It's difficult for me to take religious people seriously anymore, and I think that's been one of my biggest headaches. I care for my friends dearly, but when they start talking about god and jesus and the happy feelings they get in chapel, I have to stop myself from rolling my eyes or quirking my eyebrow in disbelief. I really really don't want to offend anyone. But they make it really hard for me to not make a remark about the things they say when they don't even know the truth about what they're talking about D: 
I love debates because I love to think deeply about things and give my opinions on them. But I can't be so open about my opinions on religion here because by attacking religion some people will feel like I'm attacking them.

I'm also especially terrified of speaking out in my biology class. My professor is nice, and so are my fellow classmates, but I'm still afraid of being shunned by everyone D: I think I'm mostly afraid of accidentally acting like an asshole. I'm so excited about the knowledge that I know and about thinking critically about things that I forget about people's feelings and just plow right through without any regard to anyone.

I suppose that the best thing I can do is just think through everything that I want to say and try and say them all in a non-asshole way, but that gets tricky when I'm in the heat of the moment and when I've got things bouncing around my brain at lightning-speed, fighting to get spat out. 

For instance, today I had a test for my biology class. One of the questions asked was something along the lines of "Why is science outside the realm of miracles? Give two specific reasons."
It took all my effort to not make any snarky comments.  I wrote "1). Science is based off of evidence, and miracles have none."
and "2). Because science is constantly being disputed and new theories are being pushed forward, any evidence that comes up scientifically explaining miracles could be disputed later and cast out."
Asshole-ness averted (somewhat). 
:/

We'll see how he grades me.

[Edit] I think I should point out that I'm going to a small Christian college, which should help explain the appearance of the weird question on my test, and which totally explains my constant headache and the spiking anxiety I've been enduring for the past several weeks. [/Edit]

Views: 488

Comment by kris feenstra on February 21, 2012 at 4:00am

I doubt it's much consolation, but being perceived as an asshole and actually being one can often be two entirely different things.  For instance, the test question you mentioned is entirely inappropriate for a biology class.  I'd wager, if you approached your professor about the question, you would be held as being in the wrong, but in truth, you do not owe your teacher an answer; your teacher owes you an explanation for why he isn't doing his job properly (unless his job description is to fuck about with science).

That's not to say you should challenge every silly little thing.  I've never been to a Christian college or religious school of any sort, so I don't know how it is there.  It's just, sometimes you have to be willing to let people label you as the villain in order to stand by your convictions, accepting all the while the right to say you stood by your convictions may be the only reward.

My experience is that there are many people who will attack any person they feel creates tension or instability, regardless of right or wrong or common sense.  I'd wager most people have been in a scenario where a person in the group is a dick and everyone knows it.  Even so, if someone calls that individual out for being a dick, who gets the dirty looks?  Sometimes it's the dick, but often it seems to be the person calling them out.  Why?  Because suffering a prick was preferable to the tension of confrontation.

That's just my speculation though.  I think most group dynamics are fucked up beyond what I can fully wrap my head around.

Comment by Suzanne Olson-Hyde on February 21, 2012 at 4:20am

I am really curious to see the mark he gives you. Is it a xian college you attend?

How can anyone learn when there is this sort of distraction and having a free mind to absorb lessons - of always being on guard? Kris is right - people won't call out on someone who is a flip, simply because they don't want to be the one to do it. They would prefer to put up with the idiot.

Comment by Eoganacht on February 21, 2012 at 5:50pm

Like Suzanne I'm interested in how he grades you. I would have retorted the same way. Science deals with evidence and testing theories. To ask students to define science from 'un-science' would make sense to educate them what science is and how the method works. But to miracles I say that can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. For a science class you shouldn't be covering miracles at all.

Comment by Unseen on February 21, 2012 at 7:56pm

"Why is science outside the realm of miracles? Give two specific reasons."

1) Science gives understandable and verifiable or provable explanations of phenomena. Miracles require you to set your reasoning powers aside and accept dogma from some sort of authority figure or agency.

2) Science provides explanations based on evidence, and thus as more evidence comes in, it may have to revise its explanation. Since miracles can't be proven true or false (after all, God is described as a magical sorcerer), they are impervious to evidence.

Comment by Taylor Campbell on February 21, 2012 at 8:21pm

@Unseen:  Haha I should have consulted you before my test; those answers are awesome :D

Comment by Morgan Matthew on February 21, 2012 at 11:31pm

Keep us updated Taylor.

Comment by David Chandler on February 22, 2012 at 12:27am

Taylor I can completely empathize w/ you on the point about not being able to take religious people seriously anymore. I live in south texas, and there aren't many atheists around that I know of, all of my friends and family are believers with varying levels of conviction. I don't know if it's me just getting older or just getting more frustrated w/ my environment, but I am less and less tolerable to religious people, even friends, these days. I find it increasingly difficult to take their opinions seriously even on topics completely unrelated to religion, just because I feel like if they're religious, they lose credibility based on their inability to resolve that cognitive dissonance. I'm in school, and even at a public university, I find atheists are hard to come by. And forget about dating, attractive intelligent atheist? Get outta town! Oh and if my professor had put something like that on my test, I would have marched up to his desk on the spot for sure, what a ridiculous question...kudos on holding back your emotions and remaining civil.

Comment by Daniel on February 22, 2012 at 1:08am

Iron chariots are a great resource to help you organize your thoughts. http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

There should be a black list for teachers who teach garbage science.

Comment by Karen Loethen on February 22, 2012 at 3:21am

Going to a Christian college has it's costs, eh?!
I can't wait to find out the grade you got...

Those asinine world views are hard to stomach!  Once you get out of that college, one way or another, you will be so relieved to find other like-minded people who will be THRILLED to befriend a thinking woman such as yourself!

Peace.

Comment by kevin searley on February 22, 2012 at 4:53am

I get the "asshole" thing, I run away with myself sometimes, well, lots of the times! however, offending the believer is not a concern of mine. I respect all people, for being people, I dont need to respect a ridiculous and dangerous belief they harbour for the sake of being "polite". These people have shut out and closed their minds to the bloodthirsty history of their religion and still today religion is proving itself as a violent organisation which shows a remarkable lack of respect toward scientific evidence and freethought. If someone came into your home and slapped your child I'm quite sure respect and a desire not to offend said person would not be a part of your vocabulary or mindset, yet religious adults are still brainwashing their own children and others to believe in dogma and evil love, that to me is extremely offensive and simply wrong on all levels of respect and common sense and decency. If someones belief is in something that has the potential of ending the existence of humanity in the world that I live in with my family, friends and other human beings then no, I have no qualms with the knowledge that the things I "say" may offend them.

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