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Old 12-07-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,534 posts, read 2,452,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
I've kinda wondered for a while if Atheism hasn't taken a stronger hold on America because we (atheists) find the fight to convinxe Christians such a waste of breath we essentially "give up". I'm not saying go all Crusades but I find after about 5 mins and 500 bible verses later I just walk away and say screw it. I wonder if more anti-religion rallies were held people would be more open and maybe more curious about it. Or maybe I'm wrong lol and dunno what I'm talking about! Do you find yourself in the "screw it not wasting my breath" category or do debate to the death?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrose View Post
To me leaving religion is like quitting smoking. I have done both, and can tell you it is impossible for anyone to force you to quit either of them.
Now that's the truth jjrose, well said. As a Christian there was absolutely no way anyone, especially some heathen atheist, was going to talk me out of believing. It is positively pointless to debate with Christians, as witnessed here and in the Christianity sub-forum.

I think it has to come from within the person, to accept reality and start questioning and stop clinging to something that has no proof whatsoever. It was one of the hardest things I ever did and I still struggle but it was my own decision to change the way I think, no outside influences could have ever made any difference. It's a real battle of the mind, that's for sure.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,097,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
... it was my own decision to change the way I think, no outside influences could have ever made any difference. It's a real battle of the mind, that's for sure.
I don't think outside influences by themselves usually make any difference, but they can be very helpful when the mind opens even a little, even enough to have an even remotely honest struggle with doubt. The mind is opened generally by the individual sensing the cognitive dissonance that comes from the logical fallacies upon which faith is built, and from life circumstances that drive home the fact that reality works differently from how religion posits that it works. All this is constantly edging the person toward the point when the pain of changing one's thinking becomes less than the pain of not changing. But as the tipping point is approached, and passed, then is when hopefully people come to forums like this and benefit from the positive reinforcement and validation of others who have made the same very personal journey.

So I don't debate with rabidly conservative theists under the illusion that I am going to change their mind right here and now. I plant seeds, and probably far more in the minds of lurkers over time than in the mind of the person I'm actually responding to.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:19 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,306 posts, read 19,585,657 times
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It is neither my place nor my interest to "deconvert" anybody. I am very much live and let live. Who am I to tell anyone what they should believe in?

However, if someone asks me about my religious beliefs then I explain it to them accordingly. They can take it or leave it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:29 AM
 
39,211 posts, read 10,895,806 times
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I was watching Austin atheists on Yu - tube last night (1) and the principle of convergent conclusions became evident. They too have realized that the value of one to one discussions is not to convince the other person, but to make the cases to the readers and watchers.

The only person who can change their mind is themselves. But dealing with a lot of the questions when the doubts are finally listened to can make the process of deconversion a lot easier. On the other hand, it can prevent a potential convert being bamboozled by crafty and false apologetics. Which is pretty much what it all is.

If they do convert, it will be for the one reason that atheism can't help with - personal preference.

(1) three pillars of apologetics
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,097,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
It is neither my place nor my interest to "deconvert" anybody. I am very much live and let live. Who am I to tell anyone what they should believe in?

However, if someone asks me about my religious beliefs then I explain it to them accordingly. They can take it or leave it.
Exactly my position. I am not out to deconvert anyone, simply to put my thoughts and experiences as a deconvert out there for anyone who cares to read them and finds benefit from that information. But what anyone (dis)believes for themselves, is their business and no one else's. I don't really mind if someone remains or becomes a believer in god based on their personal response to my input, frankly. I don't see the world as a place that would become better if everyone were unbelievers; I see it as a place that would become better if everyone were freely choosing their beliefs, whatever they were.

That I happen to believe, as a practical matter, that most would choose unbelief if they were really free to, matters not at all. I could be wrong about that; after all, our preferences are driven by emotion, subjective impressions, and a lot of things besides rational thought, and I can't say that natural selection necessarily favors rational choice, especially in any way that would change the zeitgeist of humanity in the course of a few generations. Maybe there would be unintended consequences to an overly rapid wholesale shift in society towards unbelief. How would I know? We are beings who are (hopefully) trying to be rational in the midst of an irrational condition known as "life".

I can only speak to the fact that unbelief has been a huge net positive for me personally, and it seems reasonable that it would be a huge net positive for a lot of other people as well, many of whom are probably kept from freedom of thought by social pressure and fear of retribution (divine and otherwise).
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Here
1,694 posts, read 1,496,543 times
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The trouble is; other people's beliefs can have a negative effect on society, i.e., the place where I live. So when someone says something like "the gay lifestyle goes against the wishes of God", I do not call the person names or talk about a gay person's civil rights, etc. I do not address anything other than the person's religious beliefs and the lack of both evidence, and logic behind those beliefs. After all, the source of the bigotry is those beliefs. However, technically I am not trying to make the person into an atheist.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:05 PM
 
4,172 posts, read 5,995,763 times
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OP: Most religions have elaborate practices to 'catch them young' and brainwash kids before they can grow up and think for themselves. This, along with the fact atheists don't bother to 'convert' others, are the reasons our populations are lower.

However, as the world prospers and becomes slowly better educated, things will shift towards less blind faith.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalileoSmith View Post
The trouble is; other people's beliefs can have a negative effect on society, i.e., the place where I live. So when someone says something like "the gay lifestyle goes against the wishes of God", I do not call the person names or talk about a gay person's civil rights, etc. I do not address anything other than the person's religious beliefs and the lack of both evidence, and logic behind those beliefs. After all, the source of the bigotry is those beliefs. However, technically I am not trying to make the person into an atheist.
Quite so. Though I think you would quickly run up up against the brick wall of Inspired interpretation - that is, the way the bigot reads the Bible is the 'right' way, no matter what arguments you might put forwards. However, I have to applaud your efforts.

For myself, I cannot wait for an atheist world. I just have to give my full support to the still secular - based legal and legislative system which tries to judge justly in passing laws and then enforces them, no matter what the Bible might say about it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
3,020 posts, read 2,700,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian658 View Post
Atheism will continue to grow popularity when atheists become a bit more relaxed and do not put down other religious folks. Some atheists already do that by celebrating the traditional holidays in a secular manner.

Atheism will grow when folks become more intelligent or better educated, but at the same time remain respectful. And do not forget that you will still find highly educated smart evangelicals that simply create compartments between science and religion.

Norway is mostly an Atheist country and yet they have a state sponsored Lutheran Church. It seems Euro Atheists are tolerant and therefore their views are popular. Lastly they are not threatened by "Merry Christmas".
You nailed it with this one. I've noticed a difference between Canada and the US as well. My wife worked in large department store in the States, and they were not allowed to play Christian Christmas carols this time of year. Coming from Canada, I had never heard of such a silly thing before because most non-Christians are offended by Silent Night.

I think the difference is that here in Canada, we have a "multicultural" society, which means we celebrate everyone's culture whether it is Christian or not. In the states, they have "melting pot", which means that everyone blends together into one culture. This is an impossibility in a country of immigrants because you will always find someone who "gets offended" over the silliest aspects of this culture like saying "Merry Christmas", and since there is a cultural “melting pot” such silliness is taken seriously to the point of pi$$ing people off.

And guess what happened when people get pi$$ed off? They fight back at the groups/people whom they perceive to be behind the pot stirring. Atheists are thought to be the pot stirrers in this respect, but I think that most of the people holding the spoon are ultra sensitive Christians who don’t want to offend non-Christians who might be offended by a Christian-centric melting pot (even though non-Christians as shown in Canada and Europe weren’t offended until they were the butt end of the backlash).
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Here
1,694 posts, read 1,496,543 times
Reputation: 1332
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Quite so. Though I think you would quickly run up up against the brick wall of Inspired interpretation - that is, the way the bigot reads the Bible is the 'right' way, no matter what arguments you might put forwards. However, I have to applaud your efforts.

For myself, I cannot wait for an atheist world. I just have to give my full support to the still secular - based legal and legislative system which tries to judge justly in passing laws and then enforces them, no matter what the Bible might say about it.
I think if you can shine a light on some irrational, illogical concepts that are in all religions, a seed of doubt can be planted, a seed that might grow. Such a seed made me an atheist. But you are right; I am not about to spend a lot of time arguing with a person who will dismiss analytical thinking in favor of mythology.
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