"God" stuff

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:50 pm

Liam, and apparently some get tossed out for it.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:10 am

firstairdriesona wrote:errol are you saying that spirituality and athiesm are mutualy exclusive?

leave our prior exchange up if you would, I am sure others could benefit from it.
Not of themselves. But I do not believe that some one who does not believe in some higher power, by whatever name or description, can be a spiritualist. Even all the other "religions" for want of a better word, believe in some kind of higher power.

Show me where that is not so, firstairdriesona.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:14 am

Liam Morland wrote:Lots of members of the Scout Movement, youth and adult, self-identify as atheist.
That may be Liam, but there are degrees of Atheism, that's also why we have a Spirituality Award.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:57 am

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.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:52 am

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 don't think so; my dictionary says:
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god", which was applied with a negative connotation to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves as "atheist" appeared in the 18th century.

Atheists tend to be skeptical of supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence. Atheists have offered various rationales for not believing in any deity. These include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Other arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.In Western culture, some atheists are frequently assumed to be irreligious, although other atheists are spiritual. Moreover, atheism also figures in certain religious and spiritual belief systems, such as Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Neopagan movements such as Wicca. Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate belief in gods, whereas Hinduism holds atheism to be valid, but difficult to follow spiritually.
Again, that is why we have a Spirituality Award.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:27 pm

interesting that atheism would be part of some religions. also kind of confusing given that most of the religions you list believe in some form of Deity (I think). dont wiccans believe in a set of gods?
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:23 pm

firstairdriesona wrote:interesting that atheism would be part of some religions. also kind of confusing given that most of the religions you list believe in some form of Deity (I think). dont wiccans believe in a set of gods?
I Googled this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca#Adap ... .93present It's mujch too complicated for me anyway to synthisise. :?:
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Robert D White » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:39 pm

For clarification purposes, BP&P, Introduction, p iii (http://www2.scouts.ca/dnn/LinkClick.asp ... 32&mid=599) defines Scouts Canada's principle of Duty to God as follows:
This is defined as “adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting therefrom.”
Every Scouting Leader promises, in the recruitment process, to adhere to the Principles of Scouting. Every Youth and Leader makes a promise in which, says: "love God" (Beavers), "to love and serve God" (Cubs) or "do my duty to God" (Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Leaders).

If you can keep those promises, with a clear conscience as an Atheist, then feel free to continue to be involved in Scouting. If not... the decision, on your honour as a Scout, is yours.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:03 pm

Errol Feldman wrote:
firstairdriesona wrote:interesting that atheism would be part of some religions. also kind of confusing given that most of the religions you list believe in some form of Deity (I think). dont wiccans believe in a set of gods?
I Googled this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca#Adap ... .93present It's mujch too complicated for me anyway to synthisise. :?:
wow that may be the longest and most confusing article in wikkipedia. thanks... I think. some believe in 2 gods. guess I was wrong. some religion believes in a bunch of gods. dunno.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:05 pm

Nick Pearson wrote:Our Council just did a WB1 training course at a Buddhist Temple, to whom many of our members are attached to. It was a council course, and well attended by all areas.

It is not SC policy to exclude members based on their religious beliefs

Nick if the policy requires you to believe in and folow a god it is policy to exclude those who don't. even if its not policy designed to exclude it will certainly have that effect.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:09 pm

Robert D White wrote:For clarification purposes, BP&P, Introduction, p iii (http://www2.scouts.ca/dnn/LinkClick.asp ... 32&mid=599) defines Scouts Canada's principle of Duty to God as follows:
This is defined as “adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting therefrom.”
Every Scouting Leader promises, in the recruitment process, to adhere to the Principles of Scouting. Every Youth and Leader makes a promise in which, says: "love God" (Beavers), "to love and serve God" (Cubs) or "do my duty to God" (Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Leaders).

If you can keep those promises, with a clear conscience as an Atheist, then feel free to continue to be involved in Scouting. If not... the decision, on your honour as a Scout, is yours.

so, SC requires "...Loyalty to the religion..." Thats different to making the pormise with clear concience. as an athiest I can promise anything to god, as the word is not meaningfull. the above policy specificly says that as an athiest myself and several youth I can name are not welcome. is that the intent?
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by whuggard » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:51 pm

Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.

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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:36 pm

Liam Morland wrote:
Mike Stewart wrote:Having said that, I know that Scouts Canada has never turned anyone away because of their beliefs.
Here is an example of one such case:
Morris Dalla Costa
London Free Press, February 7, 1998

For 37 years, 17 of them in London, Don Childs has worked with scouts as a scout leader. For every scout meeting of those 37 years, Childs has faithfully recited the Lord's Prayer. For every one of those scout meetings over 37 years, Childs has recited the scout's creed. "I promise to do my best to love and serve God, my Queen, my country, my fellow man and to live by the scout law." And for most of those 37 years, Childs has not believed what he's said...at least the part about God.

Childs is no longer a scout leader. He was relieved of his duties on Jan. 17 because in September 1997, when he completed an application for membership to the scouts, he filled in the section of the form which asked about religion with the word "atheist."

"One of the necessary principles of scouting is the duty to God," said Bill Tribe, executive director of scouting's Tri-Shores Region, which covers the area from Woodstock to Windsor. "You have to believe in the fundamental principles of our organization and believing in God is one of them."

Shocked to be let go

Childs says he was shocked when he got the heave-ho. Childs claims he has filled in the application the same way for many years. He seemed surprised when records showed he had filled in the application in different ways, including United Church and Seventh Day Adventist. But in a 1989 and 1990 application, he filled in "none" in the section for religion. "That should have tipped us off," said Tribe.

This raises the age-old question of whether a man is any better a man because he believes in God. Childs was obviously good enough to teach kids how to scout for 37 years. Did claiming he was an atheist suddenly make him less qualified?

Of course it didn't.

"I'm not a religious person," he said. "I don't teach religion, I teach scouting. I do promise to do my best, to lead a good life. That doesn't change because I don't believe in God. I lead the pledge, I lead the Lord's Prayer but they are just words to me. I even attend church parades. I don't go around telling scouts not to believe in God."

Childs took over a scout troop in Thorndale, where he lives. One day he called a radio talk show in London which was debating the merits of community leaders who were gay or godless. Childs pulled over and called the show. Someone recognized him and a search of applications revealed his fateful honest statement.

As coincidence would have it, his Thorndale troop happened to be sponsored by St. George's Anglican Church.

"The district commissioner (Bruce Zubick) came to a scout meeting and sat through it," said Childs. "When it was over, we had a two-minute meeting. He said because I was an atheist I didn't qualify as a scout. I asked him what he wanted me to do and he said 'Resign.' I told him I wouldn't, so he relieved me of my duties."

This issue rears its head every once in a while. In fact, in the United States, there is currently a court case challenging the right of the scout movement to require members to believe in some form of deity.

"There is a set of requirements to join the organization and believing in God is one of them," said Tribe. "It can be any form of God. It doesn't have to be Christian."

Scathing letter

Elizabeth Childs, Don's wife, who Don claims is a "very religious Seventh Day Adventist," wrote a scathing letter to the scouting movement. "Now, let's talk about those of us who say we are Christians. Don neither smokes, drinks or swears. Can most scouters make this statement? In Matthew 7:1 it says 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.' Luke 6:37, 'Judge not, and ye shall not be judged . . .' How many of us go to church weekly and not just Easter and Christmas. Yes, we are good Christians, eh?"

Don Childs doesn't plan to challenge the system. "I didn't think I was hurt by what happened but I guess after giving 37 years to something, it must have been eating my guts out because I couldn't sleep. I miss it, but I won't go back again. After 37 years they don't want me and it hurts too much.

"All I wanted to do was teach scouting."

Childs seems to be a good man, a caring individual, a good leader, someone willing to help children through their formative years. He was good enough and caring enough to be a scouter for 37 years.

Virtues any good Christian would be proud of, virtues worth a lot more than mere words.

Morris Dalla Costa

To discuss the opinions of Morris Dalla Costa call 667-4533. Outside the London dialing area call 1-800-265-4105, ask for extension 4533. Write him at The London Free Press, P.O. Box 2280, London, Ont. N6A 4G1 or fax 667-4528 or E-mail <mdallacosta@lfpress.com>

London Free Press, February 7, 1998
perhaps I should not have joined this discussion for fear of being tossed from my group. that would be a shame
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:40 pm

Errol Feldman wrote:
jkeess wrote:Even if these people were moral, knowledgeable, dedicated volunteers with a good knowledge of world religions? That seems - very contrary to the spirit of scouting.
I can not imagine that the people you describe would then be ATHIESTs; Agnostics yes; Athiests no.

AND it would be nice if you used a real name so we would know with whom we are discussing. Thanks ;)

interestingly errol on a quick search I found that scouts in england bar agnostics as they do not have beliefs, but permit athiests as they have a belief in something. of course that was found on a forum so could be inaccurate.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Robert D White » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:27 pm

firstairdriesona wrote:
Robert D White wrote:For clarification purposes, BP&P, Introduction, p iii (http://www2.scouts.ca/dnn/LinkClick.asp ... 32&mid=599) defines Scouts Canada's principle of Duty to God as follows:

This is defined as “adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting therefrom.”

Every Scouting Leader promises, in the recruitment process, to adhere to the Principles of Scouting. Every Youth and Leader makes a promise in which, says: "love God" (Beavers), "to love and serve God" (Cubs) or "do my duty to God" (Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Leaders).

If you can keep those promises, with a clear conscience as an Atheist, then feel free to continue to be involved in Scouting. If not... the decision, on your honour as a Scout, is yours.

so, SC requires "...Loyalty to the religion..." Thats different to making the pormise with clear concience. as an athiest I can promise anything to god, as the word is not meaningfull. the above policy specificly says that as an athiest myself and several youth I can name are not welcome. is that the intent?
I don't think it's Scouts Canada's intent to exclude. However, like any other group it has policies and rules regarding what it expects of its members. It becomes a self-exclusion.

E.g. whether I want to or not, I cannot be a leader in Girl Guides because I'm not a female. Therefore, whether it's Girl Guides of Canada's intent to exclude me personally, their membership policies do exclude me from leadership.

I was a member of Rotary International for a number of years. One of it's membership principles is to have classifications of vocations for its members. At one point, there could only be two members from each classification within the club (e.g. two lawyers, two doctors, etc.). This was to prevent an individual club from becoming too overwhelmed with members from a single vocational classification. If I happened to be the third lawyer wanting to join a club, I couldn't.

Take from these examples what you will, but the current Scouts Canada policy is clearly written down. And until they change it, it does seem to exclude some people.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:53 am

firstairdriesona wrote:so, SC requires "...Loyalty to the religion..." Thats different to making the pormise with clear concience. as an athiest I can promise anything to god, as the word is not meaningfull. the above policy specificly says that as an athiest myself and several youth I can name are not welcome. is that the intent?
ONCE AGAIN, no matter what article of BPP anyone quotes at you "firstairdriesoma" if you are a SPIRITUAL person as indicated in this Scouts Canada RiL Award then you belong with us:
[Spirituality Award
The Rationale
The Spirituality Award as proposed creates a “climate of validity” in which various philosophical positions can be experienced and/or affirmed. This Award, if sensitively handled, can operate in a truly multi-faith context.
Spirituality and religion are by no means opposed or antagonistic. Spirituality seeks immediate, intuitive access to the truth that religion enshrines; namely, the truth of our connection to a transcendent reality.
Spirituality makes use of religious ideas, methods, rituals and practices, but it is not itself, a formal practice. Spirituality is a way of life, a form of consciousness, a transparent awareness, that is receptive to the presence of the sacredness in all things.
A student of a religious class once said, “Spirituality is the truth you discover, whereas religion is the truth that is handed to you by tradition”.
This is close to the Founder’s premise that religion can only be “caught” not “taught”.
A society that is made up of various faiths and cultures and includes those who are non-religious (4.9 million Canadians do not adhere to a faith community and only 30% of Canadians attend religious services on a weekly basis¹) begs the need for a Spirituality Award for members who are on a spiritual path that could lead to faith.

The Spirituality Award is inclusive, optional and interchangeable with the Religion-in-Life Program. It enriches and provides varied opportunities for Canadians now and into the future. The “Award” shows appreciation towards other visions and commonality at the same time. Spirituality development in Scouting is found in the World Bureau documents and the Role of the Scouter is defined as follows²:
• The role of the Scout leader relating to spiritual development is not to give religious instruction, or to tack religious observance onto Scout activities.
• The role of the Scout leader is to use the kind of experiences offered by Scouting to help young people discover a Spiritual reality and incorporate it into their own lives.
In fact, Scouting proposes a 5-step approach to spiritual development.
i. Enable young people to experience spirituality through Scout activities.
ii. Make time for young people to discover and express the meaning of life.
iii. Help each individual to identify with his or her spiritual and religious heritage.
iv. Encourage internalization and personal commitment.
v. Develop open and respectful attitudes.
The Spirituality Award would address all of the above and more for the youth member who is presently excluded from earning a Religion-in-Life Award by not belonging to a specific faith community.
The “Award” would become inclusive not exclusive and is interchangeable, not take away – but add on to the dimension of Duty to God, one of the three Scouting principles.
The last word... We do it for children, youth and young adults who have not had the opportunity to be taught or experience a faith.
Let's stop muddying the waters with all kinds of "qualifications" that none of us, even Clergy, is qualified to answer. NO-ONE ELSE CAN LOOK INTO YOUR HEART. You have to know within yourself whether you belong in Scouting or not. You have to know whether you can teach the Principles to Youth...whatever your visible beliefs; if you can you are most welcome; if you can't then get out. Simple as that. :D 8-) 8-)
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Sam Wallis » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:55 am

Errol, thank you. That sumed it up well. I can answer yes to all those, will remain. Of course if someone from SC higher up feels differently they should be able to find me from my username and toss me out. With that I think that my time in this thread is done. Your right about being able to see into a persons heart. If only we could do that though....... or would that be a good thing?
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:17 am

firstairdriesona wrote:Errol, thank you. That sumed it up well. I can answer yes to all those, will remain. Of course if someone from SC higher up feels differently they should be able to find me from my username and toss me out. With that I think that my time in this thread is done. Your right about being able to see into a persons heart. If only we could do that though....... or would that be a good thing?
You have a really wrong idea about this. NOBODY is looking to throw anyone out. The article you quoted is some10-15 years old.
THAT is why we have a SPITITUALITY Award today. I think that I can talk for Scouts Canada and say that there is nothing more we want than that you remain. 8-)

About seeing into someone else's heart, I am not so sure that I would like to be able to do that ;) You never know what you will find ;)
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Robert D White » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:54 am

Errol,
Errol Feldman wrote: ONCE AGAIN, no matter what article of BPP anyone quotes at you "firstairdriesoma" if you are a SPIRITUAL person as indicated in this Scouts Canada RiL Award then you belong with us...

Let's stop muddying the waters with all kinds of "qualifications" that none of us, even Clergy, is qualified to answer. NO-ONE ELSE CAN LOOK INTO YOUR HEART. You have to know within yourself whether you belong in Scouting or not. You have to know whether you can teach the Principles to Youth...whatever your visible beliefs; if you can you are most welcome; if you can't then get out. Simple as that. :D 8-) 8-)
That's why I wrote: "If you can keep those promises, with a clear conscience as an Atheist, then feel free to continue to be involved in Scouting." It's up to the individual to self-identify and decide if their spirituality (as shown in the Spirituality Award) allows them to keep the Scouting principle Duty to God (despite what we've already discussed could be inappropriate wording).

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.
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Re: "God" stuff

Post by Errol Feldman » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:26 am

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 :)
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