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Treading Lightly With Truth


philo
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In all the years that I've posted on forums, there has only been a handful of times when someone responds to what I post as though they wanted to rip my head off. I think for the most part, people are civil and try to get their points across without offending anyone. Or if they feel they are going to offend someone, they tread lightly to make their point.

 

It may just be me, but it seems like we are most worried about offending Christians, or people who base their beliefs about life from a religious perspective. I'm wondering, for those of us who do this, whether we try not to offend because of the social taboos of offending a religion, or whether we think we need to tread lightly because we are talking to Christians. To my knowledge I'm not aware of any social taboos that prevent people from "bashing" non-believers. And believers are not conditioned to think that they might hurt the feelings of non-believers. It's kindof their job. . . Know what I mean?

 

I'm an atheist and an active atheist. Like a lot of folks I participate in forums to make "my case" about the dangers of religion. I know all the propaganda surrounding atheists that religions teach people, so I know that most believers read what I type with caution, if not contempt. So, to avoid the taboos and in trying to present myself as a nice guy, I tread lightly. I've even been mistaken for a Christian apologist. I personally think that Christians are normal, emotionally strong, and capable people. So, I don't really tread lightly because I think I am talking with a Christian. I don't think Christians weak, as if their faith will crumble if I dare say something that contradicts what they believe.

 

There are good reasons to be civil, but sometimes we can discard the taboos and the idea that by making our point, we are running into the danger of hurting someone's feelings. "G_d forbid," we actually make our case and change someone's life for the better. In the end, Christians believe they offer the truth. It's imperative for them to "preach the gospel." Likewise, for us agnostics, atheists, and the like, we have a truth to share as well.

 

Amen?

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I tend to "tread lightly" or skirt an issue or whatnot because I'm afraid of getting ass-reamed if I'm more blunt or rude. Not because I particularly respect a Xian position, especially if it's stupid.

 

I don't know why I worry about that. It's lame, I don't like it, and I need to get over it.

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I've learned sometimes I have to use sharp words to make a point, since the mind of the person to whom I'm speaking is quite dull. :P

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Well, I don't soft-peddle anything to the christians. But neither do I resort to vulgar language (much)...not for their benefit, or even because I respect their beliefs. I don't. I try to keep the language dignified because that's my standard. And I believe this site should be a high class, dignified place. That's not treading lightly, that's just maintaining decorum.

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It really depends on the conversation. Sometimes I think I'm rather nice and other times I'm not so nice. It's not because of any "taboo" though. Why would it be? I was xian and now I'm not. Those things that once were taboo to me now are not and I don't feel that it helps my case by treating those topics as taboo.

 

I recently realized, while watching television, that xianity's "god" gets to be called "god" while every other "god" is called by name. So now I call their god by his name and his kid is son of YHWH not son of "god." To me that is breaking a taboo. It is putting their god back in it's rightful place. Just one of many gods...not God but a god and its name is YHWH. It's my strange way of taking back the word God for everyone and not letting xians control it. This is my way of being "nice" in a conversation. :)

 

However, if need be, I'll just cuss the other person and tell them their beliefs are stupid. Why shouldn't I? I know we're told not to but we do it with other things in life. If someone was to build a car out of cheese that they said would run on love you would call that person an idiot (or worse). Usually we can figure out how to live with these people. The person and his car belief really causes me no harm so what do I care what he thinks? That's why we normally just smile and say nothing to this person. But if he comes here and wants to debate his idea then I'm going to tell him he's an idiot if he's going to persue the point unless he produces the car. So far we've had many claimants but no cars.

 

mwc

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:wave:Hey Philo!

It may just be me, but it seems like we are most worried about offending Christians, or people who base their beliefs about life from a religious perspective.

:lmao: With all due respect Philo, and I do respect you... I can tell you haven't been around long. OMG, Christians do get it! And that's not counting their personal email either! There are some people on this site that have no patience for irrational thinking, and many more that do not like the 'holier than the rest of us' attitude.

I personally think that Christians are normal, emotionally strong, and capable people. So, I don't really tread lightly because I think I am talking with a Christian. I don't think Christians weak, as if their faith will crumble if I dare say something that contradicts what they believe.

I came on here as a liberal Christian, although I've learned the Christian label is not accurate for my beliefs. I have learned a lot more since I've been here, however, I think most Fundamentalist Christians are quite fragile. Their beliefs can not take the weight of all the evidence that contradicts the very core of what they have built their whole life. They have molded their life to what the preacher and their fundy family has said, and to instantly confront them with science is too horrifying... plus, our mind plays tricks on us to incorporate what people here are saying into our prior beliefs. Such as God just put all those dinosaur bones and carbon dating to 200 million years ago to test our faith. :rolleyes: I almost think that fundamental Christianity is a mental disorder.

 

Having said that, I too thought, when I first read here and verified about all the mythology from prior to Jesus, that has been incorporated into the Biblical stories... that they even knew about the coming of Jesus in all those Pagan stories and such! Finally, after some time, I realized that those Pagans were not incorporating the coming of Jesus, but the other way around! :Doh:

 

There are good reasons to be civil, but sometimes we can discard the taboos and the idea that by making our point, we are running into the danger of hurting someone's feelings. "G_d forbid," we actually make our case and change someone's life for the better. In the end, Christians believe they offer the truth. It's imperative for them to "preach the gospel." Likewise, for us agnostics, atheists, and the like, we have a truth to share as well.

 

Amen?

Amen? Did you know that Amen is an Egyptian god? Anyway, I think it is good to be civil, yes, and maybe be gentle. You're right, if anyone can help someone else see reason, this is a good thing. I'm glad there were some patient people with me, not that I didn't get a lot of :vent: in the beginning! This site seems to project an open atmosphere not found anywhere else, one that contributes to the critical analysis of just how each one of us thinks, which makes it unusually ideal, IMO.

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I'm civil, because usually when I debate a christian, they are the ones that get all pissy and disrepectful, and start calling names and whatnot. Then I point that out to them and they really get pissed off, often using that as an excuse to bow out without conceding defeat.

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If they bite me...I will bite back.
Já, and me too. Or at least I take a large, sarcastic chunk out of their argument. Avoiding ad hominem attacks whenever possible, but no qualms whatsoever about making julienne fries out of a particularly silly premise.

 

In particular, the moment someone plays the "you were born a sinner" card I figure they're fair game for a smackdown.

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Dhampir: I'm civil, because usually when I debate a christian, they are the ones that get all pissy and disrepectful, and start calling names and whatnot.

 

Last night, as I lay my head down to sleep, I thought of another reason I tread lightly. I find it very difficult to keep many Christians engaged. Once the topics or posting start going deep, Christians tend to disappear from the conversation. Not all, but it's been my experience, so maybe we choose our words to keep the conversation going. . .

 

Amanda: With all due respect Philo, and I do respect you... I can tell you haven't been around long. OMG,

 

No one likes to be patronized, and my guess is neither do Christians. SO, I feel somewhat obligated to not hemhaw around and not tread lightly most of the time. But seriously, I do respect Christians. I think one of Christianity's faults as that it teaches people to be followers. A part of my respect goes into my belief that Christians do not need to go through life following others. They have the potential to investigate God or spirituality on their own terms. Know what I mean?

 

I will cease from useing the expressing AMEN. Sure don't want to praise some ancient god. . .

 

mwc: I recently realized, while watching television, that xianity's "god" gets to be called "god" while every other "god" is called by name.

 

Interesting point. I wonder how many versions of god have been invented?

 

Seems like as time goes on, and I spend more time debating Christianity and its god, I lose patience. BUt maybe its because the same arguements keep getting rehashed over and over again.

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Last night, as I lay my head down to sleep, I thought of another reason I tread lightly. I find it very difficult to keep many Christians engaged. Once the topics or posting start going deep, Christians tend to disappear from the conversation. Not all, but it's been my experience, so maybe we choose our words to keep the conversation going. . .

That's another reason I do it. That and I like to concede points that really aren't going to hurt my argument to concede, making them think they can defeat my arguments.

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Last night, as I lay my head down to sleep, I thought of another reason I tread lightly. I find it very difficult to keep many Christians engaged. Once the topics or posting start going deep, Christians tend to disappear from the conversation. Not all, but it's been my experience, so maybe we choose our words to keep the conversation going. . .

That's another reason I do it. That and I like to concede points that really aren't going to hurt my argument to concede, making them think they can defeat my arguments.

 

That's funny! :lmao:

 

I'm guessing Christians do likewise.

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I'm wondering, for those of us who do this, whether we try not to offend because of the social taboos of offending a religion, or whether we think we need to tread lightly because we are talking to Christians.

 

Dawkins (in The God Delusion) talks about this undue respect for another person's religion, and how it is the only arena where you have to sugar-coat your language and tread lightly so as not to offend.

 

That's one of the things I like about this site. Someone comes on here spouting something assinine, they just get slammed in the dirt. This is one of the few places where religionists are fair game. We kick around concepts here, and no one thing holds superiority on anything else. There is no acknowledgment here of any authoritative pastor, theologians, or deity big-brother backing anyone up.

 

Everyone is on their own here. Free to spout anything they wish. But they are on their own. The way it ought to be in real life.

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I don't debate religion on forums that aren't mainly setup for religious debate, and I don't go to religious forums because usually, anyone who challenges religious types on their own turf ends up getting banned eventually because they don't want to hear any opposing viewpoints.

 

Actually, I don't even debate here that much anymore. I just don't have as much desire for it anymore. But if I do debate here, I don't hold back. I'm tired of having to hold back in real life. This is the one place where I can speak my mind.

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