Sunday, June 26, 2005

RVCF Bible Study > Dating vs. Courtship

I'm bored and really too unbothered to think too much after today's debate so let's have some fun instead. The following below is taken from RVCF Bible Study and it engages in something that I like to call (is called) a) Strawman argumentation and b) Polarisation of Issues.

a) Strawman arguments are fantastically weak arguments (and often misrepresentations) and positions ascribed to the OPPOSING camp for the sole purpose of tearing down and 'looking good'. It doesn't, anyone with half a brain and who can think can see through it and realise that you are the actual stupid one. However, this has been used to good effect in debates before, particularly the misrepresentation bit.

b) Polarisation of issues occur when the person attempts to portray the debate in simple black and white i.e. extreme positions without realising that there actually is a range of options.

So fun exercise for the day, see how many times the article's author engages in the above 2 methods to 'persuade' his audience.

Remember neither of these is condusive to good debating or argumentation and makes you look shallow. Note: This does not only happen to religious fundamentalist 'arguments' but is present pretty much amongst all forms of lousy argumentation. The only reason why this site and in particular this component was chosen is because despite the moralising and preaching (and the awful argumentation) it's still worth a glance at.

Carrying It Out: A Summary of the Differences between Dating and Courtship

The table below summarizes some of the concepts and issues that arise during the course of building a relationship between a man and a woman. It shows the deficiencies inherent in the dating process, and suggests ways in which Courtship can address these issues.

All personal comments prefixed with a >

Secular Dating (S) Christian Courtship (C)
S1. One-on-one, male/female relationships are primarily entertainment. They are widely seen apart from the prospect of marriage.
C1. God designed one-on-one, male/female relationships with a view toward marriage.

> Same goes for friendship unless the author doesn't think that friendships are a form of relationship or that it is inappropriate for a person to have relationships with the opposite gender that does not lead to thoughts of marriage. Gee.... My (and Her) mom thinks that I (and her) should have dated other people and more often before settling down. Neither of our parents are bleeding heart liberals nor particularly religious so maybe the author has a 'point' =P

S2. The man or the woman can take the lead in initiating the relationship.
C2. The man takes the initiative in beginning the relationship by first seeking the Lord's will and the counsel of his parents (or Christian mentors).

> *Giggle giggle snort snort*. I actually gave it to him on the first point (because I in a sense do agree that 'dating' ought to be in a sense a test of competibility) but this just made me snort metaphorical chocolate milk up my literal nose. And if you think about it, it's a little like arranged marriage which has very secular roots (Greeks: Ignore the girl's wishes, go straight to her father and made an economic transaction)

S3. Usually begins in the early teen years without concern for marriage.
C3. Begins at an age when the person is ready to get married.

> It's not mutually exclusive. And an assertion besides. Oh and hey, divorce rates seem to be equally distributed amongst various religions.

S4. The man is usually unable or has given little thought to meeting the criteria for being a husband or a father.
C4. Courtship can begin when a man is able to maintain a home, manage finances, and be a provider, protector, and leader of a family.

> Sound plan really. But what is so Christian about this? But maybe it's because I'm Singaporean. Marriage and kids are expensive. So those who want to do their 'national service' for the nation (remember 2.5 kids), should start planning now.

S5. Women usually enter the relationship unprepared for married life.
C5. The woman prepares to be a helper to her husband, a mother, and a household manager.

> Subservience to husband. Gee.

S6. Takes place mostly away from the home and family environment.
C6. Takes place mostly in the home, at church, and at family activities.

>Hey, if debate is a religious activity, I would qualify under C6! And yeah, I do agree we aren't at each other houses...we tend to be at Borders and Kinokuniya. We are such bad bad people. *sob sob*

S7. If they are lucky, the parents might get to meet the date. They find out about their child's engagement after it occurs.
C7. The man's father gives counsel and final approval to whom his son is about to court. The woman's father screens and works with would-be suitors.

>Assertions, assertions, more assertions. Hey, doesn't the mother get to make a decision as well?

S8. Dating quickly leads to emotional and physical involvement without developing a deep, lasting friendship.
C8. Courtship involves progressive levels of friendship: acquaintance, casual friendship, close friendship, and intimate friendship.

> this with C1. So any relationship with the opposite gender must include thoughts of marriage as the friendship progresses? Or is that like a first criteria. *Ponders: Hey that girl might make a good wife, okay now we can be friends*

S9. A parent (or authority) to oversee emotional and physical progression of the relationship is avoided. Much of the relationship is conducted in secret.
C9. A parent or mentor to oversee the spiritual, emotional and physical development of the relationship is encouraged and desired.

>Yet more assertions.

S10. Physical involvement before marriage is allowed, expected, and encouraged.
C10. Physical involvement before marriage is prohibited.

> Well, if physical involvement before marriage is a good thing then this entire line is wrong. But since physical involvement before marriage is wrong bit seems to be an act of faith this can be more than safely ignored. Besides, why is it "prohibited"? Maybe it implies than Christians can't be trusted with physical involvement before marriage!!! *GASP*

S11. Complete privacy is permitted, encouraged and eagerly sought.
C11. Complete privacy is not encouraged.

> You don't have the right to privacy. I wonder what the US Supreme Court will say to that. The word complete is a misnomer, there are no complete rights, only competing ones. Since he hasn't demonstrated any competing rights, the right to privacy is complete in this instance. =)

S12. Engagement is viewed as a stop-gap measure for a couple that has made a mistake.
C12. Engagement is a logical progression toward marriage.

> Huh? Then wouldn't couples just break up? Or is he saying that 'secular dating' is doomed to failure? Weird considering the divorce rate patterns.

Oh well, that was cute. Peace!


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