As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
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14-02-2014, 04:39 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I'm in Highschool and in sophomore year, I had plenty of encounters with atheists and agnostics. At the time I was deeply religious, and I remember sitting at a table with a bunch of my friends. We were talking about some things and eventually it led towards religion. They were mocking religion and so I spoke up trying to defend my point of view. I would say things like, "Do you think you came from nothing", "How do you explain this and that", "What is the point of being moral when at the end of the day, you go nowhere." Sometimes, I look back on the things I said and just shake my head in embarrassment that I ever believed such things.

Last year in March, I officially became an atheist and told those same friends that I was sorry I foolishly thought atheists couldn't have morality. In fact, atheists not only have morality, they have a stronger, more genuine system of morality. Now, atheism is not a creed nor Philosophy, but when you expel this authority-appeasing mentality that gives your life meaning, that in itself is sufficient enough for you to become a more considerate morally capable human being. So yes, as a believer I did have my arguments with atheists, and I'm glad that encounter sparked the ignition of my suppressed critical thinking to lead me towards atheism Smile

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14-02-2014, 05:09 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 03:13 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  I can't say I ever debated atheists while I was a believer. The ones I encountered were so dismissive of faith that I never took their positions as "arguments." I felt they misunderstood the Bible and I felt bad for them. I tried to answer their questions, and I never considered our conversations to be two-way streets. I was trying to convince them I was right, and I failed. It never occurred to me that they were trying to convince me they were right. As such, I was never tempted to accept their point of view.

I believe that in order to have a good debate, you have to acknowledge a certain common ground. I could debate other Christians, because we shared the common ground of our faith. We may have differed over the particulars. We could debate the subject of whether Jesus was God because we both accepted the Bible as the authority on the subject. I didn't have a common ground with atheists (or so I thought), so I could not debate them.
Sounds like something a gorilla would do.
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14-02-2014, 05:42 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 05:09 PM)donotwant Wrote:  
(14-02-2014 03:13 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  I can't say I ever debated atheists while I was a believer. The ones I encountered were so dismissive of faith that I never took their positions as "arguments." I felt they misunderstood the Bible and I felt bad for them. I tried to answer their questions, and I never considered our conversations to be two-way streets. I was trying to convince them I was right, and I failed. It never occurred to me that they were trying to convince me they were right. As such, I was never tempted to accept their point of view.

I believe that in order to have a good debate, you have to acknowledge a certain common ground. I could debate other Christians, because we shared the common ground of our faith. We may have differed over the particulars. We could debate the subject of whether Jesus was God because we both accepted the Bible as the authority on the subject. I didn't have a common ground with atheists (or so I thought), so I could not debate them.
Sounds like something a gorilla would do.

A religious gorilla that relies on gentle persuasion? What the hell happens in your life? It sounds pretty awesome
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14-02-2014, 06:04 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 05:42 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  
(14-02-2014 05:09 PM)donotwant Wrote:  Sounds like something a gorilla would do.

A religious gorilla that relies on gentle persuasion? What the hell happens in your life? It sounds pretty awesome

I meant the part where he didn't even consider atheists debate opponents since they were wrong by definition so fuck them.
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14-02-2014, 07:00 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I'm sure I knew some atheists while I was still religious, but no one that cared enough to broadcast it. I was not a preachy christian at all so no one fought back. I think that is why I felt so alone when I realized that I was an atheist. It seemed like I had never met one before and wondered where they were all hiding. I actually remember thinking 'oh my gosh, what if I am the only one in my whole city?'
Luckily I am not, but it's still hard to find other atheists and when I do they're often too busy living and have no interest in discussing the fallibility of the bible, how life began, the dark side of religion...
Maybe because I am still a newish atheist, about 3-4 years, questioning and learning about religion(s) and all, is still important to me. I really do think it is rather interesting that scribblings from ancient bedouins are still being read and held as important in our world today. I love piecing together the story of how that happened.

As an atheist now I find myself struggling with the question of do I or don't I get into discussions with believers. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
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14-02-2014, 07:10 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 07:00 PM)Noelani Wrote:  I'm sure I knew some atheists while I was still religious, but no one that cared enough to broadcast it. I was not a preachy christian at all so no one fought back. I think that is why I felt so alone when I realized that I was an atheist. It seemed like I had never met one before and wondered where they were all hiding. I actually remember thinking 'oh my gosh, what if I am the only one in my whole city?'
Luckily I am not, but it's still hard to find other atheists and when I do they're often too busy living and have no interest in discussing the fallibility of the bible, how life began, the dark side of religion...
Maybe because I am still a newish atheist, about 3-4 years, questioning and learning about religion(s) and all, is still important to me. I really do think it is rather interesting that scribblings from ancient bedouins are still being read and held as important in our world today. I love piecing together the story of how that happened.

As an atheist now I find myself struggling with the question of do I or don't I get into discussions with believers. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Ah the lonely atheist...

You have all of us though! Not just online, but all over the world, were out there. It can be tough to find people to actually talk with. Most are like walls you're talking at. It's much the same when talking about the universe; blank stares.

For me, I have a coworker who is more than willing to talk about religion, but he's just so intense and kind-of intimidating. Even if you made an 'appeal to feels' about liking a certain icecream, he would demand better reasons.
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14-02-2014, 07:23 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 07:10 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  
(14-02-2014 07:00 PM)Noelani Wrote:  I'm sure I knew some atheists while I was still religious, but no one that cared enough to broadcast it. I was not a preachy christian at all so no one fought back. I think that is why I felt so alone when I realized that I was an atheist. It seemed like I had never met one before and wondered where they were all hiding. I actually remember thinking 'oh my gosh, what if I am the only one in my whole city?'
Luckily I am not, but it's still hard to find other atheists and when I do they're often too busy living and have no interest in discussing the fallibility of the bible, how life began, the dark side of religion...
Maybe because I am still a newish atheist, about 3-4 years, questioning and learning about religion(s) and all, is still important to me. I really do think it is rather interesting that scribblings from ancient bedouins are still being read and held as important in our world today. I love piecing together the story of how that happened.

As an atheist now I find myself struggling with the question of do I or don't I get into discussions with believers. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Ah the lonely atheist...

You have all of us though! Not just online, but all over the world, were out there. It can be tough to find people to actually talk with. Most are like walls you're talking at. It's much the same when talking about the universe; blank stares.

For me, I have a coworker who is more than willing to talk about religion, but he's just so intense and kind-of intimidating. Even if you made an 'appeal to feels' about liking a certain icecream, he would demand better reasons.

Yes, and I'm so glad that I have this site. Not only for the support but I have SO much learning of factual information to do. I feel like I am having to start over education wise. I would love to get a start over in life, minus being fed bullshit lies. Anyone have a time machine I could borrow?
I think this is where my hang up is with starting arguments with theists. On one hand I don't want to be that confrontational and evangelical atheist. But on the other hand it's hard to watch my friends trust in an invisible thing to run their life. Run = ruin in mind. Maybe I am just biased since religion did ruin some things in my life.
For now I take the safe road with just asking questions that I hope will lead to questioning of their faith. I think that is fair. No one should follow anything blindly.
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14-02-2014, 09:04 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I argued with a few of them. I'm ashamed to say that my arguments consisted of the same, narrow-minded, fallacious, ignorant and childish arguments with which I'm now faced from believers.

I actually sought out one of the atheists with whom I'd argued. Told her I have since changed my stance and was faced with all the shit from believers that I once spewed at her. I issued her a heartfelt apology. lol

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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14-02-2014, 09:50 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I remember as a kid wondering why atheists were always smarter than Christians. I remember thinking I was going to be really smart one day so there could finally be a Christian to hold their own in a debate.
Lol. As soon as I started getting educated I became an atheist lol. I am not even smart yet. Just slightly more knowledgable than before haha.

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Swing with me forever, we can count up every flower, we can weather every storm.
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14-02-2014, 11:08 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I have often had to defend myself from atheists and Buddhists alike for the same reason: the fact that I am Buddhist automatically makes people believe that I believe in the existence of the supernatural. I go strictly by the Buddha's (Siddharta Gautama's) teachings, not the supernatural stuff that other cultures added in because they wanted to hold onto their cultural beliefs as well. I can get angry responses from Buddhists for not believing in the supernatural beliefs of their particular culture, and I can also get angry responses from atheists that insist that all Buddhists have supernatural beliefs, or with an attitude that the Buddha's teachings have no relevance because somewhere along the line some people added their superstitious beliefs into it, which hence makes the Buddha's teachings irrelevant. I try to explain that there is a difference between the Buddha's teachings and the supernatural stuff that people of different cultures added in, but many times I still get angry responses, as though one cannot exist without the other (which is a complete perversion of the teachings of the Buddha, because he taught his students that they were not to believe something simply because they were told to, and that they would only find truth by questioning everything, including his own teachings). I don't get involved in screaming matches though, so I will just walk away if it turns into personal attacks.

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