First off I'm new here and this is my first forum post.
That being said check this out. Last Tuesday I'm ordering a sub from Subway from this very nice Muslim lady I order from all the time who always tells me about her son and how she loves him (great lady really). I ask for a Subway Melt and she mentions that she can't eat most of the meat that's on the sub. I then ask her "why?" and she responds with "because of her religion".
So my inquisitiveness steps in and I ask her if she can explain the reasoning behind that.
This is what she says: "Well you see pork makes people more sexual, that is why in my country people don't have sex before marriage or do gay things."
I couldn't help but respond with "Are you sure because I bet it's more a long the lines of this; A long time ago people would get sick from eating pork because they wouldn't cook it properly so they made it part of you're religion in order to keep the population healthy."
Then I go back in yesterday (Subway melt is a Tuesday special) and she can't even look me in the eye anymore. I'm offended by her offense and really don't appreciate how she can tell me what she thinks but when I say otherwise she gets all crazy like.
That's that what do you think?
Don't be offended... get used to it though. I'm afraid these attitudes don't change.
Good point however one question, how do you know pork tastes like human flesh??
Members in the cultures that have practiced cannibalism have referred to human meat as 'long pig'.
It wouldn't surprise me. Pigs have a lot biologically in common with humans.
It is fine to be offended by other peoples offence but hey you did challenge her ridiculous beliefs with logic and reason and that never works out well so shame on you. But seriously be prepared in the future if you ask a religious person why they follow some absurd prohibition of their faith you will always get some answer that makes no logical sense to an Atheist because they are always based in superstition and nonsense. When you counter that belief with logic you undermine there faith and a religious drone cant have that it makes there head hurt. Most of the time a religious person makes a statement like that I let it go with an ok or just a smile to avoid the situation you are describing particularly if it is some one I see on a regular basis. With total strangers I am unlikely to encounter again it depends on just how belligerent I am feeling and it depends on the asinine statement they make as to how I react.
It may be just me, but when I go in to a Subway sandwich shop, I'm there to order food to eat, not to draw out and debate someone's religious beliefs. When she answered that she couldn't eat many of the meats because of her religion, the sensible action would be to let it drop there. If someone is altering their behavior in such a strange manner for religious reasons, what kind of rationale would you expect to explain it? It strikes me that you provoked the line of conversation in order to confront her about her religious beliefs. You'd have to be oblivious to not anticipate that you would end up offending this person, so why act so surprised and indignant when it came to pass? Did you think she would thank you for your insight into how silly her beliefs were? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy debating religion and politics to a degree that is probably unhealthy and unwise, but there is a time and a place for it. Standing at the Subway counter while ordering a melt is generally neither a good time nor a good place.
Oh! And welcome to T|A! I hope you stick around and enjoy the place. Don't let my disagreement with you on this matter serve to detract your warm welcome here.
Firstly, welcome to TA.
Secondly, I'm going to have to agree on Reggie on this one; if you want to have a continued relationship with anyone (personal or professional) don't pursue any religious arguement with them. Fullstop. And not while you or they are at work. Someone will be offended. Most likely the theist, I have found through experiance and I have soured a few friendships like this. There are times where you can go in all neurons blazing but with a friend is not that time. If you have a mutual understanding with that person then I find that the friendship can support some religious debate, but you must be sure that the person will welcome or tolerate it. Some theists I have found are very much welcome to debate/educating non-believers in their personal flavour of religion (although I suspect this is an effort to convert) and if they are then it helps if you can actually appear to honesty wish to learn about their religion rather than riducule them outright. In return they might listen to you and respect what you are saying rather than just seeing what you are saying as trolling, even if you have reasoned out your agruements logically they will not work if the person is closed to what you are saying.
That's if you want to debate religion of course. If you just want/have to deal with religious people without dealing with religion don't bring it up for discussion, or change the subject if they do.
I might have felt the same way at one time, but it still would feel like a learning experience to me. I like hearing someone's honest answer, even (or especially) if it's based on delusion. Perhaps she also learned something, but I wouldn't be surprised or offended if she didn't. If she's really someone you've gotten along with, I'd think about if maybe there's a way to lighten up the situation for both of you, now.
I'll quibble and say that no one needs to defer to another person's beliefs. But not every utterance of a religious word by any random person requires debunking. It is not deference to refrain from hair trigger confrontation.
Richard Dawkins talks about this in The God Delusion. There is an expectation that we should respect religious beliefs which does not extend to atheist or secular beliefs. He gives the example of people being expected to respect the Jewish rule of not switching lights on on the sabbath. Why? Why is religion exempt from being questioned?
I spend a lot of time on Yahoo Answers religion and spirituality and Christians are forever saying that atheists are disrespectful even tho they also tell us that our viewpoint is completely wrong. One Christian said 'But we're just trying to help you!' Atheists are accused of hating if they question but I have never seen an atheist be offended by a Christian questioning the lack of belief in god. Sarcastic, yes. Offended, no. There just is not that sense of outrage 'How dare you question me?'
Your lady was Muslim and not Christian but this is the same. I had a conversation with a Muslim mother whose child is in my daughter's class. Her daughter very much wants to go on a school break - 5 days away and the mother just blithely said 'We have a different culture - its OK for the boys to go but not a girl.' I asked her why this what and she just repeated 'We have a different culture.' and looked at me as if I was a bit thick. She clearly does not question her own faith and believes that the culture and beliefs are sufficient explanation for denying a ten year old an educational, well supervised trip her brothers have enjoyed.
We need to lose our tolerance for religious explanations of ridiculous rules and restrictions. If people had to explain these on rational grounds, they may start to think about them.
Good point I'll question more often. As politely as possible of course.
I think we should all do this more often so it's not so taboo.
That's why I love the internet. It allows people to discuss things openly. That's how everything should be.
I had a Babtist preacher friend who was (of course) troubled by my atheism. While introducing me to one of his superiors he said "Paul here likes to think a lot". They then traded nods of agreement (ala wink wink, nudge nudge), and I learned that there are times when thinking is actually openly considered detrimental to faith.