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Response to Cha (Reply #18)

Tue Mar 24, 2015, 09:35 AM

20. Going to call this out every time I see it.

He is Christian. Period. Being a bad person doesn't make him not a Christian. If you're going to define him as "Christian", than the Pope is "Christian", because I don't think Jesus would have approved of his hypocrisy, homophobia, etc. And if the Pope isn't Christian by your standard, then I think it's a pretty baseless standard.


With respect to religion, the fallacy is well used, often even overused. Religious apologists will repeatedly try to use the No True Scotsman argument to distance themselves from more extreme or fundamentalist groups, but this does not prevent such extremists actually being religious - they themselves would certainly argue otherwise. Moderate Muslim leaders, for example, are well known for declaring Islamic extremists as "not true Muslims" as Islam is a "religion of peace." Similarly, moderate Christians, such as those in Europe, are sometimes aghast when viewing their fundamentalist counterparts in the US, immediately declaring them "not true Christians," even though they believe in the same God and get their belief system from the same book. Many of these statements stating that the extremists are not true believers are often used as a reaction against Guilt by Association.

The No True Scotsman fallacy can also run the other way when it comes to extremism. Extremists will make a religious statement and when someone points out that there are many believers who don't believe the extremist's viewpoint, the moderates are deemed to be not true believers (ie: Christians who support gay marriage are not "real Christians" or Muslims who support women's rights are not "real Muslims". Modern pagans do it all the time, perhaps even more than other religions, due to the fact that there is no agreed-on orthodoxy for the whole group, with some well-established practices in one setting being considered unpalatable in others. Silver Ravenwolf, one of the best selling "leaders" of neopagans, has done this with multiple ancient, well-established practices.

It's a tricky business, as being a member of a religious group, to the minds of those involved, encompasses adhering to a certain standard of behavior. For example, charity can certainly be called an essentially Christian ethic, considering the emphasis that Jesus placed on it. The man himself would most definitely disavow the greedy and "What's mine is mine" mindset of many right-wingers who call themselves Christians. However, strictly speaking, a Christian is defined as "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ"; there's no rule saying they have to do it right./div]

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
meegbear Mar 2015 OP
Capt. Obvious Mar 2015 #1
guillaumeb Mar 2015 #2
corkhead Mar 2015 #3
world wide wally Mar 2015 #4
liberal_at_heart Mar 2015 #5
leftieNanner Mar 2015 #25
olddots Mar 2015 #6
rurallib Mar 2015 #7
hifiguy Mar 2015 #8
Fred Sanders Mar 2015 #9
LittleGirl Mar 2015 #10
daleanime Mar 2015 #11
Hulk Mar 2015 #12
vlyons Mar 2015 #13
bvar22 Mar 2015 #14
Scurrilous Mar 2015 #15
barbtries Mar 2015 #16
niyad Mar 2015 #17
Cha Mar 2015 #18
LineLineNew Reply Going to call this out every time I see it.
F4lconF16 Mar 2015 #20
Cha Mar 2015 #21
F4lconF16 Mar 2015 #22
calimary Mar 2015 #19
mountain grammy Mar 2015 #23
SheilaT Mar 2015 #24
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