One thing that that really get's to me is theist who think they have the right to not be offended and all people who enable this behaviour.

I find it hard to find a theist who will have an open discussion about why they believe in a personal god at all or why they think their god is real and all the other ones aren't. Yesterday I remarked on the hypocritical nature of the followers of xtianity and was met with no argument as to why what I said was wrong but that it was rude. When I asked why it was considered rude I was told that I should have respect for peoples religion. I disagree, I'll respect your right to have religion, by all means believe whatever crackpot fairy tales you like  but if you are not willing to be offended and stand up for what you believe in then you need to take a serious look into why that is. 

Most of the theists I know don't argue because they do not even care weather or not their god exists, they go to church on Sunday and go about their lives as if they were Atheists. But I know there are theists out there who might care but are too afraid of being offended by talking to an evil non believer so they just tell you that you are rude.

Are people just being too polite or am i really too insensitive?

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no, id tell you that your a retard my boyfriend is actually alive u can actually see him. theres proof that hes here. theres no proof whatsoever that god jesus or the fuckin toothfairy exists. that shouldnt even be compared to the situation. you can see my boyfriend. nobody EVER has seen jesus or god that we know of. if you cant see something. just feelings. all im saying is bring more to it than i have faith. faith dont mean crap. i have faith. i believe in and worship a gnome god. i dont see him. i feel him. everyday.regardless of what you tell a christian their still gonna say the same damn thing ive been there. 

I never said in my hypothetical scenario that your boyfriend is not real. I said that you can't prove that you love him. We have to take your word for it. Religion works the same as that. To a religious person, there is no need for proof. We are expected to just believe them.

okay, well i can proove that i love him. and christians can proove that they love god.  and?  i never said anything about them not prooving their love. i said they cant proove he exists. if you feel such strong feeling for something you cant see, they can be worshipping the devil for all they know.

all im saying is their dumb for loving and believing without proof. thats all im saying. i love but i see. i love but i dont love something i dont see. they may feel his love and their love for him. but they cant proove anything. they cant proove that he is the source of what they feel. all they have to proove their love is "faith" okay. well i have proof for my love. if you saw us together you;d realize that. all christians have is a rumor from a book.

well, their retards. hypothetically if my nboyfriend wasnt real. then i'd be a retard too. a complete retard.

I agree 100% with everything you are saying, but what I am trying to get across is that to theists, their feeling of love for god is just as real as your feeling towards your boyfriend. And arguing against a feeling is damn near impossible, because to them, what love feels like, and what feels real might be completely different than what it means to you.

To call them retarded because of a feeling, is to call anyone else retarded because they feel differently than you about anything. Real or not. Feelings are way too personal to argue with facts, and especially insults. You will just give them more reason to turn to their comfort zone.

That is why I said, the best thing we can do is show them that their feeling is not wrong, but just misplaced. Instead of loving their imaginary friend, why not love themselves, and the rest of the world.

"And arguing against a feeling is damn near impossible,"

 

their retarded because they love with no proof. their retarded because when argued with they can never come back with an answer. their retarded because all they have to say is i have faith i have a feeling. i have feelings too. i have faith that a gnome god follows me around and protects me from harm all day. that doesnt mean hes real. we as humans feel all kinds of crap. thats all im saying. get some proof instead of i have a feeling. feelings dont mean crap.

 

if they want to worship something fine. but dont give us crap about our non belief in a god. my life is my life. if i want to worship fuckin santa clause its my right i can do whatever i want i dont have to answer to nobody escpecially a judgemental christian that thinks their god. what happened to the verse that says worry about yourself before worrying about everybody else. and when we stand up for ourselves all hell breakes loose. really. like we have proof what we believe all u got is some feeling.

you believe in something, i can too. just because you believe in something doesnt mean its the only right way. millions of people believe in different gods and christians are the main ones that try to control everybody cuz their arrogent and they think their god is so important hes the only way.

I don't pretend to have respect for religion. I do do my best to be respectful to people. If I'm not respectful then the dialogue stops and there is little potential for more conversation.

You might consider why you talk to people about their religion. Why argue?

There are 3 reasons to argue:

1) persuasion. (convincing someone to believe or do something)

2) Justification. (giving a reason to believe a conclusion)

3) explanation. (to fit a particular phenomenon into a general pattern in order to increase understanding.)

 I might add with "explanation" all parties already agree on the conclusion.

 If you are arguing just for the sake of offending someone then you are just being a jerk. It's the secular version of "You are a heathen and are going to hell." with out having any premises on why that is.

 You see I don't like how religious people (christians in particular) act. I don't like their attitude and their dogma. I don't like the fact that they feel that they need to offend someone in the name of their god. For these reasons I refuse to act like them. I didn't become atheist only to keep practicing the ethics of the religious.

Well said.

My sentiments, exactly.

Some theist do respond negatively when questioned about their beliefs, but then many do not. I had two Mormon boys stop by to spread the good news and we had a long (several hour) conversation in my living room where I seriously challenged their beliefs. I saw them become a little upset but this is understandable for someone who has seriously listened to my line of thinking. I hope that just a little bit of doubt crept into their minds. To accomplish this, I was very careful not to make light of their ideas, but instead offer up alternative ways of seeing things. One of them told me how it made perfect sense that god would contact someone in the new world to be his "prophet" (Little Joey Smith) and spread the word. I had a hard time not laughing. Instead I pointed out that Smith already had a record of being a scam artist before he was contacted by god, if he really was. I pointed out how convenient it was that only he was allowed to see the golden tablets or could read them. I pointed out how other religions prior to Christianity had similar stories about virgin births etc. I pointed out how it made no sense that an omnipotent god would need to resort to some of the things the bible says.

I also listened to what they had to say. I took the time to let them talk and was ready to offer up alternative ways of seeing these things. In the end, they left with a handshake and asked if they could return to discuss things further. They came back a couple of weeks later as I was walking out the door and I could not speak with them. I hope they come back again because they seemed to have listened, even if they come only to set me on the path to god. At least I have the opportunity to affect these to young men's ideas and maybe the things I said will make some difference in the future.

I was very careful to not be offensive talking to these young men and gathered all the patience I could muster. Had it been a Pentecostal Holiness member who opened with "You are going to hell if you don't see the way", I may have not been so polite, but I challenge myself to always start out being open minded enough to think they may listen to my side. That is not an easy thing to do.

As you said, many if not most of the Christians who go to church, do so for community and do not really even understand much of what is said in the service. I saw that when I was a boy going to my parents Lutheran church. They pledged their lives to living in a way that was commendable really if they followed it, but not a one seemed to remember a thing they had pledged as soon as they left the church. But maybe we should look that these kinds of Christians a little differently than we seem to. These are the people who claim themselves religious, but are reachable with the right message. Offered an alternative, at least some of these moderate Christians could end up abandoning their ideas for more secular view if they are shown a positive example. The only way to do this is by being positive and not assuming that they will respond in the way you said. Otherwise you have assured that the outcome will be as you suggested. Even if nine out of ten of your christian friends do respond to your ideas badly, the one that does listen and is persuaded, is a win for secularism. The other nine...who knows, they might spit at your now, but if you treat them with at least civility and do not attack them, one day they may remember this and let some better ideas in.

Then again, one might just catch you in an ally and beat the crap out of you in the name of the almighty.

Be Well

HoP

If people are offended by reality and reason... well... good-luck to them. People need to grow out of this babyish hypersensitive business of offence and grow up. Sometimes I think theists (and even wishy-washy agnostic appeasing types) are going to have a mental breakdown when I mention even basic facts. Sigh. We really are blinded by our emotions in seeing the facts of reality. 

so true!

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