Considerations In Talking With Theists
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20-08-2012, 01:55 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 01:18 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 12:56 PM)kim Wrote:  This might be amusing ...

For the first few months I'd been on this forum I had a forum signature which read: IF YOU DON'T SIN, JESUS DIED FOR NOTHING.

During a discussion with a Theist who came here, I was informed by him... in no uncertain terms... that he found this signature disgusting, blasphemous, and I was going to hell for such an insult. Oops.

Shortly thereafter, during a discussion with different Theist who came here, I was informed that this very same signature was absolutely right on! This Theist said it actually explained very well his own love and understanding of his savior. Oops.

Gee, talk about being damned if you do and damned if you don't. Dodgy
Well, for the record, I think the first atheist was justified in being offended and the second doesn't understand his/her religion very well. The statement seems to encourage Christians to sin because otherwise their savior's death would be for nothing. But sinning is obviously contradictory to Christian teaching. So I can understand why it would be offensive. On the other hand, Jesus purportedly died to save us from original sin. New sins are not necessary to be saved which is why the second was incorrect to say it was "right on".

More to your point though, yes you are damned if you do and damned if you don't in some cases. Again, if you do your best not to be offensive, that's the best you can do and if someone gets offended anyway, at least that wasn't how you meant it. I'm not sure what your intentions were with that signature. Maybe you honestly didn't intend or expect it to be offensive. Maybe you even still disagree that it is objectively offensive. I would just listen with an open mind when someone tells you your statement is offensive and see if their claim rings true. If so, I would refrain from the statement in the future (remove it if it's a signature type of thing), but if not then politely explain what your intention was. Maybe ask them why it is offensive to them and see if their rationale makes sense to you. In the end, it's all about being sensitive to the other side as much as possible to create an environment for intelligent discussion. Of course, there will always be some people who won't be sensitive to you no matter what you say or do. I would probably just leave those discussions and move on to someone else or a different topic. Those aren't really discussions anyway so there is nothing to be gained.

So, pointing out a contradiction or inconsistency in someone's belief is always offensive? Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-08-2012, 02:01 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 01:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  So, pointing out a contradiction or inconsistency in someone's belief is always offensive? Consider
The Four Horsemen can answer that question. Smartass



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20-08-2012, 02:09 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 02:01 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 01:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  So, pointing out a contradiction or inconsistency in someone's belief is always offensive? Consider
The Four Horsemen can answer that question. Smartass



Dude, I'm asking Impulse. Dodgy

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20-08-2012, 02:11 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 01:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 01:18 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Well, for the record, I think the first atheist was justified in being offended and the second doesn't understand his/her religion very well. The statement seems to encourage Christians to sin because otherwise their savior's death would be for nothing. But sinning is obviously contradictory to Christian teaching. So I can understand why it would be offensive. On the other hand, Jesus purportedly died to save us from original sin. New sins are not necessary to be saved which is why the second was incorrect to say it was "right on".

More to your point though, yes you are damned if you do and damned if you don't in some cases. Again, if you do your best not to be offensive, that's the best you can do and if someone gets offended anyway, at least that wasn't how you meant it. I'm not sure what your intentions were with that signature. Maybe you honestly didn't intend or expect it to be offensive. Maybe you even still disagree that it is objectively offensive. I would just listen with an open mind when someone tells you your statement is offensive and see if their claim rings true. If so, I would refrain from the statement in the future (remove it if it's a signature type of thing), but if not then politely explain what your intention was. Maybe ask them why it is offensive to them and see if their rationale makes sense to you. In the end, it's all about being sensitive to the other side as much as possible to create an environment for intelligent discussion. Of course, there will always be some people who won't be sensitive to you no matter what you say or do. I would probably just leave those discussions and move on to someone else or a different topic. Those aren't really discussions anyway so there is nothing to be gained.

So, pointing out a contradiction or inconsistency in someone's belief is always offensive? Consider
No, not if you do so politely and with the honest intention of intelligent discussion.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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20-08-2012, 02:13 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 02:09 PM)Chas Wrote:  Dude, I'm asking Impulse. Dodgy
How dare you question the universal validity of the Four Horsemen's answers? Angry

Just kidding, I stand corrected.

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20-08-2012, 02:17 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 02:11 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 01:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  So, pointing out a contradiction or inconsistency in someone's belief is always offensive? Consider
No, not if you do so politely and with the honest intention of intelligent discussion.

Unfortunately, many people don't subscribe your view. No They take immediate offense at any comment on their beliefs.

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20-08-2012, 02:25 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 02:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 02:11 PM)Impulse Wrote:  No, not if you do so politely and with the honest intention of intelligent discussion.

Unfortunately, many people don't subscribe your view. No They take immediate offense at any comment on their beliefs.
Then do your best to tell them why you were just stating logic or fact. If they can't see past the "offense", then it's probably best to move on. I think it's better not to allow this to become an excuse to throw insults. I also find that many times when people insist on being offended, even though it has been explained that no offense was meant, it's because they have no counterargument. They know they've been backed into a corner and, since they can't come up with a good rebuttal, instead of backing down, they claim offense. There isn't much you can do with those people. So I'd advise moving on.

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20-08-2012, 02:27 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 02:25 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 02:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  Unfortunately, many people don't subscribe your view. No They take immediate offense at any comment on their beliefs.
Then do your best to tell them why you were just stating logic or fact. If they can't see past the "offense", then it's probably best to move on. I think it's better not to allow this to become an excuse to throw insults. I also find that many times when people insist on being offended, even though it has been explained that no offense was meant, it's because they have no counterargument. They know they've been backed into a corner and, since they can't come up with a good rebuttal, instead of backing down, they claim offense. There isn't much you can do with those people. So I'd advise moving on.

Immediate decapitation is better; they weren't using that head anyways. Thumbsup

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20-08-2012, 02:40 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(20-08-2012 02:27 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 02:25 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Then do your best to tell them why you were just stating logic or fact. If they can't see past the "offense", then it's probably best to move on. I think it's better not to allow this to become an excuse to throw insults. I also find that many times when people insist on being offended, even though it has been explained that no offense was meant, it's because they have no counterargument. They know they've been backed into a corner and, since they can't come up with a good rebuttal, instead of backing down, they claim offense. There isn't much you can do with those people. So I'd advise moving on.

Immediate decapitation is better; they weren't using that head anyways. Thumbsup
You could try that. They of course will return the same. Then after every theist and non-theist is finished "discussing" in this manner, eventually only one can remain. There's a 50/50 chance it would be a theist. I can't say I like those odds. Wink

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24-08-2012, 10:42 AM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
When someone says "There is no God", people don't read just that, they read a whole lot of hidden messages in it. It pushes many more buttons than just the one.
I can try to read between the lines, though real Christians can do better.

- something bad happened in my life
- your life is worthless
- all life is purposeless and empty
- I can do whatever immorality I want
- the wicked who escape justice will not be punished after death
- your lifetime belief or family tradition sucks
- this nation was founded for nothing
- your greatest source of comfort is just a fantasy
- your lifetime was badly invested
- the heretic gay Darwinists are attacking again

I suppose this is what goes through people's subconsciousness when they see an atheist billboard.
How do we create a message that says just that, there is no God, but there is a meaning and goodness in life?
In my opinion, pointing out inconsistency and mocking Bible also has a clear message, it says what it says, that the Bible doesn't add up. And it was proven that this is what makes people atheists. Like Teresa McBain, who held Bible so close that she saw the glitches, unlike Christians who don't read Bible, they let others cherry-pick it to them.
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