Choosing a Church

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Choosing a Church

fschmidt
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I am looking for a church for my family.  I am an atheist looking for a community with morality, and these days morality can only be found in religious organizations.  So I will post to this thread each church I contact and how it worked out.  I also posted to a Christian Forum asking for suggestions.
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Conservative Jewish

fschmidt
Administrator
Judaism comes in 3 varieties, reform, conservative, and orthodox, which roughly translate into small, medium, and large.  Reform Judaism is just Jewish liberalism, so is worthless.  So I tried Conservative Judaism and called them and was told that the rabbi would call me back.  SHE did.  I explained that I was looking for a conservative values including modesty in dress.  She was very offended.  Clearly Conservative Judaism is worthless, part of modern feminist culture.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Mormon

fschmidt
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In reply to this post by fschmidt
I called the Mormons and they were friendly.  I went to their church today.  It was 3 hours, each hour being a different type of service.  I found it very odd.  The focus was almost entirely on faith.  Morality was barely discussed.  Many people testified about their faith and cried while talking about their devotion.  The extensive crying is not something that I have seen before in religious service, including the various churches that I visited while I was younger.  The only explanation I can think of is that America life is lonely and miserable and these people compensate for this with a personal relationship with Christ.  So Christ isn't only a leader, but is also a replacement for the normal human relationships that people have in normal sane cultures.

I don't think Mormon will work for my family.  We just couldn't relate to it at all.  It will be interesting to see how other Christian sects compare.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Mormon

Drealm
Good thread. Just today I was checking Amazon for books that provide a good introduction to the different world religions. This area requires a massive amount of research, I commend you on doing this legwork.

I made a similar thread to you're Christian thread inquiring about mormons on city data.

I've come to conclude a couple things about religion:

1. A good religion would make a brotherhood superfluous. Because any good religion will include a code of conduct that's far more evolved and advanced than anything a secular organization will have.

2. Only women need religion. An all male society wouldn't need religion. However since women are a fundamental part of the equation in relationships, this presents a conflict. Men need to decide whether they want to convert to a religion themselves or just foster religion in their wives.

3. I have a personal ethical dilemma with myself attending a religious service while being a confirmed atheist. I guess if a person is upfront about reasons for attending, it's not being dishonest to other church members.

That's disappointing about Mormonism, because they have power in numbers. I don't know of any other singular denomination that runs an entire state.
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Re: Mormon

J. Donner
In reply to this post by fschmidt
That's strange about Mormonism. I have quite a few Mormon friends - and, while living in Utah, extended that number - and would have never pegged any of them for the crying type. Most of the Mormon girls I met expressed a desire for a more traditional living arrangement as opposed to the feminist offerings of pursuing a career and playing "man," basically. And the Mormon men I met were mostly hard working/industrious/of good character. I never did end up going to a Mormon service myself, however; perhaps I should have.

In response to Drealm, I don't know that "men don't need religion." Religion tends to be popular in military organizations, for instance, which have historically almost always been all male. It seems easy to be a skeptic while in relative safety, but the constant fear of death in a war zone seems to foster religious belief. (I say that but I'm still largely agnostic. I was never deployed to a combat zone, either.)
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Re: Mormon

fschmidt
Administrator
In reply to this post by Drealm
Direct experience is always best.  Drealm, why don't you visit your local Mormon church and compare your experience to mine?  I think this may also affect your 3 conclusions.

Also, I don't think a religion has to be as big as Mormonism to be effective.  It just needs to be big enough to have a meaningful local community.
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Re: Mormon

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
Also, I don't think a religion has to be as big as Mormonism to be effective.  It just needs to be big enough to have a meaningful local community.
How big is "big enough"? 100 members?
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Re: Mormon

fschmidt
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Drealm wrote
How big is "big enough"? 100 members?
100 members in one city seems just about big enough.
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Re: Mormon

fschmidt
Administrator
In reply to this post by Drealm
Drealm wrote
1. A good religion would make a brotherhood superfluous. Because any good religion will include a code of conduct that's far more evolved and advanced than anything a secular organization will have.
A good religion?  My hopes aren't that high.  I just want to use religion for some of its values, but the whole package isn't very appealing.  First, all monotheistic religions reject atheism.  And I do mean REJECT.  They will treat an atheist as defective, in need of correction.  And even more importantly, modern Christianity universally rejects prostitution (for reasons that have nothing to do with the Bible).  Prostitution is required for a moral society.

So why am I looking for a religion?  Because I want to take some of what it offers, primarily conservative views on marriage and dress, and ignore the rest.  Given that, I am not so enthusiastic about having one religion dominate a region.  I want (meaningful) diversity where I live, so I can pick and choose what to take from different groups.  Here in El Paso, I could take my daughter to some Christian group to give her conservative values, and I could take single men to Mexico for decent prostitution.

2. Only women need religion. An all male society wouldn't need religion. However since women are a fundamental part of the equation in relationships, this presents a conflict. Men need to decide whether they want to convert to a religion themselves or just foster religion in their wives.
Men need some meaningful group even more than women do.  Men need to feel united to a tribe in order for men to act morally to each other.  Whether that group has to be a religion, I am not sure.

3. I have a personal ethical dilemma with myself attending a religious service while being a confirmed atheist. I guess if a person is upfront about reasons for attending, it's not being dishonest to other church members.
Yes, that's what I did, I was just honest.
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Re: Mormon

Drealm
This post was updated on .
fschmidt wrote
A good religion?  My hopes aren't that high.  I just want to use religion
for some of its values, but the whole package isn't very appealing.  First,
all monotheistic religions reject atheism.  And I do mean REJECT.  They will
treat an atheist as defective, in need of correction.
How do you feel about something like a traditional Ketubah? Would this be something to eventually include in a CoAlpha code? Or would things like this be better to outsource to religions? What I'm getting at is how far should the CoAlpha code evolve? Should the CoAlpha code replace religion? Or just complement religion? Religious codes were built up over thousands of years. So replacing religion may be reinventing the wheel.

fschmidt wrote
And even more importantly, modern Christianity universally rejects prostitution (for reasons that have nothing to do with the Bible). Prostitution is required for a moral society.
You've said this before and I think I have a hunch why prostitution is required. Tell me if my assessment is correct:

a. There's only three types of women a man can get sex from: 1, a prostitute. 2, a wife. 3, a unmarried woman.

b. According to Unwin for a society to evolve upwards, most women need to be prenuptialy chaste and monogamous.

c. This means the only type of women a man can get sex from without violating Unwin's rule, is a prostitute or his wife. Should a man have sex with an unmarried women, he's basically destroyed a future man's wife. Similarly if a man has sex with another man's wife he's also destroyed that wife.

d. Men whom are single are left with these options: 1, a prostitute  2, a wife (of another man) or 3, a unmarried woman. Only prostitutes ensure that most women aren't ruined.

e. Similarly if a man needs extra marital sexual variety, he has these same three options: 1, a prostitute. 2, a wife. 3, a unmarried woman. Only a prostitute can facilitate sex without violating Unwin's rule.

In other words, in a society where prostitution is outlawed, men are both required and incentivized to either steal other men's wives or ruin the majority of women.

fschmidt wrote
 and I could take single men to Mexico for decent prostitution.
Would this be Juarez?

fschmidt wrote
Men need some meaningful group even more than women do.  Men need to feel united to a tribe in order for men to act morally to each other.  Whether that group has to be a religion, I am not sure.
Yes but I don't think the group needs a spiritual backing. I think men are perfectly fine creating a group out of mutual benefit. Women need things legitimized by religion.
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Re: Mormon

fschmidt
Administrator
Drealm wrote
How do you feel about something like a traditional Ketubah?
This looks fine as long as the husband's approval is required for divorce.

Would this be something to eventually include in a CoAlpha code? Or would things like this be better to outsource to religions? What I'm getting at is how far should the CoAlpha code evolve? Should the CoAlpha code replace religion? Or just complement religion? Religious codes were built up over thousands of years. So replacing religion may be reinventing the wheel.
I don't know the answer to any of this.  We just need to try things and figure out what works.  That is why I am visiting churches, to learn.  And I hope to buy a house soon and then try out the dating service idea.  One step at a time.

You've said this before and I think I have a hunch why prostitution is required. Tell me if my assessment is correct:

a. There's only three types of women a man can get sex from: 1, a prostitute. 2, a wife. 3, a unmarried woman.

b. According to Unwin for a society to evolve upwards, most women need to be prenuptialy chaste and monogamous.

c. This means the only type of women a man can get sex from without violating Unwin's rule, is a prostitute or his wife. Should a man have sex with an unmarried women, he's basically destroyed a future man's wife. Similarly if a man has sex with another man's wife he's also destroyed that wife.

d. Men whom are single are left with these options: 1, a prostitute  2, a wife (of another man) or 3, a unmarried woman. Only prostitutes ensure that most women aren't ruined.

e. Similarly if a man needs extra marital sexual variety, he has these same three options: 1, a prostitute. 2, a wife. 3, a unmarried woman. Only a prostitute can facilitate sex without violating Unwin's rule.

In other words, in a society where prostitution is outlawed, men are both required and incentivized to either steal other men's wives or ruin the majority of women.
Yes, this is right.

fschmidt wrote
 and I could take single men to Mexico for decent prostitution.
Would this be Juarez?
Hopefully when things quiet down.  I haven't been there since I moved to El Paso, but I should take a look.  And there are other border crossings that could be tried.  When I get an interested customer, I will look.

fschmidt wrote
Men need some meaningful group even more than women do.  Men need to feel united to a tribe in order for men to act morally to each other.  Whether that group has to be a religion, I am not sure.
Yes but I don't think the group needs a spiritual backing. I think men are perfectly fine creating a group out of mutual benefit. Women need things legitimized by religion.
I'm not sure.  The only long-lasting co-alpha group that I know of are Jews.  All other groups fell apart soon after becoming successful, and this generally went with a decline in religion.
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Re: Mormon

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
I'm not sure.  The only long-lasting co-alpha group that I know of are Jews.  All other groups fell apart soon after becoming successful, and this generally went with a decline in religion.
So here's a hypothetical question then. I don't expect you to have the answer, but maybe you've asked yourself this question also. Wouldn't an atheist who latches on to religious members but refuses to convert themselves be fairly categorized as a parasite? Mind you I don't blame an atheist for doing this, but surely it's not a sustainable plan. If everyone relied on someone else to be religious while refusing to be religious themselves, there'd be no one to rely on. Of course religion is a large enough host and atheists whom value religion are a small enough parasite that there will always be an ample supply of religious people to fulfill this need.
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Re: Mormon

fschmidt
Administrator
A parasite harms its host, so an atheist who latches on to a church more accurately has a commensal relationship with the church.  The reason I need a church is because CoAlpha is too small to offer a community.  If CoAlpha grew larger, I wouldn't need a church.
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Re: Mormon

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
A parasite harms its host, so an atheist who latches on to a church more accurately has a commensal relationship with the church.  The reason I need a church is because CoAlpha is too small to offer a community.  If CoAlpha grew larger, I wouldn't need a church.
Ah ha! Commensalism!
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Re: Mormon

Ardia
I don't know how religious people think. But I dont see how it is necessarily commensal.

1) You dont believe in a god.
2) You are there to encourage good behaviour in your children/etc. Not for yourself.
3) This could lead to your children becoming religious, unless you stop it/they pick up, as children tend to do, that you dont really believe that stuff.
4) Your children will relay atheist sentiment to their church playmates - making it harmful to the church.
~or~
5) Your children become religious.

If religion is actively maintaining a lie, any non-believers are a threat as lies tend to have shaky foundations because people cannot reach the same conclusions as the lie by following their own path/logic/etc.
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Re: Mormon

fschmidt
Administrator
Yes, a pushy atheist could be a parasite.  But I am a relativist like Protagoras which means that I don't consider religion to be lie, but rather I consider religion to be an interpretation of reality that I haven't chosen for myself.  I wouldn't stop my kids from becoming religious.  I would tell my kids not to push their beliefs on others.  (But pushing values is fine.)
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Sovereign Grace Ministries

fschmidt
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In reply to this post by fschmidt
http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/

I would describe this church as "Martin Luther, The Musical".  Most of it was singing modern inspirational music that basically reflected Luther's view that faith is all that matters.  This church is relatively new and seems to have been designed to market Christ to the general public.  Unlike the Mormons, these people generally seemed happy.  They wore normal clothes but at least no one dressed like a slut.  Just like the Mormons, there was absolutely no discussion of morality.  All faith, no ethics.  I can't see any value in this.
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Orthodox Jewish

fschmidt
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In reply to this post by fschmidt
I visited the Orthodox rabbi in El Paso.  He said that since my wife isn't Jewish, my kids aren't Jewish either, and so he can't do anything for them.  He recognized the inflexibility of this position, but pointed out that inflexibility is what has kept Orthodox Judaism on path for the last 3000 years and that he wasn't about to change that.  We briefly discussed Noahidism but he said there was nothing like this in El Paso.  I asked him what he suggested I do, and he couldn't think of anything.  He seems to recognize that the world is going down the drain, but he doesn't much care about the non-Jewish world.
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Re: Orthodox Jewish

J. Donner
I guess it's impossible for one to become Jewish, then?
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Re: Orthodox Jewish

fschmidt
Administrator
J. Donner wrote
I guess it's impossible for one to become Jewish, then?
Not impossible, but not easy or encouraged.  If one accepts all Jewish belief and follows all Jewish law, then after several years of work one can become Jewish.  That doesn't work for us.
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