Really people, I don't get what's the point in arguing with really religious people... is like yelling at deaf people. Is as useful as praying for atheists to become catholics. I guess the only way we could make a difference is if people are willing to hear reasons, to make our schools teach science, to educate instead of preaching.
So why do we have to use our energy in people who doesn't deserve it? Why not trying to change through "real" ways as banning intelligent desing in our schools or banning catholic lessons in our junior highs?
Sorry for the bad english, i'm not a native speaker.
Imagine how we may not have ever had slavery, segregation, sexism or homophobia if most people were in the habit of thinking critically instead of relying on tradition, superstition and ancient books.
Both universal suffrage and abortion rights actually serve to illuminate my point I think. These rights did not come into being because politicians suddenly said, "Hey - women should be able to vote, let's legislate for it" - they came into being because politicians took note of the activism and education of the citizens, albeit a minority.
If there had been no grassroots movements involving education and activism for the various civil rights issues that we keep talking about - if the status quo had not been disturbed by the citizenry - the legislation would have never happened.
I am proud to live in the first nation to have extended the right to vote to include ALL citizens, regardless of race or sex, but it did not come about because a male politician wanted it to. It came about because women like Kate Shepherd actively campaigned and changed people's minds. The activism and education informed the legislation - not the other way around.
I completely agree that we need to be active.
I even sometimes see the need to argue with some of these religious people, How ever I think we are better off putting our arguing tactics to the things we are being active about.
I agree with everyone here who is for making this place a better world!
Dr King's famous speech still inspires me - even seperated as we are by time, geography and culture. I look forward to the time when my descendents can treat people of different aspects as individuals, valued on their merits rather than their genetics or beliefs, because that's the way it is, rather than as mandated by law; To a time when we won't need legislation to protect our civil rights.
A pipe dream perhaps, but a worthy goal as far as I'm concerned.
OK, I can see your point, I am willing to conceed that its possible given enough time that legislation can change minds.
I would definitely agree with you though that in matters of civil rights we should never be concerned about the feelings of theists.
Missy, thank you for mentioning this:
"The main reason people like to come to our house to play cards is because it is safe for them and they are searching for propaganda to use against you!! Have you ever considered that they may be altering your responses,( interpolation), and then using them for their personal gain? Most of these brain-washers gain something from religion like money. You are never sure they are what they say. Your words could be being projected on a screen in a $14 million dollar "Assembly of God" church for kicks. All the while you won't know it and can't defend yourself. You are providing a bases for mis-education and propaganda manufacturing. That hurts us and doesn't help. It causes an ill-education set back. It is like a smear commercial run on a political candidate using fake facts, and out of context sound bites. You may be giving all of this to them.
We DO NOT go to their church and "preach" our values and beliefs. They would never have that, so why do we allow that to be done to US? Cards always at our house only? Is that a fair platform?"
I have been an atheist for a long time. I de-converted before a lot of you were born--much as it seems impossible to believe I can even say that (lol). I de-converted while still very young and living in the worst part of the bible belt. I have had numerous experiences with theists since then. I have tried everything from arguing to closeting. I have learned a little bit about how they think along the way.
If they know you are an atheist, then, unless you have been friends with them all you life (and maybe even then), they see you as an alien life form to be studied and as an enemy to be spied upon for precisely the type of thing you are describing Missy.
They will twist everything you say into some evil and unrecognizable meaning that you never intended and spread it all over their inter-connected church gossip web--perhaps even using multimedia presentations at church!
This my sound like hyperbole, but it's not. Every atheist needs to remember that churches are cesspools of malicious gossip. Most of them are lynch mobs that are no longer allowed to actually burn you at the stake, so they do the next best thing and pillory you in absentia.
The only way to protect yourself is to never forget this and keep them at arms length out there in the real world.
Why debate theists who come on here looking for a discussion?
I feel that there are a few reasons:
1) Hone our debating skills.
2) To learn/hope to learn something new from the opposition.
3) Possibly plant that seed of doubt in their head.
4) If they are a fundie and will never listen to reason, that doesn't mean our arguments fall only on deaf ears. There may be plenty of weak theists or undecideds reading the discussion that could find our use of logic and reason persuasive enough to leave their past religion behind.
5) Stand up for the truth as the evidence shows it to be.
True - the ones with doubts will listen and think. The hardcore fundies will just rant and rave but never think.
This is why I am a big fan of James (who doesn't visit as much as I'd like these days!).
Aw shucks! :) I do wish I had more time to comment, but at times it is already somewhat late when I get on. So I do a quick skim of the topics for the most part. By the time I roll around the great TA community usually has the topic all covered. I am trying to be on more, as some other sites and activities are taking up less time recently.
Great image. I can't even begin to describe just how true that is or how many times I've done it.