In my adolescence, I went to many different churches to find what they believed, and why. I was truly seeking knowledge, I was curious. I would listen politely and would never confront or criticize. As I said, I just wanted to know what they believed and why. I have found, however, that when religious people come to me and ask why I'm an atheist, it is seldom because they seek enlightenment. Usually their questions are just a gambit for them to criticize, attack, and try to convert me to their religion. They generally respond to what I say, before I've even finished. It's obvious that they are not listening, and are not processing what I have said. Now, I readily admit that never did I ever hear anything that changed my atheism, but I did get some interesting insights, and occasionally a completely new point of view about some things I hadn't considered. But it is very rare that I have ever heard a religious person say that I have made an interesting point, or given them something to think about, but instead they respond to what I have said with why it is totally wrong and why I should think like them. And many of them do so in a hostile manner.

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Comment by Reggie on May 8, 2010 at 11:54pm
We all learn better by listening than we do by talking. The religious are comforted by certainty and being certain, they need not listen to any other perspective. Your experience has been mine as well.

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