A friend of mine posted this on facebook. Of course this kid was the biggest, shady drug addict and thief when he was a teenager. Then he "found god". I try really hard to ignore shit like this the best I can. What would you guys do? Not specifically for this actual posting, just in general. When people you know post crap like this online, or you overhear friends making snarky comments what do you do? I didn't comment on this. It's kind of funny. If it was malicious, then I would have.
I just ignore things of religious nature most of the time. It's just not worth the effort. When it comes to the more obstinate people though I think I've had more productive talks with inanimate objects.
I had a facebook friend post about this being a Christian nation and that all people who don't like it can leave the country. She named certain categories of people, one being atheists. That just pissed me off and I had to say something. I told her I was an atheist and I didn't appreciate her saying that. I forget exactly what she had originally posted and my entire response, but she found herself having to back-pedal and apologize for her statement. Even one of her own friends came to my defense. I responded respectfully and didn't try to get into any religious argument, but I couldn't just let her get away with making a blanket statement putting down atheists, or anyone else for that matter. I had another fb friend make a similar comment, to which I responded. He's REALLY religious. One of his religious friends didn't like that I said this isn't a Christian nation and I want to see our nation be a place for all people, blah blah blah. His friend made a snide comment saying something like, "I thought we had free speech in this country." I responded by saying, "We do, that's why I said something." She replied with a smiley face because I put her butt right in her place. They never like to hear anything they don't agree with and tend to get very nasty and snarky about it. Very Christian response.
Or you could point out that his entire definition of Atheism is invalid. The first part is a version of abiogenesis (it falls under cosmology) and the second part is a horrible, one-liner of evolution (it falls under biology). I guess you could finish by telling him that Atheism is very simply the condition of NOT believing in a god... a god who creates people who are too stupid to know what atheism is.
I think I would try to explain to him the fact that atheism has absolutely nothing to do with the things you believe. When theists say things like this they are trying to bring non belief down to their level. It is truly pitiful if you ask me. It is even funnier when they try and say non believers are illogical and our arguments are completely irrational.
Meghan, I would not post in his wall. Just de-friend him or "shut him up" by unsubscribing from his updates (you can now do that). No point in answering - he will not change - it would mean that he left the drugs for nothing! :-)
My two cents' worth...
That sounds like the Christian thing to do… run away in offense and de-friend someone for presenting an unfavorable opinion. I’d like to think we’re better than that.
Personally, I’d take the opportunity to educate them on what atheism actually is and pursue the resulting discussion. This type of behavior and animosity towards atheists comes from pure ignorance and fear. None of that will be alleviated if we don’t take the opportunity to engage in discussion and educate.
I have a bit of a system for dealing with people who I meet that have religious ideaologies. Firstly I judge them on their age, maybe I shouldn't, but I figure if the person is over 'middle aged', then I think forget it. Not because of the old 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks' situation (I know you can) but because I understand that they are not the future, at least probability states they will be gone before me say... But I do take this all loosly.
Secondly, if the person is young, especially if they are younger than me, I try to be dimplomatic and educated them as much as possible. This is not easy of course, religious people do not want to learn, and that is the problem. I think the answer is to run them through what they already know, let them do the talking and allow them to find their own contradictions, no force needed. Infact it's worse to have a go at them, it gives them something to fight against. I suggest you guide them through their own experiences asking questions in a genuine 'i'm really interested' type of fashion. If you do this whilst pointing out some flaws (there are obviously lots) then you will inherently get them thinking about what they are saying. The first mild stone; taking it from a preach to a conversation. Once this has been achieved I would say you should leave them to their own thoughts. You have planted the seed of doubt. Don't be tricked into an argument, treat them like children and trick them into thinking for themselves. If all athiests were to do this, we would clear up this mess a lot quicker...
Remeber they are children in the mind, treat them as such...
I knew i'd seen it put in a better way somewhere else, here is what we must do to solve the problem of thealogians; "Really, Ischomachus, I am disposed to ask; Does teaching consist in putting questions? Indeed, the secret of your system has just this instant dawned upon me. I seem to see the principle in which you put your questions. You lead me through the field of my own knowledge, and then by pointing out analogies to what I know, persuade me that I really know some things which hitherto, as I believed, I had no knowledge of." - Socrates
That's the way to do it...nice and gentle, leading them forward without them hardly realizing it until they've stumbled into a new discovery. Otherwise they become defensive out of pride or fear and completely close their mind off.
Nelson's reply is right on point; I wish I'd said it.
So then, what do I do? I post comments like the following:
No, our knowledge of the universe does not yet make perfect sense. But, unlike the fantasy-based god conjecture, it makes SOME sense. Thanks to the scientific method and the courageous striving of scientists, we get closer every day to making sense of everything. Science expands toward the future; cowardly religion retreats into the past. Religion makes NO progress; it seeks NO truth; it ABHORS the truth; it is stuck in the bronze age where it HIDES from the truth. It shrinks fearfully in its medieval bunker where it conjures up supernatural visions of a WISHED-FOR truth. Science does experiments to get CLOSER to the truth; religion burns witches to ESCAPE the truth. And what is that inevitable truth? We are ALL going to die and cease to exist in ANY WAY. Get over it!