Someone who I considered a good friend basically said that I can offend people for pointing out their religion is a delusion (my words) and that I can hurt people's feelings.


Him: u can offend some decent people who happen to be religious even if u have a point u need consider ppls feelings

Me: i'm not afraid to offend people who think its a virtue to believe in an imaginary guy in the sky

Him: srysly. its more complicated than that. religious ppl hurt deep down when u say that shit


I defended myself with the usual remarks. Prove is on those you make the positive assertion, indoctrination is any form is wrong, the usual. Then he basically said I am incapable of understanding. Yes I am incapable of understanding how believing in god is at all beneficial to society. People will be happier when they realize that their successes are due to them alone and those who are struggling will only be able to rise out of their situation when they realize that only humans can help them, not some god.


Am I wrong? How is it wrong to point out to people that they believe in a delusion? Yes it will hurt their feelings but it is nothing more than a crutch that they need to be able to walk without.


This guy is someone that I had a lot of respect for and he is very intelligent. How can someone who is more or less agnostic think that it is right to let people live life with a crutch.


This turned into more of a rant than I wanted but it is because I'm so confused right now. I'm looking for some type of advice from people who have dealt with this before.


Views: 166

Comment by dataguy on August 14, 2011 at 9:05am
I had this issue and still struggle with it from time to time. Probably what helped me the most when a closet-Atheist friend of mine told me there are two rules:

1. The is no god.
2. People need to believe in something.

As an Atheist / Humanist, this makes sense to me. I believe in humanism and for me it works as a backdrop to make sense and get direction for life. Many others feel like they have to believe in a god to get that. If you take it away from them, it's almost like you're denying them oxygen, and you should expect a fight. I'm learning to offer them something that makes more sense than their superstitions instead of just telling them their god doesn't exist. So far, this has been much more effective.
Comment by Steve on August 14, 2011 at 9:34am

Depends on who you're talking to. When hanging out with friends or co-workers it's really better to not discuss religion. But strangers on the internet for example are fair game

Comment by James on August 14, 2011 at 3:53pm

I would ask him (assuming he does) why he might tell a believer of another faith that they are following the wrong one. By what he's saying to you, he should just butt out and not mention his religion to anyone who believes differently. We wouldn't want to offend anyone of course. Yet he finds it fine to tell you what you can and can't say. Doesn't he worry that you might be offended. There is really nothing offensive here. It would be one thing if you called him a gullible idiot, but all I see is a difference of opinion. It's no different than you saying that football is the greatest sport and him claiming offense because he feels baseball is the best. To be offended over a disagreement is just silly. But this is a common thing to see. A believer comes to associate solely and wholly with their theology and adopts a with us or against us mindset. Once that flawed logic is adopted, a simple disagreement can be viewed as an attack or offensive remark. It's sad really.

Comment by Cognizant Psyche on August 14, 2011 at 6:09pm

Religion and Politics, two things that should not be discussed unless you are ready for the possibility of either getting in a fight/argument or losing friends lol.  The only time I bring up my views is if I am asked or evangelized to, then the gloves are off.  If that's the case, then they should not be offended if my (or anyone's) view point differs as they asked knowing there is a chance I will not agree with them.  So I agree that in some situations unsolicited belief bashing can be rude, just as I consider it rude for someone to come up to me asking if I've heard the good news because I am a "lost soul."

Comment by Rick on August 14, 2011 at 6:51pm

James hit it on the head. Some people can be overly sensitive without just cause. They’re going to get offended no matter how carefully you craft your speech. I wouldn’t worry about it. You can’t please everyone.  It sucks to be them.  

Comment by Jeremy Lester on August 15, 2011 at 1:36am

I don't worry about it at al. I've lost 10+ friends on Facebok over the last week or two for posting Atheists quotes, etc and even had 2 family members decide to make personal attacks based on what i posted. Know what i say.. screw em, all of em. I'm sick of religion being shoved down my throat by tv, status updates on Facebook by other people, etc. So guess what, i'll start shoving logic, reason, and science down people's throats.

Comment by Robert Karp on August 15, 2011 at 9:10am

I think it depends on how these conversations happen. There has been debate on TA about being an atheist preacher and when does it cross the line. I've personally had a problem with many prominent atheists and how they portray a "holier than thou" complex but using arugments like "how can you believe in an invisible man in the sky".  Whether a crutch or not, whether absurd to you and I or not, these beliefs are sacred for many people and simply dismissing them by saying  they are crazy is not good enough. 


My general rule is, if someone comes at me, and questions my atheism, try to throw anything religious at me, the gloves are off and I go all out. However if I am not engaged, I will let them live in their delusion. It doesn't mean I respect it, but I don't have to blatantly disrespect it either.


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

© 2019   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service