Are Due To Culture
"Can you explain how you believe that beliefs are due to culture and geography? Do you mean that if we were born into a different culture or a different location, we would believe different? Do you believe the same as how you were raised? If not, then how is it that your experience contradicts your assertion?"
When looking at the two factors of geography and culture, they do have a major effect on the beliefs and religion of those living and raised in those cultures and geographic areas. This is understandable if one only ever has exposure to only that one belief. Does this mean that this conclusion can be assumed? Some use this aspect of the way many in the world come to their religion as a reason to believe that all religious belief is just that, a belief, and that none have any more bearing on matters of truth than any others.
Jay Wegter mentions in the following recording: about a Wellesley College class which was taken by the wife of one of his mentors.
World-proofing Workshop Pt 1 Exposing the Lies of our Public Universities
In the first class session the professor of the class drew attention to one of the students, Janice, the wife of one of Jay's mentors. The professor mentioned to the class that Janice had indicated that she was a born again Christian. The professor then pointed out another student, Alicia, and that Alicia was a Muslim and had grown up in Saudi Arabia. He then asked Janice if she had grown up in a Christian home, and asked Alicia if she had grown up in a Muslim home.
When they both acknowledged that they had, the professor stated,
“Let’s face it, your religious affiliation is a geographical coincidence. Janice, if you had been born in Saudi Arabia you’d be a Muslim, and Alicia, if you had been born in a Christian family, you’d be a Christian. So let’s drop our exclusivism. Let’s just drop the topic of who’s right and who’s wrong”.
This sounds like a very effective challenge, doesn't it? How would you handle a situation like this where the professor singled you out because of what you believed and made the statements this professor did? How intimidated would you feel?
Janice waited until all the students had left and gently confronted the professor. She said,
“You spoke this morning as if you were speaking from a place of total objectivity. You didn’t own your worldview. You had fun with my worldview but you didn’t own yours. What is your worldview and how does it weigh objectivity?” She then said “I want respect from you, and I want respect for my Christian worldview. Otherwise, I’m going to ask you to own your worldview in front of the class”.
Her response took the professor completely off guard. He changed his perspective and from then on showed respect for Janice and her beliefs. For the rest of the semester when the class was discussing a topic, he would say,
“Janice, if you could tell us what the Biblical worldview is on this topic that would be great”.
Jay indicates that,
“He showed her complete respect and actually invited her input to share from a Biblical worldview”.
Notice that Janice didn't try to embarrass him in front of the students. She waited until everyone was gone so that she didn't make him feel defensive, which allowed her to be more direct. Janice’s professor had probably never had a Christian student point out the inconsistency of the professor’s statements before.
How do we respond when someone claims that we only believe in Christianity because we were brought up in a Christian culture and/or household, and why was Janice’s response to this professor so effective?
It wasn't immediately apparent to me what the contradiction was in what the professor said when I heard this mentioned by Professor Wegter, but when I took time to think about it in depth I was able to see it more clearly. What Janice pointed out to her professor was that he was really claiming that beliefs are only based upon culture and geography, and not on truths. Like The Blind Men and the Elephant parable, he implied that he saw the topic from a position of full understanding and objectivity and implied that Janice and Alicia only had a partial understanding. Considering the professor’s statement, “Let’s just drop the topic of who’s right and who’s wrong”, the professor’s belief is that no one can be fully objective about which belief is right and which belief is wrong. However, he is implying this while he believes himself to be fully objective.
By calling on Janice and Alicia and asking the questions he asked and making the statement he did he implied that he was the only one who was objective, which contradicts his implication that no one can be objective. His comments show that what he believed to be true was that religious beliefs are really only based upon where a person is born and raised, and the culture they live in. He gives no indication that he is religious, but does imply that he IS able to be objective.
A few other observations about someone holding this perspective. If they are an Atheist, did they grow up in an Atheist home? I've read that many atheists actually grew up in religious homes. If the person posing these questions about geography and culture is an Atheist but they grew up in a religious household, their conclusion from their questions would contradict their own experience. Since they grew up in a religious home, they should be religious and not an Atheist.
GEOGRAPHY AS THE MOST IMPORTANT PREDICTOR OF RELIGION
JAY WEGTER’S WORLDPROOFING WORKSHOP 2013
PT 1 EXPOSING THE LIES OF OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
PT 2 IS EVOLUTION A SCIENTIFIC THEORY OR A RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY?
PT 3 THE NEW TOLERANCE, CALLING GOOD EVIL AND EVIL GOOD
JAY WEGTER’S WORLDPROOFING WORKSHOP 2014
PT 1 BIBLICAL COSMOLOGY; THE FOUNDATION OF THE GOSPEL
PT 2 DECONSTRUCTING THE IDOLATRY IN EDUCATION (ROMANS ONE)
PT 3 CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS; ANSWERING A CULTURE OF SKEPTICISM
JAY WEGTER’S OTHER EXCELLENT RECORDINGS
Enter “Wegter” in last name of Advanced Search and click “Go”
Next Section: If I Don't Accept Jesus, Will I Go To Hell?