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Does Atheism Lack An Impetus For Proselytizing?


Positivist
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I didn't say atheism is a religion. I said telling

people what to think (or not believe, whatever) is

a dick move. And it is.

 

So I should just stand by and watch when other people are being told what to think? Sure the pastors are being dicks but if I were to try and

help that would make me a dick too? I just

have to watch my kids become Christian

zombies and then years later they can come to

ex-C or some other support group and complain

about all the baggage Christianity mind fucked

into them.

 

I'm not persecuting Christians. I'm just demonstrating why their lies are not true.

 

Helping the miserable leave is one thing, but the ASSUMPTION that they will be atheists, and the move to make them atheists, makes you no better than the pastors. It really doesn't, no

matter how awful christianity is.

 

There are more ways to think than christian OR atheist, and you should fucking know this. Evangelizing atheism is making the EXACT SAME MISTAKE as christians.

 

Fine, share how christianity is awful to you, I've done the same. But don't say "you shouldn't believe x, you shouldn't believe in anything ever, JUST LIKE ME." That's the asshole move.

Anyone should know this.

 

Atheists don't tell people to turn or burn.

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No one here has the end-all cosmic truth, and if you think you do, I pity you.

 

To be sure. I think for me as a former fundamentalist, I may always need to be aware of my inherent bent towards (even atheist) fundamentalism--I simply am a black and white thinker. My husband just laughs at me and calls me a fundy ("Once a fundy, always a fundy"). Everyday, I have to consciously tell myself to find and appreciate the gray. Sometimes I even succeed.

What ideas do you yourself hold in a "dogmatic" or unshakeably certain way?

Empiricism. End of story. (See? That's my black and white thinking at work!) Wendyloser.gif

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Thank you everyone for the amazing thought-provoking posts. I was never much of an evangelist, so I doubt I'll start my own atheist 'ministry' GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif . To recap what I have understood from the collective wisdom here:

  1. It's important to be supportive to people who are transitioning out of or who have been hurt by religion.
  2. It's important to present logic, questions, and evidence, perhaps with gentleness ("speak the truth in love," as we used to say tongue.png ), where appropriate to trigger rational thought, particularly if you are concerned the individual in question will be taken advantage of. (For example, "Are you sure it's wise to send all that money to Joyce Meyers, mom?")
  3. It's important to remember that none of us has the cornerstone on truth. We operate on a little knowledge (however that is defined), many assumptions and best guesses. Lording our new found epistemology/ontology/futurology/worldview over others reduces us to arrogant bastards.
  4. It's important to 'get zen' with worldview pluralism and to instead of being fixated on who is right, focus on: having a good life, living according to your code of ethics/morals, and making the world a better place.

(Caveat: If you have kids, the gloves are off and the challenge is quite different, to be sure! Maybe we should start a thread on that. I can't imagine how tough that would be!)

 

Thanks all!

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Atheists don't tell people to turn or burn.

 

No, the militant ones just call theists stupid for not having THE TRUTH. Still dickheads.

 

Atheists are often bitter ex-Xians who want revenge. It doesn't excuse (the occasional) jerkish-ness, but at least it makes a little sense.

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No one here has the end-all cosmic truth, and if you think you do, I pity you.

 

To be sure. I think for me as a former fundamentalist, I may always need to be aware of my inherent bent towards (even atheist) fundamentalism--I simply am a black and white thinker. My husband just laughs at me and calls me a fundy ("Once a fundy, always a fundy"). Everyday, I have to consciously tell myself to find and appreciate the gray. Sometimes I even succeed.

What ideas do you yourself hold in a "dogmatic" or unshakeably certain way?

Empiricism. End of story. (See? That's my black and white thinking at work!) Wendyloser.gif

 

Reality: A koan for Positivist

 

Country_Gray_White.jpg

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Reality: A koan for Positivist

 

Love it, Stryper! I admit, I had to Google "koan":

 

A kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen-practice to provoke the "great doubt", and test a student's progress in Zen practice.--Wikipedia

 

Clearly, I am at the beginning of this journey and I have a steep learning curve. I am unfailingly incredulous at my ignorance.

 

Meh, I'll drink to your koan and toast the grey! beer.gif

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Proselytizing atheism means one thing in my mind - OMG YOU MUST BE AN ATHEIST NAO. And that pisses me off. And it's wrong. Anyone should know that.

 

TYPING IN CAPS IS SHOUTING. Lunatic by name? :)

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Because I woke up still thinking about this topic...

 

I think for me and many of us fundies, we were entrenched in believing we had The TruthTM, because our faith is simply set up for a single, knowable TruthTM (as in the Bible) in exclusion of all others. We bolstered this notion with what we then accepted as evidence (the Bible taken at its word, etc.). Add to this the feeling of knowing, or the feeling of CertaintyTM.

 

I swear to my dog that these two things--a past record of the feeling of being right, and the type of evidence I accepted (the Bible, the God BuzzTM, various apologetics)--wired my brain for fundamentalist, black-and-white thinking patterns regardless of the belief itself. So, as an atheist, I have the feeling of certainty (that I am 'right' about my new-found beliefs). The type of evidence has changed--I accept naturalistic and empirical conclusions instead of feelings, crappy analogies to explain away obvious contradictions, and shoddy apologetics. So, now the challenge is to embrace the grey and not think of myself as having special knowledge that surpasses that of my peers, regardless of whether or not they hold religious beliefs.

 

Gawd, it's hard. Once a fundy, always a fundy.....

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Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean they automatically turn into a 100% materialist Richard Dawkins clone. You can be strictly atheistic towards Biblegod/Christianity and be agnostic towards the existence of a god (that could legitimately be considered a god, with all the power it implies) in general. You can be an atheist and still be spiritual... I think an atheist/agnostic approach to spirituality could be trying to learn more about it (NOT automatically trying to debunk it) in a hope to understand it rather than just slavishly worshiping something.

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My attitude's always been scrupulously neutral, out of an issue with prostheletyzing, of any stripe. However, if anybody tries to convert me, then I figure it's only fair to offer a stiff challenge in return... and my side's better supported by the evidence. Besides, the ones that are ready to see another perspective seem(?) to deconvert themselves, anyway, with exposure to more information. Shocked a lady at work the other day, when I was looking up weird animals, and she glimpsed a clip of a hoatzin chick. She demanded to know the name of the bird, so she could show her husband at home. Seemed fixated on it. While some other birds, such as ostriches do have claws on their wings, the baby hoatzin is the most famous for it, since it's so obvious, and they use them to climb trees. So, I could spend hours preaching to the wrong kind of converted, and win their animosity, or I could let a

do the talking to the fundies for me. I've found that being really nice and unobtrusive really scares people when they discover you're an atheist anyway, and you just can't argue yourself into that kind of shock value for maximum cognitive dissonance, anyway. Somewhat of a stealth approach, I suppose.
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Pos. I find your statement interesting. I definitely think in shades of grey when it comes to people and intentions. Good vs evil. Etc...

 

However, since deconverting I've become MORE strict on my view of truth. I don't view anything spiritual or emotional as a "truth". To me the only truth is fact. And facts are measurable. Anything else is a personal opinion of sorts. Like a taste for certain flavors of ice cream... certain rituals comfort people and that is all.

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Pos. I find your statement interesting. I definitely think in shades of grey when it comes to people and intentions. Good vs evil. Etc...

 

However, since deconverting I've become MORE strict on my view of truth. I don't view anything spiritual or emotional as a "truth". To me the only truth is fact. And facts are measurable. Anything else is a personal opinion of sorts. Like a taste for certain flavors of ice cream... certain rituals comfort people and that is all.

I know! I'm 100% naturalist because I guess it's like that saying, "Once bitten, twice shy". We've been burned by Xianity and so retreat into a corner and lick our wounds and re-strategize, a little more wary than before.

 

I'm trying to see the naturalist perspective as my "black and white" or my "bottom line", and the rest of the stuff (spiritual, emotional, etc.) is just all in my grey zone. I do find that by having a grey buffer that I have more tolerance, since certainly, we all experience the naturalist/black-and-white differently and all have different degrees of affinity for/experience with grey matters.

 

Thanks for probing me to think further, everyone! It's hard to change one's thinking pattern.smile.png

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I've found that being really nice and unobtrusive really scares people when they discover you're an atheist anyway, and you just can't argue yourself into that kind of shock value for maximum cognitive dissonance, anyway. Somewhat of a stealth approach, I suppose.

This has been my experience also. We are more dangerous to them as friends than we are as enemies. wicked.gif

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