"Religious Requirements"

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Bloke, May 23, 2018.

  1. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    You're wasting your time Bro. Bloke.
     
  2. Scoops

    Scoops Registered User

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    I agree with you totally. When I was filling out my petition I ticked the box fairly routinely (although certainly not just for the sake of ticking boxes and being accepted) and handed it in. However, afterwards I reflected on the question and actually took some time to form my belief into something that I could outwardly express to others rather than simply an internal feeling.

    As to the question of how jurisdictions phrase it, mine (in the document Aims and Relationships of the Craft) uses

    And in Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition says

    Visiting Brethren from foriegn jurisdictions should be prepared to

    (All these can be found in the attached PDF)
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Thanks - and I look at that attachment.
     
  4. goomba

    goomba Neo-Antient Site Benefactor

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    See I read the "a" as meaning at least one. So say you believe in the Greek gods in my view that is at least one. I don't see it as disqualifying if there are say two supreme beings.
     
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Find a polytheist Brother and have that discussion, after taking years to demonstrate to him that you are very open minded to even find out his religion and do it outside of our buildings. The word "a" versus the word "the" when combined with the word "supreme" doesn't need to have significance to monotheists. To polytheists it can be a part of working through becoming willing to say yes to the question.

    Remember that the meaning is up to the candidate not to you or me. Only one that great - the, none greater - a, that's a choice of meaning that can made by the candidate not made by you or me. Except as they say in Masonic jurisprudence discussions "Void where prohibited by law". None of my jurisdictions have any such voiding law. Not even if you're a member of one of those jurisdictions and think they do.
     
  6. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Thanks Goomba and Doug

    I always read "A Supreme Being" akin to "The" Supreme Being, with the "THE" being each man's own affair; hence "a" being used. I guess that view is influenced by the term TGAOTU - but that might show my own bias (Doug, my comment kinda reminds me of something left field, I started reading Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - that's in another thread somewhere in here).

    All that said, I am not really focused on the nature of the requirement - but rather how to describe it well.... but to do that, I guess we do need to get to the nature of the requirement - but the nuisances and precedents and laws around that will vary, the obvious best example being in Constitutions where the members must be exclusively Christian - where this problem is easily addressed !

    In terms of "a" - the phrase "Do you barrack for a football team?" comes to mind - I would imagine it would be rare to ask "Do you barrack for the football team?", and there is always to question "Do you follow football".

    Maybe its as simple as asking "Do you believe in God ?"

    It might seem silly to kick this around, but I have been in lots of membership committees and I am looking for better ways to speak about this to folk who are considering joining- I seem to be having almost daily conversations about that and I am looking for different views.
     
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  7. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    We had an atheist applicant and on questioning it seemed that he was deist. He agreed that Life has meaning but did not believe in personal gods. He was prepared to say that he believed in God and was initiated.

    In my view the essence of the requirement is to agree that we have an obligation to something greater, whether we call it Life, or God, or the Cosmos
     
  8. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I think without a supernatural element - the intent of "Supreme Being" is not met.
     
  9. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    >without a supernatural element

    I consider that a frequency spectrum exists from Spirit to Matter - as reflected in the mysterious ladder.

    Accordingly all things, beings and energies are part of the one Spirit.
     
  10. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    The Book of Constitutions Grand Lodge of Kentucky states "The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Free and Accepted Masons, acknowledges a belief in God to be the great fundamental principal and Landmark of Freemasonry upon which our fraternity is erected. Without an avowal of such a belief no man shall be initiated in a lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and if a Freemason shall renounce or forsake his belief in God, or if he does not continue to entertain such belief, he shall not remain a member of any lodge and shall be expelled".
     
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  11. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I'd had a few brothers leave my lodges because they lost their faith, but I dont think there is any rule we would have to expel them for that.. must check.

    Really, when speaking to potential candidates - I am thinking it would be better to use the word "God" than "Supreme Being" because it makes it very clear...
     
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  12. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    I believe that's the key Bro. Bloke.

    BACKGROUND: I come from 12 step. The whole idea-premise behind believing in a "Higher Power" is to both comprehend and acknowledge the existence of an authority-influence other than yourself that has more authority-influence upon you than yourself.*

    If you cannot do this, the 12 steps will not work as well as they were intended to work.

    The same goes for Ritual. It simply does not work as well as it is intended to work when the candidate has not bought into the premise of God and all that follows from this premise.

    The same goes with fitting into the Freemasonic organization. Although there's not much "God talk" between Brothers overall, when you become known as a doubter or naysayer, you become a pot hole that everyone will avoid as they drive past you OR you become the focus of a fix-it effort by those who don't like to hit/avoid pot holes.

    ---------------

    * BTW - In my 12 step work, the phrase "God as we understood God" was used. God was never defined other than a "higher power" of which you had a personal understanding.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    You may have a good point here Brother.
     
  14. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    >it would be better to use the word "God" than "Supreme Being"

    God is a concept specific to particular cultures. It is not as universal as Freemasonry is alleged to be.
     
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  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Good point.
     
  16. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I agree - but I would say "God" is much more widely and readily understood AND less subjective word than the phrase "Supreme Being" within mainstream Australian (Western) culture... and we're talking about an introductory sentence or phrase rather than further questions which drill down to nuances...
     
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  17. Lightlife

    Lightlife Site Benefactor Premium Member

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    This has always been my viewpoint. I am not a Christian, but I took my obligations on the Christian Bible. Why? Because I believe in a higher power and the Bible, like many other books of faith, is a good symbol of that belief. For several years I did not pursue becoming a Templar because I was not Christian. Then, I met a Jewish Templar who found my perception quite humorous. I did spend what some thought was an inordinate amount of time in the Chamber of Reflection before The Order of the Temple, but, in the end, my answers were accepted.
     
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  18. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Congratulations Sir Knight.
     

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