Tag Archives: beliefs

“Beliefs” can mean anything

Have I mentioned that I hate the way nonreligious people talk about religion?

I even have my grievances with the religious/nonreligious divide, but I’m using according to a self-identification standard for the moment, and sure, it’s not all bad, and I hate the way religious people talk about religion too, and there’s plenty of overlap besides, but: man, I hate the way nonreligious people talk about religion.  It’s even more cringeworthy than non-horsepeople’s ideas about horses, sometimes.

I’m just writing this to vent, not to write an instructional guide.  But if you want to know what brought this on, it was a dialogue option in Dragon Age: Inquisition, part of a video game series with a really lazy, derivative knock-off of Christianity whose relationship with the world lore is contradictory.  But I’ll try not to get off on a tangent about that.

There’s a bunch of trouble that the Chantry (i.e. the Fantasy-Church) played a big part in, and at one point, you’re given the option to say “Fanatical belief is to blame.”  In context, this is clearly referring to the followers of the Andrastrian religion (i.e. Fantasy-Christianity).

I don’t mind anyone blaming the Chantry, because the Chantry is pretty awful in some ways.  What I mind is this wording that implies only certain belief systems (read: religiously-coded ones) count as “beliefs.”  I know “fanatical” is in there to clarify it only means the extreme variants, but, y’know.  Extremity is relative.

I hate the word “belief”.  It’s so vague and broad and nondescript and toothless.  Maybe that’s the kind of word that works best sometimes, granted, but most of the time I hate the way people use it, because it’s so often used as this wishy-washy comprehensive blanket term for anything religiously-coded.  As if, y’know, nonreligious people don’t believe anything.

This is so frustratingly foolish I’m worried I’m not being coherent, but my main complaint is and will always be that people are so unspecific about what they’re criticizing that it lumps in things they don’t intend and robs the punch from their message.

Having a beef with the diehard Andrastrians is 100% understandable, but good grief, say what you mean.