What would you like to see changed in the Masonic experience?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by cemab4y, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Maybe he is wrong.
     
  2. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I do not believe this man is wrong. He is using different titles for the same lecture.
     
  3. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    To me those statements appear contradictory. What place do you believe that atheists/agnostics have in our Craft?

    Can you explain what that distinction is?
     
  4. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    MY MISTAKE! I went back and changed my response. I DO NOT REPEAT NOT BELIEVE THAT ATHEISTS/AGNOSTICS HAVE A PLACE IN OUR CRAFT.
     
  5. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Here it is from Wikipedia:

    Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims – especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether or not God, the divine or the supernatural exist – are unknown and perhaps unknowable.[1][2][3] In the popular sense of the term, an "agnostic", according to the philosopher William L. Rowe, is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of God, while a theist believes that God does exist and an atheist believes that God does not exist.[2] Agnosticism is a doctrine or set of tenets[4] rather than a religion as such.

    Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word "agnostic" in 1869. Earlier thinkers, however, had written works that promoted agnostic points of view, such as Sanjaya Belatthaputta, a 5th-century BCE Indian philosopher who expressed agnosticism about any afterlife;[5][6][7] and Protagoras, a 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher who expressed agnosticism about "the gods".[8] The Nasadiya Sukta in the Rigveda is agnostic about the origin of the universe.[9][10][11]

    Since Huxley coined the term, many other thinkers have written extensively about agnosticism.


    Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10][11]

    The term "atheism" originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society.[12] With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century.[13] Some ancient and modern religions are referred to as atheistic, as they either have no concepts of deities or deny a creator deity, yet still revere other god-like entities.

    Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in any supernatural deity include the lack of empirical evidence;[14][15] the problem of evil; the argument from inconsistent revelations; the rejection of concepts which cannot be falsified; and the argument from nonbelief.[14][16] Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies,[17][18] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[19] Many atheists hold that atheism is a more parsimonious worldview than theism and therefore that the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of God but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.[20]

    Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult.[21] Several comprehensive global polls on the subject have been conducted by Gallup International: their 2015 poll featured over 64,000 respondents and indicated that 11% were "convinced atheists" whereas an earlier 2012 poll found that 13% of respondents were "convinced atheists."[22][23] An older survey by the BBC, in 2004, recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world's population.[24] Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world's population, while the irreligious add a further 12%.[25] According to other studies, rates of atheism are among the highest in Western nations, again to varying degrees: the United States, for example, returned 4%,[26] while Canada returned 28%.[27] The figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union (EU), reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in "any sort of spirit, God or life force".[28]
     
  6. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    You said:
    In January 2011 Richard Dreyfuss publicly said:
    “But I’m an agnostic,” Dreyfuss added. “I’m willing to be surprised, but I’m an agnostic. But if there’s a God and he’s morally involved in our affairs, those guys are in trouble.” http://cnsnews.com/news/article/act...re-s-god-politically-uncivil-guys-are-trouble

    In June 2011 you were present at the meeting where he was made a Mason.

    Now knowing that he publicly professes to be an agnostic, do you still say:
     
  7. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The answer is a definite "Yes"! I consider being present at his initiation/passing/raising, to be the high point of my Masonic career. When I was there, I had no reason to believe that he did not meet the requirements for the Craft. After all, Potomac lodge investigated him, and he was unanimously voted in. The Grand Master of Masons in Washington DC was also present.

    I am only speculating, but maybe Brother Dreyfuss felt differently on the day of his initiation. Maybe he has decided to modify his religious views. I have no way of knowing.

    Please give this a rest. If you wish to inquire about the personal religious views of this man, just ask him yourself, and don't ask me.

    C.S. Lewis was a "devout" atheist, then he modified his views, and wrote "Mere Christianity" (and other books).

    I will say, that if any man is a member of the Craft, he decides to abandon belief in the Deity, then he should consider resigning the Craft. If a man is in Masonry, and he ceases to meet any of the requirements, then he should resign, because he is in the Craft under "false pretenses".
     
  8. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    I do not need a Wikipedia course on the difference between agnosticism and atheism, I am fully aware of the difference.

    My question was:
    You responded:
    I asked:
    You replied with the Wikipedia citation.

    So I will clarify, In my opinion Freemasonry requires that a man reply with an unequivocal affirmative response to the question: Do you believe in a Supreme Being? Neither an agnostic or atheist can do that, so what do you see as the distinction between them in answering that question?
     
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I believe your conception parallels mine. Since neither can answer this question, in the affirmative (honestly), then neither an atheist, nor an agnostic has any place in our Craft.

    I really see no "distinction" in the traditional sense, pertaining to the requirement. My response is somewhat unclear.

    There IS a distinction between an atheist and an agnostic. With respect to whether a man who holds either of these beliefs (or non-beliefs, if you wish), in answering and meeting the requirements to be a Freemason, there really is no "distinction".

    My bad.
     
  10. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Then why create a thread asking for Brothers to share on that very thing? Your posts are very confused.
    MAY?!?!?!
    And none of this will change the masonic experience you have no interest changing? Very confused indeed! If this would not CHANGE the EXPERIENCE, why bring it up at all? It's off topic according to you.
    So, you are of the opinion that one MUST have a Lodge to practice Masonry then? That sounds like Freemasonry not Masonry.

    Did I ever say that?
    Me Too!
    Things having nothing to do with the business of the lodge.
    The Primary Purpose is: Making (as in "initiating") Masons by putting them through plays called "rituals".
    What it should be: Cultivating Members toward Mastery.
    The aim is as stated previously. There is nothing more to it, unless you wish to add things that distract men from this activity.
    Great questions. I already have done so and have made absolutely no changes in the organization whatsoever. If you are interested, follow the links in my signature to see what I have conveyed.

    Yup. Business as usual for sure.

    All of which can and should be done outside of the Freemasonic Organization so that they can focus on their primary purpose - Initiating members - with some possible hope that one day they shall also apply themselves toward cultivating actual Mastery.
     
  11. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I have taken the liberty of pulling this idea out and starting a new thread. I hope that everyone who has shared on this topic will take a look at it.

    http://myfreemasonry.com/threads/why-does-freemasonry-require-a-belief-in-god.25316/
     
  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    ---If you think that the primary purpose of Freemasonry is to initiate new members, then we are failing miserably. See the membership statistics at

    www.msana.com

    Masonry is LOSING members. (Not all Masons believe this, you should see the hate mail I get!) One man wrote me ,complaining about the "flood gates being open". I answered him, saying that the flood gates are indeed open, just that the membership is flooding OUT!
     
  13. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    I have, repeatedly. You seem to be contributing quite a few ideas all targeting change.



    Perhaps the Freemasons you hang with. That has not been the case with the Brothers I hang with.


    Yup. I concur.

    Masonry doesn't have to. It is designed to change members, not itself.
    To each his own then. You have not addressed the question however.
    You have failed to comprehend what I have written. There is the purpose that is currently being served, which is what you immediately grabbed hold of. Then there is the purpose that you asked me about having to do with what I thought is should be. Your response shows that you did not read and understand what I wrote. Which makes me wonder if you have studied any of the trivium.

    The organization is not failing in its current purpose. It is doing exactly what it is designed to do. It could do so much more to cultivate Masterful members though and that is where it fails.

    It is only Freemasonry that is losing members. Masonry continually reaps this benefit when its members realize the society is not practicing what it preaches and go off on their own to seek these ends outside the organization.

    I fail to see how such comments would ever be the focus of any of your hate mail. :D
    <snicker> Great analogy.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  14. RyanC

    RyanC Registered User

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    If I am not mistaken the one day class is the same as making a Mason on Sight, as you need a special dispensation from the Grand Master to have a one day class. Please correct me if I am wrong in this.
     
  15. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    (Repeating: I am NOT an expert on the laws, rules, and regulations of the Grand Lodge of Washington DC)

    Some (not all) grand Lodges, permit the Grand Master, to make a man a Mason "at sight". . I read that Danny Thomas and Ronald Reagan, were made Masons in this manner (I have no direct knowledge of this, and I have no documentation).

    General Douglas MacArthur was definitely made a Mason 'at sight'. See:

    http://watch.pair.com/macarthur-6-freemasonry.html

    A "one-day class", is when ALL of the craft degrees are performed in one day. The candidate receives the EA,FC,and MM in one sitting. You go to the lodge at 0600 on a Saturday morning, and the degrees are performed one after the other. By lunchtime you are a Master Mason. My USA residence is in Virginia. The Grand Lodge of Virginia permits each district to hold one (1) "one-day class" per year, at the discretion of the Deputy District Grand Master. Not all districts will hold a "ODC" in a given year.

    Obviously, the regulations vary from Grand Lodge to Grand Lodge. Not all GLs permit ODCs. Some Masons call a man who has completed a ODC a "McMason".

    There is a difference between a ODC and making a man a Mason "at sight".

    Hope that clarifies.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  16. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    I: What Makes (Initiates) you a Mason?
    R: My Obligation!

    Whether ODC or Mason At Sight, the Obligation is STILL required or the "Making" is null and void. Making (Initiating and Accepting are all synonymous terms!) a Mason "At Sight" means performing an Initiation of a person with an impromptu Degree ceremony. The "at sight" refers to the GMs ability to convene "Occasional" Lodges for the purposes of Making (as in "Initiating") without the usual required scheduling (charters or warrants); that is his prerogative. However:

    1) The minimal required number of officers is still required to proceed.
    2) An affirmative vote of the members present is still required to proceed.
    3) The Initiation Obligations are still required for the "Making" to be binding.​

    Any uninformed GM who makes effort to exercise this "Making a Mason at Sight" prerogative without these requirements (and possibly others) has violated the intent and administration of the "at sight" landmark.

    ODCs are scheduled and hence do not qualify as "at sight" events.

    (source: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/sight.html)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  17. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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  18. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The whole point of this discussion topic, is to hatch and "massage" ideas.
    Q:
    Oh! Thanks for pointing this out. I thought is was merely to share what each poster wanted to change about their organizational experiences; not to drum up ideas to change the organization. End Q.

    Delighted to help! Most people pick up on this concept right away.

    I have been a Mason for 33 years, and I have not been able to change anything in all this time. The only thing I ever convinced my home lodge to do was to buy a copy of "101 ways to improve your lodge". They ignored all of the ideas in the text.

    Masonry is not going to see any major changes, not it the organizational structure, and not in the administrative procedures. If you could just see the fury which Masons employ to fight change, you would be impressed.
     
  19. Jason A. Mitchell

    Jason A. Mitchell Premium Member

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    That is a jurisdictional limitation. Other Jurisdictions have made significant changes both at the Grand and Local level.
     
  20. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    If your lodge/Grand Lodge is making progress to deal with the 21st century, I applaud you. Please post some of the progress here, I am very interested!
     
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