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Atheism and being Armenian

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  • #11
    Re: Atheism and being Armenian

    Originally posted by Mos View Post
    Just don't be too outward about it, go to church during the important holidays, be respectful to the church, and you should be fine.
    Well, that's not going to happen. But thanks for the advice.
    "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest" - Confucius

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    • #12
      Re: Atheism and being Armenian

      I read these today and thought it might help answer your question:
      http://www.armenianchurchlibrary.com...yfindikyan.pdf
      http://www.akn-chant.org/en/chant

      You do the right steps and your participation makes the ceremony happen. It's like dancing to a song. Do you need to deeply believe in the message of the lyrics to somehow feel close to that song, maybe even identify yourself with it out of its familiarity to you?

      The whole thing is quite complex and not simple to understand unless you show up to church often and try to make sense of it:

      1. the language is ancient and impossible to fully understand without some research
      2. the procession is a long, animated dialogue between the priest, deacons and choirmaster
      3. feast days vary the themes during mass and colour the calender (saint days, holidays...)
      4. the sacred objects which decorate the church or which are used by the priest and his helpers each have their own significance.

      The Badarak is basically an approach to God's divinity as something mysterious and unfathomable to man, whom we as a church seek to unite ourselves with through holy communion with Jesus Christ. In practical consequence, the liturgy is executed in a way that is mysterious and unfathomable to those who attend it (unless you've spent considerable time and effort learning the significance of all the things I described from 1-4), and that through your attendance and following of the guided steps of the priest, you join with the church to achieve its sacred rite. Thus, being a Christian is not emphasized as a personal faith one keeps cooped up in their heads, but as an act one partakes in church. That is why Armenians, even if they're not that religious in their private lives, are so easily identifiable as Armenian Apostolic Christians. If an Armenian wants to feel closer to God, all they have to do is make the liturgy less mysterious to them by learning more about it and following its ritual requirements with more conscience.
      I was taught how to think.

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      • #13
        Re: Atheism and being Armenian

        Originally posted by Jinx View Post
        Certainly someone can be an Armenian who is also an atheist, such as myself, but my question to you all is if you believe religiosity is something necessary (or at least extremely important) to the Armenian experience? Why or why not?
        I suppose you'd have to define the Armenian experience and most people can relate to other Armenians in their communities by doing the same things that other Armenians do. The church along with schools are tools to promote Armenian culture. The church isn't all knowing, nor does it claim to be but it provides a ground for discussion. I'd also like to mention that people who grew up under communism were exposed to Atheist ideology but many who were later exposed to religious settings or teachings changed their views of the world. Leaders who were also atheist made themselves to be gods, if there is no belief that there exists a higher power then that yields ultimate power for rulers over mankind. This is also a reason why there is a divide among Armenians (those that were raised under Atheism vs. those who left for the western world or maintained their beliefs in secular but majority Muslim populations).
        "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

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        • #14
          Re: Atheism and being Armenian

          You do not need to go to church to be considered as a religious person, it is one of the biggest sins to do it if you do it for a show. Lighting the biggest candle, putting big amount of money in the tray while flashing it, donating large amount of money but asking so they announce it out loud, praying out loud so everyone hears that your praying, or crying and asking forgiveness out loud are some of sins that most religious people do these days even priests and most high ranked clergy people, wearing big golden crosses and holding tall golden batons, wearing golden capes and hats and walking like kings and extending thier hands to people so they can kiss it are big sins too. You can be religious even more so than the pope or the catholicos if you can communicate with God in your privet room and if you accept Jesus’ as his son and accept his way of translating god’s words, you're a Christian, forget all the other hocus on focus b/s that the clergy people feed you. it's as simple as that!

          I have no problem with atheists as long as they don’t mock god or believers, I respect they way they think and I want them to respect the way we/us (believers) think.
          Last edited by Yedtarts; 04-25-2011, 05:11 AM. Reason: Adding a line.
          Եւ մի տանիր զմեզ ի բորձութիւն
          Այլ փրկեա ի չարէ:

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          • #15
            Re: Atheism and being Armenian

            I have no problem with atheists as long as they don’t mock god or believers, I respect they way they think and I want them to respect the way we/us (believers) think.
            This is impossible because of a few things like:

            1) Religious views being imposed on Atheists i.e. Religious opposition to civil unions or marriage for homosexuals, and abortions.

            2) No taxation for churches or even worse Atheists being forced to fund churches or faith based schools (through taxation), or for religious people being forced (through taxation) to fund abortion clinics.

            3) Discrimination against Atheists i.e. treating Atheists like they are servants of the devil or less moral (even though statistically religious people are more likely to commit crime than Atheists, and Atheists are less than 1% of the prison population), refusing employment or accommodation simply because they are Atheists.
            ^
            Atheists will never truly respect how religious people think, nor will religious people ever truly respect how Atheists think. If you want a reason why Atheists mock god and believers it is because there is no god (or non religious evidence of god), and Atheists thus see religious people as living a lie or a delusion. Atheists and religious people are different depending on the individual, some have bad experiences of Atheists just like Atheists have some bad experiences of religious people.

            Just like with anything else, respect has to be earned, Atheists and Christians for example can be good friends and respect each other but as far as views are concerned, would you respect a view that declares Christ is a man and/or that the bible is a mix of fairy tale story's and a work of fiction, that supports genocide, persecution of homosexuals, the inferiority of women, and murder? I doubt as a Christian you could without being a heretic, denying Christ (as well as the good nature of Christ) by your own faith sentences you to an eternity in hell.

            Popular figures of Atheism like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are more vocal and hostile to religion, because they are forced to be because they are in the spotlight, just like popular figures of religion like the Pope are more vocal and hostile to Atheism. The sad thing however is that religious people and atheists don't get along because of the most extreme elements in both, corrupt and spiteful preachers or pedophiles in the priesthood give heavily negative vibes, so that is why Atheists get pissed off when religious people claim to be morally superior or of special moral status when they don't even follow or adhere to their own moral beliefs (aka love thy neighbor).
            Last edited by hipeter924; 04-25-2011, 08:26 AM.

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            • #16
              Re: Atheism and being Armenian

              The Armenian identity is firmly rooted in Christianity:

              1) The Armenian alphabet was created by the Church
              2) The Armenian language was preserved by the Church
              3) The majority of Armenian history is recorded my the Church
              4) The majority of Armenian music is recorded, historically, by the Church

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              • #17
                Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                Originally posted by Yeznik View Post
                The Armenian identity is firmly rooted in Christianity:

                1) The Armenian alphabet was created by the Church
                2) The Armenian language was preserved by the Church
                3) The majority of Armenian history is recorded my the Church
                4) The majority of Armenian music is recorded, historically, by the Church
                The Armenian church preserved Armenian history and culture, but it didn't create most of it (individual Armenians did), there are many Armenian writers, artists and historians (that barely attended or weren't even involved with the Church) that preserved and recorded Armenian history and culture in Western Armenia and Europe, after the Genocide this was mostly lost (and destroyed by the Turks).
                Last edited by hipeter924; 04-25-2011, 08:51 AM.

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                • #18
                  Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                  Originally posted by Yedtarts View Post
                  I have no problem with atheists as long as they don't mock god or believers, I respect they way they think and I want them to respect the way we/us (believers) think.
                  Mocking is not right, but anyone and any ideology is absolutely allowed to be criticized. Religious people don't get a free pass to just believe whatever they want and have it be respected others just because its their faith. The most deadly thing is "this is beyond reproach, don't criticize it and just look the other way." I'm very vocal about my criticisms, but I don't think I out right mock. The church is not immune from criticism, least of all by me. Sorry.
                  "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest" - Confucius

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                  • #19
                    Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                    If you want a reason why Atheists mock god and believers it is because there is no god (or non religious evidence of god), and Atheists thus see religious people as living a lie or a delusion.
                    See now you started to insult me. You donít have to believe to what I believe in, no one is forcing you to believe in God, In your opinion he does not exist, that is fine, why mock something that donít exist. A true atheist donít believe in God and goes quietly about it, like I donít believe in UFOs, you donít see me writing books about it or going to seminars, have meetings or constantly mocking UFO believers, but most antis hide behind an atheist mask and mock God. And just because you donít have a proof of Godís existence it doesnít mean there is no proof, I have my proof that is enough for me, and whoever finds his proof will become a true believer, this is not a competition nor I want everyone to become a believer. You should be 100% convinced of it or else you will be one of those that goes to church as a duty, crossí his face, lights a candle, leave some money there and come home.
                    Եւ մի տանիր զմեզ ի բորձութիւն
                    Այլ փրկեա ի չարէ:

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                    • #20
                      Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                      Originally posted by Yedtarts View Post
                      See now you started to insult me. You don’t have to believe to what I believe in, no one is forcing you to believe in God, In your opinion he does not exist, that is fine, why mock something that don’t exist. A true atheist don’t believe in God and goes quietly about it, like I don’t believe in UFOs, you don’t see me writing books about it or going to seminars, have meetings or constantly mocking UFO believers, but most antis hide behind an atheist mask and mock God. And just because you don’t have a proof of God’s existence it doesn’t mean there is no proof, I have my proof that is enough for me, and whoever finds his proof will become a true believer, this is not a competition nor I want everyone to become a believer. You should be 100% convinced of it or else you will be one of those that goes to church as a duty, cross’ his face, lights a candle, leave some money there and come home.
                      Wrong.

                      This actually puts it pretty well: Lack of Belief in Gods (starting at 7:30 is when the video addresses your issue with why Atheists feel compelled to criticize rather than go "quietly" about it, as you put it)
                      Last edited by Jinx; 04-25-2011, 09:17 AM.
                      "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest" - Confucius

                      Comment

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