Hello all,

My original purpose for coming on to TA was to network and create friendships. I live in a very conservative state where you can tell the believers from the non believers. The believers here always wear crosses around their necks and their cars are loaded with bumper stickers such as "Jesus Saves" and "Filled with the Holy Spirit". My car, and my neck are rather empty, though, aside from a small laughing Buddha on my dash. I have attempted making friends here, and it's just not happening. There are no local atheist groups, and I am pretty sure that either I'm the only atheist not afraid to talk about my beliefs in public, or I'm the only atheist here, period.

My original reasoning behind my joining this website was to hopefully find people who thought rationally without judging so quickly, but I was really quite wrong. I have encountered a few friendly folks on here, but have mainly encountered either atheists whose egos were the size of Uranus (no pun intended) or secretive christians lurking in the shadows, waiting to attack me left and right publicly and privately. I have been constantly poked and prodded for absolutely silly answers, as if I have to constantly defend what I say, and prove whether or not I am telling the truth. I have been sadly disappointed at an attempt to simply make friendships. I only have a few things that I shall say:

1. To admit that one "does not know" an answer is not a sign of weakness, but it is simply an opportunity for one to eventually be educated.

2. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but that doesn't mean you should shove it in everyone's face.

3. If you believe that the way to get someone to trust what you believe, is by mocking someone and telling them that they are wrong, then you are the one who is wrong. Being humble is a part of being wise, and you will most certainly not appear wise by claiming that your way is the right way, period. 

4. Christians are hurting people, just like many of us have been in the past. I surely hope you meet every Christian with loving-kindness and understanding that many of them have survived abusive situations (as I had, in the past) and yet still remain in them because of a fear of the invisible and fictional realm, "hell".

I still wish to make connections with atheists, because I am quite lonely and have not had the opportunity for rational and intellectual conversations in close to 3 years now. If any of you wish to add me on Facebook and wish to have the same connection (intellectual, but not arrogant conversations), you may do so at Personal Info removed -Admin

I sincerely hope for the best for each and every one of you on TA. I will end with the words of Mr. Einstein, 

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” 
― Albert Einstein

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Anyone who wants the link to my personal Facebook may private message me. 

Good news, bad news. All the websites I have visited so far have good people, arrogant people, religious people with some deserving more than one title. Many of the websites I've found are more contentious than here. There's at least one site that by it's title you'd think would be atheist yet the religious people hold sway. I've begun exploring one that seems to be calmer and friendlier than here but I can not vouch for that so I'm not going to talk it up.

I just want you to be aware of this before you go looking expecting to find better sites. You might find one but you'll need to look through many worse ones to find it. You might want to return here during your search.

I understand all your points, and empathize with most of it. I've been here a few years, so I know from experience what you're experiencing, but I've also experienced a lot of what you haven't found here, yet. I mean, I've learned there's a lot of diversity here wrt approaches to atheism that doesn't immediately appear.

I happen to be used to having opinions here that seem to conflict with the majority, but I still feel I'm both contributing positively, and learning positively from others.

Good luck in your search! If you leave, please try back again sometime.

I DISAGREE COMPLETELY!

Except for the parts where you said stuff about stuff.

@Micah, I agree with Pope Beanie that there is diversity in views and approach on TA. If the site is bringing you down, I wouldn't judge you for leaving, but I would encourage to test the waters a little more. I looked through your posts and have seen you've received varied replies. I may have missed something, but it doesn't seem to me like anyone was treating you with ill intentions.

The operative words are 'to me'. Different people have different ways of going about things. Someone us are more supportive, some more combative. Some very civil and others more brusque. Some quite brief and others verbose. Some people get fiery easily and some are impartial to the point of seeming cold.

These things aren't inherently good or bad. They're just mannerisms.

It wouldn't really excuse someone putting you down, but even with offensiveness there is some subjectivity. Truth be told, if I only viewed your third enumerated point from my perspective, I'd find it offensive. You're not me though, and I assume your intentions were good rather than offensive. As such, I'm not offended; I just disagree as a mater of personal opinion.

All I'm saying is while people's differing interpersonal habits may rub each other the wrong way, in a lot of cases there's no ill intent. 

2. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but that doesn't mean you should shove it in everyone's face.

Religion is like a penis, it's ok to have one but don't wave it around in public and whatever you do don't try and ram it down my throat.

Ease up, give it a while, stick around, and maybe you'll get used to it.  I disagree with just about everybody but I have a good time. 

On your "cliche and typical hello" you had multiple members of the community very kindly welcoming you and offering you support with your problems. On other forums you exchanged ideas with users for which you thanked them and they thanked you. You'll always find on free-thinking forums people who don't mince words and you shouldn't expect everyone to walk on egg shells or chocolate coat their words. For a group of strangers...I think the community here has been very friendly and helpful with you.

There are a few trolls here, and to be honest, they're the reason I don't post here more often. The better members though will respect you for saying "I don't know," rather than trying to bullshit your way through the conversation. The Christians in hiding on this sight usually don't last long, especially if their purpose is to find converts. There are others who just like to debate. It's pretty easy to spot and ignore the trolls, and theists. Just be yourself, and if anyone gives you any grief, report them.

I was speaking of Gregg R Thomas, and one or two others that I've noticed reply with insults, rather than actual retorts. 

But..but...but...I love you. :D

You can spot me, I'm a theist.

Not at all interested in your conversion,  except maybe in a long-term, friendly, be less angry at the world and find your own way way.

I can sympathize with @Micah, though.  This place is mostly fairly harsh to those who question or are ambivalent to its established orthodoxy.

You can spot me, I'm a theist.

That's true, but you stink up the place like a troll sometimes, Bob. For instance...

In this conversation, you declare that atheists are morally and intellectually bankrupt.

Here, you compare the Think Atheist community to a hate group (specifically, to Westboro Baptist Church of 'God Hates Fags' fame).

In this conversation, you equate atheists with mass murdering communists, Maoists, and Stalinists.

Here, you ignore everything I write and dismisses it as worthless (proclaiming that, perhaps due to my atheism, atheists like me inherently fail to build anything of value).

A fair bit of what you post here is inflammatory, accusatory and emotional, in addition to being demonstrably false. And on that (endlessly entertaining) subject...

Not at all interested in your conversion,  except maybe in a long-term, friendly, be less angry at the world and find your own way way.

...I didn't see either H3xx or Belle declaring their anger at the world...

I can sympathize with @Micah, though.  This place is mostly fairly harsh to those who question or are ambivalent to its established orthodoxy.

...and this "established orthodoxy" sounds fascinating, Bob.

You're actually claiming, on behalf of Think Atheist, that we've enacted a belief system?  There's a Think Atheist doctrine? Do tell, Bob. What's our contradictory and never-to-be-questioned dogma here? Or is it a secret and you're not telling it to anyone?

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