"God" stuff

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by kit » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:33 pm

Was having a discussion about this subject (Faith and Rovering) with some of my crew not so long ago. We decided that we very much prefer the Scouts Australia "...to my god..." (italics mine) because it gives the individual that ownership. A person does not need to have a capital-G god for them to have some kind of higher authority that they, in essence, serve. There is a "Faith Awareness" badge at the Cub and Scout levels, but no higher. Venturers don't have a spirituality component to their program at all, it seems. Rovers have the Spritual Development badge that is part of Method B of a BP award, but Method B is about (in my experience) 1/2 as popular as Method A, when a rover chooses to start working on their BP at all (about... 20% of the time, I feel. Maybe more, but not much)

That being said, we do have the Rover Prayer, and I've yet to know a formal Rover gathering (Roundtable/"community gathering", Business meeting) and it does strike a chord with most of us. For those who may be unfamiliar with it:

By the spirits of the just, made perfect in their suffering
Teach us in our turn, o lord, to serve thee as we ought
To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To toil and not to seek for rest
To labour and not to seek for any reward
Save that of knowing that we do thy will

And maybe, at the end of the day, that's enough? We're asking whatever powers may be to help us out. To help us serve our communities and our friends and our world. Even if we do it stumbling through the words, even if we do it because the rest of the crew already is, I don't know a Rover who will say the prayer that doesn't believe in it.
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Alpha-Theta Rover Crew, Melbourne, Australia
(inactive) 1st South Vancouver Rovers, Vancouver, BC

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:06 am

The Rover prayer is based upon the prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola and was adopted by Baden-Powell for use by the Rover Scout section.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by jkeess » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:48 pm

firstairdriesona wrote:Errol your last 2 posts seem contradictory. if someone self identifies as an athiest or do not believe in a god should they be pushed from the program? I dont understand degrees of atheism. I could understand degrees of christianity or somthing but an athiest does not believe in a god

Personaly I believe in a higher power, nature. but it was created by some random events and goverend by laws that we fail to comprehend anthing like fully.
"I am the wisest of all the Greeks for I know that I know nothing."
-Socrates

Speaking of Greeks, given that atheistic philosophies date back to Epicurus, Humanism can be said to be the Western world's oldest surviving moral system - far older than Christianity and certainly older than Wicca (from the 20th century.) In terms of teaching the principles, these can be informed by humanism and rationalism just as much as any religious doctrine.

Other leaders will lead a traditional grace before a meal, I'll point out that about 2 billion go hungry every day. The variety, I think,, gives a bit of depth to the programme.

It all boils down to a belief in a force above man. I am extremely confident that SC will not botheryou for your beliefs if you are amazed at just how small a corner of the world we occupy, and that there is something beyond the immediate self.

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Angus Bickerton » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:29 am

jkeess wrote:"I am the wisest of all the Greeks for I know that I know nothing." -Socrates

Speaking of Greeks, given that atheistic philosophies date back to Epicurus, Humanism can be said to be the Western world's oldest surviving moral system - far older than Christianity and certainly older than Wicca (from the 20th century.) In terms of teaching the principles, these can be informed by humanism and rationalism just as much as any religious doctrine.

Other leaders will lead a traditional grace before a meal, I'll point out that about 2 billion go hungry every day. The variety, I think,, gives a bit of depth to the programme.

It all boils down to a belief in a force above man. I am extremely confident that SC will not bother you for your beliefs if you are amazed at just how small a corner of the world we occupy, and that there is something beyond the immediate self.
Socrates was a flippin' brilliant man...

In actual fact, Christian morality (properly labelled Judeo-Christian morality) goes further back than Epicurus, as it is based almost entirely on the Mosaic law of the Hebrews, which forms the basis of most western criminal law. Christianity added in the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), along with the Great Commission (evangelism). If only the church (in its various forms) had followed that morality for the last 2000 years, it might cause less controversy ;) (I am speaking as a Christian). In any event, Judeo-Christian morality has its roots in the 1500-1000 BCE epoch, when Greek civilization was just beginning to develop (certainly not what it was when Epicurus was philosophizing).

As for the meal prayers, remembering the hungry is an essential part of giving thanks, no matter your faith/belief system. "Let us be grateful for the food we are about to receive, and keep us ever mindful of the needs of others" was the way my uncle put it. I, like jkees, am a little more blunt, but it is an important thing to remember: we have so much, while so many have so little. We need to continually make ourselves aware of that, as a guard against selfishness and ungratefulness.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by jkeess » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:02 pm

In actual fact, Christian morality (properly labelled Judeo-Christian morality) goes further back than Epicurus, as it is based almost entirely on the Mosaic law of the Hebrews, which forms the basis of most western criminal law. Christianity added in the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), along with the Great Commission (evangelism)
I've been extremely busy for the past months, so I apologise for the delay.

1 - There's nothing in Judeo-Christian morality that we consider appropraite to the modern age that is not reflected in natural law anyway.

2 - Conficious coined the golden rule centuries before the Bible was written. Also, the golden rule has cropped up in virtually almost every religion anyhow, meaning that's not solely Judeo-Christian, or, for that matter, religion at all.

As for an above comment - if there's no Spirituality Award for the adult level, there ought not to be an RiL award either.

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Angus Bickerton » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:59 am

jkeess wrote:
1 - There's nothing in Judeo-Christian morality that we consider appropraite to the modern age that is not reflected in natural law anyway.

2 - Conficious coined the golden rule centuries before the Bible was written. Also, the golden rule has cropped up in virtually almost every religion anyhow, meaning that's not solely Judeo-Christian, or, for that matter, religion at all.

As for an above comment - if there's no Spirituality Award for the adult level, there ought not to be an RiL award either.
Agree wholeheartedly with the last. Either make an adult level spirituality award, or do away with the RiL adult level award. This being said, why is there a difference between the Red border (Rover) level and the adult level? Never understood that myself.

As for point 1, just what is "natural law", except a creation of philosophy (I am speaking as a lawyer)? Law is a creation of human behaviour, and there is very little "natural" about it. It is a uniquely human construct, and not something that just "exists" waiting to be discovered, like the laws of physics (the word "law" should not be used to describe absolutes in science, in my opinion, as laws can be and regularly are broken). Further, it is very safe to say that the basis of western democracy is uniquely Judeo-Christian morality taken from biblical scripture. It is the foundation of the English common and statute law, which system was imported into Canada and the United States, plus several other places on the planet such as AUS and NZ, and also of the Roman civil law system with obvious Judeo-Christian content that is prevalent in the rest of Europe. The latter was imposed almost entirely under the auspices of the Roman Church during the first centuries of the second millenium CE. So, the basis of western legal systems was solely Judeo-Christian, despite much of Judeo-Christian morality existing in other sources worldwide. (Incidentally, this point has very little to do with the purpose of this thread, rather, it is a point of legal philosophy and legal history).

As for point 2, Confucius did utter something similar to the Golden Rule, as did a number of other Jewish scholars and rabbinical teachings in the centuries leading up to Christ's ministry, but the quotes are distinct, and were said differently without the context imposed upon it by Christ. There are distinctions, and Christ provided examples to go with what he said, that were both applicable to the time when he was teaching, and today. For instance, Confucius never said anything about "going the extra mile", because he never had to face a Roman soldier who could legally demand that you carry his pack for one mile. Jesus suggested carrying the pack "an extra mile". That is literally what that means, and puts the Golden Rule as stated by Christ in a different light: do not just what is required of you, but do more, and with joy and love in your heart. Again "turning the other cheek" does not mean being nice when someone slaps you. It means not meeting violence with violence, yes, but it also means not backing down (one of the best explanations of this point of Christ's teaching is to be found in the film "Gandhi"), standing up peacefully to one's oppressor. But there is more, as it means doing so out of LOVE for one's oppressor, instead of the righteous indignation granted by the justice of one's cause. The Golden Rule as stated by Christ must be taken in the context of everything that he said, instead of just a few words. In the absence of that specific context, no moral or legal philosopher of any nation can claim that the Golden Rule existed prior to Christ's ministry in Judea.

I would hazard, however, that we could debate the fine points of this ad infinitum, but it takes this thread even further from its original path. I suggest writing Steve Kent and asking that there be an adult Spirituality Award. With the upcoming program review, it would seem to make sense to make that suggestion now.
Angus Bickerton
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:09 pm

Angus Bickerton wrote:
I would hazard, however, that we could debate the fine points of this ad infinitum, but it takes this thread even further from its original path. I suggest writing Steve Kent and asking that there be an adult Spirituality Award. With the upcoming program review, it would seem to make sense to make that suggestion now.
Why don't you Angus, great idea...copy Doug Reid as well
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by jkeess » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:11 pm

Angus Bickerton wrote:
jkeess wrote:
1 - There's nothing in Judeo-Christian morality that we consider appropraite to the modern age that is not reflected in natural law anyway.

2 - Conficious coined the golden rule centuries before the Bible was written. Also, the golden rule has cropped up in virtually almost every religion anyhow, meaning that's not solely Judeo-Christian, or, for that matter, religion at all.

As for an above comment - if there's no Spirituality Award for the adult level, there ought not to be an RiL award either.
Agree wholeheartedly with the last. Either make an adult level spirituality award, or do away with the RiL adult level award. This being said, why is there a difference between the Red border (Rover) level and the adult level? Never understood that myself.

As for point 1, just what is "natural law", except a creation of philosophy (I am speaking as a lawyer)? Law is a creation of human behaviour, and there is very little "natural" about it. It is a uniquely human construct, and not something that just "exists" waiting to be discovered, like the laws of physics (the word "law" should not be used to describe absolutes in science, in my opinion, as laws can be and regularly are broken). Further, it is very safe to say that the basis of western democracy is uniquely Judeo-Christian morality taken from biblical scripture. It is the foundation of the English common and statute law, which system was imported into Canada and the United States, plus several other places on the planet such as AUS and NZ, and also of the Roman civil law system with obvious Judeo-Christian content that is prevalent in the rest of Europe. The latter was imposed almost entirely under the auspices of the Roman Church during the first centuries of the second millenium CE. So, the basis of western legal systems was solely Judeo-Christian, despite much of Judeo-Christian morality existing in other sources worldwide. (Incidentally, this point has very little to do with the purpose of this thread, rather, it is a point of legal philosophy and legal history).

As for point 2, Confucius did utter something similar to the Golden Rule, as did a number of other Jewish scholars and rabbinical teachings in the centuries leading up to Christ's ministry, but the quotes are distinct, and were said differently without the context imposed upon it by Christ. There are distinctions, and Christ provided examples to go with what he said, that were both applicable to the time when he was teaching, and today. For instance, Confucius never said anything about "going the extra mile", because he never had to face a Roman soldier who could legally demand that you carry his pack for one mile. Jesus suggested carrying the pack "an extra mile". That is literally what that means, and puts the Golden Rule as stated by Christ in a different light: do not just what is required of you, but do more, and with joy and love in your heart. Again "turning the other cheek" does not mean being nice when someone slaps you. It means not meeting violence with violence, yes, but it also means not backing down (one of the best explanations of this point of Christ's teaching is to be found in the film "Gandhi"), standing up peacefully to one's oppressor. But there is more, as it means doing so out of LOVE for one's oppressor, instead of the righteous indignation granted by the justice of one's cause. The Golden Rule as stated by Christ must be taken in the context of everything that he said, instead of just a few words. In the absence of that specific context, no moral or legal philosopher of any nation can claim that the Golden Rule existed prior to Christ's ministry in Judea.

I would hazard, however, that we could debate the fine points of this ad infinitum, but it takes this thread even further from its original path. I suggest writing Steve Kent and asking that there be an adult Spirituality Award. With the upcoming program review, it would seem to make sense to make that suggestion now.
One could argue that God is a uniquely human creation which has easily fitted each society which has required it. Given that natural law is not self-contradicting (each religion being exclusive of every other religion's righteousness,) it's a human creation that I can believe in. Certain patterns of behaviour will result in more successful societies - mass murder and the like will not give the society much of a chance to pass on its values.

English Common Law is partly based, at least superficially, on the very convienetly crafted, government-certified versions of a holy text, yes, but it was also based on local custom and other documents (Magna Carta being among them.) (Admittedly, the King James is a great read.) Roman law certainly pre-dated Christianity and much of our modern laws are based on the Protestant work ethic and private property, neither of which have much grounding in the Bible. Not to mention Napoleonic code and the like,

As for turning the other cheek, there is a strongly associated belief in many sects of Bhuddism, such as the idea of taking up arms to defend one's holy place removes all sanctity from it.


Errol, good to see we agree on something.

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Robert D White » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:05 pm

Angus Bickerton wrote: I would hazard, however, that we could debate the fine points of this ad infinitum, but it takes this thread even further from its original path. I suggest writing Steve Kent and asking that there be an adult Spirituality Award. With the upcoming program review, it would seem to make sense to make that suggestion now.
A fellow Leader told me about the Spirituality Award while it was in process. She'd heard about it at a WB I course and a few of the Leaders were interested in pursing it.

When the Spirituality Award was first introduced, the adult level wasn't included so I asked National about it. At that time I was told they weren't developing an Adult Level - the Spirituality Award was only for the Youth.

Perhaps a few e-mails to Steve Kent might change this.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Brenda_G » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:38 am

The logic in this thread is a bit mind blowing.

Argument: "There is no place for atheists in Scouting" but, if you can honestly say that you fulfill the requirements/description of the SiL award, then there IS a place for you in Scouting.

Spirituality in life award does not in any requirement say that you must believe in "God" or "gods", but rather that you are "receptive to the presence of the sacredness in all things." and that you accept "truth of our connection to a transcendent reality."
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7]
Wikipedia

Scouts Canada says that duty to God is:
“adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting therefrom.”
Religion: 3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
Even 'religion' has definitions that exclude the notion of deities, making it possible to be religious AND atheist. Challenge yourself to find an example.

So.
There IS a place in Scouting for Atheists. Please don't say that there isn't. It's a blanket statement that is simply not true.

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by ScouterJamie » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:46 pm

This is going beyond stupid - BSA kicking people out for being gay the UK Scouts kicking people out for a lack of religion?!?!?

http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/Scouts-excl ... story.html

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by ScouterMatt » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:16 pm

Robert D White wrote:Errol,

Also, there is no Adult level in the Spirituality award. I've already mentioned this lack to National and, at the moment, they have seen fit not to include Leaders. I think this is a mistake.
Errol Feldman wrote:
Robert D White wrote:Errol,
... Also, there is no Adult level in the Spirituality award. I've already mentioned this lack to National and, at the moment, they have seen fit not to include Leaders. I think this is a mistake.
I can think of at least 5 good reasons for not having a Spirituality Award for Scouters. So can you Robert, if you think very seriously about it... ;)
AND NO, I will not even begin to post them here...nor will I communicate them privately. I don't need that kind of controversy at my age :)


Robert D White wrote:
Angus Bickerton wrote: I would hazard, however, that we could debate the fine points of this ad infinitum, but it takes this thread even further from its original path. I suggest writing Steve Kent and asking that there be an adult Spirituality Award. With the upcoming program review, it would seem to make sense to make that suggestion now.
A fellow Leader told me about the Spirituality Award while it was in process. She'd heard about it at a WB I course and a few of the Leaders were interested in pursing it.

When the Spirituality Award was first introduced, the adult level wasn't included so I asked National about it. At that time I was told they weren't developing an Adult Level - the Spirituality Award was only for the Youth.

Perhaps a few e-mails to Steve Kent might change this.


I find it rather odd myself that there is NO Spirituality award for Adults, and Errol I have wracked my mind and don't see any GOOD reason for not having one.... I am a very Spiritual person in my life, I subscribe to no specific religious institution, if I am forced to classify my spiritual views they fall into the category of Pagan (which there is no RiL award for) I practice my faith every day, and its incorporated deeply into my life, I find it disappointing that there is nothing for me as a Leader as I dont fit into any RiL awards, I have met a surprisingly large amount of leaders who share similar spiritual views as myself, there were 4 adults in my WBII Course that all shared Pagan views, and while Training Woodbadge I Courses this comes up nearly every time.

I agree that this should be looked at in the next program review. I find it hard to support the youth and get them interested in completing their RiL or Spirituality award when as an Adult there is no way for me to show pride in my own spiritual choices. Lead by example, learn by doing.
Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity.Reduce selfishness, have few desires.

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:16 am

As many of you may know, I spent 10 of the last 16 weeks in a hospital room recovering from a bad fall in which I broke my right hip and right humerous bone. I fell in such a way that I might also have broken my skull as well.

You can well imagine that where the only distraction I had was one 1/2 hour of Physio each day, and nothing else but the Television set, as I was unable to leave my room unattended, that I had many hours for contemplation and reflection on (my own) life, and come to some conclusions and priorities. With the exception of the one most important conclusion that I came to, the rest are not of much interest to any of you.

While I have not changed my own belief and faith in God/Our Father/Allah/JHVH by whatever Name or Form we give to the "Creating Being/Power" or we describe "Him/It"; I have formed certain conclusions and feelings.

Each and every Human Being is unique in this universe and MUST be considered as such by every other individual;
Each and every Human Being has their own equally valid ideas as to how we came to be and as to what is the end to human life and being;
Each and every Human Being has the right to follow that path that seems most appropriate to their ideas, so long as their ideas do not transgress on another's ideas;
AND the right to follow these des and beliefs must be within the Moral, Social,and Legal boundries as determined by all of us together.

Seeing the Uniqueness of each and every one of us; it seems only correct to me that we should also call upon the Program Committee of Scouts Canada to creat a SPIRITUALITY RiL Award for Adults as well.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Doug Reid » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:11 pm

I would like to thank everyone for great comments on this thread, it has been great reading. A few months back I had brought forward to the National Service Team the need for an adult version of the Spirituality Award, recognizing that many volunteers don't subscribe to a particular denomination and show their faith and beliefs in different ways.

I hope to have this finalized within the next few weeks, and will post for comments.

Doug
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Robert D White » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:13 pm

Doug,

Good news about the Adult Spirituality Award. Saves me from having to write Steve Kent a letter. :)
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by FeatheredCap » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:54 am

So, with the the requirements for the Adult Spirituality Award in place, where does one go to acquire the badge for adults? I've heard that it has a purple border, but I don't see anything like that at the Scout Shop, online or otherwise.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:32 am

Doug Reid wrote:I would like to thank everyone for great comments on this thread, it has been great reading. A few months back I had brought forward to the National Service Team the need for an adult version of the Spirituality Award, recognizing that many volunteers don't subscribe to a particular denomination and show their faith and beliefs in different ways.

I hope to have this finalized within the next few weeks, and will post for comments.

Doug

IT'S now 4 months later than a few weeks Doug, any news on the requirements and where to get the Award?
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by ve3zdr » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:45 am

Errol,

At the end of January, the scout scene email included the information regarding the new award. If you didn't get that, here is the link from the scouts website:

http://www2.scouts.ca/dnn/LinkClick.asp ... tabid=2339

Hope that helps....
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by FeatheredCap » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:00 am

Those are the requirements listed under the Spirituality Award section on the website, but it doesn't say anything about where you would find the actual physical badge for adults.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by ve3zdr » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:35 am

A quick check of scoutshop.ca lists the new grey spirituality award being available. I am sure that means that your scout shops would have it in stock as well.
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