Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

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What generally desribes your religious beliefs?

Agnosticism
6
8%
Atheism
32
42%
Bahá'í Faith
0
No votes
Buddhism
1
1%
Christianity (including LDS and Jehovah's Witnesses)
8
11%
Confucianism
0
No votes
Hinduism
1
1%
Islam
1
1%
Jainism
0
No votes
Judaism
3
4%
Shinto
0
No votes
Sikhism
0
No votes
Taoism
1
1%
European polytheism
3
4%
Wicca
0
No votes
New Age spirituality
1
1%
Other
6
8%
None
13
17%
 
Total votes: 76

Ludwig Whitby
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 17:22

linguoboy wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:What you are doing is making it worse. Europe and USA are Russia's rivals. By supporting the gays and lesbians you are making them into a tool in the hands of Europe and USA that is used to weaken Russia and destroy Russia's moral and cultural independence.

Why is that "weakening Russia"? Did it "weaken Switzerland" to adopt full women's suffrage? (Something Russian women had before American women, I might add.) Was it wrong to put external pressure on South Africa to end Apartheid? Did that destroy their "moral and cultural independence"?

Neither Switzerland nor South Africa were strong enough to stand up to foreign pressures. Russians feel that Russia is strong enough to stand up to foreign pressures and want it to act accordingly. I will not respond to your appeals to emotions.
linguoboy wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:You see, it is all about power. You can either be strong and choose your own destiny yourself or weak and serve the goals of the strong. Russia wants to be strong while you're not allowing them to do that.

That's part of the problem: Russia can only view the struggle in an oppositional, zero-sum manner. If doing what's right happens to be something the West wants, then this is a "victory" for them and a "loss" for Russia.

No. They don't want to do what ever the West wants to make them do. The more pressure you put on them, the more they would be determined not to do it. You're pushing into them and they are pushing back just as strongly. The only ways to resolve this would either be that one part would get pushed to the ground, or that you stop pushing.

linguoboy wrote:Moreover, this whole view of a country as an organism with its own "destiny" is simply nonsense anyway. "Russia" is a high-order abstraction; Russians are actual people. Here we have a situation where a majority of the people living in Russia are oppressing a minority there. What about the rights of that minority to choose their own destiny (i.e. live, love, work--even marry and have a family if they want to)? Why should the need for "Russia" (as represented by the political elite) to exercise power and autonomy trump the need of Russian citizens to do the same.

It is nonsense according to you. It is the truth according to the Russians. They think of Russia as an extenstion of themselves and their families. If foreigners insult Russia, the Russians themselves feel insulted. If foreigners want to coerce Russia the Russians themselves feel threatened.

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linguoboy
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-28, 17:54

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
Why is that "weakening Russia"? Did it "weaken Switzerland" to adopt full women's suffrage? (Something Russian women had before American women, I might add.) Was it wrong to put external pressure on South Africa to end Apartheid? Did that destroy their "moral and cultural independence"?

Neither Switzerland nor South Africa were strong enough to stand up to foreign pressures. Russians feel that Russia is strong enough to stand up to foreign pressures and want it to act accordingly. I will not respond to your appeals to emotions.

Well then, respond to the point that protecting the civil rights of minorities is a universal moral value and not simply a Western one.

Ludwig Whitby wrote:No. They don't want to do what ever the West wants to make them do. The more pressure you put on them, the more they would be determined not to do it. You're pushing into them and they are pushing back just as strongly. The only ways to resolve this would either be that one part would get pushed to the ground, or that you stop pushing.

Why do you not list "or that the Russians stop pushing back" an option? I'm not much for essentialism, so I don't buy the argument that they're so constitutionally contrary that nothing will ever change their need to reflexively oppose the West on this issue or others.

And again you're going and equating "the Russians" with the most conservative and nationalist subset of them. That may describe the majority, but it doesn't mean they speak for everyone. This is basically an argument for tyranny of the majority: If they're adamant enough about it, they should be allowed to act as unjustly as they want. South Africa wasn't "strong enough" to resist international pressure to end apartheid, so they don't get to have apartheid any more. But Israel is so they do. And Russians will apparently go all the way to the wall to defend their desire to discriminate against gays and lesbians, so the only choice for the rest of the world is to let them.

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Moreover, this whole view of a country as an organism with its own "destiny" is simply nonsense anyway. "Russia" is a high-order abstraction; Russians are actual people. Here we have a situation where a majority of the people living in Russia are oppressing a minority there. What about the rights of that minority to choose their own destiny (i.e. live, love, work--even marry and have a family if they want to)? Why should the need for "Russia" (as represented by the political elite) to exercise power and autonomy trump the need of Russian citizens to do the same.

It is nonsense according to you. It is the truth according to the Russians. They think of Russia as an extenstion of themselves and their families. If foreigners insult Russia, the Russians themselves feel insulted. If foreigners want to coerce Russia the Russians themselves feel threatened.

Sounds like, according to you, the Russians have a lot of growing to do. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is no way to restore your nation's influence on the world stage.

ETA: I wonder though, can we use this obstreperousness to our advantage? If we pressure the Russians to lock up dissidents and oppress minorities, will they feel obligated to release and befriend them just to stick it to us?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Ludwig Whitby
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 19:16

linguoboy wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:
Why is that "weakening Russia"? Did it "weaken Switzerland" to adopt full women's suffrage? (Something Russian women had before American women, I might add.) Was it wrong to put external pressure on South Africa to end Apartheid? Did that destroy their "moral and cultural independence"?

Neither Switzerland nor South Africa were strong enough to stand up to foreign pressures. Russians feel that Russia is strong enough to stand up to foreign pressures and want it to act accordingly. I will not respond to your appeals to emotions.

Well then, respond to the point that protecting the civil rights of minorities is a universal moral value and not simply a Western one.

It isn't that black and white. Different countries and different cultures have different views on what constitutes the civil rights of minorities. And even within one country there are different views, diachronically and synchronically.
linguoboy wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:No. They don't want to do what ever the West wants to make them do. The more pressure you put on them, the more they would be determined not to do it. You're pushing into them and they are pushing back just as strongly. The only ways to resolve this would either be that one part would get pushed to the ground, or that you stop pushing.

Why do you not list "or that the Russians stop pushing back" an option? I'm not much for essentialism, so I don't buy the argument that they're so constitutionally contrary that nothing will ever change their need to reflexively oppose the West on this issue or others.

Because Russia is the one that is being coerced. Russia backing down would be the same as Russia being pushed to the ground. They aren't attacking the way USA or EU countries govern themselves. They feel that their right to decide how to govern their own country is under attack and they are defending themselves.
linguoboy wrote:And again you're going and equating "the Russians" with the most conservative and nationalist subset of them. That may describe the majority, but it doesn't mean they speak for everyone. This is basically an argument for tyranny of the majority: If they're adamant enough about it, they should be allowed to act as unjustly as they want. South Africa wasn't "strong enough" to resist international pressure to end apartheid, so they don't get to have apartheid any more. But Israel is so they do. And Russians will apparently go all the way to the wall to defend their desire to discriminate against gays and lesbians, so the only choice for the rest of the world is to let them.

I am equating "the Russians" with "the majority of Russians" and you are equating "the rest of the world" with "Western Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand".

You are still not seeing it from their perspective. They will go all the way to the wall to defend their right to do what they want to do and what they think is right. They don't want to be blackmailed into doing something that they don't want to do.

You can't just march there and tell them that they've got a wrong moral code and you've got the correct one. Morality is relative and Russians want to defend the right to choose their own morality. Russia isn't trying to force EU countries or USA to ban LGBT propaganda and force the views of the Russian majority upon them. They respect that the Western countries and socieities are free and that they can express their freedom by choosing their moral code and would expect the Western countries to act the same towards Russia. Respect Russia's and Russian society's freedom to choose their own rules, even when you think they are wrong.

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mōdgethanc
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-28, 19:30

"Respect our right to oppress our own people" doesn't fly with me any more than "respect Assad's right to gas his own citizens". I don't believe morality is relative; since you do, I don't think we can reach agreement on this.
Ludwig Whitby wrote:I said that Russians consider Russia a superpower. Russia has been recovering ever since Putin came to power and all this Putin-hate coming from the West is seen by many as an attempt to keep Russia weak and submissive. Majority of Russians don't want that, they want a strong and dominant Russia that won't have to do what foreigners say. A Russia that would be strong enough to decide for itself what it wants or doesn't want to do. LGBT-rights is a battle about that. If Russians give in to foreign pressures it would be considered a defeat and acceptance of submission to the West.
This mindset is stupid and counterproductive, though. The idea doesn't seem to occur to Russians that maybe the things we want them to do (respect human rights and free speech) are good things and they shouldn't reject them out of hand just because we're pressuring them to do them. Being oppressive and dictatorial is the reason so many people criticize Putin, not because he's made the country more powerful. (And has he really? The Russian economy is doing the worst out of the BRICS, for one thing.) I bet the West would be a lot more accepting of a stronger Russia if it were also a more liberal and democratic Russia.
And yes, those values are Western, they come from the time of Enlightenment (a Western phenomenon) and have been in constant evolution ever since. Universality has always been a part of it, though.
Secularization is also a European phenomenon and one of the European values that should be spread alongside other moral values. What difference does it make if it's not a religous moral system, but a secular one? The West is spreading them mostly, but not always, with soft power. When that doesn't work, then they try coercion.
I don't think freedom is an Enlightenment value. Liberalism is, yes, but that's not the same thing. I think freedom is a universal human want; nobody likes being ordered around and told what to do.

At any rate, even if these ideals are "Western", I'd take them over the alternatives any day. What are "Russian values"? Intolerance, belligerent nationalism and censorship? The mindset seems to be "whatever the opposite of what the West wants us to do, that's what we should do, out of pure spite". That isn't rational.
It is nonsense according to you. It is the truth according to the Russians. They think of Russia as an extenstion of themselves and their families. If foreigners insult Russia, the Russians themselves feel insulted. If foreigners want to coerce Russia the Russians themselves feel threatened.
Which is absurd. The Russian state is not the Russian people. It's supposed to exist to benefit its citizens, not the other way around.
Last edited by mōdgethanc on 2013-08-28, 19:38, edited 2 times in total.

yggdrasil
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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-28, 19:36

Wait, that's a crime in Russia? So why hasn't Aleksei Zorin been prosecuted for saying "We deplore those who are led astray--those Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, evangelicals, Pentecostals and many others who cut Christ's robes like bandits, who are like the soldiers who crucified Christ, who ripped apart Christ's holy coat." Don't you think that 800 million Protestants would find it an "insult" to be compared to the heathens who killed their Lord and Saviour?


Yes. There is the article 282 of the criminal code of the Russian Federation which deals exactly with such cases. Protestants if they felt insulted should have filed a lawsuit against Zorin. Have they?

What about them? You can't help hurting people's feelings. It happens all the time. Should the state get involved every time two friends have an argument? Show me where in the УК РФ is says it's a crime to "hurt people's feelings".


See the article 282.

yggdrasil wrote:Do you agree that freedom of speech has its limits? For example this forum has clear-cut rules of conduct. If someone started insulting other members using derogatory language he/she would be immediately banned. And it served him/her right.

It's a poor comparison. You have to choose to join this forum. When you register, you agree to abide by the code of conduct, which is clearly spelled out. If you don't like it, there are thousands of other fora you can join instead--or you can blog your ideas, or tweet them, or post them on a social network like Facebook or LiveJournal.

It's totally different when we're talking about limits to free expression in society at large. The state's responsibility is to prevent real measurable harm. That's why you aren't allowed to seriously threaten somebody with rape or murder or say things which will cause a stampede in a public place. I keep asking you what harm came of Pussy Riot's actions and literally the only thing you can come up with is, "They hurt my feelings." In that case, go ask your mama for a hug.


The limitations of free speech in a society still exist. Even if an individual has no choice. It's a part of the game. When you live in a society you must accept its rules. Unlimited freedom is unattainable. You cannot spit in the face of an entire country and get away with it.

The duty of the Russian state is to protect peace and order in the society. If it does not we don't need such state.

This isn't an answer to the question I asked.


It is in the sense that it's the duty of the state to sort out such cases in a legal manner and prevent mob rule.

Young mothers locked away in prison because old men in robes demanded it? I think that's a pretty clear cut example of harm. Moreover, the Orthodox Church uses its influence with Kremlin to get privileges and gifts which are denied to other religions, who find it difficult even to find places to worship without harassment from the government.


Those young mothers are in prison not because some old men demanded it, because the judge had the corresponding article of the criminal code before her eyes, which states that such crimes should be sentenced with a prison term up to seven years. But they were lucky and got only two. It seems like Putin indeed has asked the judge not to punish them with full severity of law. You seem don't understand that the dirty trick Pussy Riot performed made a very bad impression here, both religious on not. People got real furious towards those stupid girls. If they sought popularity they got it. A sort of.
The Orthodox Church is the religion of the majority, so it possesses influence other religions don't have. What's wrong with this? Under democracy it is the majority that defines the rules.

Ludwig Whitby
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 20:06

mōdgethanc wrote:"Respect our right to oppress our own people" doesn't fly with me any more than "respect Assad's right to gas his own citizens". I don't believe morality is relative; since you do, I don't think we can reach agreement on this.

Russia doesn't intervene nor gets hysterical when Western countries oppress their own people. Besides the Snowden case I can't think of an example of that.

Edit: To this I would also like to add that oppression itself is subjective. The feudal peasantry of Europe, for example, did not consider itself to be oppressed, but I would think that they were.

Also, how come you don't think morality is relative? Is there an absolute, divine morality or what?

mōdgethanc wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:I said that Russians consider Russia a superpower. Russia has been recovering ever since Putin came to power and all this Putin-hate coming from the West is seen by many as an attempt to keep Russia weak and submissive. Majority of Russians don't want that, they want a strong and dominant Russia that won't have to do what foreigners say. A Russia that would be strong enough to decide for itself what it wants or doesn't want to do. LGBT-rights is a battle about that. If Russians give in to foreign pressures it would be considered a defeat and acceptance of submission to the West.
This mindset is stupid and counterproductive, though. The idea doesn't seem to occur to Russians that maybe the things we want them to do (respect human rights and free speech) are good things and they shouldn't reject them out of hand just because we're pressuring them to do them. Being oppressive and dictatorial is the reason so many people criticize Putin, not because he's made the country more powerful. (And has he really? The Russian economy is doing the worst out of the BRICS, for one thing.) I bet the West would be a lot more accepting of a stronger Russia if it were also a more liberal and democratic Russia.

Well they don't agree that those are good things. They don't agree that you know what's best for them. You see the parallel with the white man's burden? How come the savages don't see that what we're trying to teach them is right? Why do they reject our teachings?

Compare Putin and Yeltsin and you'll see what I mean with Putin making Russia stronger.

I bet the West would be a lot more accepting of Russia if Russia would only act the way the West wants it to. I can't argue with that. The thing is, they don't have to act the way you want them to.

mōdgethanc wrote:
And yes, those values are Western, they come from the time of Enlightenment (a Western phenomenon) and have been in constant evolution ever since. Universality has always been a part of it, though.
Secularization is also a European phenomenon and one of the European values that should be spread alongside other moral values. What difference does it make if it's not a religous moral system, but a secular one? The West is spreading them mostly, but not always, with soft power. When that doesn't work, then they try coercion.
I don't think freedom is an Enlightenment value. Liberalism is, yes, but that's not the same thing. I think freedom is a universal human want; nobody likes being ordered around and told what to do.

At any rate, even if these ideals are "Western", I'd take them over the alternatives any day. What are "Russian values"? Intolerance, belligerent nationalism and censorship? The mindset seems to be "whatever the opposite of what the West wants us to do, that's what we should do, out of pure spite". That isn't rational.
It is nonsense according to you. It is the truth according to the Russians. They think of Russia as an extenstion of themselves and their families. If foreigners insult Russia, the Russians themselves feel insulted. If foreigners want to coerce Russia the Russians themselves feel threatened.
Which is absurd. The Russian state is not the Russian people. It's supposed to exist to benefit its citizens, not the other way around.

Freedom? You do realize that freedom means a lot of different things to different people. And, yes, everyone wants freedom. What kind of freedom, that is the question.

I know that you would take Western ideals over the Russian ones. I would too. It's just that neither you or I are Russians. It's not up to us. And if you want to understand the values of a different culture you need to see them through their eyes and understand them on their own premises. You are not doing that.
Last edited by Ludwig Whitby on 2013-08-28, 20:37, edited 1 time in total.

yggdrasil
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-28, 20:12

mōdgethanc wrote:"Respect our right to oppress our own people" doesn't fly with me any more than "respect Assad's right to gas his own citizens". I don't believe morality is relative; since you do, I don't think we can reach agreement on this.


No country has the right to oppress its own people. But it is the people itself who must decide whether it is oppressed or not. Hysteria in Western media regarding the so-called "oppression" of punks in the British sense of the word is just a pretext for an aggressive interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state.

Ludwig Whitby wrote:I said that Russians consider Russia a superpower. Russia has been recovering ever since Putin came to power and all this Putin-hate coming from the West is seen by many as an attempt to keep Russia weak and submissive. Majority of Russians don't want that, they want a strong and dominant Russia that won't have to do what foreigners say. A Russia that would be strong enough to decide for itself what it wants or doesn't want to do. LGBT-rights is a battle about that. If Russians give in to foreign pressures it would be considered a defeat and acceptance of submission to the West.
This mindset is stupid and counterproductive, though. The idea doesn't seem to occur to Russians that maybe the things we want them to do (respect human rights and free speech) are good things and they shouldn't reject them out of hand just because we're pressuring them to do them. Being oppressive and dictatorial is the reason so many people criticize Putin, not because he's made the country more powerful. (And has he really? The Russian economy is doing the worst out of the BRICS, for one thing.) I bet the West would be a lot more accepting of a stronger Russia if it were also a more liberal and democratic Russia.


Note that strong and democratic Russia would not be necessarily pro-Western. Therefore the words about strong Russia sound a bit ambiguous. At least there is absolutely nothing in the behavior of the West that would support that idea. On the contrary there are evidences that the West would feel quite comfortable with a much weaker Russia, no matter how (un)democratic and (il)liberal. Who praised Yeltsin despite his shooting of the Russian parliament and starting the Chechen war? So the West would like to have rather more compliant Russia than more liberal. The West does not give a damn about human rights etc at all. Only when it is profitable from the political point of view.

I don't think freedom is an Enlightenment value. Liberalism is, yes, but that's not the same thing. I think freedom is a universal human want; nobody likes being ordered around and told what to do.


That's right. I agree with you. We don't want the West to tell us what to do. That's why we hear all that rant about freedom and all with great suspicion. Especially having in mind the inherent aggressiveness of the West. I see no difference between the West preaching its "human rights" and bombing countries that don't listen into stone age and islamic fundamentalism trying to build a paradise on Earth and blowing up people to pieces. Is there any? Both are a danger.

At any rate, even if these ideals are "Western", I'd take them over the alternatives any day. What are "Russian values"? Intolerance, belligerent nationalism and censorship? The mindset seems to be "whatever the opposite of what the West wants us to do, that's what we should do, out of pure spite". That isn't rational.


So what good and rational do you propose that Russians reject out of their stubbornness? Name a few things.

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mōdgethanc
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-28, 20:43

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Russia doesn't intervene nor gets hysterical when Western countries oppress their own people. Besides the Snowden case I can't think of an example of that.
Because Russia is almost objectively worse. We may not be perfect, but there is nothing like the treatment of LGBT people or mass graves in Chechnya here. Let's not draw false equivalencies here. Russia is not a real democracy. Neither is China. If I said China was undemocratic, would you disagree? I doubt it.
Also, how come you don't think morality is relative? Is there an absolute, divine morality or what?
Nothing divine about it. I believe harming others, or allowing them to come to harm, is self-evidently wrong. Russia is at least doing the latter here.

Do you believe beating up people is wrong? If so, why? If morals really are relative, what is your basis for believing anything?
Well they don't agree that those are good things. They don't agree that you know what's best for them. You see the parallel with the white man's burden? How come the savages don't see that what we're trying to teach them is right? Why do they reject our teachings?
Not really, no. I don't see much of a comparison between telling others not to beat up people and telling them to believe in our god or else. Again, religion is relative. Beating people up is not; it's still beating people up no matter how you spin it.
I bet the West would be a lot more accepting of Russia if Russia would only act the way the West wants it to. I can't argue with that. The thing is, they don't have to act the way you want them to.
No, it would just be the morally right thing to do.
Freedom? You do realize that freedom means a lot of different things to different people. And, yes, everyone wants freedom. What kind of freedom, that is the question.
Censorship is not freedom. That isn't up for debate; they are almost antonyms. It's wrong when we do it, and it's wrong when they do it. When Saudis arrest women for demanding more rights, that is wrong. When America imprisons whistleblowers, that is wrong. When Russia breaks up opposition protests, that is wrong. Culture is not an excuse for anything.

Do Russians really believe the way gay people are being treated currently there is freedom? If so, they ought to consult a good dictionary.
I know that you would take Western ideals over the Russian ones. I would too. It's just that neither you or I are Russians. It's not up to us. And if you want to understand the values of a different culture you need to see them through their eyes and understand them on their own premises. You are not doing that.
Again, culture is not an excuse. So maybe Russian culture is homophobic. Yeah, and maybe Saudi culture is misogynistic. I don't care. American culture used to be (and in many ways still is) highly racist. That was wrong too. I don't give a shit about national borders or culture differences. That's because I believe morals have to be either universal, or they are not very good morals at all. I don't believe in double standards.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-28, 20:48

Ludwig, I don't think there is a point in continuing to debate this. It's obvious we are never going to reach any consensus. You say I ought to consider this issue from the Russian point of view, and normally I would agree that is a good idea. But if the posts made by Russian users here are indicative of anything, it is merely institutionalized homophobia and I don't believe that is worthy of consideration at all. There is no point trying to debate rationally with people who hold irrational beliefs.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-28, 20:53

yggdrasil wrote:No country has the right to oppress its own people. But it is the people itself who must decide whether it is oppressed or not. Hysteria in Western media regarding the so-called "oppression" of punks in the British sense of the word is just a pretext for an aggressive interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state.
Wrong. At one time, many Americans believed slavery was not oppressive because blacks were subhuman. They were wrong, and if Russians believe homophobia is not oppression, they are wrong too.

Oppression is not a point of view. Oppression is oppression. Assault is assault. Murder is murder.
Note that strong and democratic Russia would not be necessarily pro-Western.
It doesn't have to be. Brazil is democratic and not necessarily pro-Western; we have no beef with them.
The West does not give a damn about human rights etc at all.
Then why is it that we respect them more than most of the rest of the world does?
That's right. I agree with you. We don't want the West to tell us what to do. That's why we hear all that rant about freedom and all with great suspicion. Especially having in mind the inherent aggressiveness of the West. I see no difference between the West preaching its "human rights" and bombing countries that don't listen into stone age and islamic fundamentalism trying to build a paradise on Earth and blowing up people to pieces. Is there any? Both are a danger.
If you really think that (that we are inherently aggressive, and morally equivalent to Islamic fundamentalists), then I think you're a nut. Sorry.
So what good and rational do you propose that Russians reject out of their stubbornness? Name a few things.
Tolerating gay people.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 21:03

mōdgethanc wrote:Ludwig, I don't think there is a point in continuing to debate this. It's obvious we are never going to reach any consensus. You say I ought to consider this issue from the Russian point of view, and normally I would agree that is a good idea. But if the posts made by Russian users here are indicative of anything, it is merely institutionalized homophobia and I don't believe that is worthy of consideration at all. There is no point trying to debate rationally with people who hold irrational beliefs.

I was about to give up as well. I will just still insist that you should at least take into consideration the Russian perspective when dealing with issues regarding Russia. You don't have to agree with their beliefs, they don't have to be rational, just understand that they have a different point of view and that because of that fundamental difference, you can't have a meaningful discussion with them. You're seeing the same things and often interpreting them very differently. Seen from their point of view, they are right. Seen from your point of view, you are right.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-28, 21:07

Ludwig Whitby wrote:I was about to give up as well. I will just still insist that you should at least take into consideration the Russian perspective when dealing with issues regarding Russia. You don't have to agree with their beliefs, they don't have to be rational, just understand that they have a different point of view and that because of that fundamental difference, you can't have a meaningful discussion with them. You're seeing the same things and often interpreting them very differently. Seen from their point of view, they are right. Seen from your point of view, you are right.
Well, I think the Russian view that we are meddling in their internal affairs and preaching our morals is not necessarily wrong. However, I am not debating whether homophobia and discrimination is wrong; that's just something I think should be blindingly obvious to anyone with a working brain. Anyway, it was a good debate, so thank you for engaging me.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby md0 » 2013-08-28, 21:10

I told you, didn't I? If you are conditioned to believe that human rights is a plot of the Decadent West to weaken your country, you can support oxymora like "The State needs to protect the feelings of the citizens" and "Gay citizens shouldn't demand the right to normal lives".

Maybe 'gay' is marked as a western construct upon the biological homosexuality. Maybe a different construct would be a better vehicle for gay Orthodoxs to demand respect. Let's go traditional http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelphopoiesis
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Johanna » 2013-08-29, 1:38

I feel offended by yggdrasil, just by his choice of nick.

1) it's a female name, chosen buy a guy who's anti-LGBT in any form. Irony anyone?

2) it's the world tree, the tree of life. It has no agenda whatsoever, it doesn't care about right or wrong, good or evil... it just is.

Also, it's a part of the Nordic mythology, not the Russian one. And let me tell you, most Nordics are pro-LGBT, so just go and kidnap some Russian thing for your nick instead, will you?
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-29, 1:45

Johanna wrote:I feel offended by yggdrasil, just by his choice of nick.

1) it's a female name, chosen buy a guy who's anti-LGBT in any form. Irony anyone?

2) it's the world tree, the tree of life. It has no agenda whatsoever, it doesn't care about right or wrong, good or evil... it just is.

Also, it's a part of the Nordic mythology, not the Russian one. And let me tell you, most Nordics are pro-LGBT, so just go and kidnap some Russian thing for your nick, will you?
Wait, really? I've been reading about Norse mythology ever since I was a kid and I never knew it was feminine. Is the tree itself seen as female?

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Johanna » 2013-08-29, 1:50

mōdgethanc wrote:Wait, really? I've been reading about Norse mythology ever since I was a kid and I never knew it was feminine. Is the tree itself seen as female?

Yep, it is.
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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby Yserenhart » 2013-08-29, 2:11

yggdrasil wrote:The limitations of free speech in a society still exist. Even if an individual has no choice. It's a part of the game. When you live in a society you must accept its rules. Unlimited freedom is unattainable. You cannot spit in the face of an entire country and get away with it.

Imagine for a moment that the situation in Russia was reversed, where your views were the minority, and those now being punished were the majority, in which you were being sentenced for stating your views because they differed from, and therefore offended the majority. Now tell me, would you believe this was how it should be, that it's right for you to go to prison for being the minority?

What about them? You can't help hurting people's feelings. It happens all the time. Should the state get involved every time two friends have an argument? Show me where in the УК РФ is says it's a crime to "hurt people's feelings".

See the article 282.


In regards to this, seeing as you appear to have offended a member here, and you seem to support having limits on free speech and the criminilisation of causing offence, I'll let you have a choice. I can bring your article 282 to play, and ban you for the maximum amount of time you could be jailed in Russia for breaking that law, or I could actually take it as I just read it, and see that it says nothing about just causing offence, and not ban you. I expect your choice to reflect your actual opinion on using a law about inciting national, religious, or racial enmity to justify years of prison for offending someone without actually trying to start violence against them.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby md0 » 2013-08-29, 8:59

Yay, another win for the Orthodox Faith! How secular education in Cyprus is sacrificed to the crisis. Or, how to keep the Archbishop – a banker, large property owner and big employer – happy

When I was a primary school student, the teachers kept tabs on us whether we went to Saturday school and the Sunday mass, and if we didn't, they'd scold us first thing on Monday. Orthodoxy classes never ceased being obligatory (and exemptions for people of other faith -but not for those of no faith- existed only on paper), they were a bit more relaxed by the time I was in high school. During theblessing rite for the new academic year they would turn a blind eye if you didn't kiss the priest's hand, something that wouldn't allow some years before, and at my last year in highschool we were even allowed not to enter the the church (but remain in the yard) for the obligatory masses which happened to fall on school hours.

But now the system is balancing out again :D The Republic has fall, but the Church still standing! They still have wealth to build hotels in blatantly non-tourist areas, buy bank shares with the money donated to the Church from time immemorial, and other ecclesiastical duties, including owning the biggest brewery on the island and firing staff from it without proper procedures. Back to the 1980s, before we had our first non-clergy head of Government.

(Other things also reversing to 1980s levels: language education. Two years ago a naive first step towards dialectism-aware education was taken and a set of measures to help students learn Standard Greek not by shaming their dialect and calling them "hicks who will never be able to speak properly" but by comparing the many different variants of the language and were they are usually used, is now reversed by the new conservative government, because, and quoting the recently-deceased Dean of the University of Cyprus's Classics Dpt "those linguists want to convince that that Cypriot [Greek] is a language and that we actually speak Turkish" (!).)
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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-29, 9:38

Yserenhart wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:The limitations of free speech in a society still exist. Even if an individual has no choice. It's a part of the game. When you live in a society you must accept its rules. Unlimited freedom is unattainable. You cannot spit in the face of an entire country and get away with it.

Imagine for a moment that the situation in Russia was reversed, where your views were the minority, and those now being punished were the majority, in which you were being sentenced for stating your views because they differed from, and therefore offended the majority. Now tell me, would you believe this was how it should be, that it's right for you to go to prison for being the minority?


Again, the law we are talking about is not aimed against any social group. It does not punish people for being gay, straight whatever. It only prohibits certain activities, no matter who performs them. Nobody is persecuting the gays for being gay. Sexual orientation is strictly a private matter. But social activity is not. It is just the social activity the law regulates. If I were in minority I would still obey the law and did not do anything violating it. I would try to convince the majority to change the situation in a legal manner. And if it were not possible I would leave the country.

In regards to this, seeing as you appear to have offended a member here, and you seem to support having limits on free speech and the criminilisation of causing offence, I'll let you have a choice. I can bring your article 282 to play, and ban you for the maximum amount of time you could be jailed in Russia for breaking that law, or I could actually take it as I just read it, and see that it says nothing about just causing offence, and not ban you. I expect your choice to reflect your actual opinion on using a law about inciting national, religious, or racial enmity to justify years of prison for offending someone without actually trying to start violence against them.


If I offended someone I apologize. If it is not sufficient the offended side may try to file a lawsuit against me. In this case he should provide evidence of my crime and defend the case in court. He may win or may lose. That's how legal system works. Any other suggestions?

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-29, 15:53

Johanna wrote:I feel offended by yggdrasil, just by his choice of nick.

1) it's a female name, chosen buy a guy who's anti-LGBT in any form. Irony anyone?

2) it's the world tree, the tree of life. It has no agenda whatsoever, it doesn't care about right or wrong, good or evil... it just is.

Also, it's a part of the Nordic mythology, not the Russian one. And let me tell you, most Nordics are pro-LGBT, so just go and kidnap some Russian thing for your nick instead, will you?



The fact that as you say most Nordics are pro-LGBT only shows how far away you have gone from your spriritual heritage. It is a question who deserves more to use Norse symbols: modern days Scandinavians or Russians. Anyway I don't think that symbols belong to you in the sense of intellectual property. Picking any symbol does not contradict the rules of this forum. I have chosen it because I admire Norse mythology. BTW, the vikings despised the gays. But I like Norse languages and myths not because of that. My attitude towards the gays is neutral.
You are saying that Yggdrasil is feminine name? Grammatically it is not. Are there girls are called Yggdrasil? Funny.


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