When I'm arguing with a theist, I always find myself being.... well not myself. I feel I have to try to break all the stereotypes of atheism and not give it a bad name. Like I am a representative of atheism, and i can't say what i really want to say. Without fear of the repercussions of what the people will think, of atheism in general. So why should I, fell obliged to try to disprove the misconceptions about atheism, when it intervenes with who I am? Now you could say I am "being selfish" but I could say the same about anybody that wants me to disprove all the misconceptions about atheism. Since they are thinking about themselves or the atheism community, and the way society will treat them, if there are still stigmas about atheism.
So lets hear it, why should i be nice to the religious when the only reason I'm doing it is to disprove the misconceptions of atheism? Why can't I tell them to STFU, without fear of the repercussions, that the atheism community will face?
The reason we have to be polite to them and they dont to us is that we're trying to convince them to listen to reason, so we need to keep things calm. They are appealing to emotion and hurt feelings so a STFU suits them just fine.
Our weapons are ideas, so we need dialogue to share them. They dont value dialogue so it is easy for them to be rude.
I will give u an example
I was arguing with a young earth creationist, on facebook. And just about everything he said, i had a logical rebuttal for, but he just kept on red herring and not listing to what i was saying. And this went on for a week, and by that time this guy had, gone and commented on about 5 different wall post on my page. And his final argument was "pascals wager" i showed him the flaws in it, but he said that the "only reason i didn't not believed was because i wanted to do what i wanted to". That was the final straw, i had proven i knew more about his own beliefs than he did, and he said that was the reason i did not believe. So than i told him "fuck you". I don't think there was anything i could have said that "would plant the seeds of doubt".
...and then at that point everything you said up until that point lost its weight. what you seem to be missing, if i may, is that just because someone doesn't admit right then that you've made them think, and just because right then they haven't renounced their faith or some particular doctrine you were arguing against, doesn't mean that they were not made to think (something they'd be unlikely to admit to) or that your rebuttals won't be the seed of a process of questioning their beliefs that they'll undertake at some point in the future (something that you likely won't ever know). but when you end the exchange with a "fuck you!" you've all but ensured that nothing you said will be taken seriously by the person; not now, not ever.
I have to agree here as well. There are ways of saying things where there's a chance, regardless of how small, that someone might listen and hear it...and there are ways of saying things that you can be almost absolutely certain that they will not!
I agree fully with Nelson. Several years ago, I would have been like the individual you were arguing with. I would have stuck it out to the end, because to me, my life was my faith. Can you imagine investing your entire life into something like that and having somebody point out its flaws? (When I say whole life, I not only mean years, but your morality, education, future plans, relationships, time, and on and on.) There is usually a lot invested and to have hole poked in that is hard to admit. If you would have just ended your discussion in a friendly way, letting them know you enjoyed the debate, but feel as though the discussion has gone as far as it can go at this moment, then you would have left it open for them to consider all that was said. You could have asked them upon ending as well to consider the things you said as well. If people had not said these kinds of things and instead left me with a big "Fuck You", I probably would have stayed deep in my faith and thought nothing else about what was said.
I agree with Nelson, too. Not that I don't feel that you could have danced around your living room shouting, "Fuck you!" to the walls to make yourself feel better. It's not that we don't sometimes (OK, often) feel that way, but like Nelson said, you may have made that guy think even though he would possibly never admit it aloud to anyone. He probably didn't like it. And then you went all potty mouth and discredited yourself. It is frustrating to fight the good fight, my friend.
mr forrest man, nice posT,Ill add my tuppence worth . there come a time when no matter what you or the evidence you provide says they will poo poo your every word. It's at thisx very moment you should deliver a shift kick to the dangly things between their godly legs, however if on line,then please by all means get stuck right in.
you shouldn't. but you should for reasons of simple decorum. you should because no one will hear your message if you don't. they'll walk away saying, "that guy's an asshole!" instead of "mmmmm, that guy made some undeniable sense." it's just too easy for someone to ignore you when you go the STFU path. if that's the path you're going to choose, ok, but then why enter into an exchange in the first place?
Everyone ignores me anyway, they are too scared to talk about. I got kicked out of a house for saying, "goddammit", i asked if he wanted to discuss it. But he didn't want to hear any of what i had to say.
But my main point was that, i feel that im forced to be a good role model for atheism. Like if i am a asshole, it will make all atheist look like one. So, i try to represent atheism, in a good way, but now i don't care anymore.
and my response is that while you feel forced to be a good role model for atheism that is unnecessary but that if you want to be heard, if you want to have an impact, there are far better reasons to act in a certain way. don't be a good role model for atheism, engage in the kind of debate that the quality of your arguments and the time you've taken to formulate them- reading, thinking, studying- deserve.