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Discussion 1 to Reflections on Ethics 47
On Converting Someone

by Reverend Corey Cooper

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With great respect for Reverend Gunner Nelson,

I believe a couple of things are true which may help answer your question: “Is it wrong to convert someone to an uncommon religion?”

  1. I believe that truly ‘converting’ someone necessitates that you profess and attempt to convince that your belief system is superior or more ‘right’ or ‘true’ than the subject of your evangelism, (which I regard to be a harmful and ‘bad’ thing,) but that;
  2. I believe you cannot change anyone. Change can be encouraged and facilitated, but the decision to change and the effort to change lies in the person within whom the change occurs. Your feelings of responsibility (and guilt perhaps) are misplaced in part for I believe you were not the sole source of the change in Steph. Also;
  3. The concept of the ‘common mold’ of religion is a dangerous concept, as many people ascribe wisdom to what is ‘common’ or ‘normal,’ often where little or none exists. Granted the term ‘common’ can refer to the numerical membership of a religion, but the connotation frequently tied to it makes avoiding the term altogether worth the effort.

I believe the short answer (too late) to your question is no, it’s not wrong to recruit someone into a religion that doesn’t fit the common mold of religion. The number of people who believe something has little bearing on it’s actuality or ‘truth.’ Regardless of your methods, you should not feel guilt for a decision only she could make.