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Modesty, your perspectives

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  • Modesty, your perspectives

    I'd like your perspectives on the term "Modesty" and what it represents to you. Yes, this is a religious related question, and can apply to all the Abrahamic Religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). Modesty is a big thing in my Christian denomination, since they talk about sex and chastity a lot, and what it takes to be modest. Modesty to me, to be a true principle, is how you feel inside and not based on the outside appearance. But we are dealing with humans, so first impressions are always on the outside appearance.

    So, I'd like to start a discussion on modesty and how you feel about it.

  • #2
    Define modesty. I remember reading a Ms. Manners column in which she stated that it would be immodest to wear a swimsuit on a nude beach because it would draw attention to oneself.

    Regarding the Abrahamic religions, do you really think you should take your direction from interpretations of ancient texts by religious leaders? That could lead to joining ISIS!

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    • #3
      Interesting. Okay. Here goes.

      Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by EltonJ View Post
        Interesting. Okay. Here goes.

        Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves.
        Good! We are in agreement. When you are among others who are not wearing clothes, modesty dictates that you get undressed.

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        • #5
          Elton is right in his definition of modesty as rightly described in Biblical passages generally as propriety and decency and not to call attention to oneself. The term garish when referring to dress is the opposite of modest. The Quran has a different version of modest dress and behaviour.

          There is also a feeling of modesty. That is when you feel out of place. Wearing a clown outfit to a Halloween party is fine. Wearing one to a wedding is another. The former you will fit in. The latter, you will feel modest. as well as embarrassed.

          Bob S.

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          • #6
            ^^ Okay! Again the standard is to dress to fit in with the rest of the people present. When in a nudist venue, modesty demands that a person be nude.

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            • #7
              It is possible to express individuality modestly. You can be nude when others are clothed and vise versa, without compromising anyone's modesty. Mr Rogers lived a modest life even though he regularly swam nude. Mr Trump on the other hand. . . I am an avid recycler and often find that draws more attention than I'd like. So, recycling is a modest enterprise, unless it's not favored by the group, then it becomes obscene.

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              • #8
                Yeah, I don't think 'modesty' is fitting in or being like everyone else, being a lemming or in a lynch mob isn't modest. Modesty is staying grounded and not being ostentatious - outstanding people are considered 'modest' when they stay 'down to earth' instead of being boisterous and self-aggrandizing. Humble is modest. Nude is pretty darn humble - so long as it isn't for shock or exhibitionism.

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                • #9
                  Even the Pope would disagree with the "fitting-in" definition of "modesty."

                  Theologically, "modesty" for Christians falls under the 9th Commandment about not coveting your neighbor's property, like oxen and wives. So, somewhat awkwardly for modern values (see the Vatican Catechism), "modesty" seems initially aimed at admonishing women to show "reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity."

                  Overall, this is part of the "struggle against concupiscence" or, put more positively, the victory of "purity of heart" over the "carnal lust" of the flesh. While there is an arguably unfair hidden assumption that concupiscence is particularly challenging for men, the basic values being promoted translate quite well to modern day for both genders.

                  Naturists, in fact, excel at all three aspects of this vision of "modesty":
                  • purity of vision where one can look upon another person without "voyeuristic "or "impure thoughts",
                  • purity of intention where one behaves in a way that respects the "dignity" of another person characterized by an attitude of empathy and solidarity, and
                  • chastity in the sense of respecting the "intimate center" of another person and the related private sphere of special "loving relationships."
                  Since Vatican II, Catechism section 2524 explicitly disassociates nudity and modesty by recognizing that "the forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another" and by emphasizing that "modesty" is really all about "an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man [sic]" -- in other words, purity of heart, respect, and restraint even in clothing-minimal or clothes-free situations.

                  The flip-side of this in textile cultures, according to the Catechism, is "communications media" that promotes "moral permissiveness," "widespread eroticism" and "entertainment inclined to voyeurism." This requires a purification of the social climate. "Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person" so that their sense of "modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies."

                  Bottom line: it sounds to me like naturists and hardcore Christians are on the same page when it comes to "modesty" being a matter, not of sufficient fabric, but of an attitude and comportment in harmony with mutual respect of each other's personal dignity. (On the sinner side, flamboyant lustfulness is similarly not fabric-dependent.)

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                  • #10
                    Words mean ... Modesty is doing and avoiding actions and words whose omission or performance would lead to folks labelling you immodest. Feedback entails circularity

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