Considerations In Talking With Theists
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24-08-2012, 11:20 AM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(24-08-2012 10:42 AM)Luminon Wrote:  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

As a Theist, I see none of those options between the lines.

When I hear or read the statement "There is no God", granting there is not context to contend with, I read - An absolute statement.

In order to make an absolute statement, you need to have good reason for making that statement.
The statement alone is doesn't have much value until you back it up with loads of research and philosophy.
The statement alone is not offensive to me, it only compels me to ask the question - "Why do you believe there is no God?"

That is all.

“What you believe to be true will control you, whether it’s true or not.”

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24-08-2012, 12:06 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(24-08-2012 10:42 AM)Luminon Wrote:  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.
After reading your post, I think I'm probably missing the point because I'm not sure exactly what it is (sorry). I'm new to this board so, first, I don't know whether you're a theist or non-theist so I don't know where you're coming from either. I seem to see indications either way in your post.

I think you're correct that at least some people read a lot of things into the statement "there is no god" as soon as it's uttered. The best that can be done about it, in my opinion, is for atheists to continue to make their message heard in order to increase awareness of what it really means to be an atheist. The message that we want heard is not just that we don't believe in god, but that we do still hold strong moral values and abide by them. God is not necessary for that to be true. Part of the reason I created this thread is because I believe it's equally important not to send the opposite message and support the myths by deliberately being rude and ill-mannered.

"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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24-08-2012, 12:49 PM (This post was last modified: 24-08-2012 12:58 PM by Logica Humano.)
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(24-08-2012 11:20 AM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  
(24-08-2012 10:42 AM)Luminon Wrote:  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

As a Theist, I see none of those options between the lines.

When I hear or read the statement "There is no God", granting there is not context to contend with, I read - An absolute statement.

In order to make an absolute statement, you need to have good reason for making that statement.
The statement alone is doesn't have much value until you back it up with loads of research and philosophy.
The statement alone is not offensive to me, it only compels me to ask the question - "Why do you believe there is no God?"

That is all.

Atheists say they do not believe in a God, or say that a specific God does not exist. Drinking Beverage

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24-08-2012, 12:51 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(24-08-2012 11:20 AM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  The statement alone is not offensive to me, it only compels me to ask the question - "Why do you believe there is no God?"

Which only compels me to ask, "Why do you think there is?"

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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24-08-2012, 08:13 PM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(24-08-2012 12:06 PM)Impulse Wrote:  After reading your post, I think I'm probably missing the point because I'm not sure exactly what it is (sorry). I'm new to this board so, first, I don't know whether you're a theist or non-theist so I don't know where you're coming from either. I seem to see indications either way in your post.
That's correct. If you want to see my ID card, I'm an agnostic atheist who has a couple of favorite definitions of God towards which I want to keep an open mind. But at the same time, I do my best to practice esotericism. I tend to have many unusual experiences and I need the esotericism to make sense of them. Many of them could be called religious experiences, but I dare not claim to be buddies with a creator of the universe.

(24-08-2012 12:06 PM)Impulse Wrote:  I think you're correct that at least some people read a lot of things into the statement "there is no god" as soon as it's uttered. The best that can be done about it, in my opinion, is for atheists to continue to make their message heard in order to increase awareness of what it really means to be an atheist. The message that we want heard is not just that we don't believe in god, but that we do still hold strong moral values and abide by them. God is not necessary for that to be true. Part of the reason I created this thread is because I believe it's equally important not to send the opposite message and support the myths by deliberately being rude and ill-mannered.
You're right, I must agree. Increasing awareness of atheist morality sounds like the best answer. Positive, non-confrontative, covering the essentials.
You see, it's an exotic topic for me and I can hardly imagine living in a society where an opinion is dangerous to express.

The most I can see personally from here is a danger of families or groups of people who use religion as a tribal symbol and a sign of allegiance, us against them. They take criticism of religion or even existence of atheism as a threat to their community, logic and reality be damned. They see atheists as dehumanized outcasts behind their fences, to become an atheist means to betray the community.
Here I believe it would help if atheists got somehow officially organized. If these tribal folks can honor other tribes as honorable fellow enemies if they're properly organized, maybe they'd accept the tribe of atheism. It's just an idea, needs some fundies to test.
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25-08-2012, 04:34 AM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(24-08-2012 08:13 PM)Luminon Wrote:  You're right, I must agree. Increasing awareness of atheist morality sounds like the best answer.

[Image: tswIPbJ_facepalm5.gif?bc]

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25-08-2012, 05:57 AM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(24-08-2012 10:42 AM)Luminon Wrote:  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

Lum, I'm going to quibble just a bit. There are no hidden messages in the phrase "There is no god." It's a blank canvas, and like any blank canvas, people will project onto it whatever is on their mind. Your list looks like a good set of the things people typically project, which are usually anxieties of one kind or another.

Sometimes we just need to allow people to sit with their anxiety.
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25-08-2012, 05:59 AM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2012 06:02 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(25-08-2012 04:34 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(24-08-2012 08:13 PM)Luminon Wrote:  You're right, I must agree. Increasing awareness of atheist morality sounds like the best answer.

[Image: tswIPbJ_facepalm5.gif?bc]
Let me guess. Atheism does not imply anything moral or immoral, just lack of belief in gods. Well, explain it to the folks who think that cattle-burning Yahweh and fig-cursing Jesus co-authored morality.
It has nothing to do with logic, it's a cultural thing. If blacks and gays managed to overcome the culture, atheists can too. I'm looking forward to atheist parades (with empty signs) and debating religions loudly over a good Chick-file-a sandwich Smile
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25-08-2012, 06:09 AM
RE: Considerations In Talking With Theists
(25-08-2012 05:59 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(25-08-2012 04:34 AM)Vosur Wrote:  [Image: tswIPbJ_facepalm5.gif?bc]
Let me guess. Atheism does not imply anything moral or immoral, just lack of belief in gods. Well, explain it to the folks who think that cattle-burning Yahweh and fig-cursing Jesus co-authored morality.
It has nothing to do with logic, it's a cultural thing. If blacks and gays managed to overcome the culture, atheists can too. I'm looking forward to atheist parades (with empty signs) and debating religions loudly over a good Chick-file-a sandwich Smile

Morality was authored by evolution.
Atheists are already "overcoming" culture.
I will never eat at a Chick-fil-a, let alone a Chick-file-a.

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