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"?
My apologies, that was most certainly not my point. I'll try another tact here. Natural selection applies to Memetics just as it applies to Genetics. So in this population of Memes, atheistic Memes are better for our genetic fitness than theistic Memes and, there by, will eventually win in this competition for existence. I love Richard Dawkins' application of the "Prisoner's Dilemma" to paint a frightening at times but beautiful picture of how natural selection applies to Memes in nature. If you haven't read "The Selfish Gene" I recommend it. The optimism I have for our future and the possibilities available to us, as an atheistic freethinker, is grounded in the compelling evidence, so eloquently articulated in the chapter "Nice guys finish first".
So I'll attempt to summarize my point here:
1) Nature and the laws of physics do not prohibit us from spreading Memes and, in fact, nature selects for Memes best suited for our genetic fitness to survive.
2) The only thing prohibiting us from getting through to our loved ones and fellow humans is the knowledge and skill required to do so. We do not know how, in many cases, but we can get better. Especially by cooperating together in discussions like this.
I am very optimistic. I'll go as far as saying we may be on the verge of discovering new ways of effectively communicating necessary atheistic concepts at any moment. Perhaps one conversation away from stumbling on to an effective method of getting through to the last person I expect. How can I go through life knowing that and not try to become the most effective consciousness raiser I can become? If we are not working toward the best possibility, what are we working toward?
Absolutely! Butt into my life and won't always like what you find.
fucking Chrome and Ning. Let me type this one and the last one again...
We shouldn't hide any more than the next person. If a person approaches you on the street to change you, they are being rude. Treating them in kind will not only make them back off of you, but also give them pause about approaching the next person. Let the tough questions flow.
"Hello. May I have a moment of your time to find out if you have been saved from religion? "
Do I have empathy for the mind.
Yes. I also have respect for it. The mind is much more complex than simply being a tool for computing facts. It also creates individuals. I'm not going to go argue with every fan of the Bachelorette either in hopes of changing their viewing habits to Nova.
Should we not put a concerted effort into offering reality instead of myth to our newest generations?
This is not a religion that you are suggesting? This isn't proselytism? If people have a question, I'll answer it. If we are in a discussion, I'll make relevant points. What I won't do is seek out every religious mind in hopes of changing it. I know that I don't like it when others do this to me, so in an effort to be fair, I can't do it to others.
How can you be here and know and not act?
I've always been a non-believer. I've always found claims of Loch Ness Monsters, Ghosts and more to be the ramblings of imbalanced people. If I were to spend my days trying to show people where they were wrong on each point, I would watch my life simply pass by. I'd find that to be a shameful waste, just as I see it with religionists.
Confucious say: Man who go to bed with itchy butt, wake up with smelly finger
What exactly is pessimistic about anything that I said?
Life is not science centered as an experience. None of what I put forth holds back science. If we are talking about being in a science class, great, take it on. If someone is sitting at a neighboring table and says something silly, it's non of your business until they force it upon your life. If someone puts a daily devotional on their Facebook page, you do no one any favors by mocking it. These are the things that I'm talking about.
As for discrediting me, I may be the most featured writer on this site since it was started. If you find me worthy of discredit, then this website's population may not be for you. I disagree at being a dick about being right. I'm not sure why that's difficult or discredit worthy.
Arguing against being pushy is a fair characterization of my position. I suppose where we might differ at the crux of it is that I think that some people find comfort in the lie, even when they know that it's a lie. Telling the difference between someone brainwashed and someone whom likes the idea of a god
I have never even heard of this happening. The J-Witnesses fight each other to get to my door. They actually showed up at an apartment complex near my home recently IN A BUS! The door-to-door mentality is just a modern reflection of the spread of christianity thru war and invasion. It has, since the time of Paul, been the doctrine of christianity to evangelize, witness, and otherwise just generally invade the privacy of anyone within earshot. I have been Atheist for many years, I am a member of several organizations concerning Atheism and freedom from religion. I have never heard of any Atheist proactively trying to convert anyone. Not one time. We are Atheist which means we don't care about or particularly even think about religion... A-theist. I have one daughter who is atheist and one how is a really, really staunch fundementalist christian. Its a moot point. The worst that I can say about my christian daughter is that she has alot of fun wasting her time. But she enjoys it so I enjoy seeing her happy. Other than that, I couldn't care less.
Well first of all, it is not right for anyone to try to convert someone else, no matter what their faith is. I personally do not try to convert people at all, I don't even bring up the topic because I know it usually just brings in its partner called controversy. I think it is alright to debate about it and discuss others views respectfully, but it's not okay for someone to go about seeking out people to debate with. If the topic comes up without you bringing it up then yes, a debate is perfectly fine.
Are you someone who thinks that it's alright to seek out people to debate? Why do you do it?
Yes - For me it's never been about converting someone or winning the argument. I do it to gain knowledge and better my own understanding. If we didn't debate, question, or under curtain circumstances confront where would we be?
How is it different from someone asking if you "know Jesus"?
I get asked this lot and it always irritates me because even though I understand their meaning in it. I can't know anyone I never met. I can only know of him and even that information is sketchy at best. Either way they only ask me this in an attempt to convert me. This is usually the main cause of about 99% of all my debates and not because I walked up to them asking it they "know The Flying Spaghetti Monster".
I doubt if there are too many atheists who do this. I have never met one. OTOH, I have been approached by too many theists (not all of whom are Christian) who try to convert me, usually people whom I don't even know.
I feel uneasy about atheist convert hunters, at least in the rude in-your-face sense that Christians do it. I have no concerns about atheists trying to get their civil rights met, or those who disseminate information via book, podcast, YouTube or online forums. That is all part of the dissemination of ideas that is important for intellectual, social and moral progress.