Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-01-2015, 08:19 PM
Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
You don't often see people change their religious opinions, but it does happen from time to time (a lot of us here are a testament to that). What is striking to me however considering all of the time and effort I have put into these conversations, is the realization that the conversations don't seem to have a direct impact on changing minds.

So, on the one hand, they seem to be pointless if the goal is to help people realize the issues surrounding religion. But it can still be beneficial for vetting your own arguments against religion.

In recent weeks, I have come to realize that some people close to me have slowly become less and less religious, with some maybe identifying as atheist. I don't think I had a direct impact, but perhaps there is an indirect impact that the questioning of religion does have. It places a mirror in front of the religious, and simply asks them to take a look.

Has anyone seen a person that they have had these sorts of conversations with become less and less religious and/or atheist?

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheBeardedDude's post
05-01-2015, 08:37 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
Good to see you back TBD!

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Full Circle's post
05-01-2015, 08:38 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
I've been in the middle of qualifying exams and research (still technically in the middle of my exams), so my time has been scarce to say the least!

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheBeardedDude's post
05-01-2015, 08:41 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
(05-01-2015 08:38 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I've been in the middle of qualifying exams and research (still technically in the middle of my exams), so my time has been scarce to say the least!

Well good luck with them mate

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-01-2015, 08:44 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
(05-01-2015 08:41 PM)Metazoa Zeke Wrote:  
(05-01-2015 08:38 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I've been in the middle of qualifying exams and research (still technically in the middle of my exams), so my time has been scarce to say the least!

Well good luck with them mate

Gracias.

They are a real mother fucker. They are not really intended for you to be able to do really well on, because it's multiple people with PhD's asking you about anything even tangentially related to your area of expertise. It's pretty much just an exercise in one's reasoning and logic, as well as some understanding of your knowledge base. Ergo, it's a real mother fucker.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like TheBeardedDude's post
05-01-2015, 08:53 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
I've never had that kind of effect, at least that I'm aware of. Close friends know I'm a non-believer, and constantly repeat misconceptions about why people are atheist.

I sometimes try to correct their view.....

But people I know have this way of saying stuff, adding they don't want debate about it (adding then they don't understand why atheists are obsessed with god or whatever else).

It's hard because I don't really care about god anymore than I really care about Santa Claus or the Easter bunny -- or Zeus for that matter. Yet at the same time I don't want to be *that atheist* who points out why they're being fucking stupid.

They're free to espouse their beliefs, but I'm not free to discuss my (dis)belief.

They can criticize atheists, but their religious beliefs are off limits.

That's why I don't bother and why I love this place so much.

Yes, part of me would love to have someone walk up to me and say I had a hand in their journey to reason. But I doubt it would ever happen.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Momsurroundedbyboys's post
05-01-2015, 08:57 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
(05-01-2015 08:53 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I've never had that kind of effect, at least that I'm aware of. Close friends know I'm a non-believer, and constantly repeat misconceptions about why people are atheist.

I sometimes try to correct their view.....

But people I know have this way of saying stuff, adding they don't want debate about it (adding then they don't understand why atheists are obsessed with god or whatever else).

It's hard because I don't really care about god anymore than I really care about Santa Claus or the Easter bunny -- or Zeus for that matter. Yet at the same time I don't want to be *that atheist* who points out why they're being fucking stupid.

They're free to espouse their beliefs, but I'm not free to discuss my (dis)belief.

They can criticize atheists, but their religious beliefs are off limits.

That's why I don't bother and why I love this place so much.

Yes, part of me would love to have someone walk up to me and say I had a hand in their journey to reason. But I doubt it would ever happen.

I don't have the conversations with intent to deconvert or "open eyes" any more. Primarily because it became apparent that the odds of me having an effect were minimal.

But what I have noticed is that being critical and expressing my views have given some fodder for thought that may influence people in ways that I had not quite considered.

Now, most of my family have locker their minds away to the point of ignoring not only my views but me as well. So there is no chance that my critiques will have any influence whatsoever.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheBeardedDude's post
05-01-2015, 09:09 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
(05-01-2015 08:57 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(05-01-2015 08:53 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I've never had that kind of effect, at least that I'm aware of. Close friends know I'm a non-believer, and constantly repeat misconceptions about why people are atheist.

I sometimes try to correct their view.....

But people I know have this way of saying stuff, adding they don't want debate about it (adding then they don't understand why atheists are obsessed with god or whatever else).

It's hard because I don't really care about god anymore than I really care about Santa Claus or the Easter bunny -- or Zeus for that matter. Yet at the same time I don't want to be *that atheist* who points out why they're being fucking stupid.

They're free to espouse their beliefs, but I'm not free to discuss my (dis)belief.

They can criticize atheists, but their religious beliefs are off limits.

That's why I don't bother and why I love this place so much.

Yes, part of me would love to have someone walk up to me and say I had a hand in their journey to reason. But I doubt it would ever happen.

I don't have the conversations with intent to deconvert or "open eyes" any more. Primarily because it became apparent that the odds of me having an effect were minimal.

But what I have noticed is that being critical and expressing my views have given some fodder for thought that may influence people in ways that I had not quite considered.

Now, most of my family have locker their minds away to the point of ignoring not only my views but me as well. So there is no chance that my critiques will have any influence whatsoever.

My family (meaning my mother's and grandmothers families -- I can't even call them my family really) won't speak to me at all. I used to get books in the mail, anonymously of course, but nothing for a long time.

It's sad because my parents are gone, my grandparents are all gone...

I wouldn't mind so much being in somewhat touch with some of them. But to them I'm possessed by demons or something or another.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-01-2015, 09:13 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
(05-01-2015 09:09 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(05-01-2015 08:57 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I don't have the conversations with intent to deconvert or "open eyes" any more. Primarily because it became apparent that the odds of me having an effect were minimal.

But what I have noticed is that being critical and expressing my views have given some fodder for thought that may influence people in ways that I had not quite considered.

Now, most of my family have locker their minds away to the point of ignoring not only my views but me as well. So there is no chance that my critiques will have any influence whatsoever.

My family (meaning my mother's and grandmothers families -- I can't even call them my family really) won't speak to me at all. I used to get books in the mail, anonymously of course, but nothing for a long time.

It's sad because my parents are gone, my grandparents are all gone...

I wouldn't mind so much being in somewhat touch with some of them. But to them I'm possessed by demons or something or another.

It cuts the deepest when the rejection comes from those you thought cared the most about you. Fear is a powerful force.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheBeardedDude's post
05-01-2015, 09:41 PM
RE: Changing minds, or an exercise in futility?
(05-01-2015 08:19 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You don't often see people change their religious opinions, but it does happen from time to time (a lot of us here are a testament to that). What is striking to me however considering all of the time and effort I have put into these conversations, is the realization that the conversations don't seem to have a direct impact on changing minds.

So, on the one hand, they seem to be pointless if the goal is to help people realize the issues surrounding religion. But it can still be beneficial for vetting your own arguments against religion.

In recent weeks, I have come to realize that some people close to me have slowly become less and less religious, with some maybe identifying as atheist. I don't think I had a direct impact, but perhaps there is an indirect impact that the questioning of religion does have. It places a mirror in front of the religious, and simply asks them to take a look.

Has anyone seen a person that they have had these sorts of conversations with become less and less religious and/or atheist?

Yes, someone showing they have no fears about religion and/or hell and will question it can give those that have doubts courage. It mat not happen overnight, but perhaps years down the road a person thinks about something you've said and it makes a difference.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheInquisition's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: