Imagine for a second that you have a child that becomes religious. If you care for a second about them as a independent being, you'll let them make their own choices about faith. If they end up a religious person, you might find it disrespectful if they were to approach you with the intent to convert you. Yet, all too often, we see support for Atheists doing just that to family members. You'll find excitement at the idea of converting someone. The hivemind circles around bolsters this behavior with sources of information and no thought as to why this behavior is wrong. Is being factually right the measure of this as an acceptable behavior?

We've all seen this. So why is it cool for an Atheist to Evangelize to religionists but not the other way around? It's one thing to respond to specific points made, but it's another to seek people out. I've witnessed an atheist attempt to chase down a religionist before and I personally find it disturbing. Are you someone who thinks that it's alright to seek out people to debate? Why do you do it? How is it different from someone asking if you "know Jesus"? 

Tags: Atheist, Evangelism, preaching

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I live in west Texas. The level of religion in the public sphere here is extreme. I moved here from Northern California where religion was hardly noticeable.

Personally, I am not ok with the effect religion has on politics where I live and I do actively try to have discussions about it with theists. I don't try with theists I don't know at all, that would be dangerous I think. Mostly coworkers or people I have met in other social groups. It is healthy to have a vigorous debate with a theist. It's how I learn to better my arguments. There is not enough debate and discussion in this country.

I think evangelize is an odd term to use with atheism. If atheism is "lack of belief" and evangelize is "to relay information about a particular set of beliefs", then the atheist equivalent of evangelizing is fundamentally different. It's not that I am trying to convert someone to what I believe but instead trying to get them to understand why I do not believe. I have two christian friends who are very secure in their faith and completely understand my lack of belief - they are awesome to talk with.

My bad, I left out the subject. Atheism is "lack of belief in gods". I hold to my argument that evangelize is not something atheists do. I like Arcus' post. We educate.

You can choose another term if you don't like evangelize, but you've no doubt seen what I'm talking about. When people bring their religion into the political arena, all bets are off. If you don't want your thoughts attacked, don't bring them to the political stage. It's our duty to the republic to be skeptical of all ideas there.  

When atheists do it it's called education. There's a difference between opening minds and closing them, one's really cool and the other's really uncool.

Education includes a perspective as a premise. Often a goal is in mind. If that goal is to change who someone is when they haven't affected you, that's uncool. People are allowed to be different. Their reasoning is unimportant. Nor do they need to justify it.  

The whole point about education is that it is a process, not a state. Being "different", as it were, is therefore quite often being wrong, and there's no need to go around respecting people who are plain wrong. Believing in something which doesn't exist, at least there is no evidence to back up all the claims, is not a positive difference to be preserved. Their reasoning, or lack thereof, therefore becomes important. As massive crimes are committed in the names of Gods, I demand a justification. 

You simply believe that you are correct and it's arrogance of position that would cause you to suggest that others are wrong. You haven't experienced their life. Maybe the Jesus that they know is the voice in their head that gets them through their tough decisions. If you remove that, they have to find their own voice which may or may not be the same as their projections. It's not my place to tell others how to think and view the world. No one owes you justification for what goes on in their head. To say otherwise is disrespectful of the individual and blaming all for the actions of the few. The next person whom commits a crime in the name of a god owes nothing for the actions of those that did the same before them. Just as Exodus 20:5 is wrong, 

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

your demands are also wrong. 

"arrogance of position that would cause you to suggest that others are wrong."

Bullshit is the technical term for such a statement. You probably know that there are more and less correct positions, just as there are plain wrong ones. Usually the amount of backing empirical evidence, readily available to anyone with some Google background, can show the difference. Quality and length of education is usually quite telling too.

"You haven't experienced their life."

And they haven't experienced mine. That does not provide some innate superior knowledge on either parties hand, and how each party has performed in similar situations can easily distinguish who can be assumed to have the highest degree of correctness.

"It's not my place to tell others how to think and view the world."

Well, it's mine.

"No one owes you justification for what goes on in their head."

Of course they do, otherwise they are a waste of perfectly good oxygen. People who don't provide me justifications for their actions get fired.

"To say otherwise is disrespectful of the individual and blaming all for the actions of the few."

So, unaccomplished idiots deserve my respect for their opinion..? I'm sorry I might hurt someone's feelings, but if you are wrong I will point it out.

"your demands are also wrong."

Correctness, proper sourcing, and insisting on credentials for claims are not wrong. They are requirements for holding a valid opinion about anything.  

"People who don't provide me justifications for their actions get fired."

I found this one humorous. This applies to life and people whom don't work for you... how? 

After these responses... I'll simply continue to hold my arrogance of position claim.

 

I have a few subordinates making decisions involving millions of dollars which personal opinions about anything is inconsequencial to the decision. Those who do not work with me usually get off easier, we usually rush to our workstations and fire up google to see who's correct, and the loser gets the other guy a coffee.

"I'll simply continue to hold my arrogance of position claim."

Of course you can, provided you have formal achievements that outstrip mine. The problem is not acheived knowledge, it's the knowledge you (and others) ascribe to yourself without external validation.

 

Considering that I have a license to perform professional services specifically in two states that even having a Ph D. in Engineering will nto enable you to get, and the decisions that I make can affect 100k per hour outcomes, I'll call it a push. Why are we in a arrogance pissing match if it's not arrogance of position?

To illustrate my point:

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