I would like to try this again but first can I just let you know that I am an atheist who is trying to understand the religious point of view. This is not the same thing agreeing with them but I truly am trying to see it from their angle. I want to step into their shoes and I want to feel it the way they feel it and in that way, hopefully try to solve problems with them instead of against them. This is empathy. This is peace.
About the name I use - Evangelia is my Mothers name and the English version of that is Angela. It makes me happy to see my mothers name. David is a biblical name to but that doesnt mean people named David are religious.
When you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME
@Angela - maybe something here might suggest an idea??
I am also trying to be smart about how I interact with theists. I get it that how we conduct ourselves is important.
I have sought to understand Christianity more throughout the past 6-7 years so that I can at least have semi-informed discussions with people about it. I find that is not enough for many theists. They want us to save our souls or enjoy the titillation of God's love. I want them to let science be taught unimpeded with their nonsense. I am not sure where the compromise can be there.
There is a time for drawing lines in the sand. We can draw them respectfully, but I think they need to be drawn nonetheless.
"They want us to save our souls or enjoy the titillation of God's love"
I know but thats their conditioning in exactly the same way that atheists have conditioned themselves to be aggressive like some of their leaders. Look at how quickly atheists adopted the 'hostile atheist' mindset.
Monkey See Monkey Do.
So imagine what it must be like for theists who were conditioned to be like that from infancy? They dont know another way.
If we are going to compare their beliefs to mental illnes, then why are we treating the mentally ill so poorly?
I understand that Many Christians have been conditioned from birth to believe as they do, but the ones with whom I have to use the most restraint are the born-again evangelicals. They have apparently made a decision to become indoctrinated. I think people deserve respect and kindness, right up to the point where the practice of their faith infringes on others' freedom and rights.
If I understand what you are saying correctly, you are wondering why, if we think fervent fundamentalists are literally mentally ill, do we think it is alright to treat them so poorly? I have worked with seriously mentally ill people and they also deserve respect and kindness. However, at the point at which they cannot control their behavior and it becomes dangerous, they need control to come from others. This also can be done respectfully, but it still needs to be done somehow. Yelling at them won't help, but having systems in place to describe boundaries beyond which they may not cross applies to both "whackjob" evangelicals and to mentally ill folks, IMO.
So I seem to agree with you that the why matters less than the what, but I don't think the what should involve compromising for the sake of keeping the peace. Maybe we should be strong, take the high road, be clear about where the boundaries are, and respectfully hold the line. Understanding them doesn't mean they should be allowed to cross that line as far as I am concerned.
Well said, I agree wholeheartedly.
"Understanding them doesn't mean they should be allowed to cross that line as far as I am concerned"
I think that understanding them helps us solve problems with them,
Which problems? How?
But maybe we can stop debating with them and start having conversations.
I had a great conversation with a couple of Witness's not that long ago. They were really nice.
There was no debate and I didnt once run down their belief and they didnt try to shove theirs on me.
In the end it turned out that we are all worried about the future and that we just want peace and do you know what ... we cried together. Yep we did.
I think that discussions need to be about the Greater Good of humanity not about our own personal agenda or our clever anti religious one liners.
See that conundrum they have with homosexuality being a mortal sin. Its at the beginning of this thread,
How would you go about having a conversation with them about that?
"Angela, if I may ask, what would you like to see from the perspective of a theist?"
I really dont know.
Im as interested in religion as I am in non-religion, and the more I learn about that labyrinth of the RC doctrine, the more I understand why its just not as easy for them to change things as a lot of people think.
and its really interesting.
Some people say that religion causes violence but theres this new idea going around that says its an - "In Group - Out Group mentality that causes people to do evil things to other people. That as soon as we start seeing other groups as enemies and not as humans, then our capacity for harming them increases because we start to see them as objects.
and when we do that it erodes compassion and then we have wars.