I also think that understanding where they are coming from can be helpful. To us. Not to them because their agenda isn't to get along or to come to a common understanding but to assimilate as many as possible.
I think for me it comes down to two things. When the cameras get turned off, are the Duggar children being treated in a way that CPS needs to be called in (because they aren't when the cameras are on I assume or people would have said so). And, is their belief system actually dangerous.
For the first one, I don't know and I don't know how we'd know. I'd like to think that, if there was true abuse going on such as children being beaten, being molested, being starved, that someone around those kids who isn't in the movement would do something about it. I'd also think that there'd be signs and rumors and there doesn't seem to be.
For the second, I think it's pretty clear the Quiverfall movement is one of those belief systems that isn't just foreign to me or that I don't agree with but that falls into the category of beliefs that society should consider dangerous. But they aren't the only ones and I suspect a few of you belong to some churches I'd take some issue with as well. For one thing, any church that teaches people that who they are is a sin is dangerous IMO. I also think that some of the teachings of the Quiverfall movement are perilously close to slavery and that that is dangerous and wrong as well.
Delete. Wrong Thread.
So, if we really want to understand these communities on their own terms, we need to examine our categories of analysis. I think this is what is happening in this discussion, to some extent, when people argue that all belief systems place limits on people's freedom in some way. However, I think that to take this argument to its logical conclusion, one would have to argue that "choice" is not necessarily an important component of an individual's happiness or of the wellbeing of societies. That argument can and has been made, but I think it presents quite a slippery slope when individuals with these freedoms argue that those without them may be better off that way. They may PERCEIVE themselves to be better off, but they may not be. I am arguing for the importance of "outsiders" having the right to make this distinction and making it (just as conservative religionists make it of "outsiders"), rather than simply saying, "who are we to impose our values on these communities/belief systems if they seem to be working for their members/adherents?" Of course, taking this position does not entail coercing religionists to change; the latter is a futile and misguided venture. However, in order to allow for the possibility of change within belief systems, and to safeguard the gains societies have made in opposing religiously-based discrimination, one has to make the critique.
While I understand the argument that these critiques are only really necessary when the communities are engaging in dangerous practices, I don't think this is the best ground upon which to make the argument for the importance of critique (as opposed to a relativist acceptance). For me, it is important to start the work of understanding and evaluating these religious traditions long before this. Not because I think I can change them, nor because I want to impose my own belief systems on them (a futile venture, as I say), but 1) to ensure that there is a critique of the limits they place on individuals' freedoms out there as part of the broader social debate and 2) as part of a process of enabling those who want to leave to see and understand why that may be the case. How individual religionists negotiate the latter change is obviously up to them; it is not, nor should it be, a case of simply adopting a "secular" set of values or of having these values imposed on them.
Last edited by nlloyd; 03-15-2013 at 06:41 PM.
Yes, you did. I wanted to take that argument one step further by suggesting that not only are there different types (orders) of choices offered to the Duggar girls and Zemgirl, but that the Duggar parents probably don't see "choice" as a priority; their belief system places more emphasis on obedience to God. The relativist argument should be conducted on those grounds, rather than on the issue of choice. In other words, if you want to argue that there is no difference between these communities and more secular or theologically liberal ones, it is necessary not simply to say that the young women in both sets of communities are given choices, but to argue that "obedience to God" is as effective a safeguard to individual happiness and the wellbeing of societies as freedom of choice. Those comments were addressed to the general discussion; my apologies if they appeared to be addressed to you.
I don't think Prancer was making a relativist argument. Could be me, but I see Prancer as critiquing the lack of internal consistency in various arguments being made, and that being missed over and over by people responding to her.
Last edited by nlloyd; 03-16-2013 at 01:22 AM.
I think that's a misread. There's no claim to equal validity, but rather the necessary mechanisms by which all parenting occurs. That's not a relativist argument, it's a structural one.
Josh and Anna will be moving to D.C because Josh has a new job! Working for the Family Research Center, an organization that is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those Duggars are such kind folks.
First of all, it's the Family Research Council, not Center. Second of all, Duggar merely met with them -- he hasn't been hired yet. Third, if you want to talk about "hate," you might recall that Floyd Lee Corkins II saw Family Research Council on that SPLC list, went there, and shot security guard Leo Johnson -- a good man whom I happen to know personally.
Those Southern Poverty Law Center people are such kind folks.
Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
BTW, the FBI uses that listing and other resources that SPLC provides for research on hate crimes throughout the country.
Yes I did hear about that, and I am very sorry for your loss, but that can't be blamed on the SPLC. The FBI publishes a list of most wanted criminals, if someone killed one of them because they saw their name on the list, would that be their fault? Of course not.First of all, it's the Family Research Council, not Center. Second of all, Duggar merely met with them -- he hasn't been hired yet. Third, if you want to talk about "hate," you might recall that Floyd Lee Corkins II saw Family Research Council on that SPLC list, went there, and shot security guard Leo Johnson -- a good man whom I happen to know personally.
Those Southern Poverty Law Center people are such kind folks.
It was within this context that Prancer suggested that the Duggar girls would say their parents had given them choices much like Zemgirl's parents had. She also argued that all parents hold particular beliefs and impose these beliefs on their children regardless of their belief system. The Duggar parents have a right to formulate their values and pass them on to their children, much like any other community, and therefore we, who do the same, have no right to criticise them. (In this discussion, the "live and let live" approach included desisting from criticism.) Similarly, because both sets of parents gave their children "choices," it was not acceptable to criticise the Duggars.
This is, for me, a relativist approach. It depends on the notion that because there is no absolute truth, the perceptions of individuals/communities - in relation to their communities - are all of equal worth. The Duggar parents have one belief system that they impart to their daughters, the Zemgirls have another; the Duggar parents perceive "choice" in one way and Zemgirls' parents perceive it in another way. Ultimately, though, each belief system is equally valid because it is valid to the individual community. The validity of the belief system to the community exempts it from criticism in a relativist approach. I am arguing that while, by definition, these belief systems seem valid to the communities, they are not and should not be exempt from thoroughgoing critique.
Last edited by nlloyd; 03-16-2013 at 06:47 AM.
Again, I think you missed the crux of the argument, and are basically creating a fictive opposing view in this discussion in order to pursue a personal agenda (arguing against relativism).
Last edited by agalisgv; 03-16-2013 at 08:28 AM.
You two are reminding me of grad school and why I said let me study the dead people and not do cultural.
Your program sucks and your partner just fell: lay down and play dead or think Feck this and do a Th3A at the end of the program: Aliona Savchenko: Definition of a competitor
That is part of my issue with criticism of the Duggars, actually; that cultural relativism is applied rather freely by posters in other contexts, but not in this one.
The idea that people can't criticize the Duggars is rather . Of course people can criticize the Duggars. People can criticize anyone and anything they want. But the criticisms made should, at least in my mind, have some sort of logical consistency to them.
In terms of the Duggar girls and their choices, what I responded to was this:
They did not tell me to do anything other than to make sure I leave myself a variety of options (=do well enough in school). Other than that, I made my own choices and if I ever wanted their advice, I asked for it. Certainly they never imposed their beliefs on me.
And I stand by my assertion that the Duggar girls would say the same--that their parents did not impose their beliefs on them, but that they have chosen to live this life.
They may change their minds about that; they may even lie about it now. But an important part of belief systems involving subjecting yourself to God's will is that you must CHOOSE to subject yourself to God's will or else it is pointless. God knows what is in your heart. If you are not sincere, then your subjection is worthless.
So I would be surprised if the Duggar girls did not say and believe that they have made the choice. Most people here would say they have not because they can't. I do think there is truth to that, but not because the girls are unaware that other choices exist. I find that argument completely .
They're, their, and there. Get it right your in college.
I was making a different point. What I think some people (just some, not everyone in the thread) don't realize is that not everyone approaches life the same way and thinks of choice from the same perspective.
And definitely there have been studies that show that people don't actually really want so many choices. I run into this my job when I try to tell my business clients that UI designs that are completely flexible and let users do things in any order with tons of choices are not necessarily easier to use. They don't believe me because "everyone wants choices" even though there is tons of evidence that they don't. This is a trivial example (web UI) but it expands out to every aspect of our live IME.
I think the issue here about choice runs into a tricky balance between giving people the benefit of the doubt that they have freely made their own choices -- we'd all be quite indignant if some stranger came up to us and told us that we didn't really freely come to our belief system but had been brainwashed into it (as I think you are getting at) -- and knowledging that some people can be brainwashed and that some religions and are actually set up to do just that.
I think people look at Quiverfall and see it as such a system and therefore reject the idea that anyone raised in it could come to those beliefs if they had free choice. But adults join Quiverfall too. Are they all fools who were tricked? Is it a cult with a charismatic leader and everyone in it a pawn of that leader? There are certainly aspects of the group that meet that criteria but, unless there is a lot going on that we don't know about, it doesn't meet it enough that I'm willing to stage an intervention and rip those kids out of there "for their own good."
At least not at this point with what I know right now.
Delete. Wrong Thread.
Prancer, let's see, then, whether we can agree on the crux of this debate. For me it was Ziggy asserting that a "live and let live" approach to the Duggars was not adequate because the Duggar parents' patriarchy and misogyny limited their daughter's potential. He and others suggested that it was necessary to speak up against religious misogyny. You argued in response (and I found this a little ) that few people reach their potential (as if the prevalence of a negative phenomenon renders its remediation unnecessary). You then argued that the girls had choice, including the choice to leave their families, just as Zemgirl's parents gave her choices about her future.
I stand by my argument that not all choices are equal. The Duggar girls' choice is far more limited 1) because the stakes are so high (to "leave" or to deviate from their parents' teachings is to risk the loss of their family, faith, and faith community) and 2) because in making their "choices" they are not able to explore the various alternatives - as someone like Zemgirl might do - the stakes entailed in such experimentation are too high.
Your argument seems relativist to me because you see the choices as similar - each community offers choices - and you do not evaluate the choices themselves.
What I really take issue with, however, is women who leave conservative religious communities, gain a new set of freedoms, and then argue 1) that the leaving was "easy" and any/all could do so, 2) that because it was easy, conservative religious women have a set of choices that is similar to those of other women, and 3) that it is thus not necessary to speak out about the way women are treated in these communities. For me this trivialises the misogyny faced by these women, the efforts of their peers who leave the community to challenge that misogyny (which, in the interests of full disclosure, is where I am situated in this argument), and the efforts of feminists more broadly in countering all forms of misogyny, religious and non-religious. I think it also trivialises the importance of their faith to these women. The choice is difficult because it is a choice between their faith as they know it and value it and the pursuit of potential in ways deemed contrary to it. I am thus not talking about the initial choice (for or against God), but of the kinds of choices the girls, like Zemgirl, have in early adulthood. Again, for me, relativism creeps into your argument when you assert that those choices are equal and do not undertake an evaluation of them.
Last edited by nlloyd; 03-16-2013 at 09:35 PM.
If so, for the record: Leaving is very hard. It involves a lot of painful questions and agonizing over your own self worth and what you truly believe. It requires you to risk giving up everything you have known for something you don't know. You will have to walk away from your friends; you may have to walk away from your family. You may have a support system when you go, but you very likely will not. And you will probably find out that it's not all that great when you do go, which you suspect before you get out but don't know for sure. I could go on if you need further demonstration of my understanding of the dynamics here and will if you request it, but I think that will do.
So again, I never said that it was easy. What I argued against was the idea that it is impossible, that it couldn't happen, that the girls cannot walk away. They can. If they want to (which is key) but do not, it is not because they don't have a choice, but because what they would have to give up will cost them more than what they think they might gain. And that IS a choice, even if the range of choice isn't what Ziggy or Zemgirl have.
They're, their, and there. Get it right your in college.