How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
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22-03-2015, 07:52 PM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  
(21-03-2015 10:04 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  So to me it seems like you are asking our opinion about the other route - the route that assumes your religion is true and tries to express the truth of it. Your core goal is to practice convincing us that catholicism is true. You're not ready to do that yet and I understand your reluctance.

Well, I wasn't really intending to ask any questions when I made this thread for DLJ. I was just trying to give an answer to him because he asked how I try to get through to Muslims or Protestants. But I knew that the conversation would branch out more, so that's why I made a thread for it. Of course, I have been curious about your opinions about what I said in the first few posts of this thread. But I think the conversation's a bit derailed now.

Yes, I think your statement is spot on. I'm trying to express the truth of my religion. Why? I don't know. If I express the truth of my religion—as I know it—I will get to hear what you have to say about it, and that interests me. Actually, to ask "why" is to ask why I'm here at TTA. I like kicking an idea around.

But I am not here to practice convincing you that Catholicism is true. I've already stated that I am not successful in that. I would like to hope that the TTA can just take me for what I am and stay on topic. If I feel like "taking on the burden of proof" and attempt to convince the TTA forum of the Creator's existence, I will let you know.

One thing I don't like about forums is that it can set someone up to come off as an authority on a subject.

Another thing that frustrates me about forums is the fact that people have a hard time staying on subject, and threads get derailed. There's a lot of people talking, and it is easy to lose focus.

(21-03-2015 10:04 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  In the mean-time you are going around calling atheism a religion. That's insulting to an audience you are trying to befriend, and doesn't advance your argument at all.

Again, I'm not trying to advance an argument at the moment. But future arguments, for sure. I knew that atheists scoffed at the idea of being called religious. When I casually stated that atheism is a religion a few days ago, I was reminded of that. It is strange to me that atheists find being called religious is insulting. I hope I can remember to ask why in the thread I created this week.

(21-03-2015 10:04 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  If you are trying to reach out to a group of people you must listen to them carefully. You must ask them questions and then ask clarifying questions and more questions until you understand not only the message they are trying to get across but where they are coming from on a range of issues. You must get them used to expressing themselves clearly so that you can express yourself clearly back to them. If you want to reach out to someone through logical argument you really want to get them practicing the processes of examining their own beliefs and explaining or questioning the flaws in those beliefs.

The past two weeks have been a bit messy. But I am taking note of what people say to me. I've thought of a lot of new questions and thoughts since visiting here.

(21-03-2015 10:04 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I really think that "atheism is a religion" is a dog-whistle. It's a way of saying "I'm the right kind of person. I believe the right things. If you believe the same things as me we should be friends". It's a way of talking to other believers in code. It's a way of sneering at those you disagree with while feeling self-righteous.

I am not trying to establish that atheism is a religion in order to use that as a method for argument or conversion. I'm not using it as a stepping stone. I get the feeling that is the impression.

I said atheism is a religion the other day as an off the cuff remark. I said it because I believe it. Most fellow Catholics agree. We can discuss the truth or error of that statement in the other thread. But stating it is not some part of a plan I have.
I've been insulted with a few phrases here as well.

(21-03-2015 10:04 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  Yes, that's what most people mean these days when they say "atheist…

At some point in the future, I should ask TTA folks to define "atheist." I find that a lot of the basic foundational words tend to be perceived differently between the two camps.

Yeah. You should define "faith" and "belief", and explain to us how your definition is in line with the teachings of cult you claim as your own.

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23-03-2015, 02:32 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  At some point in the future, I should ask TTA folks to define "atheist."
A person lacking a belief in gods/deities.
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23-03-2015, 07:34 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  I would like to hope that the TTA can just take me for what I am and stay on topic.

I find it interesting how you repeatedly whine about others jumping in and threads straying off-topic. Have you never used forums before or just never used ones that aren't rigidly controlled? This isn't a formal debate arena; it's more like a cocktail party with conversations drifting and people wandering in and out of them.

Quote:At some point in the future, I should ask TTA folks to define "atheist." I find that a lot of the basic foundational words tend to be perceived differently between the two camps.

It has been defined by multiple people in multiple threads. The most common definition I hear, and the one I use, is that an atheist is somebody who doesn't accept the claim that a god exists. That includes people who makes the claim that no gods exist (gnostic atheist) as well as people who say that they just haven't seen enough evidence to conclude that one does (agnostic atheists).

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24-03-2015, 08:18 AM (This post was last modified: 24-03-2015 08:23 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  Another thing that frustrates me about forums is the fact that people have a hard time staying on subject, and threads get derailed. There's a lot of people talking, and it is easy to lose focus.
Agreed. I try to keep my contributions to the point in busy threads like this to keep the noise level low. I don't always succeed.

(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  
(21-03-2015 10:04 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  In the mean-time you are going around calling atheism a religion. That's insulting to an audience you are trying to befriend, and doesn't advance your argument at all.

Again, I'm not trying to advance an argument at the moment. But future arguments, for sure. I knew that atheists scoffed at the idea of being called religious. When I casually stated that atheism is a religion a few days ago, I was reminded of that. It is strange to me that atheists find being called religious is insulting. I hope I can remember to ask why in the thread I created this week.
I think you will be unsuccessful in your outreach with an approach that "tells" in this way without listening. I think the way to advance someone's thinking is to ask them to state their arguments slowly and carefully until they are able to recognise the flaws. Sometimes that will make them think in ways they haven't had to before and they'll come to an interesting realisation. Sometimes that will make them explain something to you that is important and will impact your own thinking.

To me a theist saying "atheism is a religion" is synonymous with "I'm not interested in understanding your point of view. Let me tell you my point of view instead." It's all about telling. It's all about not listening. You saying you believe it doesn't change that. You saying all your friends believe it just shows how little contact you have with people outside of your believers-only exclusionary bubble. It shows how shallowly you have considered the basic proposition or propositions of atheism.

And again it costs you goodwill to say and to argue for but doesn't advance your case. You don't have to argue that atheism is a religion for it to be mutually exclusive from catholicism. All you have to say is that it is mutually exclusive from catholicism. That's a fairly self-explanatory point that all but a few atheist priests and their supporters would acknowledge without taking any kind of offence.

(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  The past two weeks have been a bit messy. But I am taking note of what people say to me. I've thought of a lot of new questions and thoughts since visiting here.

If you're willing to honestly ask questions and when something doesn't make sense ask more and deeper questions still I for one will welcome the enquiry.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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24-03-2015, 05:37 PM (This post was last modified: 24-03-2015 05:46 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  At some point in the future, I should ask TTA folks to define "atheist."

From the Greek atheos, a - "without", theos - "god". Since I AM GOD I am clearly not an atheist. Checkmate theist.

#sigh
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25-03-2015, 08:33 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  At some point in the future, I should ask TTA folks to define "atheist." I find that a lot of the basic foundational words tend to be perceived differently between the two camps.

It has been repeatedly defined here for you, but you have ignored it every time.

Are you stupid or dishonest?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-03-2015, 08:36 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(24-03-2015 05:37 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  At some point in the future, I should ask TTA folks to define "atheist."

From the Greek atheos, a - "without", theos - "god". Since I AM GOD I am clearly not an atheist. Checkmate theist.

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25-03-2015, 09:22 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(25-03-2015 08:33 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(22-03-2015 07:33 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  At some point in the future, I should ask TTA folks to define "atheist." I find that a lot of the basic foundational words tend to be perceived differently between the two camps.

It has been repeatedly defined here for you, but you have ignored it every time.

Are you stupid or dishonest?

Perverse about sums it up :

per·verse
/pərˈvərs/
adjective
adjective: perverse
(of a person or their actions) showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences.
"Kate's perverse decision not to cooperate"
synonyms:
awkward, contrary, difficult, unreasonable, uncooperative, unhelpful, obstructive, disobliging, recalcitrant, stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, mulish, pigheaded, bullheaded;
formalrefractory
"he is being deliberately perverse"
antonyms:
accommodating, cooperative

contrary to the accepted or expected standard or practice.
"in two general elections the outcome was quite perverse"
synonyms:
illogical, irrational, unreasonable, wrong, wrong-headed
"a verdict that is manifestly perverse"
antonyms:
reasonable

Law
(of a verdict) against the weight of evidence or the direction of the judge on a point of law.

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31-03-2015, 12:13 PM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
I have learned be the best reading experience on this site is to only read what theist say when being quoted and responded to.
the statements that atheists on this site end up going through the same thing each time a theist writes without listening, honest intent or basic understanding are warranted and the frustration is very real.
It would be a nice change to not see tired excuses and ignorance used as a shield, and for theist who claim to be seeking honest discussion to actually listen to the answers they get.
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08-04-2015, 10:13 PM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(31-03-2015 12:13 PM)Gordon Blue Wrote:  It would be a nice change to not see tired excuses and ignorance used as a shield, and for theist who claim to be seeking honest discussion to actually listen to the answers they get.

This describes me.

The attempt to pursue the "atheism is a religion" argument through if/then statements in the other thread failed. That thread is proof that I do not know how to argue against atheists, let alone talk with them.

I've been reconsidering that thread in the last handful of weeks. I cannot just be the kind of person who says "forget them, they're jerks," when previous conversations have clearly shown that the error in the discourse was mine. In the beginning of this thread, I pretty much stated that I don't know how to reach out to either Muslims or Protestants. It is clear I do not know how to reach out to atheists either.

Someone on here said to me this year that this place has many individuals who are at different levels of disbelief, that the members of TTA are not all the same, that some came here from a previous faith, or that some came here through honest secular questioning. Obviously, I have only been looking at 99% of the TTA members as some sort of unified collective borg, in which all of the members were clones of one another. So, I cannot even understand how to talk to atheists on an atheist forum.

I've been frustrated, too, by how difficult communicating on a forum can be. It is hard to focus on one voice. If you just talk with one person, or if you wait for that person to respond, you end up alienating other forum members, and they get upset. Sometimes the conversation drifts into a direction that takes the conversation off course. And 100% of the time, if you have a plan for how a thread will go, it fails immediately. These are lessons I've learned on other forums as well.

I think I will continue to disappoint Gordon Blue and other members, in that I will merely sound like the other theists who have come on here. I do not know how to defend my arguments to faithless people. I only have experience in conversation with fellow religious folks--and even then, I am not successful. I am not an apologist, an ideal "witness," a theologian, or a persuasive essayist. I'm just a regular guy.

My plan, in the future, is to hopefully recognize when I do not have an answer. For what it's worth, my time here on TTA has been educational for me. Yes, it has been difficult, most folks here hate my guts, and my beliefs are always challenged. However, if I just stayed safe in some enclave, I would not know what I know now. Make no mistake, I still believe in what I believe--the Catholic Faith. However, at this point, I am starting to see how I believe, if that makes sense.

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