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post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

Were the activists mentioned in the OP really afraid for their safety, though, or were they just trying to sell their point of view? I think the former makes lying understandable, but the latter I don't agree with.

No, my example was not related to that so much as Eugene's black and white view that there can be no good reason to lie. I can think of several.

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"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
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post #32 of 60
Thread Starter 
There are certain extreme situations, like hiding Jews in your home from the Nazis, where lying can be justifiable. However, these situations occur less than once every 100 lifetimes. So, for all practical purposes, I would say that people should never lie.
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post #33 of 60
I don't think I would lie in this situation, although I think it would be easy for me to talk about Christianity because I was raised Catholic and I studied religious philosophy so I would probably use some of the arguments relating to Christianity that are compatible with AR views. I would worry if I lied that I might run into them again if they did become vegan and then I would just look like a dodgy person if I claimed to be religious when I'm not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppet Master View Post

See, I don't see that like it at all. People lie about their religion/belief in higher power for their own safety, so they aren't ostracized or bullied (e.g. kids in a religious school), so their family won't cut them out of their life, so they can join an organization they're interested in (Freemasons and Boy Scouts comes to mind), for their job (e.g. atheist priests exist, teachers in religious schools), among other reasons. In the US (typically the south, of course), if you want to be taken seriously by way too many people, you need to say you are religious/believe in a god/spiritual (but don't believe in Islam or be Muslim because, terrorists), otherwise anything you say will be ignored and you'll be written off. As an activist of any kind, the whole point is to get people to listen to you, and if some feel that in order for people to take them and their ideas seriously they need to say their are religious, then so be it. And if you even want to be the President, you need to be part of some Christian form of faith and believe in the Christian "God" or people will pitch a fit, and if anyone doubts you, they'll also pitch a fit and you have a good chance of not be elected. So long as there is a good number of people in the US that continue to treat anyone that's irreligious as being second class citizens, I don't see why anyone should care about why anyone lies about their faith. Far from reprehensible, in my opinion.

I can understand why some of the US atheists on VB come on so strong if they have to put up with those type of attitudes.
post #34 of 60
Lol. Btw i save words like "reprehensible" for people who actually deserve it, you know like the murderers rapists and child molesters, not people that tell white lies. I'm actually very insulted by your view, to me you are lumping people that lie, which btw is everyone, with these horrible criminals.
post #35 of 60
Thread Starter 
What I felt was reprehensible was not just the fact that they lied, which is bad in and of itself, but the fact that they lied while being paid to do vegan advocacy, hence giving veganism a really bad image.
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post #36 of 60
Agreed with Alainwinthrope, Puppet Master, and Alix.
post #37 of 60
Thread Starter 
For those who think that lying is OK, where do you draw the line? Is there anything you think it is wrong to lie about?
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post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

Two AR activists recently told me that when they are promoting veganism, and they are asked about their religion, they tell people that they are Christians, even though in reality they are atheists. I was absolutely horrified that they thought that this constituted acceptable behavior. I believe this is absolutely reprehensible, and I made my view on this very clear to them.

What are your thoughts?

If they don't want to answer the question truthfully they should just tell the people asking that their religious beliefs are personal and they'd like to keep them that way or just plain that's none of your business.
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

For those who think that lying is OK, where do you draw the line? Is there anything you think it is wrong to lie about?

I didn't say I thought it was "ok" to lie for myself. *shrug*
Why spend your day worrying about what someone else is doing that doesn't affect you or any animals?
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by penny79 View Post

I didn't say I thought it was "ok" to lie for myself. *shrug*
Why spend your day worrying about what someone else is doing that doesn't affect you or any animals?


What makes you so sure dishonesty doesn't hurt animals in the long run?

What if people find out you're lying about some facet of your lifestyle? A lot of people wouldn't listen to anything you had to say from then on out as a result.

The people Eugene was talking about were paid activists with a specific job to effectively advocate to as many people as possible. Shouldn't a person like that be honest?
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post #41 of 60
When I leaflet, I'm never asked about my religion. In fact, I've had a number of people say "Oh, I'm glad you're not one of those religious people" or "I like you better than the bible people."

That's probably due to my area. We have a large Christian population (in fact Vegas has a ton of LDS and there's a significant Catholic population too) but we're also part of the group of states that have the largest percentage of "religiously unaffiliated persons". Check out the maps here to see what I'm talking about: http://religions.pewforum.org/maps

In private I've been asked about religion very rarely. I usually say "I'm not religious" and see how they respond. If they seem open to it them I may share that I'm atheist but if they seem prejudiced against atheists then I keep it to myself and change the subject. As far as prejudice goes, atheists do not suffer the violent type of hate that many other oppressed groups suffer, but we're still marginalized, feared, and discriminated against. Here is a webpage about that: http://www.secularhumanism.org/libra...owney_24_4.htm

In some ways I agree with Eugene. I think a better approach than lying would simply be to change the topic or turn the question around. Animal advocates could ask the person what religion they are and then follow up with questions about what their religion teaches about animal welfare/cruelty/rights. They could ask, "Have you read Dominion?" or "Have you heard of the Christian Vegetarian Association?" and provide info about how to connect with real Christian vegans. Either way, I highly doubt the majority of leafleters do what Eugene is condeming. I bet the majority of leafleters are exceptionally honest people who always answer questions honestly to the best of their ability.
post #42 of 60
Thought on the matter ...

If you are promoting a popular view you can lie, or talk as much BS, as you like and everyone will just lap it up.

If you are promoting an unpopular view then all people will be waiting for is for you to slip up. Just slightly. Just once.
post #43 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

What makes you so sure dishonesty doesn't hurt animals in the long run?

What if people find out you're lying about some facet of your lifestyle? A lot of people wouldn't listen to anything you had to say from then on out as a result.

The people Eugene was talking about were paid activists with a specific job to effectively advocate to as many people as possible. Shouldn't a person like that be honest?

I said it's not my place to say what these people should or shouldn't do. *shrug again*
post #44 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

Thought on the matter ...

If you are promoting a popular view you can lie, or talk as much BS, as you like and everyone will just lap it up.

If you are promoting an unpopular view then all people will be waiting for is for you to slip up. Just slightly. Just once.

True that.

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post #45 of 60
Lying sucks, period.

You wanna people to listen to you, be truthful with them, it's easy to see when someone lies, and then they won't listen to you.

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post #46 of 60
I wouldn't lie, if directly asked. But I wouldn't say I am "openly atheist" I mean I've been atheist for as long as I can remember. Usually I'll say "I'm not religious, or I was raised Catholic." I can understand why the other people wouldn't want to be atheist AND vegan/vegetarian because that just makes them seem too different and crazy but I don't approve of lying or claiming to be a religion that you're not.

As far as lying about religion to get appropriate meals, I can understand the why, but you shouldn't have to.

ElaineV-good points and good alternatives to steer the conversation back on course.
post #47 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

Two AR activists recently told me that when they are promoting veganism, and they are asked about their religion, they tell people that they are Christians, even though in reality they are atheists. I was absolutely horrified that they thought that this constituted acceptable behavior. I believe this is absolutely reprehensible, and I made my view on this very clear to them.

What are your thoughts?

How about a person belongs to a "cult" which could not be classified on any mainstream religion, when asked
"do you have a reilgion" or "which religion do you believe?" or "do you believe in God"?

The nomal answers are:

(1) No, I don't have a religion. (when in fact, this person's "faith" focuses solely on cult leader/guru only), is this person lying when say no?

(2) Yes, I believe in God. I believe in Jesus too. (when in fact, that Guru claimed to be Jesus incarnated who this person only has faith in), lying or not? (based on different definitions between this person and the public perceived)

Unfortunately, "all kinds of lyings" very often seen from cult members as they have too many "exceptions" (for safety reasons? for "divine missions"? for the safety of the cult group and their "paranoid leader"?) to break their "No lying" precept. Beware, not to be a hypocrite.

I assume you're not as you're very serious about this matter.
post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegan cyberpunk View Post

Lying sucks, period.

You wanna people to listen to you, be truthful with them, it's easy to see when someone lies, and then they won't listen to you.

 

I like this answer. They should have dodged the question on faith and moved the discussion back to AW.

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post #49 of 60

I think the question of whether or not what they did is ethical should be completely divorced from the question of whether it helps or hurts advocacy.

post #50 of 60

This question reminds me both how similar and how different the US and the UK are.

 

On the one hand my guess is that both nations have a high ratio of veggies compared to most other nations worldwide, and yet on the other hand the US is strongly Christian religious, while the UK is predominantly atheist or agnostic.

 

From an English/British perspective, I'd say it'd be exceedingly unhelpful to use religion as a route into discussing animal welfare/vegetarianism.

 

Either way, no I wouldn't consider lying about religious affiliation if I thought it might attract another's ear, as to be honest I'm unsympathetic to the position maintained by the major monotheistic religions regarding compassion to human beings as much as their position regarding compassion to animals.

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post #51 of 60

I wonder how real Christian animal activists feel about people claiming to be Christian in their animal advocacy when they're not.

post #52 of 60

I wonder how real Christian activists feel about the bible telling them they have dominion over animals.

post #53 of 60
Quote:

I wonder how real Christian activists feel about the bible telling them they have dominion over animals.

 

Read Dominion by Matthew Scully. Scully is a Catholic, pro-life, conservative and a former speechwriter for the Bush administration. Here's some comments from reader reviews on Amazon:

 

"For many, many years I alternated between living as a conflicted meat eater and as an occasionally lapsing vegetarian. Then I read this book and a true vegetarian was born."

"The world would be a much better and merciful place if more people read this book. Scully writes extremely effectively and structures his arguments in a very accessible way. You wouldn't need to already be drinking the Kool Aid (all 0.5% of us) in order to connect with this book."

"Scully upholds a faith-based, clear-sighted view of kindness that, even as an atheist, I very much appreciate."

 

And in case you're thinking that regardless of his resume Scully couldn't possibly be coming from "that" point of view":

 

"This book is a Christian fascist owned propaganda."

 

Also, it should be noted the first (or at least first really significant) book-length deontological argument for AR was explicitly based on CHRISTIAN understanding of rights. Andrew Linzey (the author) is an Anglican minister and belonged to the discussion group at Oxford that pretty much gave birth to the modern AR movement.

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post #54 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobilis of Wind View Post

I wonder how real Christian activists feel about the bible telling them they have dominion over animals.

 

 

The Bible states that humans have dominion over the animals in the story of Genesis after God creates Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.  According to the literal interpretation of Genesis, no animal ever died in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve and all the animals were vegetarians. In this context, the phrase "dominion over the animals" could not have referred to killing and eating them. Many would argue that "dominion" is more accurately interpreted as "stewardship" rather than tyranny. Furthermore, since the Garden of Eden represents the highest ethical ideal, some people who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible interpret this to mean that vegetarianism is the highest ethical ideal.
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post #55 of 60

Here's a link to one contemporary "Bible diet": http://www.planetpace.com/

 

This particular variant optionally includes meat (some schemes do not, I just picked the first link google suggested). The recipe link is vegan recipes, and there is a link to the MFA "Meet Your Meat" video with a caption "Does God Approve of THIS?" (the answer being no He does not), helpfully located on the page about optional meat.

 

Definitely not mainstream, but interesting.

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post #56 of 60

I don't care for religion personally. I think it is a delusion and I do not think it is appropriate behaviour to go around asking people which delusion do you subscribe to if any given that many people take such delusions seriously. They have no business asking such a question and if the activists (or anyone else) think it would benefit them to lie I do not think it is wrong for them to lie.

I am curious though. Suppose someone asked the AR activist "do you believe in absolute space or in relative space?" and the activist answered relative space despite being a hardcore absolutist. Or to give another example suppose the activist is asked "are you a rationalist or an empiricist?" and the activist answers empiricist despite being a rationalist. Do you think that would be as wrong as lying about religion? If not why?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

Two AR activists recently told me that when they are promoting veganism, and they are asked about their religion, they tell people that they are Christians, even though in reality they are atheists. I was absolutely horrified that they thought that this constituted acceptable behavior. I believe this is absolutely reprehensible, and I made my view on this very clear to them.

What are your thoughts?

Edited by Cato - 6/26/12 at 10:09am
post #57 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

I don't care for religion personally. I think it is a delusion and I do not think it is appropriate behaviour to go around asking people which delusion do you subscribe to if any given that many people take such delusions seriously. They have no business asking such question and if the activists (or anyone else) think it would benefit them to lie I do not think it is wrong for them to lie.

I am curious though. Suppose someone asked the AR activist "do you believe in absolute space or in relative space?" and the activist answered relative space despite being a hardcore absolutist. Or to give another example suppose the activist is asked "are you a rationalist or an empiricist?" and the activist answers empiricist despite being a rationalist. Do you think that would be as wrong as lying about religion? If not why?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

Two AR activists recently told me that when they are promoting veganism, and they are asked about their religion, they tell people that they are Christians, even though in reality they are atheists. I was absolutely horrified that they thought that this constituted acceptable behavior. I believe this is absolutely reprehensible, and I made my view on this very clear to them.

What are your thoughts?
I think that lying about religion may be more reprehensible because when people care about and identify with religion, it becomes a part of their identity. I'm more upset when someone lies to me about being vegetarian than if they lie to me about their favorite color because I'm more invested in AR than I am in the color green.
post #58 of 60

But if someone identified as strongly with relative space or rationalism (which I think are far more important questions) as people tend to do with religion we would think they are idiots and would not care about lying to them. Why should we as atheists feel any different about religion? As Dawkins makes the point clearly in The God Delusion even non religious people put religion on a pedestal and we should not do that.

And I don't think asking about religion in such a circumstance is an innocent question. They are very likely to draw unwarranted conclusions from it and judge the AR philosophy based purely on that.

I suppose I speak very harshly of religion but someone has to :)

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post


I think that lying about religion may be more reprehensible because when people care about and identify with religion, it becomes a part of their identity. I'm more upset when someone lies to me about being vegetarian than if they lie to me about their favorite color because I'm more invested in AR than I am in the color green.
post #59 of 60

I find it ironic that Eugene's friends were dishonest because they didn't want to offend the Christians, and Eugene is conversely honest because he also doesn't want to offend the Christians, and meanwhile, I am Christian, and I don't give a damn about offending the other Christians.  I mean, they tell me I'm not really saved because I'm not in the same denomination as them, and I just say, "You could not be more wrong."

 

Also, since you made comparison to veg*ns, we have this same problem, too, deliberate dishonesty aside.  Different interpretations is what that * is all about, after all.  I know you've argued that we shouldn't conceal concern for animal rights as a motive for veg*n advocacy, but a lot of people have emphasized health & environment anyway, and now there are a number of converts to plant-based diet out there who still support animal experiments and stuff.  I've argued with several of those about whether they should call themselves vegans.  But how can I get angry about that and yet stay friends with normal vegetarians?  Right on these boards, it's a fairly common occurrence for someone to start a thread with "I have ___ situation, does that count as vegetarian?"  And some member usually says, "Don't worry so much about labels, just do the right thing as best as you're able."  So, yeah, this example is obviously bad --

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

... they really eat meat three times a day, and they told you they were vegan just because they thought it would help persuade you in supporting their cause. ...

-- but at the other extreme, I would say you're still vegan even if you can't yet find grain certified to have been harvested with no harm to any insect.

 

I'm just saying that even what you are supposed to believe, exactly, is not so black-and-white of a question in the big picture.  Who decides?

 

Quote:

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me.  Whoever is not against us is for us."

 

~ Mark 9:38-40

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post #60 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post


I think these guys, when asked, should say something like;

"Vegetarianism is about compassion towards others. Would you not agree that compassion towards others is a very Christian thing?"
 

 

I was a vegetarian - now I'm vegan and I'm also a Christian. I think Clueless Git's response is much better than lying. I can kind of understand why people would lie - not wanting to turn the conversation into a religious debate - but if the person lying doesn't know the Bible and can't converse about what the Bible says about eating meat, I think it will backfire. I used to get a lot of crap, but I can walk people through the scriptures and point out how they are wrong to oppose veg*anism. Although I haven't been successful in changing anyone's eating habits, I have been 100% successful in changing attitudes and prejudice. I rarely find veg*an prejudice anymore - even among the most conservative Christians.

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