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'Lazy learner'


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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

The church is authoritarian.  If it not it would not kick people out who may disagree with some of the things it teaches. And even more so, you will get the boot as soon as you publicly oppose the top leaders.  The Church teaches obedience is one of the first laws of heaven. That is authoritarian.

Some people like to be part of an institution, in this case the church, that has authoritarian leanings. For example, my parents chose to live off of one income with my dad working for the government. His whole life he worked 8hrs a day five days a week. He always had someone over him at work, an authority figure, and he was content with doing whatever his boss told him to do. Mormonism brought my parents comfort in my opinion because it has authoritarian leanings. Twice a year they could watch conference and enjoy an uplifting message from an authority figure they believe speaks for God. His council gives/gave them strength daily to live a righteous lifestyle. Authoritarianism isn't always a bad thing for some people. Actually, I think a "healthy" amount of authoritarianism is a good thing for a large percentage of people. Some people don't want to be completely free and have to deal with the struggles that come along with unbridled freedom. Absolutely nothing wrong with following the rules of an institution that uses a "healthy" amount of authoritarianism and preaches obedience to certain laws, in my opinion. 

    On the other hand 😁, I started my business because I have a terrible time with anyone who thinks they're going to tell me what to do, except my wife 😂. Personally, I like the fact that total freedom is scary, has unknown outcomes, and doesn't offer a solution to most problems. As far as church goes, I feel total freedom as a member of the church. But, I always had scout callings and was given a lot of freedom to do what I want. If you don't mind me asking, did/does the church make you feel like your being restricted in doing what you want to accomplish?

 

    

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

There are actually policies that are in place to call the prophet to account, but I hear what you are saying. 

Like I've said, this is an issue where reasonable people can and will disagree.  It's largely subjective, and personal biases play a part in interpretation.

It does not require subjectivity to conclude that the church is an authoritarian organization. There's a leader at the top who calls the shots, and from whom the revelation from God for the church ostensibly flows. There are rules of obedience that are made unilaterally and which are enforced. It is objectively authoritarian. Is it like all other authoritarian governments? Of course not, and there can be variations in such structures, but it is a version of authoritarian.

The distinction is not unlike those with sexism, where there are variations like benevolent and hostile sexism. Both are still sexism despite how people feel about either. 

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

I just look to the doctrine and the policies.

Yes, it's straightforward.

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37 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It does not require subjectivity to conclude that the church is an authoritarian organization. There's a leader at the top who calls the shots, and from whom the revelation from God for the church ostensibly flows. There are rules of obedience that are made unilaterally and which are enforced. It is objectively authoritarian. Is it like all other authoritarian governments? Of course not, and there can be variations in such structures, but it is a version of authoritarian.

The distinction is not unlike those with sexism, where there are variations like benevolent and hostile sexism. Both are still sexism despite how people feel about either. 

We'll have to agree to disagree on it.  

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4 hours ago, bluebell said:

Me too.

As you speak are you thinking of the different 4 styles of parenting: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved?  I know some will not know that the first 2 are not the same.  (Maybe I missed you talking about this already though.)

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

As you speak are you thinking of the different 4 styles of parenting: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved?  I know some will not know that the first 2 are not the same.  (Maybe I missed you talking about this already though.)

Yes, that’s what I’m thinking of. 

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9 hours ago, Rain said:

As you speak are you thinking of the different 4 styles of parenting: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved?  I know some will not know that the first 2 are not the same.  (Maybe I missed you talking about this already though.)

Yes, that's already been gone over. It's also been observed that the parenting comparison does not transfer, inasmuch as it involves relationships between adults and their minor children, whereas the church structure (while including children of course) is about adults and other adults.

Also, the parenting relationship within society is generally authoritarian by default, while providing room for individual families to alter their parenting styles at their discretion. 

Other private organizations, however, can also be authoritarian by virtue of who owns them, but can have other structures that are established by bylaws, constitutions, or contracts. Churches or other religious institutions can take on a variety of structures as well: from loose informal democratic structures to highly conforming with unilateral leadership. 

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As this thread has evolved, I've been reminded of something that I wrote a number of years ago in a completely different context and which seems potentially pertinent. I quote myself with some minor modifications:

The de-privileging of hierarchical relationships (and our instinctive acceptance in the West of this value judgment) is a culturally bound construct.

This possibility is addressed at the discursive level by Deborah Tannen, sociolinguist at Georgetown University. In Gender & Discourse (Oxford UP, 1994), she points out the assumption prevalent in the West ‘that power is associated with asymmetrical relationships in which the power is held by the person in the one-up position’ (25).

Consequently, most of us would probably agree with the following statement: ‘Power governs asymmetrical relationships where one is subordinate to another; solidarity governs symmetrical relationships characterized by social equality and similarity’ (22).  Moreover, ‘most Americans are inclined to assume that solidarity implies closeness, whereas power implies distance’ (26).  In other words, hierarchy disunites, but solidarity unifies.

Tannen, however, attempts to reveal the fractures in this seeming dualism even within our own cultural context:

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[P]ower and solidarity are in paradoxical relation to each other. That is, although power and solidarity, closeness and distance, seem at first to be opposites, each also entails the other. Any show of solidarity necessarily entails power, in that the requirement of similarity and closeness limits freedom and independence. At the same time, any show of power entails solidarity by involving participants in relation to each other. This creates a closeness that can be contrasted with the distance of individuals who have no relation to each other at all. (22-23)

This potential for hierarchical relationships to be uniting becomes more surprisingly apparent, however, outside Western cultural assumptions. Tannen herself admits to being ‘caught up short’ by a 1993 article by Suwako Watanabe (‘Cultural Differences in Framing: American and Japanese Group Discussions’) that claims that Japanese subjects see themselves ‘as members of a group united by hierarchy’ (26, emphasis added).

Tannen then goes on to assert that ‘the anthropological literature includes numerous discussions of cultural contexts in which hierarchical relationships are seen as close and mutually, not unilaterally, empowering' (26, emphasis added). Such a relationship is ‘a hierarchical interdependence by which both have power in the form of obligations as well as rights vis-à-vis the other’ (27).

In Slavery, Bondage, and Dependency in Southeast Asia (1983), historian Anthony Reid further explores this alternative (and very non-Western) conception of hierarchy, asserting that ‘vertical bonding is very ancient and central to almost all Southeast Asian societies’ (6). He offers the following linguistic evidence:

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As soon as Southeast Asians speak, they place themselves in a vertical relationship. Diller has cited fifteen alternative forms of the pronoun ‘I’ in Thai, and in all major Southeast Asian languages the second person pronoun is even more finely graded. The assumption behind these speech patterns is that society is naturally hierarchic, like the family, so that comfort and intimacy are best achieved when one can address the other party as an older or younger brother or sister, or as father, grandfather, uncle, boss, or lord. (6)

Note that the mental model for all human relationships in Southeast Asia is the family. Note too that such asymmetrical relationships are understood to engender ‘comfort and intimacy’. In fact, as Reid himself points out, the ‘[h]orizontal and superficially equal relations’ imposed on Southeast Asians by modern institutions typically create a sense of distance and unease (6).

This discomfort with equal and solidary relationships becomes clearer when we consider that, in the Southeast Asian mind, hierarchy ‘“is based on cooperation. The relationship between (almost) equal groups, on the other hand, is best described as opposition”’ (Chabot qtd. in Reid 7). Thus, contrary to the modern Western construct, equality is seen as the relationship most susceptible to and characterized by the exercise and possible abuse of power.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Yes, that's already been gone over. It's also been observed that the parenting comparison does not transfer, inasmuch as it involves relationships between adults and their minor children, whereas the church structure (while including children of course) is about adults and other adults.

Also, the parenting relationship within society is generally authoritarian by default, while providing room for individual families to alter their parenting styles at their discretion. 

Other private organizations, however, can also be authoritarian by virtue of who owns them, but can have other structures that are established by bylaws, constitutions, or contracts. Churches or other religious institutions can take on a variety of structures as well: from loose informal democratic structures to highly conforming with unilateral leadership. 

Thanks for letting me know I missed it. I must have accidentally missed a page or part of a page. 

I'll just have to be with bluebell on this one about disagreeing with you on it.

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On 4/17/2021 at 4:08 PM, AtlanticMike said:

On the other hand 😁, I started my business because I have a terrible time with anyone who thinks they're going to tell me what to do, except my wife 😂. Personally, I like the fact that total freedom is scary, has unknown outcomes, and doesn't offer a solution to most problems. As far as church goes, I feel total freedom as a member of the church. But, I always had scout callings and was given a lot of freedom to do what I want. If you don't mind me asking, did/does the church make you feel like your being restricted in doing what you want to accomplish?

I am not sure I would say the church personally restricted me on any particular thing I may have wanted to accomplish.  But the authoritarian teaching and approach, in what I have said here is a child parent relationship, ultimately was bad for me personally.  Emotionally, intellectually, feeling able to remain an active participant in my LDS community and be authentic and so on.  And essentially I concluded that the truth claims the Church makes and the authority it claims are not true and lack credible evidence to back them up.

 

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