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There have been several threads lately referencing Amish neighbors using various technologies forbidden to their own places but willingly going to use the same things as long as they are at someone else's place.
I can not see the point in this. It seems if the technologies are a danger under their religion, they are the same danger no matter who owns them as long as you depend on them.
Does someone have an explanation?
 

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Amish frequently embrace technology same as we "English" . The elders of their various closed community boundaries decide what is allowed within the community and how those following their particular faith variation must conform by what they include in their particular ordnung.

Many Amish communities are now advanced to incorporating facets of the mid to late 20th century by their applicable ordnung especially with the combination of reducing faith members, more difficult financial situations and safety concerns of their members and children.

Just as any religion can chose to reform in a different direction from its past, the Amish faith and related lifestyle changes and advances some as the elders feel changes to their ordnung doctrines are necessary.

Many of the "English' tend to overlook that Amish is not as much a lifestyle as it is a communal religious discipline governed by doctrine approved by each communities elders and the lifestyle is just a product of the chosen doctrine.
 

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They (the ones that don't use power or phones) don't connect their houses because they don't want to be connected to the world. There are many different Amish orders and the bishop decides what is okay and what is not. Some will use cell phones or hydro power, LP, generators, or pneumatic tools. Some have phones and power in their barns and businesses, some don't.
 

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There have been several threads lately referencing Amish neighbors using various technologies forbidden to their own places but willingly going to use the same things as long as they are at someone else's place.
I can not see the point in this. It seems if the technologies are a danger under their religion, they are the same danger no matter who owns them as long as you depend on them.
Does someone have an explanation?
Not according the the bunch I ask . They hire transportation from the English told me that owning auto would mean being tied to the state and insurance Co. This way nothing law wise is tied to them like why buy a Greyhound bus when you can just buy a ticket :thumb:

Here some run sawmills and charge the loggers to saw by the board foot . The loggers keep a large loader at the mill to feed the log deck plus unload trucks . Loader man is English he don't show up all work stops . :facepalm: This bunch runs hand set mills only diesel power unit nothing electric or automatic . They have put the hurt on other mills around as it is cheaper to hire them than own a mill. They are exempt from OSHA as ever member of the clan is a co owner too. :sing:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Still does not make sense to me, although I admit that there is no reason that it is required to do so. Maybe if I understood the goal. If the point is to keep from obligation to outside entities, like a utility company, then how is one less obligated by storing, for instance, the family meat supply in a neighbor's freezer rather than one's own? So their reliance on outsiders is the same or greater ( the utility company and the neighbor), they just have to walk farther to get dinner.

I realize each group makes it's own decision as to what is acceptable and what is not, but there must be some sort of general operating principle behind it.
 
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All they are trying to do is to minimize corrupting forces. Those corrupting forces can be defined so differently by different individuals.

My guess is too, that like all of us, Amish sometimes fail to see how corrupting forces creep us on us at glacial speed, until all of a sudden, we are covered up by them.
 

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We bought our farm from an Amish couple. One day I asked the wife about this very thing. The way she explained it is that they believe that 'technology' takes their focus from God, family, prayer, and the community.

Two years ago, however, there was a mass exodus of about half of the local community that surrounds us. Why? There was a big disagreement with one of the Bishops concerning the use of some 'modern' conveniences by the community. The couple that we knew was one of the young families who moved out. They went to the area near Joplin where the tornado hit to cash in on the rebuild.

About 6 months after they moved, Erv, the young man, called us with some questions about on demand hot water heaters. Seems like in their new community they allowed cell phones, hot water heaters and other modern conveniences that made life easier for them.

That was the basis of the exodus. In five years living in the area I've watched how hard the women work. WITHOUT modern conveniences to help them. Their dedication to tradition is admirable.

As far as the men go, if you hire a crew of Amish to do a construction job on your farm, they will gladly use your power tools. When they come to mow and bale hay in our pastures, they use their teams of draft horses to cut and rake the grass, then here comes a young Amish man driving a nice tractor and baler that they have rented from a non Amish farmer in the area to do the baling. I have also seen Amish use horse drawn balers to bale small square bales of hay.

Once again I asked the Amish wife about this and her reply was that it is a matter of personal preference what degree of leniency an individual uses when 'bending the rules' when it comes to using technology.

Are they hypocrites? Depends on your definition of the word. Maybe, to a point. To shun owning modern technology, but not be adverse to using it if it belongs to some one else? Probably, but once again, it's a matter of personal preference with them. Or as I was told once, "If you think we are backwards, you all should be around the area Quakers" We did have the opportunity to work with a group at a barn raising we went to. They arrived on bicycles, (although there is a car that is available for their use) worked hard, both guys and girls, and at the end of the day, climbed on their mountain bikes and pedaled back to their community. What 'tools' did we use? Hammers, nails, and for a saw, a chain saw. No electricity. It was an eye opening experience.


 

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Still does not make sense to me, although I admit that there is no reason that it is required to do so. Maybe if I understood the goal. If the point is to keep from obligation to outside entities, like a utility company, then how is one less obligated by storing, for instance, the family meat supply in a neighbor's freezer rather than one's own? So their reliance on outsiders is the same or greater ( the utility company and the neighbor), they just have to walk farther to get dinner.

I realize each group makes it's own decision as to what is acceptable and what is not, but there must be some sort of general operating principle behind it.

The first thing you need to understand is:
It's not for you to understand.

All the Amish I know will give you different reasons for their beliefs.
One thing the ones here in Lancaster County, PA have is;
No rubber tires on anything.
Some have phones in their barns and run pneumatic milking equipment. They also run kero, diesel or gas motors on their balers etc or anything they can't "ground drive"

The farm I grew up on is now in Amish hands and one half of the large house is now 2 apartments (was before the Amish bought it), the other side is a half house. Even though the Amish live in the half house side, they have cut the electric off at the meter, while the apartments still have power (different meters). They run the well pump with a gas or kerosene motor, and pump to a elevated holding tank. Now the barn still has a phone and the pneumatic milking system, but is run by a different gas/kerosene motor.

Each community decides what is and isn't accepted.
Oh and just to dispel the myth that the all Amish women can cook, let me just say I know that isn't true..:D But us "English" seem to accept it as marketing...
 

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It's a religion, not a logical decision. It probably started out as a complete rejection of modern technology but then they compromised. They are probably trying very hard to maintain some core belief about technology while at the same time trying to live and keep their followers in an ever more advanced technological world.

The average Amish person doesn't know why his church allows him to do somethings and not allow them to do other things that seem contradictory. His lot is to obey and follow the teachings of his church. He doesn't have to understand them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's a religion, not a logical decision. It probably started out as a complete rejection of modern technology but then they compromised. They are probably trying very hard to maintain some core belief about technology while at the same time trying to live and keep their followers in an ever more advanced technological world.

The average Amish person doesn't know why his church allows him to do somethings and not allow them to do other things that seem contradictory. His lot is to obey and follow the teachings of his church. He doesn't have to understand them.
It's not that I don't believe you about members not understanding why they do what they do but a religion is not at all illogic. Once a basic tenet is accepted based on faith, then the resulting beliefs are derived from that. Usually a history will show the progression of thought.

For example, if your basic tenet is that God exists and had a son, Christ, your 'rules of conduct' are going to include what you think his words mandate. As a Buddhist, Christ's words are not guiding but Buddha's words are basis for conduct. One belief leads to another. But even if wildly varied, they are a logical progression.
 

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Does someone have an explanation?
I was friendly with an Amish woman when I lived in Wisconsin..as friendly as she was allowed to be, there was always that "distance". Anyway, I asked her that question specifically once. Her reply was that naturally this was much easier when everyone lived the way they did, without electricity and cars..but the rising tide of progress is slowly creeping in. She likened it to a flood behind a door. They can try to resist but slowly the water starts to creep in.

I got the feeling that a lot of was basically trying to suppress temptation, especially in the younger generation to keep them in the dark so they'd want to continue their way of life and not run off.
 

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It's not that I don't believe you about members not understanding why they do what they do but a religion is not at all illogic. Once a basic tenet is accepted based on faith, then the resulting beliefs are derived from that. Usually a history will show the progression of thought.

For example, if your basic tenet is that God exists and had a son, Christ, your 'rules of conduct' are going to include what you think his words mandate. As a Buddhist, Christ's words are not guiding but Buddha's words are basis for conduct. One belief leads to another. But even if wildly varied, they are a logical progression.
The last number I saw was that there are over 40,000 different Christian denominations. All claim to follow the same rules of conduct laid down by the same son of Christ. Some differ wildly in those rules of conduct and their application. Why are differences among certain Amish congregations any different?
 

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Despite assumptions hinted at on the (awful) and contrived cable programs to the contrary, the Mennonite and Amish are thriving and growing. Many young people do leave, but a large percentage enter their respective churches. The elders and bishops make decisions for their entire group. This may be a few families, or more. There certainly are other similar groups, such as Hutterites in the midwest. We outside these groups see them as similar because of the old-fashioned garments, but there are big differences in that, too, just as there are in group choices about what is allowed. I have to admit to still feeling surprised when I see the young woman in white cap and plain dress who drives a large passenger van around town here, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The last number I saw was that there are over 40,000 different Christian denominations. All claim to follow the same rules of conduct laid down by the same son of Christ. Some differ wildly in those rules of conduct and their application. Why are differences among certain Amish congregations any different?
Never said they were.
 
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Still does not make sense to me, although I admit that there is no reason that it is required to do so. Maybe if I understood the goal. If the point is to keep from obligation to outside entities, like a utility company, then how is one less obligated by storing, for instance, the family meat supply in a neighbor's freezer rather than one's own? So their reliance on outsiders is the same or greater ( the utility company and the neighbor), they just have to walk farther to get dinner.

I realize each group makes it's own decision as to what is acceptable and what is not, but there must be some sort of general operating principle behind it.
I understand the wanting to understand. I am constantly asking questions like this. But I think beowulf's answer is best...it's not for us to understand. I'm still curious about it, though.
 

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I understand the wanting to understand. I am constantly asking questions like this. But I think beowulf's answer is best...it's not for us to understand. I'm still curious about it, though.

Take note, I was born and raised in Lancaster County, PA, I've also lived in other States and Countries in my adult life. But I have yet to understand entirely why some of the Amish do what they do.

Some can only have steel wheels on their tractors, some can't even have tractors and must use animals. Some allow rubber pads on their steel wheeled tractors to get around local government ordinances and so it goes.

Yet I still don't understand the reasoning behind some of their decisions and or tenets..

But then I don't live their lives and it isn't for me to understand.
I do know when some of them go to Potter County for a vacation at the cabin, they have all the modern accessories of any home..
But they have to have someone drive them the 4 hours to the cabin.

Yea, it makes no sense to me either...
 

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For our local Amish the difference in what they have and what they cannot have is as simple as living on one side of the highway or the other.

Live on the south side of the highway, no cellphones. You have to travel to use one of the corner phones that are scattered about the area.

Live on the North side and they have cellphones that they can us for voice mail messages.

Around us it all depends on the Bishop in charge of a particular community and they dictate everything from what kind of colors the women can use in making clothes to the number of pins and buttons she can use to hold her dress together.

A point of interest. The women's Sunday dresses are not finished completely. They will have a certain number of straight pins or safety pins showing in the waist band. Why? It's a matter of humility.

And the Bishops are elected for life by the congregation.

An excellent book to read is Rumspringa: To Be or Not To Be Amish. It explains a lot about the Amish and why they are the way they are and the struggle the Teens experience as they choose either the Amish way or to embrace modern society.
 

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The issue that I want to understand is not why the Amish make the choices they do as to what technology is damaging to their goal and what is not. The answer to that is the same for every choice made by anyone- they look at how it effects them and choose. That different people come up with different choices is not surprising at all.

What I was wondering was why, having made the choice that something is not acceptable, using it anyway as long as it's at the remove of being someone else's changes it to acceptable.

For instance, if it is not acceptable to connect to a utility to run your own freezer, then why is it acceptable keep a freezer using the utility at someone elses' s place? There must be a common idea that allows that to happen. And that was what I wanted to know.
 
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Could be as simple as it being a technicality because it hasn't been specifically prohibited. Probably some communities don't allow it and others just look the other way.

Could also have something to do with the minor inconvenience of having to leave the house makes it acceptable. Along the same lines as having a phone in the barn but not in the house. Maybe the utility itself isn't their issue, but they think the convenience of having it in the house might make them too worldly. I don't know...I haven't known any Amish people since I was a teenager. There may not be any logical answer.
 

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We bought our farm from an Amish couple. One day I asked the wife about this very thing. The way she explained it is that they believe that 'technology' takes their focus from God, family, prayer, and the community.

Two years ago, however, there was a mass exodus of about half of the local community that surrounds us. Why? There was a big disagreement with one of the Bishops concerning the use of some 'modern' conveniences by the community. The couple that we knew was one of the young families who moved out. They went to the area near Joplin where the tornado hit to cash in on the rebuild.

About 6 months after they moved, Erv, the young man, called us with some questions about on demand hot water heaters. Seems like in their new community they allowed cell phones, hot water heaters and other modern conveniences that made life easier for them.

That was the basis of the exodus. In five years living in the area I've watched how hard the women work. WITHOUT modern conveniences to help them. Their dedication to tradition is admirable.

As far as the men go, if you hire a crew of Amish to do a construction job on your farm, they will gladly use your power tools. When they come to mow and bale hay in our pastures, they use their teams of draft horses to cut and rake the grass, then here comes a young Amish man driving a nice tractor and baler that they have rented from a non Amish farmer in the area to do the baling. I have also seen Amish use horse drawn balers to bale small square bales of hay.

Once again I asked the Amish wife about this and her reply was that it is a matter of personal preference what degree of leniency an individual uses when 'bending the rules' when it comes to using technology.

Are they hypocrites? Depends on your definition of the word. Maybe, to a point. To shun owning modern technology, but not be adverse to using it if it belongs to some one else? Probably, but once again, it's a matter of personal preference with them. Or as I was told once, "If you think we are backwards, you all should be around the area Quakers" We did have the opportunity to work with a group at a barn raising we went to. They arrived on bicycles, (although there is a car that is available for their use) worked hard, both guys and girls, and at the end of the day, climbed on their mountain bikes and pedaled back to their community. What 'tools' did we use? Hammers, nails, and for a saw, a chain saw. No electricity. It was an eye opening experience.


What we noticed everyone has their own specialty most don't have Multi Skills. Most the time me and my wife found we knew much more than them as a whole. Butcher Shop closed down we found we was teaching how to Butcher :shrug:

big rockpile
 
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