General Question

Facade's avatar

In your opinion, should "religious" people disregard their "religion" when answering questions?

Asked by Facade (22932points) April 3rd, 2009

In my experience, mentioning God gets hostile feedback. Not that I care, but other people might.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

42 Answers

MacBean's avatar

Non-religious people don’t disregard their atheism/whatever, so… no.

VzzBzz's avatar

I don’t think it’s necessary, believing in gods is what a lot of people do and it shapes who they are, their opinions and beliefs to an extent. I try to be respectful of that.

augustlan's avatar

If it’s not relevant, then I don’t see a need to mention it… but I don’t think it’s fair to expect people to put aside their beliefs just to answer a question.

ru2bz46's avatar

All I can do is agree with all the great answers before me. :-)

elijah's avatar

No, it’s part of who they are.

cak's avatar

As soon as everyone agrees to put their views aside, sure! Not likely to happen – so no. I don’t think it’s necessary.

VzzBzz's avatar

I almost forgot to add, how can I eat their brains and absorb their powers if they don’t show me all they’ve got?

teirem1's avatar

Unless the question specifically requests that people suspend their belief (which I’m not sure is possible), why should anyone have to put aside a part of who they are? This should be a place where people have the freedom to be themselves.

augustlan's avatar

Of course, after people freely express themselves, we are then free to jump all over them for it, too. ;-)

Facade's avatar

@augustlan It’s always relevant.

discover's avatar

The answers definitely would be influenced by what one believes (especially religion). But people tend to give a generic answer which would be more understandable and simple

wundayatta's avatar

Oh I definitely think that religious people should set their beliefs aside. Now what was the reason for that? I know I had it somewhere! Oh yes, here it is! Oh yes, so beliefs, it seems, are hazardous for your health, and should not be used while driving or crossing streets.

Err. Ummm. Well, that sounds more like cell phones than beliefs. Maybe there’s another reason. Oh. Here we go.

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Holding Religious Beliefs While Answering Questions is Dangerous to Your Health

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Espousing Religious Beliefs When Answering Questions Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Religious Beliefs Held By Pregnant Women When Answering Questions May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight

So you see, the research on this is quite unequivocal. And, of course, your friends on fluther wouldn’t want to enable you to continue such a habit. Wouldn’t they?

cak's avatar

@dalooncute However, if you had to temporarily divorce your beliefs, truly set them aside, you don’t think, on some level they would creep back in and bias your answer?

Facade's avatar

@cak I believe I’m incapable of setting aside my beliefs when considering certain questions.

wundayatta's avatar

@cak: Isn’t that what my little satire was saying? You can no more separate a person from their beliefs, then you can separate the moon from the tides. We are all biased, and we should be clear as we can about our biases, so other people can adjust for them.

cak's avatar

@Facade – I’m not. I know I’m not. I do take the question or comment into consideration, but I highly doubt I really could separate the issues.

@daloon – Yep, it certainly was. I’m just so used to disagreeing with you…habit, you know?

wundayatta's avatar

@cak Well, god forbid agreement should become a habit!

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

If the question is phrased such that the asker would like us to ignore our beliefs (just for the purposes of the question) than I would do my best to answer as such.. but it really depends on the question don’t you think?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

well they think it’s relevant so even if i think they shouldn’t use it when it’s not necessary, i can’t make anyone or force ‘em

cak's avatar

@daloon that would certainly be a signal of the end of the world :)

Judi's avatar

I will mention my faith if the question asks me to (like here.) I also want to be respectful that others may not share my beliefs. This is not a place to proselytize. It is OK to share opinions, as long as they are not presented as some sort of superior or special knowledge, and as long as your not condemning anyone who disagrees with you to hell.

augustlan's avatar

@Judi I lurve you.

essieness's avatar

Religious views definitely affect how a person will answer a question, but I think a person also has the choice to answer the question in a way that is unbiased but still expresses their point of view.

ru2bz46's avatar

@Judi We don’t need to condemn anyone to Hell. The heathen bastards are going there, anyway.

OK, now I know they put that sarcasm button around here somewhere…

manoffaith3112's avatar

First of all being “religious” is definitly a terrible way to express my spiritual side. I am not religious, not dogmatic, not part of just one part of a church’s teachings.

My relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is not a compartmentalized belief system for me. Its whom I am. By trusting Him I’ve seen His guidence from prayer and bible study.

To me -elijahsuicide hit the nail on the head as far as answering questions. My relationship is simply a part of every thing I am. I’d never set it aside because that would be impossible. However, it would be a fair answer because of wanting to please a Holy God I know there is a huge accountabiity towards self. I would not want to hurt other’s or other’s faith or possible love of God for other’s because of being unfair in answering a question or especially how I react towards other’s. I am responsible for my own life and am not responsible for other’s reaction to my faith. I don’t want to hurt any one, but I will stand up for my savior no matter what.

Thanks for a lovely question. And its been interesting to read the answers of other’s. Exchange of ideas and opinions is exciting some times, and a chance to learn about what other’s have experienced in life.

mitten13's avatar

Often that will be the deciding factor is some peoples opinions, so no.

MacBean's avatar

@ru2bz46: On Fluther, we stick a ~ at the end of a sentence to denote sarcasm. :D Your quip made me lol4rl.

oratio's avatar

@MacBean Really? ~ is sarcasm? Is that common or did you just make that up?
I guess it depends on relevancy to the question.

melbrant's avatar

Most religious fanatics put faith above truth and logic so you have no real communication with them.

fireside's avatar

@oratio – the tilde is real, but we also made it up. if you haven’t gotten an official welcome to fluther, consider it offered.

My beliefs play a big part in how I view the world and how I express my opinions. That doesn’t mean that I will invoke God in every discussion I have. But if the question or the conversation warrants the mention I will do so. I will also provide quotes to reiterate my point, but I also offer quotes from non-religious thinkers and like to drop in video clips from popular culture to add relevancy to a given discussion.

So, no, I don’t think anyone can completely remove themselves from their beliefs, but questions about food or travel or computers or business don’t really call for religious discussion, unless the conversation turns that way. Anything in the realm of psychology, philosophy, religion or culture may turn towards the religious. I think that is natural.

laureth's avatar

Sometimes, the answer needs to be more about the asker’s needs than the answerer’s. I see that most people here are saying something like, “I would answer from my place of belief/disbelief,” but I disagree. The answer is only useful to the asker if the asker’s beliefs are taken into account.

I am not a believer. If I were to ask a question, a faith-based answer (while it might come from a real well of insight in the answerer) would do me very little good. However, if a religious person asks a question, it might help him or her if the answer takes that faith into account.

Judi's avatar

@laureth ; Thanks. I often experience that some non believers tend to discount the relevance of my words when they find out I am a believer. Your answer was so respectful, even if you don’t share my belief.

laureth's avatar

@Judi – Thanks. :) I find that answers to religious questions that say something like “it’s all a pack of lies” are about as helpful to the religious seeker as an answer telling me that something is unacceptable “because God says so.” In both cases, the answer is irrelevant to the asker’s paradigm.

Facade's avatar

@laureth Only an extremely considerate and respectful person would do what you’re saying

fireside's avatar

@laureth – is it always so easy to know what the asker’s needs are? I agree that it is best to provide something relevant, but that doesn’t mean that I know what would help them.

laureth's avatar

@fireside – I agree, especially when the asker is a stranger, or doesn’t provide contextual clues in their question. In those cases, I usually lean to mentioning religion only when I have grounds to assume that the asker is religious. If it’s totally neutral, I assume no religion. In fact, there are so many religions out there that to assume they want Christian advice (as opposed to Jewish, Islam, Rastafarian, Pagan, Hindu…) seems like picking a needle out of a haystack.

I think that there is enough of a community base here, though, that some peoples’ religious views are known. In that case, I might try a religious answer (if I feel like I could muster it, and it seemed warranted).

wundayatta's avatar

While I could not bring myself to believe in something supernatural, I can, I believe, try to understand what people get from their beliefs. Sometimes that is easy, and sometimes hard. They often use code words I don’t understand, and sometimes can not explain what they mean or feel or whatever. Still, it’s always worth trying, because sometimes I find we are pretty much in agreement, but we got there in slightly different ways.

fireside's avatar

I think that part of the beauty of Fluther is that an open question receives a variety of responses. If someone asks, “What should I do about x?” they get a answers from many people as to how those responders would handle the situation.

If someone would handle x by praying and another would handle x by reading and another would handle x by dancing and another would handle x by devising a test scenario, then the questioner is given a wealth of avenues to explore.

This may not only help them, it may help some of the responders or the observers who didn’t respond. It may also help someone six months from now who does a Google search because they can’t figure out how to do x.

Plus, I just love seeing the commonalities of various responses from people holding widely differing points of view and life experience. But that’s me.

critter1982's avatar

My religious answer to this question. No!!
My non-religious answer to this question. No!!

It’s up to you, I’ll answer it either way.

PastorJeff's avatar

I have no problem talking about God or Jesus to any and everyone. If they don’t want to hear it, they don’t have to, but I’m not going to stop being me for the sake of someone elses life issues or religous views.

I’ll sit down and talk Bible with anyone that is willing to listen.

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