Do religious people ever just weird you out?
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19-08-2015, 10:09 AM
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
Not as well as I'd hoped. I got a longer-winded version of "agree to disagree".

The guy was really nice, Creationist propaganda aside. We had a long talk about my work, back when I was an undergrad at McNeese State (in southwest Louisiana), in the wildlife preserves of the saltwater marshes along the coast, where he had also done a lot of work.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-08-2015, 10:23 AM
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
Eh, bummer, but at least he could continue to be civil about it. I do think that even if someone like that simply discounts things that disagree with out of hand, it is beneficial (especially in the South), for people to see that atheists are not like the professor from the film God's not Dead, where he wasn't even an atheist, but rather someone that is just mad at God. Rather, we are simply people who have decided to not take things on faith, but to rather use reason to determine what we do (or don't) believe. Personally, when I was re-evaluating my beliefs, seeing the attitudes of people like Bart Ehrman was very helpful to me, as he was simply a truth-seeker, and not someone who was on a quest to prove that God doesn't exist.

Of course, I do feel slightly hypocritical saying this, as I'm not planning on outing myself at my evangelical college until I'm graduated, even though I would be able to show a whoole lot of Christian's that atheists aren't all that bad.
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19-08-2015, 10:41 AM
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
(19-08-2015 10:23 AM)Cozzymodo Wrote:  Eh, bummer, but at least he could continue to be civil about it. I do think that even if someone like that simply discounts things that disagree with out of hand, it is beneficial (especially in the South), for people to see that atheists are not like the professor from the film God's not Dead, where he wasn't even an atheist, but rather someone that is just mad at God. Rather, we are simply people who have decided to not take things on faith, but to rather use reason to determine what we do (or don't) believe. Personally, when I was re-evaluating my beliefs, seeing the attitudes of people like Bart Ehrman was very helpful to me, as he was simply a truth-seeker, and not someone who was on a quest to prove that God doesn't exist.

Of course, I do feel slightly hypocritical saying this, as I'm not planning on outing myself at my evangelical college until I'm graduated, even though I would be able to show a whoole lot of Christian's that atheists aren't all that bad.

I understand you. My parents know I'm an atheist, but they consider me "very rude" to talk about it in front of them, as though I'm "rubbing the fact in their faces", so I kept my cool with the guy mainly out of respect for my father's friendship with him. With my folks, they know that as long as they don't get aggressive with me about hellfire, etc, I won't go all heathen on them in return.

I completely agree about the need to show them that the God is not Dead version of an atheist is 100% fabricated (that never happened, anywhere, by the way... it's a figment of their fertile imaginations; in fact, professors can get hurt if they offend their students' religious beliefs).

But, as you are well aware, there is a time and a place to "choose your battles". Had the guy been more a jerk, I might have been willing to engage him on the subject more severely and/or violate my parents' request not to discuss it (they are high-standing in their church, and I suspect common knowledge of their atheist son could impact their social ranking), but he was rather pleasant on other issues, and he was only there for a brief while. Dad and I were putting up the outdoor swimming pool for my son and my nephew, who were running around shrieking at the time; both the work and the noise made long scientific or theological discussions impractical. Heh. Tongue

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-08-2015, 11:06 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2015 12:12 PM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
Well it always makes me stop and wonder, if they're SO sure about their opinions on supernatural entities, and the real-world morality they believe is derived from those entities - what other viewpoints and perspectives based on totally unsubstantiated manure must seep into their everyday decision-making process?

It's somewhat harmless in most cases. What do I care if my roofer believes in a god who killed his son who was also himself to save us from the punishment he himself will inflict on us for the sins born of a rib-woman whose only real crime was curiosity? If he measures things correctly and does his earthly work on my roof properly, whoopdedoo.

But when people who hold those same fantastical beliefs as a core of their being and as the basis for their definition of self become President and set policies or declare wars based on their interpretation of the will of a non-existent sky daddy... that's a terrifying prospect.
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19-08-2015, 11:17 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2015 11:40 AM by TheMrBillShow.)
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
I see "inspirational" items posted on Facebook and (because I'm something of a masochist) I'll frequently click on the "comments" thread in hopes of garnering some manner of entertainment.

Typically, I'll see nothing but a stream of comments which only read "AMEN!" This creeps me out. It's nothing but a stimulus response- something a parrot has been trained to do without any kind of consideration. You're in tune with the Force That Created All Of Space And Time and you think it is satiated and pleased with you uttering a knee-jerk bit of thoughtlessness?

It demonstrates a level of mindless obedience that to me anyway, represents humanity in its lowest and most dangerous forms. The willingness of many religious people to be followers, to be subjects, creeps the shit out of me.

There is no "I" in "team" but there is a broken and mixed up "me."
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19-08-2015, 11:19 AM
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
(19-08-2015 11:06 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  But when people who hold those same fantastical beliefs as a core of their being and as the basis for their definition of self become President and set policies or declare wars based on their interpretation of the will of a non-existent sky daddy... that's a terrifying prospect.

Particularly when the will of sky daddy involves armageddon. I know Christian's who interpret the Apocalypse of John (i.e. Revelations) such that nuclear war is going to be God's tool in the end times. I very much do not want people with any sort of authority over such matters to believe anything close to this.
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19-08-2015, 11:24 AM
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
(19-08-2015 11:17 AM)TheMrBillShow Wrote:  I see "inspirational" items posted on Facebook and (because I'm something of a masochist) I'll frequently click on the "comments" thread in hopes of garnering some manner of entertainment.

Typically, I'll see nothing but a stream of comments which only read "AMEN!" This creeps me out. It's nothing but a stimulus response- something a parrot has been trained to do with out any kind of consideration. You're in tune with the Force That Created All Of Space And Time and you think it is satiated and pleased with you uttering a knee-jerk bit of thoughtlessness?

It demonstrates a level of mindless obedience that to me anyway, represents humanity in its lowest and most dangerous forms. The willingness of many religious people to be followers, to be subjects, creeps the shit out of me.

Especially when those posts themselves are just a huge word salad that is comically obscure in what it is trying to say. I see similar posts all the time from college age friends, and they reek of trying to sound/feel spiritual and in touch with sky-daddy.

Also, I just discovered that someone started a word salad thread on the Christianity subreddit. I'm curious if whoever started it did it as a troll thread, or if they are just that clueless...
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19-08-2015, 12:17 PM
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
It's essentially like how I would feel about someone who took Grimm's Fairy Tales and Aesop's Fables not in their proper context as a means to impart some wisdom and lessons in an entertaining manner, but rather as literal events which actually happened in the physical universe. Even if this person was able to take some valuable lessons from these works, how could I possibly take them seriously when they start moving to ban red hoods with capes for girls for fear of wily and clever wolves who might try to target them?
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19-08-2015, 12:37 PM
RE: Do religious people ever just weird you out?
It's not so much that they creep me out but that they make me feel deeply sad. When I see someone operating under such delusion, I can't help but feel bad for them. I guess I have too much empathy. I have to severely limit my exposure to them or I start to feel hopeless for the future of this country and the world. I mean that sincerely. They dampen my spirits and I am generally a happy person who enjoys life. Glad I don't live in the South any more. I don't have a lot of contact with the disciples of death any more and I intend to keep it that way.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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