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Ethical Question


KT45
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This is a basic question that I wanted your thoughts on. Lets say someone, like me :HaHa: , thought about trying to get a PH.D in something like theology or history. But the main reason for doing so was to debunk the bible. You know like writing books about the bible being fake. Maybe just getting the doctorate to show that someone in the field that doesn't support the bible as fact. Lets say I go to some big name school and get my doctorate just so I have the name to back my opinions.

 

I wanted to know if this is ethical or not, to go out and get a degree in something you don't support. I'm kinda on the fence on this one. To me if you want to spend so much time and money to get a doctorate in something then even if you do it with the intention of fulfilling some kind of an agenda then go ahead and do it. But I'm also against when creationist go try to get a degree in science to support there Intelligent Design propoganda. I also feel that you should go into the field ready to actually learn something or to see things from an unbaised perspective and then form an opinion. I don't know, I guess the best way to explain it is to go about it like a archeologist. He/She doesn't go into to something to prove their opinion is correct (well some don't) but just do digs in order to unearth history itself.

 

I guess I would just like more people to support my position on things and to inform others about information they wouldn't know. But I guess it's kind of human nature to want to go around and spout off what you think is truth and what everyone else thinks is false. But is it wrong to do so when you feel that other people's concept of truth is actually serving to slow down human progression?

 

Well anyway, Thoughts?

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As long as you don't let your bias override your objectivity I think this is perfectly ethical. I wish just one creationist would get a PhD in biology with the same intent in mind (on second thought, perhaps they have, they're probably just not creationists anymore).

 

The real question to ask is this really what you want to do with your life? Is this just a reaction to your recent deconversion? Are you fascinated enough with the subject that you could spend years and perhaps the rest of your life with? You don't have to answer, just ask yourself these questions.

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The real question to ask is this really what you want to do with your life? Is this just a reaction to your recent deconversion? Are you fascinated enough with the subject that you could spend years and perhaps the rest of your life with? You don't have to answer, just ask yourself these questions.

Actually I wanted to get to into theology for a while. First I wanted to be a pastor like my dad :Wendywhatever: but then I wanted to do it just because the history is just so darn interesting. Now I'm even more into it. Just the fact that all religion can be so powerful tool to control people is interesting in itself. I'm mean look at this site. Most of the people here either dislike or hate christianity. But it seems everyone is fascinated by it or religion in general since they like to stay (except for the few that just like a good debate). My mindset right now is that I want to just learn and if I get a doctorate in the process then so be it. :grin:

 

Now my question about ethics was mostly for people who might do this in general. So I wasn't necessarily saying I would do it. I don't really care much for purposely deconverting people or exposing some grand truth that there religion is a hoax. It's like the matrix. If it makes people happy to live inside the illusion even if it hurts people I'm fine with that. I think a lot of people want something that makes there life feel meaniful or that it has a purpose. Unless confronted I have no intention of destroying their self-percieved happiness. But still I would love to write a good book that pieces together why christianity is a myth, but just toward a different audience and only if I could write it extremely well with good sources to back up my claims.

 

Well anyway to answer your questions. Is this what I want to do with my life? Maybe. Is it a just a reaction to your recent deconversion? It helps fuel the fire but not totally. Could I spend the rest of my life doing it? Well I'm still young and in my prime now so no, not at the moment.

 

Still I want to know do other people think this is ethical? What about when creationist do it?

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I don't see any problem with it, after all we have creationists and christians take classes in evolution and cosmology.

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I think it's perfectly ethical. I really do enjoy learning about Christian culture, theology, music, mythology, and history. It's really pretty fascinating stuff. If this is something you could do the rest of your life and not get tired of it, I say go for it. There is nothing in-ethical about it unless you plan to go into bunk emotional ranting while hiding behind the Phd like some fundies do. A fundamental athiest is just as annoying as a fundamental christian sometimes.

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I think it's perfectly ethical, and useful. And you even show more intellectual worth than the Xians who claim to know that non-xians are worshipping demons or are being deliberately evil; you are taking the time to learn what they say about themselves rather than let someone else define it for you.

 

So long as it's something you really want to do and isn't just your reactionism to your deconversion. Reacting negatively is the best way to eventually burn out. But you know your reasons well, I think :)

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Reality check. Grad school tends to mean that the professor is testing you far more severely than say, a bachelor's degree. In undergraduate study it is quite possible to take a class in something you detest just to debunk it. In grad school, you've gotta have a passion for the subject or forgetaboutit.

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Reality check. Grad school tends to mean that the professor is testing you far more severely than say, a bachelor's degree. In undergraduate study it is quite possible to take a class in something you detest just to debunk it. In grad school, you've gotta have a passion for the subject or forgetaboutit.

You think I'll let a little thing like difficulty get in the way of my fun :wicked:

 

But seriously though the question was mostly focusing on the ethics and not whether I was making a decision if I really wanted to do it or not. The real reality check is time and money. I'm a senior studying engineering (undergrad) right now so I know how tough school can be and I realize grad school would be much harder. At the moment I don't really want to do it. I just have too much on my plate. At the moment I am doing self study on biblical history and learning from this site. Over the years if I see myself constantly studying this then I realize I have a passion for it. At that point I'll figure might as well get a B.A or a Masters while doing it and if I really like it then I go for my doctorate. Or I might stop studying in a year and never even try to enter into theology. Who knows :shrug: If I make a decision you can believe it will be well thought out

 

I was really wondering though, so many people have been studying biblical stuff for years and even more have a deep interest in learning. To the people who have been here for over a year isn't it obvious that you have some sort of passion for this stuff. Why not go for a B.A or something better in your effort to learn more?

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Guest ShannonXero

Taylork,

 

You have helped me out sooo much with my post. Xian influence on a childs psyche. I have the same agenda, with almost the same background as you. All of my uncles on my mothers side (5) are ministers. I want to help out science and bring to the table facts that are otherwise not mentioned, or thought of as taboo. I am very interested in the mental harm of religion, whereas you are interested in the tangible evidence, right? If we could join forces... Holy-Schitt! Pun intended. I have this forum bookmarked. hee hee.

 

 

 

 

Oh, and Taylork45... I SUPPORT THE HELL OUT OF YOUR AMBITION!!!!!!!!! another pun intended

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Ethical? Where do ethics come from? You pay your money... You get the grades... If you're really good...they might make you a saint.

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I'd do it if I was young and didn't have a family to feed. I don't see this as a good career move if you want money too.

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I've actually gone part way of the route you're thinking of going. I settled for a history degree, but my goal was a Classical Studies degree with a minor in Archaeology. Most of my classes were in ancient history (Rome, Greece etc. and my archaeology went from the first scratch on a rock until Greece or so.)

 

My motivation was to understand more about the Bible. At the time I started, I was still a Christian trying really to have a better base for which to understand and thus defend the Bible and Christianity. I made excellent progress for a couple years and it strengthened my understanding of Christianity and kept me excited about staying a Christian. Most arguements against Christianity I found we're simply on a misperception (and many times misrepresentations by Christians) on what the Bible actually said about something.

 

I studied other things on my own and then with my archaeology classes, I really started to see and piece together how Christianity, more specifically it's origins fell apart for me. I looked at the information as a.. "well, there must be an explanation for such things" sort of view. But as time went by, Christianity (more specifically the Bible) was becoming more and more questionable and sketchy to me.

 

It has been a rather drawn out process because I really had intentions of finding out the truth and that the truth would, in a round about way, basically support what I believed. It did for a couple years like I said. There is something to be said about Christianity in a number of ways, but like I say, I feel like it's not accurate. There are too many errors in scripture, legitimate ones, not just "doesn't seem right" ones.

 

Anyway, I love learning about this stuff because it's basically what I know.. and it still is something that nobody can really nail down for sure. At least on a widely accepted scale about the true origins of Christianity. They just don't get the air time or support that mainstream Christainity has attained. Bart Ehrman so far is my hero. His books based on his research and his background are inspiring to me and make me glad I jumped ship. I'm sad it had to be, because my life as a Christian was very very good, unlike many testimonies I hear on these forums.

 

I encourage you to do what your heart needs you to do. I did it so I could learn, and I feel I've accomplished what I set out to do. I still have a lot to learn, but at the same time, I have to move on with life. If I was rich, I'd probably spend a lot more time in school. If I wanted to assign a role for myself, I'd be like a lay ex-Christian evangelist, deconverting Christians not out of hate or frustration, but out of a desire to show them the peace and reality I've found in determining the truth about Christianity. It's not over, I'm not perfect. "Plausibility" is still working on me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hey Taylor, great thread, pertinent question!!

 

I myself am an academecian in training. And I admit I have an axe to grind with my training in religion and history. I'm currently doing a Ph.D in American history, to go study the Evangelical Christians that I used to be like.

 

I have a bachelor's degree in biblical studies and a Master's in religion. I've taught an intro religion class to Judaism, Christianity and Islam over five years at two state universities and my class has been about debunking fundamentalisms: pointing out biblical contradictions and archaeological inconsistencies, completely explaining the literary and historical background of the Bible and the Qu'ran, demonstarting how religions are never fixed because they continually are changing in time, discussing the culture and myths of the worlds behind the religions... in short, revealing the origins of the religions as "all-too-human." I even ran a three week chapter in my course in which I set up all of the theistic arguments and debunked them while showing students the anatomy of monotheistic theology.

 

Some of my students have told me that I'm the only source they've ever heard for such information, and claimed to have found it life-changing.

 

For me, the ethical dilemma was opposite. I thought to myself, "If I really know the truth, then it's my ethical obligation to make sure it gets out there because for every me there's like a million preachers."

 

I'll admit, in academic circles of religion being polemical about anything is frowned upon because they think they don't have to take you seriously if you have an axe to grind, so then they can just wallow in their own opinions like they like to do. That's why I jumped to the history departments, because they will still respect your work... they're good enough to dodge the axes.

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Considering all the underhanded plotting and planning evangelicals engage in simply to "debunk" secularism and science, I say it's only fair. Perhaps a dose of their own medicine, even?

 

There's nothing wrong with getting a degree to "back you up." The academic world (esp. in religious studies) could use more dissenters.

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