energy while I'm here. It's foolish to diffuse it
    >millions of anxieties and conflicts that don't advance my purpose.
    >Actually, until I figured out what was important to me that I was just
    >reacting to other people instead of doing what fulfilled me.
    >There's an alternative way of looking a things.
    It might be best to avoid religious discussion in the workplace altogether, unless "the workplace" happens to be a religious organization or something like that where such discussions are expected. Being agnostic I tend to be rather open minded when folks start going on religious tangents and it takes quite a lot to offend me. Atheists OTOH might take serious offense to someone such as a co-worker going on a religious tangent. Deeply religious people might likewise take offense if a coworker says something which diminishes their belief system.

    It's probably best to avoid religious or political topics in the workplace.
    >Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 09:56:26 -0500
    >From: "Martha Granger" <>
    >Subject: Hello, can anyone help?
    >I joined this group a couple of months ago, and I am certainly no =
    >expert, nor have I even studied memetics. I think I found this group =
    >when I was searching for sites and information about how Christianity =
    >started or evolved into what it has become because I am currently living =
    >in such a "bible-istic" area.. although isn't most of the USA that way? =
    >As a matter of fact, when I found your group was the moment I first =
    >learned of the word "memetics." A lot of what I have read here in the =
    >past has lead me to believe I in no way am qualified to belong here, a =
    >lot of it seems over my head. I've remained enlisted in this group, but =
    >have kept quiet until now.
    >Recent postings have caught my attention, as they relate to religion.
    >A few days ago, I got into a "discussion" with my boss (and friend) =
    >regarding Christianity. He and his wife (his wife is also a boss of =
    >mine in the small company I work for) are such the devout Baptists. JC, =
    >the company president is quite the "know-it-all." They of course, want =
    >me to be "saved" and seem to believe that if I would just read the =
    >bible, that I would realize that it is indeed "the greatest book in the =
    >world" and that I will become a Christian. Whatever.. He believes that =
    >anyone who is not "saved" will go to "hell" (me), and he, of course, =
    >will go to "heaven." He told me that he has read several books on =
    >religion, including the Qurah (sp?) and translations of old original =
    >texts and has come to this conclusion on his own that Christian is the =
    >only way to be.
    >However, my boss did make an offer that I just may take him up on! He =
    >told me that he would read 10 books of my choosing if only I would read =
    >the bible! Hmm... that would take quite a bit of patience on my part. =
    >It also would be a big undertaking for me, as I would wish to point out =
    >stupidity and errors of the bible and present him with a composition at =
    >completion. I really don't know if it is worth all of that time on my =
    >part, as he is such a strong believer. I think he could somehow "argue =
    >away" any book I could happen to come up with for his reading.
    >I would surely appreciate any insite that anyone here could provide to =
    >me. It certainly seems that most or all who are part of this list are =
    >quite studied and intelligent. Perhaps you can recommend books that I =
    >can present to him? Or perhaps you will tell me it is of no use wasting =
    >my time reading and studying the bible, as there is no way to convince =
    >him of his brainwashing, no matter what books I give him. You may email =
    >me directly if you believe this does not pertain to the purpose of the =
    >Thank you in advance for any insite anyone can provide,
    >Martha (a computer programmer/analyst in Bible-country, Indiana, U.S.A.)
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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