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Should We Be "spreading The Gospel?"


kclark
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Not sure if this has been posted in the forums before (most likely) but I ran across this post over at Godless and Black and thought it was an interesting question. A quote from the post:

 

"How do we expect to change the world if we are not on the front lines? How do we expect to free ourselves from the ignorance, immorality, and oppression of organized religion, if we are not willing to be soldiers of reason just as believers rejoice in martyring themselves as soldiers for their deities? They are out there, every day, knocking on doors, handing out their propaganda on street corners, filling the airwaves everyday with their dogma and rhetoric, spreading their delusion. How the hell do we expect to combat this if we are not at least as aggressive with our counter-message? And if we are not willing to take it to such extremes, why bother writing blogs like this one? Why bother writing our books and creating our little organizations and websites?"

 

 

Here's the link:

 

http://godlessandblack.blogspot.com/2013/05/proselytizing-atheism.html?showComment=1369185317120#c4352651821330596473

 

 

Your thoughts?

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I would never try to be as obnoxious as they are. I couldn't knock on doors and hand out tracts. We don't need to "preach" our position; people must find their own way out of religion as they investigate their own doubts and unanswered questions. Confronting them pushes them away and makes them feel justified.

 

What we should do, must do, is stop hiding in the shadows. I never even knew I already had atheist friends until I made my position known. Those on the verge of leaving religion are understandably afraid of what turning their back on religion would mean. They feel as if they are the only one who has doubts. They certainly are not, but they don't know they're not alone if the rest of us remain invisible. 

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Ha, if anything I've learnt from all this it's the value of not foisting your views on other people. I was raised to think a certain way, I wish I'd been raised with space to make my own mind up!

If I ever have children I'll do my bit by bringing them up to believe whatever they want to, and if religious people seek my views I will state them, but I won't be part of any crusades or trying to control what people think.

And in the end it wasn't the pestering of atheists that made me turn from religion, it was my own experience of it, it's like addiction, people can tell you you have a problem all they like but nothing's going to change until you tell yourself it.

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Door to door salesmanship for atheism? Because that works so well for the christians? I don't think that's effective, polite, or likely to gain sympathy.

 

On the other hand, being honest and open about your beliefs is a good thing. You don't have to demand that everyone else be just like you in order to demand that your views get equal respect. Do call people out on specific factual errors that they cling to because of their religion. Do get involved with politics at the local levels, such as trying to get non-creationists on the school board who will ensure that kids learn real science.

 

I'm quite happy to be around believers (christians, druids, whatever) who respect my views, don't try to convert me, and understand the difference between their personal beliefs and objective reality. I like that people come in variety, as long as they do no harm. I might even be willing to go door-to-door if there was a specific harmful thing triggered by religion that I could do something about (usually that ends up being political stuff, and signing petitions). But as long as other people don't try to convert me, I'm not going to try to convert them. It's fun to discuss how our different experiences lead us to different conclusions, and it's important to do so to dispell myths about each other, but I'm not going to try to tell them what to believe.

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Personally I don't really care what others believe as long as it doesn't affect me. Most people I work with aren't Christians, and I don't run into evangelicals that often. So I'm quite happy to leave evangelicals alone as long as they don't try to convert me or my family. To me, evangelical Christianity is harmful, immoral, and bad for society, and should simply be avoided. But I don't feel I need to go out preaching on why people shouldn't do something that (to me) is very obviously harmful. Also, I think you'd have a hard time getting ex-Christians to preach when many of us left Jesus due to his requirement that we preach.

 

And finally, I'm not an atheist, so I'm not really interested in preaching atheism or being otherwise forced to adhere to a belief that I don't personally hold. I spent enough time doing that when I was a Christian.

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Proselytizing atheism, in my opinion, is just as bad as proselytizing with any religion, regardless of what it is, specifically the religions that are poison. To proselytize would make anyone that is thinking about rejecting a religion believe that atheists are just like those religious people who try to tell people what to believe.

 

Being honest about what we believe or don't believe is a good thing, but there is no reason to go around telling everyone what it is that we believe or don't believe. I've tried telling people that their god beliefs were wrong and lacked evidence before, sometime before joining ex-C, and I know that trying to do that was stupid, pointless, and made me appear to be trolling.

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I'm not going to go preaching door-to-door, I don't like people bothering me so why would I bother them? That and I crossed door-to-door saleswoman off my career list after my time in the Scouts.

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Should we spread the word? Yes and No.

 

We should definitely NOT be out trying to change people just for the sake of it. People are entitled to believe anything they want. The problem comes when they try to force their views on those of us who disagree.

 

And that brings me to the "Yes" part of the answer. We should by all means resist any effort by others to force religion upon us by means of laws or heavy social pressure. The goal is not so much as to change their beliefs or faith, but to have them understand that we are just as entitled to our beliefs (or lack of faith) as they are to theirs.

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Atheists are already winning.

 

Full stop.

 

All we need to do is provide the information and support that people need when they realize that religion is false.  I don't approve of atheist putting up billboards for the simple reason that it is a waste of money.  Religion is the side that has to make excuses for why it doesn't work.  They simply can't sustain themselves in the Age of the Internet.

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I would never try to be as obnoxious as they are. I couldn't knock on doors and hand out tracts. We don't need to "preach" our position; people must find their own way out of religion as they investigate their own doubts and unanswered questions. Confronting them pushes them away and makes them feel justified.

 

What we should do, must do, is stop hiding in the shadows. I never even knew I already had atheist friends until I made my position known. Those on the verge of leaving religion are understandably afraid of what turning their back on religion would mean. They feel as if they are the only one who has doubts. They certainly are not, but they don't know they're not alone if the rest of us remain invisible. 

 

I agree with this. Nothing makes a Christian cum faster than confronting them and stroking their persecution complex, so going door to door and "preaching" is going to backfire really badly. 

 

It's easier for us to advance on our position by being visible, refusing to play into baiting by Christians (when talking to them in person), and speaking up on forums. The internet is probably our best vehicle for this. 

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I agree with all the replies so far, particularly boftx's. Stand up to people who try to force their views on others, don't lie about what you believe unless you have to, and be prepared to provide answers for people when they leave on their own time.

 

And if you must evangelize something, I'd be far more interested in spreading rationality and skepticism than atheism. Let's look for ways to encourage people to think critically about their beliefs on religion, science, politics and anything else instead of just telling them why they should accept a certain concept.

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Not sure if this has been posted in the forums before (most likely) but I ran across this post over at Godless and Black and thought it was an interesting question. A quote from the post:

 

"How do we expect to change the world if we are not on the front lines? How do we expect to free ourselves from the ignorance, immorality, and oppression of organized religion, if we are not willing to be soldiers of reason just as believers rejoice in martyring themselves as soldiers for their deities? They are out there, every day, knocking on doors, handing out their propaganda on street corners, filling the airwaves everyday with their dogma and rhetoric, spreading their delusion. How the hell do we expect to combat this if we are not at least as aggressive with our counter-message? And if we are not willing to take it to such extremes, why bother writing blogs like this one? Why bother writing our books and creating our little organizations and websites?"

 

 

Here's the link:

 

http://godlessandblack.blogspot.com/2013/05/proselytizing-atheism.html?showComment=1369185317120#c4352651821330596473

 

 

Your thoughts?

 

I dont' think I'd like anyone knocking on my door trying to sell me anything.

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 I started a new job a few months ago and we had a team building exercise amongst our group. Part of the exercise was to share something about yourself that others wouldn't know apart from your appearance. Most of the group decided to share their religion. The religion was predominantly Christianity, of various denominations, with a few Mormons, sprinkled throughout. I followed suit and declared I was an atheist. A few of them responded negatively. Many of them, however, reacted with curiosity.  I wasn't an asshole or an "angry atheist" just jovial and honest. That made more of an impression that day than billboards, door knocking, or advertisements. Small day to day things accomplish more. 

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You can't win by becoming what you hate, even for what you think is a good cause.

 

To me, it's largely a matter of prioritizing what the most important outcome is while refusing to engage in disgusting behavior in order to win. Sometimes the lines drawn are arbitrary, but I don't take an absolutist approach. Important outcomes to me are upholding political freedoms - not allowing political discrimination against atheists, not allowing religion to be forced on children in public schools, etc. - as well as speaking out against and stopping the worst abuses. I am willing to work with non-Fundamentalist Christians who genuinely believe in the separation of church and state or who are vehemently working to disallow institutionalized child abuse, for example. I am not going to quibble that a Christian family that teaches that there's a god is inherently abusive if they aren't terrorizing their children with hell stories, completely isolating their children, refusing medical treatment, and are allowing their children to hear about other views. I think it's important to be available with support and information for deconverts and ex-Christians, but that the real front line isn't door to door talking nominal Christians out of Christianity, but in working to create a political and social environment where atheism or non-religion can be freely expressed and religious abuse is unacceptable.

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I plan on keeping my very different thoughts to myself. This is my freedom. I'm not ready to get killed yet for my new non- belief system.

 

I feel if we all just individually stand up for what we believe, I feel eventually the world will just naturally evolve. I suspect in 200 years, organized religion might be a thing of the past. I don't care.. I won't be here anyway.........

 

Unless I choose to come back!!!!!! Wendytwitch.gif yellow.gif

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