Common Ground, Not Denial
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16-03-2012, 11:07 PM
Common Ground, Not Denial
"For someone who doesn't believe in God, you sure do talk about him a lot!"

How often have we heard this? Seth brought this up during one of his podcasts and it made me think about the times I've had this thrown at me. How do you respond?

There's nothing strange about an atheist like Seth having a podcast that often centers around religion. We should not have to be apologetic about this kind of thing. Many people who have been through a variety of experiences find fulfullment in discussing it with others who have been there as well, and no one finds anything strange about it. For example, you don't say to someone who attends AA meetings, "Wow, for someone who doesn't drink, you sure do talk about it a lot." It would be horrible to tell a woman who attends a support group for survivors of domestic violence, "For someone who says she didn't like the abuse, you sure do talk about it a lot." Or what about a war vet with PTSD whose quality of life is improved by meeting to talk with his or her buddies at the VA?

I'm not saying that every atheist was traumatized at the hands of religion, but those are the first examples that came to mind because I'm a case manager who works with a lot of trauma, drug addicted and mentally ill clients. I suppose "Mathematicians sometimes share stories with other mathematicians about their amusement with those who misunderstand Godel's Theory of Incompleteness. The other mathematicians get where they're coming from. It simply makes them happy" would have worked just as well. Latin scholars, psychologists, home theater buffs etc. do the same things.

So this is just a roundabout way of saying that in every other walk of life it is taken for granted that people who have something in common enjoy sharing similar experiences and getting some understanding. It's called being human. We are not "trying desperately to deny God because we're scared," we just enjoy laughing together over funny stories or venting and getting support, as much as anyone else does.
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17-03-2012, 06:44 AM
RE: Common Ground, Not Denial
I guess you just need to have a choice of punchy retorts ready.

How about...

Sorry, but I find all forms of psychosis intriguing.
or
Well, the way things are going, in a generation or two no one will believe in gods so it's worth discussing now while we still can.
or
Nor do I believe your husband / wife is really having an affair but when everyone else is talking about it, I join in.

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17-03-2012, 07:54 PM
RE: Common Ground, Not Denial
Great retorts! I've thought the "psychosis" one many times in various forms but have never quite had the nerve to say it aloud.

(17-03-2012 06:44 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I guess you just need to have a choice of punchy retorts ready.

How about...

Sorry, but I find all forms of psychosis intriguing.
or
Well, the way things are going, in a generation or two no one will believe in gods so it's worth discussing now while we still can.
or
Nor do I believe your husband / wife is really having an affair but when everyone else is talking about it, I join in.
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17-03-2012, 09:44 PM
RE: Common Ground, Not Denial
(16-03-2012 11:07 PM)dagaz Wrote:  "For someone who doesn't believe in God, you sure do talk about him a lot!"

My usual response goes something like, "It's because I'm fascinated with the world's biggest delusion. It's like if I woke up one day and the world was convinced that 2 plus 2 equals 5. It's baffling. It's like arguing that squares have four sides. It's just too easy."

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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