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Atheism Intolerance Towards Atheism

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by newkid, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. newkid

    newkid
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    Sikhs seem very proud of their tolerance and respect for people with different beliefs and they should be because both are valuable traits. Tolerance has always been something I liked about Sikhism but I noticed that the tolerance was always called 'tolerance for other religions.' So as I studied I wondered "Are Sikhs supposed to be tolerant to atheists?" but I couldn't find any answers immedietly so I took a break from the question for a while. Probably a few weeks later I found these videos on youtube called Seeking Sikhism based on I think a Canadian TV show. (Sorry it's been a while since I watched it.) In the video one of the hosts comes up with this ridiculous equation it is:

    "No god=No Happiness" :(

    So naturally I was stunned because I thought Sikhism was a tolerance respectful religion. I expected the Sikh attitude toward atheism to be more like the t-shirt in the picture. I thought Sikhs would generally always be accepting even if they didn't agree with your beliefs. (I still think so because mostly everyone on this site is nice.)
    So I decided to look into this further to see if Seeking Sikhism's equation was just an isolated opinion or if it was in the Guru Granth Sahib.

    Then I came across this site
    Gurmat Preaching Society - Sikhism explained, for Sikhs and others

    Again I was stunned. From what I understand these are quotes from the Gurus telling people that atheist are immoral and should be avoided. I tried to find the source but I haven't had much luck. (besides the first two because the page number is listed.) If anyone could explain this it would be great.
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    New Kid,

    Guru Fateh.

    You have many wrong presumptions and assumptions in your post. First of all, Sikhi is not a tolerant religion. Tolerance breeds hatred and disdain. It is an external imposition, but Sikhi breeds acceptance which is an internal manifestation that leads to love for all.

    Dogmatic religions like the Abrahamic and the others teach tolerance which is a code word for- conversion by passive or active coercion because their way is the only way. Conversation is against Sikhi because a Sikh, a student should be willing to learn no matter what hue,creed or faith he/she belongs to. Again,this shows an internal manifestation.

    SGGS, our only Guru, and I am sure you understand the meaning of Guru which means a Teacher and Sikh means a student, a seeker, a learner says, " I see no stranger, I feel no enmity".

    I have no idea whether you are an atheist or not. If you are then you should study what Ik Ong Kaar means and Mool Mantar explains that. The problem with the Atheists is in their tunnel vision rather than open mindedness which breeds acceptance, By that I mean is that they lump all sorts of "gods" together without studying and understanding the religions.

    " Disbelief in god" is their Mantra and you know beliefs have mantras.:)

    Sikhi is not a belief either because according to Mool Mantar, Ik Ong Kaar IS. Sikhs are the seekers of the truth and truth needs no belief. Truthful living requires pragmatic approach, not a dogmatic one.

    For more in depth understanding what I am trying to say, please read the following thread started by Atheist and check my interaction with him.

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/general-discussion/29504-is-there-a-god.html

    Now as far as Gurmat Preaching Society - Sikhism explained, for Sikhs and others is concerned, it seems that you are more upset about the title of the thread rather than the contents of Gurbani quoted there:
    "WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT . . .? - (quotes from Guru Granth Sahib ji) Atheism".

    The problem with many translators is that rather than distinguishing between 'god' and Ik Ong Kaar, because there is a clear distinction, they just find the easy way to translate Ik Ong Kaar to God, which in my opinion is not only wrong but misleading for the reasons explained above.

    It is their shortsightedness but after all, they are Sikhs and eventually will learn to express the difference.

    I have a suggestion for you. Read the two shabads that have the page numbers on them in depth in the above site posted by you,and then come out with your questions and we will be glad to respond to them to the best of our knowledge.

    I would like to end this with my favourite quote, as someone said," make knowledge your best friend, not your worst enemy", no matter what you believe or disbelieve in. If you did that then you would not use phrases like, your words-
    "Again I was stunned. From what I understand these are quotes from the Gurus telling people that atheist are immoral and should be avoided".

    The fact of the matter is that you have not studied them so in result you are not able to understand them, hence, the tunnel vision and the mantra.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh

     
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  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Tejwant ji

    This is probably one of your most astute analyses yet.

    If I may add my meager thoughts - The Sikh Rehat Marayada guides us to have respect for other religions. See chapter 10 "[SIZE=-1]
    e. The Khalsa should maintain its distinctiveness among the professors of different religions of the world, but should not hurt the sentiments of any person professing another religion."

    [/SIZE]
    But atheism is not a religion -- unless again -- the term has been redefined using the post-modern method of rigging discussions by redefining words so that everyone else doesn't know what the heck the discussion is about and loses a lot of time trying to figure it all out.
     
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  5. newkid

    newkid
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    To: Tejwant Singh

    I'm going to replyto your post from end to beging. I like the quote you mentioned at the end but when I said "Again I was stunned. From what I understand these are quotes from the Gurus telling people that atheist are immoral and should be avoided" I meant from what I understand from just reading the quotes by themselves. I know I don't know what they mean because I haven't read them in context and I'd probably still need help understanding them. That's why I posted this to learn what they really mean.
    Sorry if you were offended :worship: but to me a person who doesn't know a lot about the SGGS the quotes seem pretty straight forward. But even though I've only been studying for a while now I know that acceptance (thank you for pointing out the difference between tolerance and acceptance) is the center piece of Sikhi so the quotes have to have a logical explanation.
    The first quote: I've read it and ...I don't really understand it but I'm going to guess that it means no one will know the joys of being a Sikh until they become a Sikh.
    The last two with page numbers: I'm still reading, it might take a while sorry.
    Do you know where to find the other quotes? As you mentioned the title of the page is
    "WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT . . .? - (quotes from Guru Granth Sahib ji) Atheism" but are they in the SGGS? It's a dumb question but they don't have page numbers and I'm wondering if Guru IV means the quote was said by Guru Ram Das but not included in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib?
    And going back to the tile of the page you said "it seems that you are more upset about the title of the thread rather than the contents of Gurbani quoted there"
    I'm not. I liked the title because it is "WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT . . .? - (quotes from Guru Granth Sahib ji) Atheism" and I wanted to know what the SGGS said about atheists. I don't have a problem with the title saying "WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT . . .?(quotes from Guru Granth Sahib ji) Atheism" becuase I don't have a problem with God if that's what you meant.
    I agree with what you said about the difference between Ik Ong Kaar and god and that makes the quotes harder to understand. I'll read the other two with that in mind.
     
  6. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Tejwant Singh ji,
    You made some great points untill you got to
    for which I have not received a satisfactory explanation or in some cases a counter argument from you.

    It would be great if you could compile your argument and start a new thread (I could not find any explanation of this in the thread you linked to), so we can study this carefully. You seem to assert that this is the basis of Sikhi so that makes it even more important...

    Also, if you claim to understand the quotes why don't you explain what they mean? Do they really show intolerance or unacceptance of atheists?

    The ones with page numebers are alright. but the ones without page numbers seem arrogant and judgemental, which leads me to think that they are either made up or misinterpreted. That would explain why there is no page number.
    I could not find the first one on page 491.
     
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  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Atheists, Nastiks etc are definitions that have no mention in Gurbani. These words or shall i say "titles" are now even being bestowed on those Sikhs, even Amrtidharees who DISAGREE with certain other Jathebandis !! Words like Nastik have bene superceded by new "insults" like Kala Afghanee, Communist/Nastik, Darshan Lalee, Spokesmaniah..etc etc widely used for thsoe Sikhs and Amrtidharees who dont agree with some other sikhs/amritdharees.

    Gurbani does mention SAKAT..which were CULTISTS..worshippers of Shakti..Devi power. demi-gods etc..and it says that religious discourses are like the "wind noise" for these and others who are deeply ENGROSSED in Maya..just interested in this WORLD only. People who declare..EH Jagg MITHA..agla kisneh dittha..THIS world is sweet..who has seen the Next.

    Gurbani NEVER says that an "atheist" is a Bad person..per se...and so automatically a beleiver in God would be a Good person..per se.... Any quote that purports to attach this meaning to an atheist is just as MISINTERPRETED and MYOPIC as those who attach the newer definitions to other Sikhs.

    Gurbani does say..NIGUREH ka Nau burah..a person every person..must have a DIRECTION in Life..a GURU.. Someone he respects and follows in order to shape his life..a Nigura..one without such a Guru/directiongiver in hsi life is like a ruddrless boat..it will be forever truning around in circles.. just as very boat needs a rudder and a captain..so does each human..
     
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  8. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Bhagat Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Where shall we start??!!!

    You write:

    Tejwant Singh ji,
    What part in my above statement don't you understand? I am sorry to say that I could not satisfy you with my answers. I thought you were quick to mention them when you were not satisfied with anyone's answers. I have no idea why you did not do it this time. Show me my responses so we can go ahead and discuss them further.

    What argument? I have no argument with anyone. I do have interactions here though which I love.

    It seems you are confused about what I wrote. I never claimed anything. I have been repeating in this forum and also in others that most of the literal translations are either incorrect or misleading and people should express those Shabads in their own words. Case in point is the essay " Amrit Velaa" by Arshi ji and I showed him the misleading literal translation. Please re read it again. If you have any objection then,post the Shabad with the meanings in your own words and we can discuss whatever you would like to regarding that particular Shabad.

    You may be right. I did not check any of them. I asked the poster to do it and if he had found anything objectionable, he would have come back and mentioned what you did. I had no intention of checking them. It is not my duty. It is the poster's.

    I will wait for your objections and would like them to be clarified by you first in your opinion.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
  9. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    New Kid ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    No, I am not offended at all and I do not find any reasons to get offended either because the only reason for this wonderful site to exist is to interact and learn from each other.

    So, please do not hesitate to ask any questions and any other queries you may have. We will do our best to respond.

    Thanks and regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  10. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    A a Sikh, I try to accept that whatever others believe - or don't believe - might be a point for interesting discussion, but not something to argue about. As long as you [whoever you are] don't try to convert me - either passively or aggressively - I am perfectly happy to leave you with your beliefs. If your beliefs enhance your life and help give meaning to it and you don't use them to harm others, I'm glad you've found something that works for you. I rejoice in your happiness.

    Whatever belief or disbelief the other person has is fine with me as long as there is no attempt at conversion. If we show mutual respect - not tolerance - toward each other's religious orientation, we'll get along just fine.

    :ice:
     
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