Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Religion
 Never Call them "Master"!
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2012 :  18:39:21  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have some suggestions for addressing or referring to clergy. The traditional accepted usage is to refer to a Christian minister as "The Reverend," a Jewish cleric as "Rabbi," a Catholic priest in particular as "Father," a Hindu cleric as "Guru" and an Islamic cleric as "Mullah." Such traditions are far from neutral, and are distorted to give an undeserved amount of respect to such clergy. Why? Well, let's look at what these titles mean.

"The Reverend" means "one who is entitled to respect." Clearly, the use of this term has always been a propagandistic ploy that should now be flatly rejected. Nobody is entitled to respect based merely upon their profession, least of all (I would argue) a Christian cleric.

The title, "Rabbi" may be even worse; it means "my master." In using this title, you are in effect saying that you are the man's slave. Screw that, says I!

"Father"? Sorry, my own dad is the only person I honor with this title. There's no way a nominally celibate priest deserves this title.

"Guru" is again "master."

"Mullah" is also "master."

Note the pattern: Most clerics, by their very titles, expect to be addressed as either one's master, or by another wholly unearned honorific. They do no deserve such titles!

Restraining my self here, I do not advocate using abusive titles for clergy as a class, unless such are particularly deserving. Let's just use neutral terms, is all I ask. "Mister" (or in some cases "Ms.," "Miss," or "Missus"), or, when the degree comes from an actual institution that requires study of a real subject, perhaps "Doctor." "Cleric" as a title might be better yet, though perhaps a little awkward due to its novelty as a title.

I'll be damned if I'll ever again call other person my master, or credit them with an undeserved title!

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 11/29/2012 18:43:37

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2012 :  19:11:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just call them all salesmen.

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2012 :  19:26:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

I just call them all salesmen.
I like it, as most are just that. Selling a nonexistent product. But it fails my self-imposed requirement of neutrality.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Go to Top of Page

On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  01:26:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think "Vicar" is a good word.

Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  03:12:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

I think "Vicar" is good.
Vicar is cool. I have no desrire to refuse to call church-critters by his/her correct titles simply to annoy them. I just think that nobody should be called by a title that assumes undue respect.

On the other hand, "Pastor" means shepherd. I'm no fan of the hoary sheep-sheperd metaphor. It's utterly arrogant and dehumanizing.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 11/30/2012 03:19:34
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  07:07:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

I have some suggestions for addressing or referring to clergy. The traditional accepted usage is to refer to a Christian minister as "The Reverend," a Jewish cleric as "Rabbi," a Catholic priest in particular as "Father," a Hindu cleric as "Guru" and an Islamic cleric as "Mullah." Such traditions are far from neutral, and are distorted to give an undeserved amount of respect to such clergy. Why? Well, let's look at what these titles mean.

"The Reverend" means "one who is entitled to respect." Clearly, the use of this term has always been a propagandistic ploy that should now be flatly rejected. Nobody is entitled to respect based merely upon their profession, least of all (I would argue) a Christian cleric.

The title, "Rabbi" may be even worse; it means "my master." In using this title, you are in effect saying that you are the man's slave. Screw that, says I!

"Father"? Sorry, my own dad is the only person I honor with this title. There's no way a nominally celibate priest deserves this title.

"Guru" is again "master."

"Mullah" is also "master."

Note the pattern: Most clerics, by their very titles, expect to be addressed as either one's master, or by another wholly unearned honorific. They do no deserve such titles!

Restraining my self here, I do not advocate using abusive titles for clergy as a class, unless such are particularly deserving. Let's just use neutral terms, is all I ask. "Mister" (or in some cases "Ms.," "Miss," or "Missus"), or, when the degree comes from an actual institution that requires study of a real subject, perhaps "Doctor." "Cleric" as a title might be better yet, though perhaps a little awkward due to its novelty as a title.

I'll be damned if I'll ever again call other person my master, or credit them with an undeserved title!


When one writes elected officials, it is common to address the letter to The Honorable. Friends of mine and I have determined that if you have to have the name preceeding yours, it likely isn't true.

In my own religion, our clergy is referred to as preists and preistesses. We have no officiant titles such as reverend or guru.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  07:19:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my weekly Barry Sandersism Church meetings we only revere Jim, Jack and Sam.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Go to Top of Page

sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  08:48:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

I just call them all salesmen.
I like that term as it's closer to the truth than all the others mentioned, in the majority of cases. Even for those who are free of knowingly repeating untruths or perpetuating the myths or lies, which I find hard to believe possible. They all get down to putting out the hand for money. They call it things like tithing, donations or love offerings exactly like salesmen would do and that's talking like a duck. For myself, I mostly avoid making comments to anyone in the business of religion about religion, that's what it really is after all and there's no need for titles when I do.
business n.
1. a. The occupation, work, or trade in which a person is
engaged,,,

b. A specific occupation or pursuit,,,

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
Go to Top of Page

ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1457 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  13:30:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like Fakir for its alternate definition as swindler and its fun pronunciation.
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  21:06:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

When one writes elected officials, it is common to address the letter to The Honorable. Friends of mine and I have determined that if you have to have the name preceeding yours, it likely isn't true.

In my own religion, our clergy is referred to as preists and preistesses. We have no officiant titles such as reverend or guru.
Good point about "Honorable," especially as applied to members of one of the arguably least honorable professions.

As to the title, "Priest" or "Priestess", I have no problem. (Your Pagan religion has borrowed that title from Christianity, however. HA-ha!) Basically, "Priest" originally meant "Elder," hardly too high-fallutin' a title even to my ears.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  21:09:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by ThorGoLucky

I like Fakir for its alternate definition as swindler and its fun pronunciation.
In English, that works for me in at least two ways.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Go to Top of Page

sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2012 :  22:27:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

(Your Pagan religion has borrowed that title from Christianity, however. HA-ha!)
Think again Mooner, are you sure it's not the other way around?

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2012 :  02:13:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sailingsoul

Originally posted by HalfMooner

(Your Pagan religion has borrowed that title from Christianity, however. HA-ha!)
Think again Mooner, are you sure it's not the other way around?
Yup, I'm pretty sure. It seems to come from the Greek via Latin, "presbyteros," meaning "elder." It wasn't the same word used for the priesthood of Classical Pagan times, but was used and probably coined by the Christian Church.
The Latin presbyter ultimately represents Greek presbyteros, the regular Latin word for "priest" being sacerdos, corresponding to Greek hiereus.

That English should have only the single term priest to translate presbyter and sacerdos came to be seen as a problem in English Bible translations. The presbyter is the minister who both presides and instructs a Christian congregation, while the sacerdos, offerer of sacrifices, or in a Christian context the eucharist, performs "mediatorial offices between God and man".

The feminine English noun, priestess, was coined in the 17th century, to refer to female priests of the pre-Christian religions of classical antiquity.
Anyway, it was always a neutral description with no assumed grandeur, and has become universal for almost all kinds of, well, priests. Even pagans, it seems.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 12/01/2012 07:29:42
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2012 :  07:27:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

When one writes elected officials, it is common to address the letter to The Honorable. Friends of mine and I have determined that if you have to have the name preceeding yours, it likely isn't true.

In my own religion, our clergy is referred to as preists and preistesses. We have no officiant titles such as reverend or guru.
Good point about "Honorable," especially as applied to members of one of the arguably least honorable professions.

As to the title, "Priest" or "Priestess", I have no problem. (Your Pagan religion has borrowed that title from Christianity, however. HA-ha!) Basically, "Priest" originally meant "Elder," hardly too high-fallutin' a title even to my ears.


Neo-Pagan, Mooner. The title fit and was borrowed. They didn't even ask for a residual on the copywrite. Younger religions often borrow from older ones.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2012 :  08:12:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

When one writes elected officials, it is common to address the letter to The Honorable. Friends of mine and I have determined that if you have to have the name preceeding yours, it likely isn't true.

In my own religion, our clergy is referred to as preists and preistesses. We have no officiant titles such as reverend or guru.
Good point about "Honorable," especially as applied to members of one of the arguably least honorable professions.

As to the title, "Priest" or "Priestess", I have no problem. (Your Pagan religion has borrowed that title from Christianity, however. HA-ha!) Basically, "Priest" originally meant "Elder," hardly too high-fallutin' a title even to my ears.


Neo-Pagan, Mooner. The title fit and was borrowed. They didn't even ask for a residual on the copywrite. Younger religions often borrow from older ones.
There you go, then. I would hardly be seemly for reconstructed religions to be very touchy about borrowed terminology, anyway. I've always liked the way Pagans -- excuse me, Neo-Pagans -- are usually quite forthright about how they use the best historical evidence available (it's slim, especially for Celtic religion, Asatru, and Wicca) to reconstruct their religion, but are "winging it" on a lot of the details.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 12/03/2012 08:13:48
Go to Top of Page

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2012 :  10:23:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would like to point out that we are being a bit harsh, Rabbi is not "my master" in a general or slaving concept but in a specific "my master Torah teacher" sense. It may come from an older general Master term but it evolved like so many words.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 2.34 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000