I have no idea where to place this topic, I figured this would be the most appropriate.
I was in a major discussion recently, with a certain theist. I took a nice approach, I first made a joke, then attempted to come to common ground (I was raised a christian for 13 years)
Now I thought that folks on here would understand that just because I'm nice, and stated what I ONCE beleived, to show this person I'm not coming out of intolerance, or superiority, but common ground and politely stating my position on his beleifs.
So I was wrong. I first got a nice little dig at my veiw on christianity (again I know the history) then I was relegated to the equivelent of a chapter on different religions and why they disprove christianity (AGAIN I know)
The only comment to my post that was decent was from a theist. Apparently I can't be polite to a beleiver without the throngs of militant atheists wanting my blood. Don't get me wrong here, I'll be a down right ass if I see other's rights being trampeled, but this person was simply stating his oppinion (allbeit copy-pasted) but isn't that what this site is for? exchange of ideas? Don't clame to be a free thinker if you don't respect others' rights.
Also isn't squabeling amongst ourselves counter productive to the overall theme here?
Sigh. To paraphrase Ghandi, "I would be a Atheist if it wasn't for the Atheists". (I actually am an Atheist, but you get the point). So much anger, so much venom, so much pedantic squabbling, so much of the same crap that finally convinced me to leave Christianity in the first place.
Keep in mind that when you comment on someone's religion, it's like commenting on their spouse. Their view of that relationship is going to be skewed in a completely different way than yours. If you make statements that feel like "DUDE! He's a fucking asshole! Why are you with such a jackass?" it's going to make them angry at YOU (and by extension the rest of the community).
The biggest attraction religion has for most people is a sense of community. We don't have that as Atheists so convincing people is going to be much, much harder. I know what you're going to say: "But it's only a community if you conform!!!!!". My reply: Hypocrite much?
In summary: Your anger doesn't convince anyone. If anything it pushes them away. So really, why the anger? When's the last time someone convinced you of anything by yelling or being obtuse? What are you trying to accomplish? Proving that you're right? Isn't that what the fundamentalists do? Yell at people who don't believe exactly the same way as you? I was under the impression the goal was to be not them.
A note: I'm not saying there aren't cases where the anger and venom is fully justified. I am saying being a dick will not convince Mrs. Reddiger who lives down the street that Atheists are okay. We already suffer from an image problem with the public. When you speak in a public forum, ask yourself "Would Mrs. Reddiger approve? Would this make her more or less accepting of Atheists?"
Let the stoning begin...
That was fairly unclear. Do you suppose your comments in the other thread might also have been?
How was that unclear?
To be clear: I AM AN ATHEIST. I was brought up in a christian school thus I understand the mentality. my point in saying what I did was just because I am does not mean I have to be a pretentious dick like others here.
That's sort of a knife to the heart. I'm a journalism major. I'll work on it.
And I'm only "decent" when all the theist is doing is stating a thought. I will disagree, but ultimatly be polite about it. However, If blatent lies/falsehoods adhoc assertions/or general diregard for human rights I no longer tolerate it.
**disclaimer** If you're going to just be an ass and not give any intellegent feed back don't even bother it just proves my point.
I'm with you on this one. Although, every once in a while, I do catch myself agreeing with the idea, I ultimately am baffled by the thought that faith is a virus. Why does anyone care whether or not somebody else believes in God?
Where the line should be drawn is not at faith, but at the forcing of that faith onto others. If the person y ou were talking to was polite and just striking up a conversation without intent to proselytize or whatever, then why, exactly, should you have been anything other than what you were: nice and respectful?
I do understand the anger. I myself have come to the decision that honest Creationists are either nonexistent or so rare as to be a Holy Grail type of thing if I ever come upon one... and yes, if you challenge it, I can (I think) very easily defend it. As such, I refuse to be polite to them unless they show, at least, the willingness to break past the strawmen and actually learn something about the facts they deny... and I have yet to meet a Creationist so willing. I also have no tolerance for religious-inspired bigotry, faith-healing when it is taken to the exclusion of actual medicine, and so on.
However, I have no problem separating out your average believer from the hard-core ones, and I happily recognize the average believer as an ally in the fight against theocracy.
You did nothing the wrong. The atheists jumping down your throat... they're the ones who are wrong.