I'm new here and there is a lot of possible reading. My interest was captured by a topic looking for responses to the famous, "what if you're wrong" question and I have posted there.
I am interested to know how people respond to the smug last word that many theists seem to get when they end a discussion/debate with either, "God bless you", "I'll pray for you" or a combination of the two. I have been working on my response and, depending on how irritated I am as the discussion closes, I generally say either: -
"I cannot give you anyone elses blessing but I wish you health, happiness and prosperity"
or (if provoked)
"I cannot give you anyone elses blessing but I wish you health, happiness, prosperity and freedom from delusion" (The ones that don't become apoplectic generally just blink in speechless amazement ;)
What does everyone else say?
That argument is known as "Pascal's Wager." There are several threads on this topic under "forums" "Theist Arguments & You." Check it out!
"God Bless You" is so generic a comment it's almost secular (as in a response to a sneeze) so it gets either nothing or "thank you." "I'll pray for you" is a bit more theistically assertive, and it earns a more assertive reply. If I decide to engage at all, I'll usually say something like, "Don't waste your time on me, waste it on someone who will appreciate it."
Not quite what you asked, but I've had some theists angrily tell me that they feel sorry for me because I haven't found their particular idea of god. Because I recognize this as a put-down in the sense that they are asserting superiority, I generally respond to this one with a hearty "go fuck yourself."
In some cases, the "I'll pray for you" response comes across similarly and warrants the same response. Most of the time, however, I take this and the "god bless you" crap as innocent (but deluded) expressions of good intent. If I'm in a good mood, I thank them. If not, the worst I'd usually do is say something like, "if that makes you feel better, go right ahead."
If I am told by a theist that they will pray for me my response would simply be "I'll think for you"
Someone using "God bless you" in an attempt to win / end a discussion is opening up a can of worms really - especially when said to an atheist, as it of course does NOT end the discussion. It would prompt me to challenge the person to prove a god exists.
I say, "Blessed Be", which is Wiccan for "right back atcha!" and they go away satisfied. And since Wiccan is the antithesis of Xtian, i'm satisfied as well. Never suffer a witch to live. Makes me laugh everytime, because what else was Jesus, what with the water to wine and bread/fish things? Not to mention waking the dead. Biblical hypocrisy at it's best.
I just flail on the ground and scream " Im melting Im melting!"
Perfect; I would say 'God Bless you' myself just to see it! ;-)
Thanks all for your responses, I have found this an interesting discussion. I am sorry to say that I will no longer be posting here, not because of the people, who have in the main been lovely and made intelligent points. But for me, the foruum structure is too complicated by far. I post on other forums where all posts as chronological and if I wish to reply I can just use a 'quote' command to drag through their comments to the beggining of my post. Much simpler and easier to follow the thread in my opinion. But hey, we all have different tastes. Maybe I'll exchange ideas with some of you elsewhere.
Matthew, Great to have known you and maybe will find you on another forum.
'bye and , be good'. My way of saying goodbye.
Awe thanks Elaine but, you know what, I've changed my mind. Despite my difficulty with the structure, there is just to much interesting stuff going on so i'll probably see you around after all.
See you around. Your input is great and would have been sorely missed.