As a proud nonbeliever I watch documentaries on any given religious topic with a bias, a rather notable one. What I've found though is that, while on our side we have facts, logic, reason, and for the most part good intentions, we go about the whole thing with too much hostility. The religious people that convert and maintain faith are honestly good people who also have good intentions, as far as I can tell they all truly have faith and want to help those without. 

Even if the facts on our side are stronger, love doesn't flow from facts and unfortunately that is how the argument is presented from our side most of the time, as facts. Not to mention all the angry protests I have seen against the holy this or that. 

This is my main point, calm down Atheists. If you are forced to argue instead of debate, keep a cool head, and argue the indisputable facts with a smile. Sure, many of them are very stupid and will make this easy on you but the faster we can take the rage from our words, the faster our words will be heard.

Tags: Fry, Keenan, presentation

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Gallup: That's your standard move: when reality gets in the way, you ignore it.

Here, dear readers, we see several exhibits of Bob ignoring reality or distorting it beyond recognition.

Bob: So your claim is that it is "reality" that "the religious have no intent or belief that the world and humankind go on", that we're all setting up everyone for a Jim Jones-style murder-suicide? [Exhibit A: Distorting reality]

Oh, goody! Let's play another game of 'Bob is making up claims and quotations and attributing them to me falsely'.

My turn!

Bob: Ah Gallup, but last night I had my neighbor’s Clydesdale stallion fuck my ass for three hours straight. Then I ate his fresh feces. It was most amusing. It's on video if you want to see it.

Uh, no thanks Bob. You're disgusting, but persistent. And your lust for barnyard animals has nothing to do with our topic, so let's come back to what I've been saying.

My claim is exactly what I said it is: End Times and exclusivism are mainstream religious views in the United States, as is the belief in and attempt to bring about the End by preaching the gospel to all nations.

Bob: That's the version of "reality" that you actually believe in? [Exhibit B: Distorting reality, wilful ignorance]

No, I'm an atheist. That's what these Jesus crackpots believe. You know this.

No wonder you find it necessary to use playground names to try to make a point. [Exhibit C: Wilful ignorance]

No wonder you keep having these amnesia attacks, Pinocchio!

So your evidence for intent of genocidal murder-suicide is a goofball

Now, now, Bob. No playground names.

website making ridiculous claims about evangelism, [Exhibit D: Wilful ignorance]

No, Bob. My evidence consists of the numerous statistics and examples I've posted and that you are ignoring. One of these was an organization with a global membership of 1.4 million churches.

but nowhere suggests murder-suicide? [Exhibit E: Wilful ignorance]

Nowhere except the doctrinal statement of their mission to preach to Gospel to all nations, spurred by the promise that this must be done for Jesus to come and bring about "the End":

"This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the End."

I'm lost. [Exhibit F: Wilful ignorance]

Yeah, I know. It's a lot of fun Bob, most of the time.

That is, it's fun when you pretend to be obtuse like you're doing now. But when you're genuinely obtuse, swaggering around but oblivious to the big clown shoes on your feet? Pure entertainment gold, Bob.

Are you really worried about eternal torture in hell? [Exhibit G: Wilful ignorance]

You know I am not.

Are you really concerned about Christians who are hoping for the Second Coming (which is not necessarily the End of the World)?

Yes I am, most especially the ones who believe it's the End of the World-- nukes or whatever-- rather than just the End where God gathers up the non-Jesus-nutbags and starts torturing them forever. It's appalling (but not surprising) that you don't condemn this abhorrent view, let alone find it concerning.

I thought you were an atheist. [Exhibit H: Wilful ignorance]

You know I am. But... nice red rubber clown nose, Bob.

Jim Jones committed real-world murder-suicide. That I can see caring about, that is what was mentioned above in terms of what we religious folks intended, and that is clearly nonsense.

Bringing about the End-- and with it, the death and damnation of non-Christians-- IS a real-world goal of the Christians I have specified, and they are not "fringe".

Look at the Lausanne doctrinal statement, which is a core belief statement in evangelical Christianity. This includes the 1.4 million Churches comprising the membership of the organization I posted earlier, which has the stated goal-- on the masthead of the website-- of opening another 5 million Churches. Here it is again:

"This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the End."

That's the mission: spread the word of God until it's spread so far and wide that the world ends, Jesus returns, the non-believers get the furnace, and the believers get lollipops.

That's why they call themselves evangelical Christians, Bob. It's what they do.

That's why they call themselves evangelical Christians, Bob. It's what they do.

But the original claim, made by someone other than yourself (so that your claim of misrepresenting you is specious), was about all religious.  That was the claim you defended.   I was the one who attempted to narrow it to a segment of evangelical Christians, and you objected.  Then you attempted to lump people of different religions who may believe in the Second Coming in with this one very narrow evangelical view, despite the fact that their beliefs are very different.  It's the Fox News approach, complete with the disparaging comments about anybody who would think differently.

@Keenan, I apologize.  I did not mean to have your thread hijacked by feeding the troll.   I offer it as an interesting example.  Many religious tend to view atheists as petulant children, rather than as thoughtful people with whom we should engage as friends and colleagues.  I disagree with that viewpoint, but I think I understand where it comes from.

The irony is that we have common cause against the distortions of fundamentalist theology and its impact on society.

But the original claim, made by someone other than yourself (so that your claim of misrepresenting you is specious), was about all religious.  That was the claim you defended.

Ignoring my actual statements and presenting the statement of another person as my claim IS misrepresenting me.

That is not specious, that is your insatiable lust for video of horse cock.

You also misrepresent Robert's claim. He did not say "all religious" as you falsely attribute to him above. The "all" is your addition: your claim that Robert means 'every religious person in the world''. (Incidentally, Robert has since clarified that he did not mean that.)

No, I was responding to your claim that belief in End Times: "applies to only a fraction of one somewhat odd branch of one religion, not to "the religious", and its an unfair characterization of most of them."

I was the one who attempted to narrow it to a segment of evangelical Christians, and you objected. 

You've got our roles backward, Pinocchio.

1. With your very first statement you attempted to widen Robert's views to mean the world: "Dear me. Not to jump in with any facts to mess with your world-view..." Add your ongoing fiction that Robert meant or used the word "all" with the word "religious", and you further attempted to widen the scope to all religious people in the world. It doesn't get any wider, Bob.

2. With my very first response, I presented research limited to the United States (not the world) and showed that limited percentages, but a majority overall of different religious believe in End Times (not that they all believe it).

3. Then you moaned at me for narrowing the scope to the United States ("The United States is not the world, @Gallup.") and ignored virtually everything else I wrote.

No, you didn't like that I falsified your claim that belief in End Times is somehow a fringe point of view. It's mainstream. You had no legitimate response to that, so you started lying. Thus your 'Pinocchio' namesake is secure.

Then you attempted to lump people of different religions who may believe in the Second Coming in with this one very narrow evangelical view, despite the fact that their beliefs are very different. 

No, Bob. I specifed that 45 percent of Catholics, 54 percent of Protestants, and 77 percent of evangelicals in the United States believe in End Times. I specified that 1.4 million churches in one Evangelical organization alone are trying to bring it about. I specified the difference between exclusivism and inclusivism among religions (including that Catholicism officially is inclusive). I provided my sources of information. That is what I did.

But according to you, I mean none of that. I really mean 'every religious person in the world wants to bring about end times' and I'm defending that. This is because of a statement which someone else made, which has a meaning that you assigned to it yourself, and you insist.

That's got to be your most astonishing and ridiculous pack of lies yet, Bob. Pure entertainment gold.

It's the Fox News approach, complete with the disparaging comments about anybody who would think differently.

It's not that you "think differently". You are simply wrong. You made a demonstrably false statement and I demonstrated that it is false. End Times is not a fringe religious belief, it is a mainstream one.

That's when you go all Orwellian: provide a steady stream of misinformation, lying and insults, and then attack me falsely for doing what you yourself do.

@Keenan, I apologize.  I did not mean to have your thread hijacked by feeding the troll.   I offer it as an interesting example.  Many religious tend to view atheists as petulant children, rather than as thoughtful people with whom we should engage as friends and colleagues.  I disagree with that viewpoint, but I think I understand where it comes from.

Keenan, Bob has a lot to apologize for, but he rarely apologizes for the right thing or to the right person. In this case, he owes me an apology for fabricating claims, assigning them to me falsely and then condemningly demanding that I own and defend them.

Note also how Bob insults me here, then thinks he can make it look like he's not insulting me by disagreeing with his own insult. For instance, I disagree with others telling you that Bob is the most intellectually feeble and dishonest individual you may encounter on TA, so I don't think anyone should do that, although I understand where the need comes from.

For this pervasive dishonesty, which at times is remarkable in its lengths and outlandishness, Bob has a well-earned namesake on TA: Pinocchio. He wants this to seem like an ad hom attack, but it's simply a satirical statement of a fact. Whenever I call out Bob for his intellectual dishonesty-- sometimes by calling him Pinocchio, other times by satirizing what he does-- I also note and demonstrate how it is present in his argument, as I just did above. So it's not an ad hom fallacy. Be sure to watch for it.

This is how me and Bob roll around here most of the time. I hope you enjoy it! Goodness knows I do.

At first I thought you might have been being a bit mean to Pinocchio here, until he brushed off nearly everything you said. While I do appreciate the apology that also seemed to be a way to get people behind him, it's clear that anyone may make such a reach when confronted with Gallup's Mirror. The ugly truth put right in our faces.

Gallup's Mirror, truly you are truthful, you have your facts more than straight, they're laminated and properly filed. If only you could reconsider the point of this post. Pinocchio's not a great example, seems to me he's probably a common History Denier, but anyone who goes, "Oh, I didn't know that" (or similar statement), I do very much hope you take the time to not to be dick.

P.S. Ragnarok is growing near. 

At first I thought you might have been being a bit mean to Pinocchio here, until he brushed off nearly everything you said.

This is what I meant when I said earlier: "No theist ever encountered a fact he could not dispute or ignore, no matter how much evidence it rests upon."

I didn't have Bob in mind specifically when I wrote that, but his demonstration was timely and spectacular.

While I do appreciate the apology that also seemed to be a way to get people behind him, it's clear that anyone may make such a reach when confronted with Gallup's Mirror. 

Agreed, as meaning 'when confronted with facts'. Agreed that an emotional appeal can be effective. Bob's insidious apology cast himself as victim, me as wrongdoer, and you as wronged. But how effective was Bob in what he did?

My goal was informing our readership: exclusivism and End Times are majority religious beliefs in the US, and attempts to bring about End Times are mainstream religious beliefs. It's all there, specified, sourced and reasoned.

Bob's goal is misinforming our readership (deliberately or not) that belief in End Times, attempts to bring it about, and exclusivism represent: "only a fraction of one somewhat odd branch of one religion, not to "the religious", and its an unfair characterization of most of them." Stated, but unspecified, unsourced and unreasoned.

The take-away for the fair-minded reader from whom facts are persuasive will be the sourced, specific, and reasoned information.

My eyes are on that prize, Keenan: what is true.

The ugly truth put right in our faces.

Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
-John Keats

Gallup's Mirror, truly you are truthful, you have your facts more than straight, they're laminated and properly filed.

But never, ever coated in sugar.

If only you could reconsider the point of this post. Pinocchio's not a great example, seems to me he's probably a common History Denier, but anyone who goes, "Oh, I didn't know that" (or similar statement), I do very much hope you take the time to not to be dick.

I understand and agree, Keenan: respond appropriately when theists don't treat us like dirt. Pinocchio may not be the best example, but he is the worst, and the most common type.

I mentioned hostility to atheists and responding appropriately to that. Well, remember how Bob opened this debate. "Atheism" is devoid of intellect and morality. We ourselves lead and inspire "pogroms or genocides".

"That sort of calumny to me illustrates the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of atheism. It shouldn't be necessary to dehumanize and vilify others to make a point, and if it is necessary then your argument probably isn't very good. The people who make such bizarre claims to stir up hatred or fear of another group are the ones who themselves lead pogroms or genocides and inspire others to do so." -Bob

Bob routinely treats us like contemptible, inferior, murderous beasts. This time it was for correctly pointing out an abhorrent religious belief.

That I call him is Pinocchio-- for all its correct application-- is the mildest response to Bob openly and brazenly throwing us down on all fours like animals.

I agree with you, Keenan. When Americans talk about winning people over, we sometimes use the phrase, 'winning hearts and minds.'

Whether you challenge a person to think or apeal to their emotional side should depend on the person and the situation. You can even combine the techniques...a gentle conversation filled with hard facts, an impassioned diatribe peppered with information, or even leading in with an emotional apeal and transitioning to informative persuasion.

I like to approach your average believer with compassion. They're not my enemy. They're potential allies. I try to be respectful, even though their behavior sometimes makes me want to pull out my hair.  

I think it was LBJ who, speaking of his time in the US Senate, said "When I have 'em by their balls, their hearts and minds follow."

This is my main point, calm down Atheists. If you are forced to argue instead of debate, keep a cool head, and argue the indisputable facts with a smile. 

No, I won't put on a fake smile just for the sake of someone's thin-skinned hypersensitivity. It's like smiling and nodding when someone says they can speak to Elvis through their tinfoil hats. Being so polite and smiley can often be mistaken for being patronizing. Anyway, people are what they are, whether theist or atheist, we are a complex bunch. There should be no set absolutes on how we converse. 

There should be no set absolutes on how we converse.

I agree, LL, there should be no set absolutes on how we converse, except maybe this one.

I'm still with you, Keenan. Bullies don't own the whole debate, and often their goal is more to support themselves than to care about (much less mentor) the meek. People are usually most effective at just one type of intellectual battle.

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