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?
Matt, what I do originates from needs I feel.
If I say or imply "They are hypocrites" I'm expressing a need I have.
What was your need when you remarked on the hypocritical nature of the followers of xianity?
BTW Matt, when the x in xmas replaces a name, why do you write xtian and not xian?
He writes x-tian because he reads x-mas aloud/internally as "Chris-mas," since we do not pronounce the 't' in Christmas. Yes, x=Christ but it sounds like x=Chris. Chris + ian = Chrisian. So, he's adding a 't' to keep his inner narrorator from saying Chrisian and making him cringe when he types xian.
When I read x-mas, I hear "Ecks-mas." Reading xian makes me hear "Zee-an." But I'm just silly like that.
Thanx, Kairan. I hear ecks-ian the way you hear ecks-mas.
Tain't silly; I say Xerox as Zerox. Down with consistency!
You're running up against a cultural taboo by asking people to defend their beliefs. Giving religion a pass is like the compulsion to be politically correct or mindless reverance toward all cultural traditions. In theory, it's good to build a polite social atmoshpere when a society is made up of people from diverse backgrounds. However, this everything-goes-attitude can hold back our intellectual and moral development by allowing falsehoods and barbaric behavior to flourish. Religion should not be immune to criticism.
You're seeking intellectual honesty and moral transparency. That's not always valued as it should be, especially by those entrenched in a world view so very dependent on its adherents' blind faith and their rejection of critical evaluation. Given that we all know what a world run by the faithful was/is like, I think you're being rather too sensitive!
Kairan, I don't know if you addressed your post to me.
I don't ask people to defend religious beliefs. My everything-goes attitude is me cooperating with natural selection -- the fittest survive. I see religion as a kind of medication -- an addicting drug -- for people who are not fit. If they want to kick the habit, I will do what I can to help.
If they don't want to kick the habit, I don't let them lay it on me. I start by saying religion is the biggest fraud that has ever been perpetrated on humankind. I'm an activist; I start with words and follow up with political action.
If it sounds hard-hearted, it's self-interest at work. The more people who look for happiness in a future life, the fewer people I have to share this life's happiness with.
My post is in reply to the OP.
Also, I think it is in your self-interest to promote a secular society.
Kairan, I do promote a secular society, even if my activity results in enlarging the number of people with whom to share this world's happiness. I like parties and people whose minds are free are more fun.
If you cast doubt on some wacked out crackadootles beliefs, most of the reactions you get are akin to match and firecracker. They are so terrified of you, or anyone, causing a chink in their Belief that become down right violent verbally. Personally I find it a kick in the head to light that match. :)
A hypothetical question: What if the theist was your mom who was talking about how nice it will be to see your father again in the afterlife? Would you challenge her in that situation and get a kick in the head out of lighting that match? Please don't say something like "My father was a dick who abused mommy". You know what I am trying to understand. This is a friendly genuine question I ask. I've been in a situation similar to this and done both, copped out and spoke my mind.