Some of my best friends are christians, and I don't mean I-go-to-church-on-christmas christians, I mean they really believe. Some say they're just "spiritual". A lot of times we end up discussing big questions about god, life and death and ethics and morality. But I feel like I always have to hold back on what I really want to say, because I don't want to offend anyone. I don't really mind people being religious, as long as they keep it to themselves, but I always have to fight the urge to try and "convert" people to atheism.

 Do anyone else have this problem? And if so, how do you deal with it?

Tags: friends, religous

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I generally just explain my viewpoint to the best of my abilities and resist the urge to point out any logical fallacies I catch in their own viewpoints. It's usually just pure explanation without debate, and I try to answer any questions they have.  If the simple fact of being an atheist offends them, thats their problem, I won't censor my opinions just because some people are too sensitive. I never preach to people or try to 'convert' them to non-beleif, because ultimately its a decision people have to come to themselves when they're willing to scrutinize their beliefs.  But if I'm being proselytized to, I have absolutely no problem with tearing their 'arguments' to shreds. And if they say something that just blatantly contradicts reality I'll call them out on it, because allowing people to live with false information just to spare their beliefs isn't doing them any favors, its just harmful to society as a whole.

Yes I do. "Offense" is an idiotic thing. It just damages the social fabric relation that you have with that person. For example, if my best friend is a believer and I talk about how the Bible is just a book or that Jesus didn't exist he will get offended ( i.e. it will damage the relation I have with them )

 

how do you deal with it?

Depends what you value more. Truth or social status. In that cases you have to choose one.

I don't really have this problem.  Everyone I know knows I am atheist.  We might talk about religious things, but we agree to disagree.  If you agree to disagree, you don't really have to worry about "offending" anyone. 

My FB status is what offends people:

*~*~NEWS FLASH~*~* This is MY page and I will post what I want. If you don't like it, you have options. NO ONE is FORCING anyone to agree, comment, or debate. If you are OFFENDED, that is not really my problem. As I said, YOU HAVE OPTIONS. Feel free to use them.

There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting..... Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not ...rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.

I have offended all my friends when religion comes up.  I am not really trying to be disrespectful but they seem to be shocked when I am just stating my personal conviction on the topic.  Also, a Catholic friend of mine got all excited telling me about how she thinks her mother might have psychic powers and can get premonitions and other woo woo.  I politely explained to her the gaps in her story and how she is easily associating mere coincidence with something supernatural.  She became very offended and freaked out during dinner.  

 

If you don't want to be offended , don't say stupid things.  That's my advice to anyone reading this. 

I know exactly how you feel...

For me though, that urge to "convert" people to atheism I've realized is more of an urge to have my best friends argue using logic. It's a pretty unsettling thing when your closest friends think so differently- especially since being such good friends means they're a sort of extension of who you are. So when one of my friends says some stupid cliche that disregards facts of the universe like "I guess sometimes, you just have to believe" (maybe he's trying to pick up some poor girl?) it makes me want to curl under a desk and wallow in my own vomit for a while because the other option is confronting MY FRIEND. Holy crap.... and that's a big deal because forcing a believer into cognitive dissonance in regards to what their life is based on is a pretty shitty thing to do.

When I found not-god my life got pretty flipped for a while. Values change, big ideas change, ambitions change... it's pretty certain that friends will undergo that change too.

 

The best thing a friend can do is to love and support through anything. You can't change people. Your friends are friends, but I promise that you'll feel closer to people you meet who have similar thinking-styles.

This is excactly what I'm talking about! Good to know someone else feels the same way.

 

Luckily I live in Norway, so other atheists aren't that hard to find. But, as I said, none of my closest friends really share my views.

yea... growing with people is a tough thing to do.

Maybe it will help to realize that best friends can change?

 

But best friends or not, it still upsets me when other people think incorrectly! (why do I feel like such a dick when I say that?... obviously the way I think MUST be right)

My best male friend who I also play music with, used to spout xian doctrine to me, but I just told him out and out how ridiculous these fairy tales were to me.  He seems to be a lot less preachy over the years, but he said he still felt spiritual.  Well so do I;  I love nature and animals and people who think rationally and the whole beauty of the universe.  Shit, doesn't everybody who's human???? If we could just say we love the beautiful natural things around us, that would be enough!  But ask the bible driven folk, rich and poor.  They keep looking for a place to sit on a non-existent, invisible, hateful  god's hand in the after-life.  I will never succumb to that kind of arrogant, selfish thinking.  I wasn't indoctrinated or brainwashed, but some people in my childhood tried to feed me their bullshit dogma.  Happily, I've been religious free for as long as I can remember.  I used to be indifferent to the religious, but if they make some stupid unbelievable remark in what's supposed to be the 21st century, I will make a comment to them.  So, Josh, don't feel like a dick, because you are not one.  You are a rational, critical thinker who cares about people.  Unlike some of the xians I know. Just got out of bed, and raring to go!  THINK ATHEIST, EH!

I love you man, and I wish it were that easy for me!

I've been getting caught in the idea of the absence of right and wrong. We're just here...

As in Dawkin's speech "purpose of purpose", we're incorrectly assuming our lives have meaning.

Rationality can happen on a scale. The atheist mind is more rational than the religious mind. But who is to say it's better to be more rational?

I think the most mature answer is to accept that rather than being morons, theists are just different. (I'm not mature though... I think they're wrong)

Our lives have plenty of meaning, they just don't have any cosmic significance.

 

What kind of person would insist that his life had to have cosmic significance, anyway?  That sounds like a symptom of pathological egotism to me.  Or else someone whose thinking on the subject was perverted at a young age by the ideas of someone with pathological egotism.  (Hint, hint.)

 

And, there is such a thing as right and wrong without any invisible authority figures telling us.  Morality revolves around the notion that it is wrong to cause harm.  Researchers have found that there is a sense of morality that seems to be universal in humans.  They have identified various themes that appear, but I think they all are meant to prevent unnecessary harm.

 

This universal, intuitive moral sense is one of the characteristics that religion seeks to use to control us.  This misuse for control perverts it and makes us immoral, which is one of the reasons I maintain that religion is evil.

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/12/is-obedience-to-au...

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/12/religion-and-moral...

It depends on who it is.
If I think they're mature enough to deal with it and understand without shutting their brains off, I go real into depth on the contradictions, my beliefs, their beliefs, etc.
Oftentimes, we have real good discussions without even raising our voices. We both come out of it learning something new.
But if they're not mature enough and just start screaming that I'm wrong no matter what I say, I just resort to poking fun at them. :P
I know, immature, but you can't reason someone out of something that they didn't reason themselves into.
It just makes me feel better by making light of the matter- because their fundamentalism really pisses me off.
It's either laugh at them or punch them in the face.
Oh, and I find this quote to be most helpful in times like this:
"Be who you are and say what you mean-because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

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