A need to learn
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03-03-2013, 01:15 PM
RE: A need to learn
(03-03-2013 12:50 PM)Egor Wrote:  I spent a lot of time in the Middle East. If I were you, honestly, over there, among Muslims, I'd shut up about being an atheist. They might tolerate you being Christian--even expect it. But I don't think there are any atheists in the Middle East. There are public stonings and beheadings, but not atheists.

In the Middle East you don't have free speech rights or freedom of religion. You should remember that.
It's like saying you know what Chicago is like because you've been in Texas.
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10-03-2013, 11:41 AM
RE: A need to learn
(03-03-2013 01:15 PM)ExAstra Wrote:  Exactly. UAE is completely civilized and does not do "public stonings and beheadings." When I was there, there were actually a lot of Americans and the locals do expect Christianity and respect it as a different belief system. I did not open up about my atheism, but I imagine it would have been very similar to how the US treats atheism. You do not have to attack his beliefs or religion-I actually encourage you not to. All you have to tell him is that you have a hard time believing in something that cannot be proven. He may provide "evidence" for Islam, in which case you can provide a counterargument or confess that you don't know much about that specific topic and research it on your own time. Good luck! UAE is beautiful!!!
(03-03-2013 12:50 PM)Egor Wrote:  I spent a lot of time in the Middle East. If I were you, honestly, over there, among Muslims, I'd shut up about being an atheist. They might tolerate you being Christian--even expect it. But I don't think there are any atheists in the Middle East. There are public stonings and beheadings, but not atheists.

In the Middle East you don't have free speech rights or freedom of religion. You should remember that.
It's like saying you know what Chicago is like because you've been in Texas.

~Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.~
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10-03-2013, 05:50 PM
RE: A need to learn
Most of us atheists aren't unbelievers because of the holes in Christianity or Islam. If this were the case, we'd have to research every single religion on the planet and find what's wrong with them before coming to a conclusion that there probably isn't a god.

We're skeptical. We want evidence before we believe in something. If that evidence is weak (so that it can be explained better with other theories) then it doesn't convince us.

But still, when we come across believers in various religions, telling them that we're skeptical usually doesn't convince them. They want to know why we're skeptical "despite all the evidence they have". So I would recommend study -- the Skeptic's Annotated Bible and Qur'an are a good place to do it. Without studying, you'll probably do more harm than good by debating someone who knows the material better than you do. Some of us are lucky to be former theists; I, for example, know the bible really well because I used to be a Christian and wasn't so bored at the time with reading through the bible several times.

It would also help to learn how to think rationally so you can spot irrational behavior and irrational arguments. Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) is by far the best book I have ever read on rational thinking.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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