I don't mean that they would literally go crazy and kill everyone, I mean like if they would lose their direction in life, stop being selfless etc.
I know lots of really nice (obviously deluded) religious people, but for an example, I'll use a friend of mine called Callum.
He gets A* in EVERY single test and has had all As on every report since I've know him.
He is a VERY VERY nice person, (EVERYONE likes him) and he somehow manages to be popular with people without going against his views or getting in trouble. Ftr, I'm in secondary school (which is like middle school in America I think..? Anyways I'm 14) and he has never gotten in trouble either.
I often have religious debates with him (he's Methodist, I believe) and his arguments aren't very good but I never win him over.
I'm also pretty sure that all of the above comes as a result of his faith and morals (which is rare in teenagers these days, I know xD)
I have never sat him down and drilled atheism into him as I know I could (I've done it to others in the past) because I genuinely think it would ruin him as a person?
What would you do? (taking into account that we go into this debate assuming Atheism is the right way of life xD)
Try arguing with them about the irrationality of their faith Sassan and see how quickly they get aggressive / violent. I think you'll find their veneer of calm and acceptance very thin.As Sam Harris said in his book, Letters to A Christian Nation, the most vitriolic and threatening of his critics are (supposedly) peaceful and god fearing Christians. Ever see the Richard Dawkins documentaries as he traveled throughout the USA questioning peoples' faith? They very quickly turned savage when their beliefs were questioned. Both the Islamic and Christian faiths are, by their very nature intolerant and inclusive.
IT is not even comparable to Islam. No WHERE near. Christians will say something like "Jesus still loves you and I will pray for you" and a Muslim will curse you, threaten you, and even inflict violence on you.
I'm certainly not going to defend either faith. Having just moments ago finished watching a documentary called "Jesus Camp" where evangelical Christians are indoctrinating children to be "soldiers of God" (sound familiar?), I have no doubts whatsoever that adherents to both religions will resort to violence to defend their world views.
Comparing Islam and Christianity to the same level of violence ignores the realities of the world and in a way is defending Islam by blinding one towards their dislike of Christianity by calling them both "equally as violent" when that in reality is far from the truth.
Its a matter of historical record that both religions are intolerant and prepared to use violence to oppress differing opinions. If you want to argue that Christianity is somehow "better" than Islam because they are "less violent" then by all means go ahead. I think you're splitting hairs and frankly, it's such a trivial and irrelevant point it's not worth the effort to keep arguing with you. You obviously have a more negative view against Islam than Christianity. My opinion is based on historical facts, and the "reality," whether you want to admit it or not is that both religions are extremely intolerant and inclusive, and as previously stated, more than happy to kill in the name of their God.
IT is ignoring the realities of the world. If the Muslims of the world decided tomorrow to become Christians, the world would be a much more peaceful and tolerant place.
Fellow atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali discussing this very point:
You're not an Atheist, you're a pseudo christian. If you want to be realistic, read some history. You'll find your peace loving Christians have murdered in the name of their God for the last two thousand years - the Crusades lasted decades and slaughtered untold tens of thousands men women AND children (their crime - not believing in the christian version of God), the witch hunts (against women) in Europe and USA murdered thousands more, the Christian Hitler attempted genocide by wiping out 9 million Jews and 20 million Russians in WW2. Not enough? How about those fine Christians Bush senior and Bush Jnr, with their continuing "crusade" against terror that has ruined two countries and claimed the lives of over a hundred thousand civilians? Still not enough? How about the MILLIONS of Africans (many of them children) who have died and are still dying as I write this because of the Vatican's refusal to sanction contraception. Shall I go on? How about the continuing misogynistic attitudes towards women as second class citizens? Don't preach to me about the value of Christianity mate when you obviously know nothing about its history. I haven't even mentioned the Christian murderer Constantine, or the horrors of the Inquisition. You expose your ignorance every time you reply. All religions are fear based cults of death, and as a real atheist, I reject all claims by ALL religions. By the way- the world would be a more peaceful and tolerant place without ANY religion.
lol @ Ayaan and I being pseudo-Christians. It is the year 2011 - ignoring the realities of the 21st century is very naive and ignorant. Thanks, but I'll take the advice of fellow atheist and intellectual Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Not everyone has the mental fortitude to become an atheist. Christians while ignorant are generally secular and much more tolerant than Muslims.
BTW: crusades had an important benefit: if it wasn't for the crusades, we might all have been forced to become Muslims.
To add: you demonstrate your ignorance by trying to equate the wars having to do something with religion when it has nothing to do with religion. With regards to Afghanistan, we were attacked on 9/11. In regards to Iraq, Saddam had been violating international sanctions and even Clinton had considered military operations for regime change. These policies had nothing to do with religion.
And while Hitler was no atheist as some ignorants claim, he was not a Christian in the sense that he was guided by his actions by Christianity. To make such a claim would be just as ignorant as those Christians claiming Hitler was an atheist.
1.Read my statement again and you will see I called you a pseudo-christian, no-one else.
2.Just what "realities of the 21st century" am I ignoring?
3. read my statement again (slower this time time) and explain how Christians are tolerant.......
4."If not for the crusades, we might all have been forced to become muslims.." Some of your best work here buddy-Just the sort of intellectually weak reasoning Christians used to justify murdering thousands of men women and children. Praise the Lord, better to be a Christian than a Muslim eh!!
5."you demonstrate your ignorance by trying to equate the wars having to do something with religion when it has nothing to do with religion". MY ignorance? Let me write it a little slower for you. My point is both Bush senior and Bush jnr are avowed (intolerant)Christians. (Remember "thou shalt not kill?").
6. It is common knowledge that the majority of the suicide bombers on 9/11 were in fact from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. Your statement is therefore irrelevant. Ditto Iraq- Invaded by the orders of god fearing, peace loving Christians Bush Snr and Bush Jnr. (repeat- Christians).
7. Try reading Mein Kampf. (actually, try reading anything....) Hitler justifies his attempted extermination of the Jews via his Christian beliefs. On the belt buckles of his Storm Troopers and the hilts of his Hitler youth daggers was the phrase "Gott mein Undst" - God on our side.
8. You constantly defend the Christian faith. Not only are you a christian apologist, you are a pseudo intellectual. Put your anti Islamic bias aside for a moment and attempt to do what the vast majority of true Atheists here do- read with an open mind and actually ponder the statements before you.
Ama, your question asks whether you should "convert" a persons belief system (Monotheism) to another belief system (Atheism), and many of the replies, whilst well meaning fall into the same muddy thinking. Atheism is not a belief system. It is simply a non-acceptance of supreme creator, because there is no evidence or rational argument to support it. You are not "converting" anyone to anything by asking them to approach their beliefs with a critical and open mind. Atheism is, in effect, a by product of an aware and critical intellect. Lets face it, when rational thinking is applied, religion simply falls apart as a cohesive belief system. I would suggest that you are doing anyone a dis-service by not attempting to bring reason into their life.For the last two thousand years religions have controlled the masses through fear based dogma, and continues to wreak horror and tragedy throughout the world. We cannot sit on the fence and allow the insidious effects of religion to continue. As rational free thinkers we should accept all and any opportunity to put a question into a believers mind. By not doing so allows the insidious and negative effects of religion to continue.My suggestion is to direct him to sites like this and ask him to rationally debate the points raised. I also found the book by Sam Harris "Letters To A Christian Nation" a superb book- easy, quick to read, and impossible to argue with.
some people don't *want* to be won over, regardless of the quality pf the argument on either side, religion is the opiate of the masses
you also don't have to "drill" it into them, and really that's no different than someone brainwashing children with christianity. . .intelligent people should be respected enough to be given the opportunity to chose for themselves. . .
you can present logical, scientific answers to questions about religion, the big bang, evolution, etc. without demanding that the other person accept your pov
most people that i know didn't have one singular moment when they chose to give up on a belief in god. it's something they came to gradually. Sometimes you have to hear something more than once, or have time to process it on your own. . .giving up on one's religion is a personal decision that has to be done on that person's timeline, not yours
I never set out to "convert" someone; however, I would not feel bad about doing it based on upsetting his "moral framework." If he is moral only because of his fear of God's punishment, he perhaps needs to realize that he can be moral without it, if he so chooses. Conversely, if a lack of God's restraint frees immoral impulses in him, I'm sure they would have come out eventually, God or no god. After all, most serial killers were raised in religious homes; or at least so it seems, based on newspaper accounts. Years ago, when I attended the Baptist church (as a curious atheist) I sure saw a lot of people there whose moral frameworks were rather rickety.