Do I need to explain myself?
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09-03-2013, 05:43 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2013 06:22 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 01:52 PM)kellyrm Wrote:  After letting a few friends and family members know that I don't believe in god, I had an aunt demand that I explain my position to her. It caught me completely off-guard. While I don't have a problem justifying my beliefs, I don't feel like I owe her anything. I simply told her I don't believe in fairy tales and brushed it off. Over the past few months, I've had several other people question me as well. I've already learned that it is impossible to talk to the brainwashing effects of Christianity, so I try to save some effort and ignore the argument altogether. I don't walk up to Christians and demand that they explain their beliefs to me-I simply don't give a shit. Why do Christians (at least the ones I know) feel this sense of superiority that guides them to question my beliefs and demand an explanation? Have any of you been in this situation and have some advice? Sure, I can explain the hypocrisy of the bible and provide scientific explanations, but I know it will do no good. What would you do if encountered with these questions?
Ay, carramba! You don't know what situation you're in. When you talk to Christians, you don't talk to humans. You talk to a great memetic entity that either wants to convert you and use your brain as its living space, or it wants to cast you away from the flock like you'd be a hungry wolf trying to steal the sheep or its living space (make them think and reclaim their brains!).

Of course, the great memetic entity (Christianity) is big and sluggish. It's like you're a foreign object inside an organism and the immune system is just starting to get interested about you. It routinely checks everything, but the more resistance it gets, the more it focuses on you. They want to identify you and create an antibody. To do that, they need to give you a label. It does not need to make sense, it's just a label to pin you down and mobilize everyone against you, on which you'll react with enmity, the conflict will escalate and they'll cast you out. Usually, this is the A-word, the atheist. When they hear the A-word, they stop thinking, they stop thinking of you as a daughter, sister or cousin and start bombarding you with antibodies (have you ever heard Seth's plight with countless bad arguments from his family?)

So what to do? Assuming you haven't screwed up and blown your cover already by saying out loud the "fairy tales"...
One way to get along is to be like the AIDS virus, to change outer appearance so that the immune system does not detect you.

Assuming you are strong, honest, independent and do not want to pretend something you are not... There is another way. One way to stay within an organism without conflict, is to be made of pure gold. Gold does not cause inflammation, it is biologically neutral. It does not attack, it does not defend, it is a principle of the great covalent bond above all biochemical reactions.

In normal words, cut all the crap, but start with yourself. Before you say "fairy-tales", imagine how you'd feel if you believed something important and someone would call you stupid. You'd be hurt. Don't hurt people. Don't say things that are a matter of opinion or belief. Keep strictly with natural things. Play stupid if you have to, it is better to be "stupid" sometimes if that means not going along with the naked emperor game for adults. If they ask if you believe in god, tell them you don't see any god anywhere. Let them know you don't want to have any opinions or beliefs, because in the past you believed in many things that turned out to be mistakes. So you only take in the things you can see. If you don't know something, say you don't know and say you have to Google that up. If they claim something to you, tell them you don't know what it means or how it works and that you have to ask Google. Always show your mild interest in how things work. If you see someone doesn't know, show gladness and enthusiasm in figuring out or googling up the answer. Show love to people, specially to the ignorant ones - appreciate those who admit ignorance and ask questions, that is - because with them you can have the great fun of satisfying their curiosity, explaining how things work. Say you like when they ask questions, because these know-it-alls and smartasses are so annoying.
And always search for common values. Avoid values that divide, emphasize what you have in common.

A practical example: If they say "Do you believe in God?" don't say "what kind of shit is that supposed to be?" Say, "I don't understand what do you mean by god. Why, is that important?" Possible other developments:
"Well, there are many people and they all mean something different by god. Sometimes they mean a man in the sky, some mean spirits in the nature, some mean the sun..."
"Well, I've met many believers and they all had a book which said this is the only true book. Maybe you're right, but I don't see that much difference between your book and theirs."
"I don't know what do you mean by hell. The flesh stays right here in the grave and all the pain with it. I've been at the dentist last month and they gave me a shot of painkillers and all the pain was just gone. It's just a nerve thing, to keep us from getting hurt."
"What do you mean, physical resurrection? By that time, my body will be all rotten, most of it will grow into grass. What happens if some cows eat that grass and some people eat these cows? Is that why the Hindus don't eat cows?"
"Magic? You mean that thing when a guy on stage does a trick but has everything prepared in secret compartments and hidden doors? What does that have to do with the topic?"



This way you should still be true to your atheist self, but removing all the crap that makes people react badly. As I said, be like the gold in an organism. I'm not sure if you can pull off that act, I suppose it requires a great deal of training. Fortunately, you live in a Christian-heavy area with lots of opportunities for training. I tried that tactics with one pair of Jehovah's Witnesses and it worked very well, even though I'm not perfect at it. They called me intelligent and very honest. I don't know where that leads but I feel it would work. Maybe this is the fabled social skill that can dissolve extremist groups if you get into them.

The humbling, profound and ironic thing is, that this is how all groups work. All groups are these great memetic entities. Even forums full of atheists and skeptics. What do you think I am doing here? Cutting the crap in me, learning to be "made of gold", to be non-conflicting so I can communicate with people clearly, without their memetic pimp getting in the way, without buzzwords, labelling and marginalizing. Years ago on another forum I was marked as theist and it had upset me greatly as a battle that I lost, a failure to be understood for an individual that I am who does not fit under the T-word.

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09-03-2013, 09:58 PM
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 01:52 PM)kellyrm Wrote:  Why do Christians (at least the ones I know) feel this sense of superiority that guides them to question my beliefs and demand an explanation?

Cognitive dissonance. Forgive me if you're already familiar with the subject, but that is the answer...

There are points in our lives when we can go one way or the other. A Christian may hit a spot where they feel doubt and start questioning their faith, and at that moment they make a choice. The choice is often to stay with Christianity because change is uncomfortable -- it might mean a new routine, new friends, new point-of-view, new opinions, etc. So after making this choice, the Christian is left with a feeling that they possibly made a wrong choice (after all, that was the reason that they questioned their faith). And that Christian will probably think of himself or herself as a person who always makes the right decision, and this thinking in two opposite directions causes cognitive dissonance.

So why would cognitive dissonance cause the "sense of superiority" and confrontations in the form of preaching or lecturing? Well, that Christian has to get rid of anything that might cause that mental discomfort again. They need to convince others that they made the right choice because there's safety in numbers. They need to bring consistency to their "new" path by getting rid of anything that reminds them of the road not taken.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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09-03-2013, 10:03 PM
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  When you talk to Christians, you don't talk to humans.

How cruel. It's a stereotype, but worse than that it's one that isn't true in even one case.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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10-03-2013, 12:24 AM
 
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 04:28 PM)Chas Wrote:  That is your delusion. We don't share it. Drinking Beverage

As if that mattered.
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10-03-2013, 12:28 AM
 
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 10:03 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  How cruel. It's a stereotype, but worse than that it's one that isn't true in even one case.

Oh no. He has a point. If Christians are merely human, then nothing has changed. We may look like human beings but our spirit is a different type.
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10-03-2013, 12:45 AM
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
Welcome to the forums!

I simply state that I'm on a mission to learn the truth and it has led me to where I am. There is as much evidence for God as there is for mermaids, Sasquatch and pink flying unicorns.

The reply is usually, "You don't need to see to believe".

Which my follow up reply is, "No, I don't- which is why I understand air and gravity to be true. So, where is that evidence, please?"
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10-03-2013, 02:42 AM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2013 02:47 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 10:03 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  When you talk to Christians, you don't talk to humans.

How cruel. It's a stereotype, but worse than that it's one that isn't true in even one case.
*facepalm* It's not cruel! Christians are humans of course, I don't say otherwise. But when we atheists talk to them, it doesn't get through. The meme took over much of the person's capability to think and feel, and this is what we turn against us if we show up as atheists. Not the whole person, just a run of the mill institutionalized Christian routine, which talks at us, not with us. Christianity is not that complex, it's just a bunch of memes, a bunch of bad arguments - but backed up by the great human capacity to feel and to think. I disdain the memes, but I want to reach the real person beneath them.
Imagine Seth saying in his warm, wise radio voice: "Can we just talk like people?" That's what I mean.

However, this is how people develop into culture, by getting sucked into great memetic entities and adopting their one-sided point of view. For some people it's better to have one-sided view than none at all, better than to live primitively day by day without any relationships. For those it is actually a great improvement to get brainwashed and go to church.

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10-03-2013, 02:52 AM
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 04:25 PM)Egor Wrote:  You basically told your family to F-off and so they ask you to explain yourself. But, like you said, you don't care.

Welcome to the lovely world of atheism.

Oh, I almost forgot...you will go to hell for your beliefs. You willfully reject Christ--so you will go to hell. If you die tomorrow, you go to hell. That's a certainty. Drinking Beverage

When will you atheists ever get it; it's the only reason we have a mind--to believe in Christ or reject Christ.

Everything else is incidental. Angel
You have no certainty, so stop spouting your fairy tail bullshit and leave the rest of us in peace. Go have your delusion elsewhere, here in grown up land we have better things to do.

Or stay and be relentlessly mocked, either one suits me fine Thumbsup
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10-03-2013, 03:09 AM
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  ...
If they claim something to you, tell them you don't know what it means or how it works and that you have to ask Google.
...

Praise be.

Praise be to our great authority and source of omniscience.

Praise Google most high.

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10-03-2013, 03:42 AM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2013 04:01 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Do I need to explain myself?
(09-03-2013 01:52 PM)kellyrm Wrote:  Why do Christians (at least the ones I know) feel this sense of superiority that guides them to question my beliefs and demand an explanation?
Watch this short video.





Was Nacho really judging Esqueleto? Notice how Esqueleto felt that Nacho had a sense of superiority....but did Nacho really feel superior or was he generally concerned about the man he loved like a brother?

KingsChosen is a lying douchebag
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